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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Homer, your post in the Car Wash thread is a great topic of it's own and I have lots of questions...sorry for the twnety questions but your a guru :D.

Ok first, Orange Peel. I have noticed that a lot of cars show tremendous signs of Orange Peel. When I was at the dealership getting my hitch installed, I noticed two black Mercedes and a black Z. The orange peel was bad on all but the Mercs actually looked worse. Nissan has taken a beating on this topic on all their vehicles, but it's not just Nissan from what I have seen. I've been told that they are sprayed by robotic machines. So it seems to me that it should be easier to maintain temperature, viscosity, mixtures etc using computer controlled machines. So why is Orange peel such a problem nowadays? Is it in the primer, base coat or clear coat or a combination thereof?

Are the new acrylic finishes baked on with heat lamps after the spray? I've heard the enamels were, seen pictures of heat lamp stalls.

Also, black is a color that eccentuates fine details very clearly. Is there a different process or care taken on black finishes? I've heard there is but it may be just urban legend.

I've always heard that Silver and Red were two colors to stay away from because of the chalking problem you mentioned. I've heard others call it oxidizing. Is it the UV protection in the clear coat or because it is acrylic based or both that prevents this from happening nowadays? And is the problem eliminated or just drastically reduced?

Why did the industry move to acrylic based finish? There are pros and cons as you pointed out, so why did the industry go to it? Was it environmental, cost, health?

Polishes. I have noticed that a lot of waxes have polish in them and sometime it's not clear if it has abrasives or not. It's been said time and again that the secret to a good wax finish is polish. And for all but scrathes, you really shouldn't need any abrasives. And with that said, there are different grades of polish/abrasive from very course to very fine. So the question is, if a polish doesn't have abrasive in it, how does it ... polish?

hfelknor said:
Although I have no problem with people referring to the exterior color of our cars as "Paint", and frequently do it myself (Old habits die hard;) ), technically what we have are "coatings".

"Paint" hasn't been used on most cars for several years now.
"Paint" is made from naturally occurring stuff found in nature.
Look it up.

The stuff on your car is a "Coating" or a "finish".
It is a synthetic with Acrylic (Plastic) as the base.

Go look at the big guy's sites, like PPG.
They call it automobile coatings nowadays, and have for some years now.

That is one reason why the Acrylic polishes, Zaino, Klasse, etc work so well. The acrylic in the polish is made to bond with the acrylic in your coating. (A clear coat is just the came as a color coat, without the color and maybe some UV blocker added.

Wax, on the other hand, which used to fill the pores of paint, just lays on top of coatings. It can still look good, but it is not bonded to the finish, like an acrylic polish. It will wear off much faster than an acrylic polish.
Some people like wax however. I mean they really like the looks.
Carnauba wax, even the "clear" type, is not optically clear. So Carnauba wax imparts a "wax glow" to a car. Sort of a warm glow.
Many, many people like that effect.
More power to them.

Acrylic coatings are much harder than paint.
Paint was easy to put swirls in, because it is "soft".
But it didn't chip as much, because it was a bit like rubber. It actually "gave" a bit when struck. Now enamals were mucgh softer than laquers, but you get the idea. Most cars, except show cars, were painted with Enamel.

Acrylics are very hard. But they shatter more easily when struck.
That's how you get a rock chip.
Acrylics , because they are synthetic, are also more easily integrated wiith additives. Like UV blocker.
It was only a few years ago, that the Sun would bake Silver and Red cars, and their paint would fade and "chalk up".
Especially on the large flat areas like the Hood, roof and trunk.
Today you hardly ever see a late 90s car, up to the present, with Sun problems.

And Zaino even includes a UV component in their "polish".

Now, Polishes have changed also.
At least ones like Zaino and Klasse.
They call them "Polishes" because they are not waxes.
But they don't have anything abrasive in them like old time "Polishes" did.
So when you go to buy a "polish", read the label carefully, because there are abrasive polishes and there are non-abrasive polishes out there.

I've been all through this before with my show cars and my street rods. It is facinating stuff. But it goes way beyond what the average guy cares about.


3,257 Posts
Well there are some areas here that I know next to nothing about.

Take the orange peel.

As you said, all the logic in the world says that Orange Peel should be a thing of the past.
One thing is for sure, after they DO a bad paint job, they are still passing it in QC. And we are still buying it.
MB has been getting hammered in Quality Surveys for some time now.

Datsun/Nissan never did know how to paint a car.
The Murano is the best paint job I have ever bought from Datsun/Nissan. Not that it is a really great job, but it impresses because there is nothing WRONG with it.

Do they still "bake" paint.......
The acrylics have a reagent in them that hastens the curing time but I saw Hot paint booths at the Corvette plant a couple of years ago.
So I would guess that the heat starts the reagent process. But that is just a guess.

Does it take a special process to make a black car....
I have heard various stories about black all my life. I don't buy it.
If they have to do something "different" for a color, that is very definitly in the minority, it would cost money.
If it costs money it would be passed on to the customer.
There are a lot of paint jobs/colors from the factory out there among all the different makes, that command a premium. Black is not one of them.
However, I would guess that the QC is both more critical and easier at the same time.

As to Red and silver.......I don't know.
I know that it is 1000% better that it usta wuz.
But is it where Red and Silver have the same propertys as other colors re: Aging/sun/elements?
I don't know. (But I think so)

Why did the industry move to acrylics?
What a great question.
The answer of course is because, although the cost was much higher and the application slowed production down, all the captains of the auto industry decided that the auto industry owed their customers a fair deal for a fair price.

Or maybe it was something else.

See the first guys to use it was GM. Buick actually. and people noticed. So, Ford and Chrysler were next..and then Toyota, who actually perfected the application.......

Why did GM do it to begin with?
Because they had too. Their market share was/is shrinking.
Did you know the #1 car in IQ this year was NOT a Lexus?
Did you know it was Buick??!!!
There are some good side effects of Toyota becomeing a member of the Big THree. (Yes it is official. Toyota is #3. Beat out Chrylser. Right behind Ford. Will likely pass them this year.)
Well, anyway, the real reason they went to acrylics was all about survival and competition.
But lets face it, it IS a better "Paint" in every way except chipping.

If a polish doesn't have an abrasive in do it do what it do?
I'm goin in over my head here.
If I'm not back in a couple of minutes.....come in after me.

It seems to me that there are maybe three ways to get a foreign object off our beloved Murano Coating.

1-We can "Knock it off" with a big rock (OK it would look like that under a microscope). That would be the abrasive.
The problem is how do you keep the rock from scratching the finish? The answer of course, is, you don't.
Of course a real artisan could use ever smaller grit perhaps and cover it with a fresh dollop of the acryllic and you might not know it had been fixed.

2-Another thing we could do is use a chemical that worked like a surfactant. Like soap for instance. Something that would break big fat old water droplets down to teeny weeny little drops that could get under that foreign object and float it away.

3-And maybe we could have a chemical product that would interact with the foregn object and create something else in the process that was a liquid and easily rinsed away.

To be honest I don't know how a polish polishes anything if it doesn't have an abrasive. I don't think it does.
I don't thnk that the modern polish, polishes anything.

With Zaino, Sal Zaino has always maintained that his polish is called that merely to differentiate it from wax and in the new acylic world the old words are obsolete.
What Sal's polish does is bond to the coating and reflects light back from the coating under the clear coat, and through the "polish".

Oh and #2 is exactly what car wash does.

#3 is what Dawn does. Only it reacts with Grease (Wax is actually a grease) and changes it into kind of a liquid sludge which can be washed away. Works that way on dishes. Works that way on Cars.
Won't touch Zaino tho.
If you HAVE to get Zaino off ( maybe repaint a panel, etc) the best thing I've ever seen is Alcohol.

OK, we should have bored everybody to death by now, except for the guy over there, who is a research chemist and he wants to argue.
I don't argue. I just win Car show ribbons and trophys. :D

As I look back over the above I see it takes me a lot of words to say anything. and certainly in at least one case. it takes way too many words to say "I don't know".

Hope this helps.

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