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From digest.v6.n101 Wed Jan 22 13:24:04 1997
From: Bob Stommel <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 1997 07:04:30 -0500
Subject: <misc> Repainting a BMW

>I am planning on having my 89 325i painted this spring. The past two winters
>and a cross country trip last summer have torn up the paint on the hood and
>front fenders. I wish to have the hood stripped completly and then repainted.
>I have spoken to several shops in the Columbia, MD area but none have
>impressed me. I have received a wide range of opinions from these shops on
>the proper technique of repainting the car. One shop recommended replacing
>the hood (there is one dent in the center of the hood, approx 4" in diam.).
>Another stressed that it is important to remove windshield and rear window
>prior to painting in order to get a quality finish around the window seals.
> .........
>Additionally, general information as to what to look for in a paint shop and
>proper painting procedure would be helpful.

If the hood only has only a small dent, it's probably salvageable. But keep in mind that any amount of rippling left over from a poor dent repair will be extremely noticeable on the hood. That's probably why the shop wants to replace it.

Look for a shop that uses the Glasurit paint system. When you get the quote, make sure they include time for removing all trim, grills, bumpers, windshield, rear window, etc. If the windshield and rear window are not removed, it will be impossible to get a paint job that won't eventually crack or peel at the edge of the gaskets. Also, ask them for two quotes, one based on "exterior only" and the other based on also painting door jams and other surfaces that you don't normally see. You can then decided whether its worth getting the full paint job. If there are any rust spots, make sure the quote includes time and materials for taking care of those and ask them specifically what they do to get rid of rust if its not bad enough to replace the panel. Too many of them just get rid of the cosmetic problem without really curing the underlying rust. The rust then bleeds back throough your expensive new paint job a year later.

When you're at the shop, ask for permission to look at a few cars in progress. You'll quickly discover how experienced and careful they are when you see a few cars in the color-coat stage. Clear coat can hide a lot of color-coat blemishes that only show up in certain light.

You can expect to pay around $3000 for a good, complete Glasurit repaint of a BMW. It's worth it if you plan to keep the car for a long time. Otherwise, just get the hood and fenders done, but make sure the shop knows how to match and blend colors (look for this during your visit).

Good luck.

Bob Stommel
Indianapolis, IN

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