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thin clear coat

Posted by Kelly 
February 10, 2013 11:54AM
Hi Guys,

I hope that you are well! I had a couple days of illness around the new year, but I'm better now. :-)

Question 1 - Clear coat and waxing

Yesterday I drove Beemie to the detailer for a "long lasting double hand wax." After the wash and wax, the man said that the clear coat was wearing thin. I'm sure this is true. Beemie is an 89. The detailer recommended that I return in another 6 months for another wax. The buffing machine was removing a little of the black paint because the clear coat is not thick. After this, Beemie should require less waxing. While I'm sure that the detailer is trying to increase his business, he is probably correct about the paint finish.

Is there something that I should "do" about the finish other than have a regular waxing?

I did casually ask one body shop guy about repainting the car. He said "Well, it will be really expensive at this shop. Basically we disassemble the car, paint it, and reassemble. I've worked here 20 years and we have only fully repainted one classic car." He estimated $6000. Needless to say, $6000 seems a bit pricey to me. Admittedly, I could ask another shop.

So a hand waxing 2 times a year is sounding pretty good - money wise. (Because Beemie is a convertible, it needs a hand wax IMO.) The question becomes is this much waxing good or bad for the clear coat?

Question 2 -

This particular detailer works out of a parking garage. Based on the Yelp reviews, he as been in business for at least 5 years. So he steam washes the car rather than washes it with a hose. I'm not familiar with steam washing. Do we think this process poses any risk to the car or the convertible top? I can take the car to another detailer if needed. I can say that the car was shiny bright when i picked it up.

As always, pls let me know your thoughts if you have a moment.

Cheers, Kelly :-)
February 10, 2013 05:56PM
If it makes you happy, most cars of that vintage have problems with the clear coat, or the paint, or anything related.

If you can get away with a good waxing, don't make more complicated than it needs to be.
When the paint gets dull and you can't make it shiny, or the clear coat starts to lift in a flaky white, the you may want to worry about it.
Anyway, $6000 sounds a lot, specially for a cabrio (no need to paint the roof).
For that kind of money, one would expect a work like "Overhaul" (the TV show).
But i don't know how much labour costs where you live, and I may be wrong. Unless you have rust, bumps or other problems to fix, there's no need to go disassembling the car, just paint the outside panels. This means removing lights, bumpers, badges and minor things only.

Good luck!
February 11, 2013 11:09PM
Just had some work done on my cabrio front fender. I disassembled the bumper and trim myself to keep the cost down. They did not remove the fender for the painting. There is a lot of trim on the whole car to remove but most of it is just time consuming. That is why they charge so much labor.

Bob in Everett
February 15, 2013 07:19PM
Hi Kelly,

As the others have said; our old bimmers paint is long in the tooth and getting quite thin.

If your guy is down to the actual paint(through the clear coat); it's time for a fresh clear coat.

As far as the $600 cost; it's a small price to pay compared to a strip down and repaint with factory original or equal quality paint. Heck the proper paint itself could cost more than thateye popping smiley

If you love 'beemy' and plan on keeping here; then this might just be that extra bit of love that she will appreciate and help keep the other expenses down.
Had I not been forced to sell my iX; it would now have a beautiful new Zinnoberro(cinnabar red)t paint job. Perhaps the new owner has done that, as he did mention it was on his list.

Oh dear; here come the tears :boohoo:
rkj
February 16, 2013 09:41PM
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
Hi Kelly,

As the others have said; our old bimmers paint is long in the tooth and getting quite thin.

If your guy is down to the actual paint(through the clear coat); it's time for a fresh clear coat.

As far as the $600 cost; it's a small price to pay compared to a strip down and repaint with factory original or equal quality paint. Heck the proper paint itself could cost more than thateye popping smiley

If you love 'beemy' and plan on keeping here; then this might just be that extra bit of love that she will appreciate and help keep the other expenses down.
Had I not been forced to sell my iX; it would now have a beautiful new Zinnoberro(cinnabar red)t paint job. Perhaps the new owner has done that, as he did mention it was on his list.

Oh dear; here come the tears :boohoo:

Are you saying just redoing the clearcoat and not the color, Peter? I think that's close to impossible and would lead to more issues. My 5er has clearcoat coming off the hood in spots sad smiley and that will need a strip and shoot.

Most times short cuts in paint-work with fail in the end..

Cheers, Rick
February 17, 2013 10:36AM
Quote
rkj
Quote
Archeo-peteriX
Hi Kelly,

As the others have said; our old bimmers paint is long in the tooth and getting quite thin.

If your guy is down to the actual paint(through the clear coat); it's time for a fresh clear coat.

As far as the $600 cost; it's a small price to pay compared to a strip down and repaint with factory original or equal quality paint. Heck the proper paint itself could cost more than thateye popping smiley

If you love 'beemy' and plan on keeping here; then this might just be that extra bit of love that she will appreciate and help keep the other expenses down.
Had I not been forced to sell my iX; it would now have a beautiful new Zinnoberro(cinnabar red)t paint job. Perhaps the new owner has done that, as he did mention it was on his list.

Oh dear; here come the tears :boohoo:

Are you saying just redoing the clearcoat and not the color, Peter? I think that's close to impossible and would lead to more issues. My 5er has clearcoat coming off the hood in spots sad smiley and that will need a strip and shoot.

Most times short cuts in paint-work with fail in the end..

Cheers, Rick

Just being realistic. A proper paint job would run around $4000 to $5000 and I for one would not spend that kind of money on a 25 year old car that is a daily driver.
February 17, 2013 11:07AM
Having a nice coat of paint on the daily driver makes it last longer and get washed more often. It is a lot less expensive than buying a new car.

:smile:

Bob in Everett
rkj
February 17, 2013 08:28PM
Quote
Bob in Everett
Having a nice coat of paint on the daily driver makes it last longer and get washed more often. It is a lot less expensive than buying a new car.

:smile:

The nice thing about having a black car is you can redo the car panel by panel (or section) as needed. The hard part is finding a reasonable person to do the work... Kelly, you should be able to find the right person out by you, on the west coast, just keep at it. I can't think of a better Bmw to invest in, especially a cabrio :bow:

Cheers, Rick



perseverance furthers
February 18, 2013 04:30AM
There are a couple of videos on Youtube showing people putting on a fresh clear-coat over original paint.
February 18, 2013 04:24PM
Quote
onager
There are a couple of videos on Youtube showing people putting on a fresh clear-coat over original paint.

You can find anything on youtube, so...

If the car is looking disgusting, and you want it to look as new again, repaint properly, it will do for another 20 years.
If money is short (isn't it always?!) touching up the "problems" and spraying a clear coat may do the trick for some time, but problems will emerge.sooner or later.
I have the MB with a crappy taxi livery to prove it, and the Citroen with some old paint, some panels were repainted and the clearcoat is falling apart on the older areas, not a nice sight.
February 19, 2013 05:34PM
A decent repaint goes something like this (check the pictures):
[www.mercedistas.pt]

[www.mercedistas.pt]

The car depicted is not more worthy than any e30 cabrio.
February 20, 2013 01:04PM
Hi Guys, long time, hope everyone is well.
Just like to throw my 2c into the ring, if I may, there are so many misconceptions about polish and wax and a shine on paintwork.

Clear coat is what gives te car it's shine, the base colour goes on and dries to a matt finish, the clear coat brings out the shine, so it serves two purposes, makes the paint shine and protects the base colour.
When a car looses it's shine and starts looking dull, it is due to imperfections in the clear coat, i.e scratches and swirl marks, that refract the light in all directions as opposed to a focused reflection of light, a shine, after all is nothing more than reflected light, if the light is focused, it is brighter (more shine) if it is scattered, less bright (dull).
The way to correct this is by polishing, polishing, being abrasive, removes the top damaged layer or clear coat, thus exposing fresh undamaged clear coat.
So yes the more we polish the more clear coat we remove every time, so we need to keep polishing to a minimum.
Of course it is quite understandable then that a 20+ year old car would have seen many, many polishes in its life, and yes, it is expected that the clear coat would be extremely thin, maybe even gone in places.

Ok, lets talk a little bit about wax, wax does NOT make a car shine, wax is nothing more than a barrier that protects the clear coat.
A polished and flawless surface of clear coat is what creates the shine, the wax merely forms a protective barrier to protact the clear coat from further harm.
Wax cannot remove clear coat, hence it cannot repair damage and restore a shine.
Some waxes give the impression of a shine, these are the cheap ones and are full of fillers, that fill in the scratches and appear to restroe the shine.
Steer clear of them and use only quality wax.

So Kelly, yes a good waxing will do your clear coat no further harm at all and is to be recommended as it will protect what is left of the clear coat.
It does not have to be a hand wax, machine applied is just as good, no diffirence, but you need t know how to properly apply by machine, slow speed is the ticket, working small areas at a time, maybe 10 inches square.
Waxing twice a year will go a long way to extending the life of your paint, polish the opposite.
The idea is to polish to get rid of the imperfections, then maintain the good paint by protectint with wax, you should not need to polish more than once a year, I would wax every 3 months if it is your daily driver.
get yourself a porta cable dual action polisher and learn to do it yourself, save a bunch of $$$.

Although $6k is a lot of money for a pain job, i reckon it is worth the money, the e30 is fast gaining cult status and clean ones over here go for silly money, if you can find them, and I have no doubt the States will follow suite.
They are definately worth investing in, their value is only going up with each passing year.
Over here a clean 325is can easily fetch ZAR150k ($16500) a mint 333i even more, even my little 318i would fetch ZAR 35000 ($3900) without too much trouble, a 325 cabrio would fetch a healthy sum.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
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