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Painting Roadster Brake Calipers

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by JohnnyLounge21, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. JohnnyLounge21

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    I'm sure I'm not the first to ask this. . . However, the only information I'm finding on the subject is for the Model S.

    I'd like to do something fun with my brake calipers. After getting the Michelin Pilot Super Sports on the rear of the car done @ Costco (Thanks Henry for all the guidance!), I wanted to take this to the next level. Even with my Glacier Blue color on the car, I think that yellow calipers would really look cool.

    I'm in San Diego and could go to/from LA if needed to get it done. . . Ideas? Anyone do this yet? I'd like to only be out the car for an overnight at most. . . Cost?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Fluke

    Fluke Member

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    Duplicolor makes a brake caliper painting kit in several colors (I got one in yellow color through Amazon). I have not had a chance to do the work, so can't comment on whether this is a good route. The cost is minimal ~$20 if you want to go this route and put in the time yourself.
     
  3. Rik

    Rik Member

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    Good timing! I put on PSS's a few months back on the rear and like them. not nearly the same regen braking ability as the sticky yoko's though.

    Anyway, I bought off of amazon prime the duplicolor caliper kit... not the caliper spray paint. I have a black roadster and figured i'd go yellow to see how it looked. I ended up spending all day saturday and sunday (one side of the car for each full day)... applying a coat every 3 hours. Still had about half the paint leftover. Photo attached of what it looks like. not as perfect as if the calipers would have been removed, but good enough for $10 kit and 1 weekend. I can share more details on how I did it, some lessons learned, etc. if you are interested.

    Tesla-Roadster-0630-brake calipers-2 copy.jpg
     
  4. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I'm interested. I've read about those caliper painting kits that don't require removing the calipers. Does it have to take that much time??? My car is Fusion Red with black forged wheels and a black CF top so I don't want to do red (it won't match). I'm thinking yellow might be the right color. What do you think?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here's another Roadster with yellow calipers that were done by Al & Eds.
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/3578-Xenon-HID-upgrade/page10?p=214145#post214145
     
  5. wiztecy

    wiztecy Active Member

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    #5 wiztecy, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    I'm curious just how are you going to clean those things, especially of all the sticky black brake dust? I'd suspect the wheels need to come off and how often do your really want to do that? The forged rims appear to give you more room to reach in, but the cast rims will be almost impossible to get in there. It won't pick up as much dust as the rims since the rims are rotating covering more area, but the calipers will get dirty and need cleaning. I really like the color mine are, brake dust color, so it blends in well. I ran the sponge in there (cast rims) and found what a pain that was.

    But I'm sure it is a fun thing to do and neat looking! So that's what really counts :)

    Possibly Rik can chime in on how dirty they get, the ease of cleaning them, and how often.
     
  6. jeremyz

    jeremyz Member

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    I just talked to a guy today who had used the duplicolor brake caliper paint on his evo's brakes. He said it looked great for about 6 months and then it starts to get cloudy. He ended up taking his Brembo's apart and having them powder coated.
     
  7. Rik

    Rik Member

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    So the verdict is still out for me on whether the paint holds up but so far so good.

    I jacked up one side of the car at a time, removed front and rear wheels. The caliper paint kit comes with a cleaner spray to get gunk off the calipers. You have to remove the pads and tape up the rotors and brake lines so that you are painting only the right parts. I found that after using the spray cleaner that the paint didn't bond well the first couple of coats so I decided to apply several coats (5-7) per side. The paint finally took later in the coats and I felt that applying a bunch of coats was best to get the right coverage.

    The brush that comes with the kit is a POS and after a coat the bristles harden up and it's not worth using again. I used a high quality paint brush and wrapped it in saran wrap between coats so that it stayed flexible. I also applied the paint liberally and did not get concerned about the running of the paint... it smoothed out as it dried. Overall, I think it needs several coats to bond and to apply a solid coating on the calipers.

    So far, the color stays true and as expected the brake dust builds up but the dust runs right off when washing the wheels/car.

    I think the key is giving 2 hours+ between coats let's the paint set up. Anything less reveals that the ceramic paint gums up with prior coats and ruins the bonding.

    Use a good brush, go slow, use a fan to circulate around the area of the car, and you should be happy with the results.

    @HCSharp... I am a yellow fan so I say thumbs up on ordering the yellow kit online.
     
  8. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Funny I also talked to a guy today who used duplicolor brake caliper paint and said essentially the same thing. It didn't get cloudy, it just didn't hold up to weekly cleaning (with a rag) as well as a quality powder coat. After about a year the finish became dull and he had them powder coated which apparently is holding up better.

    I've pretty much decided against the whole project because it sounds like they get dirty really easily no matter what kind of paint you have and it's enough work keeping the car clean as it is.
     
  9. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I've heard good things about the G2 caliper painting kit. It's a 2-part epoxy, so might hold up better than the duplicolor stuff. You brush it on, so you don't need to protect from overspray, just overbrush. The kit comes with a cleaner I believe.
     
  10. JohnnyLounge21

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    This is all such fantastic information. Really appreciate everyone's thoughts. I'll let this group know if I end up taking the step forward on it. Seems a little complicated as a DIY and I think I was more hoping to have someone come in and just do it perfect the first time around like the powder coat route. But if I had the time, I may try and take it on with all these thoughts!

    Rik's black with the yellow calipers looks fricken bada$$, IMO. Really pops against that black.

    What intimidates me is the yellow getting dirty over time. . . But that just keeps me on keeping the car perfect (which I pretty much do anyway).

    Thanks again!
     
  11. Rik

    Rik Member

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    I use rim and tire spray (eagle 1) and it seems to lift most dust and dirt off with spraying on, scrubbing your rims, then spraying with hose. The job itself was easy, yet time intense. I'll guess that after a good while there will be chips in the ceramic paint from debris, but there is plenty in the can to touch up with a q tip thru the rims. Anyway, for those wanting the best and longest durability, powder coating is likely the best route... Not sure on cost of that.
     

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