03 LeSabre....PAINT - Suspension - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-17-2010, 02:13 PM   #1
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Default 03 LeSabre....PAINT - Suspension

I am in the process of preparing for the assembly of the front end suspension. All new parts minus the steering knuckle. My knuckles have corrosion damage...surface with light pitting on the exposed areas. I desire to take all the bare metal parts (including bolts/nuts) and paint them for additional protection from the elements and for looks...I think a completely black undercarriage is a beautiful thing. I am using a Dremel tool with a carbon fiber brush to clean and shine the aluminum and Evapo-Rust for the steel (GREAT STUFF!). My questions....what paint to use on aluminum control arms/knuckle? OR Should get anodized? What paint to use on bolts/nuts? Paint before OR after assembly?

Looking for opinions/experience.

For those wondering...WHY? Well because...why spend a crapload of money to have it rust and corrode as soon as it is exposed to the elements. Yes it will degrade some naturally but why not retard the inevitable damage as much as possible?

Thanks!
Bob
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:53 AM   #2
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Hey, Doc! Bill rebuilt his Regal'* suspension after some intense preparation. If you're looking for inspiration, have a look here.

Aluminum only corrodes at the outermost layer, and that helps insulate the inner layers from further corrosion. For an excellent and high-tech look, definitely get anodized if it'* in your budget! Aluminum is tough to paint well, especially for an undercarriage, in my opinion. I have trouble painting aluminum in general...

For steel and such, you probably have POR15 as a solid option. I have some on my car, and it is fantastic. I'd recommend painting everything first and then putting it together. Then, do touch-up work if you don't mind the occasional interruption on your surfaces. Let us know if the bolts hold their paint, but your best bet with them is probably going to be to get stainless steel ones instead. Black paint on top of those put on in the touch-up process should help hide their shine from the black underside.

Please take plenty of pictures!
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:40 PM   #3
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RADOMIRTHEGREAT,

I will take some pictures of where salt has actually eaten dime to nickel sized pits, 2-3mm deep, in my aluminum sterring knuckle. Exposed aluminum seems fine...surface only...HOWEVER, any peice that is not exposed (i.e. where the knuckle attaches to the strut) is rather pitted as noted earlier. I just want to avoid any further damage because, unfortunately, it will be driven in salt infested roads again at some point.

A thought...perhaps I could coat those areas not exposed with a polyurethane mixture or something else. Coat it just before assembly and the cinch everything together letting the protectorant "squish" into all the voids.

Also, I am rather curious about changing the bolts AND torque settings. Depending upon the material a bolt/nut is made with determines it'* torque limits. I would think that changing the material of your bolts would also change the needed torque setting to insure they don't loosen. More research!

My bolts/nuts are being painted primarily for protection from the elements. It appears that the original green chromate coating from GM works quite well! I only found a couple of bolt heads and nuts with any rust on them...and that was where tools and what-not had broken the coating. UNFORTUNATELY...everyone...IF you soak your bolts in EvapoRust you will loose ALL coatings, chromate, paint, rust. Not a complaint! Stuff just works too good...lol. So now I have a bunch of real pretty bare steel bolts! CRAPOLA!

Taking some pixs...will post in a little while.

As a side: Is JC Whitney a reliable company these days? They were a long time ago. I ordered my control arms and I can't get an answer as to ETA.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:56 PM   #4
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Overall, you have some very interesting ideas and points on your suspension rebuild. I am anxious to see how it all goes. Pics always help! And JC Whitney, I find, has had no complaints that I've seen though I don't know if too many people order from them. These days, I rely on RockAuto.com for pretty much anything that comes up, and we even have a discount code with them.
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