Project Ruze The UK's first all-Japanese RX7 V8?

Engine Dress / Cleanup Stage 1 – Paint

There’s no point in having a nice engine to show off and it being all mucky. To this end I’ve a few things planned – a wire tuck for the head should be fairly easy, for example. I’m also painting the stuff on the top of the engine, to stop it just getting covered in aluminium oxide (white powdery stuff that forms when the engine gets damp).

Lexus paint the top of the inlet manifold and the cam covers from the factory, but this has all more or less flaked off. Upon stripping the belts and stuff from the engine I found a few places where water has collected and made a nice mess, so I’ve taken the following parts off for painting:

Aluminium Bits
Cam Covers
Both Inlet Manifold Sections
Timing Belt Covers
Thermostat Housing
Water Bypass Pipes

Steel Parts
Timing Belt Rear Covers
Water Bypass Hose

First step is obviously to mask the parts up – don’t want to get paint inside somewhere important!


I’m not very good at painting, and to paint onto aluminium you need to use a decent primer. I’m using some acid etch primer, which will ever so slightly eat into the surface of the aluminium to grip to it.


2 layers of that are followed by 4 layers of hammerite smooth, which should be really tough and withstand a decent bit of heat. Unfortunately when the painting process goes wrong, that’s a lot of very adhesive paint to take off. The first time I painted the timing belt covers the roof leaked onto them as they dried, so I had to strip it all off and start again, which lost pretty much an entire day.

This last pic is a test fit of a few of the finished pieces, to give an idea of what it might look like done. I’ve held off doing the cam covers until last, due to how complicated they are. There are some more photos in the gallery at the end.


I'm the one actually trying to build this thing!