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Reference for body work on corrosion / clear coat failure

Home-org Forums Nuts & Bolts Tinkering Reference for body work on corrosion / clear coat failure

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    • Spectator

    I have a ’90 Miata and need have significant body work and repaint to fix corrosion and clear coat failure over the years – looking for a quality shop to do the work w/o breaking the bank as we had to rebuild the transmission last year.  I went to MAACO in Waterbury and they gave me what looks to be a “reasonable” quote but despite their good reviews on social media I’m concerned about a “20 foot” body/paint job that such a chain might do – i.e., it looks good 20 feet away but poor up close.  Does anyone have a reference for a reputable yet affordable (is that a contradiction?) body shop.  Am willing to drive whatever distance is necessary.

    Thank you so much.

    Peter Orphanos/Darien, CT

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    • Pro
    • ★★★★

    Peter,

    Unless your ’90 has had paint work done before, it’s single stage paint. The early Miatas can sometimes be brought back to relatively good condition with a “cut and buff”. The trick is to find someone familiar with this technique, the single stage paint is much softer than clear coat and if polished as if it were clear, can easily burn right through. I think Joe has the name of someone he’s used in the past, I’ll let him chime in. Maybe a couple pictures would help understand the situation more fully.

    Dave

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    • Spectator

    Thank you for you info – I’m a bit puzzled then because there’s an unmistakable “clear coat” that’s peeling off just about everywhere, exposing the red undercoat.  And I have serious corrosion around the front of the rear quarterpanels, and similar corrosion by the front wheels, and acorn-dents on my hood.  Perhaps it was repainted before my mother-in-law bought it used 20 years ago?

    MAACO said it would be about $3500 for the body work and two-part paint job.  A shop in Norwalk said it would be about $6500 (but they appear to be a “better” body shop).  Looking for a “goldilocks” of better work at a better price.  If I’m unrealistic please advise.  I’m hoping that someone in the club might have a good reference, and I’d be willing to drive just about anywhere to get it done right and save $$.

    Thank you again!

    Peter

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    • Ace
    • ★★★★★

    I have a guy for the cut/buff/detail…and in the past he has done some minor rust repair, but he is no longer set up for doing that as ‘side work’.  At least for now.

     

    Dave is correct…the red 90 had single stage paint from the factory, which was prone to fading if not regularly maintained.  if you have clear coat failing, it is a respray.

     

    the rocker rust?…it is showing up more and more often as these cars age.  Front of the rocker at the bottom of the fender is very easily prevented by removing a couple bolts at the bottom of the fender and cleaning out the dirt and crap that gets in there..once every few years is sufficient…if not done in decades, the bottom of the fender will rust..I wish I had better news on a full respray…

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    • Spectator

    I concur – wish I had known to look after those trouble areas.  And I’m certain now that the car has been repainted well over 20 years ago when my mother-in-law bought it from a neighbor.  I will upload photos of the worst areas tomorrow.   They need to be cut out and have new metal welded in as the rust is pervasive.  I’m going to look around again – while I don’t want to break the bank I don’t want to waste money on a mediocre job.

    Thank you.

    Peter

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