Spent all day saturday at Multiplex shop bead blasting and powder coating. He spent most of the day making a cam installation tool (very sweet) so I was free reign through the shop and man it was fun
The casting on the valve covers SUCK. Now I know why BMW has their decorative cover! There are pits and cracks in the casting and i considered JB welding before powder coat but it would have been futile. So I went ahead and tried out the translucent candy gold 2 stage coating along with "chrome" PC.
This is my first attempt at a 2 stage powder, first you bead blast, then out gas, then powder coat it "xtreme chrome". It was VERY VERY VERY CHROME! I did the turbo housing, the piping, and the valve cover in the chrome and it was soooo sick. However, you have to use a clear coat on top of the xtreme chrome, which ended up dulling the bling a little, but there are multiple methods of how to apply the clear, I just did it the "safest" way.
The valve cover didn't receive clear. Instead it received the translucent candy gold top coat - holy crap was this shit hard to apply! As I would get good coverage, the low pressure of the powder seemed to repel neighboring powder and I would get bald spots. I did my best to cover it, and it looks as though 99% of the bald areas ended up flowing out when I baked it, but damn that was not fun. I think more voltage would help but it seems like one of those things you have to get used to... not sure I will use 2 stage powder any more.
I am I'd say 60 - 70% satisfied with my valve cover just because the previous one I had on there (woot flat black spray paint no prep!) was disgusting. This is kind of on the verge of obsessively clean, but hey, what the hell. The rest of the engine bay needs a polishing but spring is on the horizon!
I am thinking of trying the candy gold right on bare aluminum (after bead blasting and out gassing) to see what happens. All instructions/forums say you need to apply candy on chrome, polished, or powder coated chrome finished...we'll see about that! I am also thinking about wrinkle black and some other colors, or maybe simply the xtreme chrome as it looks so freaking hot before clear, almost polished!
The candy coat is very cool because at perpendicular angles, you see straight thru it and see the chrome. At angles not perpendicular you get varying shades of the gold candy. Step back and the whole thing looks pretty uniform, pretty neat.
All the piping which is chrome now was painted (horribly) black and chipping. This is so much nicer!
Thanks guys and thanks again Jay!