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Painting glow engine blocks?

Cleaning up that discoloured aluminium

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Engine Doctor25/09/2020 12:48:17
2620 forum posts
40 photos
Posted by Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 10/09/2020 15:49:40:

I just read through this thread and I’ve been messing with heat proof paint that is made for painting automotive brakes. I’ve managed to get Signal Red , Green and Matt Black and Satin Black. Another modeller pal put me onto them as he had used them to re paint the black on Mills magnesium cases and ED Racers . Some Marine Diesels also,

I found an interesting video about anodising . I’ll try and find it and post back

interesting thread


Hi Steve . Re painting and Anodising . A well known producer of tuned pipes used "Rustoleum Hard Hat paint " for painting tuned pipes some time/years ago . It worked extremely well with any type of fuel but had to be baked on once dried. I have used two pack paint on a few engines that looked tatty before I set up my bead blaster cabinet and it lasted for years but casing had to be very clean and keyed with a wire brush

Re the anodising and Youtube , dont even bother with trying the methods using swimming pool chemicals or various so called safe electrolytes. I have tried a lot of them and the only successful job was using sulfuric acid as an electrolyte ..



Doc Marten25/09/2020 13:59:33
872 forum posts
27 photos
Posted by Engine Doctor on 13/08/2020 09:22:22:

Unit cost me £70 ish on eBay ,think they are about £100 ish now. Cyclonic filter is home made cost about £10 excellent bit of kit.

Any chance of a guide to building your cyclonic filter ED?

Engine Doctor27/09/2020 10:52:52
2620 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Doc . You can find a DIY guide on you tube . I can do a guide when I get on the PC as my tablet is a pain to use.


Engine Doctor27/09/2020 11:39:00
2620 forum posts
40 photos

Hi Doc . Found this on You Tube on how to make a cyclonic filter Easier than me re wording it . I used a hot glue gun and its lasted two three years with no problems and still going strong. Another thing worth mentioning is that a variable speed vacuum cleaner or an air bleed attachment is needed to adjust the vacuum in the cabinet. I bough a 15 Ltr bucket with clip on lid off e-bay . The 20 ltr paint tubs are not tall enough and dust will be drawn into your vacuum cleaner . Get a tall bucket

One thing I did change from the video was the angle of inlet pipe. I made mine enter at a more sharp angle so air and dust went around the outside of the bucket.

Using this type of filter has Three main advantages .

1. It clears the dust from the cabinet allowing increased visibility while blasting.

2 The vacuum in the cabinet stops the blast media escaping and making a mess of your workshop. Try it without a vacuum and see what happens surprise

3 It draws the majority of broken down blast media out in to the waste bucket leaving the heavier still usable media for reuse and prevents it blocking or damaging your vacuum cleaner.

Dont forget you WILL need a large compressor with the gun supplied in these cabinets . They use between 10and 12 CFM at 100 psi . You can use a lower psi for a softer finish and save some air

Edited By Engine Doctor on 27/09/2020 11:42:02

Edited By Engine Doctor on 27/09/2020 11:47:56

Doc Marten27/09/2020 13:18:39
872 forum posts
27 photos

Thanks mate, very much appreciated.

I've looked through Youtube but you rarely get feedback so you can spend time and effort making something that is unsuitable or doesn't last, hearing from someone who has had direct experience and offers improvements is invaluable.


Edited By Doc Marten on 27/09/2020 13:24:01

Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models)29/09/2020 15:21:16
302 forum posts
103 photos


Thanks for the message. It's all interesting stuff. Good when you come across people that use or have used certain methods. Anodising - various people who seem good at doing it all say Sulphuric acid is required and difficult to get. I expect its to prevent people throwing it over each other. Always a problem now a days when something 'harmful' is required. Still there is probably a way forward if I research it. I had a pal who did Ok with battery acid and distilled water. Is that correct distilled? water

I have uploaded a couple of videos, showing a Mills that had Magnesium Rot, painted in the black disc brake paint, sealed with hot oil and then ran and the finish aged and went Matt, making the engine look very original and not like it had been re painted



Engine Doctor29/09/2020 19:21:53
2620 forum posts
40 photos

Hello Steve . Sulfuric acid at battery strength is available from most car factors although they usually have to order it in . I dilute it with distilled water at about 50 :50 . Its not critical but needs to be strong enough to be a good electrolyte.

You will also need some Lye or Caustic soda easily obtainable from hardware stores . For degreasing I use Truck wash in HOT water and find it very effective .

I did a mills 75 years ago that had the white rot starting . After thoroughly washing in cellulose thinners and drying with hot air gun i sprayed it with an acrylic satin black then wiped it with oil . After a few days it went to a mattish finish and has stayed looking original even now.


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