Painting the Valve Covers

The valve covers had never been in great condition and as you can see in the pictures below, they were oxidising (Not the best of climates in Ireland) so I decided to paint them the same colour as the engine block. I know that it’s not the correct colour for the year, but this colour of high temp paint was available locally, so that’s what colour they were going to be. To be honest, if they work out, I may consider splashing out for the correct colour or even a completely new set. If you are wondering what the hose is in the first picture, it’s a heater core bypass. The core was leaking like a sieve and is now on the ‘to be done’ list.

I started with driver side, removing the valve cover bolts. When I replaced the head gaskets I also replaced the valve cover gaskets, so I was interested to see how they looked after nearly 5 years. Once the bolts were removed the cover would not budge so I had to persuade it off with a hammer. A rubber mallet would be the best choice but if, like me, you don’t have one, place a folded towel on the upper edge and give it a gentle tap with the hammer. Once I did this, it popped off. Tip – Always do this when the engine is cold – you don’t want oil running onto the hot exhaust!

I then scrubbed each cover (and the breather cap) using an old brush and brake cleaner. I let them air dry and then gave each a light sanding with medium sand paper. After wiping them down, I started painting, laying down coat after coat until I was happy with the look. Once dried, the were placed back on the car. Job done!

Update – I managed to find the Ford Light Blue colour so have redone the valve covers. This time I also applied two coats of clear top coat. The issue with VHT is that before it is cured, it has to be subjected to operating temperature for at least 20 minutes. Once this is possible I will take the car for a drive. I will also be painting the power steering pump & alternator as well as the engine block.

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