“Painting Engine Covers Is A Great Way To Improve The Look Of Your Engine Bay”
The Volvo engine bay was dirty mainly because of where I live. There’s lots of dust and winds in my area so it tends to get really dusty pretty fast. I took my engine covers off a little while ago to change out the spark plugs and the coil packs because I was getting an engine misfire. Since then I have fixed the issue and never put the engine covers back on. Since I am changing the colors I am doing my engine bay, I decided it would be a great time to start painting the engine covers before putting them back on.
In the picture above, you can see that the covers were a dull and boring flat blackish color. I started prepping the covers for paint by first wiping them down with some degreaser but after washing them with some traditional soap and water. This was to get any grease or dirt off of them before I started sanding. You don’t want to sand any dirt or grease into the covers because it can cause negative results when painting.
Once I was done with this I then sanded with some medium grit sanding block, about 160 grit and then smooth sanded with some 400 grit sandpaper after. The cover was roughed up nice and everything was cleaned up. My next step was to start painting the engine covers.
The above picture is how the timing cover looked during the painting process. As you can see there was nothing special about the way I painted it. I did it outside in my backyard on a few cinder blocks I had laying around. I waited for it to dry and then moved the covers to a different area where they had a heat lamp on them so they would dry even faster.
Once the covers were dried I brought them inside and waited a few more days for them to fully cure before handling them. I always do this whenever painting engine covers or anything for that matter. It’s just something I do to make sure the undercoats are completely dry before I handle them. I don’t want to accidentally smudge or scratch any paint off, it’s annoying because then I’d have to sand the whole thing and repaint.
The above picture is the final result of how the engine covers came out. I used Rustoleum 2x paint in Gloss Apple Red for the covers. I used two cans in total even though it wasn’t a big area to paint. This is mainly because once the cans get down to about a quarter of paint left, I toss them aside. Once they get that low, the consistency of how the paint comes out of the can isn’t as good. It’s a great way to avoid having uneven parts when painting.
Below is the covers installed on the engine after waiting a few days for them to dry. I painted the covers about a week ago and barely installed them yesterday evening. I think the engine looks a lot better now. I also installed an HKS sticker on the engine cover that goes over the fuel rail since I have an HKS blow off valve too.
Overall the Volvo is coming along very well. My next future upgrades to the engine are to get a 16T turbo or 19T turbo and then ecu tune. I have already talked to a few tuners and let them know about my mods and the mods I’m planning on. They all said that with my current mods and parts I have but haven’t installed yet, I can get 350 to 410hp out of this engine. Depends on if I go with the 16T or 19T turbo and if I want to get forged rods and pistons.