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Old 05-15-2021, 05:07 AM   #1
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Location: Lansing, MI
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Repaint or Vinyl? Neglected paint, heat cracks, burnt clear coat.

I got myself a project car...

Front looks OK, except nasty gauge on the fender.
The back is more worrying.
Clear coat is damaged, some burn marks from failed paint recovery. Basically the trunk lid and roof cover.
Rear bumper - paint completely stripped from about 30% of the area.
Rear fenders - cracks of old paint. Like heat cracks.

Now, I would rather have the whole car repainted, but one shop quoted my 10'000 USD.

Well, no, it is not worth it. Not at this age and state.

Cheaper options? Anyone knows some good pain shops that could do decent job (time is NOT an essence).

Then, I thought vinyl wrap, but I am like - not really... unless someone can convince me. lol

What would you do?

What I want?
I want not to be ashamed of flaky and dull paint in the back.

Current rides: 2003 Porsche Boxster MT (me), 2019 Bolt LT (me), 2015 Audi Q5 (wife)

Previous: 2014 Fiat 500e, 2016 KIA Forte5 SX, 2016 Fiat 500X, and some old days: Trabant, Fiat 126p...
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:07 AM   #2
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Check out jbauer's gloss orange wrap thread. He will convince you of vinyls beauty.

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When the owners manual says that the laws of physics can't be broken by this car, I took it as a challenge...
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:30 AM   #3
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Wraps are nice. My son had one done on one of his cars. One thing many dont point out. Your paint has to be in good condition so if you have clear coat peeling, cracked paint, etc it will 1) show through 2) take the paint with it if you decide to remove the wrap later.

You can have someone do a 3m wrap for around $3k for these cars.

With the said, a repair is usually the better option. The prep is what cost the most money, not actually painting the car. Figure at least 4-6 hours just to get things like bumpers, trim, door handles, mirrors, etc removed. Another 4-6 just in taping at a minimum. Add in sanding, cleaning, washing, sanding, cleaning, sanding.....Another 8-16 hours. See how the time really climbs up?

What you could do is get in touch with some painters on FB/CL/etc. Get in touch with local PCA & SCCA clubs for recommendations. Some will let you help with some things like removing parts (bumper, lights, etc) which will help lower the cost. Also, wait till later in the year, winter is a better time to not be without the car.

I have someone lined up that does many restorations that is going to let me help as much as I am willing to. Price he gave me was that it wouldn't exceed $2k. I'll help with a decent amount and many parts will be pulled off to be painted off the car. Issue with the car that will be painted is the clear coat is gone all over the car. Dont have any damage to repair so it is going to be just sanding, priming, base, 2 coats of clear then re-assembly.
2000 Boxster Tiptronic
2003 Boxster
2003 996 C2 Cab
2002 996 (SOLD)
1986 944 (gone but missed)
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:30 AM   #4
Perhaps the worst example
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Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Redlands, CA
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I asked jbauer questions about some of the things you are describing, specifically about bad clear coat that’s flaking and cracking. He was super helpful and then directed me to this video that helped me see pretty clearly what we’re up against if you wrap over a compromised base. That cooled my jets a bit, and it’s still on the table as a DIY, but I have a better appreciation now for what kind of prep is involved with a successful wrap.

That paint quote is real high, IMO. You said you can afford to take some time if you go to paint, maybe to save money like in my case? I don’t know if this is a realistic take, but I’m considering doing some of the prep if I go to paint, like removing the bumpers and trim, some of the more funky, labor intensive stuff learned so far, maybe take some of the sanding in hand here at home. This may all be fantasy on my part, but I found prepping and dropping off the headlights for a clear was waaay cheaper than simply handing off the whole project. Good luck and subscribed!
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Old 05-15-2021, 02:24 PM   #5
1998 Boxster Silver/Red
Join Date: Sep 2017
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I painted my 86 325es. Well... actually I had a neighbor kid paint it (had watched many cars go in and out of his garage). I removed every last bit of trim... and windows, hardware, bumpers... e v e r y t h i n g.

I did all the prep work. He shot the paint... I did all the middle part... he shot the clear. I did everything after that right up until that last minute of polishing with the orbital. Then reinstalled every last bit... well, you know.

Now... the car came out looking showroom (I did interior work, too). Two things stuck with me when I completed the project:

1. I understood why a great paint job was so costly (this was in 2006).

2. Never again would I undertake a paint job. Never ever ever.

Maybe consult with Bauer... see if you can block sand the entire car... get rid of the flakes, etc... and wrap over that. Best wishes.

1998 Porsche Boxster
1986 BMW 325es
2012 Ford Edge Sport
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