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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was talking to a guy today with a new Z3 M Roadster. I was looking at the absolutely fabulous :yikes: finish on his car and we got talking about it.

He was saying that it is a well known fact that the clearcoat that BMW applies at the factory tends to 'orange peel' which has a ripply look to it and he decided (as apparently other Z3 owners have) to get the car wet sanded and re-apply the clear coat.

I saw the results and they were stunning. There were two new Z3 BMWs side by side and I could really see the difference!

Has anyone else tried this? How much did it cost?
 

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Head-In-Sand Dumbass
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I have not tried it but I imagine it would cost you at least a good $2k if not double that. Nice thing is though that you only have to worry about external panels, ignoring the engine bay/door sills/etc.

Here's that eggshell look (it's most visible in the light reflection):

 

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Brevity= the soul of wit
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What he is likely talking about is wet sanding the entire car and then, rather than reapplying the clear coat, buffing it out.

The clearcoat sits on top of the basecoat and, unless you sand too much, you can sand off the clear coat (you'll see a very dim, primer-like color of your paint if you sand through it) and then buff the remaining clear coat out to a smooth finish. This will result in two things:

A mirror-like finish with no "orange peel"
A thinner layer of your protective clear coat.

You *could* reapply clear coat, but you'd just have to sand it down again as it, like the coat before it goes on with an orange peel out of the sprayer.

It is possible to "burn through" the clear coat with only an orbital buffer if you use the wrong kind. This is likely the only place where you would get into trouble with your new, mirror finish and thin clear coat.
 

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PropellerHead said:

It is possible to "burn through" the clear coat with only an orbital buffer if you use the wrong kind. This is likely the only place where you would get into trouble with your new, mirror finish and thin clear coat.
Not to mention your increased vulnerability to drunken cyclists:



:(
 

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That isn't really what is referred to as "orange peel". True orange peel is far worse than what we have on our cars and is usually caused by an improperly prepared/cleaned surface prior to paint. What you see is the results of mecanical painting (robots) These finishes are considered great by modern standards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of your replies!!

Some times I wish I don't hear about these things. Less frustration!

I am pretty happy with my paint job.

As an aside, which car company would I go to for the best paint finish? If you are looking for the worst, it will be a neck&neck race between GM and Ford. Chrysler might have a shot too...
 

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Adrian 330Ci'01 said:
Thanks for all of your replies!!

Some times I wish I don't hear about these things. Less frustration!

I am pretty happy with my paint job.

As an aside, which car company would I go to for the best paint finish? If you are looking for the worst, it will be a neck&neck race between GM and Ford. Chrysler might have a shot too...
I think Honda does pretty well. Never had a chip on my Civic and only a few on my 11-yr old Accord. I still don't have any chips on the bimmer either... :dunno:
 

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webguy330i said:


I think Honda does pretty well. Never had a chip on my Civic and only a few on my 11-yr old Accord. I still don't have any chips on the bimmer either... :dunno:
Couldn't drive my wife's old '98 Honda Accord fast enough to get stone chips. :(

Actually, her Accord chipped pretty bad...I think it's not as noticible because it's got the wide front facia and a lot of holes through it. There's a lot of painted surface in the front of our BMWs where as on the Honda there's nothing but lights, intake, and a small strip of bumper. Other than that her car chipped pretty bad as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
webguy330i said:


I think Honda does pretty well. Never had a chip on my Civic and only a few on my 11-yr old Accord. I still don't have any chips on the bimmer either... :dunno:
Really? Where were they built??

I have a '96 Civic built in the US and it's paint job was horrible!! My old Civic was great however (1990 built in Japan).
 

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The HACK said:


Couldn't drive my wife's old '98 Honda Accord fast enough to get stone chips. :(

Actually, her Accord chipped pretty bad...I think it's not as noticible because it's got the wide front facia and a lot of holes through it. There's a lot of painted surface in the front of our BMWs where as on the Honda there's nothing but lights, intake, and a small strip of bumper. Other than that her car chipped pretty bad as well.
I think I might just be lucky. :dunno: :D
 

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Adrian 330Ci'01 said:


Really? Where were they built??

I have a '96 Civic built in the US and it's paint job was horrible!! My old Civic was great however (1990 built in Japan).
As far as I know both were built in the US, my Civic was built in Ohio (http://webguy.dcaff.com).
 

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I used to work for an autobody shop, and it was a pretty well-known fact that the orange peel effect is from the primer, not the paint or clearcoat. The top layers are only as good as the layers below it. The thicker the primer, the worse the orange peel.

Ideally, I would think that you'd want to wet-sand the primer coat before painting. This would, of course, cost more money, but would probably be worth it. I'd gladly pay an extra 2 hours labor at $100/hr to have a "flawless" finish.
 
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