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Thread: What happened in the 1990s that made paint so bad?

  1. #1

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    What happened in the 1990s that made paint so bad?

    Is it just me or was a plague in the early to mid 1990s when cars and trucks came from the factory with terrible quality paint. I remember when it was basically guaranteed in the early 2000s that any Mopar that hadn't been garage kept would have peeling clearcoat, especially on the hood and roof. Saw it all the time on Rams, Dakotas and DSMs. 1990s BMWs were notorious for peeling and cracking clearcoats, too.

    Were there new EPA regulations that paint manufacturers couldn't adjust to that caused this? Or was it cost cutting at OEMs or something?

    I read that about 25% production costs for a new vehicle are for paint. Is that true?

    EDIT:
    Damn, I guess move this to The Paint Booth.
    Last edited by noahwins; 10-22-2013 at 11:27 AM.

  2. #2


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    Mid 80's to early 90's company's started using water born primer and the metalic paints would not bond to it, the worst color's were the Silvers, light blue's and some reds. Since then the primers have become better and now most new cars are painted with full water born primer and paint.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the information. Exactly, yeah, it was always the silvers, blues and sometimes blacks, which looks especially awful when clear started flaking off. I have a '94 BMW 318is with a nice burgundy red color ("Calypso Red Metallic") but of course the clear is peeling on the rear quarter panel. So I'm going to have to repaint it. I might try the marine topside paint with the roller brush technique. I found out Sherwin Williams actually makes a color match for that BMW red in a marine topside formula.

  4. #4



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    if you can afford to, do the bimmer justice and paint it properly with auto paint - PPG has a single stage Omni system that is the used car lot fav - good finish and a low price.
    Pennyman1
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    Living the D-50 lifestyle since 1980

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the tip. I have a compressor and a garage but I've never shot paint before so I thought it would be more idiot/goof proof (that's me) to try the roller method. I'm taking all of faded black trim off to repaint anyway and pulling a bunch of small parking lot dings and replacing weatherstripping while I'm at it. I guess it wouldn't be that much more work to try a proper spray job. I'll check it out.

  6. #6



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    I shot the ready mix truck at the bottom of the page with a single stage PPG DTR, Direct To Rust, Acrylic Aliphatic Urethane paint from Pittsburgh called Pitthane. It's an industrial paint and it can take abuse. I used a spray gun and it came out looking like glass. It's pretty forgiving just don't load on to much. And around $125.00 per 1 gallon kit you can paint 3 cars at once. Pot life is around 45 minutes and you can add a hardener so you can rush the painted parts into service in 12 hours.
    Oh and I wash the trucks all the time with muriatic acid and it hasn't hurt the paint.

    http://sevenspaint.com/industrial/it...enamels_95_812
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  7. #7

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    if its just the clear coat the color sand it and buff it out.
    I need to do the roof of my MMMMM.
    I knew daredevils and I ain't got nothin' against them, ........it's just they're all dead.

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