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Discussion Starter #1
I want to powder coat my fork tubes. I know its a project cause I will have to completely strip down the forks but Im wondering if I will still be able to slide them up into the trees after the coating is on. Has anyone done this? Do you think there is enough room for that .5mm or so that powder coat will add? It is a pretty tight fit and I would hate to scratch up the powder coat trying to get the legs back up.
 
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you shouldn't have a problem. there's enough play in the triple-clamp bores to accept powder'd tubes. i'd be more wary of vising them to reinstall all the bits after they're powdered.
 
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another option to consider is to have them anodized. none of the heat needed for powdercoating, and more durable than paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I want then to match my frame which has been powder coated. It is a color that you could not come close to by anodizing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess I might be the first. Im sure youll see some more posts about how to gut the fork legs coming soon!
 
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i know for sure it's been done before (sorry if i burst your bubble!) so i don't think i'd be terribly worried about warpage. here's a monster with powder'd forklegs:

http://www.mad-ducati.com/images/MikeCecchini/Monster/M11m.jpg

http://www.mad-ducati.com/images/MikeCecchini/Monster/M4m.jpg

for the fork work, i think chris kelley's got some stuff online on his ducatitech.com site? he's got some info on "pongo!"'s page:
http://www.ducatitech.com/bikes/pongo.html

Those forks are anodized, I know this because I built that Monster and personally had the forks done prior to selling it to a guy who sold it to Mike Cecchini. I really miss that bike, I put a lot of blood and sweat in that one.

Jeff
 
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my bad! thanks for the correction...
hrm. well DTMsurf, you may be the first afterall ;)
 
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Man before you bake those things, find out what material you have and ask the powder coat guy what temp and how long. A heat treatment shop or maybe online could tell you if they expect warpage and approximately how much. I am a Mechanical Engineer and spend all day with machined parts and heat is not there friend. We deal with very tight tolerances(+/-0.002") and powder coating has warped our machined cast aluminum parts in the past. If you find a good powder coater they can minimize the warpage but you need to find out how much is acceptable. Powder coating aluminum does work and creates a great finish but is not always the best process to maintain alignment.

My worry really is that machined parts tend to have stress in them from the machining process. Any process that holds a machined part at an elevated temperature relaxes the part so to speak, causing deformation or warpage. I don't know what type of tolerances they have on the forks. The small amount of warpage could be acceptable, however it also could cause more stiction reducing the forks higher frequency absorption or uneven wear on the bushings making your new cool looking forks less functional.

I am NOT trying to keep you from coating them....Just hope you will ask the right questions and find a good shop with experience. I am not a expert with aluminum or the powder coating process and rely on our vendors with allot of experience to send us in the right direction. They have solved our process problems but only after we rejected several batches due to warpage. You only have one shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well Im going to call the coaters tomarrow and call a plater (anodizing) I will be having alot of stuff done so I want to do it all at once. I may have some parts anodized and some coated. If I cant get a straight answer on coating the forks I will just have them anodized black. Not my original vision but better than the current color, gold.
 

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fire....fire...fire !!!
That's very helpful. :-/


DTMsurf,
Your fork legs are the the most extreme combination of length and tight tolerances anywhere on your bike. They need to be round and straight, and a prolonged bake at 400 degF (or so) won't do them any good.

Anodizing is available in lots of colors, it's very likely you can find a color to suit your vision.

Silas made good points. As a fellow M.E., I agree with his recommendations.
 
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If I cant get a straight answer on coating the forks I will just have them anodized black. Not my original vision but better than the current color, gold.
If it works let us know. I am really interested if they can pull it off and how they did it.

Off topic but...Do you make longboards?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Long, short, really short, really long, you name it if its custom Ill make it!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just talked to a powder coater and basically they had not done any inverted fork tubes before. They just gave the obvious answers, "it may distort under the heat, we cant garauntee that it wont" kinda thing. I talked to a plater and they said to anodize my forks they would have to strip the old anodizing off first and that would cost Xtra. They have a $42 min. for anodizing and they figured thats what the forks would cost not including the stripping fee (didnt ask how much for that) I have some rear sets coming so I think Ill just get them anodized with the fork tubes to save $$ Ill just powder coat some other little stuff for color accents. Oh well
 

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After a third gear wheelie gone bad, I had my KTM Duke's fork tubes powder coaded gloss black after sanding out the scratches. They look awesome! I originally had them anodized but was unhappy with the results so I opted for the powder coating.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After a third gear wheelie gone bad, I had my KTM Duke's fork tubes powder coaded gloss black after sanding out the scratches. They look awesome! I originally had them anodized but was unhappy with the results so I opted for the powder coating.
AH HA!!! somebody did it! How difficult was it getting the tubes back up through the trees? Did you need to replace all the seals in the forks? I got questions for ya! From what I have seen you can get most of the suspension works out of the tubes without really getting into the shocks, is this true?
 
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