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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #1
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Frame: Paint or Powdercoat?

All,

What are all of your thoughts on painting versus powdercoating a frame? Obviously if I wanted to keep my '69 H/O all original I would paint it, but I'm building this car to drive so I thought powdercoating would be more rugged. Are there any other issues I might not know about with powdercoating?

Thanks in advance.

Mike
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #2
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I think [owdercoating is definitely more rugged and less maintenance, but more costly. If you're building a driver, I don't think it will make a whole lot of difference whether you powder coat or paint. The underside of the car takes a real beating and even powder coat will chip and start rusting. Just strip and prep the frame nicely, then paint it. If you're at all concerned about the chipping or rust, consider shooting a coat of undercoating onto it. Keep the bottom of the car clean; especially in the winter. Spend the extra coin and pressure wash the road crud off the bottom. It will go a long way to keeping corrosion down.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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I wire wheeled my frame to the metal, hit it with POR 15 and they sprayed it with flat black. Came out really nice and I don't think it will be rusting anytime soon.

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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:25 AM   #4
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i built my Rallye 350 to be a nice driver. i used rubberized undercoat on it. it was 1999 when i did it and it looks great now. i am doing a 70 convertible 442 now for someone else, he looked at mine and wants the same thing. so here are two votes for undercoat. (rubberized undercoat)
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Old July 9th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #5
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What brand of undercoating did you use? Also, I assume you shot a coat of primer on it first, right?

Thanks
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:20 AM   #6
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POR15 is about the closest you can get to "powdercoat in a can"...
If the frame is properly cleaned and prepped, POR15 will stick well AND it will withstand a beating. Use the "dauber" sticks to brush it inside the frame.
The POR15 semigloss black standard paint would be my choice. The chassiscote black is a little glossier if you wish to topcoat with it...
Either way, two coats minimum should do ya...
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:58 AM   #7
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POR15 is definitely the way to go. I've used their product before and was very pleased.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:50 AM   #8
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Powdercoat, no question. There are numerous shops around the country who specialize in sandblasting and powdercoating car frames. Here in Northern VA, it runs just under $1000. Of course, then you need stainless brake lines, etc, etc...
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Old July 9th, 2009, 07:07 AM   #9
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I vote for the powdercoat.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #10
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While this is hearsay, and could be bs, I've heard some issues with powdercoating and many restorers are moving away from it. Apparently there's been some problems with the coating cracking and flaking away. Perhaps this is from the frame flexing from torque?

In any event, that's just what I've heard. Not sure how true it is, but might be worth investigating a bit before spending the $.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #11
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Powdercoating looks great, but if it chips, how do you fix it? That's the advantage of paint. Just sand the affected area and repaint.

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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #12
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What brand of undercoating did you use? Also, I assume you shot a coat of primer on it first, right?

Thanks
yes. i primered it then just used the rattle can of Mar Hyde rubberized undercoat. wal mart did carry it. i need some for the car i am doing but they quit carrying it around my area. i may go with the dupli color brand on the car that i am doing. if you go with this, i can't remember how much it took but think it will be at least 12 cans for the frame and bottom side of the floor boards / rear wheel wells.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:34 PM   #13
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While this is hearsay, and could be bs, I've heard some issues with powdercoating and many restorers are moving away from it. Apparently there's been some problems with the coating cracking and flaking away. Perhaps this is from the frame flexing from torque?

In any event, that's just what I've heard. Not sure how true it is, but might be worth investigating a bit before spending the $.
if the powder coater did not prep it correctly or heated it to the wrong temp it will chip and after it chips it will flake off. every color of powder coat has a differant temp that it has to be baked at. and yes if it does crack or chip all you can do is paint the spots. it is unlikely that a shop with that big of an oven would be that careless to not prep it correct but you wont know till you have it back together and drive it. then it is to late to redo it.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #14
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just letting everyone know

this may be obvious to most people but some of my 4 wheeler customers did not know that the frame has to be totally bare and sandblasted to powder coat them. it can not be together and can't have any rubber or grease of any kind on it. if everything is done proper it is by far the best way to go but is much more expensive. most of the time you get what you pay for but there is a place in Indianapolis Indiana that is the best i have seen and the cheapest i have seen. i do not know what they charge for a car frame but the 4 wheelers i have had done were great and priced right.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #15
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I had the frame powder coated on my convert six or so years ago and it has a couple of chips in it and it has not been on the road yet!! Just touched it up with paint...a '57 98 convert was on E-bay last year and they claimed that the frame had been galvanized...so, if it was hot dipped then that means every nook and cranny would be cooked and coated with zinc! (840F) cha cha cha...then paint it the colour of your choice I hadn't thought of that before... If you go through the trouble of stripping the frame with the body off then it should be worth the extra bucks..
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Old July 10th, 2009, 04:55 AM   #16
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I guess this would not apply to the frame since most of the mounting hardware is larger diameter and tolerances aren't that great but what about this? Doesn't powder coating decrease the inner diameter of smaller gauge holes and possibly obstruct insertion of hardware? And, what do you do about threaded holes like on heads/blocks and possibly captive nuts in the frame (not sure about that though, depends upon application)? I have had trouble even with paint in this respect but of course paint is much softer and easier to remove.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:20 AM   #17
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I would go with the POR 15. I had a set of valve covers on my 394 powder coated. They looked good but after a few years they started to chip around the PCV valve hole and where the gasket mated against the valve cover and the head.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:52 AM   #18
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I guess this would not apply to the frame since most of the mounting hardware is larger diameter and tolerances aren't that great but what about this? Doesn't powder coating decrease the inner diameter of smaller gauge holes and possibly obstruct insertion of hardware? And, what do you do about threaded holes like on heads/blocks and possibly captive nuts in the frame (not sure about that though, depends upon application)? I have had trouble even with paint in this respect but of course paint is much softer and easier to remove.
the powder coat shop will plug off the threaded holes and tape off any place that you tell them. on body mount holes i don't think it will affect anything but yes, on smaller places you may have to sand or grind it off. i have seen non professional powder coat shops almost totally ruin 4 wheeler frames. they get it places that can not be removed and can not be there. i have what i would call one of the top sandblasters in my area and he has a very hard time removing powder coat. so make sure you tell them where you don't want it.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #19
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Powdercoat, no question. There are numerous shops around the country who specialize in sandblasting and powdercoating car frames. Here in Northern VA, it runs just under $1000. Of course, then you need stainless brake lines, etc, etc...

The powdercoat shop I am using is charging just under $600 for the sandblasting and powdercoating. I have seen 4 wheelers, motorcycles and dirt race car frames that stand up to abuse and look and clean up like new. That is why I went the powdercoating route - What also interested me was how the powder can really get into the narrow areas (i.e. the framed boxed areas.

They ask me what I want taped off and they always plug the threaded holes with heat resistant plugs.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 06:16 PM   #20
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There is a shop in wi muscle car restoration that does a 7 layer strip and dip
and then a e coat . Looks cool on there website If I was doing a frame I would look into it I know they do some high end cars and restorations lots of mopar and had a 71 or 72 w-30 on there
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Old October 1st, 2009, 07:45 PM   #21
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I'm a big one for powdercoat.

It's durable, looks great, and doesn't scratch as easy.

I just had the pullies and waterneck powdercoated flat black, and a lot of stuff on the Alero is now getting powdercoated. Look sweet
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Old October 1st, 2009, 08:38 PM   #22
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I would go with the POR 15. I had a set of valve covers on my 394 powder coated. They looked good but after a few years they started to chip around the PCV valve hole and where the gasket mated against the valve cover and the head.
I agree with OLDS64 and Rob. I really like POR 15. I sandblasted my frame then put 2 coats of POR 15 on it the after about 4 hours I used a top coat on it since the POR 15 is UV sensitive.I even used it on my engine and floor as well.I did however spray the POR 15 on.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 06:12 AM   #23
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It is ironic this thread has become active again. I am now at the point where I need to make the decision between paint and powdercoat. Reading all the replies it seems it is split pretty much down the middle. It seems it will just come down to cost and personal preference.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 06:13 AM   #24
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Well, if you paint it with POR 15 you can do it yourself. If you powdercoat it you will probably have to find a shop to do it. Take that into consideration as well.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 07:31 AM   #25
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The only reason I wouldn't powdercoat is if the place I was going to didn't have a big enough oven
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 07:59 AM   #26
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POR stands for Paint Over Rust. POR-15 needs rust to hold it on. You cannot make metal smooth and clean then put on POR-15. That goes against what they recommend. Sounds like people do do this however. I guess its all up to how far you want to go.

There are a lot of resto paints on the market that are better than POR-15.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 08:10 AM   #27
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Powdercoating is not very unforgiving when it come to chips. I had me front control armes coated and after 3000 miles are very chiped. If I had it to do over, paint is the way I would go, that way they can be touched up as needed.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 08:21 AM   #28
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rustoleum. It's cheap, very tough, is easy to touch up, etc...

I'm done with powdercoating, eastwood's fancy paints, etc... the stuff I've done with rustoleum has looked better and held up better over time.

my best friend has his car with everything on the chassis powdercoated... he has said multiple times he prefers paint.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 08:37 AM   #29
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Powder Coating has to be better, if only because it sounds fancier and costs more.

Seriously I prefer paint for the opposite reasons, sounds common and costs less.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:02 AM   #30
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There are a lot of resto paints on the market that are better than POR-15.
No from my experience. Especially when it comes to engine or chassis paint. The POR 15 engine paint doesn't burn off like every other engine paint I have used and POR 15 chassis paint is super durable and tough.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:09 AM   #31
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I have mixed feelings on POR15.
This is my dubya 30 with POR frame, and powder coated parts. The body and firewall were done with DP90 and eurethane black single stage.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
When I started my restoration, the frame and suspension was the first thing I did. I thought that POR was the only way to go, so I bought all the prep stuff, paint, and top coat. It cost about $300. The prep was a pain. You cant seem to rinse off the metal ready without getting flash rust. (I know, it needs rust to stick), and the metal ready dries on before it does its job. Then you have to rinse and scrub with scotch brite to get it off. Then still use a prep solvent wash to get it clean enough. The "window of opportunity" to spray a second coat is too short. I spent all day prepping the frame, cleaning and tacking it to paint. By the time you spray, it is too late in the day for the second coat. So, in the middle of the night, I'm spraying the second coat. Unfortunately the first coat was now too dry and the second coat bubble really bad because it wouldn't stick to the first coat. Ruined that batch of paint. Waited until the next day and sanded off the bubbles. Now the entire frame had to be sanded to get the gloss off so the next coat would stick. Well, there are a lot of nooks and crannies you cant get into to sand, so then you have to use POR's compatible self etching primer for the areas that you can't sand. More $$$ and another week for shipping....
Next week... Sand, primer etch, solvent wash, set up paint area and do it all over again. This time I got the top coat on before the POR was glossed over.

The next year, I was ready to do the underside of the body and the firewall. This time I used PPG DP90 epoxy primer and a eurethane single stage black paint. All I had to do was clean, sand the old paint, wipe down with PRE solvent, and paint. 2 coats of DP90 laid down super nice and easy. No problems. Then I sprayed 2 coats gloss black with a flattener added. No problem, turned out beautiful.

Moral of the story... I will never use POR products again. There are other products easier to use, cost less, and are a better product! POR=$300+, and DP90 and single stage paint= $240.

Oh, and the debate over powder coat or paint. I choose paint. However, all the small parts are way easier to drop off at the blaster and have powder coated than trying to prep and paint them. It only cost me about $250 to have all the a-arms, x-member, knuckles, brackets, and little pieces, etc blasted and coated.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:14 AM   #32
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That is a bummer you had a bad experience with POR 15. I've never sprayed POR 15, I've always applied it with a brush.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:29 AM   #33
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POR15 is a little tricky, as it is different than regular paint. It dries fast in humid air, and slowly in dry air. You have to do your homework ahead of time and figure out the plan of attack. Because if it dries too much and you need a second coat, you are in trouble.
Do not allow distractions and monitor the cure rate well. Prepare to stay up late if needed (I have done that before...)
Paint large items on dry air day, like right after a dry cold front comes in. In 20% humidity, the stuff takes up to 4 hours to dry enough for the first coat. In 75% humidity, it might take 30 minutes. Start early in the day, too.
Guys in the humid areas might have more trouble with POR15...
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:42 AM   #34
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Try KBS coatings instead of POR-15. I have never used por except for the por patch which is a great product. The KBS just knock off the loose material and clean with wax and grease remover, then I used a product Purple Power rust neutralizer as my primer. I Did not have to use all the other that Por recommends you use. I did a second coat of the KBS a couple days later after dulling with a red scotch brite pad and had no issues with adhering or lifting of the first coat. I did the whole frame for about $120.00 in materials.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:50 AM   #35
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I have done both and I would say I liked the powder coat better but I did have to take the frame to the powder coater and pick it up....If you are on a limited budget and or going to do it at the house then I would do POR-15........ I didn't put a second coat on my frame as I brushed it on so I did not experience the problems of the timing of the second coat. The product does flow out well so you can brush it on on not have a lot of brush marks....... On other cars that I did not do a frame off I simply wire brushed the crud off the frame and then painted it with a brush...... That to me is the beauty of POR-15......You do not have to do near the preparation to use.....actually POR-15 likes to attack rust...It needs it to grip......So on a job you don't want to separate the car from the body it is a much better choice.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 09:58 AM   #36
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Quote:
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I have mixed feelings on POR15.
This is my dubya 30 with POR frame, and powder coated parts. The body and firewall were done with DP90 and eurethane black single stage.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
When I started my restoration, the frame and suspension was the first thing I did. I thought that POR was the only way to go, so I bought all the prep stuff, paint, and top coat. It cost about $300. The prep was a pain. You cant seem to rinse off the metal ready without getting flash rust. (I know, it needs rust to stick), and the metal ready dries on before it does its job. Then you have to rinse and scrub with scotch brite to get it off. Then still use a prep solvent wash to get it clean enough. The "window of opportunity" to spray a second coat is too short. I spent all day prepping the frame, cleaning and tacking it to paint. By the time you spray, it is too late in the day for the second coat. So, in the middle of the night, I'm spraying the second coat. Unfortunately the first coat was now too dry and the second coat bubble really bad because it wouldn't stick to the first coat. Ruined that batch of paint. Waited until the next day and sanded off the bubbles. Now the entire frame had to be sanded to get the gloss off so the next coat would stick. Well, there are a lot of nooks and crannies you cant get into to sand, so then you have to use POR's compatible self etching primer for the areas that you can't sand. More $$$ and another week for shipping....
Next week... Sand, primer etch, solvent wash, set up paint area and do it all over again. This time I got the top coat on before the POR was glossed over.

The next year, I was ready to do the underside of the body and the firewall. This time I used PPG DP90 epoxy primer and a eurethane single stage black paint. All I had to do was clean, sand the old paint, wipe down with PRE solvent, and paint. 2 coats of DP90 laid down super nice and easy. No problems. Then I sprayed 2 coats gloss black with a flattener added. No problem, turned out beautiful.

Moral of the story... I will never use POR products again. There are other products easier to use, cost less, and are a better product! POR=$300+, and DP90 and single stage paint= $240.

Oh, and the debate over powder coat or paint. I choose paint. However, all the small parts are way easier to drop off at the blaster and have powder coated than trying to prep and paint them. It only cost me about $250 to have all the a-arms, x-member, knuckles, brackets, and little pieces, etc blasted and coated.

That firewall does look really great, just the perfect level of gloss.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 06:34 PM   #37
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No from my experience. Especially when it comes to engine or chassis paint. The POR 15 engine paint doesn't burn off like every other engine paint I have used and POR 15 chassis paint is super durable and tough.
Thats why I said it depends on how far you want to go with your resto. POR is fine on a weekend driver that you arent that concerned about. However on a top end resto its not even considered. High level restos use quality materials, and POR isnt on the list.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:55 AM   #38
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What do you think about the idea that if the frame is powder coated than all the suspension components should be powder coated as well? Is it noticeable if I were to paint certain pieces and powder coat others?
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Old October 5th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #39
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High level restos use quality materials, and POR isnt on the list.
If that is what you think then that is cool. I'm always going to suggest POR 15 though. I have used it and have never had any troubles. If I ever did a frame off restoration I would use POR 15 as well.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #40
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What do you think about the idea that if the frame is powder coated than all the suspension components should be powder coated as well? Is it noticeable if I were to paint certain pieces and powder coat others?
Yes, there is a slight noticeable difference in sheen. I got tired of cleaning small parts to paint, therefore it was easier for me to send them out for PC.

As far as POR, my point was that there are other products out there that yield the same or better results with less prep, effort, and $$$. And that is probably why you don't see it in resto shops. So if you want to spend more $, buy more products, and wait for the moon and the stars to line up for a perfect application of POR, by all means.... Go ahead.
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