How to prep and paint an engine compartment | Project Vintage Race Mustang

Update by Tim Suddard to the Ford Mustang Fastback project car
Nov 16, 2021

Photography by Tim Suddard

Now we could finally paint our 1965 Mustang’s engine compartment as we had already welded in the export brace, the radiator mounting brackets and the front tow hook.

We started the painting process by stripping the rest of the engine compartment. We removed the steering box, clutch and brake master cylinders, brake lines and headlight wiring.

Then we plugged the empty holes found in the firewall–so long heater–as this is a standard requirement by most sanctioning bodies.

We simply cut some sheet metal plates and tack weld them in place. From there, we could apply seam seal around them. The idea is not to win a beauty contest but to keep fumes and flames from entering the passenger compartment.

Then we painted the engine compartment with Eastwood Chassis Black spray paint. A Mustang engine compartment would have originally been done in a flatter paint, but satin paint is easier to wipe down and keep clean.

Now we can discuss the next step: installing our race engine.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Tom1200 UltraDork
11/16/21 11:12 a.m.

I admire folks with immaculately painted engine bays but I like black because it seems easier to keep looking decent.

mhisstc New Reader
11/17/21 9:40 a.m.

Freshly painted interiors and engine bays are nice.  I went the opposite direction in color choice. Crawling around an engine bay or interior painted black looking for signs of leaks or for a dropped nut or washer is like using your eyes to search for the Voyager spacecraft. My engine bay and interior are painted Wimbledon White for the specific purpose of being able to find dropped small parts and tools and to quickly and easily identify fluid leaks. A light background color brightens up dark spaces and offers a good background contrast. 

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