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Discussion Starter #1
Finally, 3yrs later I got around to painting my brake calipers. I've been wanting to paint them red ever since I got the car but never got around to it. Below are what's required and the steps to getting professional looking results without removing the calipers, overspray problems, or baking.


Supplies:

2 Cans of VHT High Temp Brake Spray (The color of your choice)
1 Can of VHT Brake Cleaner
1 Small Wire Brush
4 Thin 12 Gallon Trash Bags
1 Roll of Masking Tape
1 Piece of Fine Grit Sandpaper
1 Brillo Pad or Scrub Sponge
1 Bucket of Water


Steps:

1. Remove the tire.

2. Start with the Brillo pad or scrub sponge and bucket of water to clean as much loose brake dust, rust, dirt, etc as possible from the brake caliper. Make sure the brakes are cool to the touch before starting, I let my car sit for an hour before I started. Do not use any soap in the water, just plain water and the pad.

3. Make sure the caliper is dry then use the VHT brake cleaner to break up the tougher brake dust and rust. Alternate spraying the caliper with brushing it with the wire brush.

4. If necessary go back to the bucket of water and scrub pad to get whatever remaining brake dust you can. It won't be possible to get it looking like brand new without removing the caliper and soaking it in a cleaner solution so just get it as close as you can.

5. Let the caliper dry again then spray it one more time with the VHT Brake Cleaner.

6. Use the fine grit sandpaper to rough up as much of the caliper as possible. Do not scrub too hard, this is just to help the paint stick a little better.

7. Make sure the trash bag is made out of the thinnest plastic you could get, you will see why later. Take one of the trash bags and insert it over the entire brake assembly, slide the trash bag over the assembly until it reaches the bottom of the trash bag.

8. Tear a small hole in the trash bag and line the hole up with the top left edge of the caliper. Slowly pull on the plastic and let it slowly rip and stretch as you expand the hole and place the plastic around the caliper. Make sure you do not make the hole any bigger than it needs to be in order to completely expose the caliper. The hole should be a tight fit to ensure paint does not get around the caliper and onto the rotor. If you stretch the hole too much, throw the bag away and start with a new one. Here is where it is important that the trash bag be thin, also when you are removing the bag later, it helps to have thin plastic.

9. Use the masking tape to tape the trash bag in place, and to mask the vent holes in the caliper as well as the rubber grommets around the caliper and the bolt heads attaching the caliper to the car.

10. Follow the directions on the can of VHT to apply the paint to the caliper. For myself, I sprayed 3 coats of VHT with 20 min intervals between coats.

11. After the last coat, carefully remove the plastic and masking tape. Some people recommend driving the car hard immediately afterward and braking often so that the calipers will heat up and bake in the paint. I recommend the opposite, which is to let the paint dry for at least 5hrs. My thinking is, any brake dust that gets in the wet paint will never come out after it is dry. So I'd rather clean dry paint, than paint filled with brake dust.

Note: The best finish would be obtained by removing the calipers, applying the coats, and baking the calipers in the oven as per the recommendation on the can. I've gotten great results from past cars and have never baked the brakes. Personally I think the additional time and complexity involved with removing the calipers outweighs the benefits gained by the slightly improved finish obtained with the baking method.

..Edit..

Completed pic attached
 

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Awesome, thanks for the write up! I might be doing this soon...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll add some completed pics tomorrow, in case anyone wants to see how it looks on a silver 6. It got too dark to take any more pics. Plus my dealership used an air wrench on the lugs when they rotated my tires and stripped one of the lugs; without telling me of course. I'll have to get a lug remover tomorrow to get the last wheel off, so I only got 3 done today.

Nothing makes my day like finding a stripped lug on the last wheel 30 min after all the hardware stores close.
 

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I dunno if you would know or not... but what color red would you recommend to match my redfire metallic the best? Im not sure if they come in different color reds or not... I was thinking maybe a medium red. The red in your pics looks too bright for my color.
 

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its probably harder to match a specific color than to go with black . I painted mine and the best advice i can give is take your time and prep the paint . ...the above directions are great .
 

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I would rather leave mine the way they are than paint them black. Would paint from paintscratch work or not?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I dunno if you would know or not... but what color red would you recommend to match my redfire metallic the best? Im not sure if they come in different color reds or not... I was thinking maybe a medium red. The red in your pics looks too bright for my color.
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Unfortunately VHT comes with a very limited color selection, the red I chose was the only shade they have. It won't look that bright after it fully dries, but I doubt it will exactly match your car either. Below is a link to where I got mine from, I got the VHT brake kit plus an extra can of VHT:

http://www.cacustomcoatings.com/brcapa.html

I think the colors on that site are all that you have to pick from. For a red car if its is tinted you may want to go with black paint....it won't stand out as much, but it would look better than mismatched red paint. I've seen red cars with red calipers, I'm not sure if they were factory with factory matched paint, or if they were slightly mismatched but not obvious from a distance.

Shipping was pretty fast, I ordered on a Thurs, and got it by Tue.
 

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VHT bright blue matches the lapis colour pretty well.......,me n diablo 6 got around doin this the other day and we were shocked to see how well it matched. now to eaze up on the braking so the shine will last........

if you want to view the pics, you can check em here
http://forum.mazda6club.com/index.php?showtopic=56021

nice write up by the way, Diesel5599
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It looks like the red you used matched pretty well, did you use the same kit and color that diesel5599 used?... any close up shots of the wheel (i LOVE your rims by they way... where did you get them, how much do they weigh?) Thanks! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Finally got the last wheel done. In case anyone runs into a stripped lug nut like I did, the way I got mine off was to get a socket a couple of millimeters smaller than the size of the lug, then hammered the socket onto the lug. From there I used a breaker bar and a rachet to remove the lug.

I added a completion pic to my original post. I also upgraded my pads to EBC Greenstuff pads for low brake dusting, I'll see how they compare to the Rotex pads I had previously.

Cheaper than the $40 they charge around here to remove lugs, but the socket you have to throw away because its almost impossible to get it separated from the lug afterwards.
 

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niice write up. it helped me alot when i painted my two front ones. too bad the shop didn't have any high temp spray. so i tried out the kit (includes cleaner, brush, tape, and liquid paint). i wasn't sure how the paint would work but i thought it wouldnt hurt to try. it turned out pretty alright. i had fun painting it too. im thinking of doing the two rear ones as well...but i dont know if it'll look okay. any opinions?
 

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I've also been wondering about painting the area behind the wheel around the lugs for the wheel. You can clearly see this area below where the brake pads contact the rotar. Has anyone done this, or is there any reason why i shouldn't do this?

[attachmentid=15552]

Here's a picture of my just wash wheel, you should be able to see the area i'm talking about.
 

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if only i could find some to match my bright island blue. :(
 

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emii_rei , I'm going that route with the brush ; bought the Duplicolor Caliper Paint with Ceramic Kit ..... won't have to worry about fuming the car if winds get a hold of the spray !

nanik006 , as mentioned above with my kit , I actually bought a Red one for the calipers , and a Satin Black one to do my rotors/discs as I hate to see that rust permanently where the pads don't contact , I'll also be brushing up the dust-shield on the back part of the front discs as it shows too .
If you want you can choose Silver too instead of Black OR a combination of both on your calipers (middle part Black / binder that holds pads around caliper Silver) 'cause on your Pebble Ash ; I don't see any other color than those going well with it ;)

Also bought a 1 1/2in. circular crimped wire wheel brush that fits on my drill to scuff off the oxidization from the metal .
They're brass-coated carbon steel bristles
 

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im working on the two rear ones right now. i hope it looks okay with all four painted. will post pics when finished. the brush-on is pretty fun to work with. me and my boyfriend are having fun painting with the skills that we dont have. hahaha
 

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will paint from paintscratch work just as well for this? i only ask as i they have color match paint to any of the colors mazda makes, even the islan blue which makes me happy. if it would work i'm buying it and painting my calipers island blue to match.
 

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bueller? help a fellow 6 owner out.
 

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Im gonna paint my calipers in a week or so...

What color do you think would look cool? I was going to do red but that blue matches my car perfectly. I wanna paint the lugs as well, should I paint the lugs even though i have stock rims? (which I think look awesome)
 
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