1919 Fairbanks-Morse Plugoscillator Engine Restoration – Part 2 of 2

A new paint job and muffler, and a repaired crankshaft are among the final repairs for Peter Rooke’s Fairbanks-Morse Plugoscillator.

| June/July 2018

This is the second part in a two-part series on Peter Rooke’s 1919 Fairbanks-Morse Plugoscillator engine restoration. Read the first part here. 

In addition to being the wrong color, the existing paint on the engine was beginning to show signs of rust spotting through. Rather than just lightly sanding the existing paint and repainting, this engine needed a complete strip down and the application of a good zinc-based primer.

The old paint was removed using a combination of disc sander, wire brush and scrapers. Once down to the bare metal the majority of any rust was sanded off, leaving only some pitting. To protect the cylinder bore during the cleaning process, both ends were plugged with clean rags.

To control and prevent further rust, the engine and its parts were given two coats of a high zinc cold galvanizing primer, which was thinned a little to give good, even coverage.

The primer paint was very soft and could be rubbed off easily, so all parts were given a quick coat of enamel paint as soon as the primer had fully dried. The first coat of enamel was left for at least a day to thoroughly dry before applying a second coat. After leaving the second coat of enamel for a few days to cure properly, the surface was given a very light sand with 280-grit wet and dry paper to remove minor blemishes.

The final coats of paint should be applied in a dry and well-ventilated environment that should be free from dust and any other contaminants. The ambient temperature should be constant, and if heating is used to maintain a comfortable temperature, liquid fueled heaters should not be used, as these generate condensation that can get into the paint. Before painting, the surface was cleaned with a tack rag – a sticky piece of cloth that is effective in picking up dust – to remove all dust.


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