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Respray


Phil Checkley

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Phil Checkley

After several years' general wear and tear, (plus some neglect), my '89 Sei needs a re-spray.  However I've just been quoted £1500 for the job.  Ouch!  OK, so that probably translates as "we don't want to do it, really", but I can get a complete new set of panels from the factory for £881, so the paint job would really need to be quite a bit less than that to make it worth while.  Does anyone have an idea of what kind of cost I can realistically expect, or should I just grit my teeth and cough up (interesting mental picture there) for the new panels?

Cheers

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Richard Salisbury

Well, as you say, £1500 says they probably don't want the job, but most of the cost of painting cars is in the preparation, which is manual and hence labour / time intensive. Therefore, re-finishing costs can seem very high, but the quality of the finished job is directly related to the amount of time and care taken in preparation. You could shop around some of the smaller paint shops and negotiate a price if you self - prepare it.  - Also, bear in mind that prepping involves removal of items which don't need painting and masking those which can't be removed, filling in chips, scratches, flatting down, cleaning, priming etc.

Modern paints are very expensive in their own right too, so I would not expect to get the job done for much less than a few hundred pounds, even if you prepare it yourself. -at least not one which is any good!

regards

Richard

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I'd buy the new panels, checking for differences with the Factory from your early ones. You may find you wont be able to get the wheel position as good with the new panels (see my avatur)

painting GRP and doing it properly is a lot more complex than metal due to the movement in grp. THe paint will never be as hardwearing as ne panels. You need to ensure platissiser is used to stop the paint getting brittle etc.. not my area of expertise but from working on old lotuses I know that getting the paint right can be an issue. Also any damage will need fixing properly or you will get staring of your paint.

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Dont rule out the possibilities of painting, to start with you dont want to re-body every time you get a bit of damage on the car, and a paint finish is so much easier to repair than gelcoat. Also look at the colour options, why be stuck with PO red, chrome yellow etc. Star cracks on a Westfield should only arise from external damage as the body is totally unstressed, ie stone throws etc, so should not reappear if corrected. Find a good, local,family run body shop if possible, and they do exist, cos theres one done the road from me. Just my opinion. Brian.

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Chris Elworthy

As regards price, £ 1500 is probably not that bad when you consider that a Good refinish flexible / high solids primer can cost £ 60 per litre, as can the Basecoat.

As the fibreglass is more flexible they would probably not use a direct gloss but use a clearcoat finish to get the gloss and depth, even on solid colours.

It is also worth asking the painter if their paint supplier recommend a particular adhesion promoter for fibreglass, or whether the primer should be low-baked prior to applying the Basecoat, or if it is a wet on wet system.

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Rob Marshall

I had my Westfield resprayed, after a c******m got too friendly, by a Lotus specialist. It did look very good and allowed me to have a metallic finish, but it was very expensive, £1500 sound reasonable for a good quality job. I found that the paint was not as hard wearing as gelcoat, suffering from stone chips on nose, bonnet, front and rear wings(even with stone chip protection paint). Remmber that if the paint chips the orginal colour will show through. Also after a couple of years small bubbles appeared in the paint(I believe this was due to osmosis), the paint had to be stripped off in the effected areas and resprayed, more expense. I personally would buy new panels from Westfield.

To reduce the risk of star cracks which normally occur on the wings due to stones being thrown around by the wheels, I painted the under side with "Rubbercoat"(sold at some kit car shows), it worked very well.

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Another thing to consider is weight.  Although there is not a lot of surface area on a Westfield, painting the panels will still add some bulk.  I'd go with the new panels.

-John

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Oh come on, more weight from the curry/pizza/last pint etc we all had last night . Brian. PS must remember to remove mi loose change before I get in the car

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Rob Marshall

Yes I agree the paint would add extra weight, which is very important to the overall performance of your Westfield, but who cares the curry, pizza, last pint sound much more important to me!!!!!! :sheep:  :devil:  :durr:  :devil:

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Rob Marshall

By the way JohnCh talking of weight how much do swept wings weigh compared to cycle wings, I ran swept wings for 10 years before changing to cycle wings!! wish I had done it sooner.

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And no fenders weigh even less and don't increase the unsprung weight like the cycle fenders!  Maybe I found a new project for this weekend? :-)

-John

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Mark Stanton

Fenders  ???

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In that case in the interest of weight reduction------

Before driving remove 1/2 the air from the tyres, this should make a 50% saving

  Remove tread from all new tyres down to a max depthof1.7mm, at least 5% saving in tyre weight.

  Empty air filters daily, to remove accumalated debris and also any entrapped air borne insect life which if still active may actually be flying in opposite direction to that desired.

   Always ensure fuel tank is kept 1/2 empty rather than 1/2 full, that must give a weight reduction, or am i an optomist/pesimist?

    If possible convert to LPGas, cos we all know gas is the lighter.

    If using 4 stud wheels,carry five stud spare-25% more holes must give a saving.

   Fill engine/gearbox with lightest grade oil possible. Sorry, only 1/2 fill.

     Remove battery from car as soon as engine has started,( may be carried in boot in case of emergency).

  By this time your car should be absolutely flying and you

may need to add weight,( try an extra coat of paint, must be PO Red)

      Brian       , and I know its not that funny but I'm sure you know some that are

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Chris Elworthy
In that case in the interest of weight reduction------

I always drive naked to shed those last couple of pounds of unnecessary fabric, and of course, always "snap one off" before driving.

You can score a double whammy by shaving your head too. Not only does it save weight but it also complements the Westfields world-class aerodynamics.

Now thats got me thinking, which invokes least drag ? - A Gel-coat surface, or a painted surface.- And you thought polish was just for posers.

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