I see on occasion that some people paint the interiors of either their engine, valve access and / or transmission area. Is there some advantage to doing this?
A very interesting question that I've wondered about myself. My uninformed thought has always been that it looks great while the engine is apart, but there's little advantage once it's together and running. Additionally, I've always sort of thought that over time if the finish fails and comes lose it adds an element of risk by mucking up the oil circulation.
I too will be interested to read the responses of those who know more than I.
I guess Henry Ford knew enough about it to not do it. At least for Model T's.
We wouldn't recommend it.
We have seen to many engines that the paint has come off and ends up in the wrong places.
To the degree that it has ruined engines.
IMO it has a benefit. Maybe five years ago we took of the inspection cover of Fred Houston's Fronty powered speedster that had ran for well over thirty years. I couldn't believe how clean the inside of the engine was, it almost look freshly painted.
Cast iron is dirty, no mater how clean you get it, adding a coating seals the block, allows oil to wash off and any cast iron fines are seal in.
It's cheap to do, I use SprayOn bought from Graingers, about $8.00 a can, that will coat almost two complete engines,pans and hogshead.
Key is cleaning the block, mine are baked or vated follow by shot blast. Lots of elbow grease and a strong thinner and I feel you would be OK, but the parts need to be cleaned
Besides it looks good on the engine stand but you won't see it when all is buttoned up. lOL
Here's one in progress
I have never encountered an engine that had the insides painted from the factory. That tells me all that I need to know.
No reason at all. In fact it actually might retard heat transfer a bit.
I've read several "Hop-Up" type books over the years that recommended painting the inside of blocks with "Gyptal" (sic?) electrical motor paint to seal the casting pores and aid in the flow of oil back to the sump. I think if I had a block that was cast from such frothy batch of iron that it soaked up oil like a sponge, I'd be n the market for a new block!
Like John C says, I've never encountered an OEM block, be it a Ford, Flint, Fiat or Ferrari that had the insides coated with anything but oil from the factory.
So interior paint on a T engine is pretty much useless. Glad I didn't paint mine when I had it apart. Nobody is going to see it anyway.
I use the stuff from WW Graingers, but I clean my stuff up.Some have been coated for 10+ years and it isn't chipping off.When you drain oil,you can see what's in the oil.
What Dale wrote is/are the reason/s for hitting the oil run-off
surfaces with Glyptal. Since T's run a non-pressurized oil system,
hastening oil flow off non-lube areas is the advantage.
Is it stock ? No.
Neither are SCAT cranks, Stipe cams, the litany of aftermarket
carbs, overdrives, wheels, or any other number of accessories
that so many seem to covet for their T's.
The reason I see a use for it is giving the porous and rough
interior of the castings a slick surface. One less (major) "velcro"
place for band cast-off fuzz to snag on and linger until deciding
to call a convention at a critical oil feed hole and plug it. That's
the reason my engine is in parts and I am out the money to do
a rebuild now. I am of the school to go large and do things to a
point of overkill/surety when it comes to major expenses or things
that can leave me in a jam down the road. The local T gurus have
way of building consistent Montana 500 winners and deal with a
neverending stream of clients' engines for rebuild. I suspect they
know what they are doing and that the work and advice I got from
them wasn't a bum steer.
What also isn't period OEM and is nearly unavoidable today are
the roads. The main reason we see the regular posts of broken
crankshafts is our ability to go WAY faster and run that engine WAY
harder than anyone ever could have done on the rutted and mud
bogged roads of the T era. I honestly doubt that my TT ever got
up to speeds of 20mph on the potato farm during the first 40 years
of its life. When I take it out today, I run it as comfortably fast as
it's poor little unbalanced engine and transmission will go without
shaking itself apart. And there's another thing Henry didn't do ....
balance his engines. Some here would probably argue that since
Henry didn't do that, it is a bad idea too.
We use Glyptal when a customer requests painting inside. It will not flake off when properly applied. While not an issue with model T's, if you look inside some race engines or very expensive industrial engines and gear boxes, you will see them painted. It seals cast iron and speeds oil return to the sump. We use Glyptal frequently for magneto coil rings to seal and stabilize winding wrappings.
If we're insisting on factory correctness, I guess I should use this.
To many folks of my parents' generation, cameras were Kodaks, whether they came from Rochester or not. Generic use of brand names continues today, with people calling all tissues Kleenex, bandages Band Aids, etc. The product Mike describes is labeled red insulating varnish, a generic name for a product made by several companies. Glyptal is one of them.
Sprayon is another.
While one is called a varnish and the other an enamel, I expect the function is the same for both.
25.oo + 16.75 shipping per 12 oz. can? that's reason enough to skip it!
Studebaker engines were painted (red) inside, and look what happened to them. Dave in Bellingham,WA
Anything done improperly usually causes more problems than doing nothing. This is just one more example. Done properly, it will help to keep the inside of an engine cleaner than if left as bare metal. We all get to build our engines as we want, balancing, crankshafts, cam shafts, fiber cam gears and much more. Lots of experts out there- some of them actually are! The fun is deciding who to listen to!
Actually I don't really care if it is period correct ... just curious if there was some mechanical advantage. Thanks for the various opinions.
This really is one of those things that fall into the "I did it and I'll defend it" category. Nothing will be proved. The only fact is that 15 1\2 million motors left the factory without it. And the large majority of them worked and the one's that failed didn't do so because they weren't coated.
Mark good question. From my experience I will always paint the inside of every engine I rebuild if I ever do again. I have opened up mine and I was amazed at how clean the sides of everything was inside. I used Gyptal because a race car engine builder friend uses it to reduce friction of oil inside. I also heard that using it would seal up and weeping porosities in the block.
When I had the inspection cover it was also super easy to wipe away the oil. I didn't see any areas where the paint had worn away. My engine was hot tanked before I painted it so it was clean and everything adhered nicely.
It's also So Much faster and quieter and I sleep really good at night knowing how pretty it is inside...
On second thought, I did strip down a Detroit Diesel 4-71 off of a back-up generator once that WAS painted white on the insides, but that paint did absolutely nothing to keep the #3 rod inside the block!
I have 2 objections to it.
1: Oil heat transfer is re-stricked on the cast iron.
2: That stuff is a bear to get off, don't ask anyone to do you mains with that crap painted inside.
6 years after painting the inside of my engine with Glyptal, it still looks as fresh as the day I did it. Makes it easy to see inside the crankcase as it is very reflective and causes the oil to slide off the sides and components like Teflon. Jim Patrick
My all-time champ was a '67 Oldsmobile 350 V8 that had 323,000 miles on it when I lost track of it. The heads nor pan had never been off of it. The valve covers had. The inside of the engine was not painted. It ran great, and I sold the car to a crazy lady for $300. She drove it away with no plates on it.
I bought a 1958 Buick Caballero wagon years back with an encyclopedia
of records for work done on the car. It had 554,000+ miles on it without ever
having the valve covers off it ! The original owner's son sold the car to me.
Dad loved this car and drove it till he died, in spite of how out of style a big,
finned, pink station wagon was. He only used Pennzoil in it and when I went
to pull those valve covers, they would not come off. I heated the exterior on
them and discovered they were a solid molded castings of wax inside with
only enough room for the movement of the rocker assemblies !
Decades ago I helped restore a 1927 American-Built Rolls Royce. It was factory Glyptaled to seal any porosity in the aluminum crankcase housing. Properly applied, it will stay put."The factory didn't do it" well, that may be true, but the factory didn't do a lot of things, because they were building a low-cost automobile.
As for heat, I doubt you get much heat radiation through the crankcase sides.
So as long as the metal is clean, I think the Glyptal (or insulating varnish) will stay put.
So, my conclusion; do whichever you like!
IF (IF!) I ever have an engine clean enough to do it, I would. :-)
Burger, Pennzoil did that to a 292 Chevy 6 too, half a continent away from you. Hehe, now someone will say it's GM engines that make wax out of Pennzoil. :-)
And I know many people love their product!
Jim, so that's why so many OLD electrical windings are red. Glyptol!