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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Painted Calipers

Here was my big project Friday evening. (The whole process took about 6 hours, with my son helping.) I painted the calipers on my Red Line.

Below are the close-ups of my rims and calipers before and after, as well as a shot of the car with the calipers painted. Pics 1 and 3 are the front caliper, pics 2 and 4 are the rear caliper.
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First:"BABY" Silver Pearl 9 May 06
Then:"SPIRIT" Black Onyx Red Line 25 Oct 06

Check out My Photos!

Last edited by JohnD; 11-12-2006 at 02:59 AM.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Below is the product I used. I got it at "Pep Boys" - a local auto parts store. I jacked up the car and raised it completely off the ground and had it on four jack stands. I then removed all four wheels so that I could get to work assembly-line style on all four calipers. As I my son cleaned and masked, I was painting. He then de-masked and mounted the mud flaps as we went along.

The remaining four pictures are the calipers, front and rear, in their raw starting state and then masked to protect the rotors and pads from the goopy paint.
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First:"BABY" Silver Pearl 9 May 06
Then:"SPIRIT" Black Onyx Red Line 25 Oct 06

Check out My Photos!
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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The car actually looked really small once the wheels were off and it was flying up in the air on the jack stands. It was really weird. Below are photos of the car on the stands, as well as the painted calipers without the wheels in place.
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First:"BABY" Silver Pearl 9 May 06
Then:"SPIRIT" Black Onyx Red Line 25 Oct 06

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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I have ordered "SATURN" vinyl decals that I found on eBay to go on the calipers in black lettering - I will post pictures once I have them installed.

Also, these calipers are a really bright red - much brighter than the maroon of the leather seats. I don't know if they jump out at me because I am not used to seeing red calipers (I'm sure that has something to do with it) or if it's because of the very wide spokes in the polished alloy wheels. However, I am planning on replacing the stock wheels with the KappaShpere M1 Rims - I think the black powder-coated rims will look stunning on my black SKY. And I think the black rims will reduce the reflections and add some shadows in front of the calipers, making them appear darker than they do now. I think they'll be fine once I get the new rims in place. Heck, I think they are fine now.

Pics below are views of the finished calipers as they appear on the car, along with a shot of the KappaSphere M1 rims. I think they look great on Kappa's Silver Pearl SKY. I think they will be awesome on my blacked-out Red Line...
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First:"BABY" Silver Pearl 9 May 06
Then:"SPIRIT" Black Onyx Red Line 25 Oct 06

Check out My Photos!

Last edited by JohnD; 11-13-2006 at 03:10 PM.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 08:05 AM
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So for someone who has never painted their calipers before -- do you have to remove the caliper from the rotor or can you paint it while it's on the rotor? What do you have to be careful for (besides getting paint on the rotor)?

Also, I got the wheel lock addon from Saturn -- anyone know how to get these off? Do I have to buy a special "unlocker" from Saturn or do car part stores carry them?
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USFJoseph View Post
So for someone who has never painted their calipers before -- do you have to remove the caliper from the rotor or can you paint it while it's on the rotor? What do you have to be careful for (besides getting paint on the rotor)?

Also, I got the wheel lock addon from Saturn -- anyone know how to get these off? Do I have to buy a special "unlocker" from Saturn or do car part stores carry them?
I painted my calipers "chrome". I just sprayed them, no masking. Then I used a rag with a little carb cleaner on it and wiped the overspray off, Took maybe 5 min total per wheel. This is also a good time to clean up in around the wheel well. Below is the pic I posted earlier. There has been no issue with heat. Also sprayed the rotor hub and the vents on the front.That stopped the rusty water on the rims.
Ya gotta love it!
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 10:45 AM
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JDIGIANT...u have done an excellent job of explaining and illustrating the process...send your son to Jersey...I have an extra room...seriously though, it looks great especially with the red interior. It certainly compliments the cars interior.

The problem most of us would probably have is jacking up this car. Even I feel this may cause damage to the sides. You have to have specialized eqipment for this car and know where the jack points r.

Last edited by marlboromike; 11-12-2006 at 10:48 AM.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by USFJoseph View Post
So for someone who has never painted their calipers before -- do you have to remove the caliper from the rotor or can you paint it while it's on the rotor? What do you have to be careful for (besides getting paint on the rotor)?
All the instructions are included in the kit. Remove wheels, clean the rotors with the spray that is included in the kit, rough them up just a bit with #400 sandpaper (I used a #400 Sanding Pad), clean with a damp cloth to remove the dust, mask around the caliper with painter's tape, then dab away with a brush. I did three coats - the third coat really smooths out the color and makes it consistent.

In terms of concerns, the instructions say to be careful not to get the cleaner or the paint on any plastic or rubber fittings. That's easy to do if you take your time and go slow. Also, I got a bunch of disposable brushes, and I changed to a new brush for every caliper. The brushes get pretty gooped up pretty quick. Tossing it and starting with a new one is the best way to solve THAT problem...

First:"BABY" Silver Pearl 9 May 06
Then:"SPIRIT" Black Onyx Red Line 25 Oct 06

Check out My Photos!
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by marlboromike View Post
The problem most of us would probably have is jacking up this car. Even I feel this may cause damage to the sides. You have to have specialized eqipment for this car and know where the jack points r.
I was concerned about that, too, but I knew I wanted to get comfortable taking it off the ground so I could work on it over time. Once again a trip to Pep Boys solved the problem for me. I got one of those hydraulic lift jacks (since the SKY does not come with a jack) and some nice aluminum jack stands. The jack was a "racing jack" made specifically for lowered cars, and can squeeze in under 3 inches. I had a ton of clearance under the SKY. It was rated for a ton and a half, just about the total weight of the SKY - so lifting it one corner at a time posed no problem at all.

The jack was $59, and a pair of stands (I got two pair) were $49.

Right behind the front wheels is a circular hole in the frame - definitely part of the structure of the car - and it provided a perfect target for the lifting pad. Once the front was up, it was easy to spot the suspension mount point (certainly a place designed to take some stress and handle a quarter of the car's weight) so the first stand went right there at the rear point of the "Y" arm. I then lifted the other side the same way to get the nose off the ground and balanced.

I then proceeded to the rear, looked for another solid frame target and found what looks like a specific lift point ahead of the rear wheels. If you get down and look it's really obvious - the body is worked around it and you can tell that it is specifically a lift point. Placing the jack there brought the entire rear end of the car up - both rear wheels were off the ground when lifting from this point with the front already on stands.

Once again I looked for the suspension mount point. The forward end of the "Y" arm was enclosed in a little steel box, but the rear was nicely exposed and very inviting. One stand there on one side - then I jacked the other side to raise it just a little bit and got the fourth stand in.

To lower it, I just did the exact opposite. Raise the rear from the lift point, remove a stand - then raise the other side rear and remove the second rear stand to get both rear wheels on the ground. Then back to the frame points on the front, raise a corner and remove one of the front stands, then to the other side and the the second front wheel on the ground.

Once again, the "two-man team" really helps do the trick. With one person pumping the handle on the jack, the other can get down and precisely place the lift pad exactly at the spot on the frame where you want it to go. Likewise, the helper can precisely place the jack stand while the car is slowly lowered, making sure that it comes down squarely on the stand.

I was worried when I started, but it went really well and was a lot simpler once I started to do it. Again, just work slow and use common sense. Look for solid structural points for lifting and mounting the stands. And do it one corner at a time - don't get cocky and try to lif a whole side at a time.

Incidentally, I looked for instructions in the owner's manual on how to jack up or lift the car. NOTHING. Not a scrap. Meanwhile it has 50-plus pages on internal human anatomy, how to use a seat belt, how not to use a seat belt, how two people should not use a seat belt, how a little person should use a seat belt, how a pregnant person should use a seat belt, how a car seat should be secured with a seat belt, how a car seat should NOT be used with a seat belt... Etc.


Later on in the book it talks about the effects of alcohol on your driving ability. There is even a little picture of beer, wine and mixed drinks - all in appropriately shaped glasses. I said to my son, "Hey look! It even comes with a menu!"

However, nothing on how to jack up or lift your car to service or detail it.

The first photo below shows the spot on the Y Arm at the rear mount point where I placed the jack stand to support the car. The second photo shows the view from the back showing the lift points that I used at the rear. If you look to the right you can see the stand mounted at the rear of the Y Arm, and also see the grey box that surrounds the forward end of the arm. I'll try to add some photos later of what I used as lift points for the jack.
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First:"BABY" Silver Pearl 9 May 06
Then:"SPIRIT" Black Onyx Red Line 25 Oct 06

Check out My Photos!

Last edited by JohnD; 11-12-2006 at 10:20 PM.
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 06:00 PM
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Awesome

Wow! Thanks for the info on this great customization. It was nice to get a glimpse of how the end result would look. I just got back from pep boys with my red caliper kit as you showed off in your post. Hopefully, I can put it to use on my Redline when it gets here.

I look forward to seeing the decals that you choose to put on the calipers. I wonder if heat will be an issue with them though.
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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jdigiant View Post
I have ordered "SATURN" vinyl decals that I found on eBay to go on the calipers in black lettering - I will post pictures once I have them installed.

Also, these calipers are a really bright red - much brighter than the maroon of the leather seats. I don't know if they jump out at me because I am not used to seeing red calipers (I'm sure that has something to do with it) or if it's because of the very wide spokes in the polished alloy wheels. However, I am planning on replacing the stock wheels with the KappaShpere M1 Rims - I think the black powder-coated rims will look stunning on my black SKY. And I think the black rims will reduce the reflections and add some shadows in front of the calipers, making them appear darker than they do now. I think they'll be fine once I get the new rims in place. Heck, I think they are fine now.

Pics below are two views of the finished calipers as they appear on the car, along with a shot of the KappaSphere M1 rims. I think they look great on Kappa's Silver Pearl SKY. I think they will be awesome on my blacked-out Red Line...
Nice job!!

I had done my base Sky in Red and will be doing my RL tomorrow night after picking it up in the morning.... I got my same Dupli-Color kit at Wal-Mart for $10... they come in Red, White, Yellow or Blue...

I also have the brake stickers off eBay and they did up "REDLINE" for me in lieu of Saturn..... in White!

Last edited by SKYGAZR; 11-12-2006 at 07:15 PM.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jdigiant View Post
I was concerned about that, too, but I knew I wanted to get comfortable taking it off the ground so I could work on it over time. Once again a trip to Pep Boys solved the problem for me. I got one of those hydraulic lift jacks (since the SKY does not come with a jack) and some nice aluminum jack stands. The jack was a "racing jack" made specifically for lowered cars, and can squeeze in under 3 inches. I had a ton of clearance under the SKY. It was rated for a ton and a half, just about the total weight of the SKY - so lifting it one corner at a time posed no problem at all.

The jack was $59, and a pair of stands (I got two pair) were $49.

Right behind the front wheels is a circular hole in the frame - definitely part of the structure of the car - and it provided a perfect target for the lifting pad. Once the front was up, it was easy to spot the suspension mount point (certainly a place designed to take some stress and handle a quarter of the car's weight) so the first stand went right there at the rear point of the "Y" arm. I then lifted the other side the same way to get the nose off the ground and balanced.

I then proceeded to the rear, looked for another solid frame target and found what looks like a specific lift point ahead of the rear wheels. If you get down and look it's really obvious - the body is worked around it and you can tell that it is specifically a lift point. Placing the jack there brought the entire rear end of the car up - both rear wheels were off the ground when lifting from this point with the front already on stands.

Once again I looked for the suspension mount point. The forward end of the "Y" arm was enclosed in a little steel box, but the rear was nicely exposed and very inviting. One stand there on one side - the I jacked the other side to raise it just a little bit and got the fourth stand in.

To lower it, I just did the exact opposite. Raise the rear from the lift point, remove a stand - then raise the other side rear and remove the second rear stand to get both rear wheels on the ground. Then back to the frame points on the front, raise a corner and remove one of the front stands, then to the other side and the the second front wheel on the ground.

Once again, the "two-man team" really helps do the trick. With one person pumping the handle on the jack, the other can get down and precisely place the lift pad exactly at the spot on the frame where you want it to go. Likewise, the helper can precisely place the jack stand while the car is slowly lowered, making sure that it comes down squarely on the stand.

I was worried when I started, but it went really well and was a lot simpler once I started to do it. Again, just work slow and use common sense. Look for solid structural points for lifting and mounting the stands. And do it one corner at a time - don't get cocky and try to lif a whole side at a time.

Incidentally, I looked for instructions in the owner's manual on how to jack up or lift the car. NOTHING. Not a scrap. Meanwhile it has 50-plus pages on internal human anatomy, how to use a seat belt, how not to use a seat belt, how two people should not use a seat belt, how a little person should use a seat belt, how a pregnant person should use a seat belt, how a car seat should be secured with a seat belt, how a car seat should NOT be used with a seat belt... Etc.


Later on in the book it talks about the effects of alcohol on your driving ability. There is even a little picture of beer, wine and mixed drinks - all in appropriately shaped glasses. I said to my son, "Hey look! It even comes with a menu!"

However, nothing on how to jack up or lift your car to service or detail it.

The first photo below shows the spot on the Y Arm at the rear mount point where I placed the jack stand to support the car. The second photo shows the view from the back showing the lift points that I used at the rear. If you look to the right you can see the stand mounted at the rear of the Y Arm, and also see the grey box that surrounds the forward end of the arm. I'll try to add some photos later of what I used as lift points for the jack.
You should author a book with illustrations...u did a great job...a picture is worth a thousand words...thanks again
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-12-2006, 06:28 PM
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jdigiant -- Really nice job on all aspects of the caliper painting, from pictures to jacking instructions.

Redline (pre-halt), Pearl, Black/Red,
complete option list except auto,
owner installed lock buttons,
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Caliper Decals

I answered my own question regarding the heat issue. The decals which can be found by doing a search for 'saturn caliper decals' on ebay, are made for high heat environments.
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Many thanks for the how to instructions and pictures, great job!
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