What color to paint my brake dust shields/other brake hardware?

Sep 20, 2014
I am almost done with a thorough front brake job on my personal ur-XC Volvo. NAPA is taking a Loooong time to turn my rotors, which gives me some time to let the high-heat paint on the calipers and rotors to cure better. It also gave me time to pull off and refinish bits I would not otherwise have done, like the hanging hardware and now the dust shields. They were really gross because the Volvo OE pads are really, really filthy. I am switching to ceramic pads as I now have nicely finished/refinished wheels on the car.

So, "Swedish Racing Green" (aka Swedish blue, basically same as Ford Blue - it's the national racing color), or bright silver? The calipers are already Swedish Blue (e.g., Ford high-heat engine enamel). They will get new braided lines on installation, also.


I already did one of them in silver. I acid etched them to get good adhesion over the galvanizing.


I discovered acid is the key to easy brake dust removal. Even the sandblaster was having fits with this 20 years of high dust. I just "painted" on some muriatic acid and the stuff just brushed off. Wish I had figured this out before I spent so much timing cleaning the calipers.


I refinish grungy parts or new accessories that are under the hood or under the car in the Swedish Blue, just as a kind of joke. None of it is visible clearly from the outside, just the calipers behind the wheels and maybe the horns if you stare hard through the grill. It's just a personal joke mostly.

Basically I'm the only one who ever sees it, like this factory accessory engine grate for it.

This is the engine bay, where I've refinished the accessory or performance parts I've added or modified. Again, it's all out of sight and just a personal joke or when I go to a Volvo or wagon rally a few times next year.


Ok, so bright silver or Swedish Racing Green? I need to paint them by late tonight so they have a day or two for the paint to cure some before installing.
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Yes, some parts are best colured brake dust black, just like some are best coloured rusty brown ;) The silver looks nice though

Can you even see the shields with the brake discs installed?
Blue and Yellow are popular with Volvo owners (Swedish flag…). I like the blue. Ceramic pads should help a lot.
I was going to make a "Ricecar Racecar" comment at first, but then scrolled down and saw the rest of the pictures. I will say that it kinda does look nice... Props to you for such a clean example. (Most of these in my area are trashed.) Is there anything else on the outside of the Volvo body that implies to this XC being a ~Racing/Rally~ Wagon? Idk, like mudflaps or something... Just trying to get some rally ideas for my 2010 Volvo XC70 3.2L, as it comes up to 270k on the ODO. This makes me wish I painted my calipers when I replaced all pads and rotors recently.
Interesting fact: Brembo OEM stuff is nearly the same price as chinese ebay brakes for my P3 XC70. So obviously I went with Brembos.
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OK, I will leave them silver, not point in pushing the blue joke too far!

But NAPA told me today my rotors "should" be ready Tuesday (a week? huh?), so I guess this afternoon I'll strip the rear off and at least refinish it and maybe put in ceramic pads back there. They don't dust much as-is so maybe just take it all apart for inspection and refinishing since I now have time and the car just sitting.

I was going to make a "Ricecar Racecar" comment at first, but then scrolled down and saw the rest of the pictures. I will say that it kinda does look nice... Props to you for such a clean example. (Most of these in my area are trashed.) Is there anything else on the outside of the Volvo body that implies to this XC being a ~Racing/Rally~ Wagon? Idk, like mudflaps or something....

Yeah, it's tweaked underneath, some minor suspension modifications (subframe bushings stiffened, strut brace, adjusting rear toe). This winter it will get a bigger turbo (a 16T off a T5 or early "R" model, nothing extreme), bigger inlet pipe, "R" exhaust manifold and then a ECU tune. It should then be both snappy and handle nicely, but look stock from the outside. It should then fall about between a stock S70 T5 model and V70R model in power and handling, which is enough to amuse and satisfy me most of the time. It's the less common "Moonstone" color which changes hues in various light conditions, so I like that (normally I hate silver cars). Only remaining plan for the exterior is to get a rear wing and install it - they look neat, not hard to install, and do keep the rear hatch window clearer in the rain - not an insignificant thing here.


As to Rally ideas on a P3, one thing I would caution about is changing the ride height. Most of the stories on lifted or lowered XCs end with a lot of expensive axle work pretty soon as they don't seem to tolerate drive angle changes well at all. I think some of the simple mods for a P80 an P2 continue to hold true on the P3 - pulyurethane inserts for the sub-frame bushings (or solid PU ones), rear toe adjustment. I don't know about the strut brace - whether you can mod the engine bracket into one like on a P2 or not. I had a P2 before this I really loved but it was rear-ended and totalled. I will buy another when I find the right one - I'll hold out for a 2006 Ocean Race Edition and then mod it slightly like this to make a sleeper do-everything car/wagon. I haven't driven a P3 XC70 yet but want to sometime.
I was going to comment on the blue paint on the hoses, then I noticed it says you're replacing them with new lines anyway.

I'd paint the dust shields black. As has been mentioned, they get dirty quickly. But even if they never got dirty, are those something you really want to call attention to? Any color other than black is going to compete for attention with the other more important items - the calipers, the braided hoses, the nice refinished rotors, etc. Let them stay black and blend into the background.
No rotors yet back from NAPA. Shiny dust/rock shields, though.

I started taking the back all apart to refinish it since if I'm this far down the rabbit hole, I might as go all the way. ;)

The machine shop NAPA sent my rotors to, lost them. They used to have their own in-house machinist until very recently and I didn't know it was going elsewhere now. NAPA gave me a new set of their premium rotors. I painted the hats, ends and backside yesterday and mounted it all up today.

Took it out and bedded the pads and it all felt excellent with impressive stopping distances IMO. Drawn-out hassle but I will enjoy this for years. The wheels will come off 2 x a year for summer/winter rotation so I can keep things clean going forward and enjoy all the hassle the refinishing was.

High-heat silver on anything not on the contact surface.

All assembled. Yeah, I painted the back of the outboard pads. ;) I know Corvette guys do it so I figured why not?:

Poor night-time photo but it will be fun to finally have pretty brakes and coated hats and parts to stay clean.

The wheels are from a recent Ford and that's why the wheel cap is blank; I refinished to take off the Ford logo. They look good on the car and were pretty to easy to alter the centerbore to fit the Volvo. I have some 17" Volvo Pegasus wheels from a newer V70R I was going to refinish and run next summer, but I really LIKE the Ford wheels. But 17" wheels would look better (and the Pegasus wheels look GOOD on this P80 body style).