Painting a Suffolk Engine

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RedLeader
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Painting a Suffolk Engine

I'm hoping for some advice here in regards to painting my Suffolk 75G14 engine as part of my Atco/Suffolk Super Colt restoration in a separate thread. 

The engine currently has a lot of the original olive/green/gray colour left on it, as does the flywheel, however there is also a fair amount of darker green where someone in teh past has painted the entire mower the wrong colour. 

Around the cooling fins on the engine block there is a fair bit of rust also. Now as it stands, once the restoration is complete I would like this to be a working mower rather than a show piece, so that seems to narrow down paint choices in terms of something along the lines of VHT or alternative engine enamel paints. I would like to keep to the original engine colour if at all possible, however this obviously vastly reduces options for sourcing a suitable paint. 

Without seeing it in the flesh, and I know computer and mobile device screens are going to affect shade, a close match I have found online is from the RAL Design range with code 120 90 30

I've found a supplier of this paint online but in order for the paint to be oil/fuel proof and withstand full running temperature, it would have to be supplied as 2 pack paint. This isn't ideal, as I don't believe I would be able to spray this myself in aerosol form due to needing proper respirator etc. So I suppose one option would be to ask a paint sprayer to do this, but then that starts to ramp up the cost. 

Looking for suggestion or examples of what others have done here? I could get an off the shelf VHT pain in something like Ford Grey, and paint/spray it myself, but it would be nothing like the original suffolk colour, so I'm torn as to what route to go down, as I will be keeping the rest of the mower rebuild as original as possible including the correct ATCO paint colour for the era. 

Would shot or soda/vapour blasting be an option to get in between the fins and nooks and either leave it the natural cast Iron colour, and be prepared that it will rust over time? Or perhaps even powder coating, but again I don't know what sort of money that would be. Perhaps I'm overthinking it but I'm torn as to what to do and don't have endless funds sadly! 

Ideas/suggestions/examples welcome!

NM
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The fins are really tricky to

The fins are really tricky to get the paint into as most seems to just hit the front edge.  Also it's worth inverting the block/head to reach all faces. 
Blasting would probably be the best way to clean the block up but needs coating immediately afterwards to stop oxidisation. 
If you go the 2k route check it doesn't need a bake at 60deg.  

RedLeader
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Thanks Nick. The engine is

Thanks Nick. The engine is completely stripped currently so inverting is not an issue when it comes to painting. Do you have any pictures of examples you have either done or seen online? Just looking or some inspiration as to which way to go with it. I'm starting to lean towards something non original but fitting with the rest of the mower, just from a practical point of view, unless anyone can persuade me otherwise!

wristpin
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For my working SIF

For my working SIF restorations I find that brush painting the cylinder blocks with Hammerite Smooth Wild Thyme produces a finish very similar to the original factory one.

These images are from my "archive" and were not taken to illustrate the paint finish but do give a general idea of of the result from brush applied Hammerite.

   Original factory finish

 

  Brush painted Hammerite Smooth

 

  Brush painted Hammerite smooth

 

RedLeader
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Thanks Agnus. The Hammerite

Thanks Agnus. The Hammerite Wild Thyme certainly is a contender as I came across mentions of this in a couple of other threads on here. I've used Hammerite smooth silver over the years on brake calipers and brake disc hubs without any issues relating to heat, but rust did eventually start showing through. I guess decent prep is still required with these 'direct to rust' paints. Perhaps maybe a soda/vapour blast of the block, head, flywheel and back plate would be a good idea before painting. I don't have anything to get between the cooling fins to get the old flaking pain and rust off, or to get between the back of the cooling fins where you can see through the block, so perhaps a degrease followed by a pressure wash might help? Once I hone the cylinder I need to use hot soapy water to clean the whole block internally anyway before rebuilding. Possible plan of action, lap the valves, hone the cylinder, degrease/pressure wash or soda/vapour blast whole thing, and when fully dry use either one or two coats of Hammerite or alternative primer and top coat.

Chris G
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Just my opinion but with the

Just my opinion but with the lengths you have gone to so far on the restoration you would be disappointed if it did not look good and right, even for a proper working mower.

Re prep, I have had good results with glass bead blasting on the 4 I have done, one for Nick as well - hope you're good mate! - got some more fire wood for you :-)

Even with the cabinet in the garden it makes a bloody mess, definitely a dry day out job.!

I'm not advocating it, but 2K outdoors with a decent 3m filter mask should not be that risky for small work, but I would go for a decent VHT of the right RAL if you can get it.

I am the worlds worst painter with a brush, Wristpins results are very good, but I think he does voodoo paint prep as well as surface prep.

RedLeader
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Thanks Chris. We must have

Thanks Chris. We must have gone to the same school for Brush painting, my past results have been somewhat 'sub-optimal' so I tend to go with aerosol where possible!

I think blasting is going to be the way forward and there are a couple of options fairly locally. To be honest, looking up close at some of the original paint the remains on the engine parts, there are runs here and there and even brush marks so as long as it looks slightly better than that I'll be happy. 

I've found a supplier of aerosol in the right colour (to my eye) which is 2K but is the Non-Isocyanate hardener version and air dries, so I think outdoors on the right day (might have to wait a while!) with a decent respirator should be ok. They suggest using an etch primer which is compatible with the top coat, so as it will be bare metal that should be ok. 

wristpin
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If it is non Iso there's not

If it is non Iso there's not to much to worry about. Your enemy at this time of year is humidity. I seldom have engines stripped to empty castings so the nearest my engines  get to blasting is soda, as glass bead or fine abrasive media seems to find its way in everywhere and can be a B to to clear out . It will be interesting to hear what process  your local guy uses and how it turns out.

NM
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Hi, sorry for delay in reply.

Hi, sorry for delay in reply.

Brush painting can be very effective as Angus has shown. That is how it was done before compressed air and spray guns. I'm lead to believe a lot is down to the quality of the brush, an old timer once told me it was hard to see the brush marks on coach painting.

i have had an instance of brush painting red oxide from Halfords and then trying to brush paint top coat on something but was a disaster. I don't think the vht paints recommends a primer and the hammer it's paint seems like a good option. Once the cowling and ancillaries are on there's not a lot of the block on show.

Here's mine so far,with a bit of help from Chris, bit more to do.

           

NM
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Hi Chris, I'm fine thanks,

Hi Chris, I'm fine thanks, how are you. Hope you enjoy the Christmas holidays if you're not working.

I thought you were going to fit a wood burner, some of the 'firewood' seemed too good to be burnt.