Step X: Paint Engine Bay

This task was not in my original plan. In fact, I had admonished myself against it. I wanted to be back on the road ASAP - no distractions, no unecessary improvements. I was trying to head off the whole "While I'm at it" death spiral. But alas, I failed completely.

I found a pretty nasty rust spot on the driver's side strut tower and had to patch that. I didn't get too anal about it - just cut out the rust and welded in a piece of 14ga - didn't even pretty it up. There was another tiny rust hole in the inner vertical part of the frame rail by the passenger sway bar mount. I went ahead and cut out a much larger chunk which allowed me access to the the mount bracket (inside) which was completely rusted out. I vacuumed out the rust and crap, removed the ruined bracket and then welded in some nuts. Then I squirted in a bunch of rust converter and spread it out with a blow gun. Then I sprayed in some primer. More than likely it mostly melted/burned away when I welded in the piece of metal to cover my hole though. This time I was able to make it look pretty nice without much effort - helps that it was all flats and right angles. Can hardly tell I patched that spot.

I cleaned up the bay and taped everything off and then shot some primer. I went to the local paint shop and was quoted $80 for solvent resistant paint. Pass.

So, I looked around for awhile for an affordable solution. Hammered (Rustoleum's version of Hammerite) comes in Bronze, Black and Silver. Didn't much like those choices, plus, for some reason you have to do 2 coats over primer - otherwise it shows millions of primer color (white) pinhole spots. That would mean about $40 worth of paint. I finally gave up and just used some Gray Plasticote engine enamel. Not sure how solvent resistant it will be, but it's a nice neutral shade and it looks okay.


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