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Tag Archives: HotCoat

  • Adding Custom Effects to Powder Coat

    Just like paint, you can create custom powder coating finishes by adding metal flakes directly into the powder .  Unlike paint powders will not accept pearl additives because pearls cannot withstand the high temperatures that powder requires to cure.  With that said, creating custom powders is a game of trial and error because different powders have slightly different properties and accept flakes  differently.  Also each metallic flake will act differently at 400ºF so the following is not a strict formula for mixing flake to powder, more of a guideline of the entire process.

    P1030453 After painting the valve covers on my truck with High Temp Chevy Orange Paint, I noticed that after time they began to fade and in some spots start to peel up.  I'll admit that they could have been prepped better the first time but now I get to re-finish them with a custom color unlike any other.

    Prep

    P1040172

    As you'll see above, the bottom valve cover is fully prepped and cleaned, while the top one has only been thorough the blaster.

    Powder can be a very stubborn material to work with because the part being coated must be super clean in order to create the best finish.  Don't let this steer you away, compared to paint, cured powder will resist temperatures up to 250ºF and all types of chemicals including DOT 3 brake fluid. Powder is great for almost any metal part on a vehicle that will be exposed to the elements or will see heavy traffic. In the interest of saving time I am not going to go into detail about how to properly prep the parts, for this info refer to one of our earlier articles How to Prep Metal For Powder Coating.

     

     Mixing Powders

    Different from paint, two different colored powders cannot be mixed to create a new uniform color. What you'll end up with is a "salt and pepper" effect where you will see both colors individually. If thats the finish you are looking for it is a perfectly functional option but don't expect a new color like you would with paint. On the other hand powder will accept some metallic additives but there is not a clear ratio of how much to add because every powder and metallic are different and will not react the same way. If you decide that you want to venture down the road of adding metallic to powder there are a few guidelines to follow.  Darker powders will almost always show metallics the best compared to lighter colors.  Additionally translucent powders will show metallics the best because the orientations of the flake does not matter because you will be able to see it through the powder.

     

    P1040210 For these valve covers I decided I wanted to go with a twist on the classic Chevy Orange Powder by incorporating Eastwood Alsip Orange Super Flake into the powder. Not knowing how the two would mix, I decided to test my mixture on a few test pieces to ensure it had the look I wanted.

     

    Testing Mixtures

    IMG_1674 The first test piece had way too much flake in it and it ended up looking and feeling like sand paper, the exact opposite of the smooth glossy finish I wanted.  Throughout this project I used the Eastwood Dual Voltage Powder Gun on the II setting.

     

    P1040220

    For the next test piece I decided to dial back on the flake in hopes of getting a smooth finish while still being able to see the flake.  As you can see the metallic effect is muted and very subtle but the surface is smooth just like I wanted.  Below you will see the distribution of the flake in the powder, it does not look like there is much but as you will see it really shows through.

     

    P1040225

    Coating the Valve Covers

    P1040185 Before coating the valve covers I needed to outgas them first, which in simple terms means cooking off any contaminants that may still be on the surface. To outgas, I heated the part up to 410ºF, slightly above the curing temp just in case there were any contaminants that would not bake off at 400ºF.

     

    IMG_1946 I applied this mixture to the valve covers and cured them at 400ºF for 20 minutes.  When adding flakes to powder you have to watch the time carefully because the flakes may change slightly if cured for too long.

     

    P1040200 The coverage was great and they turned out looking really nice because you could see the metallic, but only if you really looked for it. I had a hard time getting it to even show up in a picture.  Don't get me wrong, they looked great but to get that WOW! look when I open the hood, they still needed a little more sparkle.

     

    Mixing Into Clear

    P1040224 Deciding between just applying clear or to mix flake into the clear was a tough choice, since each powder reacts differently I decided to use my second test piece to see how the flake/clear will end up looking and go from there. I used Eastwood Super Gloss Clear Powder at 1/3 of an 8oz container to 1 tsp. of the same Alsip Orange Flake, Above you can see the flake distributed in the clear.

     

    P1040217 The results were amazing and exactly what I wanted, this meant the valve covers were going back in the oven to be hot flocked.  The clear recommends a cure temp of 375ºF, but with the added flake I decided to preheat and cure at 385ºF to make up for the added flake. I'm not sure if this was needed but it didn't affect the end result.

     

     

    Valve Cover Clear They looked great after the first coat but I decided that I would hot flock them again and apply one more, on the first pass I did not attach the grounding cable causing me to miss some spots. One great attribute of the clear powder is that you can layer it as many times as you would like, until you get the look you want. If you want to do multiple coats of clear make sure you use PRE to remove any contaminants that may be present.  

     

    IMG_1961 IMG_1958 IMG_1957

    The final result was spectacular it almost looks like it should be its own color. In good light the metallic stands out beautifully, and its great knowing that this is a one off color that no one else has.   Eastwood offers such a variety of powders an additives that the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.  Just remember to measure out the ratios or each component in case you need to make more later on.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and How-To Center for  more How-To's, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

    - James R/EW

  • Project of the Week- Powder Coating a vintage Mini Bike

    Here at Eastwood we're always working on new products, but we always make sure we're testing products we've offered for quality. Recently JR decided to powder coat a vintage mini bike to show off some of our Hot Coat Powder and test the outcome of our metallic powders.
  • Powder Coating Aluminum and other Cast Parts

    Larger cast aluminum parts like transmission cases, cylinder heads, engine blocks, etc. can be difficult to get the current to pass through when powder coating a cold part and poor powder adhesion can be the result....
  • A Crash Course in DIY Powder Coating

    You may not realize it, but Eastwood was the first to bring DIY powder coating to the masses and into your garage. We've been there since the start and I'll admit that we sometimes forget that not everyone is as educated as we are about the process. I decided to throw together a list of information that will give you a crash course on powder coating as well as some tips and tricks along the way.
  • Hang up the Lawn Chairs and put on the Race Helmet- Dan and Amanda's '68 Mustang Fastback

    Dan Woods is a familiar face around Eastwood and he's actually made some appearances in powder coating posts here before. Dan runs his own powder coating business he calls D&W Motorsports. Dan's partner in crime is a long time Eastwood employee. Amanda and Dan are both really into classic cars and this is the story about their 1968 Mustang Fastback show car turned racer.

    Dan Powder Coating

    Dan tells us "This story actually started back in 1967 when my older brother came home from Vietnam. He bought a Highland Green 68 Mustang fastback. I loved that car so much that someday I was determined to have one of my own." In 1995 Dan was searching for his own 67 or 68 Mustang. He had his heart set on finding a Fastback, but so did everyone else, so he wasn't having much luck finding one. He broadened his scope and found a 1968 Mustang Coupe that had been sitting on a trailer for some time. He then did what any classic car fanatic would do and left a note asking to buy it. This method is always hit or miss and this time owner didn't want to sell the Mustang coupe and Dan's search went dry.

    Just when he thought the '68 coupe was a dead end, Dan got a call from a gentleman asking if he was still looking for a '68 Mustang. He went on to tell Dan he'd been at the bank chatting to the teller about selling his and she mentioned Dan had just asked to buy her sons coupe! Phone numbers were exchanged and Dan was now on the line with the seller of a '68 Fastback GT with a four speed.

    Once in the presence of the potential project car, it was apparent the car was in a bad state and the current owner obviously wasn't much of a mechanic. Dan agreed to buy it and drug the car home to disassemble. He decided to go through EVERYTHING the last guy had done to it. During this time Dan was going through a rough divorce and he used the Mustang for therapy. He spent his "therapy sessions" learning to weld as he finished replacing the floor pans.

    The plan from the beginning was to install a 500+ HP big block, so all of the the rust had to be addressed and additional bracing added for the power. He fabricated new patch panels for the spring towers, fabricated new torque boxes out of 3/16" steel, modified some Chevelle ladder bars and made custom frame connectors. The car at this point was 100% disassembled and he began tearing into the exterior of the car. Rust repair was needed on the quarter panels and other parts of the body, so Dan had to learn how to do body work with some coaching from a friend.

    After tackling the majority of the rust repair, bodywork, and suspension upgrades, he began customizing the car a little more to his tastes. Dan used a Shelby trunk lid and quarter extensions, but did away with the some of the chrome on the rear of the car. After all of this work the car was ready for paint and Dan had a local friend paint the car what he calls "Steve Mcqueen Highland Green". After reassembling the car he had the makings of a really nice custom '68 Mustang Fastback GT.

    Just like the car, the engine had an interesting story and involved Dan exchanging $100 for a 428 block, crank, and chicken lice... Luckily Dan solved the lice problem quickly and he was able to build the engine he had planned from day one. The engine got the full treatment and was decked, bored .020 over, ARP bolts and studs on the bottom end, Aries pistons for 11.5:1 compression, and everything fully balanced and blue printed. He mounted a set of Edelbrock aluminum heads, three Holley 2-barrel carbs, MSD ignition components and finally upgraded to a Tremic TKO 5 speed transmission.

    Dan debuted the car at his first cruise night (Chesterbrook) in May of 1998, three years after he started building it. The car turned a lot of heads and people flocked instantly. Dan and Amanda met and shared the love of classic cars and they showed the car together for some time, winning over fifty awards. During that time Dan was hooked on powder coating and in 2001 he opened his custom powder coating business. Dan's handiwork (and love for Eastwood products) shows all over the car including Eastwood under hood black in the engine bay and under the car, chrome w/ gloss clear powdered oil pan and coil springs, Ford light blue powdered strut rods, Ford dark blue powdered front sway bar, Mirror blue powdered trans case, bell housing, and timing chain cover, mirror red powdered front calipers and ladder bars, gloss black powdered front rotors and rear drums, and smoked chrome powdered rear housing and back plates.

    Eventually shows and cruise nights became mundane and Dan began thinking of racing the car after meeting some local guys racing in a nostalgic super stock series. Amanda helped him make the decision by saying "you've been talking about going drag racing again since I've known you why don't you do it!". So like that they quit the car show and cruise night scene and began prepping the car to race. Dan replaced the 406 Tri-power with an Edelbrock Victor 427 intake and a 750 cfm HP Holley carburetor and ditched the five speed with a C-4 auto transmission.

    Dan hadn't raced since 1975, but he was confident in his car. Dan and Amanda entered the car for an episode of the TV show Pinks!. After two days of racing Dan made it to one of the final tiers and got to race with host Rich Christianson dropping his arms to start the race. In the end Dan didn't make it onto the show, but he got very close! After that Dan and Amanda joined the 422 Allstars Super Stock racing class and were instantly hooked. Quickly the car began getting some "old school" touches to give it a 1960's drag car vibe. With some retro sponsor decals, pin striping, and a change in wheels and tires, the car really fits the "look" of a drag car from the 1960's now.

    Dan's first and second season he placed 16th overall in points. Each year they've refined the car more and more. Dan and Amanda are a true classic car couple and she has as much wrench time as some of the guys out there! She's helped pull the engine, bleed brakes, start the car initially after a tear down, load and unload the car from the trailer, etc. She's even working to eventually be a track specialist and data recorder for the 422 Allstars. Needless to say, it's obvious the couple that wrenches and races together, wins together!

    All the hard work paid off and in 2012 they placed 7th overall, boasting a best 1/4 mile time of 10.95 at Maple Grove Raceway.
    The car still makes appearances at some local shows and events (it attended the Eastwood Summer Classic this past year), but these days it usually turns heads first when it starts up. This is a perfect example of a love affair with a car and the ways you can still have fun in your classic car when things get boring. Dan and Amanda are getting some more engine work done this year and going through the transmission. They hope to break into the top 5 this year or maybe better!

    Check out Dan and Amanda's '68 Mustang Fastback in an upcoming issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords Magazine. Some of the photos throughout this article are actually teasers from the feature by John Machaqueiro!

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