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My '55 frame is being powder coated. I have changed my mind. Not going to P.C.

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  • My '55 frame is being powder coated. I have changed my mind. Not going to P.C.

    At a Christmas party we attended my daughter-in-laws' son offered to sand blast and powder coat the frame of my current project. He told me to strip it down to a rolling chassis and trailer it over to his father's shop. We rolled it off the trailer and a big fork lift took it to the sand blasting area. I have never had anything powder coated and have been doing some research on it. A few things I have a question or comment about. I am hoping that some of you have been through this procedure and can give me some advice.

    1. I told him I was concerned about being able to get a good ground and that I figured I'd have to grind down to pure metal. He said to let them know if I knew where I'd like the grounding done and they would grind that area down to shinny steel and put a round patch on it and the P.C. would not effect it. I can pull the patch off later when I am installing the ground wire.

    2. I told him I was concerned about the threads being P.C.'d as it may effect the diameter. He said they would put a sleeve over the threads in the bolts and in the nuts to protect the threads from the P.C.

    3. He is going to have all the small parts I took off the frame sand blasted in a cabinet and P.C. them. He looked at the box of parts I took him and said he needed to take a "before" picture with his phone and said they will be going from ugly to pretty.

    4. I will be going over there next week to take the upper and lower control arms off. I've never down this but it looks like an internal spring compressor should take care of the springs during this procedure.

    5. I plan to remove the steering knuckle assembly from the control arms and have the control arms P.C.d. My concern is if the 400 degree oven will mess up the inner bushings. They are in pretty good shape but if they get ruined I'll have to replace them. I figure it is best to keep the old ones in place so that the P.C. does not mess up the diameter if they have to be replaced.

    6. In back, I think I should remove the u-bolts and the rear springs which will leave only the frame.

    7. Do you think I can have the rear springs P.C.d still tied together or should I break them down to individual springs.

    8. I think if I can remove the rear hub and backing plate for the springs the rear end should be able to be P.C.d

    9. I plan to have the front springs P.C.d. I have read a couple places where this is OK and a couple of places where I should not. I guess if the P.C. is flexible enough to stick to the springs it should be OK.

    10. He is going to P.C. the bat wing.

    I think this is all the questions/comments I have at this time. If anyone can add their knowledge or experience for what I should or should not do, I'd appreciate it.

    Thank you,
    Charlie D.

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    Last edited by Charlie D; 01-04-2022, 09:14 PM.

  • #2
    My advice: while you have the car torn down, find and install a rear sway bar. Makes a BIG difference in the driving/handling of the car.
    Last edited by RadioRoy; 12-17-2021, 08:14 PM.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible


    • GrumpyOne
      GrumpyOne commented
      Editing a comment
      Way back some fifty years ago I bought a '57 Golden Hawk that was complete and stupidly scrapped it just saving some parts for future projects. Two of those items, (front sway bar and radio), now live in my Power Hawk along with a rear sway bar from a '55 President sedan which was a simple bolt on. Indeed the handling improvement on the PH is outstanding!

  • #3
    I will check for cracks around the steering box and front suspension mounting points and around the spring tower I would also do some additional welding around The front part of the frame The factory did a quick job putting them together and it won’t hurt to add some more welds. As for the suspension parts I would blow them apart I would not leave any parts in place that are mechanical. A good powder coating place will put barriers in place were are needed so things go back to where they should with minimal cleanup to remove any extra powder coating. I would not do the rear end unless you plan to taking it completely apart. The sand will get in every place you don’t think it well. And the seals probably will not take the heat. I see no problem with front or rear springs I have done it and had no ill results. Good luck


    • #4
      And if you’re looking for a rear sway bar drop me a note I have a few for sale


      • #5
        Powder coating is great, but like anything else it has some drawbacks. It’s applied by electrostatics and just as when you are using electrostatic liquid paint, you may encounter areas of the parts that are subject to Faraday Cage effect. So you may find some places where the power does not adhere. For those places, a compatible liquid paint can be applied. Not a deal killer and experienced power coaters should be able to advise you on that. Powder coating operations usually keep a selection of heat resistant masks (plugs, caps, sleeves, etc.) on hand to protect parts you don’t need/want coated.

        I sold commercial industrial powder coating systems, and a few smaller rework units. Just like liquid paint, proper preparation is key to good results. Good luck and be sure to post pictures of your project. 🙂
        John Clary
        Greer, SC

        SDC member since 1975


        • #6
          I will be cannibalizing the rear sway bar off my '55 President State Sedan parts car.

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          • #7
            Wow, too much to cover here, I’ll just say you probably shouldn’t do it until you learn about it. I’ll just start with every bolt, screw, and clip should be removed- EVERYTHING that can be removed. One other thing to get you started- powder coating spring leaves is a bad idea.

            There’s really too much to list. It was a fine offer, but until you really understand powder coating and what it really means and does, I would pass lest you end up with a big mess.
            Proud NON-CASO

            I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

            If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln


            Ephesians 6:10-17
            Romans 15:13
            Deuteronomy 31:6
            Proverbs 28:1

            Illegitimi non carborundum


            • #8
              A couple of years ago I gave a motorbike frame to a company to powder coat it.
              All removable parts have been removed, all threads have been covered with plugs or nuts. The surfaces from the bearing carrier also have been covered with a heat resistance tape.
              They sandblasted all parts and than coated it. Also all small parts have been coated.

              Originally posted by Charlie D View Post
              4. I will be going over there next week to take the upper and lower control arms off. I've never down this but it looks like an internal spring compressor should take care of the springs during this procedure.
              Using a inner spring compressor is a big advantage.
              I removed the springs with both methods. First time I've used a normal car jack like it is mentioned in the shop manual. Removing the springs by this method is not a big deal, but the re-installation is a mess.

              The second time I used a inner spring compressor. Removing and installation of the springs with this tool is easy and safe

              Originally posted by Charlie D View Post
              9. I plan to have the front springs P.C.d. I have read a couple places where this is OK and a couple of places where I should not. I guess if the P.C. is flexible enough to stick to the springs it should be OK.
              I just ordered a set of new springs from a specialized company here in Germany. They always PC their springs. So it should not be a problem.


              • #9
                If the car is to be a daily driver Don't do it , Use Bill Hirsh chassis paint , Ed


                • #10
                  I agree with stripping everything off prior to sand blasting. The grit gets everywhere and it is difficult to get it all out. The frames I have restored so far have been blasted, sprayed with a rust preventative, epoxy primed, then sprayed with chassis black urethane. I do not know the plusses and minuses of powder coating, so will not express opinion. There are conflicting views on painting rear springs. One point of view is that you should not paint individual leaves as they need some friction when they slide to work properly. In any case, the bushings in the frame and springs should be removed.
                  78 Avanti RQB 2792
                  64 Avanti R1 R5408
                  63 Avanti R1 R4551
                  63 Avanti R1 R2281
                  62 GT Hawk V15949
                  56 GH 6032504
                  56 GH 6032588
                  55 Speedster 7160047
                  55 Speedster 7165279


                  • #11
                    Check where the upper A arms bolt to the frame. It there are any cracks weld on a reinforcing plate.


                    • #12
                      Do not try and save any rubber bushings. That includes the rear shackle bushings in the frame. No rubber will hold up well to 400 degrees. n't even try. You will thank me later, and you will have a better driving car with fresh rubber. Sand blast the rear springs, then dry graphite coat the leaves, install new separators then paint the outside of the leaves.
                      Bez Auto Alchemy

                      "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln


                      • #13
                        My 2 cents worth......had my 1988 Fiero spare rear sub frame PC'ed, I was smart enough to have the shop do BOTH the prep, blasting and PC. It has been four years and the unit was always in a heated space and I have rust bubbles popping out all over. The shop said they can not figure out what went wrong, NO offer of due over / repair.
                        At the same time I did a twin sub frame but used the POR systems, this unit was stored outside leaning against the shop back fence.......yup you guessed it NO rust popping or degradation. Good Grief, just my luck I guess. Your results may vary.
                        Chemical coatings are generally a preparation,cleaning, sealing combination of operations. A failure in any part of system leads to an unacceptable product. I believe there have been huge advances since I was in the market so my view IS out of date. But my four year old Fiero sub frame is still a disappointment and a financial loss.


                        • #14
                          I will replace the rubber parts after the P.C. I feel it is best to leave them in the control arms during the process to protect the inside diameters. I also plan to clean and rebuild if necessary the kingpins and related parts. I tried to get grease to come out around the upper thrust bearings but it all came out at the bottom of the kingpins. Tractor Supply Co. sells a EZ-Slide graphite based coating. Is that sorta like what you are talking about? On this part of the project I am going where I have never gone before. During the seven years I spent restoring my '55 President State Sedan, I went many places I'd never gone before but this forum, u-tube videos, and help received by wise and knowledgeable members helped me through them.
                          Charlie D.


                          • #15
                            Charlie, Does your 55 State Sedan parts car have tinted side glass? I am looking for a tinted LF and RR door glass.
                            I was STUDEBAKER, when STUDEBAKER wasn't "KOOL".