- Category: tips
- Written by Adam
Dirty-looking tail pipes can take away from the appearance of a shiny new paint job and bright chrome bumper. A simple paint refresh on the tail pipes can make a huge difference.
Here are the steps I took to give my old, dirty, rusty tail pipes a "new exhaust" look.
- Raised the right side of the car and removed the wheel. This is essential to give yourself enough room to paint, clean and lower the pipe. Make sure to support the car on a jack stand. Safety first!
- Lowered the exhaust pipe. This is done by unbolting the bracket under the rear of the pipe and then the next nearest bracket on the opposite side of the gas tank, attached to the frame. Be prepared to support the tail pipe on something like a jack stand. You don't want too much sag in the exhaust and will need support while sanding and painting.
- Prep the pipe for paint. This is 3-step process, consisting of using steel wool for removal of rust and dirt build up, 200-grit sandpaper for paint prep (light sanding) and then a final degreasing and cleaning. Wear a respirator or other mask. This could be messy. Also, since I am not going for a 100-pt resto (my car is a driver), I only prepped and painted the area of the pipe that is visible while standing near the car.
- Mask the area around the car. You don't want to get overspray on your body, rear axel, shocks, gas tank or other unwanted areas of the car. I also used a de-constructed carboard box as a means to collect the overspray.
- Paint. I decided not to prime the pipe. This is part laziness on my part. But I also think that a copy of heavy coats, baked on a clean, sanded pipe should be sufficient. I applied 2 coats of Rust-Oleum High Heat engine paint. The color I chose was an aluminum finish. It is supposed to work up to 2000 degrees F. Follow the instructions on the paint can. One can should do the trick. Remember, I only painted the areas that were visible when standing around the rear of the car.
- After drying on the right side, re-mount the exhaust, replace the wheel, lower the car and repeat steps 1-5 for the left side of the car.
- Re-mount the exhaust, replace the wheel and lower the car.
- Bake the paint on the tail pipe. The instructions were on the can of spray paint. But basically, the process consists of running the car at idle for 10 min, letting it cool for 10 min, running it at idle for 20 min, letting it cool for 20 min and then finally running the car at normal driving temperature and conditions.
I'll post a final pick when I get the newly re-plated bumper mounted again.