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Old 05-03-1999, 12:10 AM
Chris S.
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I have a 1987 300E, and after 150,000 miles the white ceramic paint has finally given up to small rust spots. This therefore ruins an otherwise near perfect engine bay, and I was wondering if there is any way to repaint/repair/restore this part to like new condition without spends wads of money to remove them and have them sandblasted and then repainted and reinstalled.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 05-03-1999, 12:45 AM
Lee Scheeler
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I don't have any experience repainting headers. I do know that 80-90% of painting is preparation. Aside from how you are going to get a good paintjob with the headers still attached, even more difficult will be preparing the surface. You may be able to paint them with a good high temp paint, but without properly preparing the surface, it just wont stick very long. Then you will have a painted AND rusting engine bay. If it is that big a deal to you, have them removed and properly done.(or DIY properly) Otherwise it may not be a bad idea to learn to live with them the way they are. Virtually all cars end up with headers that have some rust on them. Sorry I can't be the bearer of better news. If you find a way to get top quality results on that job, let us know.

Good Luck...Lee
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Old 05-03-1999, 10:47 AM
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I just did this DIY project last week on my '86 300E. I decided to do my headers while still on the car.

Like Lee said....doing a proper prep is everything. I used sanding drill bits that I bought at an auto parts store for like $12(kit). I also used the metal "toothbrush" for scrubbing the nuts. I used a shop-vac and a "tacky" cloth (also at the auto parts store) to clean up the residue powder. I then used a chemical to clean any remaining rust off. (Eastwood Company's OxiSolv rust remover #3430-pint is a good one) This took about 45 mins. and was MUCH easier than I thought it would be. Make sure you let it dry real good before you paint it.

Now...for the painting. I used Eastwood's Stainless Steel Gray High Temp Coating Part#1256Z. Ironicly, at this Saturday's Mercedes Benz Judging School...this exact product was mentioned as the "best" and "closest" to the original header's color. Everyone was really impressed when they judged my engine later that day.
Anyways...I used (as recomended) small "sponge" paint brushes and also small painters brushes to get in the tight areas.
This too, was MUCH easier than I thought and it turned out AWESOME! I think the pint of paint was like $15. Eastwood can be reached by either telephone 1-800-345-1178 and internet:

Two things about the has a shelf life unopened of one year....and only 6 months once opened. I will use it the rest of the car show season to do touch ups...I won't mind paying $15 every spring (for touch-ups) to make my headers look like new! the directions state: after you let the freshly painted headers sit over then "cure" the paint for 20 mins. By running your engine... Make sure you do this with the hood open and outside, and stay away from the car!
The headers will "smoke" and it is a nasty smelling chemical.....once the 20 mins is up you are all set!

If you have any other can email me at:

Best of luck to you!

1986 300E 138k
Board Member
Western Reserve MBCA

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