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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 05-12-2016, 04:13 PM   #1
firehawk
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: OC, CA
Posts: 115
My Ride: '03 325CI 5-Speed
Paint job, options, what to do...

So, my 2003 coupe is going through catastrophic clear coat failure. It's at a point now where it's just getting worse and worse. It's mainly the roof and rear bumper, but I see a piece coming off on the hood now. Damn. It is apparent the previous owner got a super crappy Maaco style paint job.

I definitely do not want to get rid of this car. It's mechanically sound. I have followed every guide on this forum (mango guides + others) and the car is in very good mechanical condition. I'm at $5k in parts alone. For mileage, I'm at 140k and when the time comes, I'll get the M54 rebuilt or throw a used M54 in there.

Which brings me to my question, how much should I spend on a new paint job.

Reading through the forums, people say you should spend $5k on a paint job. Well, I bought the whole car for $6400, so spending $5k on paint is kind of crazy. That is a lot of $$$.

Can I sand the car down myself and do the prep work and save some $$$ that way?

I've gotten a few quotes already, and they have been pretty high. One guy told me that California has special paint laws and the cost to get a car painted is more expensive. If I recall, it had something to do with the kind of paint that is legal here. Of course, this legal paint costs way more than average.

What would you do if you wanted to paint your car in the most economical way possible? Do prep work yourself and have it painted in Arizona?

I'm not an expert at paint, and would appreciate your thoughts on what you think I should do
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:23 PM   #2
Vas
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Have the panels that are bad fixed and painted and then do a blend with the others so it will match.

No need to repaint the complete car is the majority of it is in good condition.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:31 PM   #3
firehawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vas View Post
Have the panels that are bad fixed and painted and then do a blend with the others so it will match.

No need to repaint the complete car is the majority of it is in good condition.
This is a good option, IF I can control the clear coat failure in other places. I feel like the clear coat on the entire car is gonna fail eventually. But, if I can monitor it and apply some nail polish or something to prevent the clear coat from further flaking, then what you suggest is a good option.

That small piece that is coming off on my hood for example, can I apply SOMETHING to prevent that from spreading?
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:42 PM   #4
clabcon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk View Post
This is a good option, IF I can control the clear coat failure in other places. I feel like the clear coat on the entire car is gonna fail eventually. But, if I can monitor it and apply some nail polish or something to prevent the clear coat from further flaking, then what you suggest is a good option.

That small piece that is coming off on my hood for example, can I apply SOMETHING to prevent that from spreading?
Nail polish, wtf? Did you also use acetone to destroy your clear coat? You need a wax and lots of it in CA.
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Old 05-12-2016, 04:47 PM   #5
firehawk
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Originally Posted by clabcon View Post
Nail polish, wtf? Did you also use acetone to destroy your clear coat? You need a wax and lots of it in CA.
Nail polish is the only thing that came to mind when writing my post, I know nothing about nail polish and I do know that nail polish is not the right product. I would need something that paints on and dries hard, over the area where the clear coat starts failing. A "clear coat" repair product of some kind.

I wax monthly, which I hope is helping somewhat.

Last edited by firehawk; 05-12-2016 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:31 AM   #6
AndreBXP
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...727&highlight=
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:47 AM   #7
rsyed07
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Once you decide to re-paint it protect your investment with a clay bar and wax day 2-3 times a year.
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