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Old 04-15-2018, 06:48 PM   #1
pgagl
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1997 SL2
Default Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Hey Everyone!

I have a Green 1997 Sl2 and my clear coat is peeling. Its peeling in the usual spots from what I've researched: truck lid, door trim, door handles & roof.

I typically wax it once at the beginning of the summer and once before winter. Does this have any effect on the clear-coat peeling? Is the paint that is used on these Saturn's a GM defect?

...
1997 Sl2 5-Speed 177k

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Old 04-15-2018, 07:22 PM   #2
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Clear coat peel is a generic problem. Generally speaking repair is not easy and complete panel refinish is the best fix. This can be a DIY process if you have the skill.

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Old 04-15-2018, 07:56 PM   #3
pgagl
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

I replaced the entire trunk with another I found at the junkyard. This one came with a spoiler too which is a plus. As for the roof, the coat is almost all gone. I was just going to have the whole car professionally painted when it gets to a point where it bugs me.

My dad used to be a Saturn mechanic in doylestown, pa and he said the same thing when I mentioned it to him.

“Yeah it’s the s*** finish GM used” Somewhere along those lines.

...
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:12 PM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

The top can be redone as a section which makes the entire process much easier to pay for.

VOC regulations/restrictions tended to cause lots of paint problems.

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Old 04-17-2018, 09:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

I painted my roof recently myself with rattle cans. Came out pretty good. I may eventually paint the entire car this way.

Peeling clearcoat.


Clear coat sanded off.


Masked off ready for primer.


Primer just sprayed on.


Primer dry.


First coat of black enamel. Not bothering with base coat/clear coat.


Second coat.


Not bad.


Since the last picture was taken, the roof has been wet sanded and polished.

...
Mike

-1991 Turbo SL2 - Gone, but not forgotten.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Just ordered spray paint and top coat from here for a small job on my car. Hoping it turns out okay.
http://www.automotivetouchup.com/?A=...otivetouchup_e

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Old 04-18-2018, 05:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

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Originally Posted by JerryHughes View Post
Just ordered spray paint and top coat from here for a small job on my car. Hoping it turns out okay.
http://www.automotivetouchup.com/?A=...otivetouchup_e
It's not particularly hard. The hardest part is finding a location inside without a lot of dirt/dust where you can do the spraying without a whole lot of concern about where the overspray is going. And make sure you wear a respirator.

...
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

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Originally Posted by VUEmaniac View Post
It's not particularly hard. The hardest part is finding a location inside without a lot of dirt/dust where you can do the spraying without a whole lot of concern about where the overspray is going. And make sure you wear a respirator.
Thanks for the advice. It's for painting the two plastic pieces that run along the top of the windows on both sides of the car and the front plastic piece, between the headlights. I've painted those before but the last time, without the top coat so the paint didn't last that long. Hoping for better results. And between coats, I'll be bringing the pieces inside my apartment, do dry between layers. It will be good enough, for the mileage I have.

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Old 04-18-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
pgagl
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Quote:
Not bad.
Not bad at all! How many cans of paint did you end up using & how long did it take?

Here is a picture of my peeling roof. I am debating giving your technique a try. Just snapped it today:

...
1997 Sl2 5-Speed 177k

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Old 04-19-2018, 01:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

“Yeah it’s the s*** finish GM used”

Not my experience at all. Granted my car has largely been housed in a covered carport and the roads aren't salted in the southwest, Still, the paint that needs work on my car isn't factory paint. It's from when I had the hood and bumpers repainted 20 years ago.

The factory paint looks amazingly new (except for some chipping on the drivers' side passenger door). These nicks weren't the result of weather or of substandard paint. They were caused (while I was out of the country gigging) by a neighbor, in the apartment complex, whose assigned covered parking spot was next to mine. He , evidently, found it perfectly acceptable use my car as a door stop when he flung his truck door open. Of course, by the time I returned, he was no longer a resident, here.

I have noticed some cars with the same kind of paint woes your photos show. What causes that...Sun exposure? Heat? I'm just OCD enough that paint doing that would drive me crazy.

Last edited by Mister_Cee; 04-19-2018 at 01:55 AM..

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Old 04-19-2018, 05:37 AM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

My black (or wineberry if you prefer) looks good after 19 years living in the garage. My new red 98 SC2 is peeling everywhere. I'd paint it but it's not rusting yet.

...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 04-19-2018, 08:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Pontiac Fieros had the exact same problem with clear coat peel, especially on the trunk lid.

Most older cars will eventually suffer from clear coat peel, when they are neglected or not properly stored away from weather and sunlight.

The clear coat peeling is a combination of heat and the UV light from the sun causing the coating to deteriorate. UV light will also destroy the electrostatic primer that is used on the chassis, under the plastic panels. Look at the body, where the gap exists at the trunk.

If your car hasn't spent its entire life in a garage, you will likely see surface rust on the metal, near the bolts to the quarter panel. Yet, remove the quarter panel, and it will still contain its black, matte finish without any rust.

Getting the paint to stick to the plastic panels is not such a big deal. Getting the clear coat to remain on any car requires proper storage and care for the finish of the car, however.

...
"What does a Saturn owner do, at the gas station?"

"He checks the gas, and fills the oil....."

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Old 04-22-2018, 10:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgagl View Post
Not bad at all! How many cans of paint did you end up using & how long did it take?

Here is a picture of my peeling roof. I am debating giving your technique a try. Just snapped it today:

Two cans of primer and two cans of paint. I did the entire thing in an afternoon. Sanding, prepping, priming and paint. The most time consuming part was the sanding.

I waited a couple weeks for the first wet sanding and polish. Still need to wet sand it one more time. After polishing I noticed I still had some fine sanding marks. Should of spent more time with the finer grits. Might just use a heavier cut polish instead of sanding. Still a learning process.

But even as it is now, still 1000% better than it was.

...
Mike

-1991 Turbo SL2 - Gone, but not forgotten.
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-2000 Saturn SC2
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgagl View Post
Hey Everyone!

I have a Green 1997 Sl2 and my clear coat is peeling. Its peeling in the usual spots from what I've researched: truck lid, door trim, door handles & roof.

I typically wax it once at the beginning of the summer and once before winter. Does this have any effect on the clear-coat peeling? Is the paint that is used on these Saturn's a GM defect?
Was this car bought new or used? Presuming most original owners perform maintenance to include washing and waxing their car tends to reduce chances of clear coat peeling. If bought used, was there any evidence of peeling? If peeling already occurred, washing and waxing may not prevent accelerating the peeling process. Once peeling occurs, there are three choices to address it; leave it as is, sand/prime/paint on a diy level or pay a shop to refinish paint peeling. And then there's the choice of a single stage refinish or two stage finish. Single stage being paint only, two stage with painting then clear coating.

I wondered about paint peeling and searching for info turned up one site with reasonable explanations; https://www.best-auto-detailing-tips...lear-coat.html. I'm sure there are many sources of information dealing with car paints and clear coating, care and refinishing from diy rattle can approaches to several thousand dollars for showroom finishes/restorations and everything in-between.

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Old 04-22-2018, 07:56 PM   #15
pgagl
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Default Re: Saturn Paint/Clear-coat

Quote:
Two cans of primer and two cans of paint. I did the entire thing in an afternoon. Sanding, prepping, priming and paint. The most time consuming part was the sanding.
Maybe I'll give this a shot. I need to find a place to paint it and keep it until it dries, not much room at the moment. Looks pretty nice for an afternoon paint job.

Quote:
Was this car bought new or used? Presuming most original owners perform maintenance to include washing and waxing their car tends to reduce chances of clear coat peeling.
I am the second owner and she sat outside her whole life. Bought it with 98k and is now at 178k. I don't think the previous owner was too picky about washing and waxing. I think the UV / change in temp did the most damage. Wish I had room to keep her inside.

I will probably end up having it professionally painted when the time comes. I plan on holding onto it until I die.

...
1997 Sl2 5-Speed 177k

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