Sleepwalker

I’m sure I’m going to open up a big ol’ can of worms on this one, but I would love to get some real life personal thoughts on this. Understanding that we all have a point of view that might be wrong to someone else, but to us it is as real as the rust in the floor pans. I would also like to stay away from the “I know this guy whose brother had a friend that said…” stories, if possible.
The question I have is the ever popular engine tin “clean up”. (Chrome, Polish, Paint, Ect.)
In high school, California 1982, I had a 68 Bug and everything I could find for the engine compartment was chromed. I don’t remember having any heating issues back then and it was my only car, so a "daily driver". With the thoughts of seeing the looks on the faces when I opened up the hood still fresh in my mind. Fast forward 25 years, now I’m getting a 74 super ready to put back on the road. While I have aged 25 years and learned a lot, the surfer kid in me screams “Chrome It, Chrome It” every time I pop this one open. So I’m looking for options to balance the Engineering side of me with the Surfer Kid.
Here are my thoughts on the tin issue, I would love to hear yours.
Standard Tin:
Seems to be loved by most. It is paintable and would allow for some color matching, or contrasting, for a good custom look. But once you get away from the standard engine paint colors, how well does it hold up?
Chrome Tin:
Loved by some for “the look”, seems to be hated by others for the heat retention. I really don’t understand how acid etching and electroplating the same metal that you are painting can add that much of a heat retention issue. We are not talking about the issues that VW had with the internal parts those were made of Chromoly, actually the earlier equivalent to it. So that old argument is a mute point as they are completely different in composition and characteristics. But given the same build, internal cooling veins, material, ect. , is it “That” bad?
Stainless Steel:
I see where I can get the firewall made out of this, is it available for the rest of the tin as well? I would think that the heat issue would still be there if it were made of 304 or 316? But it could be polished up to achieve the same “look”.
Aluminum:
It’s not like we are putting that much strain on the parts, except the dog house and Generator / Alternator stand I would think it would be ok.  Anyone know of a source, Pros, Cons? Again could be polished up to achieve the same “look”.

Thanks for your time,
just trying to make an educated decision.
Dan

"He who knows enough to learn, knows enough"
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fatalifeaten
you forgot Powdercoating...

All kidding aside, stock black does cool best. Having said that, if you take into account the potential for something completely chromed out to build up extra heat and you have sufficient cooling in place (like an external cooler for example), then you're probably never going to have to worry about it.

Build and accessorize the way you want to , it's your vision

Daily Driven Dubz Phoenix AZ Family


'66 Deluxe
'63 Deluxe ragtop
'61 Deluxe
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68autobug
 
Back in the 50s & 60s Volkswagen added chromed tappet covers to all beetles sold in the artic region of europe.
they did this as chrome holds the heat...
 
You do see engines totally chromed at VW shows...
 
not only that, but the poor fitting aftermarket stuff doesn't really fit too well.. so a lot of air can escape..
 
Ceramic muffler systems??   look great...
 
I believe You can paint the tinware virtually any color so long as You use up all the bits...  [no leaving any out]
 
Here is a pic of My tinware from over No 3 & No 4 cylinders..
 
Lee
 
http://www.superbeetles.com/index.htm

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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68autobug

this was using engine enamel...

Maybe I need Hi temp paint for over the heads..??

although I haven't been running the tinware under the pushrod tubes..

so, that is the probable cause of overheating..

Lee
68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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Sleepwalker

Fatal,
I guess I always look at “Powder Coating” as just a different way to apply paint. But now that I think about that at my work we use it a lot for the parts on robotic arms. Mainly due to the added resistance of scratches and wear ability. Something I will look into as far as heat is concerned, will post what I find out.
Autobug,
The picture in your first post is exactly why I have asked for “real world” thoughts and ideas from everyone here. Thank you for taking the time to post it. I do remember having to “massage” the tin ware on my 68, better stated “beat into submission”, and the fit was never quite right. I’m not ruling out any viable ideas at this point for the cleanup of the tin. And as I’ve told my customers many times “I don’t engineer extra parts into the system just for fun”, I do agree with you in the use of all the tin for correct cooling.

Anyone know if it is possible to pigment white High Heat paint to resolve the blistering effect, without the pigment breaking down due to it?

While I’m thinking about it, who sells “the best” tin parts? Seeing as how I will be driving this car I would like to be able to prep and finish all the parts ahead of time. Even within retailers, there seem to be 5 or 6 different manufacturers of the parts. Ones to stay away from, ones to go with, complete kits?


Thanks for the replies, it is great to have a place to bounce ideas off knowledgeable people.

"He who knows enough to learn, knows enough"
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fatalifeaten
Scat has a total seal tin set that's supposed to be pretty good.
Daily Driven Dubz Phoenix AZ Family


'66 Deluxe
'63 Deluxe ragtop
'61 Deluxe
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Jerky_san

Personally I had a chrome doghouse and everything since I thought it would look nice since my car was originally a show car.. It was great at first but then my engine started overheating.. What finally through me over the edge was when i was going down the highway and white smoke was blowing out the back like a plan in WW2 that just got shot down.. So I took all the chrome off and put all my normal tin back on and its never overheated since.. Can drive down the hw all i want now..

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YELLRHD
In my experience with aftermarket tins it turns out that the best fitting tin available is the original tin that came from the factory.
Finding a complete matching set is the hard part and of course over the years many have been bent or modified so it makes it even harder to find a clean complete set.

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ljohn
For original tin try http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/ 
should be able to find the engine tin there

My vote goes to Powdercoating tough stuff and comes in an array
of colors..........
LJohn
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68autobug
 
yes I agree with powder coating
but its much more expensive than pressure pack painting...
although maybe cheaper than chrome plating which over here is Very expensive.
 
I am currently rubbing all the old paint off my tinware and am using 1500 degree High temperature paint...  Black , Red and Metallic silver.
 
as i run My beetle during summer with the engine lid open at the top
I do wax My engine every month or less..
 
as All My tinware will be used this time... ??
I am hoping for no more bubbled cracked paint over the heads.
 
Yes I agree, the best tinware is the original VW made tinware...
 
Lee
 
http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
 
68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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