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      08-24-2009, 02:24 PM   #1
elp_jc
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STOCK EXHAUST: Paint it or powdercoat it? That is the question.

After much deliberation, decided to stay stock. Sound inside the car is just perfect, and tips look great IMO too, so not worth risking hundreds of dollars (buy and sell) on an aftermarket exhaust that no matter how mild, it's going to be louder (and drone more) than stock. So decided to paint/powdercoat it FLAT BLACK.

The question is which method. Just hung up with the top powdercoater in town (the only one as well ), and they'd charge me $220 (+tax). He explain the process as sand-blasting, acid bath, masking, powdercoating, and baking at 400F. And there's always the possible damage to tips (from acid or a hit) and rear flanges (hit), but not too concerned about that.

On the other hand, I can probably paint it myself with high-temp paint for $10 or $20 max. My question is how to go about that. Should I sand it first? And what grit? And how many coats of paint? Since it'd be out of touch, I guess there's no need to sand after painting, correct? And how about clear-coating it? I'd say not necessary, but rather hear it from the experts.

Finally, not being exposed to the elements, rock chips, or even harsh substances (like wheels), I wonder if powdercoating is overkill on a muffler. Besides, if my paint job fails for any reason, it wouldn't cost me anything more to powdercoat it afterwards. All comments welcome, especially on the paint process . And this is something all owners sticking to the stock exhaust should do, but you can wait for my results if desired . Thanks gang.
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      08-24-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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I vote for high temp paint, JC. If it works out you save a lot of bread, if not then getting itpowdercoated would be the next logical step .

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Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
After much deliberation, decided to stay stock. Sound inside the car is just perfect, and tips look great IMO too, so not worth risking hundreds of dollars (buy and sell) on an aftermarket exhaust that no matter how mild, it's going to be louder (and drone more) than stock. So decided to paint/powdercoat it FLAT BLACK.

The question is which method. Just hung up with the top powdercoater in town (the only one as well ), and they'd charge me $220 (+tax). He explain the process as sand-blasting, acid bath, masking, powdercoating, and baking at 400F. And there's always the possible damage to tips (from acid or a hit) and rear flanges (hit), but not too concerned about that.

On the other hand, I can probably paint it myself with high-temp paint for $10 or $20 max. My question is how to go about that. Should I sand it first? And what grit? And how many coats of paint? Since it'd be out of touch, I guess there's no need to sand after painting, correct? And how about clear-coating it? I'd say not necessary, but rather hear it from the experts.

Finally, not being exposed to the elements, rock chips, or even harsh substances (like wheels), I wonder if powdercoating is overkill on a muffler. Besides, if my paint job fails for any reason, it wouldn't cost me anything more to powdercoat it afterwards. All comments welcome, especially on the paint process . And this is something all owners sticking to the stock exhaust should do, but you can wait for my results if desired . Thanks gang.
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      08-24-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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Ceramic coat it. I've heard powder coating peels due to the intense heat.
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      08-24-2009, 02:54 PM   #4
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paint first. cheap, easy and will provide the same look. if it doesnt hold up then do something else.
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      08-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powertrip View Post
I vote for high temp paint, JC. If it works out you save a lot of bread, if not then getting itpowdercoated would be the next logical step .
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paint first. cheap, easy and will provide the same look. if it doesnt hold up then do something else.
That's what I was thinking folks. Many thanks. Any advice on the procedure to follow? Sanding might be a good idea, no? I have 220, 400, 800 and 1000 grit. Then how many coats. If 2 or more, do I have to sand between coats for a smooth finish? How long between coats? And finally, can I paint under the sun? Plan to do it on the street, to avoid overspray anywhere in my garage or driveway (I'm the only house on my cul-de-sac ). Thanks.

Oh, I was forgetting: Do I need new gaskets or something else to reinstall the stock exhaust? Thx.
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      08-24-2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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Hey JC, no gaskets needed to reinstall the exhaust. I don't know much about painting, but my buddy's shop cleans all their exhausts with denatured alcohol before painting them with high temp paint. Hope this helps .

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That's what I was thinking folks. Many thanks. Any advice on the procedure to follow? Sanding might be a good idea, no? I have 220, 400, 800 and 1000 grit. Then how many coats. If 2 or more, do I have to sand between coats for a smooth finish? How long between coats? And finally, can I paint under the sun? Plan to do it on the street, to avoid overspray anywhere in my garage or driveway (I'm the only house on my cul-de-sac ). Thanks.

Oh, I was forgetting: Do I need new gaskets or something else to reinstall the stock exhaust? Thx.
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      08-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
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Ceramic coat it. I've heard powder coating peels due to the intense heat.
Guy said they use a silicone-based powdercoating for high-temp applications, like valve covers, etc. It supposedly withstands up to 1,600F, so it should easily take the heat of a muffler, according to them. It's more expensive, but I was quoted for that. Anybody going the powdercoating route should ask for that kind.

But just like you, I'm a bit skeptical on its durability as well... until I hear a testimonial to the contrary. Will try the high-temp paint first, which should work fine IMO... at least for a while . Take care.
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      08-24-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by powertrip View Post
Hey JC, no gaskets needed to reinstall the exhaust. I don't know much about painting, but my buddy's shop cleans all their exhausts with denatured alcohol before painting them with high temp paint. Hope this helps .
Thanks buddy; it sure helps . I was wondering about primer first . I don't know much about painting either, so guess will read the back of the spray can and see what they recommend. I'll probably do a light sanding (800 grit), clean the surface well, and apply alcohol (does it matter what kind? I don't know what the wifey has in the house) before painting, like you suggested. Hopefully no priming is needed. I'm putting the car on ramps tomorrow morning, and take a look to see what I need. Will also paint those ugly orange rubber hangers (visible thru the rear grille) black with a sharpie when I remove the muffler. Will see if I can do the job alone with the help of my floor jack.
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      08-24-2009, 09:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Guy said they use a silicone-based powdercoating for high-temp applications, like valve covers, etc. It supposedly withstands up to 1,600F, so it should easily take the heat of a muffler, according to them. It's more expensive, but I was quoted for that. Anybody going the powdercoating route should ask for that kind.

But just like you, I'm a bit skeptical on its durability as well... until I hear a testimonial to the contrary. Will try the high-temp paint first, which should work fine IMO... at least for a while . Take care.
trust me that doesnt work either...u need to get it ceramic coated or jet coated.

I also would try the paint first tho. Just sand it with atleast 3-4 different grids, from ruffer to smoother obviously. When ur all done clean it with some kind of cleaning detergent or alcohol would prob. work. Then coat it with at least 3 coats of high temp paint and make sure u give it a lot of time to completely dry between the coats.
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      08-24-2009, 11:19 PM   #10
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trust me that doesnt work either...u need to get it ceramic coated or jet coated.

I also would try the paint first tho. Just sand it with atleast 3-4 different grids, from ruffer to smoother obviously. When ur all done clean it with some kind of cleaning detergent or alcohol would prob. work. Then coat it with at least 3 coats of high temp paint and make sure u give it a lot of time to completely dry between the coats.
Thanks a bunch for your advice man; really appreciate it.

Thanks for the heads up on powder coating too. Unfortunately no jet/ceramic coating here, and shipping that monstrosity is out of the question, so it's high-temp paint or nothing. I'm having second thoughts on painting the thing black. I don't know if it'd actually look better or not, with all the suspension components and differential cooler aluminum (and even the muffler heat shields aluminum as well), plus the thing hanging so low. Hmmmm. My only hope is black would hide the muffler with the pavement better IMO. The car looks funny with the muffler hanging, like it's too tall. Like a mini 4x4 .

Will ask my wife for her opinion tomorrow, and decide. One thing is at least the car would look different with the muffler black. I just want to hear a different opinion. A photoshopped SSII with black stock muffler would be great too. Will snap a few shots tomorrow with the car on ramps and try it myself first. Thanks again man.
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      08-24-2009, 11:27 PM   #11
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You could cover it with a carbon fiber weave and improve airflow? I think the GT-R's do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elp_jc View Post
Thanks a bunch for your advice man; really appreciate it.

Thanks for the heads up on powder coating too. Unfortunately no jet/ceramic coating here, and shipping that monstrosity is out of the question, so it's high-temp paint or nothing. I'm having second thoughts on painting the thing black. I don't know if it'd actually look better or not, with all the suspension components and differential cooler aluminum (and even the muffler heat shields aluminum as well), plus the thing hanging so low. Hmmmm. My only hope is black would hide the muffler with the pavement better IMO. The car looks funny with the muffler hanging, like it's too tall. Like a mini 4x4 .

Will ask my wife for her opinion tomorrow, and decide. One thing is at least the car would look different with the muffler black. I just want to hear a different opinion. A photoshopped SSII with black stock muffler would be great too. Will snap a few shots tomorrow with the car on ramps and try it myself first. Thanks again man.
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      08-24-2009, 11:30 PM   #12
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I painted mine a few months ago.. High Temp BBQ grill paint. The rear muffler area i cleaned and sanded lightly. the tips i put a bit more effort into, its a smoother area and required a bit more sanding. Although the BBQ paint was a bit lighter then i wanted so i bought some generic high temp paint and put a light coat over the tips.

Looks great I think and no issues with it peeling chipping nothing..

try it out i think if not you can redo
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      08-24-2009, 11:54 PM   #13
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I painted mine a few months ago.. High Temp BBQ grill paint.
Hey man, could you please post a picture from the rear? I'd actually leave the tips alone, so my job should be easier than yours .
May I ask why BBQ paint over automotive one? And do you remember what grit sandpaper did you use? Thanks.
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      08-25-2009, 12:20 AM   #14
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I painted the stock exhaust on my 2008 E90 M3. I just masked off the entire underside and back of car, sanded all the areas to paint and then sprayed it with 3 coats of High Temp Exhaust Paint. I picked it up from my local automotive parts store. The whole job was done in an afternoon.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148527
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      08-25-2009, 03:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglare View Post
I painted the stock exhaust on my 2008 E90 M3. I just masked off the entire underside and back of car, sanded all the areas to paint and then sprayed it with 3 coats of High Temp Exhaust Paint. I picked it up from my local automotive parts store. The whole job was done in an afternoon.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148527
Looks very nice and hides it well. Doesn't look like a cheap job or anything, well done.
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      08-25-2009, 09:24 AM   #16
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I actually like the look too. I think I may go that route this winter when the car is in storage.
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      08-25-2009, 01:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I painted the stock exhaust on my 2008 E90 M3.
http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148527
Many thanks man; looks great. I'm definitely sold on painting it . However, being anal retentive, I'll remove it to paint the whole thing . Will probably take a bit longer than masking everything off, but don't want the muffler to show thru the rear grille. Plus want to paint those ugly orange hangers anyway. It'll be fun putting it back without scratching it . Nah, will just wrap it in a towel. Take care.
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      08-25-2009, 02:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biglare View Post
I painted the stock exhaust on my 2008 E90 M3. I just masked off the entire underside and back of car, sanded all the areas to paint and then sprayed it with 3 coats of High Temp Exhaust Paint. I picked it up from my local automotive parts store. The whole job was done in an afternoon.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148527
Looks great...looks like it was painted over a year ago...how has it held up?..
thanks..
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      08-27-2009, 07:02 PM   #19
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Just finshed the job, and car looks great from the rear now. Used ceramic header paint (flat black), which withstands up to 2KF. Also replaced the 4 stock orange hangers (messed them up a little while removing them) with generic black ones, which were slightly shorter, but it was perfect because the exhaust is now tucked up higher. Also painted black the tubes holding the hangers, which along with black hangers, are all but invisible thru the rear screen now . The stock tips look a heck of a lot nicer against a black background.

I had the hell of a time reinstalling the shorter hangers on the rear, plus had to repaint the bottom part of the muffler in several places where I scratched it, which required masking the freaking rear of the car . It wasn't noticeable at the distance, but I wasn't going to leave it like that. Yeah, sometimes I hate myself for being a perfectionist . Anyway, I'll NEVER reinstall the stock exhaust again, so that means I'm not removing it either. I don't have a problem with the way it looks now, so I'm a happy camper .
Could be a bit louder outside, but at least it has the deep and refined tone I like. Everything else is great. Any other exhaust would be a much worse compromise overall. All I have left to do is the tint and I'm done. Great car right out of the box. Oh, I'll snap a pic one of these days. Good day gang.
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      08-27-2009, 08:31 PM   #20
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try the paint, you may be suprised with the results.
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      08-28-2009, 05:58 AM   #21
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What are people's opinion on using HPC coating (ceramic coating) like this - http://www.hpcoatings.co.nz/exhaust.htm
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      08-28-2009, 10:07 AM   #22
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What are people's opinion on using HPC coating (ceramic coating) like this - http://www.hpcoatings.co.nz/exhaust.htm
I honestly think it's not worth dumping hundreds of dollars on the stock exhaust, especially if cheaper alternatives work equally well, but only time will tell. My only concern is if pebbles thrown by rear tires hit the muffler, they'd eventually chip the paint off, but that'd be completely out of sight. The rest of the muffler will never be touched by anything except water, so almost any high-temp paint should work IMO. I don't use my car much, but will revive this thread in a few months with an update.

Another permanent solution is silicon-based powder coating, which is probably a lot cheaper than the ceramic coating you mentioned, but still costs over $200. Hope the guy who painted his muffler a year ago replies to learn how the paint has held up. Take care.
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