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Old 03-04-2016, 08:38 AM
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Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

hi all. let me preface this by saying i'm not a mechanic nor a painter. i took auto shop in high school 30 years ago - that's pretty much the extent of my working on cars. i think i did change the brake pads on an '80s car 10 years ago or so. i've painted plenty of rooms in my house.

i plan on painting the calipers on my jeep tomorrow. i have all the necessary tools, jack, jack stands - all good there. i plan on leaving the calipers attached (see previous paragraph) and masking the shit out of everything around them.

i looked through the wheels at them - appears that the pads have some outward-facing clips holding them on? not sure what those are but seems they might be in the way. should i try to remove the pads (see previous paragraph) or just mask these clips or paint them? if i leave the pads on, i'll be masking them of course, just don't know about these clips.

for those that have done it, any tips or "gotcha"s i should know going in?

i have the G2 paint kit. just want to be as prepped as i can be for this. i plan on most of the day.

thanks!

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Old 03-06-2016, 09:16 PM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

I know it would be more of a pain, but it really would be best to remove the pads and whatever else you can. Not only would it give you cleaner results, but there wouldn't be the chance of getting paint on parts that you don't necessarily want it on
Also make sure everything is nice and clean. I'm sure that won't be an issue since your HA is brand spankin new, but that will give the best results and longevity.
Post pics of you can.
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:03 PM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

Yep,let's check out that hard work
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:13 AM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

When I painted a set of calipers on another vehicle, I bought caliper paint, left everything together and applied it with a paint brush. I think I ended up putting on 3 coats. It is still holding up well 3 years layer. I used this same method for painting my nephew's Audi calipers
I've also painted another set of Cobra calipers that I put on my Mustang. I had received the calipers in the mail, so I ended up spray painting them.
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Old 03-07-2016, 08:32 AM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

Lots of nooks and crannies to consider. I did mine off the vehicle but if I were to do them on the vehicle I would use aluminum foil to cover anything I didn't want paint on. No need for tape.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:44 AM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

well, i got it done. it was a long process. here's a brief version with pictures.

Things used:
  • Jack (I have a 2.25 ton hydraulic jack that I figured I'd use. Turns out it's not tall enough - mainly for cars. Had to use the jack that came with the Jeep. Note to self: get new hydraulic jack.)
  • Jack stands (4 if you want to do all four calipers at once, which you do. I bought 4 3-ton jack stands.)
  • Breaker bar (not a requirement but makes life easier)
  • Torque wrench (for putting tires back on)
  • Caliper paint (I used G2)
  • 1" Foam brush (highly recommended)
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Painter's tape

I had gathered everything I needed for this project and was only waiting for the paint to show up. Tracking said it was supposed to be here Saturday, but I was skeptical and didn't want to do all the pre-work in case the paint didn't show up until Monday so I could use my car. Paint showed up at 2pm. Looks like it's time to go.

The project started like this:


Hey, thanks G2! Maybe shipping a box wrapped in bubble wrap and shoved in an envelope isn't the best way to ship a box? Still, the paint, activator and brush were in there, which is all I really needed. It also came with brake cleaner, which I didn't need. Car has 1300 miles on it, brakes are still very clean.

Jacked the car up, got all the wheels off and took a look.



Those mustache-shaped brackets are what I was talking about in the first post. I figured these have to come off. They appear to be held on simply by tension, so I grabbed the screwdriver and started pushing. They popped off easily enough.

Now on to masking:



This is where you should spend most of your time. If you take your time masking, it will make painting a lot easier. Be prepared for lots of time on your back masking up the rear of the calipers.

From opening the box of paint to being done masking was a little over four hours. It is nerve-wracking seeing your car suspended by four metal triangles!


Now ready to paint. The kit comes with a tiny brush, which is good, and how I decided to start painting. Figured I'd get the close/detail work done first then use the 1" foam brush to cover the larger areas. This was a mistake. The first coat on the first caliper (driver's front) took over 30 minutes using this method. I know I'm on the clock - once you pour the activator in the paint, you have 2-4 hours of viability (so I had read) before the paint is too "cured" to use. So on the next caliper, I started with the 1" foam brush then moved to the tiny brush for detail work. This went much faster. The paint gets tacky after 15-20 minutes, so by the time I was done with the first coat on all calipers, I started the second coat straight away. Was finished with both coats on all four calipers in a little over 2 hours. I took an hour break then went back out to do some final touch-up work on areas that needed more coverage. Some paint bubbles popped, some brush strokes (which you can eliminate with the foam brush), etc. Had my wife triple-check to make sure there was nothing I missed. I was not too concerned about some of the areas on the back of the calipers. I did what I could quickly, but knowing the paint was curing quickly I didn't want to spend a ton of time on areas that weren't visible then end up with no paint to finish the visible areas. After the 3rd "coat", I was done for the night. It was 10pm.


I wasn't sure when to remove the masking - "wet" or dry? The only write-ups I could find about this said they removed the masking dry, so I left it on. G2 says it takes a full 24h to harden entirely. In the morning, I was getting more nervous about the car being on jack stands and wanted to set it down. Figured the paint can finish curing then. So I started the process of mask removal. Went much quicker than application, but still took an hour.



I discovered during removal that there were areas I somehow missed that I wish I could have covered. I don't know how we missed them - both me and my wife looked them over several times. Chalk it up to a long day, I guess. Oh well, paint is useless now and it was the only can I had.

Now I had to put the mustache brackets back on. I assume there is probably some kind of tool that makes this easy, but all I had was my screwdriver. I tried to be as careful as possible, but as it's a metal bracket scraping against paint, I scratched up the parts of the paint job where the bracket goes. This was disappointing. I wonder if I had waited a full 24h if it would have made a difference? Again, oh well - no more paint. Have to deal with it.

After about 20h (I got impatient and was exhausted from the day before and spending all day messing with the links, but that's another story), we took it for a spin. While I had the wheels off, I installed 1.25" BORA spacers. They recommend going five miles then re-checking torque. So we went about 3 miles away from home so that when I got back I could re-check. Took a pic in the parking lot:


She needs a bath but I'm pretty happy with the look of her new earrings.

Things I wish I'd done differently:
  • If at all possible - meaning, if you know what you're doing with the brake system - obviously, removing the calipers is the best idea. You get full coverage. As mentioned above, I don't know anything about it, so I left them on. I'm a little concerned that, over time, the paint line where the areas I didn't cover and the areas I did meet will begin chipping. I will have to do some touch-ups at that time. I'm hoping these last at least until I need new pads, at which point I'd probably pay a shop to re-do paint while they have them off.
  • The bracket re-application - wish I had waited for the paint to fully harden before putting these back on, but I'm still skeptical that it would have made a difference. I don't know how to get these on without scratching up the new paint. That was frustrating. If I were to do it again, I would have bought a second can of G2 paint for touch-ups after bracket re-application. As it stands, I'm going to do that in a few weeks (next time I can be without my car for a weekend) in hopes of avoiding further chipping where the paint is scratched off.

Overall, this was a giant pain in the ass to do. From far away, I'm happy with the results. From up close and the back, I know I cut corners. But it's the best I could do, and I did it myself, so I'm basically happy with the results.

PS - the torque on the spacers didn't budge. Was not happy to have to jack up and remove tires AGAIN after this long weekend, and it ended up being for nothing, but would have felt like an idiot if I didn't check and wheels went flying off. Still, kind of a frustrating ending to it all.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg g2.box.jpg (143.0 KB, 343 views)
File Type: jpg rearbrake.before.jpg (179.8 KB, 334 views)
File Type: jpg frontbrake.before.jpg (170.7 KB, 348 views)
File Type: jpg rearbrake.before.masked.jpg (214.5 KB, 343 views)
File Type: jpg rearbrake.before.masked.side.jpg (171.8 KB, 331 views)
File Type: jpg rearbrake.painted.masked.jpg (138.6 KB, 332 views)
File Type: jpg car.on.jack.stands.jpg (133.4 KB, 341 views)
File Type: jpg frontbrake.after.jpg (137.7 KB, 343 views)
File Type: jpg rearbrake.after.jpg (183.2 KB, 342 views)
File Type: jpg after.jpg (252.1 KB, 402 views)
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:22 PM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

Great play-by-play write up, g0rey1.
The result certainly is worth it, I would say. Looks great.
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Old 03-07-2016, 06:35 PM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

Well done.
On my previous cars I did fronts one week and backs the next to break up the work. I also found that the Duplicolor Ceramic caliper kit is just as durable but isn't a two part like the G2 so it won't dry up in the can.
I also recommend different sized brushes to help with the application.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:55 PM
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Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

I plan on doing my calipers and rotor hats this spring in black. I'll probably need two G2 kits though. Group buy anyone?


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Old 03-07-2016, 10:06 PM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

Looks great and that's a nice write up!

I did mine when I first picked up my '15 (had like 10 miles on the car) and they came out, average I'd say. Like you mentioned, from far away it looks great, but when you get up close to the wheels you can see a novice painted them >_< With that said, how many people get within 2-3 feet of your tires on a daily basis??? Despite that, for the $40 in paint and some DIY time, it's a great option. I thought about caliper covers, but $200 seems a bit lofty for those things...

Looking back I wish I spent a bit more prep time with the tape and a bit longer applying the paint a bit slower. I'd also not recommend doing it in November, where in NJ it's fairly cold at that time (had the car half in/half out of the garage to give myself room). I think I got 4 coats on before I ran out. 15k miles on my car and it looks as it did from day one - the G2 paint def holds up well.

On a side/random note: Your G2 paint box looks like mine when it arrived in the mail
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Old 03-09-2016, 11:55 AM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

Good job. I just slathered some Eastwood Rust encapsulator paint and top coated with Chasis Black epoxy paint when I painted everything on the jeep.

I have to pull the calipers and rotors this spring to paint behind the rotors so they wont seize to the hubs, might also pull the axle nuts and back out the bearings in the knuckles and slap some copper seize so down the road I can replace the bearings without having to pound the snot out the knuckle to get them out.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:02 PM
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Re: Painting brake calipers ('16 JGC HA)

cool, thanks. but everything you just said was kinda like this to me:


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