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Painting an engine block on a 1974 BMW 2002tii

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  • 4 months later...

Do whatever you want. Paint can always be removed.   Keep in mind lighter colors will show leaks and dirt more than black.


i recommend Eastwood 2 part engine paint.  I brushed it on to my very clean 72tii block.



Jim Gerock


Riviera 69 2002 built 5/30/69 "Oscar"

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My personal preference is a Satin Black color. I feel that this closest matches the original factory color.

My process for painting an engine block. 

I run Taps into every threaded hole on the block. I always start with new Taps since rusted cast iron is very tough on taps and dulls the Taps after 5-6 holes of just chasing the threads., you don't want to break a Tap in a hole! It’s best to have 2 of each 6mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm taps on hand for this, throw the used Taps away if you see them starting to twist. Blow out all the debris out of the holes with compressed air and oil the threaded holes after painting. When painting the block do not get any paint into the threaded holes or mounting flanges on the engine block. If you have ever seen a factory new in the box engine block this is how they look. When done you should be able to thread a bolt into every hole by hand.


I will take some 220 grit sandpaper and a small sanding block to every mounting flange on the block to remove any rust and old paint. Mask all the flanges before painting and lightly oil after the new paint has dried. The main reason the factory doesn't paint any of the mounting flanges is to improve the electrical grounding for the Starter motor, Alternator and Ignition system. If you paint the Starter motor, make sure that you mask the mounting flange between the starter and engine block! 


If the machine shop has already installed the Freeze plugs, I will mask them off too before painting. The VIN number flange on the block should cleaned and mask also. This should give the engine block that original factory look. 





Edited by Jeff
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