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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Long story short - my exhaust pipes have seen better days - they are in reasonably good physical condition - but have some surface rust.

I kinda like the look of the blacked out pipes on the meanstreak http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Detail.aspx?id=210

What would it take to do the same with stock pipes? I do ride in the rain - so durability would be paramount, and would wanna do it cheap and quick.

Mostly just dreaming... but would like knowing how feasible of a project this would be. Not sure what dechroming would take - or if high temp paint would do the trick??
 

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Member
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43 Posts
It shouldn't be that hard to do. I painted some of the rust spots on my exhaust with por-20 high temp paint in silver. they also make a high temp BLACK VELVET paint. I don't see why you would need to remove all the chrome just sand and paint.
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Davros,
How long ago (time and miles) did you do the touchup and how's it held up? Did ya sand the rust spots down to bare metal, not at all, or just to where ya couldn't see rust any more?

Do ya ride in the rain? (not sure if the thermal shock of the rain hitting the pipes would affect the paint - but I'd imagine it would.

Thanks for the tip
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
I had emailed a Yahoo member (Jason) awhile ago about his exhaust paint job (black)
This is what he replied with .....

Jason from Yahoo said:
I used DupliColor Hi-Temp Header Paint. After painting, you're suppose to bake it at 300 degrees for 15 minutes (or something like that) but I don't have an oven I can use for that purpose. Tech support said to just ride it around the block a couple times and it should be fine. The first time I painted it, I sat it in the driveway and let it idle but it blistered the paint near the headers. Second time, I let the bike idle a couple minutes and then shut it off. I did that a few times and seemed fine.

The paint has flaked off in a couple places and I'm not pleased. The flaking spot looks like it didn't stick to the pipes well (not blistered and not spreading) so I think it was either not clean enough or scuffed well enough in that spot before painting. I don't feel like painting it a third time so I'm seriously looking at using header wrap up to the mufflers.

VHT makes a header paint which has good reviews. Their instructions also state it needs to be baked to cure the paint.
 

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236 Posts
The deal with coatings of any kind is that you need to get a good "anchor profile". That is kind of roughing up the surface so the paint has something to adhere to. I work in the PetroChemical industry and we use coatings for several different applications (high temp, high press, corrosion resistance, etc.). I'm not a coatings expert, but the anchor profile is one of the basics. Also, you will want to follow the manufacturer's directions for application, and if that includes baking it to cure the coating, then that's an important step in making sure that the coating cures correctly.

The flaking and blistering are symptoms of a coating system that was not properly installed. If you want to do the coating on the cheap, it probably won't hold up for long. Have you looked into using the header wrap, I've seen it on a couple of bikes and it looked good. I don't think that you have the same type of application issues with the wrap either.

Just my .02, hope it helps.
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Anyone that's had the pipes off know how long/ wide the biggest part is?

I have a pretty big gas bbq I've been working on fixing up (rusty mess left in front of garbage can) that might be big enough....

For getting an "anchor profile" would that involve getting the chrome off to the metal, or just "skuffing it up" real good (I.E. 60 grit followed by 150 or so). Or would sandblasting or the like be nescessary? I have a compressor and could keep an eye out for a cheap sandblasting rig...

Not sure about the header wrap... I've read bad things about the same (keeping heat in for too long and causing premature death of exhaust) and since I ride in the rain I can't imagine I'd be able to keep it looking anywhere near presentable...
 

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Dude

I have a stock exaust if u want it probably in way better shape than yours from the sound of it. dont know how much to ship 2 u but i will check.

:motorcycl
 

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236 Posts
The anchor profile required would depend on the coating. The manufacturer should have a recomended surface prep in the application instructions which could range from scuffing the chrome to sand blasting to white metal...it depends on the type of coating. I've never dealt with the coatings on an exhaust system, so I'm not sure how much prep would be required.

My in-laws' neighbor is a coatings guy, next time I see him I'll see if he has any ideas about painting pipes.
 

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Member
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43 Posts
Davros,
How long ago (time and miles) did you do the touchup and how's it held up? Did ya sand the rust spots down to bare metal, not at all, or just to where ya couldn't see rust any more?

Do ya ride in the rain? (not sure if the thermal shock of the rain hitting the pipes would affect the paint - but I'd imagine it would.

Thanks for the tip
I did the touchup last spring when I first got the bike (about 5000 mi). I sanded the rust spots down to the point where I could no longer see any rust. I tried not remove any of the good chrome, just roughed it up. I then cleaned and degreased the areas and wore latex gloves during the process. The rust was mainly on the back and bottom of the front pipe.

I try not to ride in the rain but it has happened a couple of times. It does not seem to have affected the paint.
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Lurch,

Check your PM's...

It probably IS in better shape than the current exhaust.

Bike sat in a garage on the coast for most of it's life - it's had 3 owners b4 me - original owner I know nothing about, but from the sounds of it he had some issues with the bike after putting most of the miles on it (85 700 with 12k miles).

Second owner did a lot of work on the bike (mostly carbs from what I was told...) lived on the coast and let the bike sit in his garage - had it for quite a few years but never got his mcy endorsement.

Third owner bought it last summer - put very few miles on it.

I've put around 1000 miles on the bike in the last month. Been trying to deal with some surface rust (everything chrome has rust - ranging from minor to severe) The exhaust could probably be made to look ok, but would require LOTS of time with steel wool and I'd always be fighting surface rust coming back. One of these days I'll pull off the "Fork lower clamp" (what the kaw manual calls it) and rustoleum black it. It's the worst looking piece of the bike.

My zip is in my username (97322). Let me know what shipping would cost and what you'd want for the stock exhaust (mine's stock too). At the very least, that'd allow me to try blacking out the exhaust and if it didn't work nothing would be lost (and I'd be able to do prep RIGHT since I wouldn't have to worry about being able to ride the bike NOW). I figure if ya ship the stock exhaust to me, I'll put it on for now and try monkying around with the rusted one I have - if it turns out in a way I like, I can pass the stock exhaust down to another member ;-)
 

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Dude

I have a stock exaust if u want it probably in way better shape than yours from the sound of it. dont know how much to ship 2 u but i will check.

:motorcycl
LurchChaos,

If Curtis is not interested, I would be in the front right header pipe.

Bob
 

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Curtis,

How about painting AND header wrap... Check these photos... It's a Honda Rebel 250, I painted the pipes with high heat engine paint after sanding them... and wrapped the headers with graphite gray header paint... Of course the bike also had a painted engine with high heat paint, and a gloss frame and structural parts with flat black body parts...

http://www.mrbun.com/assets/images/rebel/elvira/DSC01919-final.jpg

http://www.mrbun.com/assets/images/rebel/elvira/DSC01917-final.jpg

If your bike has so much rust, but runs good, you might want to consider neutralizing the rust.. and then painting it with various shades of black (flat, gloss, you name it) and go for the rat or plain chopper look.
 

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Uber Member
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1,280 Posts
Have you looked into powder coating?
just about to say that... there are high temp versions of power coating. And as it gets hotter, it gets harder... only down side is with enough heat and time it may start to chip from rocks and so forth. My suggestion... get the pipes ceramic coated on the insides. then wrap them and paint it any color.

Another option it to make heat sheilds, and paint those... Just use a larger diameter pipe, and make the same bends you have now, then cut it to where you can slide it over the current pipe, weld in a spacer, and a way to attach it. This will take more time, and some more money, but this will be the most durable.
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Ha! That's how the truck turn signals look on a bike! I'd ben wondering how they'd look and I kinda like it.

I have, in fact, been considering going semi rat - for gods sake I have ammo cans strapped to the side! (and I had a milk crate strapped to the back of my old 550)

Since Lurch is sending me his old exhaust, I'll do some experimentation with the one that's on it - just what I need is another damn project!

I'll be painting whatever I paint (other than high temp stuff) with rustoleum black - I swear by that stuff! I won't touch the tank (it looks great), and the paintjob on the fenders (done by a PO) looks adequate.

I'm definitely thinking that flat black handlebars would look cool (they are rust spotted too) but I'm not sure they'd hold up well...

Next thing ya know I'll be rhino coating the whole damn bike!

Powdercoating is something I've considered - just not sure how much it'd cost me - I'd love to powdercoat the wheels down the road, but that'd mean WAY too long of a wait to ride.



 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Just wanted to publicly thank Lurch for the exhaust he sent me!

Thanks man! Well packed and sent quick (and couldn't beat the price ;-))
 

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Uber Member
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1,280 Posts
Submit him some Itrader... we really need to start using that thing...
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Submit him some Itrader... we really need to start using that thing...
Did right after posting!

I agree, the I-trader thing is a good idea.
 
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