Choice of finishes for classic Mustang parts

by Jim KerrBackyard Mechanic . Mar 29 2018
Ford Motor CompanyChrome and powder coating are two finishes to try for suspension parts and rear differential on a classic 1967 Ford Mustang such as this.

Ford Motor Company

Chrome and powder coating are two finishes to try for suspension parts and rear differential on a classic 1967 Ford Mustang such as this.

Question: I am rebuilding my classic 1967 Ford Mustang. I want to drive the car regularly, but also want it to look good when I take it to local car shows and cruises. What finish do you suggest for the suspension parts and rear differential? — Tim

Answer: One option is to chrome the parts, but it is expensive and requires parts to be completely disassembled. The chrome also needs to be polished every time you wash the car or go through a puddle.

Powder coating is another type of finish. First the parts are cleaned, usually by blasting with grit to remove rust and old paint. Then the powder paint is sprayed on and finally baked in an oven until the powder melts and bonds to the surface of the metal. The parts need to be disassembled completely and surfaces where parts are pressed into or have a precision fit must be masked to prevent paint build-up. Powder paint is tough, durable, comes in a variety of colours and smooths out rough castings or stampings. It is a good choice.

The third option is to paint the parts. You don’t have to completely disassemble parts — areas can simply be masked off.

The secret to painting suspension parts is to remove all grease and dirt, paint first with a primer on the bare metal and then apply the paint.

I have used paint on many parts and even painted show-car suspension parts with a brush with black marine enamel paint. This is a very slow drying paint and the brush strokes will flow out smoothly, but you can’t recoat or touch up spots until the first coat is completely dry, which can take two or three days.

james.kerr@sasktel.net