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  1. #1
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    Default Subframe - paint or powder coat?

    Need some advice on what to do with my WD subframe for my 67 Camaro. Should I paint it or powder coat it? I have no idea what it would cost to powder coat, anyone have theirs done? What about paint, what kind should I use? What kind of prep work is required?

    Also I can't decide, should I paint/powder it basic black or I was kind of leaning towards a light gray color (like the color gray NASCAR uses). The benefit of black is that the aluminum control arms, shocks, etc. will really contrast nicely against it. The car will be some shade of blue with a white bumblebee stripe.

    Todd
    67 RS/SS Camaro (project), 73 Camaro, 05 Tahoe Z71
    http://www.fquick.com/qwik1320


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    SoCal
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    Default

    I would recommend powdercoating - should be a very durable finish. I think it cost me somewhere around $300 to powdercoat my Alston subframe. I had fleeting thoughts about going with a color besides black (the place I went to had all kinds of different colors, even metallic/candy colors) but decided that it would be a pain to keep clean.

    Here it is before:


    and after


  3. #3
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    Tom,
    Good point about keeping things clean. Did you weld in frame connectors? What did you do where you welded them onto the subframe?
    Todd
    67 RS/SS Camaro (project), 73 Camaro, 05 Tahoe Z71
    http://www.fquick.com/qwik1320

  4. #4
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    Default

    Good question... I have just bolted them in for now. I was thinking about welding them, but I really don't see how they're going to give at all the way they're connected. I still may weld to the floorpan.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Long Island, NY
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    Default

    I've decided to paint my subframe for the simple fact that I'm going to be welding two of the roll cage attachment points to it, and I wouldn't be able to touch up the powdercoating. The SFCs will also be welded to it.
    Ralph
    '68 Camaro l Project Fantom l Street Fighter
    '02 Corvette Z06 l Quicksilver Metallic l Black Int.
    '01 Camaro SS l Black l M6 l Build No. 171 l SOLD!
    '96 Tahoe Sport l 2 Door l Black l Z71 l SOLD!

    "I bleed, sir, but not killed"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    St. Charles, Mo
    Posts
    419

    Default powder coat or paint

    I'd lean towards paint. The trailer hitch on my truck was powder coated and a factory option. The frame has no paint. The frame is still in good condition and the trailer hitch is junk. The trailer hitch is made of 1/4" steel plates and 1/4" wall tubing. My truck is a 96 Chevy.

    The powder coat is like a plastic coat over the entire part. It will hold together and resist chipping quite well. If something does break through the powder coat, the moisture will get in and start rusting the metal. What's worse is that the nice plastic shell of powder coat won't let the moisture out so the corrosion is accelerated. With paint it tends to rust a little around the scratch and that's about it. It can work its way under the paint but the paint usually chips off and a small area is exposed and the moisture doesn't wick up under the paint like it can with powder coat.

    You can also touch up paint easily, you can't with powder coat. I used single stage urethane PPG paint to paint the entire under side of my car and inside the engine compartment. If it does get a chip or should I say when it gets a chip, I can do a little paint touch up, sand and buff and you shouldn't be able to tell there was a chip.

    Just my opinion.

    Dennis.

  7. #7
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    If you do decide to powder coat it, you better learn to like it for a long time as changing the color will be a pain. I also have decided to paint the SF for my 67. It may not hold up as long as powdercoat, but I can always sand it down and respray it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    All good points and helpful info guys, thanks. I'm leaning more and more towards painting. I painted my 73's frame back in 87 and just did it again after the accident last winter and it was in good shape given the 16+ years of driving. More dirty than rusty.

    This winter I can get the 67's frame painted close to the back edge where it'll be welded so it'll be ready for installation.

    Is there a spray paint (out of a can) that anyone recommends for durability and appearance?
    Todd
    67 RS/SS Camaro (project), 73 Camaro, 05 Tahoe Z71
    http://www.fquick.com/qwik1320

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    NY
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    I agree that powder coating's properties are greatly exaggerated but in some cases it is just better. Painting a subframe is a pain in the ass. There are a ton of holes and crevices. The powder gets into everything so you don't see that crappy rusty inner section through a hole. As far as the frame connectors tell your guy to tape off an inch or so leaving you with a well prepped piece for welding. If you do small stitch at a time you will be fine. Then just paint undercarriage. For the $250-300 it is just a huge time saver. If you do paint I would paint the inner sections first so you can sand any runs from spraying in the holes then finish frame. Use a black epoxy or etch primer as this also helps if you don't get complete coverage in spots. Looks easy until you try it.

  10. #10
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    qwik, try Eastwood's Chassis black. Comes ready-to-spray.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Happy, I'll check it out.
    Todd
    67 RS/SS Camaro (project), 73 Camaro, 05 Tahoe Z71
    http://www.fquick.com/qwik1320

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas
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    Default well...

    not to throw a monkey wrench in the gears but have you considered POR15? I did the entire frame of the chevelle and it came out really nice. We also had an 'oopppss!!!' with the frame where in hit the garage floor from about 2' up and the por15 looked like new still and the garage floor got a liitle chip in it! Crazy stuff...check it out





    And yes, I have no idea why the doorknob before me welded the motor mount perches to this absolutely immaculate frame. No bends, scratches, mis-alinments, rust.....nothing. We got really lucky!!
    -Keith


    zefhix
    There is nothing more common than unsuccessful men with talent-

  13. #13
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    Another good point. I have heard good things about POR15 over the years.
    Todd
    67 RS/SS Camaro (project), 73 Camaro, 05 Tahoe Z71
    http://www.fquick.com/qwik1320

  14. #14
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    I just used it for the first time over the weekend. Worked out real nice. Just make sure your frame is completly free of paint, dirt, grime, etc, before you POR15 it. It's pretty tough from what I can see.

  15. #15
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    Aug 2004
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    Las Vegas, NV
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    Default

    Is it easy to apply? How bad are the fumes?
    Doug
    67 Camaro - Project: Retribution



    "Honda: The most efficient means of converting gasoline into noise without the side effect of horsepower."

  16. #16
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    I sprayed it with an old touch up gun I had because I've heard that it's tough to clean up, etc. Sprayed it right outta the can with no problems at all. The biggest thing I had to overcome is the directions. Their definitions of "tacky" and "dry" are a bit different than what I'm accustomed to. Read the directions of multiple coats and when to top coat it carefully. I waited 6 hours to topcoat without sanding because it had to be "dry but with slight finger drag". Very interesting. In the end, clean up was simple and it looked good when I was finished. If it works on rust in the manner it claims, we're going to have a good relationship.

  17. #17
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    POR15 has been called "powder-coat in a can". It lays out very nicely, and if the metal is prepped according to their guidelines you won't have a tougher finish when you're done. It is good stuff.

    However, if you mess up the prep, you can have a real mess on your hands. Read their instructions and don't use any oil-based degreasers or solvents. Everything needs to be done using water-based chemicals or it will peel or fish-eye.

    Also, take care with ventilation and fumes. POR-15 emits isocyanates. You've heard of cyanide, right?

    Net net: follow the directions, guidelines, and safety precautions, and you'll be be happy with the end result.

    jp
    John Parsons



    II Much Fabrication's Blog -- New products, Fabrication sequences, etc.

  18. #18
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    Jun 2004
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    Las Vegas
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    Default

    Oh yeah, the stuff was easy to apply...believe it or not I brushed it on after I had the frame media blasted. You have to stir the can really, really well and use a quality brush but the por15 goes on almost like resin in the sense that the brush marks will flatten and you're left with a nice even surface. I would have never used it, though, if I didn't have the frame blasted. I'm very impressed with product so far

    Oh and the fumes weren't bad at all. We had the munchies a few times but other than that it was all good..... :rolleyes5
    -Keith


    zefhix
    There is nothing more common than unsuccessful men with talent-

  19. #19
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    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
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    Default

    Keith, your frame looks great. I was wondering if you used the gloss black or the semi-gloss and if you used a topcoat. I am looking at getting the frame coater kit (1 Qt. Marine Clean, 1Qt. Metal Ready, and 1 Qt. Por-15). Would anything else be needed? Thanks

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA
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    Default

    I am going to use POR15 as well.
    I have looked at all the other options and determined that, for me,
    this is the easiest and cheapest option.

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