View original topic: Exhaust and inlet manifold colour?
rod_vw Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:49 am

I'm in the process of clearing up a couple of oil leaks and changing out the incorrect later inlet and exhaust (heater box) manifolds for repro near correct ones on our '46 Beetle

The heater boxes are these

The inlet manifold is this

My question is this. What colour should they be?
I must add that the engine is an early '47 which has all black tinware which may or may not be correct for the '46 but is what it is.
The car is November 1946 and was a civilian sale vehicle as far as I can ascertain. Body colour is black and correct as discovered in the recess behind the engine bay rubber seal and from birth certificate.

Your thoughts please.

virtanen Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:04 am

1950-52 intake manifold was painted or dipped some kind of dark grey graphite subject. I will send pics later.

Late 47 or early 48 the heater boxes looked like this:

Martin Southwell Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:46 am

A Christmas present to yourselves then? Nice after all of these years, to be able to buy them.

rod_vw Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:29 am

Martin Southwell wrote: A Christmas present to yourselves then? Nice after all of these years, to be able to buy them.

Isn't it just. However not for Christmas, I collected them at Bad Camberg which saved on the shipping cost.

Trying to get the car a bit more original and stop it dribbling oil on the floor as it's going to The VolksWorld Show in March ( ).

splitjunkie Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:40 am

Looks like some flat black or dark gray.

rod_vw Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:00 am

splitjunkie wrote:

Looks like some flat black or dark gray.

Thanks Chris, I'm leaning that way although the picture you have is of a slightly later engine. Mine is early enough to have no cooling air control and a wire guard over the fan intake like the ones shown in Mika's picture above. In that picture the general engine tinware is obviously not black but the heater boxes are neither black or the same colour as the fan housing. Again looking grey?

The manifold that I have taken off is a later 30ps one which is the grey colour that we know and love, maybe the early 25ps engines were much the same.

I await the thoughts of others before I paint mine.

virtanen Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:17 am

Here pics of a nos 25hp intake. This version was in use between 1950-52.

The color layer is very very thin, like graphite on it.

rod_vw Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:01 pm

Thanks Mika.

Anyone with different thoughts for a 1946 'K' manifold & Heater box colour?

sled Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:40 pm

its hard to tell exactly, but it almost looks like the engine tin, and heater boxes are the same shade of grey as the chassis.

Its hard to believe that the factory would have THAT many different colors on hand to be mixing and matching, especially in '46 when they were just trying to get the factory going again with minimal supplies after the war.

KTPhil Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:48 pm

If assemblies and parts were outsourced, I could see how there could be several paint shades on the car. But was that the case back then, or was it all done in-house?

rod_vw Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:12 pm

sled wrote: its hard to tell exactly, but it almost looks like the engine tin, and heater boxes are the same shade of grey as the chassis.

Its hard to believe that the factory would have THAT many different colors on hand to be mixing and matching, especially in '46 when they were just trying to get the factory going again with minimal supplies after the war.

On careful examination of the floor pan of our '46 I know for certain that it was originally green. Found the colour inside the centre backbone so no doubts about that.
The engine tinware may have been green as well on the original engine but I have no knowledge of that as the current '47 engine was with the car when we bought it in 1976.

Most things about these early cars are 50% conjecture as even documents like Progressive Refinements are very vague for these just post war years.

virtanen Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:02 pm

Here something for the engine colors in a booklet

rod_vw Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:46 pm

Thanks Mika, so the answer was under my nose! I have a copy of that book in my library! You are an inspiration to us all with your diligence and respect for originality.

Now I have a dilemma, the engine number is from early 1947 (1-091175) but it has been through many re-builds and changes in its life before I owned it. Since my ownership ALL the internals have been replaced with new OEM parts so it is in effect a fully reconditioned unit.
Visually from the outside it is like this...
The cover plates are certainly older as they do not have the cylinder numbers embossed on them.
The push-rod tubes are the older type with springs not convolutions at the ends. PR indicates that this change was only in a number of cases at a slightly earlier chassis number than my car so these could be from the original engine.
The fan housing has no cooling control and has a gauze over the fan intake.
The plate behind the generator has slotted holes.
I'm fitting kdf style heater boxes.
I'm fitting a 'K' intake manifold.

So the dilemma is, do I change the engine component colours as shown above making it correct for a 1946 car or do I leave them as they are which will be correct for the 1947 engine number???

I don't really expect a firm answer from anyone but any opinions will be gratefully received even if not acted upon.

mr magyar Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:31 am

Hi Rod,
For sure I would dress it up in period correct colours. I don't think I've seen an engine with the green tinware and it would be a nice contrast to the black body. It would be a huge talking point for people to see how the engines looked in those early days compared to the ubiquitous black. It's a shame I didn't see your post earlier as we could have had a nice chat about it on Sunday.

rod_vw Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:10 am

Hi Andy,

It's a pity that I didn't do some more serious research before the engine was rebuilt the last time (2016?) and had the tinware powder coated in the green coulour. At this time it is going to stay black. Maybe in the future???

Currently the engine is out on the floor waiting for time and weather to get out there and deal with the parts changes and oil leak. As it's going to the VolksWorld Show I guess I must bite the bullet and get on with it. Foolishly at present I am working at least four days a week, it's time a 71 year old gave up such silliness.

johnshenry Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:41 pm

I'll add my opinions, and they are just opinions because I, or anyone, doesn't know for sure.

I have been restoring 25 hp intake manifolds of all types for 18 years now. I have had my hands on literally hundreds over the years, of all types of condition and originality.

For the non-jacketed early ones, I think they left the factory in black paint. I have had several "NOS" ones, and upon inspection they do look NOS (no sign of bolt torquing marks on the end flanges, or gasket adhesion) and all had some kind of satin sheen black paint on them. Of the used ones, all had paint burned off on the heat risers, leading me to believe the that paint was not a high temp coating (don't think that even existed then).

Unrelated to the original question, I will add however, that I do not think that the first "Jacketed K" manifolds (first aluminum jacket) had any kind of coating on the jacket at all, in conflict with Mika's picture in this thread. I have restored probably over 100 of these intakes over the years and with the exception of 1 or 2 that had some kind of foreign coating on the jacket, all were bare aluminum (there are 9 in my shop right now!). As for the steel tubing, it does seem to have some kind of coating on it that was applied before the jacket was cast around it. Having many times sprayed a high temp paint on the steel parts of these intakes trying to make them heat resistant while masking off the aluminum jackets with tape, I can tell you that it is extremely time consuming to do and there is no way VW did this in a high volume operation. And whatever coating was used on the steel tubing, burned off quickly, especially on the right "hot side" of the heat riser.

As for the heater boxes, it is a little muddier. I have restored many of these and have seen the boxes in all kinds of colors. But in all cases, the J tubes, were unpainted and burned bare when hot. I would guess, based on my experience, that the color of the boxes was either a medium gray, or a flat black.

You might reach out to Mark Merrill (username here "qwerty") for his opinions. Years ago, he restore two '46s and I think he did a lot of research on the various paint colors.

Good luck...

splitjunkie Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:39 pm

That's interesting. I never thought about them casting the jacket onto pre-painted manifolds. That is definitely the only way to explain that scenario.

rod_vw Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:57 am

Thanks John Henry, that looks to be the way I will go at least for the immediate future.

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