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  #1  
Old 11-15-2002, 10:34 AM
BENZ-LGB's Avatar
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Question Car repainting question

I posted the question below inthe Detailing Forum, but there were no responses. I am hoping to have a better (any) response here. Thanks.....

I own a 1991 420SEL with 223K miles. The car's engine, transmission and other running components are in extremely good shape. The car's interior is in near-new conditions, the leather is fresh and the wood looks very good.

Alas, however, portions of the exterior paint are beginning to exhibit the dreaded "clear coat hazing" problem. The roof has developed a milky, glazed condition. It started in a small area, but now it nearly covers the entire roof. Portions of the trunk are likewise beginning to dull up. The sides of the car are in good shape, with only the unusal, minor parking lot nicks.

The car is a midnight blue. I live in a coastal area with many foggy mornings, lots of dew and clear sunshine in the afternoons. The cars is parked outside.

I've asked around for estimates and most shops charge approximately $3K to $4K for a total repaint. These shops use Glasurit paint, which is Benz's and BMW's OEM paint.

Frankly, I do not want to spend $3K to $4K to repaint the entire car. It just doesn't make good economic sense to spend that much money on a paint job for a car that: (1) is a daily driver, exposed to regular traffic conditions (like collisions) or the slings and arrows of parking lot encounters; (2) its Blue Book value may be only around $10K (although the car is worth a lot more than that to me); and (3) given the car's age and mileage I should be saving money for the inevitable mechanical problems that will begin to crop after the ticker hits the 250K miles mark.

What are your thoughts and/or suggestions regarding: (1) a partial repaint, that is, paint only the areas affected? (2) using a different brand paint instead of Glasurit (3) having the car painted by one of the "chain shops" (4) giving the car to my next oldest daughter, taking money out of the kids' college fund and splurging on a brand new S500 and be the envy of the enitre neighborhood.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts and input on this matter.
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Last edited by BENZ-LGB; 11-15-2002 at 10:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2002, 11:30 AM
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I have used a car painter in the Rowland Heights / City of Industry area that uses Glasurit paint for all of the jobs he does.

He does good work. He repainted my Infiniti G20 the original black, and it looks perfect.

I'm willing to bet he would repaint your car in the $2250 - $2500 range.

If you'd like, I'll dig up his phone number.

I would not go to one of the chains. They do bad work.
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2002, 12:06 PM
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Definitely stay away from the "chain" paint shops!

I had bought an 86 Conquest to putter around town with back when I did a six-month IS contract away from home. The original paint had already been too far gone to save, so anything would look better than that.

The "chain" shop did prep the body (removed dings and hail damage) before painting. For $700, it wasn't a "great" paint job, but it looked better than what I had originally. And again, this was a cheap car in the first place!

Two things. They use maybe two coats of paint, and don't rub down the paint after spraying, so you will see major "orange peel" throughout. And no clear coat is used. With that in mind, light colors look better (I had mine painted Dodge red), and if you do black, midnight blue, or whatever, the results will be a real disappointment!
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2002, 12:18 PM
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You have a wonderful car. Its the last of the handbuilt models and is very reliable compared to some of the newer models. I would not hesitate to get it painted. Unfortunately 3-4k is what it costs to a good job. You dont want to a shlock job on a car of this caliber. I vote that you go for it.
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2002, 01:18 PM
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Lightbulb Double Late with foam for Orson...!

About 85% of what goes into a paint job is prep work. The other 15% is the actual spraying and some finish up work. For $4000, believe it or not, you are not going to get an excellent job. You will get a good to very good job.

If you’re gonna keep the car, and it is worth it to have it painted (you can always send one of your kids to community college for a term or so to make up the difference), go for it. On the other hand, if you are like me and care less for the looks than the ride quality, spend the cash on suspension and other improvements and enjoy the enhanced individuality that is a old Benz....
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2002, 03:24 PM
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Talking LOL

Orson gracefully accepts the double latte....

Tracy, I think that you are on to something here when you write about enjoying the individuality of an older Benz. Heck, anyone can drive a super-glossy, shiny Benz. All you need is the price of "admission."

On the other hand, it takes real character to drive a car with a few external flaws.

If I keep telling myself that, I may end up saving a few thousand bucks...

Thanks.
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Current Benzes

1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"

Res non semper sunt quae esse videntur

My Gallery

Not in this weather!
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  #7  
Old 11-15-2002, 04:00 PM
LarryBible
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If the clear coat is peeling, it would be difficult to get by with just clear coat. If it is not peeling, talk to an experienced paint guy and get an opinion regarding the feasibility of clear coating. The problem you may run into, and what has caused the problem you are seeing now, is that yours is a water based clear coat. They stopped the solvent based clear coats in the mid eighties. The solvent based was incredibly durable.

Another idea is to go by an Automotive paint store and ask them what it takes to re clear a water based clear coat system.

Good luck,
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  #8  
Old 11-15-2002, 08:16 PM
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The going rate for a quality MB paint job in a large city is going to be near $4K. About $900 of that is paint and materials, the rest labor and profit. And to do it right is very labor instensive. Many hours to remove the trim, door handles, antenna, etc, etc, and then to do a good job sanding and masking. The good news is: check out the small towns in your area and ask around for a good paint/body shop. Most towns in the 30,000 population range will have a couple of good shops...and their overhead and shop rate will be much less than what you will pay in a larger market. And many of these small town craftsman take much more pride in their work than the city slickers. I know if you shop around you can get it done for $2500. I did ('86 560SEL) and the results were auto show quality.
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2002, 09:45 PM
MikeV
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repainting

If you want information on painting your car, Please try this web site. I restored a 69 mercury Cougar and after getting quotes from $4-$5K I listened and read the replies on this web sight. Ended up Repainting my car for about $600 in a Base Coat Clear coat blue finish. I did a ton of prep work on it myself and it turned out Fantastic. Never painted a car before either. They will take you through every step of the process even if you have someone else shoot it for you. They'll tell you how to wet sand and buff the car out. Also I would throw out your questions on their sight and get a lot of help and straight answers.

http://www.autobodystore.com/cgi-bin/config.pl?index

Good luck

Mike v
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2002, 02:27 PM
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Wink Thanks to all...

...of you who responded with information, suggestions, etc. Your answers got me thinking that a total repaint was not really necessary as the problem is located on the roof and trunk.

So I visited a few more shops and I found some reputable body shops that will repaint the affected areas, and blend it in with the rest of the car, for a lot less than the $3k to $4k that I was quoted for a full repaint.

One of the guys even used this nifty little device that measures the thickness of the paint. It turns out that the paint's thickness is in the "real-good" range everywhere except the roof and the trunk. So those will be the only areas painted and blended.

And yes, I made sure that htey use Glasurit (lifetime warranty for as long as I own the car) or Dupont paint.

Again, thanks for all the good information.
__________________
Current Benzes

1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"

Res non semper sunt quae esse videntur

My Gallery

Not in this weather!
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2002, 04:21 PM
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paint blending

Just curious; how do they blend the paint and have it really match satisfactorily?
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2002, 05:08 PM
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It's not very hard to blend in new paint. It's done every day when cars are repainted after accident damage. You just need a guy who is good at paint matching.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2002, 11:30 AM
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blending

Blending on base/clear coat vehs is basically the idea of taking the panel that is being refinished, and extending it in to the panel next to it (ie rear deck lid, blending in to the tops of both quarter panels), so that your eye cannot see a line of difference in color.

the shop will first tint the paint to match the existing color as close as possible. this can take a few attempts on a sample until the color is a match. this is only necessary on older veh's which have experienced paint fade, as brand new cars should be fairly close to original color.

the adjoining panels (quarter panel for rear deck lid, and fenders for hood) are taken down to the color. the hood and deck lid are sprayed with color, and the color is "blended" or sprayed on to the adjoining panel. this "fools" your eye so that you do not see any true break in color difference. both panels are then clear coated.

elementry explanation from a tech side, but hope this helps
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2002, 11:43 AM
LarryBible
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Actually, if you are dealing with a metallic, the blending process is much easier than mixing the tints to match. By changing the pressure at the paint gun, you can skew the shade. I think this works because the changing pressure, lays down the metallic flakes differently.

As an amateur painter, I have done this with great success in the past. I was very proud of the work.

Good luck,
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2002, 11:50 AM
ckroeger
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I have a 1996 S420 that had a similar problem on the hood along with some paint chips...the repaint on the hood only was $600.00 and it matches perfectly with the rest of the car. But the body shop (Dave Orr's) is one of the best in Cincinnati, and he would not use anything but the factory specified paint.
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