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Pros & Cons of having your E30 repainted

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by stevehecht, Dec 3, 2013.

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    stevehecht

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    The paint on my car is not in terrible condition, but it looks its age when you get up close. I don't have the energy or motivation to keep it waxed and washed as often as I used to. How much of a difference would a high-quality paint job make in appearance? Obviously it would much increase the longevity of the paint surface.

    Are there any down sides besides cost?

    What's a decent price for a high-quality job?

    For those of you have done it, do you feel it was worth the money you spent?
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    MGarrison

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    Cost is a big downside - the original clear-coat dries and cracks over time, making the paint look pretty weak (I jokingly describe my E30 as frozen bronzit) - a true high-quality paint job means stripping every bit of the original clear coat. Time consuming, tedious, and expensive, if you can find anyone who will do that at all. If that is _not_ done, whatever is painted over the top will likely eventually have the cracked clearcoat showing through, eventually. If you want to do it as a labor of love for "posterity" (new paint won't stay new forever, either) for yourself, that's one thing, but if you're hoping to get it back in the form of increased resale value, I'd be a bit skeptical as to the likelihood of that. You'll have to get your own quotes, but doing it right won't be cheap - I'd expect quotes in the thousands ($3-$4k? $6k?), but I have no current basis for what numbers any shop might throw at you. In any case, it's labor-intensive, and the labor is not inexpensive.

    Consider your costs & benefits - washing, waxing, and standing back 4-6ft & appreciating whatever shine & gloss you have might be far more practical than an expensive new paint job you'll be fretting & obsessing over, particularly if you don't have the time to do that now with the car's paint in its current condition. Who knows - "patina" is so bally-hooed these days, maybe in another 200 years your original paint in whatever shape it's in will be infinitely valued on the concours circuit!

    One downside - the risk of a crappy job, or less than what you want, and your dissatisfaction with that, and the expense of fixing it far exceeding what it would be worth to do it. A truly rare & valuable exotic is one thing; E30's might be special to us, but it'll be decades before they're rare, & they'll never be exotic.
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    stevehecht

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    I received similar advice on another forum. I guess I'll just have it cut/buffed/waxed/polished for a couple hundred bucks and see what I think. Probably smart to do that before the winter sets in because I do drive on NE roads in the winter. I keep it off the roads for storms and a few days after so that some of the salt goes away.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Unless you park it indoors for the winter, I'd say definitely don't spend money on a comprehensive paint job. You may be slowing down the process in limiting exposure, but winter driving & salt = rust, so measured protection efforts make more sense, at least to me.
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    charlson89

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    Ditto on what he has been saying especially in these NE winters.
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    sgilmore

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    I had mine painted after a minor "fender bender"because I didn't think they could blend 20 year old red paint. It also had several door dings and some fading on the fenders and mirrors.
    I used Dick's Auto Body and they were more expensive then the prices quoted above and the car was a rust free southern car.
    The car looks fantastic and everyone including other body shop people say they did a great job but I doubt I will ever see a return on investment.
    I never drive it in the rain or snow.
    The suggestion you will be "obsessing about the car/paint all the time is absolutely true in my experience.
    Think of yourself as a museum curator.

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