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Hagerty Employee

The slippery slope of engine compartment cleanup

Last September, in the good old pre-virus days—when you could drop everything, borrow a truck, rent a U-Haul auto transporter, drive 5 1/2 hours each way to look at a car (so you’re prepared, just in case you want to pull the trigger on it), drag the car back, and spend hours in a garage breathing the same air with someone you’ve never met—I bought a 48,000-mile 1973 BMW 2002 from its original owner...


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Pit Crew

Had a '72 El Camino that the engine needed regasketing.  Turned into a complete resto mod in no time at all.

New Driver

Don't make the mistake I did of selecting a paint color over the internet.  When I sent my paint-ready TR3 to the shop to be sprayed the original Silverstone Grey I included a list of all the paint codes for that color I could find.  The painter called the next day and said he couldn't match the codes - all were too old.  He sent me several choices from his supplier via email.  I picked one and told him.  He asked me if I would like a sprayout.  My lazy self said Nahhh, it's and hour's drive to see it.  Now it's obvious that the color he was seeing was not the color filtered through the internet to me.  In fact there were 2 internet filters - supplier to painter and painter to me.  The color was way too light.  Most people think it is white.  In the end, their work was good and there are so few Silverstone Grey cars, most people wouldn't even know and I'm happy with the job.

New Driver

Yeah...  Mine started with, "I just need to touch up the paint on heads" on my '48 Ford....  A year later and I am "almost done" under the hood!


Couple of observations: Even in the BMW world, it is acceptable to replace things like battery trays because even in the BMW world nothing lasts forever, particularly a battery tray. You could throw the scaly original in the trunk to impress a prospective buyer.

The slight "darkening" of the underhood paint: Was it uniform on both inner fenders? If so, it hadn't darkened. Think for just a second. How often would the car have been parked out in the sun with the hood open? And to get white paint in particular to darken noticeably, it has to be subjected to enough heat to nearly burn it. Everything made of plastic would have melted at the same time the paint changed color. The reality is that the exterior has faded to the point where the difference is noticeable. White paint gets whiter with exposure to the sun.

If you find yourself in the position of having to scrape crud off of things you don't want to scratch up, try using a hard plastic trim removal tool. They are inexpensive enough to be considered sacrificial but do a great job, and any slight marring of the surface can be polished out whether it's aluminum or paint.

Pit Crew

well, you could buy something for $45 and using all 4 cans, paint the item in the same rotation and timing, thereby creating a whole new item only investing $90. LOL. reminds me of something I always wanted, a 67 Chevy Pickup, maybe their best styling job ever. ONE PROBLEM; its a 3/4 ton, how hard could it be to change it to half ton..........................lets just say it would have been cheaper to buy a donor rustbucket except that they don't even exist anymore.