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Engine paint

61 Silver

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2001
Wyoming N.Y.
1961 270HP and 1963 340HP
I am starting to get my parts back from the engine machine shop. The intake and block are done. I would like to get paint or primer on these parts as soon as possible. How would the engine have been painted at the factory? Were any of the engine parts painted before assembly? What would be the correct paint for the 1965 engine? Thanks Ray

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2000
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I just read a thread on the NCRS board about how much the color varied on the Chevy orange. As far as what was assembled on your engine when it was painted being a 250 hp with iron intake, I can say for sure that everything from the intake to pan including the water pump and valve covers. I think that the exhaust manifolds were on too but not directly painted. They would show paint next to the heads or wherever they got sprayed in the process of painting the block. Not sure about the fuel pump. It may have been on and painted around.

If JohnZ checks in on this one he will know for sure.

Jan 1, 2002
Washington, Michigan
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
The following were on the engine at Flint when it was painted - block, heads, intake, pan, balancer, water pump (hub and shaft masked with a cardboard tube), valve covers, exhaust manifolds, bellhousing, lower flywheel cover, clutch fork, and distributor (was masked with a coffee can). Everything else was installed on the engine dress line at St. Louis.

There are lots of "Chevy Engine Orange" rattle-can paints out there (Dupli-Color, VHT, Seymour, etc.); any of them will do the job - I prefer VHT, as it has much higher temperature resistance than the others and lasts very nicely. Clean the engine thoroughly first with lacquer thinner to get the grease and oil off of the surface so the paint will adhere and stay there.

The Flint paint job was pretty sloppy - 280 engines per hour came through that little booth, and coverage varied widely.

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