Rearend and chassis colors?

Discussion in 'Chassis restoration' started by Golden Oldie 65, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Nicholas Sloop

    Nicholas Sloop '08 GS Nats BSA runner up

    They were put on with a brush while the driveshaft was turning. To be correct, they should look like crap. Masking is entirely inappropriate!! :error:
  2. pooods

    pooods Well-Known Member

    Your right. I once masked them too, but it looked like crap. If you have the driveline out, just take it to a shop and have them put it on a lathe. You can slap a couple of stripes on it as it turns. Or, I have done them on a car on a rack. Just had someone in the car start it up and let the rear tires spin slowly. Just make sure they don't accelerate too much and sling wet paint over the floor pan. :laugh:
    Do a search here in this forum and you will find the correct driveline paint mark colors. I have read it in the past on here, but can't remember at the moment.
  3. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    No need it is black and purple.
  4. Duane

    Duane Member

    I figured I would throw another log on the fire, regarding how the chassis was originally painted.

    Below is a page from a 1972 Buick assembly manual. This same page was used in all the 68-72 chassis manuals, with the only difference being the date the drawing was first used. (It was updated each year.) The first usage I have for this page is 1967.

    Now, this page is generally missing from most of the assembly manuals that are currently on the market, but as many of you know I have multiple versions for each year, and some of these have this page.

    I don't know if this page has it, but all the other pages state "Paint Items Indicated Buick Spec. 301." which I believe is their code for Black paint.

    To me, this page indicates that everything called out, including the F&R springs, control arms, swaybars, front suspension pieces, rear axle, etc. would all be painted the exact same color/gloss of black. The only exception that I see is for the outer facing surfaces of the brake drums/rotors. They would have used hi-temp paint for obvious reasons, and are called out on another page.

    Now, I figure this will answer all questions regarding chassis painting, especially the note that reads "Rear Axle Housing-Complete". Enjoy.

    Attached Files:

  5. Brad Conley

    Brad Conley Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm going to make this a sticky...just so we don't rehash this again.
  6. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    My interpretation of this diagram is that a person could put the entire chassis together and spray the whole thing the same semi-gloss (or some variation of it) black and be 100% correct for the restoration. I think we are all after the same thing here, to end up with as many show points as possible for originality and still end up with a beautiful car in spite of it :) Our restorations are a long, painstaking process in which we take a great deal of pride, much unlike the factory assembly line workers who for the most part couldn't have cared less what they looked like. I do not have any intention of duplicating any shoddy factory workmanship. What I am mainly interested in is what I would lose points for if it was the wrong color so I can avoid those mistakes. Basically what I can do to build that 400 point car and not have it turn out like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Please understand that I certainly don't intend to offend anyone with a low mile original untouched car, but I know of plenty of them and let's face it, they aren't all the pretty.

  7. copperheadgs1

    copperheadgs1 copperheadgs1

    To John Ayers, did you check the 70 olds assembly manual? The driveshaft page of the 71 Olds manual shows the stripe colors but I know the w-31 was not avail in 71. I would bet that the driveshaft was the same for all 350 olds transm. specific, and some of these stripe codes are shared between Buick and olds. I know my 71 Stage-1 had 1 green and 1 yellow stripe and I think Olds big blocks might be the same. Check out the manual as it even gives measurements for the stripes.
  8. Duane

    Duane Member

    Generally, for the Concours classes we DO judge the cars as if they "just rolled off the showroom floor", because that is the only standard we have to go against.

    That is one reason why we take points off for having "dealer" installed undercoating, and take points off for NOT having the factory body "schutz" undercoating in the wheelhouses and behind the rear wheels.

    Now we generally do not worry about "over restoration", because everybody has a tendency to do this, however there are no bonus points for this either. By this I mean if you decide not to paint the bottom part of your distributor red(for a 1970 car), where it goes into the block, and leave it natural that would be fine. But, if the car sitting next to you has it painted, with the overspray, then that would be fine also.

    Our cars were not all built at the same plant, like the Corvettes were, therefore we also need to allow for plant differences. This means that some parts may have one or more painting/plating options, as we would have no way of knowing if all the parts came from a single manufacturer or from a supplier for another plant. A good example of this would be your 70 disc brake master cylinder. as it could be either black or natural, because both have been documented as being used on 70 Buick A-bodies.

    Basically we do not want these classes to get to the point (like they have with other brands) of worring about all the oversprays, factory paint "flubs", etc. If you want your car to have a cleaner appearance, then that would be considered "over restoration" and would be acceptable, within reason.

    For an example, we would allow stainless steel exhaust, but if it was buffed out to the point where we could shave with it, that would not be acceptable, because it would no longer have the "look" of original exhaust. The same thing would also apply to exterior paint.

    If you want to build a "Show Car" with everything shiny and glowing, with perfect paint, that is so glossy it looks wet, then this class would not be for you. A car built to those specs would do well for a regular car show, because it would have the "wow" look, but would do miserably for this class.

    I will also say this, this is the way the cars have been judged at all the events where I have judged the cars. It is basically how the AACA and BCA judges them, and I helped incorporate the same systems into the GSCA and BPG events to keep everything uniform. That way the same car would do very well at all the above events. But, I cannot say how a car would do at shows where I am not involved. For those events you should ask those judges what they are looking for.
  9. pooods

    pooods Well-Known Member

    Alright, my question to some of you show judges is:
    What things on a rearend housing do you deduct points for? All semi gloss black, all gloss black, painted except for center housing, correct bolts in cover, painted or unpainted drums, black or cast sway bar and shock color/style come to mind. Years back, I never gave this stuff a second thought and never dreamed so many questions could arise from a simple rearend housing. But we change don't we? :laugh:
  10. Duane

    Duane Member

    Basically anything that deviates from the way the car looked when it left the factory is a possible point deduction. We look for authenticity, workmanship, and condition. (Basically part correctness, fit, and finish.)

    When a car is judged there are 4 judges that look at different areas of the car and we have a maximum of 15 minutes to look it over. That includes any questions the judges may want to ask the team captain. Once finished, we move on to the next car.

    There is no "book" you can use to reference what is correct. Much of this knowledge has been learned from assembly manuals, and through looking at cars over the years, especially low mileage original cars, and even then we check the date codes of the parts to verify they are correct and have not been replaced, before adding this to our knowledge base. Plus our knowledge of these cars grows each year, as we acquire more information.

    We do allow some "slack" for different shades of black paint, but some guys fall into the trap of assuming the way an NOS part is painted/plated is the way it was when the car was built. I have seen some quote "Concours cars" where this got so carried away that the chassis looked like a patch work quilt.

    Generally, all the black underhood components were painted semi-gloss black, with the exception of the air cleaner, which has been proven to be a gloss black.

    Here are a few examples of common incorrect painting/plating that I have seen on "Concours" cars that would require point deductions;

    Black painted driveshafts (Some driveshafts used black stripes for ID purposes, so how could an assembly worker see a black stripe on a black driveshaft?)

    Gloss black radiator core supports, and upper radiator covers
    Gloss black inner fenders and bottom of hood
    Gloss black frames
    Gold Cad plated alternator pulleys
    Gold Cad plated hood hinges
    Gold Cad plated bolts, for the door latches
    Black Oxide plated trunk lid attaching bolts
    (Both the doors and trunk lids had the latches installed and the panels aligned on the shell before it was painted, therefore all should be painted body color)
    Body colored front fender attaching bolts (The fenders, and other front end components were installed by GM, after the shell was painted, and would all be black phosphate.)
    Non-painted drums/rotors for cars equipped with rallye wheels.
    Rear axles with the pumpkins painted cast color (Not to pick on George)
    Under body, floorpans/trunk floor painted body color

    The list goes on and on and on. And the really sad part is that often it costs less to do it correctly.
  11. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member


    I always thought( and I am not alone) that the alternator pulleys were plated silver zinc. What do you andf Brad say the finish should be?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2006
  12. Duane

    Duane Member

    You changed your original question so I will answer it here.

    You asked, "What things on a rearend housing do you deduct points for? All semi gloss black, all gloss black, painted except for center housing, correct bolts in cover, painted or unpainted drums, black or cast sway bar and shock color/style come to mind. Years back, I never gave this stuff a second thought and never dreamed so many questions could arise from a simple rearend housing. But we change don't we?"

    Basically everything on a rear axle should be semi-gloss black, with the exception of the shocks, which were gray for most years. We have, in the past, accepted natural colored sway bars (for older restorations),but this may change in the future. Generally we try to be forgiving, so if we accepted something in years past, we generally note what is correct on the sheet and do not "spank" the guy the first year(no point deduction). Usually it is changed for the following year so the problem never arises again.

    We have also accepted rear axles that are natural colored on the front facing side, and semi-gloss black on the rearward facing side, for the guys that absolutely want to paint their rears as they "found" theirs to be painted.
  13. pooods

    pooods Well-Known Member

    Thanks Duane. I changed my original question because I decided it was too broad of a range. Since this was made a sticky, I thought being more specific would help myself and others in the future.
    There are so many versions of gloss black. It seems to me it would be hard to draw a line on which goes overboard. Guess it's a matter of experience of seeing the correct ones. I have known of some handing out shade charts to judges to make it less guess work.
    Again, I appreciate all the input from you experts. How good of a restoration ultimately hinges on the judges opinions, so you should be the ones handing out info.
  14. Duane

    Duane Member

    I see you changed your question, but it was a good call. I made some inquiries and checked a few parts. It appears that the double grooved alternator pulleys had several different finishes available including gold Cad/zinc, silver Cad/zinc (basically looks like bare metal), and I even found one I took off a 70 GS that was gray phosphate.

    I also took the following picture from my original 71 Alternator that came with my 71 GSX. It had never been rebuilt, and still had the letter codes ink stamped on the housing. There is a gold Cad hood assembly at the top for comparison. This is the back side of my pulley and you can see that it basically looked like bare metal. The fan blades also were the same color.

    Attached Files:

  15. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yes I said zinc di chromate originally but I should have said silver zinc. A silver zinc plated finish appears just like the pulley you show so we are on the same wavelength. I am also glad to see the latch does indeed bear the cad finish we assumed to be correct.

    There is nothing worse than thinking you are on the right track with a mammoth resto and learning at the last moment that you were mistaken about something not easily correctable. Keep the info tap turned on.
  16. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    I want to thank you for all your help on this topic. This thread has turned out to be far above my expectations and I hope it continues to do so. I learn something new everytime I visit this sight. I have another question after reading something you posted. You stated that the drums and rotors are to be painted on cars with rallye wheels. In another post I read that the front(outward facing side) of the drums/rotors were to be painted. Should the backside of the rotors be cast gray and the fronts be black, or should the rotors be completely black?

  17. Duane

    Duane Member

    No problem with helping here, this is how we learn, and we are all doing that, including me. Plus, I would much rather have the guys change something before the show, then have to knock points off, and make them change it once the car is completed. Another thing to remember is that we have 4 judges looking at the car at the same time, and we do bounce questions off each other. We also get paid real well for doing this :error:, sometimes we even get a free water.

    Anyway, back to the drums, the assembly manual states the outer facing areas were painted black, so again it would be a judgement call as to how much black paint was actually sprayed on them. I imagine the inside surfaces would be natural cast, and again we would allow ranges "of coverage" for this item, as we do for the rear axles.

    I think George Steele posted a picture of this from a low mileage 72 car, but that is only one example and I would not want to "ass-ume" they were all painted the same way.
  18. SS-TRUCK

    SS-TRUCK Stage 1 X

    This is one of the many reasons I enjoy this board, is knowledable people sharing and helping those of us trying to make our cars right and not learning after we are finished that a small part is wrong and easily fixed during assembly. I am building a 71 X and many times do not even have to ask a question about how something should be done, just sit back and read. I do have a question about the aluminum brackets for the engine accessories. After I clean them up what is the best way to keep them looking correct, as in what finish to put on them? Thanks guys for all the help. Many questions have been answered in this thread.
  19. Golden Oldie 65

    Golden Oldie 65 Well-Known Member

    I see GSXstasy is back on ebay again. I also noticed that the rear sway bar is painted cast gray and it states that it was the #1 scoring GSX in the concours class at BG for the past 4 years. Hmmm.... This is an absolutely gorgeous car. I believe the last time it went $180,100. I can't believe this car hasn't sold. Anyone know the reserve?

  20. flynbuick

    flynbuick Super Moderator Staff Member


    I aasume that cast color may be the basis for one of his deductions.


    As you know I am getting an X ready for concours". Do we assume that even with some debate based on how some contend their original cars looked (without tailpipe paint) that the concours' Gardner exhaust package as delivered will result in a deduction unless the tail pipes are painted black from the rear axles housing to the outlet tip?

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