Join Date: Mar 2017
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Wrinkle paint on coolant reservoir
Hi everyone. Figured I would go ahead and begin sharing the progress on my latest project; painting the coolant reservoir tank.
Attachment 1 shows my engine compartment prior to starting this project. Looks pretty good, but the washer fluid and coolant reservoirs stick out like sore thumbs! Clearly something had to be done. The bright yellow washer fluid cap and engine oil dipstick's days are also numbered, but today I'm just working on the coolant reservoir.
Removing the coolant reservoir was pretty easy. I took the airbox out first to make some extra room, then drained most of the coolant in the tank with a siphon into a bucket. I'll put some new fluid in at the end, and since I've captured the original fluid I'll know about how much to replace. There's a couple of hoses to remove from the reservoir tank. The bottom one is a bit difficult to access, but having the airbox out of the way is a big help. I left the coolant tank's cap on and plugged the other vent hole on the top to make it airtight, so that when I made the final lower disconnect, virtually no coolant was lost before I flipped the tank upward and brought it out. I had a twist tie ready to hold the lower hose upright to prevent it from draining.
The tank has some raised lettering on the top surface which I sanded out with 400 superfine grit sandpaper. I left the Pentastar logo alone. Attachment 2 shows the reservoir tank after I gave it a thorough roughening. I then wiped it down with isopropyl alcohol, taped off the cap and tube inlets, and set up to paint.
I decided to try VHT Wrinkle Plus, which I found at AutoZone. It's supposed to give you a textured black surface, and did not disappoint. Just followed the instructions on the can. Attachment 3 shows the tank a short time after the third (last) coat, at which point you can start to see some of the wrinkling coming out on the lower half. Attachments 4 and 5 show the side and top views of the tank the next morning, about 12 hours later.
I'm very happy with the results so far, and particularly happy with the cost which about ten bucks. I'm going to give it another day to dry, then bake it for the recommended 20 minutes at 200 F before reinstalling everything. I'll post a follow-up reply with the final product in back in the engine compartment once its done.
2016 Challenger R/T; super track pack, ivory white tricoat paint, Corsa Xtreme catback, drilled/slotted rotors with ceramic brakes, some other stuff...