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  A chart of part numbers for the spray cans of Motorola touch-up paint
Developed by Mike Morris WA6ILQ
From some old buyers guides and a few phone calls over the years to Motorola Parts
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Motorola makes many products that are painted as part of the manufacturing process, and some others that are powder coated. As part of the process in converting them to amateur, Red Cross, CAP or GMRS service many owners chose to refinish the outer shells/housings/cabinets. While some readily available paints are close, others have to be color-matched to look correct.

For years Moto has offered spray cans of color matched paint in their parts catalog. These cans were made for Motorola by Cardinal Industrial Finishes in the city of El Monte (in the Los Angeles area). Their web site is at http://www.cardinalpaint.com.

I discovered Cardinal back around 1979-1980 when the company I was working for at that time was using about three dozen cases of a custom color (in spray cans) per quarter, ran out and we couldn't wait for the regular shipment that was scheduled to arrive a few days later... I was the only employee that was living anywhere near Cardinal so the boss had me drive over to them on the way into work the next day and pick up an order of two cases against our future shipment... While I was standing in their shipping department waiting for the paperwork to get processed I saw a couple of fork lifts make several trips to a waiting trailer that was backed up to one of the shipping docks... each one was carrying a full load of pallets of cases of spray cans ... and every case had the Motorola logo and both a color name - like Driftwood - and a 11-(something) number on it.

Here is a 1993 list of Motorola part numbers for their touch-up paints, sorted alphabetically by color name:
(I have no doubt that many of these part numbers are No Longer Available.)
Color Name Part Number Usage / Notes
Blue Gray 1182716A04 Motrac, Motran housings (the grey color)
Dark Gray 11401047  
Driftwood 1182716A03 Motrac, Motran housings and control heads (the tan color)
Flat Black 1182716A01 Metal speaker grilles (like on the Motrac and Motran mobile speakers)
Light Gray 11401048  
Low Gloss Haze Beige 1182716A05  
Low Gloss Shadow Beige 1182716A06  
Medium Gloss Haze Beige 1182716A07  
Satin Silver 1180374A85  
Shadow Black 1180341A34  
Shadow Blue 1184201D74 Mocom-70
Shadow Bronze 1184308A11  
Shadow Plum 1180341A33 Syntor X, Syntor X9000, Spectra
Shadow White 1184201D72  
Stellar Blue 1182716A09 MICOR
Valley Green 1182716A10  

If anyone has any additional information that should go in the usage notes column please don't hesitate to send it in...

The last time I bought any it was in the US$28 class per "unit" of two cans (i.e. ordering one unit of a part number resulted in receiving a package of 2 cans). I was told that there were other part numbers for quarts and gallons but I never needed to follow up on that.

Worth reading: Ken Kemski K4EAA has a web page with some good equipment painting tips: http://www.k4eaa.com/ptips.htm.

Update - early May 2011... From an email from Eric Lemmon WB6FLY:

I just checked Motorola-On-Line (MOL) for availability of touch-up paint, including the numbers you listed in your chart, and found just one color still available: 1180341A33 Shadow Plum, $44.36 for two spray cans.

All other colors in the chart are No Longer Available from Motorola Parts. Indeed, when I searched the catalog for just the word "paint" I found only the Shadow Plum part number.

FWIW, the Blue Gray, Low-Gloss Shadow Beige, and Shadow Bronze have only recently been cancelled. I know that because the part numbers are in the MOL catalog, but instead of a description they are shown as cancelled.

Another Update - also in early May 2011... From a long-time friend of mine that is a also a old car enthusiast:

Take your equipment item to his local NAPA auto parts store. They can match almost any color paint. They can sell it to you in a spray can or sell you a pint or a quart for you to feed your airbrush or your hobby spray gun. Just make sure that you take them a color sample that isn't dirty, worn, or sun faded. For example, I took the glove box door from my dad's old Chevy as a sample and had them read the inside of the door as it was still glossy and unfaded. The counterman said that a while back someone had brought in a fender and had them read the inside of the headlight pocket.

Contact Information:

The author can be contacted at: his-callsign // at // repeater-builder // dot // com.

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Original text and hand coded HTML © Copyright 2010 by Mike Morris WA6ILQ

This web page, this web site, the information presented in and on its pages and in these modifications and conversions is © Copyrighted 1995 and (date of last update) by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors. All Rights Reserved, including that of paper and web publication elsewhere.