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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks. So I just pulled the engine and tranny from my '67 Coupe and I'm working on stripping the engine compartment. Before I get going on the project I thought I'd run my plan by some folks who have some experience and see if I have any flaws in the plan. I have two plans, so I'm curious what your thoughts are on each. One is the budget option, the other is a more costly option. I'm curious if the more costly is overkill.

Option 1
1) Degreasing the bay with a basic engine degreaser then pressure washing it out.
2) Blasting with aluminum oxide abrasive with a handy Harbor Freight abrasive blaster
3) Priming with Rust-Oleum Self-Etch (black) primer
4) Sealing any seams with Eastwood (black) seam sealer
5) Spraying (with air compressor sprayer) Eastwood Under Hood Black semi-gloss
6) Re-installing everything!

Option 2
1) Degreasing as in Option 1
2) Blasting as in Option 1
3) Priming as in Option 1
4) Sealing seams as in Option 1
5) Spraying with Rust-Oleum Sand-able primer (black)
6) Spraying as in option 1
7) Re-install

Basically Option 2 adds in the sand-able primer. The I'm also wondering about using the Rust-oleum primer with Eastwood paint. Does it make that big of a difference not using the same manufacturer? I have NEVER done autobody work before but I want to do this right the first time so I don't have to do it again. I'm hesitant on doing the work since I've never done this, but I'll tackle it and make it work.

I should also mention that the radiator support and battery apron have been replaced and came pre-painted. So I wasn't planning on priming those, just painting straight over.

Is it necessary to sand the primer down or can I sand the self-etch primer to smooth out any spots that need smoothing? I've been reading as much as I can to try and see what others have done, but I've noticed most people don't do the self-etch primer and just use sand-able primer.

I'd really appreciate thoughts and input! I'm sure I left something out.
 

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I don't know if the Rust-o-leum primer is compatible with the eastwood paint, I wouild recommend using a compatible primer. If the radiator suppor and battery apron are painted very thin, I would clean them with lacquer thinner to remove the paint and prime and paint them to match the rest of the underhood. I think the biggest mistake in painting is not getting everything clean enough, before you paint. Good Luck.
 

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Prep Work

FWIW. In the last year I have done 2 engine bays (one more to go). A year ago I cleaned, scraped, wire wheeled, sanded etc. It was a ton of work but the car came out real good. I spent about 2 weeks on it (maybe 25 hours). The next car was done about 3 weeks ago. With memories from a year ago, I too went to Harbor Freight bought the $125 sand blaster and went to town. It took about 3/4 of a day (250lbs of sand) to get it blasted down to where I liked it. That seemed like a huge time savings, what I didn't account for is that there is sand everywhere, not just the area where I did the work, but the car. I just did a disc break up grade last week and there is still sand falling out of place that I didn't know there were places. Also I neglected to tape off the cowl vent and that got a ton of sand in it that had to be cleaned out.
Another thing I noticed is that there is sand sticking to the underside of the tunnel (car had an oil leak). I blew the whole area off with compressed air and am considering hosing it off with water now.
But I think there will be sand falling off the car for the next 30 years.
I am not sure what way I'm gonna go on the 3rd car, but that is what I have learned.
Hope this helps
Ken
 

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I'm just wrapping up detailing my engine compartment since I've got the engine out for a rebuild. I bet I have a hundred hours in it so far. Much more tedious than originally thought. I opted to strip it down by hand since my car is freshly painted and all put together with the underside and suspension being painted and detailed as well. I didn't want to contend with sand trashing all that hard work. I worked the compartment one section at a time, unbolting all I could but didn't want to pull the steering or master cylinder since that would disrupt my interior. i used lots of tape, paper and aluminum foil to mask what I didn't wanted painted. Once I stripped the paint with paint stripper and sanded or wire wheeled as required, I detailed the M/C and steering first and masked off before shooting any black paint. There are lots of cracks and crevises so a small dremel wire wheel worked pretty good in the tight spots but still very tedious. Once stripped, I wiped everything down with Eastwood Pre and used a toothbrush and small wire brush to ensure the cracks and crevises where clean. Brake cleaner was useful as well. Once all that was done, I blew everything down one more time with compressed air and shot two coats of Rustolum rattlecan self etching primer followed by two coats of semi flat black Krylon. The Krylon I used I got off of Ebay which is the old formula not what is avalible in stores these days. Old school Krylon is very forgiving and having several cans on hand work great for touching up the inevitable chips and scratches that will come during reassembly. While I had things apart, I replaced the front brakelines, freshend up the hardware and replaced all the wiring harness ties since most of mine were long since gone. I did have to do some minor patching of holes drilled from prior mods made in my youth before I painted. I will tell you, doing it right is lots of work but my engine compartment looks pretty damn good now, far better than it has ever looked in the 30 years I have owned the car.
 

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Here's my blog entry from when I painted my engine bay.

1967 Mustang Restoration: In this issue: Lots of paint, and lots of caulk

Your initial plan looks ok. You don't need to be as picky with the engine bay as you do with the exterior body, but durable products will increase longevity. I would skip the sand blasting. It's very messy, it will get sand everywhere you don't want it, including in the ball joints, zerks, etc of your suspension. Instead use an angle grinder with a wire wheel and get everything you can this way. If some stuff still requires sand, get a spot blaster that you can hold right up against the panel; it greatly reduces the mess of sand everywhere as much of it gets recycled back into the gun after it hits the metal.

Self-etching primer is only doing you any good if it's on bare metal, so there's no need to spray it over areas that didn't have paint removed. (And it isn't always necessary to completely remove all the paint).

Before you paint, take an 80 grit DA to the metal for additional adherence. This also removes additional paint you might have missed with the angle grinder.

Clean the bare metal with a paint-prep wax and grease remover, not lacquer thinner.

Whatever you decide to spray for primer--after it dries, scuff it up well with a red scotch brite pad. This will provide adhesion for whatever you put on top of it. You can get red scotch brites from your auto parts store.

For your new sheet metal that already has E-coat: this has been electrostatically applied at the factory. In some cases there can be rust underneath it if the metal was rusty before getting dipped. You can tell if this is the case because there are spots where the E-coat is rough or bumpy. If your e-coat is smooth everywhere, then scuff it well with a red scotchbrite until ALL gloss is gone. Then degrease with your paint prep. There is no need to remove the e-coat. Now it can be painted over.

I wouldn't 'sand' any primer beyond scuffing it with a red scotchbrite because the notion of sanding the stuff from a rattle can is a joke. It barely has any solids.

If you REALLY want to do this right, I would skip all the primers you've talked about here and shoot it with an epoxy primer. Apply it with your HVLP gun, apply direct to well-prepped bare or painted metal. It will have far superior performance to any of those other primers you listed. Then paint over it. Check out southern polyurethanes epoxy. I think you can get it in quart sizes.

Finally, and especially since it's cold out--give your paint plenty of time to cure before you do anything else in/to the engine bay. I'd give it 2 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so I think most of you have convinced me out of the sandblasting, which is unfortunate since I already purchased and assembled the sandblaster from Harbor Freight! Alas. I'm sure I'll have a use for it at some point in the future. I'm glad I asked for opinion however because I think I'm going to approach this very differently.

Does it make any difference that I wasn't planning on using sand? I was going to go with the anodized aluminum 70 grit... blasting still a bad idea? Just checking....

@Lizer: Should I just wire brush away anything that is loose or looking rusty? How do I know to what extent to sand/brush away? I was originally planning on getting everything down to bare metal by sandblasting as I thought this would provide a better base. I want to make sure my undercoating is good because I can always fix paint, the undercoating is what prevents the rust. I had originally thought about an epoxy primer but I was hesitant because I have never done this before and I didn't know how well it would apply. How much paint left behind is ok?

What I'm basically getting from y'all is that I should do the following (I'm very much a step-by-step procedure guy)

1) Wire brush compartment to remove as much paint as possible but not necessarily to the bare metal everywhere
2) Epoxy prime with HVLP gun
3) Seam seal all/any joints? Is this even necessary in the engine compartment? I know that seam sealer was only applied to certain areas.
4) Red scotch brite Epoxy to scuff up prior to painting
5) HVLP Eastwood Under hood black

Does it really matter if I use different manufacturers for primer/paint? Eastwood doesn't sell anything but a self-etching primer. Or should I Just go with a different paint other than Eastwood? Their Under Hood black seems to get pretty good reviews.

Also, the car will be in a heated garage SOME of the time. It will be in the garage the whole time, but it's not ALWAYS heated. However, I suppose I could keep the heat running to help the paint cure. How much time would that cut off? The engine will probably be back in about 2 weeks and I'm not sure I want to let the engine sit off to the side for too long waiting for the car. Or does that even matter?

Thanks for all your inputs folks.

Here's my blog entry from when I painted my engine bay.

1967 Mustang Restoration: In this issue: Lots of paint, and lots of caulk

Your initial plan looks ok. You don't need to be as picky with the engine bay as you do with the exterior body, but durable products will increase longevity. I would skip the sand blasting. It's very messy, it will get sand everywhere you don't want it, including in the ball joints, zerks, etc of your suspension. Instead use an angle grinder with a wire wheel and get everything you can this way. If some stuff still requires sand, get a spot blaster that you can hold right up against the panel; it greatly reduces the mess of sand everywhere as much of it gets recycled back into the gun after it hits the metal.

Self-etching primer is only doing you any good if it's on bare metal, so there's no need to spray it over areas that didn't have paint removed. (And it isn't always necessary to completely remove all the paint).

Before you paint, take an 80 grit DA to the metal for additional adherence. This also removes additional paint you might have missed with the angle grinder.

Clean the bare metal with a paint-prep wax and grease remover, not lacquer thinner.

Whatever you decide to spray for primer--after it dries, scuff it up well with a red scotch brite pad. This will provide adhesion for whatever you put on top of it. You can get red scotch brites from your auto parts store.

For your new sheet metal that already has E-coat: this has been electrostatically applied at the factory. In some cases there can be rust underneath it if the metal was rusty before getting dipped. You can tell if this is the case because there are spots where the E-coat is rough or bumpy. If your e-coat is smooth everywhere, then scuff it well with a red scotchbrite until ALL gloss is gone. Then degrease with your paint prep. There is no need to remove the e-coat. Now it can be painted over.

I wouldn't 'sand' any primer beyond scuffing it with a red scotchbrite because the notion of sanding the stuff from a rattle can is a joke. It barely has any solids.

If you REALLY want to do this right, I would skip all the primers you've talked about here and shoot it with an epoxy primer. Apply it with your HVLP gun, apply direct to well-prepped bare or painted metal. It will have far superior performance to any of those other primers you listed. Then paint over it. Check out southern polyurethanes epoxy. I think you can get it in quart sizes.

Finally, and especially since it's cold out--give your paint plenty of time to cure before you do anything else in/to the engine bay. I'd give it 2 weeks.
 

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Does it make any difference that I wasn't planning on using sand? I was going to go with the anodized aluminum 70 grit... blasting still a bad idea? Just checking....
Regardless of what media you use, it's just too messy. Especially for what you'll be doing.

@Lizer: Should I just wire brush away anything that is loose or looking rusty? How do I know to what extent to sand/brush away? I was originally planning on getting everything down to bare metal by sandblasting as I thought this would provide a better base.
If you put a wire cup or wheel on an angle grinder it will buzz through any paint you present it like a chainsaw through butter. I wear safety glasses, a faceshield, and gloves whenever I do this. Take everything away that you can. For areas you can't get to, get in there with some 80 grit sandpaper and sand it down smooth and smooth out the edges so you don't get topography or 'mapping' in your final paint coat.

I want to make sure my undercoating is good because I can always fix paint, the undercoating is what prevents the rust. I had originally thought about an epoxy primer but I was hesitant because I have never done this before and I didn't know how well it would apply. How much paint left behind is ok?
Epoxy applies very nicely and leaves a very nice glossy finish. It will protect better than anything else you can put on it. How much paint to leave behind is up to you. You can apply epoxy over existing paint. It's done quite often as epoxy is sometimes used as a sealer over old, existing paint when a car is being repainted without removing taking it down to bare metal.


1) Wire brush compartment to remove as much paint as possible but not necessarily to the bare metal everywhere
You will find it will be very easy to get bare metal with an angle grinder, however.

3) Seam seal all/any joints? Is this even necessary in the engine compartment? I know that seam sealer was only applied to certain areas.
The factory seam manual only has seam sealer running along the very front edge of the cowl. All other seams to be sealed are on the outsides of the fender skirts.

4) Red scotch brite Epoxy to scuff up prior to painting
Epoxy is the exception. You actually don't need to do anything to epoxy, which is why it's so great. I can't speak for all epoxies, but for SPI epoxy, once it's sprayed, you have a 7 day window in which you can top coat it without having to sand. After 7 days you'd need to sand the epoxy before top coating.

I actually just realized epoxy probably isn't going to be the best option for you right now since you're spraying in the winter. Metal temps are absolutely critical for epoxy, and the metal temp needs to be at least 60F, which means the air temp needs to be at least 65F. If the epoxy gets colder than 60 it goes dormant. Once it goes dormant it will not finish curing. You really are picking about the worst time you possibly can to paint something. For paint to cure, solvents need to evaporate. Cold weather isn't conducive at all to evaporation. You may still be best off just going with a good quality etching primer though it wouldn't be as ideal as epoxy.

Is Eastwood's underhood black a 2 component paint? If not, there's not a whole lot you stand to gain from going the hvlp route other than the job will be a little faster. If you get the rattle can stuff that has the spray tip that shoots it out in a pattern like Duplicolor does that lays down very nicely as well and you can run the can along just as if it were an HVLP gun. Eastwood's rattle can underhood black may be patterned, it would be worth checking out. Otherwise, the Bill Hirsch stuff I used is patterned and after two years of it being on the car it has held up very well under the abuse the engine bay receives when a car is still under restoration. I have a can of Eastwood Chassis black to try as I'm open to trying other things too, but that's the only product I can speak of at the moment for being tried and true based on personal experience. And it's not the type of experience where a lot of people spray it on and two days later say 'this stuff is awesome!' I'll at least give it two years before I make that call.

Does it really matter if I use different manufacturers for primer/paint?
It may, and it may not. That's really the best answer. As long as you're staying within the same family, such as urethane on urethane rather than a urethane going on lacquer you should be ok.

Also, the car will be in a heated garage SOME of the time. It will be in the garage the whole time, but it's not ALWAYS heated. However, I suppose I could keep the heat running to help the paint cure. How much time would that cut off? The engine will probably be back in about 2 weeks and I'm not sure I want to let the engine sit off to the side for too long waiting for the car. Or does that even matter?
The only thing you stand to gain with letting the paint cure is it will be harder and won't chip as easily. It will also be more resistant to solvents and chemicals once cured. You can install the engine now. If you get chips or spill fluids on the paint that eat it away, you'll just have to touch those spots up. Keeping the garage heated will speed up the process but I can't say by how much. For the most part, you can tell when the paint is cured when you walk into the garage and it no longer smells like paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Lizer, you have been an awesome help! I've been searching like crazy through the forums looking for anything related to painting and I've stumbled across your posts more than once. Then having my direct questions answered clarifies even more. I totally did not understand the painting process until now. It makes more sense. Being able to understand how it works helps me to understand how to make it happen.

I'm working in a single car garage (with lots of space) and I've been running two propane tank heaters in the garage and it heats up nicely. I'm in toasty warm :) Idaho where we have been averaging about 20 degrees the past few weeks so if I get the garage heated up and keep it hot to the point that the metal isn't cold to the touch, would I still be able to apply the epoxy? I'd hate to sacrifice quality just because of the climate. I'd rather pay the extra few bucks to refill propane tanks and run the heaters nonstop to keep the place warm.

Eastwood has a 2k primer, but the paint I was looking at is only 1k. They DO however have a 2k urethane ceramic under hood paint. Would that work? The only reason I'm looking at Eastwood is because I've heard good things. I'm not necessarily dead sold on them. Their 2k ceramic paint isn't cheap either so... yeah. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to Bill Hirsch's Chasis Black. It's only $1/oz compared to Eastwood's $1.87/oz for the 2k. And Hirsch's would be rattle can, so easier I suppose.

I've been looking at SPI too and they seem to be much better priced and I've heard nothing but good about their products. I'm guessing I'd go for the SPI 2k Regular Epoxy Primer 4:1? They have a lot of products on their page so just curious what you'd recommend. They also recommend using a polar accelerator for colder climate application. I'm also not dead sold on using an HVLP gun either. I have one but I haven't used it so I can always take it back. However, if I can do a 2k epoxy by heating the garage with a HVLP then I'll definitely do that over a rattle can. I want to do this right. I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

So what are your thoughts on that? Is 2k epoxy still an option if the car is heated up? Would you splurge for 2k paint or go rattle can Hirsch's?
 

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The thing with the epoxy is you will have to get your air temp to 65. The metal temp will absolutely have to be 60. I've spoken with Barry, the owner of SPI many times and he'll recommend in colder weather, if you're in doubt, to take a reading of the metal temp with an IR thermometer. In addition to the propane heat, if you were to suspend heat lamps over the engine bay that would help. You'd really have to call Barry to get his advice on what to do in your case. The tech service line for SPI goes to his cell phone, he answers morning and evening, seven days a week. If you leave a voicemail he calls you back promptly. He's a very helpful, very nice guy and loves to help people out with not only his product but bodywork in general. He'll have lots of good advice for you as well, and he is a very good bodyman. And also very opinionated as you would expect a business owner to be.

I don't doubt the Eastwood 2k paint is a decent product for the engine bay...2k paints are usually more durably and hardy than just a rattle can paint. To the same end, as I said before I can still say the Bill Hirsch stuff is also a good paint. It lays down very nice out of the can with good, even coverage and is a beautiful semi gloss. It really makes anything you spray with it POP. It's still hard stuff and has been really durable for me. I also painted my suspension components with this. Everything has held up great for the 2-2.5 yrs they've been painted with it. And honestly, when it comes time to paint my next engine bay, I'll probably use the same stuff even though I have a nice HVLP set up. If you look through my blog, anything you see that's been painted black was painted with my Bill Hirsch cans. If I recall I think it took me about 1.5 to 2 cans to spray the engine bay. That was several years ago and I don't recall well.

It's just easier for me. You don't have to clean a gun. You don't have to worry about orange peel in the final finish. You can get into smaller nooks and crannies easier with a rattle can. HVLP guns are difficult to get into some areas because of the paint reservoir that sits on tops. Not to mention you don't get near as much overspray nor do you have to mix anything. Just grab your can off the shelf, shake it, and start spraying.

As for my own thoughts on whether I would spray epoxy, my entire car inside and out is sprayed with SPI epoxy and I'm pretty anal about it. I don't spray if it's going to be less than 70 degrees outside (I have a thermometer I set out when I'm painting or debating whether I should paint. That means I'm only spraying epoxy in the summer. That way you can also set the car out in the sun to help it flash off easier too. Your best bet is to just ask Barry. He's the actual expert here.

Some of the later entries in my blog will show the car in the SPI epoxy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Lizer. I think I'll give Barry a call and see what he says. I'm pretty sure I can get the temp of the garage where it needs to be. I'm thinking I'll go with the SPI Epoxy and then follow-up with Bill Hirsch rattle can. It seems like it will be easier and it's not that much more expensive.

One last question: I've been trying to figure this out but what exactly does it mean to wait for epoxy to "flash"? How can you tell if it has flashed or not?
 

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'flash' means the solvents have evaporated from the paint. When something flashes it will appear to 'dry out' as the solvents evaporate. You want coats of paint to be flashed before applying another coat otherwise the evaporating solvents from the bottom-most coat get trapped underneath the top coat, which will make a bubble or the paint doesn't harden.
 

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Alright, I gave a call to SPI and ordered their Epoxy 1:1 primer and also threw in their solvent cleaner and water degreaser. He was excellent to talk to and gave me some great tips. He said he didn't see any reason why I couldn't epoxy the bay so long as the ambient temperature was above 75 which should put the metal temp at around 65. The metal temp being the most important. Then I placed an order for 3 rattle cans of Bill Hirsch's Chassis Black! I'll definitely let y'all know how it turns out and get some pictures up as soon as I start work. I'll be doing it probably first thing next week. Thanks for all your help!
 

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If you spray in the garage with the heaters on you will blow up the house. Heat up the garage then turn off the heaters and extinguish the pilot lights before spraying and leave the heaters off a couple of days then ventilate the garage welll before relighting the heaters. I used Eastwood under hood black and self etching primer before. They are both 1K paints and laquer based so are compatible. I sanded areas with no surface rust and wire wheeled areas with surface rust down to bare metal.Blow off the dust and wipe with Eastwood Pre. Then sprayed black self etch on all the sanded and bare metal areas , let dry an hour then sprayed under hood black over top. Used a little spray gun from harbor freight. Eastwood also makes self etch in rattle cans. Epoxy works well too as a primer. Could be my imagination but I beleive the liquid spray paint is more durable than the rattle can paint.
 

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Good point on the heaters. No worries. I thought about that. I checked with my brother who spent many years painting homes and he said that he wouldn't worry about it. They used to use paint sprayers in homes running propane heaters all the time. The reason you have to be wary of combustion is if you are using rattle cans because they contain the Aerosol which IS combustable. I'm planning on turning the heaters off while spraying with the rattle cans. And I debated about rattle cans or not and decided, like Lizer mentioned, that unless my paint is a 2k then a high quality rattle can will do a sufficient job. I really like how Lizer's bay turned out so I'm going to go with the Hirsch!

If you spray in the garage with the heaters on you will blow up the house. Heat up the garage then turn off the heaters and extinguish the pilot lights before spraying and leave the heaters off a couple of days then ventilate the garage welll before relighting the heaters. I used Eastwood under hood black and self etching primer before. They are both 1K paints and laquer based so are compatible. I sanded areas with no surface rust and wire wheeled areas with surface rust down to bare metal.Blow off the dust and wipe with Eastwood Pre. Then sprayed black self etch on all the sanded and bare metal areas , let dry an hour then sprayed under hood black over top. Used a little spray gun from harbor freight. Eastwood also makes self etch in rattle cans. Epoxy works well too as a primer. Could be my imagination but I beleive the liquid spray paint is more durable than the rattle can paint.
 

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You will need to invest in a $30 half face respirator before you paint with either of those products. Both times you paint, the room will be left in a haze. Two of the pics in my blog are foggy, and it's not because of poor camera quality, that's just how much haze was in the air after I was done spraying. Shooting the epoxy primer through an HVLP will be even worse. The respirator is a requirement. A box of nitrile gloves and goggles are also good equipment to have. Twice now I've prevented paint from being shot in my eyes because I had safety glasses on.

You may want to go over the engine bay for a long time with a hair dryer, or set a space heater in the bay for a few hours just to get the metal nice and warm. Or else hang heat lamps. You'll have to open the doors to exhaust all the fumes and haze and it will cool the room down very quickly.

I included a few pictures taken this fall of the engine bay to show it's condition two years after being painted. It's very dusty right now but if you clean that off it still looks as good as it did the day it was sprayed. The epoxy also sprays on very pretty. It will look so shiny and nice in the epoxy you won't want to cover it up. I put a pic of my car in epoxy here too.
 

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Looks awesome Lizer. You're getting me excited to see mine finished! Sadly I won't be painting the exterior, it needs it but I have to pick my battles. But under the hood sure is going to look awesome when I'm through! I've got the respirator. One of my first supply purchases. Also went with a full-body paint suit, one of those cheap fabric things and goggles. Having a brother who used to paint houses helps in knowing the supplies to buy for safety at least! The guy I spoke with at SPI said I should let the epoxy have at least 4 hours in the heat to help it cure/flash after the second coat. So I'll probably let the haze stay in for about 4 hours to keep the temperature up. Then I'll open up the door and get the room aired out for awhile. Then I'm planning on closing it back up and running the heaters for at least another 12 hours after that. Same thing after painting. I'll have 2 small propane heaters running and a larger propane area heater going as well. That garage will most likely be a lovely 80+ degrees. I'm going to make sure the metal is plenty warm and that it maintains that warmth. I'm only doing this once and I'm doing it right the first time around.

Thanks for the pictures. They help me see a finished product and boost my confidence! Your paint is looking good. I'm glad I'm going with the Bill Hirsch because if I DO manage to scratch anything up I'll be able to touch it up later much easier. And you're right about the epoxy! I wouldn't mind just leaving that! I went with the SPI black epoxy, based on the recommendation of the person I talked to. Hopefully I'm not tempted to just leave it epoxy! (just joking obviously).

I'm excited to get this done in the next few weeks and show y'all some pictures.

You will need to invest in a $30 half face respirator before you paint with either of those products. Both times you paint, the room will be left in a haze. Two of the pics in my blog are foggy, and it's not because of poor camera quality, that's just how much haze was in the air after I was done spraying. Shooting the epoxy primer through an HVLP will be even worse. The respirator is a requirement. A box of nitrile gloves and goggles are also good equipment to have. Twice now I've prevented paint from being shot in my eyes because I had safety glasses on.

You may want to go over the engine bay for a long time with a hair dryer, or set a space heater in the bay for a few hours just to get the metal nice and warm. Or else hang heat lamps. You'll have to open the doors to exhaust all the fumes and haze and it will cool the room down very quickly.

I included a few pictures taken this fall of the engine bay to show it's condition two years after being painted. It's very dusty right now but if you clean that off it still looks as good as it did the day it was sprayed. The epoxy also sprays on very pretty. It will look so shiny and nice in the epoxy you won't want to cover it up. I put a pic of my car in epoxy here too.
 

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I also can't emphasize enough how important cleaning the metal and degreasing will be. Spray on your degreaser then wipe it off with a clean rag; wiping with a clean rag is the step at which the contaminants on the metal are actually removed. I degrease until the rag is pretty clean after I've wiped, so it may take several degreasings. Anytime I spray it takes me far longer to degrease than spraying itself. You'll have the entire engine bay sprayed with epoxy in 5 minutes or less. After the degreaser has been completely evaporated off I go over the surface with a clean tack cloth to remove any dust/lint particles.

You'll also want a filter on your air line to remove water or this will give you fish eyes in your finish. Pick up some paint filters to pour your epoxy through as well as you're pouring it into your gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Good to know on the filters. I hadn't thought of that. And I went with SPI's water based and solvent based degreasers. He said to use the solvent first until all the grease and gunk is off and then follow it up with a couple rinse downs of the water based. Then he said to wipe it off with a clean rag and let it sit for about 30 minutes before spraying the epoxy. Should I worry about pressure washing the bay out before I start wire brushing or is it fine to take the dirt and grime off with the paint?

I also can't emphasize enough how important cleaning the metal and degreasing will be. Spray on your degreaser then wipe it off with a clean rag; wiping with a clean rag is the step at which the contaminants on the metal are actually removed. I degrease until the rag is pretty clean after I've wiped, so it may take several degreasings. Anytime I spray it takes me far longer to degrease than spraying itself. You'll have the entire engine bay sprayed with epoxy in 5 minutes or less. After the degreaser has been completely evaporated off I go over the surface with a clean tack cloth to remove any dust/lint particles.

You'll also want a filter on your air line to remove water or this will give you fish eyes in your finish. Pick up some paint filters to pour your epoxy through as well as you're pouring it into your gun.
 

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It actually might not be a bad idea, only because you won't be able to get access to every nook and cranny with the wirewheel. Spray some heavy duty engine degreaser in the bay before hitting it with the powerwasher and it will remove the bulk of the thick stuff.
 

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Okay...so I've read thru the post and I'm at about the same point except:

I just got my car back from the fabricators and after all the welding, seam sealing, etc....the car has been primed. Granted, I think this is just a "surface" primer to keep it from rusting (?) not like a final paint prime (if there is such a thing--I'm a newbie to paint stuff) but my question is this: Since it already has primer on it, can I just get to painting my engine compartment black now?!? My car is going to be a daily driver but nicely done, but I planned on using some Advance Auto engine compartment black or the Rustoleum brand duracoat bedliner spray stuff.....any thoughts??

FYI : the picture under my name on the left over there <----- is the state I received my car in yesterday
 
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