frame paint?

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Dec 23, 2002
what kind of paint should i paint my frame with? it will have a hard life consisting of road salt, snow, mud and sand.also i want to fab up some tube doors for my 76 fj40 .anybody got pics? that'd be great. thanks :beer:
I'm no self proclaimed expert, but I used PPG DP90 black self etching primer after I completely sandblasted the frame.   Then for paint I used PPG's MTK Omni AU (black) single stage urethane.    I think it turned out really good.   I live in Northern Minnesota where salt is used more than asphalt.

You can see pics on my web site

Just click on "Matt's cruiser" on the side bar, pics of the frame will be down at the bottom. You can click on the pics to enlarge them.

:) I second Corbet on the POR15, I coated my entire frame, axles, steering components, engine, transmission and almost everything else that was made of metal with the stuff, and it's pretty tough. It doesn't stick to aluminum very well, I coated it on the underside of my aqualu tub and it peels off with out much effort. As long as you follow the directions and take advantage of the tips page supplied with your order, you should get good results. Restomotive labratories(the makers of POR15) are very cool people to do bussines with and shipping is really fast(two days to get to Vermont), they also make a lot of other really cool products. :D
When I get around to mine, I am planning the belt, suspenders X 2 approach. Sandblasting, POR15, 3M rocker schutz, urethane paint. The only thing I need to check is the compatability between the POR15 and the schutz. If this doesn't keep the salt demons away....I'll give up and build a stainless frame :eek:
Coming from the auto industry in Detroit - If you're going to do it once, I'd have to vote for previous posts for PPG's DP90 primer, or CRE 904 primer. You can then consider a good top coating ( I used CRE-904 then AUE-300, but the CRE primer does not require a top coat).

I am a believer in testing and standards. It makes me feel uncomfortable to purchase products without being able to see comparable test data between the choices. This is why I am very weary of "aftermarket" products - they don't have to do any testing (standardized), they just have to convince you that their product will satisfy your performance needs. You won't know until it's too late if it doesn't. BUYER BEWARE.

So if you're spending a lot of time preparing the surface, coat it right the first time so you don't have to do it again. First things first - get rid of the rust. I used a home made presurized sand blaster that worked great for removing scale and rust. It was made from a propane tank, or you can buy one for $70 or so if you don't want to spend the time to build it.

After the prep is done, which was most of my time, you're ready for the coating. I used PPG's CRE-904 epoxy primer that has excellent resistance to the 96 hr humidity test and the 500 hr salt spray test. It also shows good resistance to solvents and chemicals. Here's the link to the product index for PPG:
You may consult with Sherwin Williams and DuPont as well for some other "validated" choices. These companies sell to OEM's like GM, Ford, and Chrysler so they are required to show test data before their coatings make it on 500,000 vehicles.

While doing some internet searching, I also found this site that may be of some interest to you. This gentleman has some very good points backed up with some simple chemistry (if you remember back from High School or University Chemistry class). He does a home made comparison on several products. It's not industry standardized testing, but he does the same test on all the products.

... Just my opinion, good luck with your project...
Check out also do a search in this forum for their product "chassis saver paint". As a result of that post I contacted eric at magnet paints and he was THE BEST to deal with. He was honest, helpful, answered emails promptly, and completely hooked us up here at the high school I work at! :D

Basicly their product is very, very similar to POR15 but about 30% cheaper. I have used POR15 and it is great, everyone I know who has used it agrees. I will be sure to let you know if this product holds up as well, but judging from the formula it should. Check them out. Deal with Eric and let him know Chris from Westlake High sent ya.
If you have any rust swelling in the rear frame section or along the boxed section of frame you will want to spray something on that will soak in and arrest the rust. The australians periodically spray a mixture of diesel and fish oil. Diesel works by itself but only lasts acouple of months less in really wet salty environments. I've been trying some aviation corrosion products with favorable results. ACF50 or CorrosionX. Both weep thier way into the seams. These products are a little spendy like $15 a can. On my airplane I buy the the ACF50 by the gallon and hose it into the wings with a solvent sprayer.
POR15 is great stuff I agree but is alot of work to prep properly for, all the loose rust has to be gone and it wont wick into those problem seam areas.
that spray on stuff is easy to put on and gets into the problem areas very well.
I suppose if you wanted the cheapest possible way is try mixing some synthetic motoroil with the diesel and hose it on with a garden sprayer that will stop any further rusting.
I'm a fan of the POR,BUT it only sticks to areas that have at least some oxidation. If you have sandblasted, Wipe it down with some Metalprep or, on the cheap, some CLR or dilute Muriatic acid. That'll give your bare metal a nice yellow color, depending on humidity, then the POR will stick.
The parts of your frame that are exposed to UV will go flat. Won't hurt the rust inhibitive qualities of the POR, but won;t be pretty anymore.
To get a topcoat to stick to the POR, you can buy their intermediate Bonding stuff or just sand the POR with like 320 the use the PPG product.
BTW you can thin the POR with some lacquer thinner and I beklieve it WILL seep into those lap welds and otherwise tough places.
When the thing is done, miw 50/50 boiled linseed oil and turpentine and spray it every where you can on the underbody.THAT will soak in everywhere.
Ed Long :)
thanks everyone. id like to do what sparky mark said but im only taking the bed off(fj45 lwb pickup) and i have a can of por 15 and a bottle of metal ready left from my fj40 frame off project. i just wanted to see some other options
The PPG primer is a 2 part system, CRE-904 ($50 per short gallon) and CRE-91 catalyst ($25 per quart). A gallon would go a LONG way. One draw back is that the CRE-904 only comes in short gallons (3 quarts), and the CRE-91 only comes in quarts. It's part of their Light Industrial Coatings, so thier consumers are in need of large quantities. You could easily do the frame with a high film build with 1 quart of mixed material.
Also, once opened, the CRE-91 catalyst will start to flash. You have to use it up in about 2 weeks (if you keep it cool).

The Urotec coating has 3 components, the AUE-300 is $30 per short gallon, the AUE-301 (catalyst) is another $30 per quart, then the UA-11 (Urethane Accelerator) is $23 per pint. This all makes a gallon of material. Same deal on the flash time for the catalyst. Note that you don't need to top coat the CRE-90x if you don't want to, but it only comes in 2 colors - gray and red (x=4 for gray, x=7 for red).

If you do want to top coat the primer, you have to do it in 4 days or less, or else you have to scuff the finish and reprime. After the first use, I sand blasted a bunch of parts and used up the primer on the small stuff - I didn't want to throw any unused stuff away because it is a very good coating.

Enough babbling, sorry. :slap:

Hope it helps....
Has anyone here powder coated a frame. I know of a shop here that does it and I know its pretty stout and am thinking of going this route.
Powdercoating can be pretty tough if done by someone with experience, I've heard the baking process(after the part has been coated) plays an significant role in how well it comes out. :-/

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