Factory correct air cleaner paint?

Old December 31st, 2011, 12:26 AM
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Al - Like everyone else here all I've seen is BLACK.....and I've seen at least a few hundred of these things on Olds's over the years in salvage yards...typically untouched "driver" type cars (ie everyday cars where there was probably not much motivation by the owner to change or modify the cars).

With that said everyone here will agree you CAN'T GO WRONG with a black air cleaner assembly from the standpoint of looking original or if you were to have the car judged for points.

BUT (as I just told a guy over on V8Buick on a question he had on Gas Tank Pads and differences b/n BOP and Chevy).....one should probably "never say never" in this hobby/business. Variations do exist (a good example seems to be floorpan undersides with the black paint and some overspray....yet there are reliable reports of some Olds's with some SERIOUS body color coverage on the underside). Different plants may have done different things and in your case it's entirely possible (or more likely) that DIFFERENT PEOPLE did different things. Who knows???---maybe a guy at the plant thought it would look cool to see if they could slip a blue air cleaner assembly on down the assembly line. Maybe they were "messing with" some guy in the line that had to do some sort of inspections on components and they thought this would be a good way to see if they could get him fired up. Maybe the inspector was from "management" and the union workers were messing with him.

It all comes down to....WHO KNOWS FOR SURE what went on and variations/intentional changes/etc probably occurred.

Here's another idea....weren't some of the Toronados made with a engine colored air cleaner (may have been the Corvair). I remember a buddy buying one at a salvage place just for a wall-hanger piece because it looked cool. Had two long, narrow forward pointing snorkels on it. If it was an Olds feature at some point maybe some assembly line guy decided if it looked cool on the Toro air cleaner then let's see how it would look on a 442 piece. Or maybe a prior owner always "liked that look" and stripped off the black and painted it engine color. We all know that customizing came along LONG BEFORE this restoration stuff on these musclecars.

As mentioned, the air cleaners were sprayed with black right over bare metal....no priming, etc. It may be too late now but you could have possibly done a close inspection of the bare metal surface to see if it had been "disturbed" at all (ie evidence of sandpaper marks, beadblasting patterns, etc that would lead us to believe it had been stripped of its original finish AFTER THE CAR WAS SOLD NEW and then repainted in the blue). The undisturbed, bare metal surfaces have a unique look to them....stripping with a solvent or paint stripper and NO ABRASIVES would leave this unique finish.

What about up in the Thermac flapper area on the snorkel underside??....maybe a prior owner didn't do a 100% stripping job and left some evidence of a black paint up in there? (however there may not be any evidence left there if you did a more thorough job).

It's a definite mystery and a cool one at that.

Did you remove that other "valve" that sits inside the air cleaner base next to the carb opening? (Typically a dark plastic thing with big "AC" letters on it...two vacuum hoses attach to it on the underside of the aircleaner base).....it has a small gasket under it that if not removed before would have protected any original finish under it).

Digging for clues here.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 03:05 PM
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I sand blasted the air cleaner I picked up at a swap meet for a 455, primed with Duplicolor primer and 2 coats of their semi-gloss black. Came out great, even for using a rattle can!
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