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  1. #1
    VXRed blooded
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    Default Front subframe and rear beam restoration opinions and advice needed?

    Hi all as the title states looking for opinions on subframe and rear beam restoration

    Not long had my car its a 2009 astra vxr with 100k on the clock

    Overall its pretty solid apart from the front subframe, rear beam and the rear body panel behind rear crash bar

    I have already sorted the rear slam panel by grinding it back to clean metal a dab of body filler here and there and fresh lick of paint and lacquer so quite happy with it

    Now just the front subframe and rear beam to sort out as im sure some of you know vauxhauls are prone to rust underneath but anyway it is what is and it needs sorting

    On with doing front subframe 1st my original one is rusty as hell so i have purchased a 2nd hand one via ebay ebay for £40 posted and it seems to be in very good condition compared to mine my plan is to restore and poly bush the new frame with the purple powerflex bushes £140 for a set of 6

    Powder coat place wants £80 to blast and paint the new subframe if i supply the paint here lies my problem i have heard some horror stories regarding powder coating subframes and chassis and it not being the best choice, my powder coat place has also suggested plastic coating but im not so sure about that either

    Here is a link to my powder coating place

    http://www.fandmpowdercoating.co.uk/

    But i have also found another product that seems to have glowing reviews when its done right epoxy mastic 121

    http://www.rust.co.uk/em-121-epoxy-r...-paint/c28117/

    To me this seems to be the perfect stuff for the job but i have also heard about por-15 and a few others, the epoxy mastic can be painted on or sprayed but i prefer sprayed as its a better job

    So

    £40 for subframe
    £30 for the epoxy mastic 121
    £80 for blasting and spraying the subframe with epoxy mastic
    £140 for the 6 powerflex purple poly bushes

    And a garage local to me wants £150 labour to swap the subframes over once the new subframe is ready

    As for the rear beam thats rusty as hell too and the trailing arm bushes have split so i will be replacing those for powerflex purple bushes also, but i have not sourced a rear beam yet as the subframe is the priority for now, probably going to tackle the rear beam myself as i think its doable on the drive way

    Would really appreciate anyones advice,opinions and thoughts mainly on the epoxy mastic vs alternatives and the prices i have been quoted

    Here is a few links to discussions on the epoxy mastic

    https://www.mig-welding.co.uk/forum/...-mastic.11190/

    https://www.volkszone.com/VZi/showthread.php?t=461431

    Cheers for reading and sorry for the wall of text
    Last edited by Andyb712; 10th August 2018 at 07:41 PM.
    2009 Astra H Vxr arden blue standard for now but with mtc top hat and crossover delete and ramair filter

    Planning to go stage 3/3.5 eventually

  2. #2
    VXR enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyb712 View Post
    Powder coat place wants £80 to blast and paint the new subframe if i supply the paint here lies my problem i have heard some horror stories regarding powder coating subframes and chassis and it not being the best choice, my powder coat place has also suggested plastic coating but im not so sure about that either
    I've had 2 subframes done in the past for other cars, they were about 60 quid each but that was 10 years ago.

    There are really a few pros and cons for each IMO;

    Powdercoat:
    - Very durable until the point it chips and starts to flake off.
    - Easier and quicker (any idiot can powdercoat a great finish and from your own point of view you won't be doing it so no time wasted on your side)

    Paint:
    - No particularly durable but can be touched up.
    - Harder (long prep time, will be harder to get as smooth a finish on the subframe)

    I think you'll find the majority of the powdercoat cost/time is actually to do the blasting which you should be doing even for painting on a subframe, as otherwise corrosion will come back through and the finish will be crap.

    So personally speaking i'd powdercoat and save yourself a massive amount of work and get a better result.

    I've mentioned chipping/flaking but chances are by the time that's a problem you won't own the car anyway.
    Corsa SRI Turbo (SOLD) and Facelift Corsa 1.4 SE (SOLD) - Now Ecoboost Fiesta 140 and Suzuki GS500

  3. #3
    VXRed blooded
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    Thanks for the reply fella that's appreciated

    Definitely give me something to think about

    Any thoughts on the epoxy mastic mate?

    I know it's still a wet spray but it's supposed to key very well to bare metal and it's supposed to to be very flexible too as far as stones just bouncing off it
    2009 Astra H Vxr arden blue standard for now but with mtc top hat and crossover delete and ramair filter

    Planning to go stage 3/3.5 eventually

  4. #4
    VXR enough
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    I can't comment on the mastic i'm afraid but i guess some people use it.

    Based on the costs you've put i'd just point out its £30 more and lot more work - it may well be longer lasting than just blast + powdercoat but as that will probably outlast the time you have the care i'm not sure its worth the extra hassle?

    Put like this, there was an episode of wheeler dealers where they bought a tvr cerbera and it comes from the factory with a powdercoated chassis. On the one they bought the coating had flaked off in some places but that was a 1999 car and they filmed the episode in 2013 IIRC...that means the powdercoating lasted a good 14 years in the very worst positions possible on a car.

    In your case you're only doing a subframe which won't get the same abuse (don't astras have an undertray anyway as well) so I think powdercaot will be sufficient without going overboard for your needs.

    I mean how long are you going to keep the car?
    Corsa SRI Turbo (SOLD) and Facelift Corsa 1.4 SE (SOLD) - Now Ecoboost Fiesta 140 and Suzuki GS500

  5. #5
    VXRed blooded
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    Yeah that's the wd episode that puts me off powder coat mate

    The £80 quote was for blasting and wet spraying if I supplied the pain't

    If it was for powder coating I imagine it would be a higher quote

    As for the under tray the petrol astra does not have one for whatever reason the vxr does run really hot so I imagine cooling is probably part of the reason

    They do have a very flimsy tray which connects to the front splitter and the front edge of the subframe

    As for keeping the car I am planning to keep it for the long term

    Thats why im leaning towards the epoxy mastic

    I'd just hate to go to all that trouble and then after a few years see big chunks missing I would be furious

    Plus as you said above at least the paint can be touched up

    So based on that I think I will go for the epoxy mastic

    If vauxhall had fitted a full under tray for protection I would have probably gone for the powder coat
    Last edited by Andyb712; 1st August 2018 at 12:48 PM.
    2009 Astra H Vxr arden blue standard for now but with mtc top hat and crossover delete and ramair filter

    Planning to go stage 3/3.5 eventually

  6. #6
    VXR enough COSWORTH's Avatar
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    Black spray on stone chip more durable than paint and powder coating

    If you got it sandblasted, red oxide primer and then spray black stone chip on it yourself if you have an air compressor and spray gun that screws into the tin of stone chip.

    You could go over both items twice give it a nice thick coat so if outer coat gets a chip the inner coat will still give protection.

  7. #7
    VXRed blooded
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    Got the frame refurbed

    Here is a before pick on the replacement subframe





    And here is the after





    Last edited by Andyb712; 10th August 2018 at 03:37 PM.
    2009 Astra H Vxr arden blue standard for now but with mtc top hat and crossover delete and ramair filter

    Planning to go stage 3/3.5 eventually

  8. #8
    VXRed blooded
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    Went with the epoxy mastic 121 in the end

    Really pleased with the results my powder coat place actually complimented the 121 said it went on excecptionally well and they are considering adding it to the list of coatings they offer if it holds up well in the coming months

    They give it 4 coats and said they could not believe how hard it set said it ruined the nozzle tip in one of their spray guns
    2009 Astra H Vxr arden blue standard for now but with mtc top hat and crossover delete and ramair filter

    Planning to go stage 3/3.5 eventually

  9. #9
    VXR Adam"san" w20adm's Avatar
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    Shiniest subframe in the land ......
    W20 ADM's led Lighting shop, see link below for details
    http://www.vxronline.co.uk/forum/sho...-lighting-shop

  10. #10
    VXRed blooded
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    Aye cheers lad almost as shiny as your car

    Rear axle next lol think I can save that one on the car though nowhere near as bad as the subframe
    2009 Astra H Vxr arden blue standard for now but with mtc top hat and crossover delete and ramair filter

    Planning to go stage 3/3.5 eventually

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