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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:33 AM
arthurwood arthurwood is offline
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Clearcoat paint peeled all of a suddon on the whole car

Had the car for years and it has had lots of owners where nobody knows the whole history at the time I bought it so it's only moving forward that I ask this question.

Look at the pictures. I hopte they show up because I thing I just figured out in the last thread how to show them so you can see them outise the thumbnales.

All of a sudden, years after I have the car, they start peeling, first from the roof about a few months ago, and then from the hood and tail about a month apart.

Is this clearcoat peeling like bamboo blossoming all around the world at the same time only once in 100 years or what?

I iknow th4e answer is a paint job which I'm not going to do so this is just a theoretcial question to learn more about paint.

What causes this to happen all of a sudden>?

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  #2  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:49 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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You sort of answered your own question in your first sentence: lots of owner, no history.

The reason the clear coat is peeling is that it sticks to itself better than it sticks to the color coat. Once the clear coat separates, it just keeps going. The car was shot with a clear coat only at some point in its life. I'm sure the car looked great just afterwards, and sold to the next owner for a good amount of money.

The color coat needs to be somewhat wet when the clear coat is applied to ensure that they bond to each other.
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:53 AM
777-300ER 777-300ER is offline
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Are you sure someone didn't wrap it to protect paint?
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  #4  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:09 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
Are you sure someone didn't wrap it to protect paint?
Good point.
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:29 AM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 777-300ER View Post
Are you sure someone didn't wrap it to protect paint?
This.

It looks more like a film. Clear coat when cured crumbles like a hard plastic. You can't really peel it away.
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2017, 10:39 AM
Bob Michaels Bob Michaels is offline
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I had the same thing happen on a Toyota Camry. It started out about the size of a dime and then just bubbled up and peeled off in little sheets. It was limited to the hood on that car.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2017, 11:24 AM
arthurwood arthurwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barracuz View Post
This.

It looks more like a film. Clear coat when cured crumbles like a hard plastic. You can't really peel it away.
No way.

Absolutely no way.

Zero chance of it being something that wasn't on there years ago.

It's definitely part of the "last" paint job, whenever that was (many years ago, if it's not factory paint).

I'll snap a photo of the paint now that all that thin crust has broken off in the wind.

As far as I can tell, the clearcoat just gave way on the roof and on the trunk.
What's odd is that it gave way all of a sudden on the roof, and the rear of the car.
But at different times.

I'll snap a picture so you can see it's definitely the top layer of the paint job from many years ago (maybe even factory for all I know).
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2017, 12:49 PM
monkeyman_69 monkeyman_69 is offline
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I'm only guessing here, because having it all release at once doesn't make sense.
Every car I've seen loosing its clear coat appears to do it gradually (what Barracuz wrote), unless you pick at it w/ your fingers. I once saw a poor clear coat job rub off like dead skin when the car was washed, but not in sheets this big.
Looking at the peeled material, it looks thin and crinkly like clear coat. I wondered if it was Plasti-Dip spray paint, but that stuff is more rubbery.
Autoputzer is right about the base (color coat) needing to be a bit wet so the clear bonds to it. If the base dried too long, why it would have lasted 3 years and then suddenly peeled?
My guess is something chemically happened, such as you parked down wind from a chemical plant, you just had the hottest day of the year, etc.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2017, 01:11 PM
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TheAngryBear TheAngryBear is offline
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here is a slightly more detailed explanation of what Autoputzer, monkeyman_69, & Barracuz have already stated
http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...s1A23BSoPvI.97
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2017, 06:11 PM
berkeleydojah berkeleydojah is offline
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That doesn't look like clearcoat to me


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  #11  
Old 04-27-2017, 06:57 PM
arthurwood arthurwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman_69 View Post
I'm only guessing here, because having it all release at once doesn't make sense.
That's the part that gets me.
It's as if someone pured a solvent on just a few parts of the car.
It's garaged so someone doing that woul dhave to be pretty clever.
I don't think it's that.

But then, what is it?
Here is a picture.

It's definitely part of the "paint job".
But why all of a sudden?


Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman_69 View Post
Every car I've seen loosing its clear coat appears to do it gradually (what Barracuz wrote), unless you pick at it w/ your fingers. I once saw a poor clear coat job rub off like dead skin when the car was washed, but not in sheets this big.
Yes. That is why I asked. It was so sudden. And so unusual.
There is "good" paint all over but there are huge sheets of this clearcoat lifting up too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman_69 View Post
Looking at the peeled material, it looks thin and crinkly like clear coat. I wondered if it was Plasti-Dip spray paint, but that stuff is more rubbery.
The problem is I don't know if it is factory or after factory.
My guess is that the roof and trunk are factory because nobody paints a roof unless the car is in a big accident which this one never seems to have been in.



Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman_69 View Post
Autoputzer is right about the base (color coat) needing to be a bit wet so the clear bonds to it. If the base dried too long, why it would have lasted 3 years and then suddenly peeled?
Right. It has been "fine" for years, and then one day, the roof went.
Another day, maybe six months (I don't remember) later, the trunk went.

How can that be?
What would do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman_69 View Post
My guess is something chemically happened, such as you parked down wind from a chemical plant, you just had the hottest day of the year, etc.
That's the only thing that makes sense but first it was the roof about six months ago (I don't remember exactly) and hnow about two weeks ago it was the trunk.
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2017, 07:52 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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It's an old car flipper trick to shoot a clear coat on a car to make the paint look good again, instead of prepping the surface properly and then hitting shooting it with both a color coat and a clear coat.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:17 PM
arthurwood arthurwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
It's an old car flipper trick to shoot a clear coat on a car to make the paint look good again, instead of prepping the surface properly and then hitting shooting it with both a color coat and a clear coat.
I think that makes super sense because it seems to be "not attached".
Maybe it just took a few years to detach itself.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2017, 08:45 PM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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I swear on my momma that based on the first pic its a paint protection film thats peeling off. Ive never seen clear peel off in sheets like that. Those new pics does make it seem like clear especially with the diffrence in finish on the unpeeled and peeled surfaces. Expect the wprst. Id get a new paint job if you could afford it or plastidip it or paint it yourself
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2017, 09:08 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Take it to a body shop. They will tell you exactly what you are dealing with. I could offer a SWAG (Sophisticated Wild A__ Guess), but you have received enough of those me thinks.
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2017, 05:57 AM
deyrag deyrag is offline
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From some googling

Re: Example of clear coat Failure

Here is a follow up by another Viper Club member....interesting read.

Tom, I worked for PPG (Resins and Coatings Division, Automotive OEM and Refinish) for 16 years, starting out as a chemist and ending up in sales. That said, I'll tell you a few of the causes for the problems you showed us.

Number one: Extreme temperature variations cause delamination between the clearcoat and the basecoat color. This will also rarely happen between the basecoat color and the substrate primer. Basically the clearcoat will expand and contract at a different rate than the basecoat color in extreme heat or cold. It actually happens more often on areas of the car where snow, ice, or frost accumulate. It can also be accelerated in areas that are subsequently heated quickly, such as a hood over the engine.

Number two: Acid Rain, as previously mentioned penetrates the clearcoat surface and breaks down the chemical bond between the clearcoat and the basecoat color. Again, this will cause a delamination between the layers since once the chemical bond is destroyed, only the weaker mechanical bond remains. Like the above reason, usually occurs predominately on top surfaces for obvious reasons.

Number three: More likely on repaints...recoat sensitivity, or not enough dry time either between the basecoat color coats and the clearcoat or not enough flash time between coats of clear. Again, unlikely on OEM and will usually show up much sooner in the form of "solvent popping".

Number four: Poor compatibility between the clearcoat and the basecoat color. I would think Dodge would know better than to do this but I've seen it on OEM before. You can't just put any clear over any substrate. In the old days when I first started, guys used to try to put acrylics over laquer (

image: http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...lies/yikes.gif
). The acrylics were usually much "hotter" and would dissolve the laquer under them. It can be done but usually with an intermediary barrier coat.

Number five: Insufficient clearcoat applied (or even some has been removed by color sanding or buffing) causing the clearcoat to provide a poor UV and chemical barrier. In the late 80s and early 90s the Big 3 were big offenders of this one. They were only allowed to spray a certain quantity of VOCs so rather than paint less cars, they just used less clearcoat on the same number of cars. We all remember the cars and especially trucks running around with paint peeling off back then. Well, there wasn't enough clearcoat or even colorcoat UV and chemical barrier protection to keep the primers from degrading so both the chemical and mechanical bonds were destroyed under the topcoats. It's like leaving something primered and never painting it. After a while the primer looks like chalk. This is another unlikely scenario based on the pictures you posted.

Number six: Poor waterbourne technology. Again, based on the VOC regulations of the time, auto manufacturers used a significant amount of waterbourne materials. Unfortunately, the technology was not very advanced at the time and the protection provided by these materials was substandard at best. Just about anything would penetrate these clearcoats, including water if left to absorb long enough (e.g. snow pack on the roof or hood). This scenario is also likely, based on the period your car was built.

There are a few other possible causes as well, but I could go on forever and a couple of these are most likely.

The bottom line is, the only fix is to sand it down (no chemical stripping) or media blast it off and repaint.

Good luck, hope this helps.


Read more at http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...JRxbQbqTOiz.99
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2017, 11:56 AM
arthurwood arthurwood is offline
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Since the hood and sides are fine but just the roof and trunk are peeled I'm going to guess that two suggested things happened.

< 1 > someone slapped a clearcoat (without the color coat) to make it salable years ago
< 2 > that top clearcoat on top of clearcoat eventrually peeled off due to temperature variations

I didn't think about it at the time but it's getting warmer so maybe the car was left in the sun and those variations happened/

The film is thick as you can see with the sheets so maybe even the top clearcoat that was slapped on soaked through and pulled up the bottom factory original clearcoat?

I know the solution moving forward because its' the only solution but I just wanted to know if this was normal for bmw paint on an e39 and if not, what happened.
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2017, 12:15 PM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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Not normal? Clear coat is supposed to be on the car not off lol. Off course over a few years it will eventually start to fail especially if the car isnt given care (washing, waxing, avoiding harsh chemicals) or left out in the sunlight. Or like everyone has already said and posted links on shabby prep and application will make a clear coat fail.

In the end noone here can tell you what happened since no one knows the history of the car or what its been through. How long have you had it for? Have you done any detailing or sent the car for detailing somewhere?
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  #19  
Old 04-28-2017, 01:23 PM
528iAut 528iAut is offline
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Might be inteesting to hear with some previous owners...
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  #20  
Old 04-29-2017, 10:10 AM
Aurieg Aurieg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthurwood View Post
I think that makes super sense because it seems to be "not attached".
Maybe it just took a few years to detach itself.
You can find out for sure with a paint thickness gauge, they are cheaper on AliExpress just fyi
Quote:
Originally Posted by arthurwood View Post
No way.

Absolutely no way.

Zero chance of it being something that wasn't on there years ago.

It's definitely part of the "last" paint job, whenever that was (many years ago, if it's not factory paint).

I'll snap a photo of the paint now that all that thin crust has broken off in the wind.

As far as I can tell, the clearcoat just gave way on the roof and on the trunk.
What's odd is that it gave way all of a sudden on the roof, and the rear of the car.
But at different times.

I'll snap a picture so you can see it's definitely the top layer of the paint job from many years ago (maybe even factory for all I know).

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  #21  
Old 04-29-2017, 11:01 AM
Maltesefalcon Maltesefalcon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
Take it to a body shop. They will tell you exactly what you are dealing with. I could offer a SWAG (Sophisticated Wild A__ Guess), but you have received enough of those me thinks.
Not quite. here's another SWAG. I think your car is growing and just shedding its skin. Give it some time. You might wake up one day to find a shiny new paint on it.
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2017, 02:49 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maltesefalcon View Post
Not quite. here's another SWAG. I think your car is growing and just shedding its skin. Give it some time. You might wake up one day to find a shiny new paint on it.
ROFLMAO !!!!!

.
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2017, 03:13 PM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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paint doesnt keep you from the side of the road, the junk yard and or the back of a rollback

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  #24  
Old 04-29-2017, 07:09 PM
javarithms javarithms is offline
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It's just a bad paint job. They probably used a cheap clearcoat (NOT PPG) or didn't follow the direction of the manufacturer. If this was a factory issue more owners would have come forward (like with Honda clearcoat failure).
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