Painted Rotors

After doing the 94-97 brake swap from my friend's wrecked '95, I noticed that the rear rotors had a significant amount of surface rust on the hub and non-contact areas.  With the rotors visible behind the wheels, this rust became more and more obvious as time went on.  I couldn't justify the expense of plated Powerslot rotors and my rotors really weren't in bad shape despite the surface rust.

I had heard of a high temperature paint that some people use for applications like this so I decided to give it a shot.  The first step was to get the old rust off the rotors.  Instead of pulling them off and sanding them on the workbench, I decided to let the rotors turn themselves while I held the sandpaper.  It worked out really well and all of the rust quickly disappeared.  The polished steel rotors looked great, but I knew that they wouldn't last once any moisture contacted them.  So, a paint job was the next step

With the rotors sanded up, I removed them for painting.  I bought a $4 can of Aluminum hi-temp engine paint from Autozone.  Concentrating on the hub section of the rotor and the outer edge, I covered the rotors with paint.

Once painted, I made a makeshift oven to help dry the paint.  Ambient temperature was about 40 degrees in the garage and the paint calls for 50-85 degrees F to properly dry. The "oven" seemed to help the process.  I sorta had a Betty Crocker moment... "20 minutes at 80 degrees, or until golden brown."

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The paint went on pretty thick so I had to be careful about runs.  Once the rotors were mostly dry, I mounted them on the rear hubs without the brake pads.  I started up the engine, put it in gear and let the rotors turn while I held sand paper to the pad contact surface.

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After removing paint from the pad contact areas, the brakes were ready to be reassembled.  Things were looking pretty good at this point.

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The images don't give it enough justice, but overall I'm quite pleased so far.  The real test will be after some driving to see if the paint stays on.

After a few weeks of daily driving and a lapping day at Putnam Park, the rotors are holding up just fine!  Since I've only painted the rears so far, it's hard to say the fronts will hold up as well (but I bet they will).  So far, I am very pleased with the results.