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Old 10-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #41
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Looks good Joe!

I had my 97 and 91 painted by MAACO earlier this year. I had a less than perfect experience with each car being painted 3 times before the correct results were achieved. Most issues were due to poor quality control and crappy management by the owner at the time.

I did a single stage urethane on my 91 and had to resurface the front and rear bumpers due to cracking of the old paint and some minor door dings and dings on the hood. Original quote was $580, I paid them $400 after all the issues. The wife's 97 needed more body work and I painted the door jambs with a complete color change and ended up being closer to $800 (but well worth it for the amount of sanding and crap done).

I have been slowly putting together all the tools and equipment needed to do the paint and body work, but finally just decided to pay the ~$1500 and get it done after I considered the time I would have to spend sanding and the risk of getting a half assed result due to painting in my garage and not being experienced.

I masked everything I did not want painted and removed everything else. Do not miss this step. They only mash the minimum. I had to ask them to mask the radiator opening after they painted the radiator the first time.

The wife's car was done first, looked ok. It took 3 weeks when I was told 4 days. Worst complaint was that they did not lift the trunk lid to paint underneath the spoiler and left two spots the old color, some serious fish eyes in the headlight covers and trash on hood (not horrible though). They wrote up a free of charge repair work order and told me to wait 4-6 weeks before bringing it back for the fresh paint to cure. This was fine since I was bringing my 91 in a few weeks later.

I dropped my 91 off with everything removed or taped. It took almost 3 weeks before they made the first attempt to paint it. This included me showing up on the day before it was supposedly to go to paint and find a nice big fat dent right behind my pass door and in the door. No one knew what happened! The owner said he would give me a discount and fix it. A week later it gets painted, luckily they called me before I showed up because they managed to get fisheyes everywhere, it looked like someone had eaten a cheeseburger and cleaned their hands on the car. This had to cure for a week or two before they could sand it down and try again. I stopped by 2 weeks later and nothing has been done, flew off the handle when I found the car dead and they managed to blow the main fuse. No one knew what happened (again), I’m sure they jumped it with polarity reversed. They paint it, call me to come pick it up, but mention that it might take an hour or two before they will be able to clean it out and stuff. I said, oh, ok and head out there. On my way they call me and tell me that the vacuum cleaner is broken and I will have to wait to the next day. At this point the car had been there for 6 weeks so I said screw it, ill clean it myself. Just minutes before I show up they call me to say that the car is not ready, they found an issue with the paint!!! The paint had not cured even 4 days after spraying it!!! I get in the car and notice the driver window is held up by cardboard, the busted the window regulator.

After waiting another 2 weeks they tried again and got it good enough. The final results looked real good, there was only 3-5 pieces of small trash in the paint and they had not painted the louvers or mirrors again with the last batch of paint so they were not the same shade. At this point I had less than 2 weeks to go to my first track day of the year so it was good enough.

I left the 97 for the repairs (yes I am a dumbass). Pick it up two weeks later (supposed to take 3 days). Looked much better at that point. Later that weekend we drove the 97 out to the track (had to miss my track day due to not being able to prep the car in time), walking around the car I notice a nice pretty ghost stripe in the middle of the rear bumper!!! They had not masked off the whole area when they pained the stuff under the spoiler and managed to get overspray everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At this point I was ready to kill someone. They had more than enough chances to make things right and just kept screwing things up. We go in on the Monday to show them the ghost stripe and there are new people in the office and shop. Apparently corporate MAACO replaced the owner due to a long list of customer complaints. The new owner felt horrible about all the issues we had to deal with and offered to do a top of the line full base and clear coat. They got the car done within a few days of the estimate and the Wife was very happy. I didn’t even bother to get them to fix the stuff that I was still unhappy with.

I know this is a long *** story, sorry. I believe the bulk of these issues were caused by a lack of quality control or bad management by the owner. The guys in the shop just did what they wanted. The new owner did a good job and communicated how things were going or if there was a delay or issue. I know **** happenes, but you have to let the customer know, not have him walk in and find a huge dent in his car. I was not asking for a show car finsish and I do not think it is unreasonable to expect my window regulator not to be broken, no body damage being incurred at the BODY SHOP!!!, no trash in the paint or major defects covering more than 50% of the car.

At the end of the day I have two cars that look pretty respectful, all the same color and no peeling clear coat. That was the original goal. I still would not have had the time to do it all myself and it scares me to think what all that dust would have done in my garage!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #42
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97 is Gunmetal Gray and 91 is the Metallic Red. I am happy enough. They looked like crap before.



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Windshield replacement, or, how not to paint a car.-sm-imag2863.jpg   Windshield replacement, or, how not to paint a car.-imag1957.jpg  

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Old 10-03-2012, 02:38 PM   #43
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Those look really nice.

A co-worked of mine, apparently spurred on by my recent efforts, just had his 10 year old Accord re-painted as well. I think he said it was about $800. That was for just a simple re-spray in the same metallic grey color- no repairing of body damage or anything.

Such a conundrum looking at it. The paint finish itself is superb- totally flat and very shiny. But of course they didn't remove any trim, and while they did do a good job of masking, there are still little traces of overspray on all of the rubber trim pieces and whatnot. That kind of thing ruins a good paintjob in my eye, and yet even with all the prepwork in the world- total, 100% disassemble of the entire body, I still can't approach the mirror-flat finish of a cheap professional job.

Ah, well. It's an $800 car, and I'm happy just to see it all in one uniform color again.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:06 PM   #44
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I just think it is so stupid that they won't spend the extra hour or two and get everything masked off to make the end results 200% better. The paint it self looks real good and I am sure will last.

There is a reason why a nice paint job costs what it does. You need to pay someone to have attention to detail. There are very few miata's that would be worth a $2k-3k paint job!
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:42 PM   #45
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Thanks for that writeup relte. You had me really scared in the middle there, glad that worked out for you. Looks like the plan will be to do as much of the prep work myself as possible before taking it anywhere (whether MACCO or otherwise). My neighbor has a big truck, I would just have to track down/rent a trailer.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #46
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Like I mentioned, most of the issues I had was because of the owner of the place not doing his job. I do not want to say all MAACO shops are bad. I was very happy with the Urethane single stage I picked and the finish wasn’t bad at all. I am sure it would have been even better if I was dealing with the new owner, everything would have been right the first time. I also found out later that the shop had all kinds of issues with the paint booth ventilation system for weeks at end, which explains the trash in the paint issues.

I don’t know if you need a trailer. I removed everything except for the tail lights and drove it 10 miles to the shop. I didn’t like driving without the side mirrors, but it was ok with the top down. It takes 2 seconds to pull the tail lights once you get there. It didn’t take long to mount the tail lights and mirrors when it was done either.

Make sure you ask them to tape the whole engine compartment and lights if you have an NA, I would also recommend that they remove the headlight covers after sanding so they paint all the way around them. I added the spoiler to my car and had much better results when they painted the spoiler off of the car. Put on your ugliest set of wheels too. If you have a plastic top window cover it with cellophane or something to protect it. They scratched the **** out of my almost brand new window when they did the final cleaning. Cover up your CD player or tape over the disk opening. I did not have any dust issues on the wife’s 97 but I am still finding dust in my 91 months later, wish I had pics of the interior before I picked it up. Pull the door handles and belt line molding, unless your car is newer, you might as well get new belt line moldings. I have Panicmotorsports around the corner and he had some pretty good looking NB moldings for cheap, they are pretty pricey new. I used some lifting tape around the windshield with good results, its like $30 a roll, but worth it if you don’t need a new windshield. I wish I had made some kind of cover for my shocks. I have revalved Bilsteins with coilovers and no boots and ended up with overspray on the shafts.

Have them call you when they are done with the body prep, before it is ready to go for paint. I asked and they let me come in to look at the car and identify any other areas that need to be corrected. I found a few small dings that were only $10 a piece to repair at that time vs. finding it under the fresh new paint when it’s all done.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:53 AM   #47
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Tons of great information here. Thanks for the info Joe and relte!
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:29 AM   #48
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This is kindof interesting. I'm going to be doing a 91 isuzu impulse rs soon in pearl white. Good insight here. Imo, multiple coats with wetsanding and a final coat with a machine compound and clear wouldn't be a terribly large amount of work considering the effort. I'm hoping for a good result like you got, joe.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:35 AM   #49
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Sorry to ressurect this old one. I was searching for info on replacement windows and stumbled across the thread. I have one more update.

The paint on both the 91 and 97 have held up well. The 97 paint is holding up really well with the clear coat, especially since it only gets washed twice a year with only one coat of wax a year. I am getting some chipping around the headlights, but they are all due to rocks. I take much better care of my 91 with more washes, waxed and garaged. It is still holding up very well. The single stage with integrated clear is definitely a softer finish that scratches easier. I doubt I could have painted anything myself that looked this good and lasted this long, especially for the cost.

My wife's 05 black Cobalt has been suffering from clear peeling really bad and she wanted to get it painted this past tax season. They ran a special for their premium paint package (extra clear) for around $900. The car needed very little body work with only a few small dents here and there. I did all the prep work and most of the critical tapeing myself. The end product was a really sharp looking Mazda Soul Red (2014 mazda color). The boss is extremely happy with it and I think it was well worth it. No major hickups this time. It helped that it was still the new owners running the place and we reminded them of the issues in the past so they made sure it was done right this time. My only complaints are a little orange peel on the trunk lid and a spot on the edge of the spoiler where you can tell someone rubbed on it while the paint was still wet. They fixed the spoiler and gave my wife some free touchup paint. I can live with the trunk organge peal since it does not look bad unless you get up close.

I would do it again. As long as you do as much of the prep work and cover everything you do not want painted and remember that you are not getting a show car finish it will work out well.
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