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Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

Old 04-19-2011, 01:49 PM
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Question Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

I've got quite a few project motorcycles on my hands and eventually they're gonna need to be stripped and painted.

Does anyone here have any opinions / experience with painting various parts?
I'm still on the fence about whether to high-temp paint the motor or powdercoat it.

I already have an HVLP setup so I'm thinking about giving mother nature the finger and just painting everything instead of having to buy a powder coating setup.

The downside of PC is I have to make the initial investment of a decent gun, plus when I fuck it up (which I probably will) it will be hard as hell to get that ish off and redo it. Also I've heard various accounts of inconsistent or poorly textured finishes.
The upside is that it's much easier to clean up and is more durable than engine enamel.

I've already decided against going the spray can route so please refrain from telling me how sweet your VHT finish looks. I don't care, I'm not doing it.

I'm looking for opinions on Powdercoating vs painting (specifically high temp/ engine paint)
I'd like reviews/opinions on paints or powders people have used.
I'm also looking for resources, so if you know where to get it, please post it.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

PC, that way you start doing stuff on the side for friends and make skirlla back
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

Originally Posted by 22' View Post
PC, that way you start doing stuff on the side for friends and make skirlla back
I thought about that but I doubt I'd make any money back. My friends would expect to get hooked up and if anything is not perfect I'm sure they'd want me to do it again, at which point I'd actually be losing more money.
If I could ensure a quality finish I'd totally go for it, but to make that happen I'd have to etch and plate with a phospate or zinc substrate depending on the metal. and @ $150 - 200 / gal just for that... it gets expensive quick.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:29 AM
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Default Re: Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

powdercoat all day long. A LOT more durable in the long run.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

I believe summit had a powder coat spray kit for like $200. I don't know if that includes the actual paint. But they sell that too.
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

Originally Posted by captaininsano91 View Post
I believe summit had a powder coat spray kit for like $200. I don't know if that includes the actual paint. But they sell that too.
yea it's the equivalent of the harbor freight one. except the HF is top load but the other one has 2 voltage settings.

Caswell has a decent setup where you can adjust the voltage in 5kv increments between 30 and 50 kv but I'm wondering if 30kv will be a low enough voltage for getting even coverage of tight places.

My biggest problem with PC is that I'll be painting OOOOOOLD motorcycle parts that are cast (some even sandcast) so there's a high chance that even if I outgas properly, the powdercoat could still develop pinholes or bubbles.
...unless someone knows some good powders/primers for rough cast pieces.

Also, I can't etch (or phospate plate) the engine cases because it would fuck up the bearing journals on the inside.

The PC would still be good for wheels and frames though. But my oven is only big enough to do one wheel at a time and I'm not sure if I have enough room to build an oven large enough for a frame.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Painting a motorcycle - engine, exhaust, frame... opinions?

Then i would say paint. Unless you wanted to take it to someone to powder coat it.
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