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Getting my Dream Car painted

 
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:59 AM
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Default Getting my Dream Car painted

I've had my 2000 Jaguar XK8 for quite some time now and the exterior paint has peeled away. Although this car is 17 years old now, it only has 73K miles and I plan on keeping it until it dies. So I decided to paint the entire exterior and found a paint shop here in my town (Las Vegas) that came highly recommended. Does anyone have any recommedations or experiences with exterior paint that I should know before I do this? I'm scheduled for May 1, 2017 and I was told it would take two weeks to complete.

BTW, this forum has been a life saver for me. Every time I have an issue, this is the FIRST place I turn to for answers/suggestions. Establishing and MAINTAINING a forum is a time consuming endeavor, so thank you all for the time you have put into this site over the years. You have touched many souls and given great advice.
 
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:54 AM
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I've had some good experiences along with some horror stories getting cars painted. One thing I learned the hard way was that its the guy who lays the paint who determines the quality of the work and upon whom the shops entire reputation is built. He has veto power if the body prep is not to his standard plus control of the gun. Good management helps, but it all comes down to the eyes and hands of the guy in the booth. If that old guy gets a cataract and keeps working anyway (don't ask) or they send in the backup quarterback, then it could be a disaster.

To save money, I've always done the majority of my own bodywork, delivered a dismantled car on a trailer to the paint shop and then put it back together myself after they are done. You don't want any taped edges as it not only looks bad but is a point for failure in a few years. It could cost 30-40 hours labor (couple months of weekends for me), plus broken clips and replacement gaskets, to r&r all the trim, lights, door handles, glass, etc. but its well worth it.

If you're going all the way with color sanding and buffing for a mirror finish, that's a messy process as the wet sanding residue tends to get in all the nooks and crannies. Some shops return me a spotless car and others I've had to clean the nooks and crannies myself. Apparently some customers aren't that concerned but if you are, discuss it with them ahead of time. They can take steps to keep it cleaner. Also, no doubt you've seen a car from the rear that the bottom of the gas tank has overspray on it. That's worst case scenario, but some shops do a better job than others of masking. If you want to be sure there's no overspray, you can talk to them about using a spray mask. Its a soap based product they spray on areas like the undercarriage or engine bay, that prevents the overspray from sticking and can be washed off later.

I started to type how much I've spent on the last couple of paint jobs, but I don't want to discourage you. A durable paint job is going to cost you a few to several thousand dollars depending on the amount of body work, color and level of surface quality you expect. Just whatever you do, don't go with the Maaco special. $299 will not even buy the materials for a quality paint job.

Where your factory paint has peeled, the shop may need to strip it. I'm generally not an advocate of stripping back to bare metal unless there's been a failure of the original coatings or rust. Usually, the factory primer is as good as it gets and exposing the metal is more risk than its worth. But you should ask an experienced painter how they plan to deal with the peeled panels. What exactly went wrong in the first place? It may be fine to just sand it down to the basecoat, spray a seal coat, then prime and paint. Or if the underlying primer was compromised, then it may be necessary to strip it. But they need to look it over carefully and decide rather than just doing the cheapest fix.

Finally, ask your painter for advice about care and feeding when you get it back. I've always been told to wait X months before applying any wax or even putting a car cover on. Indeed, my garage will smell like fresh paint for weeks as the paint fully cures out.

Good luck.
 
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:07 AM
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Dear PDupler:
How can I thank you enough for spending the time and effort to carefully and thoughtfully respond to me? All I can think of is to tell you what I've done so far, give you a bit of personal background so you know where I'm coming from and again thank you for your time.

When I first got my driver's license way back when, I saw a British Racing Green Jaguar XKS V12 convertible with a tan interior and fell in love with it. By the time I was old enough to have a career that could support a Jaguar, I was married (DINK) and a couple of decades had gone by. While the models had changed, the look was very similar and at this point in my life, my wife was determined to go down my bucket list of dreams and make as much of them come true, as possible. Nancy is my constant companion, lover and soul mate. So for Valentine's Day, she surprised me with my dream car, down to the colors inside and out. Just as a bit of background, I went through 6 years of serious illness that I had no business to survive. I was given last rights twice, but through the miracle of medicine but more importantly, the care I received from a group of dedicated doctors and Nancy herself, I not only survived (albeit with a few less organs), I beat the odds and prognosis of 3 to 5 years left to live. That was 17 years ago and I'm looking forward to the next 20 or whatever I'm given.

Nancy and I share a love for cars, but neither one of us can do anything more than put gas in the tank and bring them to professionals for anything more than that. We don't mind paying for a proper job, well done and respect ALL those professionals who know their way around an engine. We live in Las Vegas, where the sun shines nearly every day, so no matter how strong the initial pain job was, eventually the paint will fail in this environment, in my opinion. It lasted 16 years in this brutal climate before the need arose, so I would say that's pretty good, but I really don't know do I?

After years of going to the local Jaguar dealership, I finally sought out and found a top notch, honest mechanic who happened to own a similar model Jag, himself, with almost the same amount of miles that I do. So we are going thru some of the same issues at almost the same times. For example, he just replaced his fuel pump after it completely died on him, but mine is showing that fuel sometimes does not make it to the 7th and 8th cylinders and gives me a soft warning (yellow warning light, engine light and limited performance). This is my limited understanding of the issue. Since my mechanic could not exactly pin down the cause, he was uncomfortable fixing the problem and sent me home with the car with no bill for his time. The lights went off for a couple of weeks, then went back on, then off again and this has been going on for about 6 months now. So we are both waiting to see what happens on that note. Have you ever heard of this?

Anyway, back to my paint situation. My mechanic has a small shop in town and also has a neighbor next to his shop that does auto body repairs and paint. He was highly recommended by my mechanic and I've seen his work. While I was getting my car back the second time for my current possible fuel pump issue (again with no bill), I went to see Mike (not his real name) the car painter for an estimate. Mike did a thorough inspection, pointed out some dings and dents, looked under the carriage and made some recommendations, like badge replacement, etc. and explained his process to me, like taking off all of the panels, painting them and then putting everything back together again. He gave me a ball park estimate of about $3,000 and a time table of two weeks, but threw in the caveat that it should be done before the weather gets hot again here in town. That usually happens right around June 1st, so I'm cutting it close, but I think it will be ok.

He advised that he will take any dings out and repair everything that needs to be repaired, so I think I'm getting a fair shake. Thank you again for your response, as I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how it turns out. I drop it off this Monday, May 1.

Best regards,
Paddy's Jag
 
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Paddy's Jag View Post
and explained his process to me, like taking off all of the panels, painting them and then putting everything back together again. He gave me a ball park estimate of about $3,000 and a time table of two weeks, but threw in the caveat that it should be done before the weather gets hot again here in town. That usually happens right around June 1st, so I'm cutting it close, but I think it will be ok.

He advised that he will take any dings out and repair everything that needs to be repaired, so I think I'm getting a fair shake. Thank you again for your response, as I really appreciate it. I'll let you know how it turns out. I drop it off this Monday, May 1.

Best regards,
Paddy's Jag
That's not a lot of money for a paint job. Either he's charging a lot less on his labor rate than my local shops or there's some steps left out that you might want to consider. Not that you won't be happy, but just to make sure. You might want to clarify exactly every part he proposes to take off and ask if it will leave any exposed taped edges. Just pay a few hundred more if necessary to make sure there are zero exposed tape edges. Does it include doing the door jambs, the hood and trunk surrounds or are you happy with leaving those as-is? He may be intending at that price not to color-sand and buff it. It would come straight out of the paint booth with some orange peel, probably two coats of clear. If he's really good, it will be minimal and most people can live with that for a driver quality. If you want that deep mirror gloss, they have to lay three to six coats of clear, then sand and buff it and that generally costs extra. I personally think its worth it.

As to the weather, they paint here in Texas year round. There's different speeds of catalyst and thinner that they use to cure the paint depending on the ambient temperature. In summer, they use a slower catalyst and/or a slower evaporation rate. But its critical that they get it right. Too fast and the wet paint surface won't flow out smoothly before it hardens or too slow and it could run. That is unless he's using one of these new-fangled, environmentally friendly, water based base coats which I know virtually nothing about. If so I guess water is water and the only way to adjust how fast H2O evaporates is by temperature and air flow.

Lastly, you seem to be decided on this guy, but it would still be educational if you haven't done it, to go to a couple other shops and have them give you an estimate. In comparing estimates, you can see what each shop may propose to do differently. If there's something you like or don't like, you can discuss it with your painter before he starts. He'll probably be glad to do it any way you like as long as you are willing to pay the difference.
 
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Old 05-07-2017, 01:18 PM
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I hope we're going to see some before and after photos .........

Graham
 
 

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