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Zinc-Coated Steel Bolts--Paint or not paint

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  • Zinc-Coated Steel Bolts--Paint or not paint

    I am replacing some of the bolts/screws/nuts that are unable to be rehabilitated, or not worth the time. The zinc-coated bolts available for automotive use will eventually rust, but I do not plan on driving my 'Bird in the rain once I am done (though all circumstances are not foreseen.)

    Question: Do you scuff those bolts up, primer, and put a layer or two of black paint on them? Some are in places not seen but I am willing to do this if it protects them that extra bit. I will hit the ones with some paint if the zinc appearance does not go well in its current place.
    "A smart person learns from his own mistakes, a wise person from someone else's"

    1968 Firebird 400 4-speed Convertible

  • #2
    If they're galvanized, they're meant to be not painted. The whole point of galvanizing it to prevent corrosion, though yes, they will eventually lose their galvanizing and corrode. If you scuff them up you're only taking the galvanizing off faster reducing the life of the bolt.

    FYI - Paint doesn't stick the best to galvanizing either.
    - Chris -
    We're in Canada now. What are they gunna do, kick us out? - Mac while in Michigan
    1959 Pontiac Custom Star Chief
    389ci w/ '60 SD Tri Power/200-4R/3.42 Limited Slip

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    • #3
      I heard years ago about using a Vinegar wash to etch the galvanizing so you can paint it.
      '65 Goat

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      • #4
        So you're saying douche your bolt before painting it?
        - Christopher - They call me Devil Beard

        Hoarder of various 2nd gen Trans Ams and Firebirds/ 73-77

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        • #5
          Galvanizing is heat treating them, making them rough feeling and gray. Zinc-coated are the ones that look a little like chrome, but are not chrome. Right?

          Starchief, I think that gives me the answer. . . . .leave 'em alone unless they stick out where they are.
          "A smart person learns from his own mistakes, a wise person from someone else's"

          1968 Firebird 400 4-speed Convertible

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          • #6
            Galvanizing is heat treating them with zinc. There's hot galvanizing and cold galvanizing. Both use zinc to prevent corrosion of the steel underneath.
            - Chris -
            We're in Canada now. What are they gunna do, kick us out? - Mac while in Michigan
            1959 Pontiac Custom Star Chief
            389ci w/ '60 SD Tri Power/200-4R/3.42 Limited Slip

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            • #7
              Stainless Steel Button Heads are the only way to go. LOL!
              -Mike

              This is not something you buy. It's Something you Build!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. HARDCORE View Post
                Stainless Steel Button Heads are the only way to go. LOL!
                I have the stainless carriage bolts for the ones you can barely see. I am trying to find other ones to fit other areas.

                Is there a place you order your stainless ones?
                "A smart person learns from his own mistakes, a wise person from someone else's"

                1968 Firebird 400 4-speed Convertible

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                • #9
                  I get all of my stuff from Bolt Depot. They ship quick and have decent prices.

                  http://boltdepot.com
                  -Mike

                  This is not something you buy. It's Something you Build!

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                  • #10
                    I HATE stainless buttonhead bolts!!! I have a couple on my Jeep that will never be loosened again. I have broken several bits on them before they finally stripped out and went round. I've been replacing every bolt I can on the Jeep with Grade 8 for strength. They're really hanging in there on rust though. I know they're not rust proof but they might as well be.

                    Harbor Freight sells tumblers and media if you want to get those old bolts looking good again. Tumble the hell out of them with ceramic triangles and they'll be ready for paint. Anodizing will hold up better than paint though.
                    1973 LeMans Safari - 400ci/TH400
                    1959 Bonneville Coupe- 455ci(Buick)/TH400

                    If you say "Gullible" slowly, it sounds like "Oranges".

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                    • #11
                      Eastwood and a few other places sell home plating kits for hardware also. Not sure how corrosion resistant they are when done, but they'll look pretty if ya keep them clean. LOL
                      I'm the Rick in prick.

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                      • #12
                        Paint bolts

                        You can get just about anything you need here.

                        http://www.totallystainless.com/

                        or here,

                        http://www.msc-stainless-fasteners.com/

                        Stainless fasteners MUST ALWAYS be installed with antiseize to prevent the threads from gauling. If you do not, you will have locked up bolts and nuts. Its an easy thing to do and prevents lots of cussing. Billk

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