Buyer's Guides

Garage Goal #10: Get Your Engine Looking Its Best

(Image/Summit Racing)

We’ve reached the last of our Garage Goals — “quarantine projects” if you will. Our Garage Goals projects are bite-sized tasks that anyone can do as budget and time allows while spending extra time in the garage. More importantly, these projects will help you have a finely tuned garage and vehicle once stay-at-home restrictions are lifted.

We started with a few ideas to get your garage/shop looking good, and we’ll end with some options to help get your engine bay looking nice.

Luckily, it’s easy and affordable to transform a tired-looking mill into a show-quality engine. Using a traditional small block Chevrolet engine as an example, we’ve compiled a list of items that can help transform the appearance of your engine.

Chrome Dress-Up Kit

You can also buy these items individually, but Summit Racing offers a full dress-up kit with a chrome air cleaner, chrome valve covers and breather, and chrome timing cover. Plus, you get the necessary hardware and gaskets—everything you need to enhance the appearance of your engine’s top end for one low price.

Don’t want all the chrome?

You can also go with a coordinated finned design, use smooth black accessories, select anodized colors, or choose different logo designs. You can also pick from different air cleaner shapes and styles.

Polished Aluminum Oil Pan

Once you’ve dressed up the top-end of the engine, you can also spruce up the bottom-end with a nicer oil pan. Chances are not many people will see it (this item may be the first cut from your dress-up list if budget dictates), but a chrome or polished oil pan is a great way to complement the other dress-up pieces in your engine bay. If you do decide to forego the oil pan, you could opt to spend the money on a pair of ceramic-coated headers here instead.

Billet Aluminum Pulleys

There are a lot of serpentine and V-belt pulley kits out there from companies like March and Zoops. You can’t argue with the quality of those kits, but to save money, we’re just upgrading the water pump pulleys and crankshaft pulleys in our small block Chevy example. You can get these pulleys in chrome or billet aluminum to add a little shine to your engine compartment.

Chrome Water Pump

Swap out that run-down water pump with a chrome mechanical water pump. Summit Racing offers its chrome water pump in both standard-volume and high-volume versions. For budget’s sake, we went with the standard-volume version.

Chrome Alternator

This chrome alternator serves two purposes. The chrome finish adds more flair to the engine, while the one-wire setup helps to de-clutter things just a bit. As an added bonus, this 140-amp model gives us added juice for any extra electronics we might add.

Again, if chrome isn’t your thing, you can also choose from different powdercoated colors and other finishes to suit your tastes.

Retro Spark Plug Wires

There are a lot of different wire sets you can use to complement the colors or finishes in your engine compartment. Summit Racing offers these old school-looking muscle car retro wires in black or orange. The 7mm wires offer low resistance with excellent EMI supression. Other manufacturers even offer spark plug wires with a stainless steel braid.

Other Upgrades

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