At first glance, an engine is a simple thing to dress up. Just spray a little paint and viola, great looking engine. Sadly, that rarely lasts and especially doesn’t hold up on surfaces that get hot. Davin is a man who loves a good-looking engine just as much as a good-performing engine, so he is always on the hunt for a new process or material to keep his work looking great for a long time. The latest coating he’s found is Cerakote, and for this Chevy build he thought it would be fun to get a deeper look into exactly what the process is.
Cerakote is simply a high-temperature ceramic coating. This means it withstands heat without discoloration or flaking, a big plus for items like headers or exhaust manifolds. The build-up of coating is also very thin but highly abrasion resistant, so it’s perfect for parts that might get some rubbing during normal use.
The application process starts with a deep clean in aircraft-grade Simple Green. Just like paint, you do not want any contaminants between your surface and finish. A quick scrub, rinse and bake dry are all that’s needed to clean parts before the spray application can start.
Before the product is sprayed, it must be mixed. The two parts are the Cerakote and a hardener, which need to come together in the proper amounts to get the correct properties and finish in the final product. Then it’s time to load the mix into a high-volume, low-pressure spray gun and fog it onto the parts. Final step is to either bake the final finish or let it air cure for up to five days. Either way, you have a highly durable and great-looking finished piece that you won’t have to worry about for years.
Davin learned a few things on this tour, and we can see the wheels spinning in his head over what he could do with Cerakote on future projects. If you want to see what those might be, be sure to subscribe to the Hagerty YouTube channel to never miss an update.
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