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Engine enamel

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by WelderDave, May 4, 2019.

  1. WelderDave

    WelderDave XS400 Addict

    Just a quick couple questions. So my engine is very dull, as aluminum and age tend to do, and was thinking, what if I painted the engine in place?
    Will the enamel hurt the bike heat wise as an insulator, and

    I was thinking of cleaning it with a wire brush and degreaser while te tank, carbs, and seat were off for better access. I’d use a sanding block on the edge of the fins before it dries for a better look. And I’m aware I’d have to let the engine run a while for engine heat to cure the enamel since I wouldn’t be using an oven.

    Thoughts or input would greatly be appreciated. Main concern is I don’t want to risk the engine easily overheating as a result of the paint being an insulator.

    Or would it be better to just polish the whole thing? Just looks old, because it is, but I want to liven it up a bit.
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
  2. I polished the aluminum parts on my engine. Lots of elbow grease. Since it was really oxidized I started sanding the aluminum with 250 grit, 320, 400, 600,800,1000, 1500 then used mothers aluminum polish using my drill and pads from Harbor Freight. Looks amazing. I finished it up with a stainless steel bolt kit I bought on ebay. I also painted the cylinder head and lower case with VHT heat resistant aluminum color spray paint.
    buztabuzt likes this.
  3. WelderDave

    WelderDave XS400 Addict

    Good to hear. I’m thinking I will do mine next year. I already planned on taking the whole bike apart for painting the frame and such, might as well do the engine when it’s out, cleaning anyway and some of the painting.

    Do you have a picture of yours you can post up to see how it went?
  4. NewHavenMike

    NewHavenMike 1976 XS360C Top Contributor

    I used a wire brush to clean up the fins, a scotch brite cleaned the sidecovers. My engine has a satin polish.

    My original 360 engine had a fairly clean silver coating from the factory, but that engine is out of comission..

    I actually ride my bike and enjoy it. I cant be concerned with it being dirty, its supposed to be. The look of my bike is a bit rough, which represents where I was (financially) when I bought and built it.

    I built the bike in basements, attics, and backyard picnic tables, dragged it by the crate through 4 apartments while i saved up.

    I works, i maintain it, i love it. It is what it is.
    buztabuzt likes this.
  5. Here are current pics of my engine.

    Attached Files:

    buztabuzt likes this.
  6. WelderDave

    WelderDave XS400 Addict

    Not bad, it looks good! Maybe I will just polish it once I take it out. I want the frame re powder coated again, so I’d be taking it out anyway, might as well clean it then.

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