Cam cover repaint
One of our car's cam covers was looking worse for wear, the non original red gloss finish cracking and flaking off. Replacement costs seemed a bit high, so I decided to have a go myself.
This is how it went..
The cam cover was picked up from the blasters, and looked
great inside and out. I removed the inside baffle plates to check
no blast media was left inside, but all was clean
I bought a tin of Nitromors to remove the old paint finish.
So I removed the cam cover from the engine and took the gaskets off it. I slopped on some Nitromors stripper and waited, but not much happened at all!
I suppose the most aggressive chemicals in Nitromors have been
outlawed now, I had heard this a while ago, but it seems to be true.
So the cover would have to be bead blasted, this would be better anyway, giving a nice key for the new paint.
I'm not fan of powder coating, there's no physical key to the
metal, this cam cover's old red paint looked like a powder coating job, the paint is brittle and will always fail eventually.
Etch primer on the prepared bare metal before painting is the best system, so there's a chemical bond to the metal.
So, I masked off the oil fill area, plug area and the breather pipe,
bought a spray tin of etch primer and gave it a blast, two light
coats would do fine.
I ordered some VHT black wrinkle finish on Ebay, it arrived quickly.
I'd watched a couple of Youtube vids on how to do the job, using a hot air gun seemed important. I gave the cover 3 good coats of paint, then heated it with the gun, magically it started to wrinkle!
Wrinkle in a lovely even way too. However, the paint remains soft for a long time, only the wrinkled skin hardens, so careful handling is needed, I would leave it alone for 2 days.
I left the paint to harden, well that's not really true! I messed about with the item, found it was still soft underneath, then left it alone!
I carefully removed the masking tape, and was pleased with the result.
I then sanded the raised fins with 120 grit sand paper to remove the paint, then finished with 500 grade to smooth out the scratches.
I was pleased with the result of this DIY wrinkle job, the cam cover looks like new, in it's original style of black.
The cam cover is clean and unpainted inside, so there's no longer danger of paint flakes getting in the oilways.
With care these good results are quite easy to achieve.