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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Spirit is 17 years old with only 70,000 miles. Most of the roof, hood and trunk is denuded of its original white paint. They didn't use primer at the factory?

I live way deep in México. 450 miles from Ensenada, 600 miles from Cabo San Lucas to give you an idea of how isolated it is here. I brought along a spray can of Krylon white primer (thank God). Where rust spots are appearing, I'll buff them off (leaving the gray if possible) with one of those rough woven buffing pads I brought with me. And then I'll spray several coats of primer to try and protect the spot that I buffed.

Is there a website guide that will educate me as to how to go about getting this car paint fixed right? Should the body shop when I get to one sand the ziebart off? Treat it chemically? A better primer? This is Mexico, so I am not limited to low-volatility paint. Is there are a better lasting easy-to-use-paint that I can purchase rather than settle for whatever they come up with?

Many Thank You's...

· Super Moderator
12,313 Posts
Ziebart is rubberized undercoating on the bottom of the chassis, not primer paint.

The problem of peeling paint is so common, it get mentioned periodically here. I should write an article rather than retype, but here goes:

In the late 1980s, as a measure to reduce VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that are harmful to breathe, paint manufacturers introduced a powdercoat for automotive primer use. Powdercoat is hard, durable, applies evenly, but it has one flaw - it is highly reactive to ultraviolet rays and oxidizes.

Now, the paint manufacturers told the carmakers that they could apply finish paint right over the powdercoat. So they did, without properly testing it themselves. However, they also apply the finish paint even thinner now. So the UV rays make it through the finish coat and within a few years the powdercoat underneath oxidizes and lets go of the finish coat in large areas.

The fix is to use a regular primer between the powdercoat and the finish coat, so as to block UV rays. So do not paint the finish color on the original primer unless you first sand the powdercoat and put a good thickness of primer down, then two finish coats and two clearcoats.

The body shop I use decided to sand my car to the bare metal, start with an etchant primer, then regular primer, then finish and clearcoat. When I got rid of that car 10 years later, the repaint still looked like new.
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