One of the things a lot of people over look when it comes to engine detailing is the nuts and bolts. There are a lot of options on what to use as you can see here, from left to right; chrome, stainless, black oxide Allen, black oxide standard, silver cadmium, and gold cadmium. We prefer to use black oxide hardware against the raw aluminum and chrome hardware with the chrome finish. No matter if you want the bolts to show or blend in, pick a theme and stick with it. There is nothing worse than seeing black oxide bolts in the manifold and silver bolts in the water pump.
Vintage Look We got a hold of Trans Dapt for the classic looking stuff. This company makes all kinds of vintage-looking products to feed the retro need. If you really want a period correct engine, they also make a full line of Chevy Orange powdercoated accessories as well. To go along with our swap meet Cal Customs valve covers ($25), we had them send us a '55 Corvette-style louvered air cleaner ($45), chrome coil ($28), steel oil pan, that we painted satin black ($52), chrome dipstick ($11), straight chrome thermostat housing ($11), and a set of high lift wire separators ($15). If you don't like the Vette air cleaner, Trans Dapt also has a triangle-shaped unit ($45) that keeps that older look. The valve covers we picked up at the swap meet were in good shape, but looked nothing like they do now, what you see here is after a lot of scrubbing and a few coats of paint. If you can't find this style of valve cover at your local swap meet, Trans Dapt has a new finned design that could be painted to look like this. If you were building a retro-themed car, which usually is simple and clean, this motor concept would keep with the theme without overpowering it.
Race Look For the race look, we tripped over to Proform Parts website because we knew it has a full line of GM licensed products. We just really like the fact they make a whole Chevrolet black crinkle dress-up kit ($170), which includes one set of valve, covers, air cleaner, timing chain cover, breather cap, 8 wing nuts, and 8 hold-down clamps. If you are not into black with red, they also offer it in silver with blue accents. We also picked up a set of linear Bow Tie wire looms ($66) to hold the JBA plug wires and a high-flow aluminum water pump ($60). In this set up we changed the manifold bolts over to a black oxide, threw on a factory thermostat housing and installed chrome button heads in the timing chain cover. We left the dipstick ($11) and oil pan from the Vintage look on here so if you are like us and don't have one factor that into the budget. The black crinkle stuff with the red script combined with the red plug wires gives the motor that mean look and race motor should look mean and angry.
Show Look We contacted Mr. Gasket for show look, and by show we mean shiny. The company has enough chrome in the catalog to satisfy all you shine mongers, and every one of these parts came with gaskets and hardware needed to install. Mr. Gasket has a chrome dress up kit ($56) that includes two short valve covers, two valve cover gaskets, a chrome push on breather, chrome dipstick with tube, eight chrome hold down clamps, eight chrome wing bolts, and 2 grommets. That provides some flash, but we wanted to go all out so we also ordered chrome wire looms ($10), chrome oil pan ($64), chrome timing chain cover ($17), chrome timing tab ($4), chrome Mallory coil ($44), chrome thermostat housing ($10) and a 14-inch chrome air cleaner ($24). Since this is all about flash we installed the JBA nickel plated headers and the red JBA wires. Couple all of that chrome with the Weiand Everbright manifold and chrome hardware and this motor concept could blind you.