Best way to clean and paint engine cases
Clean thoroughly with elbow grease, once it looks clean enough to paint hose it down with brake clean to remove any oils left over on the surface. then paint with good quality paint. If it is completely disassembled you can bake it on in the oven but moms and wifes don't like that process much. Kinda smells the whole house up.
Clean it like Confederate says and then sand blast it. Paint it right away with VHT engine enamel and DONT use any primer. I've tried with and without the primer and it works better without if you sand blast. Sand blasting leaves a perfect surface for paint to mechanically adhere to but the surface will oxidize quickly. Best to let it dry for a week before you ride it so the paint really hardens up.
Soda is a better alternative to sand. Dissolves with liquid unlike sand (which you will never get out of all the crevices) and will not harm the cases if you make a mistake. I've been down this road before. Never painted them though so I cannot help with the painting side of things.
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