Blimey Engine Bay Makeover

While I had made a few mods to the look of the engine bay (wires, intake hose, scoop decal, painted a few accents, air diverter plate, etc.), I really wanted to do something to make it different, and make it POP.

Here’s the result…

To match the GT Tuning Strut Brace, I painted the cabrio diagonal braces, the engine mount, the transmission mount… and added a VIP engine damper, which I also painted… so all the “structural” stuff is red. Originally, I had planned to powder coat all of these to match the strut brace… but the engine damper has rubber bushings, and instead of dealing with having those pressed out and back in, I went hunting for a painting option. I settled on Duplicolor caliper paint – which is a good color match to the brace, is easy to work with, is durable, is easy to touch up as needed, and flows out to make a finish that looks very much like powder coat. I painted the brackets for the VIP damper black, because the yellow zinc plating was UGLY.

When reinstalling the strut brace, I found that the mounting plate for the VIP damper is just a LITTLE too tall and hit the bottom of the strutbrace – so I had to grind it down about 3/16″ and touch it up.

Here are some close-ups…

The color isn’t nearly as “orange” as it appears in the photos… sunlight plays tricks that way… just a nice, bright red.

Really starting to look more like an Autobot now… 😆

I still have a few things I want to do, but it’s getting close to being complete… at least for now…


  1. Nice Paul. Were the engine mounts tough to get out and paint or did you do them insitu? I’ve been thinking of having them chromed like a MINI I saw at AMVIV but the red looks great!

  2. Thanks guys –

    Chuck – I removed the braces and mounts to paint them. the engine mount is easy – four bolts and a nut hold it in place, you remove the grounding strap bolt and it just lift it out. You DO need to support the engine with a jack from the bottom while you do this.

    The transmission mount is a lot more work – need to remove the airbox/ecu assembly, the air snorkel, and take loose (but not remove) the fusebox to reach all the bolts.

    I actually bought new engine and transmission mounts – when I thought I was going to powder coat, this would have allowed me to keep the car in service while they were being coated. So I painted the new ones, let them cure, and then did the installation. Took an hour or so to do the swap.

  3. However… the tranny mount install will probably be different on the justacooper… very different layout, with the battery and all…

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