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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a new Volvo S60. Wondering if the calipers are coated with something??? They don’t look painted. Plus the silver coloring doesn’t look perfect and rough.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Yeah the calipers are coated. They are cast iron so they would rust immeidately if not. Zinc plating would be my guess. The roughness is the surface of the caliper casting, the Zinc coating is thin. It's really a minimal inexpensive coating so the calipers don't rust right away, not something cosmetic to preserve the looks for a long time. Pretty typical OEM stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That would explain a slight uneven color on parts of it vs a painted one. Come on Volvo how hard is it to have them painted from factory. Thanks for the response.
 

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More fun to pick your own color anyhow... I'm getting ready to paint all mine this spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yourself or professionally? I will probably have them professionally done. I feel like they will start flaking if done either way.
 

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Doing them myself. Not too worried about flaking if you clean them good, but they'll rust through in time, it's just what happens. The one car I only drive maybe 1000 mi a year, so that one should last for awhile.
 

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It's just not industry standard to paint iron floating calipers. Though you do see it, the rear calipers on the PE models are painted to match the front Brembos, or I had a Dodge SRT-4 back in the day with the red calipers.

You can go either way, many get a nice finish cleaning up the caliper on the car and given them a coat of paint, with a brush or mask and spray. And that's easy to do. The proper way to do it of course is remove the calipers, disassemble, have the bodies blasted and cleaned, then professionally painted, all with proper masking...but is that worth the effort for iron sliders...
 

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The proper way to do it of course is remove the calipers, disassemble, have the bodies blasted and cleaned, then professionally painted, all with proper masking...but is that worth the effort for iron sliders...
I ended up at $125 a corner to professionally blast, polish for casting marks, and powdercoat…plus the cost of the rebuild kits (which were actually cheaper to buy than ship).

I was doing an “OE Upgrade” though, so the fact that this cost plus used calipers was significantly lower than then new parts weighed heavily in the value calculation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah the calipers are coated. They are cast iron so they would rust immeidately if not. Zinc plating would be my guess. The roughness is the surface of the caliper casting, the Zinc coating is thin. It's really a minimal inexpensive coating so the calipers don't rust right away, not something cosmetic to preserve the looks for a long time. Pretty typical OEM stuff.
I noticed they sell Zinc touch up paint(pen or can) for Zinc plated metals. There is a spot that from factory is not perfectly even in color. Wonder if I should try that or just leave it alone because eventually a layer will wear off of the whole caliper.
 

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I ended up at $125 a corner to professionally blast, polish for casting marks, and powdercoat…plus the cost of the rebuild kits (which were actually cheaper to buy than ship).
That's not a bad deal right there. That's how I would do it.

I noticed they sell Zinc touch up paint(pen or can) for Zinc plated metals. There is a spot that from factory is not perfectly even in color. Wonder if I should try that or just leave it alone because eventually a layer will wear off of the whole caliper.
Never used such a thing! It might work. Zinc is a "sacrificial layer" protection, so basically the zinc corrodes instead of the iron. Zinc corrosion is not rusty orange so it looks alright. Eventually the zinc will be used up and the iron will rust. The zinc just delays that for a time. Replenishing the zinc layer would help. I am guessing, if you live in the salty winter world like I do, you eventually would lose the battle in keeping up with that. I have seen some "zinc spray" products that serve a similar function to protect parts as an easy application for a mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's not a bad deal right there. That's how I would do it.



Never used such a thing! It might work. Zinc is a "sacrificial layer" protection, so basically the zinc corrodes instead of the iron. Zinc corrosion is not rusty orange so it looks alright. Eventually the zinc will be used up and the iron will rust. The zinc just delays that for a time. Replenishing the zinc layer would help. I am guessing, if you live in the salty winter world like I do, you eventually would lose the battle in keeping up with that. I have seen some "zinc spray" products that serve a similar function to protect parts as an easy application for a mechanic.
You are definitely right about losing that battle with the salt out here. I try and spray every thing off after each storm. Maybe I will track down the zinc paint and let you know how it plays out. Thanks for the response.
 
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