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View Full Version : Ironhead Restoration - Paint or Powder Coat


dsk1000
23rd September 2009, 01:49
So, I'm soliciting opinions on whether to paint or powdercoat a 1975 XLCH frame for a restoration.

I believe some feel that since powder coating was not used in 1975, the frame should be painted. However, I believe frames then were coated using "stove enameling" which I believe is rare to find. So, painting with wouldn't be all that authentic either? Perhaps someone knows what process was used to paint these frames.

I have been told that many credible restorers are powder coating old frames.

All opinions welcome. Thanks.

Doug

tensejed
23rd September 2009, 01:53
i think powder coat is somewhat more durable but theres no real touch up, where as painted could be touched up after fitting the motor and such and look good.

my .02

meanmechanic
23rd September 2009, 01:59
How much of a restoration is this? If it's a true resto. then it's paint. If it's a refurbish for yourself, powdercoat is the way to go.

JimInNY
23rd September 2009, 02:05
Anything I ever owned that was powder coated eventually rusted under the coating, like my Dodge truck bumpers. I wouldn't powder coat anything, ever. I used epoxy urethane on my frame 9 years ago and it still looks like new.

Magneto Sportster
23rd September 2009, 02:18
if you are restoring the whole bike to original condition, then paint it. a good enamel will give you a finish close to the original. Joestuff sprayed his '62 with a high quality enamel from a spray can and it looks pretty darn good.

if by restore you really mean refurbishing, then do whichever you prefer.

ericfreeman
23rd September 2009, 02:24
Anything I ever owned that was powder coated eventually rusted under the coating, like my Dodge truck bumpers. I wouldn't powder coat anything, ever. I used epoxy urethane on my frame 9 years ago and it still looks like new.

+1 on this! I can't tell you how many things I've worked on that were powdercoated and had the coating peeling off due to corrosion underneath. I'll never powdercoat anything I own. High quality urethane paint is the way to go.

Eric

dsk1000
23rd September 2009, 02:55
Thanks. I am shooting for restoration. If anything must fall short of a full restoration for now, I want my options open to complete it in the future. Hence, the decision on the frame coating.

Does anyone have any paint recommendations for an industrial polyurethane?

fdny37
23rd September 2009, 04:07
Well I guess if your going for a 100 point restoration your going to have to paint it. I think for the fellow members whose powder coating peeled it was probably bad preparation by the coater. The motor company frames are all powder coated these days so it's safe to say that if it's done right it will last.

Here is a picture of my '75 XLH frame which I think came out beautiful after powder coating.
http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/500/Powder_Coat00011.JPG

Moon Wolf
23rd September 2009, 05:28
Who are these reputable restorers? If you are going to restore the bike, paint it--period. In fact, I've spoken recently with two AMCA judges who say that they are going to start docking points for base coat-clear coat. I would go one of two ways. If your painter is doing it, go with a single stage urethane, 80% gloss on the frame. If you're doing it yourself (highly recommended) buy a can of good black epoxy paint. A lot of top shelf restorers actually prefer the spray can method (frames only) because they are so easy to retouch.

As 64xlh mentioned, take a gander at Joestuff's gorgeous 62 high-point restoration. His frame paint job came out of a poof can, and it looks great.

1976 XL
23rd September 2009, 06:00
My frame was powder-coated when I bought it. It is very durable, but I think you will have to tap all threaded holes, and make sure your grounds make contact to the frame. When I get chips in mine,I touch it up with enamel paint.

Magneto Sportster
23rd September 2009, 06:57
The AMCA is out of their mind if they deduct points for base coat/ clear coat paint. That is the most commonly used paint in the industry, and I have not heard anyone say that the AMCA was changing their policy regarding it, nor have I seen any mention in the quarterly magazine. A judge can't decide to make that decision on their own. Allowing base coat/ clear coat is just common sense, similar to allowing bead blasted stainless spokes.

Magneto Sportster
23rd September 2009, 07:00
p.s. Moon Wolf, do you have a photo of a frame that has been painted with 80% gloss enamel so we can see what it looks like?

Moon Wolf
23rd September 2009, 07:08
The AMCA is out of their mind if they deduct points for base coat/ clear coat paint. That is the most commonly used paint in the industry, and I have not heard anyone say that the AMCA was changing their policy regarding it, nor have I seen any mention in the quarterly magazine. A judge can't decide to make that decision on their own. Allowing base coat/ clear coat is just common sense, similar to allowing bead blasted stainless spokes.


LOL--I've sent you an email. Anyway, I didn't mean that a judge was going to make the decision unilaterally.

lucky23
24th September 2009, 05:09
Can anyone recommend a good brand of spray paint for frames? I'm going to do mine in the very near future.

russzx6
24th September 2009, 05:50
Powdercoat is porous to a degree, so it will eventually lift on any steel item if exposed to moisture in the air. My old man used to make pool fences, they would offer a 5 year warranty on powdercoated steel, 10 year on powdercoated galvanised steel and 20 year on powdercoated aluminium fences.. .

Moon Wolf
24th September 2009, 06:49
If Joestuff doesn't respond, I'd PM him and ask what he used. Eastwood has several frame paints available. Use a black or dark gray primer, though. The orignal bake on finish (I've heard the bikes were dipped) is black clear and it looks bad if you get a little chip and, for instance, red oxide primer shows.