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Discussion Starter #1
The paint on our Universal engine is peeling a little bit--I don't think it's due to overheating, just age. So while she's on the hard this winter, I want to repain it.

What products do you recommend to clean/degrease and remove rust?
Does anyone have experience with Moeller engine spray paint?
Can I just spray the entire engine (including hoses, lines, clamps, glow plugs, etc) or is that a huge no-no? Of course I'd shield the engine compartment and avoid spraying any electrical wire.

Thanks all very much for your advice!!
 

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There are three things I learned from our diesel mechanic about painting the engine.
1. use aluminum foil to cover hoses, clamps and anything you do not want to get paint on. It's easy to scrunch it around parts, and you're not messing with tape that sticks to anything but what you want it to, and it's easy to remove!
2. for areas where it's not reasonable to use a spray can, simply spray some paint into a paper bowl and use a smal brush to brush it on.
3. Simple green works pretty well for cleaning off old oil and grease. You can spray it on and leave it overnight. Come back the next day and wipe up.
I'm sure someone here can tell you what paint to use!
 

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rustoleum makes 'rust reformer'. it chemically turns rust into something else that is paintable like primer.
I used it 10 years ago on the metal frame of a trailer and it never rusted again
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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Zinc chromate primer seems to work great even on poorly cleaned/prepared areas prior to your finish coat. Use a stainless steel wire brush to remove as much rust and peeling paint as possible. On really rusty areas you can use something like Extend to stop the rust and then paint over it, use one very light coat and then two full cover coats. Excellent tip above about using the aluminum foil rather than tape to mask off hoses, electrical, etc. (thanks, hadn't heard that one before). Take your time and do a professional job by masking off everything that isn't metal, you'll appreciate it for years to come.

John
 

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Just as an aside, you don't need to use the "official" Universal/Westerbeke/Yanmar, whatever paint that costs like $35 a can. I used a bright red on my old Westerbeke that originally was a reddish burnt orange color. Now it's all red and it looks great! I've also noted that a newly painted engine always runs better, too. Something similar to a newly waxed car. Don't know how that works though.:p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone - one last question...

I looked at the sceptor/Moeller site. They sell 2 types of primer, Zinc Chromate to be used on Aluminum and Moeller's Zinc Cold Galvanizing to be used on Steel and Iron. My understanding is that if it rusts red, it is steel or iron. If it rusts black it is aluminum. Is there a way to tell in any other way or just use the zinc chromate and get on with it.

thanks again!
 

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A diesel block is going to usually be steel or iron, but it is possible to have an aluminum block in a gas engine.

Determine the make and model and look it up on the Web or consult your local dealer. You want to get it right, as the point is to chemically bind the oxidation to stop the rusting, and then to provide a protective surface to the engine that will resist dirt and further rusting while staying stable at the ferocious temperatures certain spots on a diesel engine can produce.

While I agree that you don't need "marine" paint (unless you intend to expose your engine to salt spray!), you do need the correct primer and a sufficiently heat-resistant paint.

I recommend as a colour white or yellow. Engine bays are frequently dark places and when I painted my Atomic 4 white, I picked up on some minor leaks and gaskets issues much more quickly than I would have had the engine been a darker colour.
 
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