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Old 02-15-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
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986 Full-body Repaint Questions

Hey guys,

I have a Carmon red 2004 Boxster I need to have repainted. I have extremely noticeable acid rain spots on the hood, rear trunk, bumpers and tops of the side panels. They're even more noticeable in sunlight. It's been like this for years, and I can't take it anymore. I've taken it to a good detailer to see if they could be buffed out but, after running a few tests, he said the spots are etched into the paint and the only way to remove them is to repaint.

Insult to Injury

A few days ago we had a bad snowstorm here in NJ. I backed my Boxter out to get to my snowblower and it slid back just enough to brush the side of my wife's car in the adjacent spot in the driveway. When I checked it out, I saw a 3 inch long area, about a quarter of an inch thick on the driver's side rear panel where the paint was rubbed/scraped off above the wheel well.

This is the last straw for me. The car's in perfect condition with the exception of the rain spots and new paint scrape, but I just can't bring myself to drive it in this condition, so I've decided to have the whole thing repainted.

My questions are:

(a) Where should I go to have a professional, full-body repaint job in NJ or PA? I know they have to remove all the panels and prep. I know it's labor intensive. I just want to know where the best place is to have the job done.

(b) How much should I be prepared to pay for the job? I have no dents or dings, so it seems to be a simple process of remove, prep, sand, prime, paint, replace. I want it to look like new when it's done. I want it painted the same color.

(c) Approximately how long would I be without the vehicle? This is not my daily driver. In fact I probably drive it only 4 or 5 days a month, and have less than 30k miles on it. I just want to know what to expect.

I've read this and other forums, and I haven't seen a solid answer to my questions. I can't even get a straight answer from those idiots at Princeton Porsche...not that they will ever touch my car again.

I am concerned about the car holding its value, but I'm not planning to sell it, so I'm not really concerned about resale. I just want the car to look like it did when I bought it 6 years ago and a new paint job would do it.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Old 02-15-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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Hard to imagine that a car which is washed and waxed regularly would develop such a problem - to the degree you state.

If doing a near-factory quality repaint be prepared to fork out the far side of $5k, maybe more. Given Boxster resale prices, that'd be a HARD choice to make because you won't increase/maintain it's value by that amount.

But, that may not be necessary. The car could be color sanded (wet sanded through the etching), leveled and then shot with clearcoat. Figure $1500-$3000 + whatever accident damage from the scrape. This estimate can range WILDLY by region, so have 2 shops give you bids - if they're waaay apart, seek a third. Sounds like a bit of legwork, but you've stated you want perfection - that's the best guarantee of getting it.

You just cannot achieve a factory paintjob anywhere near under $10k, but with the color coat intact, a good clearcoat job will come very close. It's when you redo the color coat that you start seeing the quality degrade.

Make sure that the shop knows what they're doing, that they have experience with good clearcoating. Be sure to inspect the shop - their work will often reflect the shop condition. Make sure they have a good shooting/drying booth. Try the local Porsche Club or newsletter for recommendations.

If you're skeptical, have them color sand and clear one panel like the bumper cover. If satisfied, give them the rest of the car.

Cheers!
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Last edited by Lil bastard; 02-15-2010 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
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Above and beyond the cost, perhaps the most difficult task ahead of you is finding someone capable of doing an outstanding job of repainting your vehicle. In all of my years as an automobile enthusiast, I have seen everything from "frame off" restorations to simple collision repairs - the final results of which have run the gamut in terms of quality and perfection. Indeed, I have literally seen "concours" level work turned out of some of the most spartan and humble of shops, to absolute "crap" being pushed out the door by many so called state of the art facilities. Depending upon your level of perfectionism, to fully restore your boxster to its original finish, would venture to say that 10K might even be a little conservative. Good luck on your quest.

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:55 AM   #4
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Well I had my front end repainted when the economy first started falling off the cliff. That meant painting hood, front bumper, fenders. Actually they also agreed to install my new GT3 front bumper which they pulled out of off-site storage for me, fix two inside dings on the hood (closed the hood with something sticking up inside) and repair a small dent near one of the wheel wells. That shop unfortunately closed recently, otherwise I would have made the recommendation because they color match was perfect. I keep my paint freshly waxed year round so I guess that made it easier. The price was about $1,100.
The top body shop probably in the state (Quality in Rahway) who do all of Ray Catena Aston Martin/Porsche/Maybach's work wanted about $4K. So I figure the middle and high end figure for the complete job in this neck of the woods would be between $3.5K and $11K.

p.s.
Use an acrylic paste wax with each season change and don't wash it in those automatic car washes more than once in a blue moon like in the dead of winter.
My car is 10 years old next month and still shines like new. Installing a clear bra is also a big help which I didn't do on my new bumper and I recently hit something that took a nice quarter size chunk of paint off the lower portion. I'll have to paint it again...sigh.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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Thanks Perfectlap!

At least now I have a lead. I'll contact Ray Catena. They're about 10 minutes from my office.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:49 PM   #7
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Take it to a paint correction detailer. Acid rain spots should buff out of the clearcoat with a good etching polish and a high speed orbital. As for your new scratches, it sounds like that paint work is inevitable.

I would sell the car and buy a new 987 before putting that kind of money into a 2004 986. You will be easily be in 987 price range if you put that paint money towards the new car.

I have a classic truck that I was pricing paint for last year and was quoted 6 thousand for a very very easy and much cheaper quality paint job.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen
Thanks Perfectlap!

At least now I have a lead. I'll contact Ray Catena. They're about 10 minutes from my office.
I might have been unclear, Ray Catena's preferred shop wanted $4K just to paint the front end. I wonder if I'm being conservative in saying they would charge $11K for the whole car. If you did understand congrats!! That's a lot of moolah..
When I visited there they had powder blue Lamborghini with matching powder blue wheels and were in the middle of fixing a AM Vantage that looked like it was damaged in shipping because it had long, deep dents going across the roof and onto the rear quarter panel!
Maybe the shop (Quality Auto Body) can refer you to a smaller shop they feed business too. Let us know because I have to repaint my rear bumper but I'm thinking about waiting until I can get my hands a Euro spec 03-04 rear bumper.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:57 AM   #9
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I agree with Lil B...a competent shop should be able to wet sand the clear coat and bring it back to near perfect condition. I have seen it done by two shops in my area and the results are astounding (I had it done to one of my 911s and was amazed by the results).

I can't even begin to think of a great reason to completely repaint a six year old Boxster?
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:27 AM   #10
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yeah if the corrosion/water damage didn't penetrate to the base layer there's no need to repaint EVERYTHING. A real pro with a Makita sander could fix most of the clear coat damage and the body shop would just need to do a once over with clear. But if the base layer was chipped then the whole panel would need to be repainted. Sounds like this is the case in Allen's Boxster. At least they could limit the repainting to only those panels.
I was watching an episode of Motorweek or one of these shows and the mechanic's personal C4S Carrera had a pencil eraser sized chip in the rear quarter. I though they were going to show some method of doing a magic fix....nope. They painted the whole quarter panel again just because the chip was down to the metal.
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:27 AM   #11
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paint

I have some swirl marks on the hood of my 06 Boxster s and have looked into this myself. i can get the hard coat ultra smooth that does the acid rain protection from the Prosche dealer ship in Arlington VA for about 1200.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Perfectlap
... But if the base layer was chipped then the whole panel would need to be repainted...
You won't get that kind of damage on a 6 yr. old car, especially one which is clearcoated.

I mean that's what the clearcoat is for; to provide a protective barrier for the base coat from both UV and other environmentals such as Acid Rain. Plus, automotive paint finishes are really very tough.

Think about it, if the Acid Rain was truly that strong, people would be replacing the roofs on their houses at an even greater rate since asphalt shingling isn't nearly so tough, and the roof never gets to spend a night in the garage - it's constantly bombarded by whatever Mother Nature and Industry can throw at it, and they last 20 yrs. or more.

To get damage down through the clear as you describe, you'd practically have to pour full strength hydrochloric or sulphuric acid onto the paint and then let it sit.

Either the damage is not so great and the owner is just really persnickety, which comes through to me (NOTHING wrong with that!), or he's really not at all knowledgeable about car paint finishes and the dealership and paint shops smell this and are trying to get over on him - 'course we know they'd never try and do that!

Cheers!
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Last edited by Lil bastard; 02-17-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:22 AM   #13
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I guess I'll admit to being a little persnickety, but those spots are really noticeable, especially in bright sunlight, and they're all over the car, and all the washing and waxing I've done over the years hasn't diminished or hidden them. You don't feel them when you rub your fingers across, but car wax/polish won't adhere to those spots, making them stand out even more after the car's buffed and waxed. Note: I've never taken my car through an automatic car wash.

The reason I'm considering a full-body paint job is I really love the car and want it to look its best, and the new scrape on the rear driver's side has given me new incentive.

One of the reasons I don't just trade it in is because I've had a few mods and upgrades installed to get the car just the way I like it, some of which cost me a pretty penny to add:

-- PCM (GPS Navigation, Interactive maps, AM/FM Radio, CD Player, Outside Temperature, Miles to Empty, Avg MPG, Trip Data, Date, Time, Address Book)
-- Porsche Hi-Fi Audio, with Rear Speaker kit
-- Heated Seats
-- On-Board Computer (OBC) with 4th steering wheel stalk
-- Litronic self-leveling headlights
-- Automatic Climate Control
-- B&M Short Shifter
-- Body-colored removable Hard Top
-- Colored Porsche Wheel Crests
-- Colored Porsche Steering-wheel Crest
-- Body-Colored Rear Bumpers (replaced stock black)
-- Clear side marker lights (replaced stock amber lights)
-- Body-colored center console (replaced stock dark grey)
-- Floor Mats with Porsche embroidery
-- Chrome 986 logo on lower console (Batwing)
-- Chrome Porsche logo on glove box
-- Spoiler Raise/Lower Switch in Dash
-- Windstop
-- Non-Smoker Tray (Replaces Stock Ash Tray)
-- 17" Porsche SII Alloy Wheels
-- Body-colored Ignition Rosette

Another reason I don't trade up to the 987 is I prefer the look of the 986 interior and the 2004 model was the last year for my interior.

Here are a few pics with the hard top in the parking lot at my office and two in my garage at home with the hard top off showing the interior. Beautiful, no?:





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Old 02-18-2010, 08:42 AM   #14
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sorry but I have to call BS on the 10K isn't enough for a paint job as good as factory. Strip the car yourself, most of the stuff comes off so easy it's a joke, the more you remove, headlamps, side markers and the like, the better the job will be. Then do your research, I can tell you this, in central NY you could get a paint job to drool over on a Boxster for far less than 10K..
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:20 PM   #15
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Carmon red is so hot. It's my favorite color.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightsandaces
sorry but I have to call BS on the 10K isn't enough for a paint job as good as factory. Strip the car yourself, most of the stuff comes off so easy it's a joke, the more you remove, headlamps, side markers and the like, the better the job will be. Then do your research, I can tell you this, in central NY you could get a paint job to drool over on a Boxster for far less than 10K..
I call BS on your calling BS!

Sure if you change the equation by doing so much work yourself it's going to cost less.

Also, prices vary widely not only by shop, but by region.

Finally, the owner admits to wanting very definite quality in the final product. Paying too little or a 'bargain' price is not the best way of gauranteeing this.

If I had my DD repainted, I'd spend no more than $5k. But I'd RUN, not walk, away from any shop quoting me $5k to paint my Boxster unless they were a Blood relation.

Cheers!
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:53 AM   #17
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I spoke with one of the owners of Cherry Hill Imports' body shop yesterday afternoon and it looks like I'm going to be taking my Boxster in to them for an estimate sometime next week.

I explained the situation to Bob who said he'd be very surprised if I needed a full-body repaint. The new scrape goes across two panels so he suspects both of those panels may have to be completely repainted, but he can't really make that judgment until he has the vehicle. He said he doesn't see why the water spots won't come out with the correct procedure applied.

I may not have to pay as much as I was prepared to after all. We'll see.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:32 AM   #18
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I think another forum member Uncle Cracker has this color but he added the Carrera five spoke replicas and it was huge improvement in my opine. I saw a 996 Cab in that color in person once and in the sun its a bit of a double edged sword, it looks amazing but any imperfections seem to be magnified.

I don't blame you for wanting to invest some money in keeping it top drawer. Selling these cars in this economy really makes no sense. There's no way you'll get something better in the roadster category for the money you'd get. The design is a classic. I really think that 30 years from now people will view the flared fenders and fried egg headlights as still head turning. Some 17 years after its design and I still get thumbs up and "you have my dream car" comments. I see my car as a continual work in progress as I upgrade or replace worn items.
With that said, I'd be very very tough in negotiating an expensive paint repair. Just like a set of the expensive wheels, damage can occur easily, all it takes is a pot hole or some truck kicking back crap onto your hood a voila nice expensive purchase ruined. I would really encourage doing a clear bar on the whole front hood and bumper. Some shops do the entire car. Maybe a bit much for the vertical panels but definitely worth it for the horizontals to avoid stressing over the latest chip, you can only paint the hood so many times before you pull your hair out.
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:45 AM   #19
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Yep, after 6 years I still get comments and head-turns whenever I take my Boxster for a drive. People love the color, and the style, but you're right Perfectlap, any smudge or speck of dirt is very visible.
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Old 02-19-2010, 08:03 AM   #20
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[QUOTE=Perfectlap]
There's no way you'll get something better in the roadster category for the money you'd get. The design is a classic. I really think that 30 years from now people will view the flared fenders and fried egg headlights as still head turning. Some 17 years after its design and I still get thumbs up and "you have my dream car" comments. I see my car as a continual work in progress as I upgrade or replace worn items.
QUOTE]

I cant agree more. The looks you get from this car are ONE thing. The feel you get from this car is another. These are amazing to drive if properly maintained. A better roadster for the $$$$ ?? NO WAY in my book.

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