Side Pipes Take a Little Trip to Tennessee

Posted by: kdavis  /  Category: Engine

Thanks to the awesome guys over on the forum, I discovered a hidden gem for ceramic coatings in Tennessee. A little company called NitroPlate provides excellent service, and great coating for FAR less than others I’ve seen ($135 at the time of this writing, plus shipping, of course.) From the pictures and comments of other guys that have used them, I am expecting big things.

I spent the last couple of weeks prepping the pipes. Like my buddy Mike (don’t we all want to be like Mike?,) and others, I decide to go ahead and clean up the welds on the pipes. I can’t say that I’m still 100% happy that I did that. As it turned out, even if you’re careful, it’s a little too easy to grind through the pipe material.

I managed to hit a bad weld spot on one of the 4×4 corners, and the result was several frustrating nights of welding, and eventual resignation that I didn’t have the right skill or equipment to make it happen. I ended up getting a local shop to to a small patch for me with the TIG, which turned out great, and I just had a little clean up to do.

All in all, though, they came out great for the prep. I started with 80g sanding discs in my grinder, and ended up with 150grit stick on discs to finish up, and take out the deep gouges.

The shop will blast at 100g anyway, so my work with 150 should be just fine. The ceramic coating won’t hide many imperfections, so if you go this route, plan on getting them pretty dang smooth.

The advantage of the ceramic is durability, and heat reduction, so you lessen the chance of a snake bit burn, plus they look nice. Combined with my new chrome roll bars (which i got a smokin’ deal on too), it should complete the look.

Pictures: (not very clear thanks to my ipod):

Also got a chance to get the car back on the lift and crack open the rear diff. I’m 98% sure it’s leaking (could be the brakes), so I need to redo the seal.

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