Engine Bay Dress up - Ford Windsor

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After many years of rod runs, cruise nights and driving to swap meets my trusty old 302 Ford Windsor powered Galaxie was in need of a spruce up.  The engine is running fine so there was no need to pull it out and I do not have the time to do that and paint it all again anyway so this had to be a reasonably quick engine dress up to make it look respectable again.

BEFORE                                  AFTER


I'll admit I do not get time to use it as much as I would like to, however after 14 years it was just starting to look a bit down in the engine bay with rusty water marks, oxidisation of some alloy and brass parts. So I did some maintenance like replace rubber fuel lines and coolant, fix leaks, polish up all the shinny parts and install some of our polished stainless steel bolt products to replace the rusty old original OEM bolts and really set it off. 


The standard mild steel extractor bolts used to be a nice black colour but as you can see above they just looked rusty and terrible. The after pic below shows our polished 316 stainless steel hex socket caps header bolts installed and our polished SS button heads holding the Moroso rocker cover down.

I had recently upgraded the brakes to a dual piston master cylinder from an XB Falcon and put new brake lines through however I thought I would try our polished stainless steel dome nuts in place of the original nuts.  In some respects once the shinny dome nuts are installed you really do not notice them however the old panted and rusty nuts stand out like K9 gonads.


Some of the other annouying parts of the engine was that I had nice chrome alternator and power steering brackets etc. yet they were all held on with the old bolts.


So I fixed that and while I was there I replaced all the old water pump bolts with polished stainless steel hex socket caps too, see photo below.

We also have these cool looking fine thread polished SS bolts to do the water pump pulley too.


The following pics show you how I went about cleaning up all the polished and chrome parts on the engine.  The inlet manifold had been professionally polished some 20 odd years ago now but it needed some good cutters with a polishing action to remove the rusty water stains and oxidisation.

Nothing short of a lot of time, effort and sore fingers weet into polishing it back up again. Now some of you will be thinking why not pull it off and get it polished again at the polishers, wouldn't that be easier? Well yes it is easier for the polisher to run it up on the buff, however it boils down to your budget and time. It is great if you want to have it all done the right way, yet I have seen guys put this type of work off, time again because of lack of funds or lack of time and it just never ends up being done.  If you have more than one car your available funds to spend on them can be stretched pretty thin.  Also consider having to clean all the old gaskets off and reseal everything when it goes back together.  As a rule of thumb consider this ... "every part of the engine you end up pulling apart, usually requires more new parts to put it back together again" ... or ..... " if it aint broke' don't fix it, just clean it" ......


As you can see above it is comming up a treat, I find the RE-PO extra cut cream polish excellent for this sort of work however once done it will look a little dull, so you will need to go over it with a proper alloy polish or paste like that for alloy wheels, or use the Brite Shine cotton wads like I did to go over it to bring out the lusture of the polished alloy.  For the chrome rocker covers I used the same polish, however to really detail them properly I removed the bolts and polished right down into the corners.

Now that we have cleaned up the engine it is time to install some nice shinny stainless bolts. To ensure that I end up with no oil or water leaks I was careful to replace only one bolt at a time.  Most important is to coat the stainless steel bolt thread with some Nickel based anti seize compound to stop galling of the threads. Galling on stainless steel threads can lock a bolt up so tight once installed that they can snap the next time you go to undo them and it is hard work using easy outs to get the remainder of the bolt out of the hole.


Now torque each bolt down as you go, remember as a rule of thumb you torque a stainless steel bolt down to no more than approx 2/3 of the usual tightening torque of the original size grade 5 bolt. As you can see below it is coming along nicely, so much so I decided to polish up all the brass fittings like the temperature sender, heater hose fitting and the dizzy housing was a bit ratty so I buffed that up too.


So there you have it the finished engine in the photo below. This is a lot more respectable now and should serve us well until something more major needs doing to the donk in the future ,when ever that may be.

The products used in this engine dress up are shown below.

Ford Windsor Spruce up

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