Summer of 1998
The previous owner had "repainted"
the valve cover a strange looking metallic color that was rapidly peeling off. My original
intent was to have the cover chromed, but after seeing a newly rebuilt engine with a
freshly painted valve cover, I decided to try the $5.00 fix versus the $100.00 one. The
paint that's closest to the original color is a Dull Aluminum Lacquer made by Plasticote.
It's tough to come by, but it looks great when finished......... when done right. I used a
Mar Hyde paint remover that brought the cover down to the bare metal. I steel wooled it,
washed it, dried it, cleaned it with part's cleaner, washed it, used Mar Hyde Total Prep,
washed it and painted it. Three light coats and it looked great. Waited for it to dry and
admired the finish.... except for that little wrinkle in the paint....... and then another
wrinkle....... and another. What the heck?? Went through the whole cleaning process again
and then realized that in handling the cover, I'd put my fingers down the oil cap
hole............. which still had a coating of oil in it. Then I'd take my oily fingers
and grip the cover I had just cleaned........ DUH!! So I went through the cleaning process
one more time, being very careful to keep my fingers out of the oily filler hole. This
time to be safe I also put down a coat of primer. The end result looks great, if I do say
so myself. One minor problem: I also removed the EGR valve and pipe and repainted them
too. After reassembling everything the car ran crappy. Rough idle, hesitation, down on
power, stumbling etc. It turns out that some of the crap in the valve worked loose and got
in the "pop off" valve (or whatever that little valve under the EGR cap is
called). Popped it a few times with a screwdriver and the car runs great again.
I was all set to toss out the crummy looking paint covered oil cap and replace with a nice new one. Then in the paint stripping process of the valve cover, some striper got on the oil cap. A little cleaning revealed that it was an original with the recommended oil company names stamped into it. The names are: Castrol, Mobil, Duckmans, Esso, AC, OC-4, Fina, Shell, Havoline and BP. This one's a keeper!
The last bit of work was the easiest........ adding K&N chrome filters to the carbs. These were purchased from Performance Automotive for an excellent price......... way cheaper then the "Big 3" quoted! The look great, are a direct bolt on and may even improve performance. And yes, the whole engine compartment is that shiny and clean. A little purple power and blast from the garden hose keeps everything clean.