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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-29-2004, 01:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a bright red 1996 318ti that need's repainting. I live in Seattle(which is not the sunniest place in the USA) & have no garage. My red paint is oxidized & separating from the clear coat, some places it's chipping off. I plan to keep it because it's a great car, only has 46K miles, & I can't really buy a new one even if I could afford it(ie a 325ti). Body is in top shape, plastic bumpers, trim, etc.

I'm getting quotes for quality paint jobs in the $4000-6000 range & I'm a bit bewildered by all this. I'm not real fussy about matching doorjambs & bumpers, but I do want to preserve the value of my beloved hatchback...

First, does anyone living in the NW area have any good paint shop recommendations? The 6K quote is from Seattle BMW's paint shop of choice(with a lifetime warranty). This is the whole 9 yards...pulling out all glass, trim, paint doorjambs, etc. I'm trying to narrow it down to any reputable paint shop with a lifetime warranty.

Second, has anyone gotten their beamer painted without pulling out all of the windows? This is probably the most labor intensive part, as say the winshield must be epoxied in because of the airbags, etc. Anyone hear of using the method where the rubber window gaskets are pushed back to allow sanding, etc? This I'm told avoids masking lines since paint goes under the gasket & could save a lot of tedious work. I'm a retired truck/bicycle mechanic & pulling out all the glass seems like a pisser of a job!

Third, any other advice would be greatly appreciated, especially from those who have already had their beamers repainted.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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yes i live in Seattle area. well up in Millcreek.
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No longer red.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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$4k?
was this from a bmw dealer?
an entire repaint shouldnt be so much... especially if it is the original red... DONT paint the doorjams/underhood/etc
and most importantly shop around... have any body shop friends? any friends that have friends that paint? etc
i'm gettin my car repainted for $800 you shouldnt have to pay much more than that...
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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as for doorjams: why would you need those repainted?
my car was not garaged for the past 8 years and it is 11 years old...
the doorjams are mint...
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Old 05-29-2004, 03:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My doorjambs are fine...the BMW affliated place that quoted me the 6K price would only do the "whole 9 yards" job if they were to offer a lifetime warranty. I guess since they're doing so many expensive BMW$ & Mercede$ jobs, painting my hatchback is sort of "slumming"...I don't mean this critically, but the fellow doing the quote had to follow company procedure. Their work is top of the line, the quote(4 pages) was computer generated & very specific. used

Is your paint still the original & was it clearcoated?

I washed my 318ti quite often, but should have waxed it more I guess. That notwithstanding the BMW service mgr said he's NEVER seen a red BMW as faded as mine(any age). I suspect my factory BMW paintjob was lacking, but after 8 years they're off the hook...
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Old 05-29-2004, 05:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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try shopping around and look at some of their paintjobs done....

one thing that should be remembered though is that paint thinners damage your hood and trunk shocks. make sure you have them removed (not just covered) and safely set aside (if accidentally sprayed with paint, it may have to be removed using a thinner - same effect).
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i might know of some people that work in the painting bis. we had our 1955 Chevy Nomad painted by this one dude.
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Old 05-29-2004, 01:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey! I live in Bellevue!

My 93 325is is going to need new black paint again soon ( guy who had car before me tried to paint the whole body kit himself, looks fine......at night) Ive been looking for places too, havnt been able to find anything really~ I know a guy who used to paint trucks for a living out of his garage, he said hed do it for 1500 if i supplied the paint (whole car inculding door jams etc).........Kinda iffy if you ask me though. NEVER go to Maco, my Dad had his old Buick painted there when i was younger, paint only lasted @ 4 years then started to peel.... please let me know if anyone knows of a decent place with a decent price, Im going to keep looking, if i find any place, i will post

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Old 05-29-2004, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dude!! I live in Spokane, Wa. If you can drive over here for a week or something, I have a guy who will do it for 1600 the full car! He's doing mine for that much. If you prep it, he'll do it all for 1250 with the correct paint and everything. he does awesome work! PM if you want to contact him.
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Old 05-29-2004, 02:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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my paint is 100% original.
Its gonna be repainted not recoated if thats what you were asking...
The only reason you should get your doorjams/underhood/etc painted is if you got in an accident or you are changing the color...
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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please let me know if anyone knows of a decent place with a decent price, Im going to keep looking, if i find any place, i will post
Not sure what you consider a decent price...Maaco would charge 2K for a 5 year(prorated) warranty.

BMW Bellevue works with 2 shops next to each other at 1406/8 130th NE in Bellevue, RNR & Bel-Red are both top line shops. The former would probably(they were closed on Sat) charge me 6K & insist on pulling all glass + painting doorjambs since they own the shop Seattle BMW recommended, that shop did quote me 6K(see above).

Bel-Red quoted me 4K with a lifetime warranty & would only be pulling my rear side windows, plus leaving my jambs alone. I went over to Bellevue BMW to look at some of their work & quiry the foks there. Consensus was that Bel-Red were better folks to deal with & folks running that shop used to work at RNR. I saw a used black Mercedes there painted by Bel-Red that was amazing.

I checked the BBB site, Bel-Red has had only 1 complaint in the last 3 years & it was resolved. Under RNR it said: "The report on this company is currently on update and is not available at this time." Talk to Tim at Bel-Red for a quote at 425 453-5552, he's on the level.

BTW all above quotes include tax.
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Old 05-30-2004, 03:50 AM   #12 (permalink)
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jrhaile is on target...my mechanic friends say if I go out of this area I could save a bundle. The co$t of living here in LatteLand is high!
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Old 06-04-2004, 01:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I've talked to enough paint experts to realize that my 318ti has suffered a clearcoat failure & is not the result of my doing. I'll be meeting with a BMW Corp Mgr to discuss my problem, I want him/her to go after the paint company(Sikkens?) for compensation. My 318ti has devalued greatly because of the paint used at the factory. I feel the paint mfr should offer compensation, just as they would have if I had a local shop paint my car with a "lifetime warranty".

Of course, what's fair in the real world is rarely achieved & I'm not holding my breath any. But depending upon how BMW responds will probably determine whether I ever buy another new beamer. I'd NEVER shell out 30-40 grand for a auto that would lose most of it's value after 6-8 years! ghead
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Old 06-04-2004, 06:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thats some hardcore stuff there. BMW better do something about all that, especially considering everything they charge for everything. I'm suprised that they didn't charge you for estimating paint jobs or even for referring you to paint shops. The only way paint on a car should go that quick is if you spend every waking day of your life on the beach or something like that. Clearcoats and high end paint that is supposed to be on Bimmers are supposed to last through thick and thin. Keep us updated on the situation. I want to hear if BMW keeps customers happy with something like this.
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Old 06-04-2004, 12:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thats some hardcore stuff there...
Yeah, this is getting to be a drag, one shop said my car looked like it had been sitting in the desert sun for 10 years. Course I live in Seattle(I have no garage), I think we get 27 full daze of sun here per year! Check out this tale of woe. ghead

BTW what paint color & condition is your 1996 318i? I'll try to post some fotos of mine...
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