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Assemble the whole thing and spray it blue, or paint the individual parts (block, heads, valve covers, pan, etc.) before assembly?

I like the idea of individually painted parts with the gasket edges unpainted, but I've seen both ways. Shooting it after assembly will be faster and easier. Not concours, so I don't really care much how the factory did it. Any advantages or disadvantages to one way or the other that I'm not thinking of?
 

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Ford painted it after assembly. That is the most correct looking.
 

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I painted disassembled (block, heads, timing chain cover), so that if I ever had to take it apart, I would have less risk of paint chipping/peeling when the parts separated. Not the concours way, but I was happy with how it came out.
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I painted mine just like Ford did.
The hardest part is making sure that the engine is absolutely spotless.
I used corks to plug the spark plug holes and plastic plugs that I had lying around to plug the other holes.
Use the POR engine enamel, and you'll be pretty close to the shade that Ford used.
 

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Whats your goal? A work of art or a oem looking engine?

I paint the manifold and WP but leave the fuel pump bare. It needs some touchup now and then, thats why I use rattlecan.

I prefer the engine clean, oil and grease free and functional.
 

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I've found engines painted after assembly stayed a little cleaner. The edges of the gaskets painted, sealed in oil that otherwise wicked out. Especially true on cork gaskets.
 
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