How Clean/Prep/Paint your Valve Cover
Stuff I used: Simple Green, Aircraft Stripper, Wire Brush, Engine Degreaser, Craftsman Air/Water Gun, 1500 degree engine paint, die grinder, 3" wire wheel (to fit Die grinder) Air Compressor
The valve cover can be a PITA to get off. I had to pry mine off with a flat head screwdriver it was stuck hard. This can damage some metal so be careful. Plus while the covers off its a good chance to oversize/tap stripped bolt holes, if you have them as I did, all the outer bolts were stripped out. You dont have to worry about draining the oil it wont come out from taking the valve cover off, so no need to drain. If your worried about getting water in the head after the cleaning process, just use some compressed air through the vent holes in the valve cover.
1. Remove Valve Cover and put in a wash tub of some sort
2. Use AirCraft/Automotove paintstripper and let it sit for about 15 mins, then use a wire brush and get most of the paint off,(wash clean) after that more paint stripper and another 15 mins. Then bust out the wire brush by then all the paint should be off, if not more paintstripper. Then clean with simple green and a wash it off.
3. I cleaned the backside is was caked in dark brown oil, this is the time consuming part, but you dont have to clean it, but I wanted to. I used about 2 hours of engine degreaser a paint brush and an Craftsman air/water gun. The cleaner the better right. Also a good way to clean out the Vents in the valve cover.
4. After everything is dry and EXTRA CLEAN, its time to paint. Make sure the room your painting in is above 70 degree's, you dont want cracking in the paint. Since its an engine I used 1500 degree engine paint. Simply apply a thin coat every 10 mins until 3/4 of the can is gone or until your happy.
5. Let dry for 24-48 hours in a warm dry place
6. As a way of polishing the letters, I've found my trusty die grinder w/3"wire wheel gets the paint off the letters and shines things at the same time. If you dont have a steady hand I suggest using a different method as its easy to slip and then your back to square one.
Remember the cleaner the better, if the paint is not all removed your going to see it under the new paint. If your redo'ing the cover might as well do it right!
7. Then Use a new or good valve cover gasket along with the four soark plug well gaskets. Not needed, but I wanted I added a ver small amount of RTV to both sides of the gasket. Then put valve cover back on, and tighten the bolts from the centyer out. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN. 3ft lbs should be suffecient or semi tight by hand.
Last edited by Mike1992; 02-01-2004 at 12:12 PM.