View Full Version : Color of Brake Calipers and Drums?

04-11-2006, 10:14 PM
Howdy all! Does anyone happen to know the original color of brake calipers and drums? Silver? Black? Thanks!


04-12-2006, 04:48 AM
Hi Bill,

Semi-gloss or low-gloss black would be correct in most cases. I think the only exception are Alfin rear brake drums, which appeared to be natural cast aluminum color in some cases, might have also been painted black sometimes. The Alfins on my car have been clearcoated to keep the natural color looking new.

Be sure to use a high temp paint - engine paint or paint made especially for calipers.


04-12-2006, 05:31 AM
Brake caliper paint (commonly available in bright colors) is available in black and comes in kit form. The beauty of using this stuff is the fact that it is essentially bullet-proof and immune to brake fluid. Comes only in brush-on form but the kits tell you that they can be thinned (the instructions tell you what kind of thinner and how much) and sprayed using one of those disposable aerosol spray gun jars. Just takes a bit of effort to mask off the caliper for that perfect paint job. Since my car is a resto-mod, my front calipers and rear "alfin" drums are bling-bling yellow.


04-12-2006, 07:37 AM
is there a reason some cars go with a bright color?

is it to detect leakage?

Geo Hahn
04-12-2006, 08:04 AM
is there a reason some cars go with a bright color?

[/ QUOTE ]

Mustttt controllll fistttt of rage.

I'm okay now, whew. People should always feel free to express themselves with their cars, but (to me) black looks so natural and the brakes seem a strange place to call attention to parts... but I realize that colorful paints have become popular for those areas and perhaps among a particular brand of car.

IMO wire wheels (which are so distinctively British) look much better when backed with black components.

04-12-2006, 08:48 AM
Caliper paint is available in aerosol. Check Auto Zone or Advanced Auto. I found that spraying a couple of fairly heavy coats then putting them in the oven at 170 (the lowest on our oven) for about 15 minutes helped the paint flow and produced a very shiny almost plastic finish.
I'll check the color on my front calipers tonight and reply back tomorrow.
I converted my Jimmy to larger front discs and calipers and the rear to discs. Also installed a Torsen unit, rear swaybar, Bilsteins, brembo rotors... I painted the calipers red! OMG! If you enjoy working on cars and want to hilight the custom parts, you paint them. Although I'll admit that I've considered painting the Bilsteins something more subtle than their standard yellow with light blue shaft covers.
None of this means that I'm planning to paint my TR dayglow green. There are limits.

04-12-2006, 09:49 AM
just remember,
paint is a heat barrier. if you paint parts that need to cool like drums and calipers,make it as thin as possible! black,flat black, is an heat emmitting colour. the best is to use the ceramic heat emmitting coatings. you have to send those parts out to have it done. i have not seen a do it yourself for heat emmiting coatings yet.
anything else is bling.

04-12-2006, 04:23 PM
OK, I might as well step in; I've recently been going crazy painting calipers....I can no longer stand to look at a rusty caliper. First I just quickly sprayed the calipers on the 61 MGA shock gold(i had some left over from my shock rebuilds) It looks great behind the wire wheels, but I left the drums black on that one. Then my 16 year old son painted the front calipers on the LE red with some old brush on tremclad rust paint, I didn't think i'd like it but it did look great and I have had no flaking, burning or other problems from it.....Then I decided to paint my Jag calipers red as well.....used the same tremclad paint and it has been on there since with no problems!
I painted the drums on my 58 MGA red(this was done a LONG time ago) i don't remember what I used but it's been holding up great, although I've had some comments made by the purists.
I do plan on painted the front calipers on my 78 B's red and the drums black....I'll also do the Camaro(i already did the drums black) and probably the TR6 as well.
Sorry for the long, post but I tend to ramble when it's about cars.

04-13-2006, 08:08 AM
I checked my calipers and drums last night. The calipers are silver and the drums are semigloss black. Since the car has only 18K miles from new and has been in a garage all its life I believe these are the stock colors. The attached picture is a shot of part of the front suspension. This should give you a reference for the condition of the suspension and undercarriage.

04-13-2006, 08:26 AM
I can't seem to get the attachment to work?

04-13-2006, 11:43 AM
My 2 worth?

Ok, well my and drums calipers look fine with something called Rebuilders Cast Finish by Plasticote. Cheap and effective.
Applies nicely (spray can) over a sandblasted cast piece.


04-13-2006, 12:58 PM
one more try

OK it's working now.

04-14-2006, 05:30 PM
I find that picture of your suspension and frame offensive. Shame of you for finding a car with such low mileage and protected. My mouth is watering....