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Question about clear coating fan shoud & fan.

I posted this on the paint & bodywork forum but it hasn't gotten any responses, so I decided to ask here.

I have my fan & shroud being cleaned at the blaster. I was thinking I could just clear coat it and - if lucky- find some good automotive clear coat in a spray can. I talked to a paint supplier. The guy told me clear coat had to be applied over a layer of paint and would flake off of bare metal (magnesium) in a short time. So I thought this would be the place to ask about it from guys who know a million times more than I do about it. If I can't clear coat it I will just have to give it a Gibbs treatment or similar I suppose. Thanks. I can check back later on.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:06 PM
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From my experience, paint will not stick to the mag material, especially the rotating fan.

I went the powder coat route on the fan and even that does not hold up over time. The edges will eventually chip off. I opted to machine polish the mag shroud. Looks great for about 2 months but quickly oxidizes. Every oil change, I remove the belt and hand polish the shroud's lip to bring the luster back but again it will oxidize, if it rains it lasts even less.

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Old 01-10-2018, 09:31 PM
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Fan housing & fan.




^^^^^
Another option is bead blast, heat paint, and satin coat.

Here are the colors I used.

Good luck,

Gerry
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:07 PM
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Marv … What you have been told about clear coats not adhering to clean raw metal is true because paints have binders in them which allow the formulated tinted paints regardless of type to create a bond to the surface and clears are especially void of these types of binders and are especially then formulated so to bind with a pre-applied painted or primed substrate surface within a "window" of flash time frame. This means for best results a clear coat should be applied within a specific time window in order to create a chemical bond to the substrate below it and not to be applied to a previously fully cured surface thereby creating only a mechanical or physical bond. The physical bond is that bond that is created by surface adhesion only within the clear itself and is inferior to that of creating a chemical bond with the painted substrate below it as a chemical bond becomes in essence a single layered latticed bond that is unbreakable in surface tension terms and is more resilient and harder upon cure then that of a lacquer based spray can offering mechanical bond adhesion can offer.

There are of course complex industrial enamels that are air cured which offer extremely resilient surfaces and adhesion but you are not going to find them on a shelf in a spray can … However by using catalyzed paints instead of non catalyzed spay can paints, the isocyanates found within the hardener of the catalyzed paint creates a much more stout , sophisticated and interlinked chemical bond system upon the underlying substrate then what a non catalyzed paint can achieve initially and especially more than what a lacquer based or water based spray can will ever achieve …. I tell you this because comprehending the chemistry and basics is essential to grasping then manipulating and applying that knowledge to your current task at hand namely looking for a successful means of a lasting treatment for your fan project … O.K. so applying a clear coat to clear clean metals is difficult for a lasting application … even powder coating with it's great cured surface pencil hardness which is achieved via electrostatic adhesion cured by applied heat setting catalyzed actions will also have ultimate eventual adhesion problems leaves one to ponder other possibilities.

With that in mind, I would suggest if you are going to paint it to at least paint it by using a catalyzed epoxy primer tinted to the color you want then within a set correct "flash" time dictated by the particular epoxy manufacturer you select then apply a catalyzed "tinted "urethane clear coat over it. Painting will give you more control over mil thickness than you can achieve within powder coating. Controlling mil thickness is important because unlike any other surface, the fan can easily be set off balance with too thick of application which is especially true when considering the tight clearances required between the edge of the fan blades and the shroud walls and any chipping from vibrations, surface contacts or adhesion problems will cause chipping or erosion to begin it's process. In fact we suspect this is why a lot of powder coated fans find end course chipping beginning on sharp edges.

Another procedure would be to simply paint the shroud as explained above but clean the fan itself to clear bare metal then buff it to a high gloss then apply what I have used in many such applications a product called POOR Boy's Wheel Sealant …. do a search to find it …. this product once applied and built up with initial multiple coatings then allowed to dry and wiped off withstands heat, corrosive brake dust, moisture and substrate surface corrosion by sealing the metal surfaces it is applied over … it leaves a hard water repellant surface upon setting and should be easy to maintain by applying every 6 months or so. The application process is by hand with a small cloth and can easily be accomplished by rubbing it onto the fan blades then wiping it off. I have used it on chrome, wheels, over clean prepared raw metal, aluminum and on painted surfaces as well … Hope this helps you in understanding the basics and gives you some direction going forward .. For what it's worth … I have been dealing with cars, painting and mechanicals since the late 60's so have done and seen a few things and out of it all found some things work and why others do not ….. good luck - dave
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Last edited by antares; 01-13-2018 at 10:47 PM..
Old 01-10-2018, 10:16 PM
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There's a bit about it here....

Show me your...Fan!

I think that there are guys in this thread that have successfully ceramic clear coated their fans.
Old 01-10-2018, 11:00 PM
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You can clear coat a raw mag/alum fan and the professional restorers do it all time. They use a ceramic coating called Cerakote. Fire arm industry has been using it for years with great success. Coating with Cerakote successfully is not easy and probably should be left to the professionals.


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Old 01-11-2018, 05:52 AM
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You can try a product like this.
Eastwood's 2K AeroSpray™ High-Gloss & Matte Clear
Some of the local paint supply houses by me will mix and fill cans of paint using this process in colors you want.

Although Mag should have a chemical conversion (dow treatment/ acid pickle) prior to painting to get the maximum benefit and longevity. Another thing is after any blasting the part should be washed and dried to remove any contamination and coated as soon as possible after being cleaned. It will begin to corrode very quickly after the cast skin is removed by the cleaning process.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:06 AM
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I used the high temp paint clear on my fan and to this point it has held up very good.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:10 AM
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I have used this on polished aluminum and it works great. It is called Sharkhide. hold up very well.
Old 01-11-2018, 08:54 AM
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Thanks everybody. Dave, that was very informative. I have a fan & housing already powder coated but just picked up my other fan & housing yesterday from the shop where I had it blasted/cleaned. Looks like I need to make a decision about what to coat it with pretty quickly.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:25 AM
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VHT clear exhaust paint works fine.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:39 AM
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Thanks John.
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Glassbeading and then hitting them both with Gibbs Penetrating Oil leaves a nice, low maintenance. finish. A quick steel wool now and then and reapply.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:55 AM
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… is this the VHT product you are referring to …. ? If not then please forgive me but if so one should read some of the reviews … it appears proper heat range curing is a real problem to achieve and even if application is followed to a T ... although high temp polyurethanes can offer very good high pencil hardness cured ratings, applying onto virgin metal is still also a problem especially if applied onto a high buffed substrate surface which offer no " mechanical tooth" for proper long lasting adhesion …

https://www.amazon.com/VHT-SP115-FlameProof-Coating-Satin/dp/B000CPJLGW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1515780388&sr=8-3&keywords=vht+exhaust+paint
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Old 01-12-2018, 10:18 AM
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like i stated on the body and paint forum they make clears that are designed for clearing bare metals .
you do not need a heat paint as your temps should never get high enough to burn or discolor the regular automotive paints . if your motor is running that hot you have bigger problems then your finish baking off .

as for why a standard automotive clear will not stick is because of the lack of solvents it needs to bite into .
a top coat ( clear ) has no binders in them they make there bond by chemical adhesion .
the solvent from the clear melts into the base coat color .
having nothing to melt into you do not get adhesion .

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Old 01-12-2018, 11:55 AM
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I've heard not to use steel wool as the steel and mag mix and cause corrosion. Only use scotchbrite. Not sure if that's true or not, just passing it along for you to research.
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:22 PM
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:42 PM
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They both have been bead blasted so have some "tooth." And yes, I've always heard not to use steel wool. 962porsche, your explanation in the paint & autobody forum was very good and makes sense.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:42 PM
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Polished fan testing a variety of off the shelf liquid preservatives. There was no one measurably better than another.




Same polished fan as above... untouched after 18 months.




VHT clear. Goes on looking OK---not exactly clear---and turns increasingly milky after a few days.




VHT after a few days. Very little adhesion. What's peeling off here was finger rubbed.


Bottom line... IMO Scotch Pad every few months is way to go. Creates a satin finish. Finish below peeling VHT (above pic) is Scotch Pad.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:36 PM
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… or just use whats us poor ol timers do boys and getcha some poor boys wheel sealant n rub her on real good and be don wit it n den justa go n doer erself some fishen at the hole done yonder ….so just get ... n go get er done ….
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:57 PM
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