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From digest.v6.n651 Mon May 12 16:32:51 1997
From: (Phil Marx)
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 10:33:40 -0500
Subject: re: Glacier Met paint problem


> I own a 1990 325i which came from the factory with Glacier Blue
>metallic paint. Problem is, the paint looks like someone washed it with
>steel wool or a wire brush. The car has never been painted, it was
>bought new, never wrecked, and the original owner is my best friend. I'm
>the second owner. The defect is under the clear coat. Has anyone had
>this problem before or has ther been a factory recall on this problem?
>Thanks, Mike

There must be a Rocket Scientist among us who can figure this out once and for all. My '73 tii had Fjord paint (Glacier of the '70s?) and at that point all BMW metallics were defective in that the clearcoat would loose its adhesion on the top surfaces. BMW paid 50% of my paint job in 1977 for this problem. Paint is usually simply considered under the original warranty unless you've got one of the port-painted cars which were mentioned in the famous BMW court case. If you call BMW and their records show any port paint they will probably help you. If not, it might be worth a try, or at least make you feel better if you call BMW customer assistance and ask their opinion. (Note: I did not say demand and answer, I said "ask".) From my experience, Glacier and Bronzit show this problem in those years. In some cases it looks like the "crazing" is dripping down from the door handles, but mostly its on top surfaces. Burgundy and Arctic Blue seem to show failures on top surfaces with clearcoat lifting in large (12") circular patterns. I've always felt that German metallic failures were due to heat, since most failures seem to occur at the point where the car is the hottest and only on top surfaces, where heat would rise. My assumption has always been that the pigment coat and the clear expand and contract at different rates, perhaps due to the metallic particles in the paint, and this eventually causes a separation between the layers. The type of problem you describe in actuality appears more like a caustic liquid or repeated beatings with an automatic carwash are the culprits. These are the only colors (bronzit and glacier) in which I've seen these patterns "dripping" from the door handles.

To answer your question: I think the problem is in the clearcoat but may be caused by what's underneath. I don't know, but you're not alone.

Phil Marx BMWCCA #6021 BMWMOA #2024 (804) 293-8269 fax (804) 293-0817

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