Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Am interested in hearing how folks are corrosion-protecting their steel parts. I have just recently started getting some of these components with my last couple of subkits (wings/controls) that I'd like to get protected sooner rather than later. I am using Cortec for the aluminum but haven't thought about what to do with the steel yet. I am going to be painting but have not looked into type/brand of finish, so ideally would like a primer that is compatible with a number of finishing options.
I used a 2 part epoxy primer and urethane auto paint on all my steel parts and it has held up well on parts that I don't interact with.
If I could do it over I would have powder coated the rudder pedals, control stick and wing step in my 650. After a year the paint is starting to wear and show surface rust.
I powder coat. It’s not hard to do yourself. They equipment and powder is not expensive (in airplane terms at least). All you need to find is an old oven on Craigslist and you can do most parts. Big stuff you can have done by the pros and I’ve found it’s fairly reasonable. I do my own mostly for the convenience factor......
Like Dan, I powder coated a lot of parts myself. Eastwood sells a reasonably priced kit and I converted a cheap "scratch and dent" toaster oven to use in my shop for small items. My brother is a builder and gave me a kitchen oven for free that he salvaged from a kitchen remodel and I use it for larger parts. I powder coated all the high wear items such as rudder pedals, dual sticks, etc. and epoxy primer/topcoated the remainder including the engine mount. Some builders powder coat their engine mounts, but supposedly if you get a cracked weld in an engine mount, the powder coat might not crack and reveal the cracked weld underneath, so paint is recommended instead since it invariably cracks right along with the substrate. Also, better to use light colors on the mount so a crack would be more easily seen.
Thanks for all the insights - good to know the options and the opportunity of trying something different (powdercoating) is tempting!
Excepting the galvanized firewall, I painted my aircraft including all the steel with Stewart Systems, it’s holding up well. If you are building a strut braced Zenith, coat the inside of the struts with some sort of liquid that will delay the onset of rust before you final assemble them, and do not seal the ends, that lift strut tubing is open to the atmosphere for a reason.
Thanks Jim and Amelia - Good to consider!
Dan - Look into the POR15 products. - I use it on those aluminum parts that are riveted together instead of Cortec. First I wipe the aluminum down with Acetone, then scrub lightly with a fine Scotch Bright, then wipe again with Acetone. For those parts that are not in contact with each other I use the Acetone/Scotch Bright/Acetone method then Pro Form Self Etching Primer #PF654