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Questions for 348 owners that have painted their rocker panels...

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Husker, Mar 28, 2004.

  1. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    8,042
    western hemisphere
    I have a '90 red TS with the black spoiler and rocker panels, but am considering painting them to match the color of the rest of the car. Here are my questions:

    1) Several body shops I visited say that the black rockers and front spoiler have a "rough" kind of finish (very rough on the spoiler - less so on the rockers) and it will take sanding and lots of primer coats to get smoothed out to paint red. Is that the case? Do the color-matched 348's have a glossy painted finish on the rockers and spoiler? The body shops I have visited are very hesitant to take this on because of the change from a "rough" finish to a smooth one.

    2) One body shop said "Don't paint your rockers red - they will show every rock chip that you get." Anyone else had experience with this? Is it true?

    As an overall observation, I have visited 4 quality body shops, and 3 of the 4 were very hesitant to paint the rockers and spoiler a different color for me. All quoted at least $1,000 or more to do the job. Can other 348 owners kindly tell me your experience with all of this? And recommendations on "to paint" or "not to paint"? Thanks!
     
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  3. BigHead

    BigHead Formula Junior

    Oct 31, 2003
    992
    Outside of Boston
    Full Name:
    Dennis
    Back when I had a 348ts, I had the rockers painted. It looks much sharper, and more modern, IMHO. A good bodyshop should be able to handle it, NO PROBLEM. It's just fiberglass! Just sand it down! I think the ones that are complaining about it being too tough are just inflating the work to bump up the prices (see the Ferrari owner comin' in...) or to give themselves a weasel way out if it doesn't come out perfect.

    And, yes, if you do paint it, the front will show a lot of nicks and scrapes and such, especially the leading edge of the front spoiler. What I did to help ameliorate this problem was to have the 348 Series Speciale lip mounted too. It actually REDUCES the amount of room you have, but here's the key - when you scrape it, the little extra lip allows the scrapes to occur on the BOTTOM of the front spoiler, instead of allowing the FRONT EDGE to scrape. Thus, the scrapes are not visible. Huge improvement. If that still doesn't satisfy, you can make an aluminum undertray for the front spoiler to take the abuse.

    Lastly, consider getting the TOP of your TS painted body color. Makes the car look like a coupe with the top on. VERY slick. Also shouldn't be tough for a good bodyshop.

    Just my $.02....

    vty,

    --Dennis
     
  4. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    22,030
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    I had my front bumper, rear bumper, and rockers painted. A friend of mine did the painting. Here is the deal. The bumpers and rockers have the body color under the black paint. I know because I sanded the rockers myself. All they did at the factory was to paint right over them. What you can do is have them color sand the black paint off. Also the section between the rear wheel well and the rocker will need to be color sanded. You can start with 800 grit wet sand paper. Then go to 1000 grit, 1500, and then 2000 grit wet paper, until you have the body color exposed. You will need to use alot of water. Use light pressure when sanding, because all you want to do is take the top black layer off. If you go too far down don't worry about it, you can get it painted. Also what others have done to protect the paint is use the 3M clear armore guard (I think thats what it is called). So wet color sand away. Oh yeah after you get to the 2000 grit and the red paint is showing, or what ever color your car is, buff it out and you have a nice shiney paint job. Have fun.
     
  5. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    8,042
    western hemisphere
    Ernie, thanks. So you are telling me that it's possible there will not need to be any "painting" per se...I just sand (carefully) until the red is the only color showing, then polish it out, etc.?

    Is the black front spoiler also red underneath? Thanks Ernie!
     
  6. RAYMAN

    RAYMAN Formula Junior
    BANNED

    Mar 10, 2004
    315
    Oklahoma
    Full Name:
    Raymond Santilli
    I think you'll like the speciale look, it makes the car look lower. It's all smooth by the way
     
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  8. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    73,206
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    Bubba
    I have a yellow 308GTB with Boxer trim.

    They are right about the chipping, I polished my grill yesterday, and the lower front edge showed every chip!

    The advantage to the black trim, as they were trying to say, is:

    "Honey, hand me that Krylon, would ya?"

    15 minutes later, you're good as new.

    That said, the 348's I've seen painted "color" on the rockers do look great!
     
  9. toby348

    toby348 Rookie

    Mar 11, 2004
    1
    camarillo, ca
    Full Name:
    Toby348
    A good painter that your local dealership suggest should not be able to do the job easy.
    I have a yellow '91 348 and the painter had no problems. Yes, the rockers have to be sanded down smooth in order to have a nice finish and the entire nose and bumper should be sanded and repainted as well.
    Yes, you will have some chips down low about 98% on the front rocker and about 2% on the side rockers.
    Your car will look great with matching rockers.

    Expect to pay between $1000 to $1400 for a real nice paint job.

    Toby348


     
  10. Ksullender

    Ksullender Formula Junior

    Sep 3, 2003
    886
    USA
    Mine are painted and I love the look. No issues on chipping.
     
  11. colo348

    colo348 Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    141
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Husker,
    When I had my 348 rockers and front bumber painter I made sure the surfaces to be painted were preped correctly ( I went to the shop to make sure) and use a primer coat that will not bleed (show through) or alter the rossa corsa color. In addition make sure the body shop can color match the new paint to the old paint.
    Chips? You'll get them, but so what. Touch up is ok or place a clear 3M bra on the front. On my TR this cost was $600 for a full wrap.
    Jim
     
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  13. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 31, 2003
    8,042
    western hemisphere
    Jim, was that at the "Paint Booth" in Denver? By the way...I guess you figured out I found a 348! It was that one in LA that you gave me a heads-up on. I think Sullender is doing fine with your 348. Later.
     
  14. colo348

    colo348 Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    141
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Jim
    Yes "The Paint Booth" they did a great job and have the most recent paint application and matching technology. If you can find a shop like this in your area then you'll get a good job. How's the 348 working out? Big difference from a 308!
    Good luck,
    Jim
     

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