View Full Version : The Best Powder Coating Process

10-17-2006, 09:25 PM
Here is a basic overview of the cost of the service and some tips I posted for someone who was curious about what I was doing.

Powder coating is basically whatever your local shop will charge for time with a small fee sprinkled on top for the powder. The guys around here are typically 60 an hr. I have known and supported them for years so they quote me much less than usual. The color took a week to arrive from the East Coast. Usually if you bring something like a rim from a motorcycle or car it's $50-60 (the minimum charge) for a common color in flat or gloss. For both valve covers, upper AND lower intake I would expect a shop (IN CALIFORNIA) to charge at least 150 for black and 40-50 more for a unique color.

They really have to burn off the grease, clean and sandblast the pieces well, then plug holes and tape off openings. It's a lot of prep just like painting anything else automotive. Those pieces are more difficult to prep because they have to make good and sure that any residue is removed from any crevices or depressions in the piece in order to gaurantee their work. It takes some experience to do these pieces correctly. I've seen other work where the coating just doesn't even stick or it peels up from a spot that wasn't cleaned enough. I skipped the lower intake. It's barely visible and clean enough as it is to look good.

When/if you do have them done make sure and give them a very close inspection when you pick them up just in case. They are a challenge to powder coat I have been told.

10-17-2006, 09:31 PM
So while I wait for special valve changing tools I'm focusing some energy on making my engine show quality... well really close anyways.

So I picked up some polishing compounds and am contemplating what to do with the random aluminum parts and how far to clean up the block and heads. I am leaning towards an extreme clean with some chemicals to make the alloy bleached and shiny like new. But there are some stains that I will have to sand down with a rotatary sanding tool of my choice. I did a little test on a piece that had some casting imperfections and found that I could sand the piece down and then give it a good polish. The only problem is that some lines might develope from casting deviations as well as the divots that exist from casting as well. The sanding gives a nice consistant texture that I find is the most productive result. I wish I had the time to anodize everything but I definitely don't want to spend more than a day on what I have left to clean up!

Time to have the shiz powdercoated. It's quick and makes the parts look like brand new. So I took apart the throttle body and linkage on it as well. These peices were VERY corroded and the coating will do them well. These will be a smooth finish semi-gloss. They need to be smooth since they slide in contact with each other.

The water bridges and waterneck assembly will be a nice black texture similar to the texture of the intake and valve covers. I don't want the engine to look too red. Race engines aren't all one color. The typically are aluminum finish with a couple of red covers. I think the black intermediate parts will look really slick. I have before pictures that I will post with the results. They will look better than new without being red and too annoying.

05-02-2008, 08:07 AM

They will typically shoot different colors on different days when they get enough objects brought to them to shoot a batch of things black, gloss black, yellow, blue, silver... those are typically the most common colors it seems. If you drop something off at the coaters the first thing they do is ask you, "how soon do you need it?". If you say "tomorrow!" the price will be high cause they have to drop what they are doing and work on your piece. But if you say, "eeeeeh whenever you can get to it as long as I can pick it up by next weekend." The price will be much much lower. If you want a color that they don't usually use then they have to order a box of powder JUST for your part. The powder will cost like $80 usually and your first part will be $80 +the work so like $120 maybe. Then the next part in that color that you need done will be like $30. A car rim or motorcycle rim will be $50 at the most in a common color (the colors mentioned above). A big truck rim will be more maybe... or the same price if they know you by then. They shoot common colors almost daily for other people as well. Make it an easy/commong color and things get done quickly and less expensive.

Keep in mind that you should inspect every single piece you pick up before you pay for it. They can easily redo the part in order to make things right. When I see the coating sagging cause it's too thick I just tell em it's messed up and they redo it without a problem. Sometimes their employees go so fast that they don't notice something like that. They have to sandblast everything before it's coated so if they miss a part or they don't notice that there is still some sand on the surface when they are coating it then it will be blemished. The guy that takes your money and sees you at the door probably won't be the same guy that actually does the blasting or coating. In San Diego I'm sure they have some pretty big coating outfits that have 6-7+ employees easily. Powdercoat USA is the place I go and they work overnight during busy times... there really is that much work coming in from local companies that produce parts and going to the powdercoaters is the final stage of production.

So that being said just taking in one or four motorcycles parts to these guys is nothing, spare change for them. They love cash. It's rare that I spend more than $100 when I pick something up.

Gloss black- great for fuel lines, looks very shiny and nice on small parts.
Regular black- good for large items and things you don't want to "bling".
Krinkle Coat Texture black- even stronger than regular black as it is thicker, actually harder for mud and dirt to stick to.

They can do gloss and flat and krinkle texture in any color of course. They can even powdercoat clear and tinted clear colors.. of course anything but clear will be custom colors. The coating process involves baking the coating on after it's applied. The ovens they use are huge and typically are 150-180 degress. This WILL NOT affect the rigidity or other properties of any metal such as OZ wheels, frames or any other alloy that will be on any automobile or motorcycle. I've had discussions with powdercoaters on this topic.

Powdercoating is the best thing ever. You don't even have to prep parts when you bring them in. They blast them and will cover any areas you tell them, even plug holes or tubes that you need protected from the process. You will have to take the bearings out of wheels and remove any oil from the parts but that's about it. Just make sure they write down a good description of all the parts you bring in on the invoice. Oh and make sure they write down the NUMBER of parts you bring in to them. It's really really easy for them to lose your little parts in the shop. I have them do fuel lines, tiny bolt heads (I drill holes in a 2x4 and but use it for a holder for bolts for them) wheels, trailer frames, bumpers, all sorts of things. The size of stuff you can have done is limited by how big their ovens are.

05-02-2008, 08:20 AM
Powdercoating is worth every penny. It saves you the prep time, it's hard as HELL and will never fade off or flake off. I've been shooting random parts on my streetbikes gloss black.. it's one of the first things I do to them. It makes them much easier to wipe down clean since it's smooth. The gloss never fades or rubs off and people keep asking me if my bike are brand new when they see them. ;) That works for me!




My boys at www.Powdercoatingusa.net (http://www.powdercoatingusa.net/) !!