LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion (
-   Appearance & Detailing (
-   -   Brake Caliper painting write-up? (

AustinL911 01-11-2004 11:38 AM

Brake Caliper painting write-up?
Know where I can find a write-up that explains exactly how to sand down and paint my calipers? I more or less need to know which grits to start and end with. Stuff like that. I'd also like to pull off the calipers to sand and paint on them, but I'm scared about not being able to bleed my brake right when I go to put them back on. So, know where I can finda write-up on bleeding brakes too? Thanks.

joshs2000ss 01-11-2004 02:18 PM

You shouldn't have to do anything to the brakes when you remove the calipers. If your not making any changes to the rotors or the calipers, what they came off of, they should go back on to with no problems. I just changed brakes on another car (pads, and rotors) and I just took a 1x4 with with a C clamp and compressed the pistons back in and slid the caliper back over the rotor, no bleeding required.

As far as the painting goes, this is a project that I'm about to get underway with as well so I would like to see responses too. Look around though, I'm sure there are several posts about this if you do a search. Try I'm not sure if they have that particular install but you could look. There is also another LS1 install site that I think had a write up about this but I can't remember the name. If no one else posts about it I'll try to find it and post it.

Hope this helps.

AustinL911 01-11-2004 07:55 PM

I'm sorry, I guess I should have clarified it abit. I plan too take the calipers COMPLETELY off the car. as in disconnecting the brake lines. I just feel I could do a much beter job not sittin gon the ground, and be better off on a work bench. Thanks for the help.

PSU_Engineer 01-12-2004 02:29 PM


Eastwood makes a set of threaded line plugs. They insert into the caliper to seal off the fluid. Here try this link. If it doesn't work, go to website, look under "Brakes and Suspension" catagory. Then look under "Brake Bleeding Tools"


Xsta Z 28 01-12-2004 03:56 PM

Guide to Painting Your Brake Calipers!!!


This was originally posted a couple of months back by SLPFireChicken:


1. Paint that is the color of your choice. There are very high temp brake caliper paints available, that can handle up to 900 degrees or so, but the color choice is rather limited, and you dont really need paint that withstands temperatures that high. Normal Engine Block Enamel, available at your local autoparts store will function just fine. There are many colors, and you can take your pic. If you plan on doing just the 4 calipers, you will need 2 cans. If you plan on painting the cast parts of the rotors, you will need 3 cans. If you plan on painting suspension components, wheel bearing housings, etc, add extra cans of paint at your leisure.

2. Clear coat engine enamel. This will be the final topcoat that goes over your calipers. Will help to preserve your finish, and decals (if applicable). Take however many cans you need of color, subtract 1, and thats the number of cans of clear you will need.

3. Decals of your choice from you enjoy their look).

4. A good cleaner for your brake components. I reccomend against using petroleum distillate cleaners, they smell nasty and can interefere with the paint drying. I have had great success with just a bucket of simple green and water.

5. A wire coat hanger, that will be used as a hook to support the caliper from the top of the springs. This will allow you to do the painting without having to remove the caliper from the brake line, and thus prevent any less-experienced brake people from having to worry about bleeding their brake lines. It also is less work, in my opinion, than removing the caliper completely, and re-attaching it.

6. A cheap, plastic, painters drop cloth, available at your local hardware store.

7. 2 inch wide of masking tape.

PROCEDURES: Note, its important to read all of this through, before you attempt this project. Some of the steps are optional, and are so indicated.

1. The first step is to go to use a high pressure washer to get the majority of dust off of your calipers. This can be done if you have your own pressure washer, but since most people dont own one, I suggest going to the local do-it-yourself-car wash. Those places usually have high pressure water streams that only cost a few bucks to use, and it will save you some scrubbing later.

2. Next, make sure to safely jack up and support your car. I do only one wheel at a time, mostly for safety reasons, but if you have access to a lift or jackstands, you can do several at a time. Its up to you, but make sure you do it safely. Remove the tire and wheel, and then disassemble the brake caliper. The brake assembly exists in two parts: the actual caliper that houses the pistons, and a bracket, that holds the pads in place prior to installing the caliper. Once the caliper is unbolted and removed, use the wire coat hanger through one of the caliper bolt holes to suspend the assembly from a top part of the suspension in the wheel well. NOTE: make sure to not put any tension on the brake line. There should be notable slack in the hydralic line when the caliper is held by the hanger. The bolts for the bracket are on behind the rotor.

3. Now that your components are in pieces, its time to clean them. Use the simple green, sponges, and other tools of your choice to remove all grease, brakedust, etc from the caliper and bracket. One they have been given time to dry, use a paper towel to determine if they are clean. I should mention that this is also an excellent time to clean the interior of the wheel well really well with a stiff bristle brush, to dislodge mud and dust.

4. At this point, you have a choice to make regarding the bracket and caliper. Do you want them to be the same color, different colors, or do you want to only paint the caliper. I suggest painting both the bracket and the caliper, it will provide a cleaner look to the finished project. However, they do not have to be the same color. use your judgement.

5. OPTIONAL: If you choose to do so, you can remove the rotor at this time, if you want to paint the cast portion in the center.

6. You will need to put a drop cloth of some kind over the lugs, hub, and basically everything that isnt getting painted. I suggest a cheap, plastic, painters drop cloth, but several large garbage bags will work in a pinch. Make sure to cover everything inside the wheel well, so you prevent from getting paint on things that shouldnt have paint on them (lugstuds, rotors, rubber boots, etc).

7. Use the masking tape to block off the pistons, the inside of the caliper, the bleeder valve cover, the caliper bolt holes, and the brake line connection at the rear of the caliper. You dont want paint on anything rubber, the solvent in the spraypaint may damage rubber components of your brake system. You will also need to mask off the bolt holes on your bracket.

8. Spray paint your caliper and bracket. I would do at least 3 coats, allowing for full and complete drying between coats. After the last coat, make doubly sure its dry before you apply the first 2 coats of clear. Then let dry fully.

9. OPTIONAL: While your caliper and bracket are drying between coats, use this time to take masking tape and cover up the shiny area of your rotors. When you paint the center, you do not want any paint on the areas that the brake pads contact. Put the same number of coats on your rotors as you do your calipers.

10. After you have applied the clear coats to your caliper, apply your decal. Be very careful when you do so, or else you will be replacing them. If you have never put them on before, it might not be a bad idea to have a spare on hand the first time.

11. Now this is a very important step. You want to cover the decals with clear coat, in order to prevent brake dust and the elements from wearing them down. But applying the clear coat must be done very carefully, and very lightly. Otherwise, the solvent from the spraypaint will begin to act like paint remover, and acutally make the coats below bleed through to the surface. once you have 2 light coats of clear coat on top of the decals, it is safe to do 2-3 more normal coats, with appropriate drying time in between. Also becareful to watch for any bleeding of previous coats of blue, and for sagging from overspray. Remember, its better to take longer and do a better job, than to have to redo the entire thing.

12. While your calipers are drying, you may apply any additional clear coats to your rotors and brackets as well. At this time, you might also want to consider painting the backside of the outermost brake pad. I have never liked the flat, black oxide finish of the factory pads, and your best bet would be to paint the pad black, instead of the matching color to the rest of the calipers. But thats always up to you.

13. While everything is drying, its also a good time to thouroughly clean and zaino your wheels. I have found that the best way to clean brake dust and other crud from wheels is to take a piece of extremely dirty clay bar, and use it to remove dust and deposits. After washing your wheel, zaino on the wheel and dressing on the tire will make your finished product look that much better.

14. After everything is done, reinstall your rotors, put the brakes back together, and put your wheel back on. Congratulations, you are finished, and your car looks all the better! Enjoy.

tuffluck 01-12-2004 06:58 PM

this one is a bit simpler.

ls1pwrdss 01-13-2004 09:13 PM

just spend the money and get them powder coated much nice and last longer. im just parcial to powder coating because i do it.

AustinL911 01-13-2004 10:03 PM

Originally Posted by ls1pwrdss
just spend the money and get them powder coated much nice and last longer. im just parcial to powder coating because i do it.

any guestimates of how much that'd cost? also, I can't have them apply decals to the calipers can I? because of the baking process?

ls1pwrdss 01-13-2004 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by AustinL911
any guestimates of how much that'd cost? also, I can't have them apply decals to the calipers can I? because of the baking process?

i know i charge 300 for all for calipers and brackets and you can place decals on afterwards most all places are the same its hard to find a place that will disassemble and reassembly for you so its best to take the calipers apart your self because of liability issues.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 AM.