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Cyberdyne Model 101
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So I'm considering buying a used CF hard top for my Exige.. Only thing is its painted and I would want it back to the original bare/clear coated CF look.

My question is, is it possible to stripe the paint without damaging the CF under neath ? If so does anyone have experience or knowledge on this ?

Thanks guys
 

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not really.... you can sand it down to the bare carbon and or whatever clear is below the color. but, you might hit the cloth, it would be a laborious challenge since sanding off never really is even. you could do it better with blocks, and shapes to keep it more square to the surface. chemical is out because of the epoxy in the composite. but you could try very carefully since its not a structural part and only "cosmetic". then - depending on what you take off.... you might need to re- epoxy and will certainly need to re-clear. the other concern is why was it painted? you might not like what you find....
 

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People in the carbon fiber bike frame world ask this a lot. They actually have it harder since bikes are a structural thing you don't want to fail suddenly, whereas a hardtop doesn't have a ton of stress on it.

There's a company called CARBO-LIFT | Remove Paint from Carbon Fibre that makes a chemical solution that supposedly works without compromising the carbon fiber epoxy. I think it's similar to other peroxide/water based "non-toxic" paint strippers on the market, but it's marketed straight at CF so it seems like a decent bet.

Some people also claim to have used a water blasting method but that seems about as finicky as sanding to me (since it's also abrasive).

I agree that the top might have been painted to conceal an issue, but it might also have been painted just for cosmetic reasons. Hard to say.
 

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That CF look

The shiny even weave look of CF is actually hard to achieve. It is most common in pre-preg process. Even then , the industrial parts are not that good looking.... The nice showy parts on the cars are made for that with a lot of extra work.

Before thinking about stripping paint and exposing fiber consider the followin:

1. Who made it? i.e what process was used? Was it made for CF to be exposed with clear coat in the first place.

2. If it was 'bare' originally then the CF weave should show throw. It is hard to prepare and paint cleared CF, as the paint sinks into the weave and the weave pattern shows through the paint. If it was 'bare' and the paint looks good then someone did a lot of work to paint it right.

3. If I make a CF part for paint, I would actually make it with a fiberglass outer layer, beccause the prep and paint will be easier and look better.

4. Conversely lots of 'CF' parts made for look are a fiberglass part with just a single layer of CF for looks. This is also easier and cheaper to make look good. I put quotes aroung CF, because, it is really a fiberglass part. This is one step better than 'Carbon Wrap' i.e. fake CF look.

All of the posts here agree. A painted CF part should probably stay painted, unless.... you know who made it, how it was made, that it was made to be bare and you are prepared to put a lot of work into it and it may still not look good.

I would just pay $2k for a good new part, if you want the look.

Anton
 

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Cyberdyne Model 101
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347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The roof itself at present is owned and came off a certain battleship grey 680HP Exige that shall not be named on the forum. I've seen pics and its still the grey color... my car is chrome orange, yet i was looking to put on a bare CF roof...

The roof is not being used any longer as you all know the car is now a white 211. That said the roof was originally made by TWR.

Also in the close up pics I've seen I can't see any of the CF coming through... Sucks, I didn't realize it was so hard of a process.. Stupid me
 

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Cyberdyne Model 101
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347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Renderman ill read up on it, i did a quick search whch says it should work
 

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Cyberdyne Model 101
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347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dig up Reverie web site. They have chemical name that they use to polish the CF parts. Which can be use to remove the paint.

Thanks Charles ill look into in now...
 

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Relapsing Honda fan
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2nd vote for soda blasting, it works great on Corvettes. Sanding it actually wouldn't take all that long and the fiber weave is difficult to cut into due to the epoxy being so much harder than the paint. If you wet sand it with 320 just watch for any sudden "black water," if you do hit the cloth on say, an edge, it won't show as long as you don't go all the way through it. Then re clear the roof gloss, matte or whatever. Smoke tinted carbon looks awesome and conceals poor quality parts very well btw.
 

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Cyberdyne Model 101
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347 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
That's great...Thank you for educating me on this.. I don't normally post in this part of the forum but its been a huge help. As I mentioned earlier Im pretty sure every person on here as likely seem the roof since it came from a certain "battleship Grey" Exige. That said we all know he uses top notch parts. This particular one he said was from TWR. I have no experience with them but if it was good enough for that car it's good enough for lil ol me lol. I think soda blasting is the way to go then i will just spray clear over it for the wet shine :).

Don't suppose any anyone has documented a step by step DIY? Maybe i will be the first them :D

Ill keep you guys informed if I do end up buying it.
Thanks again


2nd vote for soda blasting, it works great on Corvettes. Sanding it actually wouldn't take all that long and the fiber weave is difficult to cut into due to the epoxy being so much harder than the paint. If you wet sand it with 320 just watch for any sudden "black water," if you do hit the cloth on say, an edge, it won't show as long as you don't go all the way through it. Then re clear the roof gloss, matte or whatever. Smoke tinted carbon looks awesome and conceals poor quality parts very well btw.
 
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