A while back I built an I-Box Crackerbox from Zippkits. I decided to do a "Bratz" theme on the boat for my daughters. The boat turned out really nice, but when I saw these custom powder coated engine parts by Corbin Martin I knew it would look even better with a matching engine!
I contacted Corbin via Email and he responded quickly. I told him I was looking for a pink case and cooling cap for my boat. He informed me that he didn't have hot pink but that he would do his best mixing colors he had to get it as close as possible. When I received the parts I was really pleased with the way they turned out. The color and finish were excellent.
Here Corbin explains a little about the process of powder coating the parts:
The first step is prepping the part. If it’s a new part all that is needed is a slight chemical wash to remove the oils. If the part has been in use or has been painted then it will need to be bead-blasted first followed by a chemical wash. After the part is prepped and cleaned, the masking off the areas that we don’t want powder to go on is done. Next we hang the part and attach the ground strap. The part is grounded and the powder coating gun has a positive charge. That’s what helps the powder to stay on the part. After the color is chosen it can be applied to the part. After that it goes in the oven. The tape we use withstands up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Powder coating is done at 400 degrees F when flow-out occurs. Flow out is the transition of the powder to a liquid state. After the flow-out occurs the part needs to stay in the oven at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. When the part is done it is removed and set on a cooling rack to cool down. After it has cooled the part can go into use again.
Here are a few things I noticed with the powder coated parts. First the cooling jacket had some residue on the lower lip where the large Oring sits. This was easily cleaned out with a flat screwdriver. You want to make sure the Oring seating surfaces are clean in order to get proper sealing of the cooling jacket.
Also, for the cases, I ran into a slight problem when heating them to install new bearings. I usually heat the cases up with a small torch and drop in the cool bearings. With powder coated cases you should heat the cases in an oven at 325-350 degrees F, no more. Otherwise the coating could begin to liquefy. This happened to me when heating the cases with a torch. Luckily I didn't damage the finish too much so it hardly shows, but keep this in mind when you install bearings in your cases. Heat in an oven at controlled temperature and handle them very carefully!
When working with the powder coated parts, you want handle them carefully. The coating is resistant but at the same time seems to be brittle and can chip easily if improperly handled. I noticed this when taking away the residue in the cooling jacket. So you want to avoid nicking the finish where is will be apparent. Under normal use, I think the finish will last a very long time though.
I asked Corbin about coating cylinders and he reported good long term results with all parts including cases, cooling caps and cylinders.
If you are looking to dress up your boat a little, consider getting some of these custom powder coated parts!
Pricing: $40 for new powder coated Cases (matching pair) and Cooling Cap. $25 if parts are supplied by customer
$20 for powder coating a Cylinder (customer supplies cylinder)
* prices valid at time of writing this article. Contact Corbin Martin for confirmation of prices.