Painting your brake calipers is an ideal way to have your vehicle stand out from the crowd. Brake calipers are visible through the wheels of your car and, when painted, can add a colourful accent. There are two main ways to paint the calipers: powder coating and traditional high temperature aerosol paints. Powder coating adds durability to your parts but is relatively expensive and tedious compared with high temperature painting.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Polyurethane powder or polyester powder
- Electrostatic spray gun
- Powder spray booth
- Baking rack
- Convection cure oven
- High-temperature tape
- Wire brush
- Cordless drill
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
Use a floor jack that can properly stabilise your car and lift it off the ground. Place the jack stands in secure locations under the car to support the weight of the car. Remove the wheels of the car to expose the brake calipers. Remove the brake line from the rotor. Some fluid may come out, so place the hose into a bucket. Use the appropriate size wrench to remove the brake caliper bolts. These two bolts are on the inside of the caliper, with one on top and one at the bottom of the caliper.
Select the proper powder to ensure adhesion from the paint to the material. In this case, brake calipers are generally made from aluminium or chrome-plated steel. To clean the metal, use a cordless drill with a wire wheel attachment to remove any debris from the metal. Using a chemical degreaser is also an option. Be sure to clean off the chemicals thoroughly or the paint will not adhere to the metal.
Place a pretreatment chemical or conversion coating to the calipers. The more time the chemical has to work the more effective it will be on the metal. Rinse the treatment off the metal and be sure that the metal is dry and clean.
Tape off all the areas that you do not wish to be painted with high-temperature tape and plug all holes as well. Be sure the tape sticks to the metal properly. Place your calipers on a powder rack.
Select the proper powder for your application and set up all tools for the painting process. Each paint has a proper pressure for painting usually not exceeding 90 psi. Attach the electrostatic gun to the compressor and spray evenly along the part using a fluid side to side motion. Get all angles and sides of the part for an even coat.
Place the rack in a convection cure oven and allow the parts to fully cure. Curing settings are usually 190 to 204 degrees C for 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the parts to cool and remove the tape to reveal the finished product.
Tips and warnings
- Adhesion problems are likely and common, so take your time and do it right the first time. Plan ahead and arrange to use another vehicle if needed.
- Never crawl underneath the car while it is off the ground.
- Only paint in a proper booth with good ventilation.
- Do not use a home oven to cure parts because the fumes can be dangerous.
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