I'm currently dealing with a clamshell repair-repaint warranty issue that's gone on since late 2016.
Buddy of mine didn't mind some deep drainage dips through our neighborhood and chewed up the front chins in late 2016, we kept it all off insurance since it wasn't a collision, and was a honest mistake and took it to a local, reasonably reputable shop for repairs that claimed experience with composite/smc & fiberglass body repairs.
Prior to this I had 0 problems with the paint itself on this panel, aside from rock-chipping.
The fiberglass repairs themselves went smoothly on the chins, but when removing the panel I discovered serious cracking behind the headlights that I had them reinforce at the time as well. Painting has been a disaster:
1st shop attempt (Original repair): Existing paint "reacted"/bubbled when blending repaired section, shop wanted extra $$$ to prep and paint the whole panel instead. (Their paint color match was solid though, so didn't have to risk blending into the next panel)
2nd shop attempt (Feb 2017): Full repaint, this made it out of the shop, the panel sat in my basement for a few weeks (reasonable time to out-gas, IMO) and then I mounted it and almost immediately had a clear-bra applied to 90%+ of the front clamshell.
~6 months later along the centerline ridge of the clam (by the radiator) 2 serious bubbles formed under the clear-bra along with matching paint cracks. No clamshell cracking found beneath
Winter 2017 the shop took it back for a warranty repaint for a couple months (I wasn't rushing them, but still too long... IMO):
3rd attempt: Full panel respray, color didn't match/shifted orange-ish after clear was applied.
4th attempt: Color match was right
Within a month, multiple cracks near both the headlight buckets had formed, as well as a "stretch-mark" like line in the paint that is not very visible except in direct sunlight.
Pictures (pardon the dirty paint, I've been peculiar about not cleaning/applying anything to the paint until I've worked out a final agreement with the shop)
To me, this looks like paint adhesion issues and on the shop, probably because they didn't sand all the way down after the initial reaction/adhesion issues. The shop wants to place blame on the clamshell structure itself being compromised and wants me to buy a whole new clamshell
. Complicating this whole debate of blame, the clamshell has multiple modifications besides the obvious repairs visible from the backside (filled blinkers, shaved front plate).
I'm not going to name any names, pending the outcome with the shop. I'm currently just looking for a partial refund of the work so I can take it to another shop here in a year or 2 and have it re-painted again (probably a full repaint this time, spiderwebbed the rear paint with a corner marker at the track...
, this is NOT spiderwebbing/flex damage on the front)
What's your opinion? Is the shop right or is this a paint materials/prep issue on the shop? Should I resign myself to needing a new front clamshell?