Painted or Not?

Discussion in 'Original Drivetrain Topic' started by 71 Camaro, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. 71 Camaro

    71 Camaro Veteran Member

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    Was having a discussion yesterday and got into a disagreement over whether or not the iron under the car was painted or not when new? Referring to axle, springs, subframe, etc. Or was it just bare iron?
     
  2. Rich Schmidt

    Rich Schmidt Veteran Member

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    The subframe and all springs were painted. I am almost sure the center of the rear(casting) was left cast with a letter written in grease pen/chalk on the bottom to identify it on the assembly line. Most stayed somewhat rust free on super low miles survivors,so I am thinking they were coated heavily with cosmolene. I think the axle tubes were bare,but not sure. I also think the cover was bare on some years.

    Alll the steering parts were bare,the spindles were bare,as were the calipers,rotors and bearing caps. The control arms and springs were painted,and I think the sway bar was painted. The brake backing plates were zinc coated and I think the sway bar mounting tabs were too. I think it varied from year to year and between both plants,but this is some of what I have seen.
     
  3. 71 Camaro

    71 Camaro Veteran Member

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    Wow Rich your memory is better than mine. For the life of me I don't remember seeing any of this stuff painted back when these cars were newer. Then again, except for a TA, I never owned an F bod that new and if GM did paint all that undercarriage stuff, it must have been crappy paint, cause it didn't last long! Only paint I found under my 71 was on the bottom of the floors and trunk, not a speck anywhere else. Just been debating whether or not to paint the iron. It seems many paint it all gloss black making the car look kinda fakish, reminds me of model car, not a real one.

    Thanks for the input. Anyone else?
     
  4. Rich Schmidt

    Rich Schmidt Veteran Member

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    I believe GM always painted the frame black on all cars,as well as the suspention components. Thats why reproduced(chassis black) paint,and there are even debates over the slight variations in the level of gloss from different years and models. I agree that the paint didnt last long. A lot of stuff was laquer based back then. In the case of the new cars today,the chassis paint on all my cars(all Chevys) is more like a tar/paint mix. I dont think GM ever painted cast iron parts,they painted the heavier stamped steel parts and coated the lighter tin parts.
     

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