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Master Air Guitarist...
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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys -

wondering what different treatments you've done to your engine bay aluminum.

I've thought of anodizing, painting, leaving it alone, etc.

Wondering if you'd offer some input on pros and cons of each (and pics would be awesome).

thanks so much.
 

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I'm planning on covering the footboxes and firewall with some sort of insulating material but I haven't decided which one to go with. Not sure what I'm going to do with the F panels but I don't want anything that requires high maintenance. My car will be a driver and I don't plan on spending too much time polishing the the engine bay
 

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The Greek
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3,260 Posts
I powdercoated mine black. All of the engine aluminum for $130. Turned out great. It is durable, much more than paint, no time to prep (they do it all) and for the price, it probably costs just a bit more than cans of paint, well at least it is cheap enough to do it.
Sorry no pix with me at work, but I will post late tonight or tomorow.
Also anything that faces the road or wheels (underside) sprayed it with bed liner stuff. Cans from Duplicolor from Pep Boys. Looks great and stops that tin sound.
Also did the same to FFMetal battery box and all trunk panels facing down. The inside will get carpet.
 

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The Greek
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leaving alone
pros-cheap, easy to maintain (nothing), no work involved
cons-looks (no flaming, at least in my eyes)

paint
pros-you will get color, will look good if done right, not much maintanance required, easy to touch up
cons-pain in the rear to prep and paint, might chip, some fluids will mess it up.

polish
pros-looks great
cons-A LOT of work to get the look, might show slight scratches etc, did I mention A LOT of work?

powdercoat
pros-great results, amazing selection of colors, very durable (much tougher than paint cause it bonds to the surface), no maintanance, great look at a reasonable price.
cons-hmmm can't think of any.

Some have done a great job painting, so the look can be fantastic.

Those who have polished have achieved wonderfull results.

So I like almost all options. \
But I went with powdercoating.
 

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Senior Member
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221 Posts
We are powder coating every piece of aluminum (not just the engine bay) inside and out with 2 coats of near chrome and one coat of clear. While slight orange peel is evident on close inspection, it looks great, and is tough as nails.

Sorry no pics yet.

-Bill
 

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Leave it plain and hit it with a scotch pad when it oxidizes- makes a nice brushed finish that is easy to maintain.
 

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If you just paint them, do you have to clean them with solvent first? Also do you have to spray a primer on before you spray paint on these things?
 

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Premium Member
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If you paint them, just use some medium grit scotchbrite to rough it up. What you want is a "break free" surface. Do this under running water, sanding the panel with the scotchbrite till water flows over it without forming little individual rivers. Hard to describe, easy to get when you've seen it done. This is how we prep aluminum to alodine, prime and paint in the aviation world.
Once you've got the break free surface, prime and paint with your choice of paint.
I'm going to do the hammer coat finish on mine, although, I'm kinda liking Brians insulated finish.
 

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Premium Member
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Thank guys! The material is called "Tunnel Shield" (item no, PA-2) available from Hutcherson-Pagan. You can Google them to get their website and contact info.
 

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I went a different route, I applied a swirl finish with a sanding disc and then applied a clearcoat of POR-15's Glisten PC. Easy to do, will last forever, hides any scratches, no maintenance. I've always admired the finish metal artists would apply to their work and wanted to do something different than everyone else's car. The stripes is polished into the aluminum

http://www.*******.com/4bill/100_0827.jpg


I did it to the trunk aluminum too


[ October 10, 2007, 09:07 AM: Message edited by: Bill_VA ]
 

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I used powdercoat on mine - This is a powder called "chrome".

 

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Wow Scott, that looks good - better than I expected for powdercoat - I think that's my new plan.....
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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If you like the plain look but don't want to worry about oxidation just wipe it down with WD-40 every once in a while. It stays new looking forever.
 

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If you just paint them, do you have to clean them with solvent first? Also do you have to spray a primer on before you spray paint on these things?
Painting aluminum requires that it be cleaned, dry sanded, degreased, and primed with zinc chromate primer, or the paint will not adhere to the aluminum. Epoxy primers may adhere, but you should consult with your paint supplier.

Powder coating is the exception to that rule. Powder coating will bond well to clean aluminum.
 

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Here is a thread with some good info on this. I’m in the same boat decision what I want to do, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
 
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