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Customs opinion on dressing up the engine

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jcs64, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. jcs64
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 528


    i wouldn't mind some finned valvecovers but the fact that im CHEAP forces me to be creative w/ what i have :)
    (unless someone has a killer deal on a set for me)

  2. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,038


    This is a great place for me to go off on pin-striping. Most of those who practice this craft are good, if not great at creating pin stripes; they have practiced their craft and some are artists- but, all are ego-maniacs looking for a canvas, and few know the virtue of when 'enough is enough'. Not every car benefits from their work. Why? Because they forget the simplest rule of those whose duty should be to compliment what is already there, rather than slathering on fantastic, stand-alone designs that are fine in their own right but wrong for the car. I have seen many customs that look like the wall-paper in a cat house has been copied directly onto their metal. And, most of them have lines so thick it looks like the stuff I did with my sister's finger nail polish brush. Take your car for instance, certain lines down the side would be perfect if they weren't the color of whatever can of One Shot the pin-striper has in his box that day. Use a color chart, decide if you want a color that compliments the paint, or is a good contrast that doesn't look like a Sunset Boulevard Hooker color. And, as for other things, there are certain pin-stripers who set the trend for things on the hood, or deck lid. However, they were innovators, and didn't overdo what they did. I like simple things, because the reason the builder took the ornaments off in the first place was to draw attention away from those places; overambitious pin-stripers just bring it back in aces and spades. Hmm. I always thought aluminum valve covers, like aluminum heads came about because they helped cool the engine. Most old timers painted everything black because it wicks heat best. Same reason for a brass radiator having a lamp-black based covering on it. And, we all have a blind spot when it comes to tacky. It comes from not having enough knowledge, or experience to know better. Good style comes from a consistent insistence in never cutting corners and never accepting something inferior to our vision of the finished product. Just because you have something, or can make something to go on does not end up being part of a cohesive whole when people look at your car. I have gazed at magazine shots from the early years and generally, nothing was too much; the general consensus being that too much is too much, and too little only means you are getting close to perfect. Restraint is always good. It keeps you from going overboard. You have a damn fine car and as simple as it looks, it should reflect that under the hood.
  3. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 2,477


  4. jcs64
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 528


    couldn't agree more on the less is more argument, its exactly why i had to take a step back on this.
  5. daliant
    Joined: Nov 25, 2009
    Posts: 684


    The look of the engine compartment doesn't fit the rest of the car, which is beautiful btw. It's kinda hard to dress up a small block mopar to make it look like it belongs in a pre muscle car era ride. First off, sorry but I'm not a fan of the trim pieces on the valve covers and the battery, I would just take the handle off the battery and peel the stickers from it. The valve covers looked ok without the trim, they're nice and simple looking just the rubber hose for the pcv kinda looks out of place, I'd replace the hose with a nicely bent up piece of 3/8" steel line and just make the connections with a couple of short pieces of hose.
    Next to go would be the air cleaner, it would look fine on a 69 Dart but not on a 50's custom, I'd replace it with a large 50's style oil bath filter but if that's not in the budget just paint it black and cover the front half of the filter opening with the trim you put on the valve covers just to hide the element.
    That radiator needs a little semi gloss black on it to help it blend better, the hose isn't very sexy either but at least it's black, same thing with the dryer duct for the heater, a little flat black to help it blend into the background better.

    Here's my 318 in my '46, that's about the best I can do to make a 318 look like it belongs in a 46 plymouth.
  6. harleycontracter
    Joined: Aug 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,968


    Just started to put the motor together but this car unlike my other 32 NO chrome billet etc..... Just paint and detailing. IMO looks as good maybe better and a lot less $$$

    You car looks awesome !!!! FullSizeRenderMA31814584-0001.jpg
  7. jcs64
    Joined: Apr 25, 2005
    Posts: 528


    ok so I know we agreed less was more, but I decided to keep going forward w/ what I had and see what happened.
    I hit up all the locals that should have had old style air cleaners kicking around and came up w/ only One rotted out one :-(
    So in the interest of forward progress, I kept working w/ shapes I had, all while picturing a final "rounded oil bath" look.
    Im debating painting the valve covers white, but common sense tells me it would be a bitch to keep the nooks and crannies clean. (I also toned down the quilted look on the V/C inserts w/ simple extruded alum strips, which are also used in the interior)

    Except for a few simple green pin stripes around the white on the air cleaner, this will probably be how the engine will look this season. Once swap meet season starts up around here, Ill start looking again.

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  8. i like the ingenuity!
    reminds me of an overhead light in my grandmothers house.
    prewarcars4me likes this.
  9. Your right,it does! :D HRP
  10. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,026

    from Dublin, OH

    I think I saw Audrey Hepburn wear that ''hair'' cleaner in Breakfast at Tiffany's!
    All kidding aside, it's time for you to look at some old customs with nicely detailed engine compartments for inspiration.
    I'm sure there is a thread on engine compartments on here somewhere.
    Neat and clean is always a good start. Dress the wiring harnesses with friction tape for an era correct look, get rid of all the white wire ties, don't have to many colors everywhere, Auto Zone has a great set of universal black plug wires for $18, and lastly get rid of anything that is corrugated i.e. radiator hoses, the dryer vent tubing.
    You have built a stunning custom, so we know you have good taste!
  11. nickk
    Joined: Feb 2, 2011
    Posts: 749


    I'm not even going to beat around the bush, your engine bay does not do justice for your car, your car is so bad ass, I dig it. Some folks have been giving good advice on here, and either way its your car so do what you like. I personally would pull the engine and repaint it when you have good weather. I'd lose the stainless stuff, find some clean valves covers and breather to match even if its stock, just paint it nice and lose the red plug wires. Your car is killer and deserves a engine bay with the same look. Either way your car not mine, but I'm a little jealous it isn't. Goodluck!
  12. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,615


    Your car is so smooth and your interior is so clean it's sterile but I think you're goin the wrong way under the hood is too busy. To many things goin on that don't compliment one another.
  13. bottledViolence
    Joined: Feb 19, 2009
    Posts: 172


    you could probably even just get a set of chrome valve covers for like $25 on ebay and a small chrome 4barrel air cleaner. that might be subtle but still dress it up enough

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