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  1. #1

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    Apr 2018
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    Clear coat flaking...what to do?

    Hey I just got this 2002 Taurus and the clear coat is flaking off the front plastic bumper and door side moldings...

    I`d like to make this disappear but as economically as possible. I`m not really looking for something that`ll last forever. Maybe a couple years would be good enough. I`m guessing I need to sand, tape off and recoat the bumper. I`ve never done this exact job before. How should I go about this?

    Also, this car has been through just enough hail damage that you notice the dents in the roof, hood and trunk lid. I`ve seen some kind of dent popper devices `As Seen On TV` kind of thing that looks like it might work. None of the dents have hard edges and all of them are fairly shallow. Is there a dent removal tool you could recommend for this kind of damage?
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  2. #2 Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    NorCal.. Avatar = Swan Lake, Hallstatt, Austria
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    Re: Clear coat flaking...what to do?

    Welcome to the Forum !

    Since the clearcoat is already dying, trying to fix this will be hard to do, even with experience which you say you don`t have.. And then, the clear coat will continue to flake off anyway..

    The only sure way to get this done right, is to take all the paint off the entire vehicle, fix any dents, etc., that are in it, then prime, seal, and repaint it all..

    Yes, you can try to do this, but you will need to learn about machine sanding with a DA, block sanding, block sanding with a guide coat, priming, block sanding with a guide coat, then painting a metallic color correctly, then putting clear over it to protect the paint with uv inhibitors in it, then probably more wet block sanding with a guide coat, then compounding it to remove the sanding marks, then polishing it all out..
    Dan F
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  3. #3
    SUPER MODERATOR GearHead_1's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    Re: Clear coat flaking...what to do?

    This ^
    A society willing to trade liberty for temporary security deserves neither and will lose both

  4. #4
    rlmccarty2000's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Fitzgerald, GA, South East GA
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    Re: Clear coat flaking...what to do?

    Not much you can really do unfortunately. The paint on plastic parts normally peels off before the painted metal. I’ve never used the dent pullers you can buy on Amazon or eBay, but if they are cheap enough and your expectations are not too high give them a try. You could use a PDR company that specializes in dent removal but good ones are not cheap (and cheap ones are not good).

    My advice is to give your car a good wash and put a coat of wax on it and even though it won’t be perfect I’m sure it will look a lot better. Also take advantage of having a less than perfect vehicle to practice your detailing skills on. Get a buffer and a few pads and try them out on this car and you will be ready for your next ride.
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  5. #5

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    Oct 2017
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    Re: Clear coat flaking...what to do?

    I`m not sure but the base coat color layer seems to be a little too glossy for it to be that. Test with a mf towel and some polish on it and polish a little on the parts where the clearcoat has flaked off. To see if you get any color on the mf towel so use a light colored one. If you get color transfer on the mf towel it is the base coat color layer. And if not you have probebly a repair somewhere on the bumper and they decided to scuff the old paint if even that and applyied more clearcoat over the whole bumper. That is not often ending well and you can see this extreme flakeing of clearcoat. Just what was my first thought when seeing this kind of clearcoat failure.

    The problem with fixing this without doing a whole repaint of the bumper. Is that even if you are able to sanding down the flaked clearcoat which is almost impossible to do without strike through the base coat color layer too. Is that even if you where able to do this you have very dry clearcoat left on the bumper and if you spray on another layers of clearcoat it still will crack and start to flake later on. If it where me even to be doing an easy fix of this. I would be machine sanding off all of the old clearcoat and prime it and repaint it. It can be done at home but don`t expect a perfect results and almost just acceptable for what it is. The other problem with old paint is that evenif you get the oem color and paint it. It will be haveing a different shade than the rest of the car. The color matching is not easy to do by yourself and is what sets apart real great bodyshops to the less good ones LOL.

    The easiest fix if you are not going to be keeping the car for a long time. Is to just try to get the flaked clearcoat of as much as possible. And then use a finishing polish and polish up the gloss on the base coat color layer too. Then slap on some good sealant and maintain it with more wax or sealant as topping it up regualary. And hope it holds up good and gets somewhat easier to wash it. You can hide the clearcoat failure pretty good this way sometimes. This is not a fix but the easiest solution.

    Is it a must that you have the same color on the bumper or would a black matte paint work for you? Then I have another option which is much easier and holds up longer and don`t cost so much if you compare it to a repaint.

    Wondering also how a cheaper PPF would look if you just sanded down the edges of the clearcoat and applyied it over this. Maybe it`s able to be stopping the flakeing if the edges can be air tight. And mask the edges of the clearcoat good also. Someone with experience of doing anything like this over damage paint could chaim in or other thoughts on it.

    And this is just for improve the looks from how it looks now. The real good fix is to leave to a great bodyshop that do some insurance work prefered so they are great with the color matching. Here in Sweden we have some that use a kind of camera and get the color matching counted out to the color code your other paint has when it`s been faded from the UV. They have cool things to do this such of stuff with that`s great. The painters that know their things are awesome to color matching on the fly though.

    When it comes to the dents. That`s a lot of PDR work to do and doing it yourself is not that easy as it can look as. The great ones that does PDR it seems so easy when they make the magic happens. A punch here and there and you can not see it`s been a dent there. It`s even more difficult when you have a lot of small dents as you basicly stretch the metall to get back or into a new shape. So when you get many dents close to each other it can be really hard to get them all back. Maybe place an ad of some kind if anyone is training to master PDR and will be trying it on your car. There are some investment to get the tools that`s needed to do PDR. And also it`s not always easy to get with just the hammers and the other part they have on the other side of where they hammers. Don`t know the english word for it LOL. On the parts they don`t reach they need to be glueing on the paint pins that they can attach a certain hammer that slides outwards. So it`s a lot of technique and experience behind being good at it. And that you have look for it to see how you doing it right. Some are pure artists at PDR and they have my deepest respect they who can this. So think that you would need to be haveing an interest to learn this craft. Maybe you can learn some on your own and take care of your own vehicals. I for one don`t have the eye for this and stay away from it LOL.
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  6. #6
    William_Wallace's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    Re: Clear coat flaking...what to do?

    I had the same happen a Kia rear bumper that was repainted when a family member bought the car on the repaint job it was done shoddily and the clear began to separate on the bumper in little thump nail spots first I chased it around for month with 1k clear but eventually the thumb nail sized flakes got larger and large. I sanded then remaining clear of polished the base coat then I wrapped the whole bumper in vinyl but color matching is hit or miss I got lucky and found gloss base color from Avery wraps and now it looks like it is repainted by a person who mixed the base wrong but it was an easy 35 dollar fix
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