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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, this topic has probably been beat to death but my search hasn't answered my questions.

I'm in the research stage- pre-ordering. The question is, for those of you who purchased your kit with the FFR powdercoat, are you happy with it? Does the PC stick well? How about drilling through it, does it chip and flake off?

I noticed in my search an individual who had his done locally in a nice silver PC. Have any of you had yours done locally and if so, how has it held up to drilling, etc? Thanks

Jerry
 

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Got my Coupe from FFR, wonderful frame, quality welds!! But IMHO if I had to do over again I would have cleaned up the weld splatter before having it powder coated locally. If you are going to drill through the coating it does not chip or flake off (use a small bit to drill a pilot hole first). FFR coating is a quality product I just wish a little more frame prep had been done. My frame was black but with a light color it would be more obvious.
HTH CB
 

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Very happy with it. Some complain that the frame was not finished enough and that the powder coating covers a lot of splatter.

If you are going to build a show car then maybe you should clean up the frame then have it powder coated.

Rick
 

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I never had any problem when drilling through it. no chipping at all. If you want to go through the extra work of having it done locally you will have other options available to you. The formula FFR use is done special for them. If you do it at a another vendor you can have choice of colors and final finish. Some shops will be able to give you a high gloss (show quality)look, or a finish that will be specific for high durability.

There is a lot of science in the process and they can do what ever you want. At the end of the day the FFR finish is good, easy and affordable. IMO of course
 

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Dude it was like $200 bucks , exceptional value but not the best quality, But hey I think I spent more on zip ties. If you are building a show car pass. If you are going to drive it as fast as humanly possible (uhh I mean as fast as safely possible on public roads) The parts you see from the top should not get hammered. Get an easily matched color for stret cars black. VHT make chassis and roll bar epoxy in ratttle cans in you choice of flat or gloss black, Bob
 

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I had my powdercoat done by the factory, and I wouldn't bother again -- the quality was very poor. It chipped and flaked like crazy, and I've got at least two cans of rattle spray under there to touch up the parts that flaked off. I hear quality has gotten somewhat better, but price your local coaters -- you can pick color that way, and the guys I've seen with locally done jobs had MUCH better coatings than I got from the factory. If it's an extra hundred bucks, it's money well spent -- seems you definitely get what you pay for in this area.

Cheers, John
 

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Very happy with the job they did on mine. And to put it in its proper perspective, I just had my hood hinges done(ten pieces) for $75.00. As Flyer stated, if you a building a show car,then you may want to have it done locally. Good like.

Baron
 

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Here in NY they get about $600 to powder coat the frame. You do get a choice of color and you can clean up the welds and splatter. You do not see much of the frame after car is complete. The MK III I just did had no problems with chipping or flaking. Remember that you have to haul the frame to the PC shop and then back home . The $200 that FFR charges is a bargain. I have showed many cars, including an ISCA registered Corvette, and the little splatter that FFR frames have would not make a difference in getting a first vs. second place finish.
 

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I haven't seen the FFR frame powder coat job, but I have the LCA's, front control arms and cell cage which are done by FFR. The powder coating is good on those parts but the welds are best described as not ready for prime time. I have a FFR challenge car which is not powder coated,(by reguest),that I am building now. The frame is not bad, but a lot of the welds need to be ground down where some of the panels are laid over the top of them. I added some braces to the stock 3 link brackets, had to add a legal 1-1/2" bar behind the seat to anchor the seat belts, had to weld on tabs for the seats, fuel and brake lines, cleaned up lots of weld spatter, opened up some bolt holes, etc.

I was having some trouble get good welds on some of the FFR tubes and found that there is some mill scale on the round tubes that are used. I measured the ohms on those tubes and they are not good conductors. That means that the PC won't stick well or will be thin in those areas because it is applied electrostaticlly. to get a good weld you need to grind the mill scale off or sand blast it.

When you put in the aluminum panels for trial fitting (over and over) having the frame PC'd would mean having to tape the frame to prevent scratching the PC.

In short I would recommend not powder coating the frame from FFR and have it done locally. Clean up the frame yourself with a 4-1/2 grinder with flap disks, abrasive disk, and heavy wire brush. Then the local powder coater will know of a good media blaster to get the coating off the frame, rough up the surface and the powder coat will be exactly the color you want. You can have the aluminum panels done too. They dip those first to ensure good adhesion.

Two reputable local powder coaters in my area gave me roughly the same price. $275-300 for the PC on both the frame and panels, and about 150-200 to do the sand blasting. I'm going to do a light gray on the frame and panels and and leave the roll bar uncoated so I can do it in a very flat black so it doesn't dominate the car. The dash can be powder coated in a cool flat black powder coat. Ron
 

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I ordered the frame uncoated and I'm glad I did.

I too ground down a bunch of welds to get panels to sit flat and I also boxed in most of the open ended tubes.

I do have the FFR front and rear LCA's and they chip quite easily. It's obvious that very little, if any, surface prep was performed.

I have done some testing on my own to see how well PC sticks to different surfaces and the best surface by far is sand blasted (specifically, aluminum oxide). I've beat on it and re sand blasted it and the stuff coated over blasted subtrate is VERY tough to get off. Over material that was just cleaned well, not so good. I think the PC needs a rough surface to anchor itself to when it flows out (moreso even than paint). Blasted surface also seems to be a bit better conductor for the most part and the powder lays on more evenly.

From what I have seen of the FFR stuff where it has chipped, it appears that at most they simply cleaned the parts before coating. The substrate was perfectly smooth under the chips and you could continue to chip off the coating around the original chip.

I used POR-15 w/ a black hammered finish Rustoleum over the top. It looks fine and seems to be quite durable so far.
 

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I made a big mistake in just ordering the basic frame with black paint. Some areas had a great covering, other areas had such poor "stickiness" that I could scrape it off with my fingernail.

In the end, I took my frame down to a local powdercoaters, had it sandblasted, and then coated in silver. It is wonderful!

Gotta agree with Cone Basher though..I should have cleaned up the weld spatters first. But overall, I'm really pleased.
 

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I had my frame PC'd "silver" locally (Speedboat Aluminum as its called by the particular shop I used). It really was the only way for me, as I did a number of frame mods (I have a MkII).


I eat for nutrition but I ordered for taste.
That is, I understand the value of the PC with regard to protecting the finish of the frame, yet I liked the idea of having the color & show finished-look coordinate with the rest of the work planned for the car. Just learning to weld, I added a lot more weld splatter than F5, and, yes, the light PC shows imperfections that I didn't even see before, but some imperfections may be from the actual PC process itself (dirt particals, etc.). I anticipate that the light frame color will make it easier to clean, in that you can see the dirt better - but yea, that's only if you plan to get down there and clean the frame. Lastly, I've never really examed a F5 PC'd frame, but from the comments I see above, I think F5 may want to upgrade their PC process, even if it involves a price increase. They should poll their market to see how an improved process and a modest color selection for (say) an extra $100 would go over.
Sometimes more is more.

Jeff
 

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I got everything bare from FFR. The frame, 3-link, hood hinges, front and rear lower control arms, fuel safe cell cage and so on. If I purchased a part that came powdercoated, painted or anodized, I had my powder guy remove it -- then coat it to match the rest. I did a ton of frame modifications, so the FFR coating was never really an option for me. I made up my mind that if it's going on my car, it needs to be either powdercoated or polished. I'm very glad I took my time and got things coated the colors I had in mind.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I took a break and when I came back to this, I think I got my original question answered for the following reasons:

1. I'm an absolute perfectionist. Weld splatter, high welds and chipping will drive me nuts and then the original PC is just in the way if you want to redo it.
2. I will most likely want to grind down welds or make modifications. I like the idea of capping the open tubes.
3. The colored frames I see above are awesome.

Thanks to all of you for your great insight. I know just enough about PCing to know that it requires a sandblast prep. I have a cheep screen tent with powdercoated steel tubes. The coating flakes off (and becomes nasty slivers under your fingernails!) and the metal under was never prepped. It would drive me nuts to have that happen to my car-not to mention the fingernail slivers. I believe I will purchase mine with a bare frame and take it from there.

Jerry
 

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Jerry, this sounds like a great plan and is exactly how I was thinking. The only thing that I changed my mind about was the grinding of the welds. My powdercoater teaches welding at the local juco at night -- and after seeing the frame, he noted that the welds are fine and didnt need to be knocked down. He said if I were to knock them down any further would just weaken the welds. Knowing that I'd have a high HP/TQ monster -- I stayed with the stronger welds. Besides, there's only a few welds that you can still see when the car is finished. So for me it was a no brainer.

Dee
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Dee

Your absolutely right about grinding the welds down. I'm a certified weld inspector so I know what you mean. Having not yet purchased my FFR, I was going off what others said about welds getting in the way of the alluminum pannels. I guess I thought they were referring to welds that extended beyond where they needed to be. Like a bracket welded on a vertical surface but the weld extends up above the horizontal plane where the panel will go. There is one case where smoothing out a weld is beneficial, and I think your weld instructor friend will agree, and that is the elimination of undercut or other sharp corners. These are called stress-risers and can be the source of cracks. Actually, they should not be allowed to leave the shop that way. Using a blending wheel (flapper disc) and smoothing these out will reduce the chance of a crack forming in these sharp areas.

Your frame looks great by the way. I'm saving the picture in my research folder.

Jerry
 
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