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Old 05-06-2019, 07:36 AM
55 Tony's Avatar
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Baking paint

I'm doing some M/T valve covers and it was a little hard to get the Rustoleum between the fins, so it ended up on the heavy side. That was last night. Right now they are in my oven at 185*F for almost an hour. I've read that if you leave them in too long they may wrinkle? Anyone ever do this and how did it turn out? Should I let them cool down then heat again? I do know that they will have to cool a while before handling them, maybe even to finish the cure?
(I know, i should have used automotive paint not rustoleum)
I did sandblast them which really didn't do as much as I thought, then sprayed them with an auto body self etching primer, then the paint.



I'm in a little hurry, which I shouldn't be with paint, but my stamped covers don't really fit the new heads and leak like crazy.



By the way, I'm not into polishing aluminum, so after the paint is fully cured I'm taking the D/A sander to the tops of them. (I thought that was my idea but now I've seen others like it.)

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Old 05-06-2019, 01:01 PM
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I ended up letting them bake and kept checking on them if the paint felt tacky (where I'm going to sand it off) left them bake for at least 3 hours then turned off the oven and left them cool. The paint is hard, or maybe I should say it's Well Done! Ordered some stainless flange bolts for them.

They look so nice I'm afraid to sand the tops. They will be the best looking thing on my car. (not sure if that's good or bad)
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Old 05-06-2019, 02:25 PM
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good info. thanks
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Old 05-06-2019, 04:23 PM
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I've done it a couple times with SBC M/T and HOLLEY finned covers, using VHT ceramic engine paint, and baked in a similar way. I just shut down the oven and let them cool slow inside after a couple hours at 200 or so roughly, rather than pull them out and expose hard to colder air....don't know if that made any difference or not. Paint was still a slight bit tacky in the oven when I killed the heat, but I figured that tackiness was from the heat keeping the paint plasticized rather than solvent still present in the fluid and it looks like that assumption was correct.
Came out really nice, like you said. Hard enough to sand cleanly after cooling but the initial shine skin on the paint still tended to clump the first sheet of sandpaper, after that a second sheet was easy to keep clean while wet sanding.

I found that straight line block sanding rather than a D/A sander gave a better look IMO, especially on that large rectangular pad below the logo...not so hazy looking like a D/A leaves behind. All depends on the look you want I guess.

Have read that an easy way to do this is to use a thinner/reducer soaked sponge or rag wrapped around a block and use it as a wiper to clean the fin tops while the paint is fresh, before baking but I've not tried it.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:09 AM
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After the DA I blocked them length wise with 1000 then I think it was 1200 that I had. I didn't even wet them, the paint was that hard. I'm happy with them, they shine pretty good. Too shiny and I'd have to polish them all the time and i'm lazy. Thinking of what kind of sticker/decal I can possibly put on the big flat part. It looks pretty plain. I love that old woodpecker from ... can't remember the manufacture. But that would be too narrow. These days you can get anything printed onto vinyl stickers. At least if I don't like it I can always remove or replace them. I sanded around the radius of the fin ends about half way. On the passenger side the battery tray sits right on top of the cover. Have to check for clearance and maybe raise it an inch. First time I ever thought about moving it to the trunk. It can be a pain, even with the stock covers I had to remove the battery and tray to remove the valve cover. These are only stock height, but the squareness of them makes the motor look huge compared to the stock covers. The baffle for the PCV was missing so I just cut a flat piece of sheet metal and put it on, I'm not sure if I'll be sucking in oil. I may have to get more creative with that. When I had the heads off the passenger side firewall got a beating for a little more clearance, just enough to get the cover on, have to tilt them a couple directions to get over the rocker arm.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:32 AM
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I believe you are thinking of "Mr Horsepower", the cigar chomping woodpecker that was Clay Smith Cams logo in the 1950's and 60's.

Thrush Mufflers later also used a very similar woodpecker head with no cigar starting sometime in the mid-late 1960's.

A lot of guys think it looks a lot like "Woody Woodpecker" the Warner Bros cartoon bird, but get them next to each other and they are really quite different.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:02 AM
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Yes, Mr. Horsepower! Way different than Woody the woodpecker. Woody was modeled after a piliated woodpecker. Similar laughing sound when they fly.
Speaking of cigar chomping, I recall about 35 years ago at an old Pep Boys store with the big statue like sign, they got *politically correct* and removed the cigar out of Manny's mouth. It was one of the really old signs and the figures where quite large. Wow, now that would have been a neat collectable.
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