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Old 08-10-2013, 11:55 AM   #1
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Detail first? Paint first? Thoughts?

So, now that the mechanicals of my car are in order, I can finally put some money over into appearance. Car is by no means a show car. There's a spot in front of the right rear tire that has been shoddily repaired previous to my purchase, paint isn't even buffed out, and the edges of the respray are starting to bubble. So that one is obvious. But, I also want/need to get the rest of it detailed and get swirl marks and things out. I don't have the equipment to attempt it myself, and it's one of those things I'm a little hesitant to try on my own car first, and I don't have spare parts laying around to experiment on. So, that's the background.

Since I need to get the repair done, and since I know I also have some chips here and there that need fixing, it might come down to needing a full respray of the entire car. Obviously if that happens, I don't need to detail anything first. But that's also more than my free cash will let happen in the immediate future, so I was thinking perhaps I could spend a few bucks and at least get it detailed nowadays, and attempt to make it look at least a LITTLE better in the meantime.

However, I'm concerned about what the process might affect, in regards to flaws in the paint. Most importantly, there are a couple spots as shown in the attached picture, where it looks like the clear is cracked? So, will having the car worked over, cause further damage to those areas? I'm aware that having the rest of the paint cleaner and more flawless will draw more attention to areas like this that are flawed. I just wonder if it's worth having it done, or should I skip it until I can get the full paint done?

I think I'd rather have a 90% good finish, than 100% "eh, it's ok" finish. Or is it one of those things where the process will grab the edges, causing further damage? I have almost no body & detailing experience, so I'm clueless. I'm going to talk to a local detailer and also a body shop to get their thoughts and estimates, but I wanted to pose the question here too, and see what people think. I can easily take more pictures, but this shows the type of thing I'm concerned about. There are maybe 4-5 spots on the car that have specks of this.

Thanks all!
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CharlzO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2013, 10:43 PM   #2
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It's hard to tell in the picture whether the clear coat or failing (or has already failed) or its etching of some sort. Does your fingernail catch when you go over it? If the cc has failed the only fix is to repaint.

Any amount of correction over 90% is great for a daily driver.

$300-400 is what it will cost for the proper supplies to detail your car many times (that is also the range if not more for a detail and paint correction by someone who knows what they're doing). Just a summary of the basics would be soap, clay bar, DA buffer, compound, polish and sealant/wax. It's really easy to buff out a car with a DA polisher. You won't burn the paint or damage it using the right technique (tons of YouTube videos on this). If you're worried about practicing on your car go to the junk yard and get a black hood to practice on.

2001 Topaz Blue 325Ci 64-120k miles SOLD
2003.5 Silver Gray M3 70k miles
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:14 PM   #3
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To be honest, I hadn't even tried to catch my nail on it. Since it is on the hood, and since I have a couple other parts on it that need repair (dents, not paint-related), I'm still thinking about just replacing it altogether. I did find someone that's going to repaint my rear bumper for me, and gonna look at the rest and see what his thoughts are. Honestly, that's part of the big thing for me, is just the upfront cost, vs how often I'd be able to make time to do the job down the road. Maybe once I get my new place and garage, I dunno.. Thanks for the advice tho!
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:22 PM   #4
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If its crystallizing I'd say it's in need of repaint although I have seen some cars that can keep going just fine with a trouble spot.
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