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VW Cabriolet Luv-A-Dub Update Engine Bay Paint

Published on July 9, 2013 under Luv A Dub
mk1 VR6 Cabriolet VR6

Engine bay before paint

Last week I polled the audience about painting the engine bay of the Cabby to prep it for the VR6. A simple factory Tornado Red! I was able to get a slight discount on some professionally mixed paint and the hardener. Let me just say, automotive paint is freaking expensive.

When I bought my air compressor a few years ago, it came with a paint gun. Like a lot of things that come in a set, I am sure this is the cheapest paint gun ever. I am painting the engine bay so it does not have to be professional grade, but I still wanted it to look nice. I got my paint and gun, and was ready to paint, or so I thought. I was missing the fitting to hook the gun to the air hose. A quick trip to Auto Zone, and I was back in business.

I mixed the paint and chemical hardener, and started to paint. I quickly realized that getting the paintspray pattern right is an art. The painting went something like this:

mk1 VR6 Cabriolet VR6

The result of poor spraying skills

  • Spray paint, globs of paint come out of the gun.
  • Adjust the pressure on the compressor
  • Spray paint, slightly less globs, but still too much paint
  • Adjust the pressure on the compressor
  • Spray paint, almost right
  • Adjust the pressure on the compressor
  • Spray paint, FINALLY I got it right
  • Run out of paint. :/

By the time I got the spray right, and the hang of the paint sweep, I ran out of paint. I am pretty sure that paint should have been more than enough to cover the engine bay. The engine bay was now splotchy with red, and missing paint in some spots. Like I had said, it’s the engine bay. It does not need to look perfect, but this looked awful.

After some mulling around(aka being mad about the poor job I did) I decided to head back to the auto parts store and pick up some rattle can spray paint. I was able to even out almost all the paint with the rattle cans. Unlike using an air powered paint gun, I can spray paint pretty well. Overall it came out pretty good. I have a few paint drips that need to be sanded and cleaned up. The red rattle can color is not an exact factory match, but it’s close.

So what is the next step? Well I should be bolting the engine in this weekend. After the engine is bolted in, it’s baby steps to get the car running. I was thinking that it may be fun to do a little contest. The sweet prize will be bragging rights. Post in the comments the date you think will be the first start up of the engine. My guess is August 16th. What do you think?

You can also go back and check out all of the progress we have made over the last year at Luv-A-Dub. Or click the tab at the top of the page.

mk1 VR6 Cabriolet VR6

After the respray

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12 Comments

      1. Mimir Commun

        I agree, Charles. Painting vehicles is an art form that requires a steady hand and immaculate precision and patience – just like a tattoo artist. I work at an auto paint and body and one of the painters that I work with is known all throughout Las Vegas as a master painter. He actually gets calls from different auto shops to paint classic vehicles and other high end automobiles simply because they know he does an amazing job! Imagine that! Getting requested from another auto paint shop to do paint work! I’d love to be at that level.

  1. Alex willson

    Hi,
    It seems you have done lots of hard work related spraying skills.
    I completely agree with you as painting is one of the important aspect related to the looks of the vehicle.
    One can easily differentiate between a well painted and a ugly painted car.
    It is really a art which can not be learned in a day it seriously requires a lots of patience’s.

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