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1977 350 Chevy C10 Stepside
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1977 chevy c10 with a 350 small block and would like to get the engine bay looking as new as possible but I don't even know where to start

id also like to paint the valve covers and have watched a few vids on how to do that but gonna wait for that till I get everything else cleaned

also I'm 17 and new to the car world so does anyone know whether this is a 2 or 4 barrel carburetor

Car Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood
 

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Hi Gage,

Sounds like you need a good car wash engine clean!

A lot of people just spray down the warm engine with plenty of engine degreaser from the parts store outside of a spray car wash - let sit for maybe 15 min. Then drive it inside and go at it with the soapy water spray. Don't spray directly at the distributor or you might get water up inside. If it won't start right away because spark is getting grounded out with water - then push it outside (take a friend along) and wait 15 minutes for it to dry (one of the reasons why it's important to do this with fully warmed up engine) - then try again. If all else fails, take the distributor cap off and spray inside with WD40.

IIRC all the pickup 350's had 4 barrel Quadrajets on them in 1977. I think the 305's had a 2 barrel carb,. However, this may or may not even be original engine. How about cleaning off that sticker on the air cleaner and posting a photo.

Have fun and make sure you have someone else along so you can't get stranded!
 

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It is most likely a 4 barrel seeing its a truck, as long as no one has really messed with it.

As for cleaning engine bay and engine, I have simply drove what ever I was working on, to a quarter car wash and used the tire cleaner setting. I would remove the air cleaner and cover the carburetor with plastic bag to keep water out, Do not spray water straight at bag.

now if you have a pressure washer, you can do it at home, but it’s going to make a mess.

before doing it either way, get some good degreaser in a spray bottle and spray engine and everything down, let it soak.

I it may take a few times of spray, soak, wash, to get it clean.

after a few times you will figure out what works for you.

Good Luck
 

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Take off the air cleaner and count the big holes you see in the upper carburetor.

Engine cleaner and hot water does a pretty good job of getting the crud off. The distributor, carburator and alternator are not fond of being wet so some plastic bags andties to of some sort the keep them in place is very helpful at keeping water out where it isn't needed.

Bogie
 

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Taking a closer look it appears you have centre bolt valve covers.
your motor might be a bit newer. At least your heads might be.
 

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Taking a closer look it appears you have centre bolt valve covers.
your motor might be a bit newer. At least your heads might be.
Good Eye!
i had to blow it up to see it, but you are right, it has '86-up centerbolt valvecovers on it.
 

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You can make a lot of improvements to a engine bay by simply pulling parts off one by one and wiping them down with a rag from a bucket of soapy water. Then wiping it down with a rag of just water. Before drying it with another rag. If it is rubber like a hose or a fan shroud then you can use a rubber conditioner with another rag.

Then just go through the engine bay piece by piece. If it is metal then you can sand, tape it off, then spray paint it.

But simply wiping down the thing piece by piece is going to make a big difference. Past that you should pull the engine to get to things like the firewall and such.

Most of my engine blocks I spray paint silver or a other bright color. This shows oil and such easy. It also lets you accent things like brackets in a diffrent color. Black or a body color kind of thing.
A bit of sanding, primer, and spray paint goes a long way in making a engine bay look nice.

There are several shades of VHT (very high temp) spraypaint that are heat and chemical resistant. Once you have it nice and clean you simply need to wipe it down with soapy water and the normal water rags.
 

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I have a 1977 chevy c10 with a 350 small block and would like to get the engine bay looking as new as possible but I don't even know where to start

The engine compartment is full of rust on the fenders and firewall. You can disassemble the fenders and hood and take them to someone who does "vapor blasting". They will make the parts look like new metal and then you can paint them.
You could also talk to them about vapor blasting it by covering the engine after you have cleaned it yourself.....while everything is still in place. That would give you a decent starting point. I'd discuss it with them before deciding. You don't want them shooting the abrasive at the engine itself as it will get inside. Anything you do by yourself will take lots of time, effort, and chemicals to reach a marginal result. The vapor blasting will cost you more but will give a much better result.
Don't just sand blast as the sand goes everywhere and can warp panels. There is no magic solution. Its either disassemble the front end and spend a few days cleaning it or have a pro do it quickly.
 

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Something I find that works well is Pull the engine, radiator, etc. use a few 3 dollar cans of carb cleaner spray off with a hose or us a pressure washer, be mindful of anything that is made of rubber or could be cut. As for stuff you cant pull like the wiring just wrap in plastic wrap or grocery sacks. spray fenders, firewalls, under the hood then if you pull the 350 apart paint the block, heads, valve covers, etc.
 

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I use purple power or simple green (diluted correctly of course... don't use it full strength or it can etch things) Soak it all down while the engine is cold with a spray bottle, scrub really yucky parts with a paint brush in the nooks and crannies or a scrub brush on larger areas, then use a pressure washer to blast the crap out of it. Obviously, don't direct high pressure water straight at the carb or the grommet around the PCV valve, and you might get a little water incursion around vacuum lines, but nothing dangerous. Depending on your pressure washer, you might need to use a wider nozzle to prevent ripping rubber hoses. If you have an 1800 psi electric, it's very different than a 3200 psi gas pressure washer. Most car washes are a pretty low pressure setup. After pressure washing, use compressed air to blow out the alternator and the distributor cap and start it right away. Get it good and hot to evaporate anything out of the nooks and crannies.
 

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1977 350 Chevy C10 Stepside
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Taking a closer look it appears you have centre bolt valve covers.
your motor might be a bit newer. At least your heads might be.
yes the guy that owned this from when it first was bought to when he sold it to me put a new engine in after the original died out, he was a mechanic so kept it in pretty good shape
 

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Your engine is a bit greasy indeed, so the spray degreaser will work, as already mentioned. Your fender-wells seem to just have a nice coat of surface rust: wash them (soapy water and a sponge), scrub them a bit, and apply some rust paint (i.e. paint made to be applied over surface rust, Rustoleum or such). The firewall will be the most annoying, so I would again use soapy water, a sponge and work around everything. With a bit of luck, you can remove all the clips attaching the harness to pull it away from the wall. And as mentioned earlier, cleaning every single part (plastic, rubber, metal clips...) and finishing it with the proper product will also make a big difference.
But really, if you really want to go for showroom floor finish, you cannot avoid taking everything apart (A/C box, master cylinder, engine...), but that is whole different project!
 
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