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Re: Soliciting opinions -- Painting an Engine

To: Benjamin Ruset <>, mgs@Autox.Team.Net
Subject: Re: Soliciting opinions -- Painting an Engine
From: Chris Delling <>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 11:01:16 -0500

At 10:27 AM 1/26/98 -0500, Benjamin Ruset wrote:
>I'm strongly considering pulling the engine from my car, rebuilding it, and
>painting it. The engine is of the 1978 variety. I know that they weren't
>painted red by the factory. Were they painted at all? If so, what color? I
>think that the red does look pretty nice, so I'm leaning towards that. What
>are the steps one has to take to paint the thing? Oh, and rebuilding the
>engine -- is there a kit to do this (so I can give to my mechanic) or
>should I just give the whole thing to a machine shop and let them do it?
>What does a rebuild cost these days? And what does it entail? The car has
>been sitting since 1985 - started once or twice. When I got it running (on
>starter fluid) clouds of rust flew out of the back exhaust. I'm not even
>sure that it needs a rebuild -- only has 74k miles on it -- but I want to
>see if it's the right course of action. The money would be better spent on

A engine rebuild is a major task.  To have it done professionally, figure
on $1000 in labor and machining costs - assuming that you pull the motor.
An rebuild usually entails checking and verifying proper bearing dimensions
on the crank shaft and in the block.  The cylinders are bored, and oversize
pistons are usually fitted to match the new bore.  All main and rod
bearings are replaced.  Camshaft is inspected, and renewed if needed, as
are the cam bearings.  A new oil pump, and timing chain are fitted.  It's a
lot of work.  Britek is one supplier that will supply a "kit" for
rebuilding.  You buy the kit, and give it to your engine rebuilder, along
with the engine, and pick up a rebuilt motor in a couple of weeks.  Figure
another $1000 for parts and incidentals.

That said, 74K miles is not a lot for a B.  They routinely go 125K before
needing any major attention.  I would suggest working with whay you have
until you know what you've got.

>The second thing I need an opinion on is the bodywork. My rear drivers side
>fender has some bondo on it. It looks like it's professionally done,
>because the only way I knew was that the paint was a tad cracked there and
>a magnet didn't stick there. It blends in fine with the rest of the car. I
>am going to strip the car and paint it, but I will be doing some body work
>to it. Should I have the shop cut this panel out and weld a new metal one
>in, or is it okay to sand and paint over? I've never had a car with bondo
>on it before so I'm not terribly familiar with it. 

If it's cracked, it wasn't done right.  You need to find out why it's
there.  If is covering a rust hole, then the only way to correctly repair
it is to cut out the old metal, and replace.  Once done, more filler (bondo
or lead) will have to be used to finish the repair area.  There are many
reasons for bondo cracking.  You will need to get it out of there to see
whats there.  

>The third thing is the paint. I'm leaning heavily towards Damask red, even
>though it wasn't an option for that year. I also looked at a two tone MGB
>-- red on top, white on the bottom. It looked pretty sharp, like a baby
>corvette. I was wondering if I'd get heckled out of a show if I showed up
>with something like that! =) Seriously, though, I'm not sure if I want to
>do that or not - it looked cool on the one that I saw.

What do you want?  You aren't going to win any shows without spending
thousands of dollars on paint and body work, not to mention thousands more
for everything else.  If your car is for driving and for fun, make yourself
happy.  You won't be laughed out of any club event.  If you like
originality, go for it, but don't think that staying original is going to
make your car a concours winner.

Best Regards,

Chris Delling


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