My two daughters and I are working on our first "T" and currently reassembling our machined engine...Which paint do you use for the engine? There are various paints out there but I am wondering what you have used and what is commonly used on the model T engine (heat paint). I did the exhaust manifold as you can see -with a heat paint I already had to see what it looked like and I personally think it looks pretty good. What is your opinion on Engine paint?
I believe that 1926 (mid-year) engines were started to be painted at the factory. Much has been discussed about this. Unless you are building a total restoration to be judged, it is entirely up to you if you paint it or not. Personally I like my engines painted, but I have a '26 and '27. A '24 touring that I sold years ago had a great looking bare cast iron look however. Nice looking exhaust manifold by the way.
Heat paint isn't needed for the engine, it runs much cooler than the exhaust manifold. Any paint of today should be better than what was originally used
Skip - It's most likely all years were painted, (though not carefully painted) Reference the 1915 book "Ford Methods and Ford Shops":
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/442321.html?1399418451 (some paint suggestions in the linked thread)
I used a "cast iron" color engine paint I found at a local auto parts place. Nothing special, just a shaker can. I applied it several years ago and it's holding up fine. It's hard to tell if it's painted or not, but it is a little easier to wipe down than bare cast iron.
I did mine in Ford Model A green. That's what I had so used it. Don't put the paint on too thick, just to cover. Some guys use the cast iron colored paint. The paint also make the engine easier to clean. Plus any paint looks better then a rusty block on a nice restored car (my OP).
Having the engine painted seems to me a little easier to keep clean after a long drive. I have a 26 that has a unpainted block but my 27 was painted green when i purchased it! I will paint the 26 motor this spring. I too use the model A green color.
Roger, you could be right. My 1919 roadster had a black paint finish. I also had a '26 2-dr with no paint, the '24 touring had no paint, but the covers and exhaust were painted. I think the black or the green look great when done right.
The original paint was more of a slush made from 50% gilsonite and 50% mineral spirit that didn't last many months in use - that's why so few original cars shows any sign of the "paint" at all.
Any good brand of engine enamel paint is OK. Most brands withstand 500 degrees. Most do well. Except on the exhaust manifold, that needs 1000 degree resistant stuff, but you have done that, and it looks great.
I like Seymour brand.
And the paint used by Ford in the day was a light coat, turned somewhat flat or semi gloss rapidly when the owner got it.
So for me, a semi-gloss on the block, crankcase, and for the little add on part, valve covers, generator, etc, a gloss black for contrast.
that is one heck of a run in mach.is it air or elc. mine runs off of a line shaft. charley
Charley, the assembled engines were run in by electric motors for a few minutes until the ampeere draw was down to a predetermined number. If it didn't go down or if some other problem like excessive oil leaks were found, then it was sent off to another department that fixed up defective engines.
looks like they were started up there also or they would not need the exhaust pipe that gos into the floor? charley
Running in the engines with the big electric motor:
looks like there were some changes made from 1915 to 1920 something, i see they razed the bed up about 6" , and changed the motor, the rear mounts look different & added the exhaust pipe. i would like to see the rest of the pic. my burning in mach has a place to mount the rad on so you can start it from the line shaft.charley
Thanks for all the great info! Much appreciated!
I used RustOleum barbecue paint that a neighbor gave me. I just slabbed it on with a old brush, trying to mimic what was done on the Ford Assembly line.
Only one coat, don't remember if I thinned it or not.
This is my French Whorehouse version of a 26/27, Nov. 25 casting date. Ford Antique Green, heat resistant iron on the manifolds, aluminum on the bolt heads and a brass on the carb. Matt black on starter, generator, coil box, inspection plate and trans. cover and pedals.
Hopefully, it will tone down a little with age.
You didn't say what year. For a 27, I'd try to match this original engine.
For earlier engines, black was the color of the "Gilsonite wash". As Roger says, it usually didn't last long.
I dislike the look of glossy paint on an engine or other chassis components, so I use satin finish black Rustoleum from a rattle can. As Dan says, the engine doesn't get all that hot, so it's fine. For the exhaust manifold I've used high-temp clear manifold paint. So far it looks fine.
Thanks for all the excellent info!!
The Engine is a 1919 BTW...I spoke to one of the paint manufacturers from one of my favorite tractor and truck paint suppliers and he said the paint was generally good for up to 300 or so degrees and that blocks would be fine, However, we live in new Mexico and it does get pretty hot here in the summer while running engines. I do like the clear heat paint and may look into that.
My girls will be painting Saturday so I better get on the ball through and decide assuming we finish the babbitt bearings (block side is done though)
P.s. I am not too concerned with originality since my frame is a 26'
I looked up average summer highs in the Rio Grande Valley. Your average is a degree lower than ours, so you'll be fine.
True...My Son is attending Mcpherson College (vintage auto restoration program) in Mcpherson so I know it does get hot there...
I agree with Steve. Two rattle cans of Rustoleum satin black will do everything.
Ever use rust killer on manifolds? Don't know if BBQ paint or header paint will get the rust. PK