Z32 Some Dumb Brake Caliper Painting Questions

Discussion in 'Technical' started by ADAMZX, Jul 6, 2021.


    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    Hey guys, some my Z is due for a full set of new brake pads and new front rotors within the next 6 months or so (rear rotors are fine) and I want to try and paint my calipers the right way this time around before installing all the new brake hardware.

    So Ive been watching a few youtube videos about the topic of painting brake calipers and nearly all of the videos I watched so far, all talk about rebuilding the caliper before painting them. I understand why in some situations a rebuild might be a good idea but can the brake calipers be split apart and painted without the need to remove the pistons and or do a full rebuild of the caliper?

    My current plan I have is to take the calipers and slipt them apart, mask off all the areas that I dont want to get paint on and paint them using high temp spray can paint. Once the paint is fully cured, I'll just reassemble the calipers. Having the calipers in halves in my mind, would make it alot easier to paint every single side and surface of the caliper thats not masked off. I would like to bake the painted calipers in a makeshift oven Ive seen chris fix build out of cardboard boxes and a heat gun to help cure and hardned the high temp paint before reassembly.

    Also one video I watched had a guy masked off the piston holes as to not get paint inside them, could i do the same with the pistons inplace?

    However my biggest concern atm is leaking brake fluid and I know first hand there is a ton of trapped brake fluid inside the caliper even after the calipers are removed off of the car and I dont want a slow drip of brake fluid to eat away my perfectly good paint job.

    I have tried to use a pnematic brake bleed tool to suck the fluid out of the calipers as much as possible, but can I also use compressed air to push the brake fluid out of the bleed valve through the brake hose line opening at the rear of the caliper before I dismantle the calipers or vise versa?

    Lastly a recent video I watched recommended replacing the 0-rings for the passthrough holes that connect the brake fluid lines between each halves. Couldn't I just reuse the old o-rings that fallout when i separate the two halves. I feel the orings would be fine to just clean and reuse but then I remember that the say to replace the balance tube orings whenever you take the balance tube off, so maybe its necassary?

    I just thought id ask the dumb questions first before tackling this job.
  2. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Well-Known Member

    You have done most of the hard work! Do the full job and rebuild your calipers then you have basically answered all your own questions. Are you going to be happy if you get a seal leak after you have painted them? To bake them, wait until your wife/ mother is out for the day and use oven in kitchen.
    MickW, beaver and ADAMZX like this.
  3. zx299

    zx299 Well-Known Member

    Think about this for a minute …..

    You are planning on splitting the calipers in order to clean and paint them, and you are planning on re using the 20yr old O rings that seal the two halves of the caliper together :rolleyes:

    Do yourself a favour and clean the calipers as well as you can without splitting them, then paint them and leave them in the sun for a few days to cure (summer season is far better for this procedure).

    Let’s face it, the oem front brakes are less than adequate for continually stopping a hard driven zed anyway (I fitted Brembos and have never looked back) ….. how much time and money are you prepared to throw at standard calipers just to have them look pretty ????
    ADAMZX likes this.
  4. IB

    IB ?????

    Buy a couple of bleed nipples to screw into the holes to stop the break fluid leaking while painting.
    beaver likes this.

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    All valid reason guys i just thought id ask the dumb question to more knowledgable people before going ahead with the whole process. I still want to pull them apart so i can paint more and mask off less stuff, so i guess ill be learning how to rebuild calipers in the future.

    Not a bad idea. I was planning to find the thread pitch of the holes and just screw in some generic bolts into the threaded holes as a temp plug i could paint over. Ive also seen thick foam used to block holes and such in some youtube videos.

    Thank you guys for the advice, i did come the same conclusions as suggested and i was just trying to see if i could speed up the whole process without the teardown but only if it was safe to do so and not comprise the calipers ability to function properly over a long time use case.
  6. rob260

    rob260 Administrator Staff Member

    If you really want the finish to last get them powder coated.
    MickW and beaver like this.

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    I would love to get them all powder coated and your 100% right it would be a way more durable finish then any spray can paint job i could do myself. However i dont want to pay someone to do the coating so i would have to invest in a gun, powder and an oven and its just not via for my situation atm but thanks for the suggestion.

    Though most of the videos ive watched showed typical spray can paint being used with what looks like very good results, there was one video where the guy used upol paint produts to paint the calipers with a spray gun. I have been keen to start learning how to paint using a spray gun and i may go down this road as another painting option and because i already have a few pnematic tools collected already, it could be good balance of a quality and cost effective paint job that im going for.
  8. NI85

    NI85 Active Member

    The FSM says not to loosen/remove the bolts that hold the two halves together

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    I know the fsm says that and there are no listed torque specs for the fasteners either making you right not to pull them apart but to achieve the level of qaulity i want they have to come apart and normally i would abid by the fsm to the letter but for this particular circumstance im going to have to ignore that suggestion.
  10. ADAMZX

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    I may have just devised a way i can achieve the painting process i want to go for without the need to separate the 2 halves of the calipers.:)

    Considering how much easlier and safer it would be to not pull the calipers apart and paint them ive been brainstorming a simpler plan then i posted previously.

    Ill have to test the theory out when im at a closer point to working on the calipers before i know if its going to work out or not.
  11. NI85

    NI85 Active Member

    Then afterwards share that theory (if successful), for those that want to paint their calipers too
    ADAMZX likes this.
  12. ADAMZX

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    I definately will mate. I think what i want to is a little overboard for most peoples liking as they are factory calipers after all but i will try and post up my results when i do get the finished product and share my thoughts of the process i went with.
  13. Neddey

    Neddey Member

    Do it just as good but far, far simpler - if just for looks, you can't see much of the caliper with the wheels on anyway. Take each wheel off, one at a time and leave the calipers on the car. Buy a spray can of cleaner and a can of brush on hi-temp caliper paint - I have only seen available on-line, for about $30 a can. Clean calipers carefully avoiding any overspray, and hand paint caliper. You can help touch dry with hair dryer on high heat, low volume but I would leave overnight before putting wheel back on to avoid marring the paint job, Simples.
  14. ADAMZX

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    I already have the calipers off of the car and my plan was to have a second set of both front and rear calipers so i can alternate the calipers in the future and maintain the calipers painted look im after forever in a way. I also prefer to avoid overspray of any kind so for my goals, painting the calipers off of the car is better and much more efficient.

    But yes you can easily leave them on the car and paint them in place on the steering knuckle but unless you cover the whole car with a protective sheet youll get overspray. Each to there own of course
  15. MagicMike

    MagicMike Moderator Staff Member

    Definitely add speedbleeders into them while you are there. Worth 10x their weight in gold.
    MickW likes this.
  16. NI85

    NI85 Active Member

    Where do you source Z32 applicable ones in Australia?/ what would be their measurements?
  17. ADAMZX

    ADAMZX 2000spec Conversion

    Never heard them them but after googling what a speed bleeder is and though they look innovative, i now use a special bleeder tool called a power bleeder which uses vacum pressure to push fluid through the brake lines from the master cylinder without the need to manually pump the brake pedals during a bleeding process.

    But thank you for the suggestions
  18. MagicMike

    MagicMike Moderator Staff Member

    Any parts store. From memory they are 10x1mm thread

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