View Full Version : Mick's IronHead, or RustHead?

27th December 2004, 06:50
I have been planning that, as part of my winter project, i will paint the engine cooling fins etc with hi heat resistant black paint. Two questions.

First, i kind of like the rusty look. Not rustic, but pretty cool. Maybe i should just leave it as is. Would it be bad for the engine in the long run to let it be rusty?

Second, should i decide to paint it [probably will], is it important to cure the paint with heat [ie by running the engine]? Is it necessary to do this soon after applying the paint? I would like to paint it in the next couple weeks but it may be a few weeks more before i am running the engine.

27th December 2004, 14:44
well if I remember right you said you are single so just cook the paint in your oven , it stinks like hell but works nice

27th December 2004, 15:35
well if I remember right you said you are single so just cook the paint in your oven , it stinks like hell but works nice

Good idea, but my oven is too small as i am not removing the cyl's from the bike; most stuff is stripped off; just going to mask the rest off.

The questions remain: is painting it important to preserve the engine? does it have to be heated soon after application?

27th December 2004, 15:47
the high heat paint that I used on my trumpit said on the can that it needed to be cured shortly after painting but that was 1500* paint , you might need that kinda protetion for the heads cause the temp at the exaust valve can reach 1400* (inside the head)

I left my heads unpainted cause I'm not real worried about the look of rust and if you use it alot you won't have to worry about it rusting away to nothing like a car body

but after saying that I will also say that at the next teardown I am going to paint the whole thing to look as good as the bike will look but I see that as being a few years down the road

27th December 2004, 15:53
You might want to consider what I do... Its easy, cheap and looks pretty good...

I just spray my fins with silcon spray. Then I go for a ride. The silcon stops the rust and burns pretty black. I just spray it the start of every season... And don't worry about over spray.. That stuff protects everything...LOL

Good Luck


28th December 2004, 02:35
Unless your building a 'Ra't bike I would wire brush the cylinders and paint them black. I use hi-temp barbecue black paint in a rattle can. Sprays on nicely and leaves a nice satin black finish. I use about three coats to cover, letting each coat air dry. Then I start the bike and let it idle a few minutes and the heat from the engine itself will bake it just fine.
Unless your going for a Custom Show bike look, this paint works great and looks great for some time.
I like the old look of an aluminum head, so I use this aluminum spray paint that I've had in my shop for many years. It leaves a nice dull white/aluminum color simliar to Harleys original early aluminum engine paint. I use same spray proceedure.
options: You could go all aluminum paint on the head and barrels like the original early sixties XL's had. Its different. Don't see that combo too often. Mostly guys will paint their barrells and heads all black. Some guys have painted their barrells to match or contrast their bikes sheetmetal color. I've seen red, blue, orange and yellow & white barrells....

29th December 2004, 21:04
Rat bike? I beg your pardon.....

29th December 2004, 21:16
I got great results on old air-cooled VW engines doing absolutely nothing special with spray-on high temp paint from someplace like NAPA. Just a good cleaning, primer, and a few coats. I did it before engine assembly, put it all together, and it looked great.

I don't know if there would be any problem doing that on the cylinders, I never painted my VW barrels.

Here you can see how vivid the paint looks, its looked this good for more than 2 years since I did it:


2nd January 2005, 01:45
Rat bike? I beg your pardon.....

Not saying your bike is a rat just because your cylinders aren't painted black... :)

RAT BIKES RULE!!...... :cool: