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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Powder coating

Anyone know anything about powder coating? Is this suitable for rocker box covers and injector plenum chambers?
Marc Gander

I've just had an edelbrock inlet manifold powder coated. The only problem the guy who did the powder coating said was if it was a sand casting the casting could pop when the coating is baked. (it did a little bit on a couple of places on the manifold but looks alot better then just a bare casting.
Ian Sanders

To answer the question: Yes and Yes.

Powder coating is basically a coating baked to about 210 degrees C after being applied with a spray gun type device.

It is about four times thicker than enamel paint, about as tough and is flexible so it is also suitable for items like springs and so on.

Powder coating places will usually chemically dip the item ro remove all traces of oil, petrol etc. and finding a place doing it for industrial applications is often cheaper than a place doing restorations etc.

Another money saver is find a place doing large volumes in whatever colours you decide on and see if they can add your items to the batch.

Speaking of colurs it is also available in clear as well. Makes alloy look great.

Cheers, Pete.
Peter Thomas

Thanks for your input.
Would I need to strip the plenum chamber of any bushes etc or could it just go in for treatment "as is"?
Is there a chrome colour powder coating?
What about chroming? Is this possible or suitable?
Marc Gander

Hi Marc,
Bushes: I would remove them mainly because of the chemical dip and high temperatures not being a healthy environment for them. The coaters can remove the powder before baking so they are not coated but that is about as far as they can go. Basically the whole item is sprayed with the powder and the bits not to be coated that colour or not at all are wiped clean.

All this is a room temperature and then the item is placed in the bake ovens to set the powder. If you have ever seen business cards done leaving a sort of plastic look to the lettering then you have the idea.

Chrome P/C: Yes there is a chrome look-a-like powder coating which is a shiny as the chrome plating. Names vary a lot depending on which brand is being used but a large coating place should be able to show you a range of finishes they can do as stock. If they can't go elsewhere.

Chroming: Also an alternative for the parts you are looking at. The one factor to consider is weight though more for the manifold rather than the rocker cover since the manifold is hanging off the side of the engine and the rocker cover sits dirsctly on top if you see what I mean. Chrome is heavy stuff!

There is more work involved in chroming than P/C and usually more costs because of that.The extra work relates to the preparation of the under plating to ensure the chromium adheres properly. If it is poorly done the chrome takes on a yellowish tinge.

There is also some risk of hydrogen embrittlement with chroming which is why plating things like suspension parts is usually illegal in most places.

One alternative to chrome plating is Nickle plating which looks the same but avoids the problems with hydrogen embrittlement.
If you go this way most platers can suggest someone who can do this type of work if they don't themselves.

The teperatures are higher with chrome and nickel plating than with P/C as well but this should not be a problem with the pieces you are looking at. Things like large flat panels can sometimes distort as they are lowered into the bath for treatment.

Hope all this helps.
Please post again if I can help further.
Cheers, Pete.

Peter Thomas

Heaps of info from Pete!!

Just to add that, I have had lots of parts Powder Coated and it is relatively cheap. I came to know a small business owner who does my 'bits'for cash, (no tax) which works out well for both of us. I made my own replica factory V8 inlet manifold and had it PC in the original dark gray colour. It looks fine and the finish is very durable. It has been there for a couple of thousand miles now.
Surfaces you don't want coated are best masked, but normal masking tape gets difficult to remove after the process, however it is quite possible. Powder coaters have their own masking tape which will with stand the heat. I wish I had known this when I started!!
One drawback I am told is that moisture can get under PC and things can rust. This is not really a problem in Australia and I have not experienced that problem. Aparently some restorers of cars with a real chassis have had them powder coated and found rust developing under the coating.
I like it becauase it does not deteriorate and will take more knocks than any other finish. I had everything blasted before the process except the inlet manifold which was stripped.
Ian G Buckley

Marc . . .There are a few companies that offer specialized coatings for engine parts, including internal parts. One company that I've used that I can recommend is "High Performance Coatings" (HPC). they got their start in business doing high temperature coatings for NASA and are best known for their ultra high temp exhaust coatings and thermal barrier coatings, but they also apply appearance coatings called HiPerColor and HiPerCrystal. They thermal coated my RV8 headers and did an excellent job for a reasonable price. They have facilities in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. I would be very cautious about applying any paint product to internal engine components. Try this link to HPS:



This thread was discussed between 15/06/2002 and 16/06/2002

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