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Engine Paint and Detail

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  • Engine Paint and Detail

    My project this week is to clean up the engine on the Hawk. I know I need hi temp paint for the intake manifold, but what about the valve covers and oil filter canister? Can I just use spray Rustoleum, Krylon, etc.?
    Has anyone attempted to paint the intake manifold, water pump housing, etc., without removal of those items. I was just going to try and be careful and brush those items. Of course I will remove the valve covers, oil filter cansister and air filter.
    Any hints or advice would be apprecitated. Thanks.

  • #2
    You need high-temperature engine paint for the valve covers and oil filter housing. Any FLAPS will have the gloss black, but only the Stude vendors will have the correct yellow and orange used on some parts. You can brush paint on the cast iron parts, but wash the engine really well, and mask as well as you can. Try not to get any paint on the visible edges of the gaskets, as it won't come off.
    Skip Lackie


    • #3
      At the recommendation of the paint pro at the local NAPA, I used regular non-high heat rustoleum spray paint for my valve covers, and they have been just fine. The only criticism I have coming from that experience is that it would have been wise to let them fully cure for a week or two before putting them back on the car. I think putting them on and running the engine while the paint was still soft really slowed down curing time. Then again, I drive my car and didn't have a spare set, so I did what needed to be done. They turned out fine.

      As far as the engine colors go, assuming your engine had the same color scheme as mine, I used GM orange for the fan, oil caps, and dipstick, and John Deere yellow for the valve covers and auto transmission dipstick. Some might argue that they're not perfect matches to what Studebaker used, but to my untrained eye, they were too close to tell any significant difference. They also were affordable and sitting on the shelf at my FLAPS. Your V8 is older though, and I honestly don't know how much the color scheme changed over the years, so don't take my word for it.

      Prep is definitely the key, no matter which paint you use. I thoroughly cleaned, sanded, primed, and repainted my valve covers, taking lots of time and care, and they look great. On my intake manifold, I primed and painted, but forgot to rough up the surface first. Much to my chagrin, the paint is already peeling from the heat risers, just a couple months later. Lesson learned.

      Good luck!
      '63 Lark Custom, 259 v8, auto, child seat

      "Your friendly neighborhood Studebaker evangelist"


      • #4
        Originally posted by JimC View Post
        Much to my chagrin, the paint is already peeling from the heat risers, just a couple months later. Lesson learned.
        Although good prep is important, there really is no way to avoid the paint going away on the exhaust cross over in the intake manifold and at the tops of the exhaust ports in the head where the exhaust manifolds attach. It gets too hot in those areas for any paint.
        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA


        • #5
          Thanks for the advice. I am going to order the POR 15 engine painting kit with aluminum colored primer and enamel. My engine is silver, so I figure the aluminum will be close enough. The folks at the local automotive paint store said this is an excellent kit and includes the solvent, cleaner, prep ready, POR 15 and engine enamel. I'll remove the generator, oil filter canister, valve covers, carburetor and hoses, That should allow me to get at most everything pretty good. Will let you know how it turns out.


          • #6
            Is that a '57 or '58 Silver Hawk with Golden Hawk Louvers?
            Most '57's had Turquoise Green on all Engine Parts and Block except the Black Valve Covers, Air Cleaner, Oil Cap and Electric components.

            There were a very few late '57's that got Aluminum Silver Engines destined for the '58 Models which were Silver.
            Is the Converter Housing and Transmission still the original Turquoise or is it Silver? That could be a clue that it was one of the few that were Silver or not.
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner


            • #7
              It is a 57. There is no turquoise other than on the body. Almost certain it's the original drivetrain.