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Old 04-23-2008
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Default Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Has anyone ever painted their rotor hats? My aftermarket rims have thinner spokes than my O.E. rims, and the rusty hats are way more visible.




I wanted to paint them with high temperature engine paint (I think it's engine paint you'd use), but I was wondering if anyone had any first hand experience doing this. If you have done this, can you tell me which paint/ paint brand you prefer, and the steps you used.

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Brake rotors rust. That is what they do. Even on exotics, they still rust. Due to the surface material and heat, the rotors would be difficult to paint and for the paint to adhere to the rotor. Plus, you really do not want to get paint on the surface of the rotors, brake pads, or in the calipers - that could be dangerous. I think that you will just have to live with it. The benefit is not worth the possible cost.
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Old 05-07-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

That really bugged me also, so I painted mine with High Heat silver paint. Looks great, and still there after one heck of a winter. Do it with a brush, not spray, so no paint gets on the brake surface.
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Old 05-07-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

First of all, let me say, I love those rims.

I think it gives you and excuse to get aftermarket brake calipers that will cover the whole rotor.

I painted my Miata's rear brakes rotors before. It sticked and didn't have a problem with the brakes. The problem was getting a perfect circle out of it. It bothered me more than the rust.

I recently got my brake rotors shaved but I'll check if there's still some paint left and take a picture of it for you.

Grabby

By the way, Bridget. Some Mothers Protectant after scrubbing down the wheel wells with an APC will make your jaws drop in the cleanliness effect that it gives off.
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Last edited by grabby; 05-07-2008 at 11:50 AM. Reason: Added a tip.
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

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Originally Posted by grabby View Post
The problem was getting a perfect circle out of it. It bothered me more than the rust.
The trick is to just paint a tad into the brake pad area. Let everything dry and the go for a drive, apply brakes, and you will have a perfect circle. The little paint that gets burned/worn off, will not hurt the pad performance.
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Old 05-08-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Sounds like a good idea. Will go for it when I have the time and energy to go and take my tires off.

Regards,

Grabby
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Old 05-09-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

I'm finally getting back to my own post, I've been busy with school and had no time.... so,

Bama, I'd like to disagree with you. All of our the cars (2 more Honda, 2 Fords) brakes are not rusty on their rotor hats or disks, but they all have original brake pads, rotors, etc. On this car, this is the 3rd set of new rotors and pads (and I blame this rust on the fact that it's made out of low-quality China steel). Now you said exotics rust too? I was just at a high end sports car dealer and 2 Ferrari Enzos (among other Ferraris), one red, one black, had some corrosion on the disks by the vented holes, but none on the hats (here's the pic to prove it, sorry if it's hard to see).



Snapper, what's the drying time on that paint? Did you sand the surface before you painted it?

Grabby, thanks! I love my rims too!!! I also know that many people who see these rims love them as well. Are you making fun of my small calipers? I was looking at aftermarket brakes and calipers (Brembo - my favorite), but then I saw the price and I stopped looking . I was thinking about painting the calipers because they are sooo boring, but I didn't know which paint to use. I'm going to try using protectant on the wheel wells, I know that section is the final thing to a complete detail, but many people miss it (including me, but not anymore). I hope it works for me, when I put my rims back on a month or so ago, I was attempting to take of 110,00 Miles + of caked on dirt, road debris, and who knows what else.
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Old 05-09-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Alloy composition and platings or coatings vary greatly. Some are cryogenically treated to withstand warping and high temperatures and that can also affect its resistance to rust.

Back to the painting/masking issue...

You can also "mask" a circular edge with a light coat of petroleum jelly and simply clean it off once the paint is dry.
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Old 05-09-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

These brakes are junk. Two weeks after they were put on, the car was driven about 200 miles one day, and it drove in a large puddle, and warped all the rotors. They had to get shaved down, I guess we should have realized then to get better ones.

With the petroleum jelly, do you apply if directly to the surface of the disk? Is that safe, or do you think it would be better to use painter tape?
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Old 05-09-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead87 View Post
Bama, I'd like to disagree with you. All of our the cars (2 more Honda, 2 Fords) brakes are not rusty on their rotor hats or disks, but they all have original brake pads, rotors, etc. On this car, this is the 3rd set of new rotors and pads (and I blame this rust on the fact that it's made out of low-quality China steel). Now you said exotics rust too? I was just at a high end sports car dealer and 2 Ferrari Enzos (among other Ferraris), one red, one black, had some corrosion on the disks by the vented holes, but none on the hats (here's the pic to prove it, sorry if it's hard to see).
You may disagree with me and that is fine. However, I stand by statement - rotors will rust. Some just take longer than others. I had a 2005 Acura (aka - fancy Honda), and the rotors had corrosion on them as well. I have also had a Lincoln, two Chevrolets, a Pontiac, and Toyota and all eventually developed corrosion. A beavy of factors affect the oxidation rate e.g. quality of materials used to cast rotor, environmental exposure, etc.

And yes, even Enzos, are not immune from rust, but it would probably take longer to show up considering most are garaged and the brake systems are of a much higher quality than those seen on most daily drivers.

I understand your problem, but painting rotors is really anal and could be problematic. I still wouldn't advise it. I would replace them first with some higher quality parts that would be less prone to rusting so quickly. Most rotors sold at the local auto parts chains are junk anyway. Most are already warped and cannot be turned.
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Old 05-10-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Bama, I can see why you think it's bad idea. I've looked at some nice cyrogenically treated brakes (like Admin suggested) http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brake...ar=&perfCode=S but the only thing, I don't know which would be less of a hassle, painting rotors (maybe often) or putting all new rotors on?
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Old 05-10-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead87 View Post
Bama, I can see why you think it's bad idea. I've looked at some nice cyrogenically treated brakes (like Admin suggested) http://www.tirerack.com/brakes/brake...ar=&perfCode=S but the only thing, I don't know which would be less of a hassle, painting rotors (maybe often) or putting all new rotors on?
Nice rotors. I would go that route.

Believe me, I understand how you feel. Ten years ago I would have been considering painting those too. It appears that you have a set of cheap (material) rotors. Get the treated ones, and you'll probably never have any problems with those as long as you own your car.

Why spend the time painting rotors that you already stated were warped and junk? The treated rotors would make those good looking rims look that much better.
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Old 05-10-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

I'd really like to get them, but now the problem is trying to get someone to help me do the job... or getting someone who does it all on their own. If I can get help, I think I'll buy them.
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Old 05-11-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead87 View Post
I'd really like to get them, but now the problem is trying to get someone to help me do the job... or getting someone who does it all on their own. If I can get help, I think I'll buy them.
I wouldn't mind helping you, but you are just a tad bit far away.
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Old 05-12-2008
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhead87 View Post
Snapper, what's the drying time on that paint? Did you sand the surface before you painted it?
I tried to look for some unused portion, however must have tossed it. I pretty sure it was Silver, High Heat, paint bought at an auto shop. I believe it was only a half hour between coats, of which I used two coats. All dry within an hour.
My rust was not bad, no flakes. I used a wire wheel on the end of a drill to take the rust off, further cleaned the rusted portions with a liquid rust remover (probably contained muriatic acid) , washed the disks in soap and water, dried and then painted.
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Old 04-17-2009
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Thumbs up Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

I did it!! I finally painted my rusty brake rotor hats, and I did the calipers too! I didn't realize how simple it was to do. I first jacked the whole car up (I wouldn't suggest this), and used steel wool on the "hats". The wool worked very well, I just wiped it down with water to get rid of the rust dust. After reviewing all the suggestions/ techniques, I decided to use blue painters tape to protect the disks. There was some over spray on a coupe occasions, but the steel wool removed the majority of it, and applying the brakes got rid of all the rest. Here are some pictures of the process. (Note: the close up of the rim/rotor was before I used the brakes, so some overspray is still noticable.)













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Old 04-17-2009
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Nice job....I have been thinking about it although I was considering going black vs silver. Did you lift it with two jack stands in the front and the floor jack for the rear?

BTW, what is your tire dressing do you use?
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Old 04-17-2009
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

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Nice job....I have been thinking about it although I was considering going black vs silver. Did you lift it with two jack stands in the front and the floor jack for the rear?

BTW, what is your tire dressing do you use?
Thanks Al! After using the silver, I thought to myself that the black would be great option...it would only pull your eyes to the rim itself. We'll see how long this lasts, and maybe I'll go with black.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abnot View Post
Did you lift it with two jack stands in the front and the floor jack for the rear?
You are correct. I thought by lifting the whole car up, it would be faster to apply the spray paint and have it dry that way, but there were some problems. I don't like using our jack stands alone on this car (they don't fit them correctly, the car is weirdly balanced on the tips on them), so my Dad was helping me. We have a huge 4 ft. tall air compressor, and it decided to stop working. I use an impact gun to remove my wheel, but I had to do it the old fashioned way today!

While I was spray painting the rear brakes, I noticed a leak/small puddle... My Dad said it was some of the hydraulic fluid leaking from the jack. He said I needed to hurry up the painting and put the wheels on, because it that jack is out of fluid, it's coming down.

The jack didn't break, so everything was fine... it just took 3 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abnot View Post
BTW, what is your tire dressing do you use?
Actually, I don't have any tire dressing on!! The rims have been in my basement for months, they were washed and dried back in December.

I did use polish, carnauba wax and reflections top coat on them a few months ago... but no dressing!

After these pictures where taken, I used some spray wax on the rims and protectant on the tires.
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Old 04-17-2009
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Bridge.
Amazing job.
They look great.
My address is .....
(Nyuk nyuk nyuk!)

Tony.
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Old 04-17-2009
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Default Re: Painting rusty brake rotor hats? (Pics included)

Red,

Please, please, please use four jack stands the next time you need to have the car off the ground. You have the car and wheels looking way too good to not be around to enjoy it.

Rollin
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