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Full Version: Powder coating vs. painting suspension springs
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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to pick your collective brain. I will be refurbishing my suspension springs over the coming months and I'm looking into possible options for coatings/finishes.

When I did the rear suspension on VIN# 4400 I had the springs professionally blasted at a place in Wolverhampton and then I used Plastidip plastic/rubber paint to paint the springs with a flexible black coating. My line of thinking at the time was that the rubber coating would be nice and flexible when the springs were back on the car. Sure enough, this seemed to work fine and on the whole I was pretty impressed with the Plastidip stuff. The only thing I didn't like was that the finish wasn't quite as 'smooth' and OEM-looking as I'd hoped it would be.

This time round I'm armed with that prior experience and I'm in a bit of a quandry as to what to choose. My initial thought was that if I painted the springs the paint would flake off when the springs travel up and down. Having said that, the original factory finish was just black paint (minus any primer of course :roll: ) and it doens't seem to be affected by spring travel?

My next thought was the powder coating route. I like the idea of powder coating as it would be a nice uniform finish and looks pretty much original. But I'm concerned that the heat from the oven would somehow distort or soften the spring. Does anyone know what temperature a powder coating oven usually runs at? And what sort of temperature is required to affect / screw up the spring's properties?

Or should I just stick to paint?


Hi Phil,

The Powder coating would be the toughest, but WILL crack over time when the spring travels.

The temperatures involved in Stove enamelling would weaken the spring.

If you still want Powder coating it can be done electro/statically which can reduce the temperatures involved.

My best advice would be to shot/bead blast, then etch prime and Two Pack paint with a tiny amount of plasticiser (stops cracking/flaking) Then oven bake at a local Paint shop, as they do with whole cars.

[Image: 100_0317.jpg]

That's what I did. Big Grin

Good Luck
Hi Darren,

Your car looks very tidy indeed under there. Nice work. Thanks for the great tips too, much appreciated. Hopefully I'll be able to get cracking on this project over Christmas and then actually begin putting a few items back on the car. It's getting a bit mad at the moment with car parts all over the house. I actually shared my bed with the front fascia earlier this week! Shock

(photos available on request TT :winkSmile
Hi Phil,

I know what you mean about sharing the house with the Car. I had my seats in the living room while doing a re trim. Used them when watching TV, Top Gear style. Had the head liners on top of the wardrobe, the bonnet in the hall, Door panels on the dresser, and facia's in the spare room. :lol:

I do draw the line at sharing my bed with the car though! :wink:

Hi Phil
I painted mine when I did my frame resto'. Had them shot blasted first & the finish was fine.
Darren C Wrote:I do draw the line at sharing my bed with the car though! :wink:
Yeah it's all gone a bit crazy at the moment as my parents are doing some extreme alterations to the house so we've got stuff everywhere as it is. We've only just got back to the 'luxury' of having floors and ceilings again in one part of the house and currently the only means of cooking is microwave or BBQ. On the upside I've never had so many BBQs in October! As you can imagine though it's a great time to have a DeLorean in pieces there too :roll:
Bandit Wrote:I painted mine when I did my frame resto'. Had them shot blasted first & the finish was fine.

Hi Julian,

Did you use Two Pack paint on yours too?


I actually used black satin as I personally prefer it to the high gloss. I just used ordinary spray enamel from a can. I think half the issue with springs, by the very nature of what they are, is, if you put too much paint on, its gonna' crack.
Be careful with spray cans. The Tree Huggers have forced all manufacturers to go green, and the formula is now acrylic.

This will simply wash off with fuel or oil, and there's no long term information on the durability. If you must use a spray can I'd go for Hammerite smooth. It's probably the best of a bad bunch.

Hi Phil

what about galvanising to stop any rust?

if moisture gets in will it rust from underneath? and it would protect from brake fluid damage to the coating.

just a thought
Good idea Steve, I like it! Big Grin

I'll hopefully get the springs sorted over the Xmas break.




Just my 2p fwiw....

Gavanising is done with heat ... would this effect the spring at all ?

Also, would the compression of the spring change with galvanising? It forms a rigid 'coat' on the surface, will that not crack over time ?

Personally i would go with the 'Hammerite' option....
interesting reading all of this.

I had new 'euro' springs back in 2003, but now they are all rusty and crappy and look cack.

Whenever I get around to doing my front suspension (cleaning and painting) I'll be wanting
to do the springs again to make them look nice.

I'm doing mine over the winter as part of my rebuild. From reading this I think painting will be the best bet, but when I take my arms to be powdercoated I will ask their opinion on springs as they should know.

i will check with my steel man the temperature of galvanising.

i did not think it was too hot..

another option what about electro plating, now that is done cold?