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355 Paint Density Reading??

Discussion in '348/355' started by ghost, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,864
    Singapore
    Going to look at at a 355B in the flesh, and wanted to understand what the paint density reading should be assuming the car is original. Obviously want to test for any repainted panels. Will use the visual cues as well, but want to make doubly sure with the gauge.

    Also, where can one pick up a paint density reader, and what do they cost? I assume they should be available at any automotive store? Am checking online right now as well. Don't have much time before I board the flight, so any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. WJHMH

    WJHMH Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 5, 2001
    22,714
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    Keep in mind repainting & blending certain panels is all to common among these cars. Bumpers, rocker panels, etc... is to be expected. As for your paint density reader, use a well trained eye. Check for runs & orange peals.
     
  4. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
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    Dec 10, 2003
    9,864
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    Good point, and I'm not concerned with the obvious areas like the nose, etc. I will be sure to look for oversprays, runs, as well. That being said, I'm sure that each F-Car has a uniform paint density when it comes out of the factory, and am curious to know what it is, so I can check a little more scientifically, if something looks suspect. I know this is certainly true of P-Cars, and presume this is true of Ferrari's as well.
     
  5. lawwdog

    lawwdog Formula 3

    Dec 4, 2002
    1,178
    Northern California
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    Mario
    Ghost:

    I have an Elcometer and use it religiously whenever I buy for my store. The paint readings on a Ferrari should be 3.5 - 4.5 on your Elco reading if the car is original.

    A new Elco Meter should cost you approximately $525 with some knock-offs costing $350. Mine cost $650 and is digital. I had one when no one knew what they were. Make sure it has been calinrated before use.

    If you find a car with readings more than 3.5 - 4.5 it has been painted.

    Mario
     
  6. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
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    Dec 10, 2003
    9,864
    Singapore
    Mario,

    This is exactly the information I was looking for -- thank you. Any details on brand of Elco Meter, and the best place to pick one up would be very helpful as well.

    One follow-up question: is there generally a full point of variance on a reading (ie, 3.5 - 4.5) on a particular car, or was your point the fact that every car will have a different starting point (ie, between 3.5 - 4.5), but it should remain consistent as you go around the car? Appreciate your thoughts.

    Thanks.
     
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  8. scott63

    scott63 Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    393
    I use an elcometer as well whenever I buy a car. You can order it off of their website. The paint thickness is generally diferrent from every manufactuer. Just be careful when using the elcometer. A lot of people walk away from perfectly good cars because they do not know how to interpret the readings. Every car will have variations. You want to make sure that there is uniformity across the body. Slight variations are normal (0.5 to 1.0)
     
  9. vref

    vref Karting

    Dec 18, 2003
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    1 Hr North of Housto
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    Jim
  10. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
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    Dec 10, 2003
    9,864
    Singapore
    Again very helpful. So there will be some variance across the car, which is fine, as long as there is uniformity.

    Thanks for the link vref.

    I won't be able to get the elcometer in time from the website (which is most user un-friendly I must admit). Will have to go to a dealer around here, and ask if they will "loan" me an elcometer for a fee. Any other suggestions on how I can get my hands on one in short order are welcome.

    If anybody is kind enough to loan me theirs, I would be willing to pay for the privilege (and fully guarantee the instrument), since I will only need it for checking this one car. I would obviously pay for any and all Fedex charges to and from, in addition to monetarily compensating the individual for their kindness.

    Thanks.
     
  11. vref

    vref Karting

    Dec 18, 2003
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    Jim
    All high end dealers have them, even the Honda, Toyota, Chevy guys will have them. Maybe you can buy the Used car manager lunch or beer or whatever, and ask him if you can borrow it for a couple of hours.
     
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  13. lawwdog

    lawwdog Formula 3

    Dec 4, 2002
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    Mario
    For the most part the largest variance on a factory painted car is approximately 1.0 mils. Therefore 3.5 - 4.5 or 3.0 - 4.0 is factory spec. A car that has been re-painted by hand will have variances is multiple areas that could read 7.5 - 9.5 to 10.5 - 8.5 and the reading you don't want to see -- This means that wonderful bondo reading.

    I agree that finding one panel that has been re-painted and is undetectable to the eye is not a big deal.. Knowing about and being able to decide before you buy it is the key.

    If I was in NY I would be happy to lend you mine but I have a BMW sale on Monday. Fed-Ex won't get it to you and back by the time I need it.
     
  14. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 11, 2003
    2,190
    Berkeley, CA
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    Brian Brown
    Will the Elcometer measure paint thickness on aluminum panels as well as steel panels?

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  15. vref

    vref Karting

    Dec 18, 2003
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    They make a version that does Aluminum but its $100 more. The standard one does steel panels.




     
  16. 355f

    355f Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    305
    is tehre such a thing as a ferrari thats had no paint! unless its a garage queen.

    If its a 355B the rear quarter will have been painted every 2 years for sure because of the butress problem and to do that properly you need to go into the roof and dorrs as well.

    then there is the nose and front strip- it goes on!!
     
  17. 360CS

    360CS F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
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    #14 360CS, Mar 8, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    Off you go again making extreamly negitive points towards Fcars?? WHY DO YOU BOTHER ON HERE??

    Yes its meant to be fun!!!! But your comment tend to be on the negative note.

    Why is that?????
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  18. 355f

    355f Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    305
    Im just stating reality!!

    the butress joins are a COMMON PROBLEM on the 355s this is a FACT.

    It seems ridiculous that one cant post facts on here unless they are very positive towards the marque!!
     
  19. FL 355

    FL 355 Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2002
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    The one that I used had a 2 headed wond. Use one end on metal and the other end for the plastic panels,etc.
     
  20. hockeyman1

    hockeyman1 Rookie

    Mar 6, 2004
    14
    I am looking at at 1999 355 Spyder with readings 6-8. The dealer assures the car has not been repainted and is a Ferrari Certifeid car....is that Possible. I see below that 3.5-4.5 is normal. Please let me know, otherwise this car is top notch.
     
  21. vref

    vref Karting

    Dec 18, 2003
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    Is it 6-8 through the whole car? Look at rubber moldings, make sure there is no paint on them, Look at the body lines of the car, I.e space between fender and door, door and quarterpanel, hood and fender, it should be equal all the way around. Look under the car for overspray. Look in the door jams make sure the color matches all around, with no paint on the door jam vin plate.

    If all this checks out, its probably not a repaint.
     
  22. hockeyman1

    hockeyman1 Rookie

    Mar 6, 2004
    14
    Thanks I will, it is 6-8 through the whole car, they ran the test on new Lambo and got readings of 9 thru 14, Porsche had readings from 3.5 to 4.5. They asked to even confirm with Ferrari NA who has no spec for paint thickness. They said these cars are hand painted and these are pretty ususal specs.

     
  23. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    Franklin E. Parker
    Don't be so sure that a car still at the factory doesn't have overspray, orange peel and other paint defects. Ferrari has never been known for the quailty of it's paint work. I have seen brand new Ferraris with paint that wouldn't pass quality control at the Kia factory.
     
  24. ghost

    ghost F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    9,864
    Singapore
    Anybody buy a new paint density reader lately? Thinking of investing in one, and wanted to get the latest thinking.

    Thanks.
     
  25. 9software

    9software Karting

    Mar 31, 2004
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    Hampton Roads, VA
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    Shawn
    I am a dealer and I have an Elcometer paint meter. Make sure you have one that does aluminum also. Non-aluminums run around $550-600 and aluminum runs $700-800. Make sure you get an aluminum one so you can read all the panels. Yes it's expensive but you can use it on every car you buy.
    Here's what I've seen metering out dozens of F355's and F360's.
    On most cars, you'll want a consistent reading on all panels and not stray over 2 mils. So if you're reading 4's, and you start seeing 6's or 7's, then you have a little paint.
    On F355's and F360's, the way they spray the paint on you will find much more paint on the upper half of the car where the panels curve than on the sides and bottom. The F360 is more variable - F355's will be a little more consistent. On the F360 you will meter around 4-5 mils on the sides of the car, and see it move up to 8-8.5. The hood should be around 5-8 at the max. That is normal and I even read that on my new 04 360 coupe from FOW. Now when you run horizontally across the panels you should see the meter stay consistent - for example as you move from the door to the rear quarter horizontally, it should stay fairly consistent. Also if you have an inconsistency go to the exact opposite side of the car and see if it's the same or different.
    Also check where they sprayed the black stuff - it should look like a pretty clean & straight line although not always 100% perfect. If you see a lot of variation, zigzags or more, then it was a poor mask job during a repaint.
    Bottom line is, paint meters shouldn't be used as an "end all" for Ferraris. What it should do is narrow down a panel if you see inconsistencies. When that happens, inspect every inch of the car, all the gaps and molding to check for repaint or overspray. You can also check the fender wells for roughness instead of being smooth - sometimes they forget to clearcoat the fender wells after repaint since they're spraying down, not up.
    I've caught dealers and private individuals lying (or unknowingly wrong) about their cars. I once found one that the guy swore had no paint but 2/3rds of it had been painted and you could even see a little mismatch.
    Hope that helps!
    Shawn
     
  26. 9software

    9software Karting

    Mar 31, 2004
    59
    Hampton Roads, VA
    Full Name:
    Shawn
    One more note - most body shops spray around 4 mils of paint per coat. So if you're seeing an extra 4 mils or so going horizontally across a panel, or on opposite sides of the car, then you have paint. 1-1.5 mils doesn't always indicate a repaint. sometimes it could be they buffed one of the panels and it ate away some of the clearcoat.
    hope it helps!
     
  27. PCH

    PCH F1 Rookie

    Apr 7, 2004
    2,977
    Many cars are damaged during transport to the US. These cars are repaired and then shipped to the dealers. Therefore in most cases the owner of a new car will have no idea that his/her car has been repaired and or resprayed.
     
  28. paulie_b

    paulie_b F1 Veteran
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 13, 2003
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    Jupiter, FL
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    Paul Bianco
    Drew's comment is very true. I have heard this several times from reliable sources.
     

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