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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.
 

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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.



I was about to give you crap about it until I noticed you masked out the fill line.


Looks very nice, well done!
 

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Nice job !! I had my tank paInt OEM color, not that talent or patient .lol
It’s held up great all most 2 years = 10,000 miles ,at the same time I had the
+ battery terminal cap painted .
It makes a big difference in the engine bay IMO
 

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Good job...I hope the paint holds onto the plastic for you...the only thing different I would have done is put a plastic adhesion promoter on after the scuffing and before the paint
Thanks! I thought about whether I should use a promoter, and ultimately decided I'd see how things went without it. I'll keep the thread updated if there's any deterioration.
 

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Nice job !! I had my tank paInt OEM color, not that talent or patient .lol
It’s held up great all most 2 years = 10,000 miles ,at the same time I had the
+ battery terminal cap painted .
It makes a big difference in the engine bay IMO
Thanks! Honestly though, the only reason I opted to paint this myself is because the paint is specifically designed to wrinkle into a textured surface. I've never been very satisfied with my own paint jobs with traditional spray paint, never looked smooth/uniform enough. If I were doing a smooth glossier surface like yours, I'm not sure how good I could do.

I like the way your paint job handled the fill level viewport, I think I prefer your taller viewport alongside the fill level indicators. I wish I'd seen that before I started mine!
 

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Finished and reinstalled!

The paint is solid to the touch and handling, but is not holding up to firm scraping with a screwdriver. However, I'm only 36 hours into the recommended 48 hour dry time. I hope it will harden further over the next few days. Even if it does not, the reservoir certainly shouldn't see much abuse inside the engine compartment. If I were to ever make a second attempt, I might try an adhesion promoter as charginscott suggested.

Attachments 1 and 2 show the finished product installed. Attachment 1 shows a particularly interesting detail; see top of the tank at the bottom of the photo, the raised Pentastar logo can still be seen in the paint!
 

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I applaud the work, and it does look great!

My question though, is won't crinkle paint be an adhesion promoter for dust? Or isn't it that rough?
 

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I applaud the work, and it does look great!

My question though, is won't crinkle paint be an adhesion promoter for dust? Or isn't it that rough?
Thanks man, I appreciate the compliment.

While I haven't had it long enough to verify, I imagine that it could have a tendency to collect dust. Its not a very deep wrinkle though so if it does, I don't think its going to hold onto the dust very strongly. I'll update over time as I learn more about it.
 

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Gloss is a dust collector, lol. I know why they have all that textured plastic under hood, because it doesn't show the dust and water spots as much ;)

A Guy
 

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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.
How did you bake it?
 

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How did you bake it?
Well I was afraid of overheating the plastic tank so I ended up setting my oven to 170 F, and baked it in the oven for 20 minutes periodically opening the door to release some heat to keep it from getting to hot. I put one oven rack on the top rack level of my oven, and used some scrap metal hooks to suspend the tank from its two bolt holes. By hanging it this way, it fits in a standard sized oven without touching any of the oven surfaces.
 

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Well I was afraid of overheating the plastic tank so I ended up setting my oven to 170 F, and baked it in the oven for 20 minutes periodically opening the door to release some heat to keep it from getting to hot. I put one oven rack on the top rack level of my oven, and used some scrap metal hooks to suspend the tank from its two bolt holes. By hanging it this way, it fits in a standard sized oven without touching any of the oven surfaces.
You (or your wife) aren't worried about the toxicity of the gases released from the paint onto the surface of your oven? I ask, because a few years ago I was dabbling in powdercoating, and numerous sites and suppliers warned against baking in ovens that would be used to cook food.
 

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You (or your wife) aren't worried about the toxicity of the gases released from the paint onto the surface of your oven? I ask, because a few years ago I was dabbling in powdercoating, and numerous sites and suppliers warned against baking in ovens that would be used to cook food.
Thanks man, that's actually a really good point to consider.

I know that my tank wasn't getting too hot, or wasn't degassing (smelling) much anyways. Now I'm just talking out of my ass to some extent here, but my line of thinking is that the oven walls are going to be much hotter than the tank, so anything that came off the tank should have a hard time sticking to the hotter oven walls. I left the oven door open afterwards to air out and had no residual smells, so I feel fairly confident that there was no significant amount of deposition on the oven walls.
 

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One week update

I mentioned above that I was somewhat concerned about how the paint would dry on the plastic tank, but one week in and the paint has definitely set up well. Clearly its a pretty slow cure, but the paint is solid now. I have a couple of blemishes from reinstalling the tank at 36 hours dry time. I would definitely recommend waiting longer, maybe 72 hours if possible, before reinstalling.
 
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