Painted the IRS Differential

Painted the IRS Differential

After I got everything taped up this week, my son and I tag-teamed painting it. While this Differential housing and cover are all aluminum with no risk to it rusting, we started off laying down a thing coat of POR-15 Rust Preventative Paint because it has superior adhesion to bare metals than the high-temp engine paints alone.

The instructions say to apply a second coat coat when it become tacky and can still be finger-dragged (rough 2-6 hours depending on temperature and humidity). Temps in the garage ranged from 85-95° so we were able to apply the second coat 90 minutes later.

I noticed some spots were dry, some wet, and some tacky. Gotta love Florida in the summer –NOT.

After 2-coats of rust preventative, it was time to lay down the POR-15 Ceramic Engine Paint. We chose to stick with the same color paints we used on the bellhousing: black was used on the housing and red went on the cover.

Each color posed its own difficulty. The black color was had to see the areas it was applied to. The red would need several coats to cover the black-colored rust preventative. Things started to shape up after 2-coats of ceramic paint.

After three coats we stopped and let it cure overnight. Using an Exacto knife, I scored where the tape would be peeled off so it wouldn’t take any extra paint with it. I also cut away the extra parts of the gasket that were sticking out to clean up where the black and red colors met.

I had removed two insets before painting, and when I went to reinsert them I realized I had gotten a little bit on paint in the threads. I ended up using a pick to get most of the paint out. Then carefully threaded the insert back and forth to get the remaining paint out, making sure I didn’t cross-thread them or gall the threads. Here is the finished product.

It isn’t perfect and could use some touching-up, but overall I’m happy with how it turned out. It is a part few will ever see or appreciate, but going above and beyond to make this a better build is all part of the fun.


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