Top Coating Techniques

Top Coating Techniques

Text by Huw Evans, images by Tracy Stocker

Although exterior paint and bodywork is often what draws attention to a hot rod or custom, the true extent of craftsmanship can often be found under the skin. The frame, engine, transmission, rear end, suspension and brakes often incorporate very unique touches, whether by choice or necessity. Particularly on 1920s and 1930s era cars, many of these greasy bits are exposed, and so great attention is often paid to making items such as axles, valve covers, air cleaners, bell housings, diff covers and even springs look as clean and presentable as the coachwork and interior. However, whether cleaning or painting, keeping the moving parts clean and protected requires a different approach than the body.


One of the biggest problems faced by hot rods that are driven is the accumulation of volatile materials on various parts of the vehicle's anatomy. This can range from road salt to mud, tar, oil, grease, anti-freeze and brake, power steering and transmission fluid, as well as heat generated from engine operation. Over time, any combination of these factors can cause all kinds of problems

Published Dec 7th, 2015