Paint Cracking/Failure after Repaint, Need Opinions - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Paint Cracking/Failure after Repaint, Need Opinions

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?
armildarken is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 02:18 PM
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What paint are they using?

who did the mods and what materials did they use?

unusual to hear of incompatibility issues these days, as everything should be 2 part paint.

If someone used enamel or god forbid lacquer, the trouble will never end

Single part fillers can cause similar problems

Some epoxies will do the same

If the current shop is using acrylic urethane brand name paint, it is going to be hard to fault them, I would blame the underneath work also

wherever the bubbles and splits are, you have to sand it out and see what is under.

I think then fill it and spray with 2 part filler primer and paint

and again, what brand and type paint are they using, including reducers
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exigegus View Post
What paint are they using?
I believe PPG's refinish paints, it's for sure one of PPG's automotive paints, but since they're paint matching tinting to the existing (older) paint I'm guessing it's one of those lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exigegus View Post
who did the mods and what materials did they use?
Unfortunately, I don't know this was all done by the previous owner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by exigegus View Post
Single part fillers can cause similar problems

Some epoxies will do the same

If the current shop is using acrylic urethane brand name paint, it is going to be hard to fault them, I would blame the underneath work also

wherever the bubbles and splits are, you have to sand it out and see what is under.

I think then fill it and spray with 2 part filler primer and paint

and again, what brand and type paint are they using, including reducers
The problem is, the problems moved, the original issue was nowhere near any kind of previous work I was aware of (unless they cracked it in the shop and repaired). The 2nd time is close to or above to the repaired headlight buckets and filled blinkers.

Their repair on the chins and buckets looks to be mostly epoxy based (black shiny gel look), I don't recall taking a good look at the underside of the blinkers.

I'll try and get the detailed products they use later this week, even if they just cut me a refund check for another shop to try it I can at-least let that shop know.

I'm not sure if it comes across well in the pictures, but it looks like the paint has "pulled apart"/shrunk in each of the affected areas this time exposing the white body panel (or primer?) beneath. Which is completely different from the first time where a bubble formed and bulged outwards under the clear-bra. I'm just skeptical that the issues have been completely different each time they've tried.
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