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  #1  
Old 06-03-2006, 05:04 PM
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Unhappy Any cure for cloudy clear coat finish?

My 1985 300D's maroon paint has a white milky or cloudy appearance. I've been told by a Benz mechanic that the clear coat is breaking down and there really isn't any cure except a new paint job. Is he right? Do have any options short of a new paint job?
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2006, 05:36 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Paterson, NJ
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Your car came with the old kind of paint(unless repainted)
The old paint had the clear and color all mixed together.
Unlike the new style paints that have a base color coat
with the clear coat sprayed over it.

Try this:

Buy some cleaner wax.
With a clean cloth(moist,dipped in water
and wrung out)
Apply some wax to paint.(on lower panel)
Rub hard.
Check the cloth for color.
If no color is present then your car has been repainted
with the newer style paints.
If you see your cars color on the cloth you have
the old style paint.

The old one you can (have) color sand(ed) if there is paint
enough left. And then buffed and waxed.

Not sure about the clear/base coat but this should work too.

Color sanding is sanding the whole car with ultra fine sanding paper
while keeping the sand paper wet with a mixture of water and soap.
It takes a thin layer of paint of and removes all the damage done
by the elements and nature.

How to link: http://www.autobodystore.com/rsw.htm

Since you're using sand paper the paint will look dull but polishing
and waxing it with a machine will return the luster and shine.

Hope this helps.

Louis.

Last edited by mybenz123; 06-03-2006 at 05:42 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2006, 05:49 PM
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I really appreciate the advice! As far as I know, the paint is original. I will do the "Test" you described and respond accordingly.

Thanks Again
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2006, 05:54 PM
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excellent post by...

mybenz123. May I also suggest buying 3M polishing compound or even the Turtle Wax rubbing compound for your trial run. If the paint can be saved, Wet sanding is the ultimate but also requires some skill to not go through the paint, so rubbing compound will give you quite a bit of cutting power but less than sand paper and may be easier to control. This also of course depends on how milky your finish is, either way you will be able to tell whether there is a chance to save the paint.

Give it your best bring the color back and then take it to a Pro for another going over with a polishing machine, it is amazing how many seemingly lost paint jobs can be revived to like new with patience and a lot of elbow grease.

Good luck
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Stable Mates:
1987 300TD 279K mi Intercooler (Hans)
1985 Jag XJS 119k mi 5-speed 178 mph (Evil Kitty)
1975 Corvette 4-speed 59k mi (Hot Lips)
1983 Jeep CJ-7 314k just doesn't quit (Venerable)
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2006, 10:34 PM
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Meguiar's

Hold off on the wetsanding. Try some sort of light-abrasive cleaner, like Meguiar's #2 Fine Cut Cleaner. It uses a combination of chemical and abrasive cleaners to remove any residue, and a very small amount of the paint.

As stated above, if the cloth turns the color of your car, it has a "single stage" finish. It is a unrethane enamel paint that is similar to what you'd get in a high-gloss rattle can, in that it does not require the application of a clearcoat to achieve a high luster.

You have no idea how much paint is left on this car. It has probably been buffed-out several times over the past 20 years. If you attack it with sandpaper - even something as fine as 2000 grit - chances are quite high you'll sand through the clear/color and have a patch of basecoat/primer showing. Also, because the paint is COMPLETELY CURED (i.e. very hard) it will be extremely difficult to polish the sanding scratches out.

If we're talking about a W124 car, it is probably basecoat-clearcoat (a two-stage finish), but the LIGHT polish test will tell you for sure....

Jay.
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2006, 12:49 AM
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I did the experiement using "TurtleWax POLISHING COMPOUND". I just happened to have a can sitting around. I used a damp cotton cloth and rubbed real hard on the body behind the right rear wheel. Results: No paint color on the cloth. Only some grey oxidized glaze! It's hard to believe, but if you guys are right, this is not the original paint. The test experiment area doesn't look any different than before the experiment. Any other clues that would tell me the paint is not original?

Thanks for your help!
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2006, 08:56 AM
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I have a similar problem, it is common! I bet your really bad spots are on the roof, hood, and trunk...areas where the sun just slams down on the paint. When I compounded enough to remove the "clouds", I was into the base coat...basically, the paint is just dead.

I've had it into 2 body shops and the same story...sand it down, reprime, repaint. Also was told that MB used a bad primer paint combo, saved about 8 bucks a car and now there a lots of cloudy clearcoat cars. Can't say that's all true....but I do see a lot the older Benz's with bad clearcoat.

Saving my nickols and dimes for a roof reblast is the bad news....the good news is it should look great again....someday!
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2006, 09:16 AM
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I thought there were some W123/W126 that appeared with clearcoat from the factory starting in 1984. Not sure of that. I think my 1984 W126 has metallic green paint covered by clear coat - and the clear coat has started cracking and crazing. I hope its repairable at some point in the future without a complete paint strip. Just wet sand off the clear coat and respray.

Ken300D
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2006, 11:09 AM
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Take a careful look around the car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985Az300DTurbo
I did the experiement using "TurtleWax POLISHING COMPOUND". I just happened to have a can sitting around. I used a damp cotton cloth and rubbed real hard on the body behind the right rear wheel. Results: No paint color on the cloth. Only some grey oxidized glaze! It's hard to believe, but if you guys are right, this is not the original paint. The test experiment area doesn't look any different than before the experiment. Any other clues that would tell me the paint is not original?

Thanks for your help!
To determine if the car has been repainted is quite easy but you need a careful eye to detail and look at the unusual places. Look around the window seals, use a credit card and slightly pry the seal away from the body and look for signs of paint lines left over from taping. Another good area to check is clean along all of the seams, trunk, hood and doors, and look for signs of overspray or orange peel (bumpy surface not smooth), if so the car has been repainted.

On the issue of paint, if the structure is intact, meaning not peeling cracked or whatnot, it can usually be saved, but it will be a lot of work. Go back to your test area and use the polishing compound again, remember to be agressive with this stuff, just work on a small 4x4 in. area and rub the heck out of it, looking for improvement. If you can bring this area back you will likely be able to bring the rest back as well, and the work spent on that little area will help guage the work needed to restore the entire car.

If you can save the paint, don't be overwhelmed by the work, take a panel by panel approach to get the roughness out and split your workload. When complete, redo the entire car or have a pro polish/detail it for you.

If you are OK with spending a little money, you can always have the polishing done by a detailing shop. But don't stop there, redo the whole thing yourself afterwards or take it back a few times. The key is removing the damage in layers, but you can only get so much off at a time, thus the need to repeat.

Good luck
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Stable Mates:
1987 300TD 279K mi Intercooler (Hans)
1985 Jag XJS 119k mi 5-speed 178 mph (Evil Kitty)
1975 Corvette 4-speed 59k mi (Hot Lips)
1983 Jeep CJ-7 314k just doesn't quit (Venerable)
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2006, 06:24 PM
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I have this problem on my hood. I just wax it regularly, but the cure seems to be as decribed above which is beyond my means and desires at the time. A good waxing and polishing will clear it up for like two solid weeks, sometimes a month depending on the weather.
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2006, 11:20 PM
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Nothing, my roof is fadding and the trunk lid isn't much better. You name it I have tried it, car is waxed once a month. Polish, clay you name it its been tried.

The solution is to repaint it, as it gets worse wax will only help for a week or so.
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2006, 12:41 PM
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Just a thought...

Since this seems to be a somewhat common occurance and may be within the clearcoat itself, not the paint substructure, the problem seems to be cured even temporarily with waxing etc. Why not just re-clear those troubled areas?

This of course if you are looking to save some substantial money. If your paint is intact and in good shape but your clear topcoat is damaged, it can be re-cleared and bring back the original finish and color. This will save you from having to repaint the whole car. To tell you the truth if your body were free from dings etc just cloudy, I would definately consider clearcoating the entire car, but you can also just focus on typicl problems spots such as the hood trunk and roof. Either way this will be much less expensive than a full repaint and will provide you years of protection and beauty. Talk to a few paint pros and get their thoughts.

Clearcoats can be very tricky in that they themselves can look deceptively bad making the whole thing including the underlying paint look bad which its often not. So topcoating again will fill in all of the hairline scratches and cracks leading to the haziness and restore a nice deep finish. BTW this works great on dash wood as well, if the underlying veneer is not split (usually in the varnish coat) top coating with Lacquer or Poly will restore the wood and elimnate the cracks.

An easy test to see if you have a clearcoat problem is to run an even, wide stream of water over an affected area, just let it fully wash over your test area and look at it closely, if your paint seems (just like new) then you can save it with a new clearcoat. Woth a shot at least.

Best of luck
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Stable Mates:
1987 300TD 279K mi Intercooler (Hans)
1985 Jag XJS 119k mi 5-speed 178 mph (Evil Kitty)
1975 Corvette 4-speed 59k mi (Hot Lips)
1983 Jeep CJ-7 314k just doesn't quit (Venerable)
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2006, 01:29 PM
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Wish it was that simple, just re-spray a new clearcoat, and you can do just that.

Both body shops I talked to, said the same thing....re-spray over the old and it'll cause the new to peel and flake off...what you have now isn't sticking,so what you put over that will just come off with the old stuff.

If when you're compounding a test area (and test an area where the clearcoat is bad...it makes no sense to "test" an area where the clearcoat is good!)...if you quickly get down to the primer, your paint is dead....new paint won't adhere well to dead paint.

One shop said they would do just a re-spray and they would write a guarantee that it would start peeling within a few months! The other shop said they would not do it, period (I liked these guys the best).

I'm tempted to get a gallon of a good Cream colored enamel paint, tape off the roof, and brush it on. Two-tone like the MiniCoopers. If turns out OK, GREAT! If looks like hammered squat...well I was gonna sand it down anyway.

This deal kinda reminds me of a cartoon I saw of this caveman plumber looking down into a hole in the ground and saying..."Ohhhh, this not be cheap to fix"!
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2006, 05:54 PM
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If you want to save money just have them spray the roof, trunk lid, and hood ect. Should only cost $1,500 or so.

The SDL needs a makeover I am just living with it for now, next year I'll repiant the entire car.
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-Thomas Jefferson
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2006, 11:56 AM
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Know your paint and the extent of the damage

The best thing is to know your paint type, condition and what damage it has. If the clearcoat is peeling, gone (dead) or cracked through to the primer, the only fix is a complete strip and repaint.

On the other hand if it is in good structural condition but hazy and or dirty, then polishing and reclearing may be your solution. I don't buy the clear will just peel off again argument one bit. This depends on three factors only, the condition of the underlying paint, the compatibility between OE paint and new clear, and the condition of the surface prep, i.e. clean no residual wax or silicates.

If the underlying paint is in good condition and not already peeling then a recoat will be fine. If you are using compatible paint/clear and not mixing lacquers enamels etc. again, your new coat will be fine, and of course most important in any paintjob is the prep and cleaning of the surface to be painted to make sure it is free from any compounds that will interfere with good adhesion.

Talk to people you can trust in the paint industry, not body shops looking for business that are likely to say the $500 dollar option wont do, but the $1500 option works fine

I've been restoring cars for over 20 years and have only had to completely repaint one vehicle out of 30 or so. I've seen many finishes claimed to be dead, gone, nullo only to bring them back to original glory with hard work and a good understanding of what I was working with, this is key in knowing what can or cannot be done to your car.

Generally German (BMW's and MB's) cars from the mid 70's onwards used two approaches to paint. Solid colors were usually shot in one coat. Metallic paints tend to be a base coat and top coat approach. As such, most solid color car finishes can be polished back to new condition by removing layers of damaged paint. Most metallic finish damage is in the top coat, sometimes polishing to remove minor hazing works but if it is real bad, then applying a new top coat is a likely solution. This part is tricky due to top coat types, and where your knowledge of your paint really counts, BMW used Lacquer into the early 80's and then switch to enamel, and these two types are not compatible with each other and should not be mixed.

Eight years ago, I had a minor dent in my hood from an absent minded driver backing into me. Had a paint ship fix the damage and then re-shoot the hood, to get that new look to blend in right with the rest of the car, they also clear coated the fenders as well. Eight years later in a metallic black car under the hot FL sun, no peeling or bubbling yet from the clear coat
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1987 300TD 279K mi Intercooler (Hans)
1985 Jag XJS 119k mi 5-speed 178 mph (Evil Kitty)
1975 Corvette 4-speed 59k mi (Hot Lips)
1983 Jeep CJ-7 314k just doesn't quit (Venerable)
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Old 06-21-2006, 11:56 AM
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