Engine Block Colors?

Discussion in 'Discussion Forum' started by RZSR X, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. RZSR X

    RZSR X True Classic

    The race shop building my 1300 is asking me what color I want the engine. I said leave the head aluminum metal but when it comes to the block I'm not sure.

    I will be paining my '74 lime metallic green and thought I could have the block that color but then thought that may be too much. And I don't like black blocks.

    Any ideas?

    The block has to be painted as it's a rust color that the shop said would just return eventually even with blasting. And they refuse to blast because there is a good chance some blasting material will get left behind inside the block.
  2. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Jacksonville, FL
    With lime green paint, I suggest a yellow block. I had one of my racing engines painted white (with the cylinder head painted red, ala Testa Rosa).
  3. Kurt

    Kurt Daily Driver

    Traverse City, MI
    Grey looks good with anything and doesn’t get dirty, also brick red is a goood color.
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  4. myredracer

    myredracer True Classic

    Can't remember if X1/9s and 128s painted in the standard Fiat "engine" grey? I believe there used to be a paint code for standard Fiat engine grey. Paul V. (Scuderia Topolino when he was still in the US) painted my 850 engine block in Fiat grey. IIRC, he used to sell rattle cans of it. I have a new, never used 60s 124 OHV block in the original Fiat grey that still looks good and the color matches my 850 block. Fiat didn't paint the entire exterior of the blocks and left the front and rear unpainted for some reason and of course will attract rust. I think grey looks good and it's a neutral color.

    Prep is the key to painting an engine. Life span will depend on how well the block was prepared before the primer went on and how good the primer was. If properly done, should last a long time. Cast iron blocks supposedly don't need primer but does a better job. If you had a block in bare metal, if it were me I'd consider epoxy primer providing you apply the color topcoat within the "wet" re-coat window. Most automotive paints will be good over properly prepped primer (washed, wax & grease remover, etc.) and even rattle can paint will work fine except lacquer based is to be avoided.

    I would definitely not media blast it as it could ruin an engine. I'd want all hardware, etc. removed before any painting.
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  5. RZSR X

    RZSR X True Classic

    Hmm the yellow idea has me thinking as my minimal highlight color is yellow. I have Ricardos yellow Bertone front fender emblems and I also hope to get custom yellow spark plug wires made somewhere (I have an electronic distributor). And since the block is low in the engine compartment and well covered with parts, yellow would lighten up the lower bay nicely.

    Grey is not a color I'm fond of but possibly a gun metal would work. I'm not to worried about the block staying clean because it will never get dirty! Although if I eventually drive the X in say Targa California it would definitely get dirty.

    Something to think about...
  6. Rupunzell

    Rupunzell Bernice Loui

    Blast cleaning an engine block is a no-no. The abrasive particles will likely be trapped in places unseen-unknown only to re-appear when least expected to slowly grind away at the engine's innards.


    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  7. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Philadelphia, PA
    Not sure how persnickety you want to get with the block, but there is a blast technique that can be used on lots of stuff and leaves no residue:
    AKimball92 likes this.
  8. RZSR X

    RZSR X True Classic

    That's pretty amazing, never heard of the dry ice blasting before.
  9. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    My current block is (Ford?) blue while the previous one was yellow. It was before digital pics so I have to find a printed pic and take a pic of if. Or find my old block siting somewhere and take a pic of that dirty block. I like the yellow paint and I didn't find any problem to keep it clean. I just changed for a difference in reference. Now, if you are lucky I will find you some pics. Or if I don't, remind me with a private message!
  10. 128kid

    128kid Courtney Waters

    Charlotte, NC
    Well, that's a shame but I'll plug gray anyway :) It keeps the engine bay bright, and goes with any body color, and was OEM Fiat.
    Dupli-color Ford Gray in a ratle can has served me well for several builds. It's a close match to Fiat gray. Automotive paint would be great but if you don't have the equpment or funds, the engine enamel holds up well.

    Lickley's 1300 045.jpg Lickley's 1300 052.jpg
    Frank L. Di Gioia likes this.
  11. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Here they are. The yellow block before I fitted the head.


    Then, after a few years of use, sitting on a shelf. Dirty but easy to clean. Paint still ok.


    And here my actual motor in the engine bay.


    I would go yellow again, no hesitations.
  12. Mechanogeek

    Mechanogeek True Classic

    Jacksonville, FL
    One other thing to consider - I would suggest using an engine color enamel, OR a brake caliper paint, to withstand high heat and corrosive chemicals.
  13. Eugene Harvey

    Eugene Harvey True Classic

    Auckland, NZ
    >> I suggest a yellow block.

    My only concern with a nice smart new Yellow block is that, unless your cambelt cover is immaculate, it could come off looking a little drab and faded. Matching with the Yellow cambelt cover, maybe the blue, as above, or red? I wouldn't worry too much, as with the crowded tiny engine bay you barely get a glimpse of the block.
  14. Jepp78bertone

    Jepp78bertone True Classic

    I used VHT engine enamel Nu-cast Iron color. So far its stood up pretty good after 100,000km's. A few spots on the exhaust side that are starting to peel, but for less than $20/can i'd say its a good product.

    Attached Files:

  15. Jefco

    Jefco Low Polar Moment

    Portland OR
    The head I bought from MWB was painted silver, so I matched it on the block with engine enamel, along with the transmission and the pan; along with a good cleaning of the engine bay while the motor was out, really brightens it up in there.
    373 cropped.jpg
  16. RZSR X

    RZSR X True Classic

    The silver does look nice. The build shop is having the lump professionally painted so no worries on prep or painting. I'd do it myself but I haven't seen the engine/trany in 6 months! The used big valve head didn't meet their standards and had to be redone. They still have a ways to go before I see it again.

    Head Work_4813.jpg
  17. Frank L. Di Gioia

    Frank L. Di Gioia True Classic

    las vegas, nevada
    That's the grey color I use on 850 blocks and like. Rustoleum and rather durable. I sent Greg Schmidt a motor in a crate like the one you show. A nice touch is to make a stiff paper scorpion cutout and stencil spray can the image on the side of the crate. He said the UPS man freaked out and assumed that was the content of the box.

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