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dennisvetter 06-21-2013 01:50 PM

Painting Aluminum Engine?
 
I'm in the process of rebuilding my old diesel engine. There are a lot of cast aluminum parts to it, including the transmission and even the block. As per usual, it had about 10 layers of paint on it much of which was flaking off in large sheets. The paint chips/flakes were constantly ending up in my bilge and clogging up my bilge pump. I've cleaned it up and it's ready to paint. My questions:

1) SHOULD I paint it? It's my understanding that aluminum is highly corrosion resistant due to the layer of oxidation which forms on the surface.

2) IF I paint it, what's a "good" way to paint it. I've read so many different approaches that my head is spinning. I'm really looking for something that works without being over the top in terms of (hard to find) materials and cost.

Thanks
Dennis

Mechsmith 06-21-2013 04:03 PM

Re: Painting Aluminum Engine?
 
I wouldn't bother painting the block but use "never-seize" on all bolts that go into aluminum. If you want to paint it strictly for aesthetics auto part stores have an engine enamel that will work pretty well on water cooled parts.

hellosailor 06-21-2013 06:43 PM

Re: Painting Aluminum Engine?
 
Dennis-
Aluminum in a salt air environment can oxidize pretty badly, it all depends on the alloy. I'd expect that a thin oil film (or wax, etc.) is all your block parts would need to stay happy, but if you want to paint them, you need to look for an etching primer that is designed for aluminum, and then make sure it is also designed for high temperature because engine paints are not the same as your everyday stuff.
I'm sure there's something out there and a good auto parts store probably stocks it, but if it doesn't say "for aluminum" "for high temperature" and specify a primer...it is going to be flaking into the bilge again.

paulatcrag 06-23-2013 01:28 PM

Re: Painting Aluminum Engine?
 
Anti seize is a great idea but make sure it is zinc based and not copper or there could be other issues. I buy self etching primer in a spray can but some trim black can be self etching as well both available at automotive supply store.

Dog Ship 06-23-2013 05:27 PM

Re: Painting Aluminum Engine?
 
An aluminum diesel engine? Who makes that?

dennisvetter 06-24-2013 01:12 AM

Re: Painting Aluminum Engine?
 
Farymann ... but it's been out of production for 30 years!


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