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DIY - E90 LCI Caliper and Hub Paint - How-to
Published by zzzbullseye
04-13-2010
Thumbs up DIY - E90 LCI Caliper and Hub Paint - How-to

I decided to dress up my calipers with a little paint. Also, I've had a recurring problem with my hubs rusting - especially in the front, so I decided to paint them silver in an attempt to remedy the rust issue.

I used G2 brushable caliper paint - black for the calipers and silver for the hubs. The kit includes everything you need to paint four calipers or hubs. See pics below:






The process is very straight forward, you'll start by jacking up your car and placing it on jack stands. Remove the wheels and start the cleaning and prep work.

Hub Cleaning

As I mentioned above, I've had issues with my hubs rusting. Like many folks, my wheels (OEM 179's) leave much of the rotor/hub/caliper exposed to view and the rust on the hubs is EXTREMELY unsightly. So to prep the hubs before painting, I used a 3" wire brush chucked in a drill to remove all the rust. See pics below:

Hubs and calipers prior to cleaning:




Using the wire brush to clean:



All clean!


Caliper Cleaning

After cleaning up the hubs, I moved on to the calipers. I decided to remove the anti-rattle clips on both the front an rear calipers before cleaning. I think this is definitely the right move, if you paint the calipers without removing them, you'll end up painting the clips onto the caliper and they will have to be pried off when the pads need to be changed in the future. I suspect the paint will most likely chip when removing the clips as a result. Just go ahead and remove them, it's a simple process to remove and reinstall. See pics below:

Front
Use a screwdriver to pry off the clip. Hang on to the clip while prying so it doesn't go flying off when it comes loose.



Rear
Use channel locks or other pliers to pry the rear clip loose. Note: these are my sprinkler head adjusting pliers for my irrigation system, so they're a bit rusty...



Once the clips have been removed, clean the calipers (and hubs if you're painting them as well) with the included brake cleaner - just spray it on and let it run off / evaporate. Place some newspaper or cardboard underneath the calipers to catch the cleaner runoff. Don't forget to clean the anti-rattle clips also.

Painting

Mix the reactor and the paint together using the included stirring stick, do this only when ready to start painting. Once the paint and the reactor are mixed together, the epoxy will begin to harden and you'll be on the clock. Depending on the temperature, (56-70 F is the recommended working temp), you should have between 4-6 hours of working time. Check out the complete instructions here.

Do yourself a favor and wear latex gloves while applying the paint...if you don't, you'll end up with paint all over your grubby mitts...take it from me...

I did not tape off anything before painting. The areas that could have benefited from tape (the back of the pads) are basically impossible to tape off. I just took my time when painting around areas that I wanted to avoid getting paint on. Go slow and use a steady hand and you won't have any problems. As the instructions indicate, apply multiple thin coats, waiting at least 15 minutes between coats. I painted the calipers first - two coats, then moved on to the hubs, hitting them with three coats. One additional tip I would give regarding equipment, it's probably wise to grab some extra acid brushes - they're cheap and should be available at any hardware store. The one brush that's included will begin to stiffen up during application of the second coat - this makes applying the paint more difficult. I just started with a fresh brush at the beginning of each coat to make application as easy as possible. Don't forget to paint the anti-rattle clips - for these, I held by hand and painted the majority of the clip, then I hung them on a hook and painted the last bit.

Let everything cure thoroughly before replacing the clips and mounting the wheels. It took me roughly three hours to paint the calipers and hubs, that doesn't include the setup and cleaning time. You'll want to devote a full day to this project and just count on your rig being out of commission for a day. I painted on a Saturday afternoon and let the paint cure overnight before attempting to reinstall the clips and wheels the next morning.


The Results

Front







Rear





Hub




Here's some shots after I mounted the wheels. With my choice of black for the calipers I ended up with a fairly understated OEM look. Obviously, if you go with a brighter color, you will make a louder statement. I'm very pleased with the results and would highly recommend the G2 brushable paint.









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  #1  
By NiVeDh on 04-14-2010, 11:33 AM
Good DIY. Thanks. Might use it in the future.
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  #2  
By Mech_Man on 04-14-2010, 02:01 PM
Looks really sharp!
Thanks for the effort of putting together a well laid out DIY !!!
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  #3  
By zzzbullseye on 04-14-2010, 04:41 PM
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NiVeDh, Mech_Man - Thanks guys, glad to help out!
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  #4  
By votoc on 04-14-2010, 05:04 PM
Looks great..if I ever get new wheels that show off the calipers then I'll be revisiting this!
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  #5  
By zzzbullseye on 04-14-2010, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by votoc View Post
Looks great..if I ever get new wheels that show off the calipers then I'll be revisiting this!
Thanks, good luck!
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  #6  
By prodigymix on 04-25-2010, 11:00 PM
This DIY is perfect! I was wondering if there were any options for making my stock brake set up look nicer as I just ordered some new wheels and they'll definitely be more visible.

I'll probably be doing this in the near future.. thanks for the write up!
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  #7  
By zzzbullseye on 04-26-2010, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prodigymix View Post
This DIY is perfect! I was wondering if there were any options for making my stock brake set up look nicer as I just ordered some new wheels and they'll definitely be more visible.

I'll probably be doing this in the near future.. thanks for the write up!
Thanks, glad to help! Good luck and report back your results.
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  #8  
By e90im on 04-26-2010, 08:17 PM
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Great job. Black wouldn't be my color choice, but it looks very professional.
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  #9  
By PaulBailey@ltbmw on 04-26-2010, 08:36 PM
Very nice work!
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  #10  
By zzzbullseye on 04-27-2010, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90im View Post
Great job. Black wouldn't be my color choice, but it looks very professional.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulBailey@ltbmw View Post
Very nice work!
Thanks guys!
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  #11  
By Craig@SupremePower on 04-27-2010, 09:40 AM
nice job..
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  #12  
By manfromack on 05-02-2010, 05:16 AM
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Great DIY

Saw your post and just finished following it exactly-no issues, came out great. Added some Neverseize to 'contact points' on interior of wheels to avoid coming close to breaking my foot next time.
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  #13  
By syl2us on 05-02-2010, 07:53 AM
Looks great! Did this to my brothers car, let us know how the paint is in a couple months... he suffered some chipping even after many coats and clear coat :-\
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  #14  
By zzzbullseye on 05-02-2010, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromack View Post
Saw your post and just finished following it exactly-no issues, came out great. Added some Neverseize to 'contact points' on interior of wheels to avoid coming close to breaking my foot next time.
Awesome, post up some pix if you can. I've used anti-seize before also, it works great.


Quote:
Originally Posted by syl2us View Post
Looks great! Did this to my brothers car, let us know how the paint is in a couple months... he suffered some chipping even after many coats and clear coat :-\
I'll definitely update every so often with wear and tear status.
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  #15  
By overkill1125 on 05-02-2010, 07:06 PM
I would probably choose red or some other color so that it can standout more. Black it nice up close.
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  #16  
By manfromack on 05-11-2010, 07:09 PM
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Requeste Pics

A few quick pics of how mine came out (very similar). Your right on, give yourself a solid long afternoon. I let cure overnight as well.

Before Rear:


Before Front:


After Rear:


After Front:


Mounted:

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  #17  
By manfromack on 05-11-2010, 07:12 PM
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Have you replaced your ashtray with the sunglass holder? If so, any advice (2008 335i vert). I have seen other posts but a little spooked on prying out the center assembly.
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  #18  
By SharpPointyStick on 05-11-2010, 07:51 PM
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Cant help but notice your car is on jack stands...care to share how you did this?

Where did you jack the car up? Front/Rear Location?

Where did you place the stands? Front/Rear Location?

Thanks
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  #19  
By zzzbullseye on 05-11-2010, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromack View Post
A few quick pics of how mine came out (very similar). Your right on, give yourself a solid long afternoon. I let cure overnight as well.
Awesome, looks like it turned out well!


Quote:
Originally Posted by manfromack View Post
Have you replaced your ashtray with the sunglass holder? If so, any advice (2008 335i vert). I have seen other posts but a little spooked on prying out the center assembly.
Nope, I sure haven't. Don't really have much interest in it, so probably not one that I'll attempt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpPointyStick View Post
Cant help but notice your car is on jack stands...care to share how you did this?

Where did you jack the car up? Front/Rear Location?

Where did you place the stands? Front/Rear Location?

Thanks
Nothing fancy to jacking up the vehicle. I used a floor jack on the lift points (the hard plastic rectangles that hang down slightly) on the side of the vehicle - just behind the tire in the front and just ahead of the tire in the rear. I just moved from one wheel to another lifting, placing a jack stand under the frame near the wheel, and then removing the wheel.
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  #20  
By mike3000fl on 05-12-2010, 07:29 AM
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i went full retard and painted the hub and heatshield...







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  #21  
By zzzbullseye on 05-12-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
i went full retard and painted the hub and heatshield...







Hey...may as well use up all the paint, it's not like you can seal it up and use it later!
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