The 13B Rebuild Chronicles :: Chapter 2 :: Engine Painting

26 01 2009

Okay, this may not be the most important part of rebuilding the 13B, but I needed it to give me a morale boost.  Here’s what has happened since my last post in November: not much!  I kept putting off starting the rebuild due to never quite having the appropriate funds available for the rebuild kit and replacement rotors that I needed.   Between the two one would normally spend about $1100-$1400. So, I lost myself in the holiday season and only just emerged a couple weekends ago to start the process in earnest.

With the new racing season fast approaching (Feb) I made a commitment to really get cracking and get my car done so that I can race a full season this year.  I jumped on eBay a week ago and, lo and behold, found someone selling a brand new, still shrink wrapped, Atkins Rotary master rebuild kit…for only $600…score!!  I scooped that up and at the same time found a set of decent used rotors for $56.  Hurdle number one jumped.

Then last weekend I went Harbor Freight and picked up their 1,000lb engine stand. I messed around for half a day trying to find a metal shop locally who could build me an engine stand adapter – like the ones that Pineapple Racing sells – only to discover that I really didn’t need it.  Not sure if it is just a myth or if Harbor Freight has changed their engine stands, but my end plate bolts up directly onto the engine stand without need for an adapter!  Another $60 saved!  My Scotch ancestors are smiling down on me 🙂

I then drove all the way to New Port Richey to pick up a parts washer from Harbor Freight there. The local Harbor Freight had a run on parts washers (yah, believe it). They sold their entitre inventory of parts washers out in one day, and it caught them so off guard that they couldn’t reorder in time to get a few of the 300 sitting in their warehouse to the store. Strange, but true.

Alright, finally to the good stuff.

This weekend, I hit the shop and with my hands submerged in mineral spirits proceeded to clean of and prep my end plates, rotor housings etc.  I got them all nice and clean and proceeded to paint them. I chose traditional Mazda blue and white color scheme.  I spent a lot of time masking off all contact surfaces where gaskets would need to be mounted as well as bolt holes, etc. etc. Not sure if I needed to be that anal, but I figured I would rather spend the time and do it right than blow my engine out because of a bad seal caused by paint where it doesn’t belong.

Here’s the photo story:

Beautiful, ain’t she?  How is it that a man can feel this way about hunks of metal?  It is a wonderous thing.

Grant Boshoff
Thrust Motorsports

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