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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    engine valve cover painting?

    whats the best way to clean a stock valve cover up for paint? i was assuming i needed to get it down to bare metal originally but then again half the time when you paint a car you dont even do that. so whats the best way? just a light sanding?
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  2. #2
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    The first thing you want to do is clean it. Get ALL of the oil and dirt off. Try not to touch it after you wash it or your oily finger prints will keep the paint from adhering properly. If it's bare metal, scuff it with some scotchbrite, prime it, and paint it. If it's painted and the paint is in good shape (not deeply scratched, chipped, peeling, bubbling, or anything) then you can just sand it, prime it, and paint it. I've painted a few valve covers in my time. Photobucket is acting up and not letting me post a picture though
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  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ok, so it is more or less like any other part then. cool, i know what i need to do now. ive got a bit of sanding to do though cus mine isnt smooth. its like a mini rhino liner sort of texture........... super tough to get off. that why i just kind of stopped back when i thought i had to go down to bare metal lol. id like to get all the texture stuff off though so ill do some cleaning then do multiple stages of sanding to get it smoother.

    thanks for the info, and feel free to get them pics posted up when photobucket starts behaving again.
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  4. #4
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    Is this for the neon?
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  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    yes, yes it is
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  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. harry697's Avatar
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    I'm guessing it's an aluminum valve cover? That textured paint they use at the factory is really hard to work with. Best bet is to have it blasted. Once you have it down to bare aluminum, you need to apply either a self-etching primer or epoxy primer (etch primer is cheaper and easier to work with). From there, just scuff the primer with a red scotch-brite and it's ready for paint. This is the part where the self-etching primer is easier to work with because epoxy primers are usually hard as a rock and take a whole lot of elbow grease to break the surface.

    Depending on how porous the metal is and what not, you may need to apply a primer surfacer over top of the etching primer, in order to sand out any imperfections or texture.

    P.S. Once the valve cover is blasted, don't use any solvents to clean it. Just blow it down really well with compressed air, wipe it down with a tack cloth, and spray your primer. Solvent and/or water-based cleaners will soak into the metal and may release after the piece is painted, causing all sorts of problems. As long as it's blasted down to bare metal, it is clean and there's no need to use any type of cleaners.

    If for some reason you get contaminants on it after it's blasted, use a solvet-based cleaner and make sure you dry it really well and allow it to sit (preferably in the sunlight) for an hour or so before priming. But as long as you don't handle it on the outside or with bare hands, there shouldn't be any need to clean it.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    ok, ill keep that in mind. i think i bought high temp engine paint awhile back if i recall correctly. but im pretty sure your not supposed to use any seperate primer with it. ill have to check though lol
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  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. harry697's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08kgraves View Post
    ok, ill keep that in mind. i think i bought high temp engine paint awhile back if i recall correctly. but im pretty sure your not supposed to use any seperate primer with it. ill have to check though lol

    In that case, check the instructions on the can. Some of those engine enamels are really odd. My previous post was based on using automotive paint, which will look a whole lot better than engine enamel if you decide to go that route.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    right i kind of figured. i just want to spice things up a bit more. if i remember right though it might be florecent green or orange and im not sure i want to go that color option anymore lol. but yeah ill read can directions first for sure. i might look at other things to paint the same color as well to get it more matching. right now i have a red coil (msd) and a chrome fuel rail. then theres some silver aluminum you see from part of my cold air intake.
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  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    In order to bring the valve cover down to bare metal use some aircraft stripper. Itll pull that paint right off in minutes. But I'm pretty sure neon valve covers are plastic

  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    awe nice, i like the pic of the boat on the water but not in the water as well to lol.

    and mine has the raised letters in it i thought about painting a seperate color as well. not sure what colors i want to go with still though. lol
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  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetracero1 View Post
    In order to bring the valve cover down to bare metal use some aircraft stripper. Itll pull that paint right off in minutes. But I'm pretty sure neon valve covers are plastic
    its metal, trust me lol. and i think i might even have some paint stripper laying around. never thought about using that though lol.
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  14. #14
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    Carb cleaner works wonders on pretty much everything. Try that if you can't get the paint off.
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  15. #15
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. 08kgraves's Avatar
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    yeah, ill get her squared away. the way i look at it, i kept my old valve cover from other engine. this one has 1 maybe now 2 holes stripped that hold down the ignition coil (out of 4) and i have all the gaskets for another one brand new still so why not put them to use. ( i wont over tighten the coil pack this time around though lol )
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