Problems with GTV bonnet - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 8 Old 15-12-15 Thread Starter
Status: Regrettably my Gtv was written off
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Problems with GTV bonnet

Hello all,
I'm puzzled by two problems that I have not seen before. My GTV's bonnet (a large moulded fibre-reinforced plastic panel) has an appearance similar to small water spots all over it. There are no such spots on the roof or bootlid, doors, sides, etc. - only the bonnet is affected. I have tried to capture this around the reflection of the light, in the photo attached.

Naturally I first tried a clay bar, then DA polishing with a medium compound. This made the surface very shiny and smooth to the touch, but the spots are visible as ever. The paint is otherwise in excellent condition with no evidence of having been resprayed, only a few minor scratches, and a few tiny chips.

Except, for the second problem - there is a fine orange-peel effect over the entire bonnet surface, more so than for the paint on the rest of the car. The bootlid (concave surface) has some coarse orange peel, as to be expected for concave surfaces. The rest of the car is free of orange peel and I think that's usually the case for 916 Spiders/GTVs.

My thoughts turn to wet sanding, but I'm worried (after inspecting the tiny chips that go through to the white plastic) that there is very little paint thickness on the bonnet. I don't know anyone with a paint thickness gauge that works on this plastic material. Has anyone got any experience with the orange peel on GTV/Spider bonnets and whether it could be sanded out?

I'm getting the feeling that it might be intrinsic to the plastic material and its coating - maybe it has a gel coat as fibreglass does, and are the flaws in that? - but I haven't seen any problems on the bonnets of three Spiders I've had previously.

The 'water spots', examined closely, look like tiny craters in the clear coat.

What do you think is happening here and what can I do about it?

As a fairly drastic measure, is it worth trying to flat the clear without affecting the basecoat and spray a new coat of clear over it? I may have a body repair shop do that, as I'd probably introduce many flaws if I sprayed it here.

If the body shop resprayed the panel from scratch, I'd be worried about the colour match - I think it has pearls in it, though I don't know. The colour code sticker has worn off (as usual for these cars!)

Cheers,
-Alex
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'15 Giulietta 1.4 TCT QV-line, '08 FIAT 500, '08 G Spyder, shell and parts for a '71 FIAT 850 Coupe
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Last edited by alexGS; 15-12-15 at 09:45.
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you need to really eyeball it to comment... first thing I suspect your bonnet has been resprayed.. and an easy way to tell it look underneath and try and find where the paint payers stop...

I think the what you are desrcibing though is where a spray shop has flattened the clearcoat down with something like a 3000 trizact pad and then not compounded out the clearcoat properly... best thing to try would be just get a bit of p2500 or p3000 on the area with this defect and flatten it a bit and then compound it back... If its gone then you know it was poorly flattend orange peer from a spray job.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 8 Old 16-12-15 Thread Starter
Status: Regrettably my Gtv was written off
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Thanks for your reply A l f a... I asked a moderator to close my thread in the 916 GTV/Spider forum, but they deleted the thread instead! - there had been one reply and I did read it quickly, so thank you (can't remember your name...)

Today I went to Fred at Prestige Panel & Paint in Hamilton - the best paint shop in town - he was completely convinced that the bonnet has been resprayed (I wasn't!) - says there are some shrink marks in a repair on one side. I wouldn't be surprised if it left the factory with those minor defects in the plastic.

I can't see any edges underneath or any other sign of a respray, but the one thing we agree on is that there's more orange peel than usual and it's completely even all over.

They quoted a modest amount ($550, roughly equivalent of £250) to respray - if it's been sprayed before, it might as well be sprayed again, I reckon.

In the meantime, with not much to lose, I'll try wet-sanding it with a block, and hopefully there's enough clearcoat for that to work.

-Alex
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(Post Link) post #4 of 8 Old 16-12-15 Thread Starter
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...and six hours later, I'm happy to report that it's fixed (took about three hours to wet-sand and polish), I'm stoked with how it turned out

-Alex
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Another photo needed, of course
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(Post Link) post #6 of 8 Old 17-12-15 Thread Starter
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Was very nice to come out in the morning and see this, brightened my day no end

-Alex
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gr8 work, lots of hard carefull work gone into that... you can see why a lot of the clowns at spray shops dont spend the time finishing their work and removing defects down to a perfect finish... a lot of people dont even know what orange peel is... and a lot of paint shops dont give a rats ass about the quality of the finish they produce because it generally takes a good inspection with the right light to see all the defects.
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(Post Link) post #8 of 8 Old 21-12-15 Thread Starter
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Thanks A l f a - I'm really happy to have got away without the need for a repaint. Have now purchased some specially-mixed paint in a brush bottle, like nail polish, and will now be able to sort out the few little chips here and there.

-Alex
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