Painting Intake Manifold And Valve Covers?

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by James.Little, May 5, 2013.

  1. So I was looking at some of these pretty fox engine bays and noticed mine was old and dirty, it doesn't compare. I also have seen some people paint their intake manifolds and valve covers, I would like to do that.

    How hard is it to paint these things, is it as easy as pulling them off and painting them? Are there anything special I should do before or after painting them, like making sure I keep a certain area covered when painting, etc. Do I need a special kind of paint? Spray paint or brush on paint? Is there a tutorial I overlooked?

    I will eventual have the car painted black with a red strip on the trim, like this bad boy: mustang.jpg

    Is it in bad taste to paint the intake manifold black and to paint the "5.0 (Ford) HO" emblem thing as such: Everything black, but the dot on the 5.0 and paint blue on the (Ford) part. I would also like to paint the valve covers black, what do you guys thing of that?
  2. I would advise against painting anything in the engine bay black; black engine parts in a black car disappear.

    Paining engine parts is the same as paining anything else- good cleaning, prep, and primer are key to good results.

    Still, powdercoat is your best bet, IMO, for engine parts. Spray paint tends to disagree with being bumped by ratchet handles. Powdercoat is much tougher.
    hoopty5.0 likes this.
  3. Also, unless you are OCD about keeping your engine bay clean, the dirt shows a lot more on black pieces. I had a black engine for a while an it was a pain to keep it presentable.
  4. When you say the black parts seem to disappear, what do you mean?
  5. I am not really OCD, but I would like to keep it clean regularly, like I do the exterior. I clean it ever so often.
  6. Check out my build thread and look at my intake that is hydro dipping its just as tough as powder coat and you can add better designs
  7. I have a explorer intake I'm installing this week. When I got it, it was nasty and covered in grime. I cleaned the crap out of it with chemicals and a wire brush on a drill. Painted it aluminum with VHT spray paint from autozone. Gonna do valve covers as well. The lower is painted already, just don't have a pic with me.


    Engine bay:

    Upper painted:
  8. Check out my build thread as well, I just painted my upper, lower and valve covers. I did them all in Duplicolor Aluminum to get a fairly factory looking appearance. I agree that powder coating is one of the best when it come to durability, I just didn't have a local source and didn't want to spend the coin to get it done.

    As already said, the keys are prep, prep, more prep, primer and paint. Light, even coats.
  9. I am pretty new to engine "stuff", but I am learning as I go. When I take of either the valve covers or the intake manifold, do I have to take any precautions or can I just paint where ever I want, is there certain holes I have to cover? What about the exposed parts in the car, what should I do while I paint? Also, I think I am just going to go buy a large toaster oven and a powder gun from harbor freight, I can get all parts for about $120, I think I am going glossy black.

    Also can I powder coat something twice? Like if I wanted to powder coat it black, bake it, then powder coat something red, then bake it?
  10. And gloves always use gloves when prepping because after your all done and let your greasy hands touch it you might not think they are greasy but they are that grease will not let that paint adhere and give it time to cure between coats like 30 minutes each coat trust me you'll thank me later
  11. I recommend getting it powder coated. Take it to a professional, and have them do a high heat powder coat on it. I powdercoated a few parts here at work, but our stuff isn't high heat resistant, so it ended up breaking apart.
  12. Between the car already being black, and natural shadows in the engine bay, there is no contrast and black parts won't "stand out". About the only cars that look right with black engine parts are white, yellow, silver, etc. Black cars look best with brightly colored engine parts, like silver, red, blue, etc.

    As far as what areas to avoid painting- Pretty much anything that is a gasket/seal surface or a port that a fluid flows in (air, fuel, or coolant), you'll want to keep paint out of. Bolt clearance holes are OK, but threaded holes should not get paint in them either. Good rule of thumb would be: if you can see it while it's assembled on the engine, paint it; if you can't see it, don't paint it.
  13. I can't say I agree that black parts disappear. While it's true if he painted the entire under hood area black, it would be at the very least "plain" looking, but some black parts to break things up over the traditional silver, or polished norm would look pretty good IMO....dare I say modernesque, since most under hood parts now a days are black in colour (composite intake manifolds, valve covers, plastic engine covers, etc).

    A set of black valve covers and intake manifold look sick IMO. All one has to do is look at the blackened Trick Flow top end kit to see that. You can easily break them up with a polished throttle body, CAI, or coloured spark plug wires, etc.
  14. I am partial to black, I think it looks sexy as hell. I do agree black everything will not stand out, but honestly I don't like it to stand out, I want it to look good. I also don't like chrome. I do want to add bits of red here and there.

    Here is how she currently looks:

    In terms of engine bay clean up:
    * Remove smog pump
    * A nice clean bath
    * Ignition wire spacers
    * Paint\powder coat intake manifold
    * Paint\powder coat valve covers
    * Electric fan (should add a few horses and a cleaner look IMO)
    * Coil Cover

    Also, notice my brake fluid holder, why does it look like that? All the engine bays I have seen have a clear one with a cap?
  15. If you got some space you should get into powder coating. It's REALLY simple. I picked up a kit from Eastwood and and old electric oven off craigslist. Cheap and fun.
  16. I was gonna ask when the last time you went mudding in southern Oklahoma was till I saw your location, CLEAN that engine bay too man, not just painting those parts. That said, given all the red dirt and dust storms in Lubbock, I'd go with silver instead of black as you will NEVER keep them clean longer than 10 minutes.
  17. Yeah, those plug wires have only been in the car one full day. Speaking of, what is the proper way of cleaning those? Yeah but silver is too shiny, lol.