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View Full Version : How To: Cleaning and Polishing the Engine Block



sdg3205
08-27-2011, 01:23 AM
While cruising the How To section for something else, it occurred to me I could do my part and get up this one done for another member.

It's easier than you think to get the engine bay looking better than new. It's just time consuming. Just remember, this is how I completed the job and it's by no way toted to be the best or easiest way... so there. Ha.

For the sake of time, I'm going to dumb-down the process for removing some of the cars' equipment and assume you've got access to a shop manual (http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?102-Workshop-Manual&), which can be accessed here on DMCTalk. Here we go.

1. Remove the rear fascia.

First, remove the smaller nuts that hold the fascia to the exhaust heat shield. They might be in rough shape, so blast them with PB blaster and let them soak. Don't forget about the nuts at the bottom slightly inside the wheel well.

Unhook the black harness from the bulkhead.

Remove the access panel for the engine cover latch and disconnect it from the wire. It will help to remove the rear lights (a good time to do the circuit board fix as well!).

You'll need to remove both the fascia itself as well as the fiberglass piece behind it.
There are 4 bolts (2 on each side) inside the engine bay on the drivers side and passenger side wall. There is another 4 (2 per side) inside each pontoon. You'll need to remove the charcoal canister on the drivers side and the air intake on the passenger side to reach these.

Ease it off the impact absorber and put it safely aside.

2. Remove the Impact absorber

It makes it a little tougher to lean into the engine bay while working and frees up 6" of space

3. Perform Mike's (Opethmikes) "How To" on removing the intake manifold (http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?429-How-to-Removing-intake-manifold).

Ensure everything is bagged and tagged appropriately.

4. Drain the cooling system.

If you're interested in doing this 100%, you're probably going to want to clean and paint the valley as well as the y-pipe, in which case you'll need to remove them.

Remove your water pump for cleaning and inspection. Use degreaser and a wire brush to detail it.

It should be noted, the best time to replace your ignition and cooling system components is now. Not only is it convenient, but it will also go a long way to make your car more reliable and safe, not to mention new parts (like ignition wires) look sexy.

I also recommend you remove and inspect your idler pulleys. If your bearings are original, replace them too. You can break down the set-up into individual components for cleaning and painting.

5. Clean the VOD
Before (http://www.stevedavegraham.com/display/ShowGallery?moduleId=8600548&galleryId=563378)
4685468846894690468646874691

After (http://www.stevedavegraham.com/delorean/vod-part-ii/)
469246944693

Get a shop vac (rigged to vacuum liquids/coolant etc), rags, degreaser, various wire brushes and go to town. Ensure you've inspected the deep pits for corrosion. Clean and prep all the surfaces up to where you feel is adequate, so long as it can be painted. You should be able to eat off the valley when you're done.

I went so far as to clean the entire engine within reach. It took many many hours, but in the end I was able to paint the timing cover as well with it still on the engine.

5.5 Remove the muffler and it's associated brackets and hardware

Clean all these as best you can.

6. Paint the Valley of Death

Any color you like (http://www.stevedavegraham.com/delorean/finishing-the-vod/). POR-15 is recommended. Apply 2-3 coats as directed.
4696469846954697

7. Remove the Valve Covers

Clean these as best you can.

8. Remove the wiring harness bracket along the firewall.

You guessed it, clean it as best you can!


Time to bead blast!

By now, your engine bay should look pretty damn empty.

So, here's some fun - take ALL the parts you took off the engine, ALL of them, all the nuts and bolts, covers, etc etc (as long as they're metal and you want them to look like new) and load them into your car and drive them over to a sand blaster or bead blaster.

Try and find a place that allows you to do it yourself, it's cheaper and a good skill to have.

Here is where all your "Clean as best you can" work comes into play. These places don't like oily engine pieces gumming up their machines and you'll likely get turned away or charged far more if they need additional cleaning.

Special bins can be used for nuts and bolts. If you prefer, you can use a grinder wheel with a metal brush wheel to clean smaller pieces, it's up to you.

No matter how you choose to do it, ensure all those nuts, bolts, washers, brackets, valve covers, etc are all like new.

NOTE - Be smart, don't fill the intake, fuel distributor or water pump with sand. Obviously some parts should be done with a small wire brush and not by the bead blaster. Always ask yourself if a part might be compromised and act accordingly.

9. Repaint or Powder Coat

Now you can repaint or powder coat your engine components as you see fit. Mask off and plug sensitive areas as needed (ie inside the fuel/air intake or fuel distributer)

If you use paint, ensure it's the High Heat spray paint. Also, start with high heat primer, then do 2 coats of the color of your choice and finish off with high heat clear coat for additional protection.

10. Paint Engine Bay

Clean and lightly sand the fiberglass where you intend to paint it.
Go over with some acetone to ensure it's clean, allow to dry
Completely mask off the engine, harness, glass etc with news paper.
Paint with your choice of paint and color (http://www.stevedavegraham.com/delorean/engine-compartment-painting/). I recommend SEM Trim Black, 3- 5 coats.
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11. Reassemble!

Go slow, take your time, follow all directions in reverse. Ask questions, mind torque specs and have fun.

Ensure new parts are used, like washers and gaskets where appropriate. An example would be the paper gaskets on the W-pipe of valve covers. Some items are one-use only.

12. Admire your work!

sean
08-28-2011, 10:43 AM
Have an before/after pics of the process?

sdg3205
08-28-2011, 12:42 PM
Have an before/after pics of the process?

Yup,

there are embedded links in the text.

I still have no clue how to position full sized pictures in various places amongst the text.

Be happy to edit it if you want to PM me some clues.

sean
08-28-2011, 12:51 PM
Yup,

there are embedded links in the text.

.

Ah, I see now. Didn't come through so well on the iPad. If it's ok with you I'll embed them on Monday when I get to a PC.

sdg3205
08-28-2011, 12:57 PM
Ah, I see now. Didn't come through so well on the iPad. If it's ok with you I'll embed them on Monday when I get to a PC.

That would be great, thanks Sean.

sean
08-29-2011, 10:02 AM
Done!

sdg3205
08-29-2011, 10:38 PM
Here are some after pictures! (http://dmctalk.org/showthread.php?609-Lets-see-some-engine-bay-pics..../page5&highlight=engine+pictures)

1batt4u
08-31-2011, 02:53 AM
SO, POR-15 was used just on the Valley of Death, or the rest of the engine and valve covers? NO primer, just POR-15?

What about the rest of the parts, intake, what paint did you use there?? I really like that silver.

sdg3205
08-31-2011, 03:31 AM
SO, POR-15 was used just on the Valley of Death, or the rest of the engine and valve covers? NO primer, just POR-15?

What about the rest of the parts, intake, what paint did you use there?? I really like that silver.

Yes, no primer is needed for the POR15. I used it over the whole valley and timing chain. Just be aware, POR15 darkens slightly with heat. I really like the effect. It looks like an aluminum - carbon cross color.

Everything else is painted - including the intake, idle speed motor, CSV etc. The gold and silver are High - Heat Engine Enamels available from any decent automotive store. I did one coat of primer, 2 coats of a color and then put a high heat clear coat on. This gives it a ice shine and extra protection.

I used black POR15 on the fuel distributor and then clear coated it with the rest of the mixture unit.

1batt4u
09-01-2011, 03:23 AM
Awesome!!!

sdg3205
09-01-2011, 04:09 AM
One last thing.

Make sure you get the POR15 solvent. Normal turpentine is not effective.

nkemp
09-24-2011, 05:30 PM
Does anyone have any info on how well this lasts? In 2 or 3 or 15 years how does it hold up? Or does it need to be done again? BTW ... I'm not talking about oil leaks but rather hw well the paint holds up.

Nick

sdg3205
09-25-2011, 06:38 PM
Does anyone have any info on how well this lasts? In 2 or 3 or 15 years how does it hold up? Or does it need to be done again? BTW ... I'm not talking about oil leaks but rather hw well the paint holds up.

Nick

Good question.

The truth is I don't know.

I've found the paint can chip if you're throwing tools or parts around, so it's not nearly as bullet proof as powder coating.

I keep my engine/engine bay really clean, so oil and dirt doesn't have long to sit on the paint. So far, the silver POR15 has darkened a bit, which looks super cool in contrast to the high heat spray paint on the rest of the engine.

It's probably like anything else - it'll last longer if you keep it clean and don't use the car as a daily driver.