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Any tricks to painting brake calipers?

This is a discussion on Any tricks to painting brake calipers? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I know the process of getting the calipers off, prepping and paintingthe caliper itself. My question is what are some ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Any tricks to painting brake calipers?

    I know the process of getting the calipers off, prepping and paintingthe caliper itself. My question is what are some tricks to dealing with the brake lines and eventually bleeding the brakes?

    Thanks for any help in advance.
    Suspension: Lower control arms (Spohn), Drive shaft safety loop, Torque arm (Edlebrock), Strut tower brace, Panhard Bar (BMR)

    Under the Hood: Smooth bellows, Lid, Catch can, LT Headers, ORY, AIR/EGR delete, Poly engine/transmission mounts,

    Exterior: Painted brake calipers (Red), Halo “Spyder” Headlights w/matching parking/turn signals (Black)

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    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Spray the line couplers and bleeders with PBlaster so you don't round off the couplers, or bleeders. And when you bleed your brakes, make sure you have the correct DOT rated fluid. You can buy power bleeders at your local parts store and if you don't have one, keep an empty clear bottle with a hose to catch the fluid that escapes when you crack open the bleeder screws. Let us know if you need any further assistance.

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    I painted mine on the car. Unbolted the calipers and caliper brackets and then hung the calipers with a short piece of coat hanger. Cleaned everything real good with brake cleaner and a small brass brush -- being careful not to rip into the dust boots on the pistons. I masked the hoses and fittings and used a cut down plastic cap from a can of spray paint to cover the pistons. If you contour the cap with scissors it will fit just about perfectly. You can also utilize aluminum foil to mask off the lines and such. I then draped newspaper over the suspension and axle to protect it all from overspray. Did this about 2 years ago and they still look about perfect.

    Here are the before and after shots -- also detailed the suspension while I was at it:






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    Senior Member JayTA98's Avatar
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    pretty much did the same as Jeff

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    So pretty much unbolt em, hang em, clean em, tape everythig u dont want paint on and go to work? How long for drying? Can doesnt say

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    are you using spray or brush on paint? If spray on the number one thing is prep......they have to be completely free of dirt or oil. Even a fingerprint will make the paint "fisheye". Brush on you can get away with a little more but they still need to be pretty clean to get a good looking job out of them.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Spray

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    I've done both ways. My recommendation is to pull the calipers to spray them. You can spray them on there for sure but be careful with overspray if you're doing it in a garage. I pulled mine and took them completely apart when I did mine one winter. Pain in the ass to do it that way compared to brushing them but you end up with a nicer looking job. I would also recommend finding some high temp clear and putting a few coats of clear on them while you're at it. Another thing I did was use a dremel with the brush wheel and stripped them all the way down to where they were shiney. Even then I was still having problems with fisheye.....clean clean clean is all I can tell you. If you think you have all the oil and fingerprints off them.....clean them 2 more times.
    Having done them both ways I don't think I'll ever spray mine again. If I go to that much trouble I'll just have them powder coated.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Good call on the clear coat. Too late to turn back now. I have already bought the spray and i doubt they will takebit back. I honestly dont want to take the wholething apart and worry about bleeding the rakes butbi also dpnt want overspray. Any suggestions?

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    cover everything.......get some of the wifes sheets out of the closet and cover the entire car. Use newspaper/masking tape on everything you can't cover with a sheet.

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    Junior Member Jknerr's Avatar
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    FYI my experience painting calipers ended poorly, however i used the brush on paint. I completely agree with removing caliper entirely to spray. also make sure to mask well around the entire inside. If you spray multiple coats and/or a clear it may take a few days to truly bond to the metal and each coat. That being said, when you re-install your pad, it may vibrate and crack the paint on the inside surface of the caliper. once the paint flakes there it will likely move to the outside visible part of the caliper. That being said, I wouldn't bother with the stuff you wont see.


    Sanding your caliper or a wire brush is a good idea first.

    Caliper cleaner evaporates quickly so do small areas at a time, and make sure to remove with different parts of a rag or disposable towel.


    Finally use a few coat hangers or other flexible items to create a useful stand. this will make it quicker and easier to paint. You can try suspending it from a ceiling or stand, but make sure whatever you do will hold it up safely (for its paint and your head)


    Good luck and please show pics when done!!
    What do I think about my Trans Am? I Think of it as Angelina Jolie. You’ve heard she's mad and eats nothing but wallpaper paste. But you would, wouldn't you?"

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Thats what im going to do. I have one of my boys comin help me out so it shouldnt be to long. For the hanging the calipers instead of taking them all apart, just find a place to hang em in the fenderwell?

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    Junior Member Jknerr's Avatar
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    Dont be lazy. Do it right and take the caliper off. if you miss a spot or overspray you will regret it every time you look at your wheels. Thats what happened to me.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    I will have pictures. Think i should start a new thread for the pics or just add em to this?

    I do have sand paper already. Have a guy i know just did his but hes jot the brightest crayon in the box. So his way isnt the way i wanna go. However, he sprayed his and they came out great. Just his method seems shady. Honestly dknt wanna write all that he did so you can save that quetion

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Very true. That will be pretty lazy. As for my original question, i think i have tge actual painting down. What i need yalls help with is if/when i take the calipers off, what do i do withthe break lines? Also what do i need to do to bleed em the best way once back together

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    have you ever bled brakes before? Pretty easy stuff if you have a helper to pump brakes. As for the lines.....just unscrew them from the calipers and leave them hang. Bleed passenger rear, drivers rear, passenger front, and drivers front. In that order.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Never have done it. Curious if there were any tricks. Ive owned my car since 07 but never did anything on my own except change the oil until the last couple of years. Now im getting brave and doing more stuff on my own instead of payong out my ass to have it done.

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    ok...well, bleeding brakes is pretty easy stuff. There are some one man bleeders out there but it's much easier if you just have a helper there to pump the brakes for you. My brother in law has a vacuum bleeder that is bad ass so if you can get your hands on one of those by all means do it.

    Anyhow, like I said earlier. Start with the passenger rear wheel. Have a big bottle of brake fluid on hand because you're going to want to keep topping off the fluid......don't run the resevoir dry or you'll get air into the master cylinder and that really sucks.
    I use a little cheapy 1 man bleeder even with a helper because it has a clear tube that I can see bubbles through easily. Slip that over your bleeder on the caliper. You don't have to have that though....just makes it easier to see the air come out and you don't squirt fluid all over everything.
    Get a open end wrench (forget off hand what size....it's metric.....I'm thinking 8mm for the rears and 10mm for the fronts but that's a total guess). Put wrench on bleeder.
    Have helper pump the brakes 3 times and hold on the last pump.
    Open the bleeder and fluid/air bubbles will come out.
    Tighten bleeder and have helper release brakes.
    Repeat until there's no more bubbles in the line.
    After every couple of times check your fluid and add as necessary.
    Repeat on other 3 wheels.

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    Senior Member kenro23's Avatar
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    Orion, thanks a lot. Those instructions seem very good. I will do this on saturday. Hopefully i find everything that you have said in that post. I am completely new to getting down with cars. However, i am not a dumby so i know i can do it. Thanks a lot for the info though. If i have any other questions or if i get stuck i will post up

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    good luck.....it's pretty straight forward once you get into it. You're basically pressurizing the line, opening the bleeder to push the fluid/air through, and then closing the line while the pressure is still there. If you're helper lets off the pedal before you tighten the bleeder it'll suck air back through the bleeder so make sure they hold it down until you tell them to let up. Wives normally work well for that job except me and my wife end up fighting usually at some point. haha At least I'm under the car so I can just barely hear her.

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