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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to paint my calipers and add the Spyder decals. I've searched past posts, read about 10 of them, and still have a few questions. I'm not looking for the cheapest or the easiest way to do this, I'm looking for the best way to do it.
I would like to avoid removing the calipers but other than that I'm ready to take any necessary steps to ensure they look nice for as long as possible. The car will not be driven in snow or autocrossed so excessively high heat and salt shouldn't be an issue.
So my questions are:
•Will brake cleaner and a wire (toothbrush) be adequate or would a wire disc on a drill be better?
•Do I need to apply a high temp primer before painting?
•Is the $58 G2 kit any better than a couple cans of VHT caliper paint?
•After I apply the decals should I then add a VHT clear coat, and if so can that be sprayed into the cap then brushed on or does it need to be sprayed on?
On a side note it's great to be back actively on this forum, in just the last two weeks since buying Doogs car I've found myself on here most nights relearning everything about these fun little cars!
 

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I've decided to paint my calipers and add the Spyder decals. I've searched past posts, read about 10 of them, and still have a few questions. I'm not looking for the cheapest or the easiest way to do this, I'm looking for the best way to do it.
I would like to avoid removing the calipers but other than that I'm ready to take any necessary steps to ensure they look nice for as long as possible. The car will not be driven in snow or autocrossed so excessively high heat and salt shouldn't be an issue.
So my questions are:
•Will brake cleaner and a wire (toothbrush) be adequate or would a wire disc on a drill be better?
•Do I need to apply a high temp primer before painting?
•Is the $58 G2 kit any better than a couple cans of VHT caliper paint?
•After I apply the decals should I then add a VHT clear coat, and if so can that be sprayed into the cap then brushed on or does it need to be sprayed on?
On a side note it's great to be back actively on this forum, in just the last two weeks since buying Doogs car I've found myself on here most nights relearning everything about these fun little cars!
Can be done without removing the calipers. The honest truth is that ppl will only ever see what you see with he wheels on the car so while it may not be perfect coverage in some small area on the back of the caliper....who cares? Pro tip: turn the front wheels out when painting each side to get the best coverage for the backside of the calipers.

-Wire wheel on a drill is the way to go (by hand is doable but will take easily over an hour for each caliper). Be generous with brake cleaner/alcohol/etc before applying paint as a lot of dust will be in nooks & crannies.

-The G2 is absolutely better than VHT. The G2 becomes a very thick, durable paint when cured. I didn't use primer on either of my cars, no issues from that however primer is obviously the 'correct' way to do it so YMMV.

-I didn't add clear over the vinyl decals. I'm assuming you're talking about the Takuban vinyl decals which I can vouch for being durable AF. I could not be more satisfied with them. Just remember any spray paint means additional masking off as well.

I think ceramic coating done a few weeks after painting (to allow it to fully cure) may be better than high temp clear in the long run...of course it could always be applied over clear coat regardless.
 

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I just redid mine. The PO didn't remove anything except maybe the wheel, Luckly whatever paint he used was pretty much eaten by brake cleaner, but I still wound up wire-brushing (drill) several suspension parts, brake pads, etc......

I removed the calipers and pads, but did not break the lines, covered everything I didn't want yellow ;) I couldn't find yellow caliper paint anywhere!!! so I wound up using high temp engine paint. Has held up well so far ;)

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if you look closely at the pics you'll see a grocery bag is wrapped around the back half of the caliper as no one sees it so there was no need to paint it. Also the slider pieces were removed and painted off the car.
 

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I'm not looking for the cheapest or the easiest way to do this, I'm looking for the best way to do it.
I would like to avoid removing the calipers
Kinda contradicting yourself there, but that's OK. :)
Hand wire brush (don't need perfection, just get anything loose), rust remover, iron phosphate prep, VHT color, VHT clear. Easy on the brake cleaner (effective but nasty stuff - I love it and hate it simultaneously).
Not quite as good as remove, media blast, bake, ceramic coat, cure, rebuild & install, but will last 10 years.
Or, fast wire brush, rustoleum rust converter, VHT, get done quickly, redo in about 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can be done without removing the calipers. The honest truth is that ppl will only ever see what you see with he wheels on the car so while it may not be perfect coverage in some small area on the back of the caliper....who cares? Pro tip: turn the front wheels out when painting each side to get the best coverage for the backside of the calipers.

-Wire wheel on a drill is the way to go (by hand is doable but will take easily over an hour for each caliper). Be generous with brake cleaner/alcohol/etc before applying paint as a lot of dust will be in nooks & crannies.

-The G2 is absolutely better than VHT. The G2 becomes a very thick, durable paint when cured. I didn't use primer on either of my cars, no issues from that however primer is obviously the 'correct' way to do it so YMMV.

-I didn't add clear over the vinyl decals. I'm assuming you're talking about the Takuban vinyl decals which I can vouch for being durable AF. I could not be more satisfied with them. Just remember any spray paint means additional masking off as well.

I think ceramic coating done a few weeks after painting (to allow it to fully cure) may be better than high temp clear in the long run...of course it could always be applied over clear coat regardless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the tips everyone, I'm gonna go with the G2 in blue with silver LT spyder decals. I'm thinking it will go well with the midship center caps. Still undecided about the clearcoat. If it can be brushed on I'll end up doing it, spray on I likely wont.
 

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Show some pics of the end result. I'd show a picture of mine (done 4-5 yrs ago) but with the rain they're probably dirty as all hell right now
 

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I painted my calipers about 9 months ago which means they have been on the road for about a month total. I brushed on Por5 without removing the calipers. I agree, you can get everywhere that people will see. And with the rough cast surface, a super smooth sprayed surface is not required. They look great when I finished and still look great so far.

To prep, I sand blasted and wire brushed them first. The fronts appear to be aluminum casting, no rust but they had been painted before and I wanted to get off as much possible. The backs are steel castings, I got off as much rust off as possible. Washed them with with orange degreaser. Applied the Ospho and then brushed on the Por5. I wished I had painted the rusty parts of the discs
calp paint3.jpg
calp paint2.jpg
calp paint1.jpg
coat to fix the rust, back and front just in case. Then brushed on the Por5.
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Hummm, I never considered brush on paint, but having just done the spray job (took 8 coats, can said 2), I can definitely see the advantage! If/when I re-do, I'm def going the brush route!!!
 

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Brush on is infinitely better IMO as the final product t will be much thicker. I wouldn't apply this logic to other things such as valve covers, wheels, etc but for a high abuse area such as the brakes (both heat & debris/rock chips) I think brush on is the absolute way to go. I never used any rust reformer or primer but a thorough job with the wire brush, solid cleabing/drying of the dust and 1 -2 thick coats of the G2 paint gets the job done pretty thoroughly. If you're gonna take the calipers off completely i think powder coating is the only route that really makes sense once you pass that threshold of effort.
 
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