Painting Brake Calipers

Painting Brake Calipers

2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS/RS Coupe

Modifications | Chevrolet Camaro Gen 5 |

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The fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro was released in 2010 as a base LT V6 or the upgraded SS V8. All SS equipped cars came standard with Brembo 4-piston brake calipers at all four corners. While they offer fantastic stopping power, the dull gray color with red/white lettering leaves them look a bit bland while sitting behind the attractive 5-spoke aluminum wheels.

Most high end sports cars leave the factory with similar braking setups but are almost always treated to a bight color giving them a distinctive look. So, for a few hours of work and less than $50 in materials, I decided to upgrade the look of the calipers by treating them to a brightly colored paint job.

There are sure to be critics out there claiming that this is a waste and that I'm trying to portray the car as something it's not. This isn't exactly the same as installing the cheap plastic caliper covers that can be found on ebay for just a few bucks. These are OEM Brembo calipers that just needed a face lift!

I used products from VHT, but there are plenty of others on the market to choose from. The over all process took the better part of a day if you include drying times.

Component Manufacturer Spec. / Part #
Primer VHT SP148
Color Coat - Real Red VHT SP731
Clear Coat VHT SP730
Total cost: $50.00

Removing Wheels and Calipers

Removing Wheels and CalipersIt should come as no surprise that the car needs to be jacked up and the wheels/tires need to be removed. You can certainly do it one by one on the ground with a floor jack, but I put the car up on a lift making the process much easier. Each caliper needs to be removed from its carrier by removing the two bolts that hold them together.

Cleaning the Calipers

Cleaning the CalipersThe caliper needs to be thoroughly cleaned. I supported the caliper with a couple of rods over a wash basin and used a variety of brushes and rags with cleaning agents. Finally the calipers need to be rinsed and dried.

Masking Surrounding Area

Masking Surrounding AreaUsing some wire (a coat hanger works well), support the caliper so that it is not hanging by the brake line. Mask off any areas that you don't want to receive paint like the rotor, bleed valve cover, pads, wheel wells, etc using a combination of masking tape and paper/plastic.

Note: This method is not the preferred way of doing this work, but does not require the pads to be removed or the brake lines to be disconnected therefor necessitating bleeding of the braking system. If you have the time and desire to do it right, remove the calipers and do the work in the proper environment.

Coat of Primer

Coat of PrimerDepending on the material or existing coating, the caliper may require a bit of scuffing so that the primer adheres properly. After roughing up the surface, wipe the caliper clean and prepare to paint.

I sprayed two light coats of primer and allowed it to thoroughly dry.

Color Coat

Color CoatOnce the primer had set, I sprayed two light coats of color. This is certainly not the same as painting a car; especially when using rattle cans. The best way to get yourself in trouble is to put on coats of paint that are too heavy and create runs. Take your time and don't expect a bight sheen just yet.

Decals and Clear Coat

Decals and Clear CoatAfter allowing the color coat to properly dry, I decided to add Brembo decals. This obviously isn't necessary, but they are Brembo calipers so I decided to just go with it. They are available cheaply on ebay.

I sprayed two very light but even coats of clear over the color coat and decals. Again, you don't want to spay too much and have runs. Once dry, remove the masking materials and reinstall the caliper being sure to correctly torque the bolts.

Here you can see the final product after reinstalling the caliper.

Final Product

Final ProductIn just a few hours and less than $50, you can improve the look of your braking system. I think it turned out pretty well.

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