As I mentioned in my introductory post, I have a 1976 VW Rabbit project that I am building from the ground up. This car is going to be built with a heavy vintage motorsport “feel”, but still in the end, it will be a show car and most everything is going to be gone over and polished, cleaned, chromed and powder coated. One thing people often neglect to restore when building a car is brake parts and associated bits hidden behind the wheel. Since I will be buying new brake calipers, I decided I would clean and powder coat the carriers ahead of time. I figured I’d post some photos along the way of some steps I did for the tech geeks like myself, and also to prove to friends and family I actually do work on my 76 Rabbit more than once every 2 years! (I can hear your laughs from here Dad!)
First step when dealing with old parts that are so close to the road like this, is to clean all of that thick grease, dirt and road grime off of the part. This part had obviously been victim to a couple of ripped CV boots and thus had a few layers of hardened grease on them. You wanna scrape the part with a screwdriver or something similar to get the bigger “chunks” off first. Next I hit the carriers with some of our exclusive Eastwood Chassis Clean . Our chassis clean is a very aggressive cleaner that even removes heavy baked-on brake dust and grease. I just sprayed the part liberally with the handy aerosol can. As you can see in the pictures it just washes the grime off and leaves a “clean” (do not mistake for blasted “clean”) surface!
After getting these parts degreased pretty well. I next dropped them in our blasting cabinet. I decided to use some of our Aluminum Oxide Blast Media to clean the carriers. Since I cleaned the parts with our chassis clean before blasting, the carriers blasted clean quite easily. After both brackets were blasted, I washed and cleaned them with our PRE Painting Prep to get any and all left over dirt or grease off of the part.
Since these parts were cast, I decided to pre-heat these items at 400 degrees to bake out any additional grease or chemicals that still may be lurking in the metal and could eventually cause “outgassing”. After 20 minutes I took the carriers out and immediately sprayed them Semi-Gloss Black with our increasingly popular Dual Voltage Hot Coat Gun . With the part being pre-heated it makes the powder seem to almost adhere a bit better. You may even begin to see a bit of “flow out” of the powder as the powder lays on the parts (the finish will begin to go from the dull “powder” to a “wet” type finish). After I got a nice even coat on both parts, I took them back to the oven and cured them at 400 degrees again until the powder flowed out nicely. After pulling them out and hanging them to cool, I got to relax and admire the nice glossy black brake parts ready to be mated to some new brake calipers!
I by no means am a professional at powder coating and found the dual voltage gun to be quite easy to use. In fact, I was able to manipulate the amount of powder coming out of the gun depending on the pressure I had on the trigger (vs. some other guns I’ve used where it is either “off” or “full blast”). Hopefully some of my fellow hobbyists out there will be inclined to take up powder coating their own parts after seeing how fairly simple the process is!