Dilemma: Repaint vs. Clear Bra vs. Other - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Dilemma: Repaint vs. Clear Bra vs. Other

Long story short, a shop spilled brake fluid on my clear bra and when they tried to remove/replace the clear bra panel, it lifted up my Ardent Red paint as it appears it was likely repainted at some point in the past. Shop is offering me three scenarios:

1) Repair to as-before, $0.
Area which peeled will be repainted (they use a high-quality shop) and that section of clear bra replaced. This means that my old lower clear bra would remain (it's in okay shape but not great) as well as a few rock chips. More importantly, if I ever replace part of the clear bra, I'll likely have the same problem of paint lifting off which will require a full redo of the front end paint/bra.

2) Repaint entire front end and redo clear bra, $1,850.
Complete strip and repaint of front end, blending into the doors, then applying a new front clear bra (as before, up to the first few inches of the "hood").

3) Repaint entire front, but no clear bra, $1,000.
Part of me feels dumb turning down a clear bra for $850. On the other hand, despite best efforts and driving it to work a lot I only drove it 2k miles my first year of ownership, which will only go down now that I have a kid.* I don't spend those miles hanging off the back of big trucks on the interstate, so maybe it's better to save $ and have a cleaner-looking front end sans clear bra.

Thoughts? Really struggling with this decision. I don't want to pinch pennies, but $2k with tax is a lot to spend on an incremental improvement from the free alternative, and I would love to spend that money in other ways (incl. on the car). Conversely, I would hate it if I later get stuck with the bill for a full front end repaint at retail price if I ever want to replace a fading clear bra.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:39 AM
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Spilled brake fluid?


The original is not that easy to remove, and part of my paint lifted on removal. But there was paint work that needed to be done, so not such a big deal.

I don't know why the paint need be completely stripped. Paint is not supposed to be brake fluid proof. I also don't know why you would blend into the doors.I would see how well the paint matches before painting things that don't need painting

I would consider doing all the film that needs doing, whatever you do.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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When flushing the fluid, the old fluid spat up onto the front (pressurized system) and marred the clear bra.

The problem with just repainting that portion is if I ever want to replace other sections of clear bra, it is likely that paint will peel during the removal of that, too.

I'm not sure if this is original Starshield or aftermarket. Shop believes it is aftermarket, and they are knowledgeable about Lotus (had a dozen Eliges there when I stopped by). The sections of clear film don't line up that well, with some gaps between panels of maybe 2-3mm in the worst spots, which leads me to believe it's aftermarket unless the factory Starshield is that bad.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 09:25 AM
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Option 3 should be completely off the table. Let's just agree on that as a start.

Edit: regardless of the miles you're putting on, it only takes one stone to wish you had ponied up from the start.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I decided to pony up for the whole thing. Pay once, cry once as they say. Thank you.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 10:56 AM
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I would probably choose option 2 if financially you can manage that cost. If you were to choose option one, I would be afraid of any shade difference from the old clear bra to the portion of the new one they replace. Also, knowing there is probably a good chance the paint will peel off on the older parts of the bra, you're better off just doing the whole thing to save you the trouble and worry. Good for another 5 years at least. As another member posted, option 3 I wouldn't even choose. Our car is so low, it is almost impossible to avoid anything. Even the little gravel that gets tossed up can cause a chip on the front. Idk if that $1850 is the best they can do, but I would try to still negotiate that. Good luck with your decision.

EDIT: Looks like you replied as I was typing up lol. Glad you chose that route. It'll feel like a new car when you get it back haha.

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