Engine Cleaning on a 1962 GMC Pickup - Spit Spine For An Old Clunker

Quick And Easy Engine Restoration That's Light On The Wallet

Kevin Aguilar
Aug 1, 2008
Photographers: Calin Head, Kevin Aguilar
Photo 2/21   |   engine Restoration 1962 Gmc Pickup engine
If you have been reading Sport Truck over the last few months, then you've probably seen the budget transformation of Calin's Chevy S-10 from beater to head-turner. He's covered everything from an engine tune-up, different levels of lowering, audio restoration, a low-buck paintjob, and other miscellaneous tasks to make an old truck like new. In that spirit, we set out this month to show you that it doesn't take a lot of coin to clean up your engine compartment either. You would be surprised what some spray paint and a sprinkle of chrome goodies can do for appearances.
Photo 3/21   |   engine Restoration 1962 Gmc Pickup engine View
Our guinea pig was a '62 GMC pickup that I just recently acquired. I purchased it for next to nothing, yet the body is pretty straight and the drivetrain works. That's right, the original 305-cid V-6 is still pushing this old truck around. Though it runs well, that didn't change the fact that it was a mess. So I took one day to show it some love, and it made for a dramatic improvement.
Photo 4/21   |   engine Restoration 1962 Gmc Pickup supplies
What's In The Bag?
I went to the local auto parts store to pick up the following supplies: one can of Gunk Engine Brite ($1.87), one can of Dupli-Color Chevrolet Orange Engine Enamel ($5.49), one can of satin-black spray paint ($2.97), 3M 400-grit sandpaper ($3.16), and 3M masking tape ($1.99). Not pictured (but required) is a roll of aluminum foil ($.99), a couple of sandwich bags from the kitchen, and some cardboard that was lying around in the garage. Total: $16.47.
Photo 9/21   |   engine Restoration 1962 Gmc Pickup foil Cover
Part Two: Paint It!
To speed up the drying process, I used an air compressor to blow-dry the entire engine compartment. After this, it was time for paint prep. This involved covering everything that wasn't getting painted in either the aluminum foil or plastic bags. The tape came in handy to secure it all in place. Also, note that I removed the distributor cap and wires, oil-bath air filter, and oil breathers for less clutter while painting.

Part Three: Adding Shine!
Before reattaching the filters to the motor, I went back to the local auto parts store to see if I could add a few shiny parts. I got lucky and found a bunch of parts from Spectre Performance. These included a new chrome air cleaner ($17.99), a cleaner adapter kit ($6.99), an air-cleaner stud extender kit ($4.99), a billet nut ($6.99), and two chrome oil breathers ($3.99 each).
Photo 21/21   |   engine Restoration 1962 Gmc Pickup restored Engine
The Final Word
I started with a dirty old clunker and turned it into a respectable-looking powerplant that fooled many into thinking I had swapped in a new motor. The whole project definitely improved the pickup's looks, and all it took was a little elbow grease and about $60. This amount includes the Spectre parts that not only helped contribute some shine but fetched me some extra power with the replacement of my oil-bath air filter with a paper-element piece. Getting the rear tires to spin out put a grin on my face, and I'd say that's a job well done for a relatively low price.


Summit Racing
Akron, OH
Spectre peformAnce



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