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Painting steering knuckles, how hot do they get?


Proven Member
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
As on any old car the steering knuckles on my '92 Talon are rusty, dirty and nasty-looking, and after cleaning, derusting and painting or replacing everything else on the front end (and most of the rear end including the trailing arms), I'd like to clean, derust and paint them too.

They're already off the car to do all this other work and I'm also going to take apart the whole assembly to replace the bearings and seals, making it much easier to get all of it cleaned up and painted without worrying about masking and overspray.

What I'm wondering is how hot they get, especially where the caliper bracket connects to it. Do I need to use caliper paint, or is regular metal paint and primer good enough? If I do use caliper paint (I have half a can left over after doing all 4 calipers), should I prime them first, or use the paint by itself?

Also, while I'm at it, is it ok to paint the tone ring black, or does it need to stay as is?

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Btw, everything else is now cleaned up and painted or replaced. I mean EVERYTHING, tie rods, stabilizer bar, struts, control arms, ball joints, connecting links, subframe, wheel well, etc. All that's left is the knuckle/hub assembly.

Ok, and the brake hose and brackets. Need to replace those too.
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Supporting Member
May 22, 2007
Kalamazoo, Michigan
I dont know about the heat just use some vht paint, over time the paint is going to flake off over time, Just clean it up and paint it, there is no one answer to your question. Or powder coat everything and dont worry about it.


Proven Member
Jul 22, 2020
Queens, New_York
Then I'll just use caliper paint just in case it gets hot and it's what I have. If it flakes off, I'll figure it out. Everything else gets regular paint.

Btw is painting the tone ring black ok? It's a magnetic sensor, right, so it shouldn't matter? And getting further afield, is there a way to replace these sensors with more accurate modern ones, or does that require messing with the ECU and firmware and not worth the trouble?


Supporting VIP
Sep 13, 2012
St. Paul, Minnesota
Your biggest challenge will be the cleaning, so the paint will stick long term. There is a lot of grease, brake fluid, road tar, and probably other things that get splattered on the suspension components.

There are some excellent articles about preparing brake calipers for painting, using cleaners and heat to draw out the contaminants, so maybe you could follow a similar procedure for your suspension pieces.

If the pieces are really clean, it shouldn’t matter on the suspension whether it is regular paint, or high temp paint.


Probationary Member
Jun 28, 2007
surrey, BC_Canada
I did my niece's car about 2 years ago. Really thorough cleaning and prep is the way to go. Most of the front and rear suspension components and brake have been repainted and re-finished. It would be easier to remove and disassemble as much of the parts as possible and then use a combination of a spinning (maybe drill mounted) or rotary tool mounted brush in combination with manual brushes. Once you remove most of the superficial rust, you can use something like POR 15. If you prefer, it can still be painted over - I've used Duplicolor wheel paint instead of caliper paint and it has held up pretty good.
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