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Old 09-20-2008, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default DIY Ceramic Coating (how-to)

So, decided to ceramic coat my turbine housing and manifold. Since I can't afford the downtime to have it professionally done on my DD I wanted to try doing it myself.

Enter Columbia Coatings. I didn't want black because it's just too plain. I didn't want chrome because it's too damn bling. So I went with titanium.

Titanium Ceramic Coating Link

The basic process is as follows:



1) Remove your ****
2) Clean your ****
3) Sand blast your ****
4) Handle your **** with latex gloves (like a bad porno)
5) "Gas Out" your ****
6) Cool you ****
7) Spray your ****
8) Bake your ****
9) Install your ****
10) Idle your ****

Stuff You'll Need:
Play Sand


Harbor Freight Sand Blaster. The screen is for filtering the playsand.


Harbor Freight Air Brush


And an oven capable of holding 450+ degrees for at least 30 minutes. You'll want to use an electric as the ceramic coat is highly flammable and sparks/flames are bad. We have a spare one in the kitchen that we don't use (too small for cooking) that I'll use for this.

I've got all my parts removed at this point and will be sand blasting in the next half hour. I'll report back with updated pictures after sand blasting while the parts are in the oven gassing out.

Manifold


Turbine Housing


More white than me impeller

Last edited by Arkmage; 09-20-2008 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 09-20-2008, 02:30 PM   #2
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none of the pics work
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Old 09-20-2008, 03:13 PM   #3
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should be fixed to thumbnails now... click for full size.

UPDATE: I ran out of sand! The bag I bought was outside during IKE so it was all wet. I'm having to broil the sand for 45 mins to dry it out. Well, I ran out of dry stuff and have to wait until the next batch is done.

I did manage to finish sandblasting the turbine though so it is in the oven gassing out. Gassing forced oils and other stuff trapped in the pores (especially of cast materials like valve covers and turbos) to boil out. If you don't do this it will happen anyways, but with a layer of ceramic coating on top causing a rough surface finish that looks terrible and lessening the adhesion drastically. Basically, if you don't want to have to redo this in 3 months its a necessary evil. Gas out requires 400* F for 30 mins minumum. When I've done powder coating I get best results by checking on it every 10 mins and letting it bake for an additional 20 mins after the visual smoke is gone.
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:28 PM   #4
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cant wait for result pics!
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:33 PM   #5
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11) post your **** online
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Old 09-20-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryantaylor View Post
11) post your **** online
Close.
1a) post **** online
2a) post **** online
etc.

Any chance good header paint will hold up on a manifold?
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:05 PM   #7
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Update: Parts have completed sand blasting, and out gassing. Here are pics all taped up and ready for paint once they finish cooling.

Manifold Taped Up (still hot)


Turbo Taped Up (ready for coating)


Tape/Blade: Do not use standard masking tape, it will burn and make you house smell awful. Columbia coatings sells high temperature fiber glass tape like this which is good to 700* F. It trims easily with a razor blade.


Should have some post paint pics up in 30 minutes depending on how long it takes the manifold to cure. I'll then let the pieces air dry to get most of the solvents out before baking. Air dry takes about 30 mins and baking takes about 30 mins. So I should be done in about 2 hours.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
Close.
1a) post **** online
2a) post **** online
etc.

Any chance good header paint will hold up on a manifold?
The stuff BEGi used was a pain in the *** to get off, it held up great. It just discolored after 10 mins of use. The problem with header paint is that it doesn't hold heat inside the manifold very well. The ceramic coat should lower my underhood temps quite a bit and look good to boot.

*edit* is it normal for my impeller to be that white? Or does that indicate poor (lean) tuning or high EGT?
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkmage View Post
The stuff BEGi used was a pain in the *** to get off, it held up great. It just discolored after 10 mins of use. The problem with header paint is that it doesn't hold heat inside the manifold very well. The ceramic coat should lower my underhood temps quite a bit and look good to boot.

*edit* is it normal for my impeller to be that white? Or does that indicate poor (lean) tuning or high EGT?
Are you saying they used header paint or ceramic? Perhaps if I sand blast and gas out the parts then header paint would hold up and not discolor. So how much did the different things you had to buy cost? And where did you get the ceramic coating stuff?
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:38 PM   #10
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So the "gassing out" consists of putting the parts in the oven at 450* for 30 minutes and that's it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
Are you saying they used header paint or ceramic? Perhaps if I sand blast and gas out the parts then header paint would hold up and not discolor. So how much did the different things you had to buy cost? And where did you get the ceramic coating stuff?
He's got the link for the stuff in his first post...
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:39 PM   #11
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^^Indeed he does have a link. I looked twice and didn't see it. I'm an 11 month baby...
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPLAFIN View Post
So the "gassing out" consists of putting the parts in the oven at 450* for 30 minutes and that's it?
Yeah, that's it. Most folks I know usually gas out ~50* hotter than the curing temp just to make sure. You don't care if you get everything out of the material... you only care that you get out what will otherwise come out during curing and **** up your coating.

UPDATE: I hope to hell the metallic comes out a bit more during curing. Right now they just look like a dull gray :( I should have gone with the uber bling chrome stuff.

Pre-Cure Manifold


Manifold Close Up


Pre-Cure Turbo


Pre- Cure Turbo Close Up


The overspray on my table looks fantastic, but the parts are incredibly dull. Here's to hoping that it get's more spiffy during curing in the ol' oven. Turbine is in the cooker now, manifold will go in about 15 mins.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:22 PM   #13
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FWIW, it takes roughly an hour per inch to heat steel to a uniform temperature. So if it were me, I would gas out the manifold for at least a couple hours, and same for baking the coating on. Let that sucker get fully up to temp.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
FWIW, it takes roughly an hour per inch to heat steel to a uniform temperature. So if it were me, I would gas out the manifold for at least a couple hours, and same for baking the coating on. Let that sucker get fully up to temp.
Yeah, but remember... your coating is on the surface so heating it all the way through isn't really necessary.

In this case I'm following the manufacturers instructions since I haven't done it before... I won't be adding bake time as I have no idea how that will affect the coating. I do know that the coating will not fully cure until it's held at or above 750*F for one hour. Most folks recommend idling the vehicle for an hour before driving if you are curing in a standard kitchen oven (which will only cure @ 500*F), which is my next step after install.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmx5 View Post
So how much did the different things you had to buy cost? And where did you get the ceramic coating stuff?
I already had most of it but here is what the respective websites say it costs for this gear.

Tape : $16 (36 yards x .75", used ~2 yrd)
Coating : Bought 8 0z for $36 (used ~2 oz based on airbush can size) = $20 (min order 4 oz)
Sand Blaster :$19.95
Air Brush :$12.95 (sale price)
In-line air dryer (air-brush) : $3.25 (sale price)

Play Sand: $3.25 (Home Depot)
Play Sand Strainer: $3.50 (walmart)

Total I spent: ~$95, could have been done for ~$80 if I had bought less coating (didn't really know how much I'd need).
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:05 PM   #16
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awesome write up. the ceramic coating is slowly peeling away on my manifold, defintely want to recoat it. this gives a good idea for people who wish to ceramic coat other things, like DPs and charge pipes.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:52 PM   #17
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I have the oven heating up right now!! Time to bake some turbine housings!
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:23 AM   #18
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waiting on additional pictures
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Old 09-21-2008, 01:31 AM   #19
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there won't be any more pictures till tomorrow... they look pretty much the same after baking as they did in my last post. Just a bit more glossy. So, if you DIY I recommend the black or chrome stuff. I'm sure this titanium stuff looks great on bare steel/aluminum, but it sucks donkey ******* on cast iron.
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Old 09-21-2008, 01:39 AM   #20
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The first pics looked good to me. Think you might be being a wee bit too critical. But I'll wait for the final pics. I would go black if I did it.
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