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paint, plate or powder coat?


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I gave up and simply etch primed and top coated with enamel spray paint. Seemed the easiest and simple way without having to take expensive bits too and from places.

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But I do have some of the finished article and I couldn't be happier...        Huge thanks to Joseph Ash Galvanising, Medway. 👍 cheers -Chris 

Never had a problem with any ,  plating is pretty but don't last, Powder coat is far more durable ..  i will go powder coat on mine next time round ,  plating looked great when done , but 18 months la

I’d not be powder coating on any suspension items that have bushes fitted into them. It simply causes issues with fitted bushes and adds unnecessary surface thickness

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Having tried plating, por 15 and painting and looking at the parts many years on I would say por15 in great if applied correctly. But its too difficult to prep which can result in adhesion failure. Painting is the way ahead in my view. Its cheap and effective. I like hammerite, its really good stuff.

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Is such plating/painting etc. just done for aesthetics and corrosion protection for these parts? Aesthetics aside, is corrosion really an issue? Aren't there other more critical parts and components to maintain? Chaffed wires and dodgy earth connection points I would have thought might benefit more from some preventative maintenance more that an exhaust hanger? Is it just fortuitous that this type of plating is done just because the parts are accessible during e.g. a suspension refirb?  

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On 13/12/2020 at 19:39, cweeden said:

I just find it frustrating why it's so difficult to find a coating that is both functional and good looking, like the car itself.

I painted the chassis and running gear in black satin Raptor. Strong, similar to original on older series, and can be very easily touched up in use without total disassembly. Perhaps later cars had a different OE finish.

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/12/2020 at 15:06, CHANGES said:

Never had a problem with any ,  plating is pretty but don't last, Powder coat is far more durable ..  i will go powder coat on mine next time round ,  plating looked great when done , but 18 months later on our roads started to age quick.. It now looks like i had not done it ..  i have recently seen a powder coated one i did 6 years ago , still looks good ,  that is the data ,   make your own choices they both do a job ..  

 

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Dave, the suspension parts on this look great, were did you get the plating done, i am stripping the suspension from mine and would like to tidy it all up, i am in Shrewsbury, so not far from you.

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@espritdave1 I use plating and powder coating companies in Wolverhampton.. We are lucky there are several of both within the industrial part of Wolves .   I am sure you will be able to find someone more local in Shrewsbury . 

You will need to get all that stuff shot blasted first, then depending on how much pitting you have will guide your decision on plate or powder.  Once shot blasted you will need to linish before plating otherwise it will look quite dull ..  The problem is the pitting which will always show , even on the powder coating .. 

 

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I used to live near W'ton and wish I still did from the aspect of car restoration! 

The West Midlands is the place where all the skills still are. Its pretty much impossible to get proper finishing done "darn sarf" and the places that do it are usually rip-offs. 

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1 hour ago, Andyww said:

I used to live near W'ton and wish I still did from the aspect of car restoration! 

The West Midlands is the place where all the skills still are. Its pretty much impossible to get proper finishing done "darn sarf" and the places that do it are usually rip-offs. 

Yup, I agree and am having to resort to couriers to ship bits all over the place (I'm in Dorking, Surrey).

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Agree with above. Zinc plating suspension parts will last one British winter max, and powder coating although lasts a lot longer will eventually crack and let in water.

I like good old fashioned Hammerite but epoxy paint such as POR15 has to be the ultimate. I recently used the POR15 fuel tank treatment on a car with unavailable replacement tank, and some of the paint got on my garage floor. Its not coming off! I will likely need to take a cold chisel to it to get it off.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/12/2020 at 15:55, cweeden said:

So the bit that is driving me slowly mad, why doesn't the plating last better? I have a '93 Fireblade that's spent most of it's life outside and the bolts and fixings on that almost don't corrode at all. How is that done? 

Because it’s a Honda 😁

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Plating corrodes, as anyone who has tried it knows. I believe clear lacquer over  the plating might be the way ahead. POR 15 coats my entire Turbo chassis. There are no signs of corrosion and it can be touched up easily if it chips, but the prep work to apply it correctly is prohibitive. There are so many stages and if not done very very well the coating will fail and peel off.  I stood there with a spray gun of Metal prep to etch the surface for days doing each section in turn. To etch the metal it must be kept wet.  I painted my gear selector rear arm in PoR15 and the coat is peeling. I believe there was some grease on the surface, even though I cleaned it in marine clean. Hammerite is much easier to apply, but I noticed recently the landrover chassis I treated with it has a few spots of rust coming through. Not sure why this is the case. 

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I'm personally a massive fan of zinc plating and love the finish as it's an indicator of whether the car is driven in the wet or salt. If the zinc is still there, it's a good sign. 

Many Swedish Esprits I have seen the factory plating still present and correct on the links etc.

For my SE rear suspension now I intend to do the same, even moreso because it juxtaposes well with parts that have yet to be done (did the front suspension years ago - still looking amazing!). They're a massively satisfying indicator of "progress" :D

I think the gold standard (no pun intended) is what @CHANGESdid with that Sport 300 restoration a few years ago....

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Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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On 01/03/2021 at 22:18, Vanya said:

I think the gold standard (no pun intended) is what @CHANGESdid with that Sport 300 restoration a few years ago....

I may inadvertently have created a contender for that title (in the chassis refresh department at least). I spent some time looking for a company to restore the corrosion protection on my chassis and looked at a few different options. I was keen on the e-coat process that @mike_sekingerhad done on his chassis but the only place in the UK I could find was prohibitively expensive. I looked at powder coating and plasti-coating, with fancy etch primers or other new tech but none seems to bond to the chassis like e-coat or hot dipped zinc galvanising. 

So I looked into re-galvanising more closely and was almost settled on that but with the somewhat disappointing expectation that it would look somewhat second hand again in a few years time. During this investigation I stumbled across a Duplex coating offering, this is powder coating over galvanising in a way that the powder actually bonds with the zinc. https://www.josephash.co.uk/services/duplex-coatings/

And luckily there is a plant in Sittingbourne in Kent that can carry out the process. Naturally I was sceptical since all the clever money says the powder won't stick to Zinc, so I spoke with them and was invited for a tour to see the process and view some examples. I was introduced to a Production Manager who has been unbelievably helpful in the whole process from the initial phone call, arranging the tour, all the way from agreeing the process to final delivery. Initially he wasn't sure if I was making the right decision and he took time to point out the risks since they mainly handle industrial items, lamp posts, railings and other heavy and robust items, not delicate chassis that could get dented or squashed by some of the other items in a busy yard.

All that understood I decided to go ahead with it and he was as invested in a happy outcome as I was. Yesterday he delivered my chassis back to me in person after hours. I owe him a huge thank you but won't disclose his name without his permission. He also kept me updated with photos a long the way and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I now have a freshly re-galvanised chassis with a beautiful dark grey gloss powder coat finish. Here are some of the pictures of it's refreshing process...

It started like this...

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After shot blasting...

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Into one of several dip tanks for stripping and cleaning...

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Checking along the way...

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And just as it rises from dip itself...

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Looks superb! I would definitely be looking into that if I were to get a chassis done.

Did they mention any possibility of warping though, which was an issue Lotus did have with galvanising, both on the Esprit and Elan M100.

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28 minutes ago, Andyww said:

Did they mention any possibility of warping though, which was an issue Lotus did have with galvanising, both on the Esprit and Elan M100.

It was always a possibility and I went into this with my eyes open. You will notice there is a temporary rear cross member in place (that I will cut off and touch in where its masked the chassis) to add the necessary support at the rear. I had invaluable advice from @CHANGES with points to consider.

At the moment I don't know if it has moved or not. I have the 'before' measurements but not yet had the chance to capture the 'after' measurements yet, so fingers crossed. 😟😬

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On 03/03/2021 at 17:18, cweeden said:

It was always a possibility and I went into this with my eyes open. You will notice there is a temporary rear cross member in place (that I will cut off and touch in where its masked the chassis) to add the necessary support at the rear. I had invaluable advice from @CHANGES with points to consider.

At the moment I don't know if it has moved or not. I have the 'before' measurements but not yet had the chance to capture the 'after' measurements yet, so fingers crossed. 😟😬

Pete at PNM will be able to sort it if it has moved, they have chassis jigs for the Esprit.

Looks great.

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