How to make exhaust bolts look perfect - Hagerty Media
We are getting oh-so-close to the point where we can shove our Redline Rebuild big-block 396 back into its home—our Hugger Orange 1969 Camaro. The V-8’s time on the engine stand is coming to a close, hopefully, so it’s all about making the finishing touches just right.
A common problem when it comes to the hardware on engines, is that if you paint the bolts beforehand, they are bound to chip during assembly. Paint after, and you will spend an entire afternoon dabbing on paint that won’t look much better than the chipped option. Necessity being the mother of invention, Davin shared with us a new method for finishing exhaust manifold bolts.
It’s called manifold dressing, a process in which the coating sprays on just like you would for engine enamel paint. The key difference is that the manifold dressing needs to be baked at 600 degrees to cure properly and will change color when the process is complete. Davin’s wife was, shockingly, against the idea of cranking up their kitchen stove for a casserole of baked bolts, so Davin began to look around the shop for ways to create the oven he needed.
Enter the Mini-Ducter, which uses inductive heat to help free stuck hardware in places a flame simply cannot go. It also easily and safely heats the manifold bolts to cure the dressing. It is certainly overkill to buy one just for something like curing manifold dressing, but Davin has to pull apart some rough engines for the Redline Rebuild series and the Mini-Ducter has proved itself a great tool for our needs. A perfect solution.
With the exhaust manifolds on, the front accessories and other ancillary items get bolted up and the whole package gets settled onto the run stand to fire it for the first time and check for leaks. Don’t get too excited, though; you won’t hear it in this video. That rumbling exhaust note will be reserved for the final cut of the time-lapse Redline Rebuild hitting the Internet tomorrow. If you want to be the first to hear it, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube page to get a notification when it goes live.