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Kevin (Mr T) -  Essex AO

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I wouldn't bother painting an alloy engine block, it will look good just steam cleaned once a year. How ever well you paint it, the paint will flake or discolour within a few months.   The alloy on it's own will always look nice and silver.

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17 minutes ago, SootySport said:

I wouldn't bother painting an alloy engine block, it will look good just steam cleaned once a year. How ever well you paint it, the paint will flake or discolour within a few months.   The alloy on it's own will always look nice and silver.

I would disagree with that. Alloy blocks look great when new but they oxidize leaving a white chalky finish and the dirt gets ingrained in the casting. Decent quality paint onto a prepped alloy block will stop that and won't flake. Makes any cleaning easier aswell.

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53 minutes ago, SootySport said:

I wouldn't bother painting an alloy engine block, it will look good just steam cleaned once a year. How ever well you paint it, the paint will flake or discolour within a few months.   The alloy on it's own will always look nice and silver.

 

32 minutes ago, Steve (sdh2903) said:

I would disagree with that. Alloy blocks look great when new but they oxidize leaving a white chalky finish and the dirt gets ingrained in the casting. Decent quality paint onto a prepped alloy block will stop that and won't flake. Makes any cleaning easier aswell.

I can see both sides of the argument, but having spent a bit of time on the cleaning process, I can see that it isn't going to look fantastic in the raw.

So I will be giving it a coat of POR15 Engine Enamel in Aluminium finish, which will make a lovely change from the oil covered Dagenham Iron that's been there since I bought it :laugh:

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46 minutes ago, Steve (sdh2903) said:

I would disagree with that. Alloy blocks look great when new but they oxidize leaving a white chalky finish and the dirt gets ingrained in the casting. Decent quality paint onto a prepped alloy block will stop that and won't flake. Makes any cleaning easier aswell.

Yep, I agree with this, give how much cleaning effort was required, with the engine on a stand in the garage, there’s no way you’re going to get it that clean in the car, especially once the alloy starts to get the usual chalky looking traces of corrosion and road grime in all the pores.

Sealing it with a decent paint makes a world of difference and keeps it looking like new, clean alloy with the minimum of on car cleaning work. A quick spray with some de-greaser and a gentle rinse off with a hose is usually all mine takes to get looking decent again.

Equally, I’d be really, really wary of using either a stem cleaner or a jet washer at full pressure, in a Westfield engine bay. They can be sketchy enough in production car engine bays, at times. And most Westfield electrical systems tend not to be as well sealed and weather proofed as production equivalents. Certainly do not use such tools if you’ve got an engine bay mounted ECU, unless you take steps to properly protect it.

For all the faff, it’s easier just to paint the engine once, and have done with it.

Fair enough though if you’re not bothered about keeping a new(ish) looking engine, and don’t mind it weathering. It won’t actually do the main parts of the engine any harm, to the sort of levels we’re talking about. And I absolutely respect those that would rather track the car than make it shiny!!

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