nocones HalfDork
4/12/12 11:30 p.m.

Ok all you experienced people the time has FINALLY came to paint the MG chassis.

For the A-arms and small easy to remove components I'm sand blasting them in my HF cabinet and generally striping them to nearly bare metal, doing a good clean with a wax/grease removal step, priming with Rustoleum Self Etching primer, and coating with Tractor/Implement enamel. This works great.

Repeating this procedure on the Chassis would be an insanely long process and my guess is overkill.

So Yoda's of the vehicle modification world. Help. I have a surface rusty, semi bare metal tube frame chassis with lots of small tubes on it. I know I've seen a lot of challengers with good looking tube frame cars. What prep shortcuts or techniques can I use?

Thanks in advance!

Caleb New Reader
4/12/12 11:41 p.m.

If you can afford it i would skip the paint all together and get in contact with a local powder coating service . you will get better coverage and better protection from the powder coat

motomoron Dork
4/12/12 11:43 p.m.

Not overkill if you want to do it once only.

Scotchbrite rolls, 1" abrasive rolls, sheet abrasives, lots of paper towel and shop rags and a gallon of lacquer thinner. Wear neoprene gloves and work outdoors, fold a sheet of burgundy scotchbrite in half, dip in lacquer thinner, grip a tube and scrub. Follow w/ paper towel before it dries. A chassis will take all day, so start early and shoot the primer before it sits overnight and rusts again. Sucks, but it'll be right forever.

And I wouldn't use rattle cans. I'd use a 2-part epoxy etch primer followed by acrylic enamel.

oldtin SuperDork
4/12/12 11:47 p.m.

picklex is good, but not compatible with etch primer for flash rust - CLR, sno bowl toilet cleaner or other phosphoric acid washes (zep has a decent one for soaking small bits) or wire brush it and POR 15 - prime it while the POR is still tacky. Let it dry and top coat it - POR by itself has trouble with UV light and fades out pretty quickly. I've also had good luck with wire brush, rustoleum heavy rust primer and rustoleum top coat - brush on, not out of the can.

Sultan Reader
4/13/12 12:28 a.m.

progress!! Take good pictures for my desktop:-)

DILYSI Dave MegaDork
4/13/12 8:17 a.m.

If it's just oily, then +1 on scotchbrite + solvent. If it's got rust, break out the wire wheel.

GameboyRMH UberDork
4/13/12 8:34 a.m.

This doesn't look great but it works great: Sand, clean and apply Hammerite. It's a bit on the costly side and looks like when people use house paint when it dries, but it works great for keeping rust away and it dries tough. Very easy to touch up too.

stumpmj Dork
4/13/12 8:46 a.m.

I was planning on just using the whole POR system. Surface rust removal shouldn't be needed and the acid etch sould take care of the oil on the tubes. Or am I way off?

DILYSI Dave MegaDork
4/13/12 8:48 a.m.

You could, but then you end up with a POR painted chassis. I might rather have rust.

Conquest351 Dork
4/13/12 9:11 a.m.
Caleb wrote: If you can afford it i would skip the paint all together and get in contact with a local powder coating service . you will get better coverage and better protection from the powder coat

This times Eleventy Billion.

nocones HalfDork
4/13/12 9:44 a.m.

Thanks for all the tips. I'd love to powder coat it but its not finished and will need more things welded to it. This from experience sucks with powder. Maybe when it is done I will have it blasted and powdered during a rebuild.

I've had bad luck with POR 15. It's indestructible but getting it to stay on what I want protected has only had a 50% sucess rate for me.

cwh UberDork
4/13/12 9:54 a.m.

I suggest finding a commercial sand blasting company.. When I built wrought iron fencing I took the panels to a place in South Tampa. They would blast and prime very nicely, and not much money.

Rad_Capz Reader
4/13/12 10:11 a.m.

If it's just surface rust and you're looking for something affordable, easy, and can be touched up where you grind/weld then I'd use wax & grease remover and "chassis saver" by Magnet paint. It's about 40 bucks for a quart and no need to wire wheel every spec of rust. Can be sprayed or brushed on bare (scuffed with 180) or rusty metal (with loose rust removed)and over other paint. It's not as tough as powder or the Eastwood 2K ceramic and could be blasted off if you decide to later.

Keith MegaDork
4/13/12 10:44 a.m.

I've used POR on a couple of chassis - my old Land Rover and the Locost. In both cases, I treated the chassis with phosphoric acid (Metal Etch, Metal Ready, whatever) first. Spray it down with the prep, rinse it off. The lawn likes the runoff. Then I painted with a brush.

On the Land Rover, I started with a sand blasted chassis but also painted some rusty bits. I top coated some of the POR with Tremclad or Rustoleum. Other parts were left as basic POR. After about 9 years in the harsh high altitude sun, the exposed POR has changed color a bit but is still solidly attached. I took a glance at it last weekend, it's a dark matte black. The top coated stuff is still well attached. I also put POR on my sliders, and managed to scrape down to the bare metal after a very solid hit on a rock - but no peeling or other damage.

On the Seven, it's adhered just fine. That was also new metal when I started. I think most people who have adhesion problems didn't do the prep right.

turboswede PowerDork
4/13/12 10:45 a.m.

Would Rustoleum work?

Conquest351 Dork
4/13/12 11:03 a.m.

Eastwood has a brown "Rust Killer" paint that we sprayed on my rollcage while finishing it up in the Conquest. Looked just like rust, but it apparently stopped the surface rust in it's tracks and removed it while it sat. When you're ready, you can clean that stuff off or leave it there and paint over it. We used it on a couple of other projects as well, worked great. Can't remember the name of it though.

intrepid New Reader
4/13/12 11:22 a.m.

If you're going to be doing additional welding/modifications after painting, rustoleum might be a reasonable short term solution. It might even be acceptable long term if you add hardener.

-chris r.

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