I have to admit, other than my well-know vintage wheel obsession, I have a close second obsession in cleaned, detailed engine bays. Nothing "grinds my gears" more than a car at a show with a beautiful paint job, shiny wheels, nice interior.. then you look under the hood and the bay is a mess of wiring, oil, rust, and corroded parts. Sure it's great if it runs well.. but such a disappointment when it is quite simple to tidy up the engine bay and detail the "easy" bolt-on parts.
I have found a few "go-to" products in our selection of Engine Compartment Paints that when used together, can transform an engine bay.
Many drivetrains new from the factory, have a bare blasted aluminum intake manifold, transmission housing, alternator, and a slew of other parts. They look great.. but the unsealed, bare aluminum is very porous and grease, dirt, and grim can really get ingrained in the pores, and those parts quickly become quite ugly. With the help of our Chassis Kleen, some water (power washer works wonders!), and a coat of our new-improved Aluma Blast paint, many of these parts can be easily transformed into like-new appearance. We worked closely with our labs to once again, "one-up" ourselves and improve upon this already popular paint. We are proud to say that our Aluma Blast has just the right combination of metallics, the right hue of silver, and a formula that lays so smooth, people will think you part really has just been blasted. Check out the pics below where I used that exact same process to take this original transmission from an ugly, greasy, mess, to one that fools many that it is brand new!
The Aluma Blast works great on most anything, you can vary the amount of "flake" in the final finish by the distance you keep the nozzle from the part, and how heavy you lay the paint on. I like to do light dust coats while holding the can about twice as far from the part as you normally would with other aerosols. It gives that high "flake" or shimmer that you see in a freshly blasted part right out of the cabinet. Make sure you paint the parts away from anything you don't want a dusting of Aluma Blast on, the metallics really like to travel in the air and WILL land on anything you don't want to be silver (ask me how I know...).
In addition to manifolds and transmissions, It is nice to use the Aluma Blast and our other detail paints to break up too much of one color in the engine bay. You'd be surprised how much of a difference it makes to spray small things like the engine mount brackets, or shift linkage. It really keeps your engine from looking like you just dusted the entire bay with one can of spray paint. Below you can see a few more pictures where I recently used a combination of Aluma Blast, Extreme High Gloss Chassis Black and Silver Cad. I even use Aluma Blast on cylinder heads to keep the "New OE" theme going in the bay. Since Aluma Blast is good for up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be used on many engine parts that normal paint may flake or discolor if applied in the same spot.
My last little tip for any of these Engine Compartment Paints is that you can use our Diamond Satin Clear to protect the detail paints from greasy fingerprint stains or if you have any accidental leaks. I've found that you can spray some detailer on the dirty part and rub the fingerprints, oil, etc off with no ill effects or staining. Just add multiple coats of diamond clear until you get the desired gloss over the surface!
So start cleaning those drivetrains and engine bays, tidying up your wiring, and getting the engine compartment as clean as the rest of your ride! Just be careful it's surely a sickness and can make you border on OCD when you may find yourself detailing every little bit you can unbolt!
Why do any of us build, restore, chop, and modify our vehicles? Most times the answer to that question (no matter what people might tell you) is that they want to show off their hard work and have something out of the ordinary. Sure we all love the process of transforming a car.. but the looks, conversation, and praise you get when others see your vehicle, is a big part of why we do this. Here at Eastwood we want to invite everyone to come out and celebrate our love for the hobby, and show off your hard work at the "Eastwood Summer Classic" Show and Shine. It also ties in with National Collector Car Appreciation Day too! As an added bonus, this will be the kickoff event for the Eastern leg of the famous Street Rodder Road Tour 2011! Street Rodder Mag icon Jerry Dixey will be blogging, filiming, and reporting throughout all of the tours. So get your ride polished up, and come out to the Eastwood Headquarters for a celebration of our love for the hobby, and a chance to hang out with some folks from Street Rodder Magazine! We also will be offering AWESOME DISCOUNTS in our retail store, FREE Prize Giveaways, Tech Demos, Food, and lots of good times! To stay updated, be sure to check back here at the Eastwood Blog for updates as they become available!