Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Paint the valve covers?

  1. #1
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington, the state
    Posts
    276

    Paint the valve covers?

    I have a 1974 R90/6 that had a poor home life...she now expects better. I honed the cylinders and painted them black, used the oven to cure the paint...lucky for me my wife was away for the weekend, the smell of old cylinders and paint, well, I was surprised. Heads were stripped and a friend lapped and cleaned up the valves and head. Prior to this work I bead blasted the years of neglect off the metal fins. The cylinders being so clean took the new paint very well, it looks and feels real tough/long lasting. I am stuck as to what if any treatment I should apply to heads and valve covers. They are both bead blasted and i would guess would get dirty fast when riding. On my other bikes I use WD40 applied w. A scotch brite pad. They clean up quickly after getting dirty. What I am looking for is comments on the results of paint and what color the silver might be, or maybe black. What are the pros and cons on paint to the heads and valve covers? I have never painted engine parts on any of my bikes.
    Thanks!
    Kurt
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
    Airhead Revival
    "Objects in the mirror appear to be losing" unk

  2. #2
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    1,965

    painted cylinders ?

    I think the cylinders and engine block parts on airheads are left bare aluminum for proper cooling. I can't recall seeing any painted cylinders and I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that is the reason. The valve covers on some models however are painted.

    Someone should be along to correct me any moment though.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  3. #3
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington, the state
    Posts
    276

    1974-76 R90S painted

    The R90S models, 1974-76, had black barrels. That is the only model I can think of or visualize. I am just doing this for fun, I always stick to original specs as a rule but thought this bike would be fun to make a few changes. I have never had bead blasted metal so I also don't know what to expect as far as how quickly the fins get dirty.
    kurt
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
    Airhead Revival
    "Objects in the mirror appear to be losing" unk

  4. #4
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    13,058
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  5. #5
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Houston, TX or Portland, OR
    Posts
    336
    I had the valve covers on my /7 powder coated a number of years ago (almost 17- yikes!) and really like it for its durability. I've also had the wheels (Lesters) and luggage rack powder coated. However, I've had a couple of garage tip-overs that scraped the valve covers on the bottom- those spots I patched with VHT black engine enamel couple of years ago and it has held up fairly well. For what it's worth, I have the valve covers off of my RS and plan to paint them with the VHT this weekend since I have it on-hand already and don't have any other parts to take to the powdercoater to make it cost-palatable. I doubt it will last as long though. I agree with the posts in the links Kurt sent- high heat paint is probably not necessary on the valve covers, but I think it would be for the heads/cylinders.

    I had the cylinders and heads bead blasted on the /7 when I had the valve guides replaced in 2005- still looks nice and I like it, although it lost its "just out of the package" shine after only a few months. I used VHT on the cylinders of my old Triumph 750 when I rebuilt it in the '80's. it looked good and lasted for the two years that I owned the bike, but I followed the instructions and baked them in the oven (those old iron cylinders got hot at speed).
    Last edited by jad01; 11-11-2013 at 04:37 PM.
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '02 325ci (Blue Streak)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas & freshly greased bearings!)

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    972
    I went to the local (large) hardware store, and they had a brand name (I think Rustoleum, maybe Krylon) engine paint in satin black. It was perfect and all I did was to clean the valve covers thoroughly, and dress up the scrapes on the bottom from Previous owner, lightly steel wooled, and washed with paint thinner, then lacquer thinner. The paint was touted as primer/finish in one can, so I sprayed it on. Put them in the oven (wife not home!) and let them sit there for about 1/2 hour at around 150 to 200 degrees (hot enough to heat paint, but not so hot to bubble the paint), and turned oven off, and let them slowly cool down in there.

    I re-installed, then I took medium wet or dry paper on a flat sanding block to enhance the ribs.

    Not perfect, like new, but pretty darn good. I was once commended that they looked pretty good. I didn't tell him how I did it.

    Easy to do. I know it isn't 14-year permanent, so it can be done very easily during a valve adjustment every couple of years or so.

  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    4,784
    Don't paint /6 valve covers ... eeew.

    So many of these poor old/fine old bikes have been insulted enough. Keep 'em stock.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    972
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Don't paint /6 valve covers ... eeew.

    So many of these poor old/fine old bikes have been insulted enough. Keep 'em stock.
    Mine is a /7.

    However, the owner should do what he wants. In my opinion, the bikes look nicer with the covers painted. Mine were originally that way.

    How does a piece of metal, plastic and rubber get insulted?


    I would bet that your bike isn't 100% original BMW, is it? Tires? battery? light bulbs, etc. etc.

  9. #9
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    13,058
    Go carbon fiber valve covers! Sort of...

    http://airheadpartsonline.com/produc...-valve-covers/
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    972
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Go carbon fiber valve covers! Sort of...

    http://airheadpartsonline.com/produc...-valve-covers/
    Oooooo! Very sexy! Now that's what I need!!

    NO thanks!

  11. #11
    Registered User kwb210's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington, the state
    Posts
    276

    I generally agree

    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Don't paint /6 valve covers ... eeew.

    So many of these poor old/fine old bikes have been insulted enough. Keep 'em stock.
    Yeah, I know what you are saying. I am one of those "wave" washer correct guys. First thing I look at on a bike is for correct washers and general fasteners. Then take a look and see if there is a fiber washer on the carb port...and wonder why it was not put back on after balancing...just the way I am.
    I figure I can always bead blast the paint back off, or, my luck it will just begin to peel and flake!
    I am going forward with paint, see how she looks, and then decide. This is the first bike I have made any real changes to. A Corbin seat rather than stock and Lester wheels and a different set of handle bars from stock. Oh, a MAC two into one exhaust. That's about as much as I can stand from stock!
    Thanks for the comments! It's what makes this forum fun!
    Best regards,
    Kurt
    1977 R100/7 1971.1972.1972.1973 R75/5
    1974 R90/6 multiple boxes
    Airhead Revival
    "Objects in the mirror appear to be losing" unk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •