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  #1  
Old 07-16-2013, 03:12 PM
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no clearcoat left, so how to protect for the Connecticut winter?

Hello!

My beautiful 300D looks pretty ugly now that all traces of clearcoat are gone on the roof, left rear door, trunk and rear fenders. The other doors and hood and front fenders are fine because they were replaced and repainted when the car was in a front end collision in the early 2000s. The shop did an excellent job and the paint has a mirror quality to it. But the two-tone effect has been getting worse every year and the car definitely needs new paint.

When you take a white rag and rub the areas without clearcoat, the cloth comes back green (the color is petrol green). I've had it garaged during the last few winters and felt ok with that as I save up for repairs and eventually a paint job, but I'm moving to a new apartment and won't have a garage this winter (or at least not for less than $900 for the year). I feel like I ought to save the money for the garage and put it toward a paint job, but how can I protect the car?

My mechanic recommended carnuba wax. I'm guessing I shouldn't clay the car first, right? Wouldn't that just rip paint off? And how much wax and how often do people think would be necessary to prevent damage under CT snow?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I would like to get the car a really good paint job eventually. I'm a grad student, so my income is small and saving up for that will take a while. I know many people don't approve of spending that kind of money on these cars but it's a labor of love. So how should I preserve it up to that point? Thanks in advance for any and all advice!
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1983 300TD 240k Thistle Green Auto (Euro) [sold]
1984 300D 240k Petrol Green Auto
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2013, 03:43 PM
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Carnuba wax will do the job but it's extra work. I'd do a good wash , a thorough dry and then give it a coat of a spray on wax. The Turtle wax "Ice" line does a pretty good job and it's easily re-applied.
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  #3  
Old 07-16-2013, 06:12 PM
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Great! Thanks so much!

I'm also looking into the possibility of a competitively priced paint job too. There was a recommendation on a thread in January for a place in Rehoboth, MA (by Shertex) and I phoned the shop and they said starting from $2200. Which is way better than the 5k-10k I'd heard previously.

BUT the spray wax is an awesome option, and means I no longer have to face the winter with dread. Thanks! What a relief. Now I have options. And I think I'm going to just use the wax this weekend anyway, just to protect from some of this blistering heat.
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1983 300TD 240k Thistle Green Auto (Euro) [sold]
1984 300D 240k Petrol Green Auto
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"You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it."
"What? Were you saying something? Look, I don't speak Spanish."
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2013, 01:20 PM
jmk jmk is offline
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I hate to put a kebash on the liquid spray waxes, but they tend to be hard on the finishes, more so than regular waxes. The carnuba wax is better.

Now I am not familiar with "petrol green." Is the color metallic, or is it is a solid color. Metallic means is there shiny, silver like flakes in the finish. If it is a solid color, there probably is not a clearcoat on the car. It may be what is called a monocoat. In that case, the car may need to be rubbed out.

Can you take a picture of the problem areas and post them?
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'93 500 SEL
A bad addiction. Takes all of my cash.

'01 Chevy Prism
Made in my favorite auto plant--and easy to fix!

'12 Volvo S80 T6
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2013, 01:46 PM
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I don't like the spray on stuff myself but there is no "finish" left from what I gathered from his first post. The problem I have with people using paste waxes on their deteriorated base coat is they usually try to buff a shine and end up removing more of the marginal protection they still have.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2013, 01:52 PM
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If someone was planning to repaint soon anyway and only wanted a temporary protective layer would there be serious trouble if you cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and then chemically wiped down and then sprayed a clear coat over the top - I'm just thinking of them there gas monkeys who spray clear coat over rust...

...sure it won't last and if you trap moisture under the clear coat you don't really help the cause - but...
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1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

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  #7  
Old 07-19-2013, 02:28 PM
jmk jmk is offline
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Monocoats are applied much thicker at the factory. They are designed to be rubbed out once the top of the coating oxidizes. It is amazing what polishing compound and lots of elbow grease can do to a monocoat.

That is why I asked for pictures. We have got to see the state of the finish before we can really give advice. There was another guy I talked through rubbing out his car. He did a good job (better than I would), and got him through his problems.

You can't paint rust on steel successfully. The oxidative state of iron in steel is 1/10 the density of the original steel. In English, rust expands greatly and won't allow a coating to adhere properly.
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___________________________________________
2010 Toyota matrix
"cash for clunkers" took the van (at 18 yrs, 270,000mi)

'93 500 SEL
A bad addiction. Takes all of my cash.

'01 Chevy Prism
Made in my favorite auto plant--and easy to fix!

'12 Volvo S80 T6
Needed something that wasn't as hard to deal with as my bad addiction

'18 Mazda Miata
My '01 Prism is getting very, very old for an everyday car. No more boring cars for everyday transport!
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmk View Post
... In English, rust expands greatly and won't allow a coating to adhere properly.
I'm shocked to learn that gas monkey don't do a good job!
__________________
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior



Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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  #9  
Old 07-21-2013, 04:44 PM
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Photos

Here are some photos of what the paint looks like now. The car was in a front end collision back in 2004 and I believe the insurance paid for new fenders and a hood and paint for the right hand side doors and the driver's door. That leaves the left rear door, the roof, trunk and rear panels unpainted in 2004 and those are the areas that have no clear coat. It's started to get this speckling effect, like an egg.

I did try the liquid spray wax, but with negligible results. I've started shopping around for paint job prices. So far the range is 2200-4500 (excl. materials). The radiator support wasn't fixed properly after the accident (I didn't own it then) and it curves in a small amount so a smaller radiator has to be used than OEM. I'm not sure if I'd want to get that fixed at the same time, it depends on if I plump for a high end job or a paint job that will just keep it ticking over until I can save more. I'm in grad school and looking to graduate within the next 18 months, at which point my salary will double.

Anyway, I went to a paint shop to see what to do about my car. The pale area by the driver's handle is what a sales guy did to my car as he tried to convince me rubbing compound would fix my problem.

The clearcoat is definitely toast on half the car and the paint is two colours. It's a metallic, color 877. Farbcodes

It just breaks my heart that the car looks like this.
Attached Thumbnails
no clearcoat left, so how to protect for the Connecticut winter?-hpim0663.jpg   no clearcoat left, so how to protect for the Connecticut winter?-hpim0666.jpg   no clearcoat left, so how to protect for the Connecticut winter?-hpim0665.jpg   no clearcoat left, so how to protect for the Connecticut winter?-hpim0664.jpg  
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1983 300TD 240k Thistle Green Auto (Euro) [sold]
1984 300D 240k Petrol Green Auto
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"You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it."
"What? Were you saying something? Look, I don't speak Spanish."
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  #10  
Old 07-21-2013, 04:46 PM
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Forgot to say, it also has some rust under the rubber trim where the trunk closes. No idea what that area is technically called. The rust is minor. Otherwise it's rust-free except some superficial spots on the hood and some behind the battery tray.
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1983 300TD 240k Thistle Green Auto (Euro) [sold]
1984 300D 240k Petrol Green Auto
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
"You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it."
"What? Were you saying something? Look, I don't speak Spanish."
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2013, 02:05 PM
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I also have a related question. I spoke with a guy at my local Maaco and he told me that they use Dupont ChromaPremier. How does that rank in terms of good/bad paint? I know there must be a hierarchy of paints.

He also told me that they bake the cars at 170コF for 45 minutes after painting them and then they're ready to go home, that the base/clearcoat basic (no trim removal) is $899 with them and that they apply the base and then the clearcoat without an interval.

Thoughts? I'm going to visit them tomorrow, along with a high end collision/restoration shop whose owner impressed me on the phone with his knowledge of older Benzes. Apparently he learned how to do autobody on our cars!
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1983 300TD 240k Thistle Green Auto (Euro) [sold]
1984 300D 240k Petrol Green Auto
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
"You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it."
"What? Were you saying something? Look, I don't speak Spanish."
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2013, 03:23 PM
jmk jmk is offline
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That is a pretty bad clearcoat. There was some obvious bodywork done on the car. The hood/front bumper does not align correctly.

I am wondering if the car was resprayed with an inferior paint when that bodywork was done. That is a lot of damage to a MB OEM coating. Mercedes of that vintage had excellent paint on them.

Now on MACCO, they mostly use low end SW auto paints, but I would not be surprised that they get low end coatings from other suppliers. I am not familiar with that particular coating, but it is probably a low end coating. A cheap coating will degloss like what you are currently dealing with. The biggest problem with MACCO is the lack of prep. They aren't removing any of the trim, and there tends to be a lot of defects in their jobs because of the lack of prep. Overall, it will probably look better when they are done, but it will be far from perfect.

It really comes down to how much you want to spend. You could consider a better car. It may be much cheaper in the long run.
__________________
___________________________________________
2010 Toyota matrix
"cash for clunkers" took the van (at 18 yrs, 270,000mi)

'93 500 SEL
A bad addiction. Takes all of my cash.

'01 Chevy Prism
Made in my favorite auto plant--and easy to fix!

'12 Volvo S80 T6
Needed something that wasn't as hard to deal with as my bad addiction

'18 Mazda Miata
My '01 Prism is getting very, very old for an everyday car. No more boring cars for everyday transport!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-27-2013, 11:01 AM
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update

Thanks for the input! I really appreciate your sharing your knowledge about paint and repairs.

I think the damage to the OEM clearcoat is due to the car spending most of it's life in the sun in Louisiana. And I agree about Maaco. I'd only go to them if I prepped the car myself.

So I took the car to a very good body shop in the area called Theroux auto body. The shop has been run by three generations of the same family and the current owner owns a SL.

I was really impressed with him and his shop. He spent an hour and a half with me looking over the car. He also gave me some rough quotes on different parts of the work to get the car back into shape. The radiator support can be fixed for around 4 hours labor, along with the fender and the hood. So I think I'm going to do that. I'd like to get a proper radiator into the car (at the moment it has an extra slim one).

Rust issues were negligible and will hold. There were no big visible patches of repair. There was a minor repair on the curve to the right of the rear glass that runs from the rear glass corner to the trunk lid. He suspected something fell on the car.

Now, as for paint. He said the bad paint was now porous and water was probably sinking through the paint and could be causing corrosion underneath the paint. But if I waited a year sanding down that extra corrosion would take only an extra hour's labor. He told me a bit about the original paints used and said that his shop would only use Glasurit. Which I'm sure is music to paint enthusiasts' ears.

The worst case scenario quote耀traightening the radiator, eradicating the start of rust in micro pockets, repainting, plus new weatherstripping and trim throughout, with the replacement windshield breaking on the way out and needing replacing and so on謡as $15,000. It was a two week job, he said, including material costs. That was the worst case scenario.

He was great about telling me there was no rush on any of the work though, which makes me feel free to take my time examining options. He was definitely a no pressure salesman, and part of me wonders if he spent so much time with me and the car because he loved them when he was young and was curious to see one again.

Given that I was going to go to Maaco to prevent damage caused by not having a clearcoat on the car, I see no point now since damage has probably already started and a Maaco job would cost more in the future to get off the car and trap moisture under the new paint as well since they don't prep enough. I could get the radiator support sorted, then do the trunk rust, and then prep the car myself and then take it into to Maaco and wait a few years to save up for a proper job as well. I'm not sure. I'd much rather be rich and pay for a great paint job right now. If only!

I'm waiting to hear back from a technical highschool in the area. The local trade schools only work on student cars. After that I'll have all my options and I will have to pick one. If the highschool comes back with a yes (normally they don't work on anything older than 15 years apparently) then I'll update this thread again with that info.

I know some will think I'm insane for even thinking about spending that kind of money on the car for the high end paint job, but if I can get stated value insurance it's worth considering, at least. That much money could buy a Hyundai Accent. I had the chance to drive a friend's Accent the other night. It wasn't as fun as my car.
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1983 300TD 240k Thistle Green Auto (Euro) [sold]
1984 300D 240k Petrol Green Auto
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
"You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it."
"What? Were you saying something? Look, I don't speak Spanish."
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2013, 11:51 AM
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Plasti-Dip?

If your immediate goal is to preserve what paint you have and stabilize things until you can afford to get a real paint job done and the issue is mainly the wear and tear of the NE winter on the car; maybe you should look into and consider Plasi-Dip, the removable sprayed on plastic film, as a simple solution?

At least on the larger surfaces that don't already have some begining rusting issues it should act as a barrier film and maintain what you've got left of the original finish.
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2013, 03:53 PM
jmk jmk is offline
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Just be careful, and look at my signature. Old Mercedes can be a bad addiction. Their cars from that period were probably the best built and designed cars ever, but keeping them running is expensive and sometimes difficult. A 300D is a much simpler car than my 500 SEL, but it can still remove money from your wallet at an incredible rate.

Also, don't underestimate rust. That is a killer that is hard to stop. Look very carefully before you start sinking money into this car. Look especially where there is body damage. That type of damage can start rust because the bends in the body break the integrity of the electrocoat.

This vintage car was not galvanized, so it is more prone to rusting than late '80's early '90's cars.

It is better to start with a car with a body in great shape.
__________________
___________________________________________
2010 Toyota matrix
"cash for clunkers" took the van (at 18 yrs, 270,000mi)

'93 500 SEL
A bad addiction. Takes all of my cash.

'01 Chevy Prism
Made in my favorite auto plant--and easy to fix!

'12 Volvo S80 T6
Needed something that wasn't as hard to deal with as my bad addiction

'18 Mazda Miata
My '01 Prism is getting very, very old for an everyday car. No more boring cars for everyday transport!
Reply With Quote
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