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Old 07-02-2013, 03:14 PM
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Bubbles under paint

About 4 years ago, a friend had her dad's 1954 Desoto subjected to a "cosmetic restoration" at a local, well-known restoration shop. Essentially, it got some body work and a full re-spray and all the chrome re-plated.

I washed the car yesterday for her and found this.



There are dozens of bubbles under the paint on the top of the car and a smaller number and size along the tops of the fenders.

I'm not a painter, and while I recognize these bubbles as rust, I'm uncertain as to whether this due to quality control problem from the restoration shop or just expected deterioration on a car this old. I wouldn't think this should happen within 4 years if the undelying rust was neutralized at the time of the re-spray.

The car has been kept in a parking garage, is rarely driven and has been washed about every 3-4 months.

Obviously, it needs to be fixed. Is it worth a talk with the restoration shop or should I have it "just done right"?

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:26 PM
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if it was a " Re- spray " most likely it was just a scuff & shoot job. so it was not taken down to bare metal. so underlying problems were not addressed.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by killeratrod View Post
if it was a " Re- spray " most likely it was just a scuff & shoot job. so it was not taken down to bare metal. so underlying problems were not addressed.
I would have thought they would at least neutralized the rust. IIRC, it was about a $20k job, so I would have expected more.

I'll ask if she had a contract or written estimate to see what they were 'supposed' to do.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:59 AM
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Definitely something wasn't done right!!!
They should fix that.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:01 AM
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Don't go off half cocked on the shop that re-sprayed the car. Like was said before, if this was a scuff and spray, they didn't have a clue what was "under the fender". The bubbles are rust, definetly, but they are coming up through the sheet metal from the underside. This is rust that has been "working" for almost 60 years and is just now making it's way to the surface. If you pick the rust out there will be a small hole in the fender or roof.
Mark
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:49 AM
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The owner is bringing the estimate/contract to me to review next time she's in town so I can see what the scope of the work was supposed to be to deterine whether or not the restoration shop did their job well. So I'll have to wait until next month.


Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:28 AM
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for 20k the car should have been stripped. This was a rip off job. If this is just on horizontal panels I doubt it's rust. Sounds more like too much material or simply it failed and extreme sun helped it along. If it were rust I'd figure the bubbles to be bigger in suspect areas. Could be though. Never know til you dig in. Sure looks like rust though in the pics.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:49 AM
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for 20k the car should have been stripped. This was a rip off job. If this is just on horizontal panels I doubt it's rust. Sounds more like too much material or simply it failed and extreme sun helped it along. If it were rust I'd figure the bubbles to be bigger in suspect areas. Could be though. Never know til you dig in. Sure looks like rust though in the pics.
It may have been stripped, I know as much about the job as you do, BUT even if it was taken to bare metal on the topside, without removing the fenders and cleaning them up on the underside, the rust will continue to work. Especially under fender brackets and double panels. Any mud or road debris will retain moisture and you know what happens then...
This is classic "rust bubbles from underneath" (sounds like a horror movie doesn't it?) and it can only get there after a hole has been eaten through from under the fender or roof. They start very small and get bigger as the rust works itself out under the paint... Just like oxidation under the clear coat on aluminum wheels. Starts with a very small chip and grows as the oxidation spreads under the clearcoat.
I doubt you will get very far with the resto shop. It's been four years and they will probably only "guarantee" their work for a year, probably less...
Mark
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by astroracer View Post
It may have been stripped, I know as much about the job as you do, BUT even if it was taken to bare metal on the topside, without removing the fenders and cleaning them up on the underside, the rust will continue to work. Especially under fender brackets and double panels. Any mud or road debris will retain moisture and you know what happens then...
This is classic "rust bubbles from underneath" (sounds like a horror movie doesn't it?) and it can only get there after a hole has been eaten through from under the fender or roof. They start very small and get bigger as the rust works itself out under the paint... Just like oxidation under the clear coat on aluminum wheels. Starts with a very small chip and grows as the oxidation spreads under the clearcoat.
I doubt you will get very far with the resto shop. It's been four years and they will probably only "guarantee" their work for a year, probably less...
Mark
So you're saying it rusted from the backside on all the horizontal surfaces? I can assure you that's not it. It may be rust but not from the backside.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hduff View Post
I would have thought they would at least neutralized the rust. IIRC, it was about a $20k job, so I would have expected more.

I'll ask if she had a contract or written estimate to see what they were 'supposed' to do.
It really depends on what they did, a "cosmetic restoration" on a 54 Desoto could be a big project. The chrome alone would be MANY thousands of dollars depending on how much they did. Complete dis-assembly and re-assembly, $20K goes pretty fast add stripping and what not and $20K ain't crap. So find out what was done, this is where good records kept by the shop could be very important. Often this stuff is discussed with the customer, they are given the option to strip and they declined? We may never know, and the shop gets their butt kicked.

Seeing the repair order could be quite telling "Fix dents and paint...$20,000" you know you are in trouble.

Brian

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Old 07-03-2013, 10:10 AM
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shops are in the business to watch their tails so the estimate saying "body and paint" only helps their liability. The more detailed the estimate looks the more they are on the hook for. The BAR has been pretty helpful in that dept.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tech69 View Post
So you're saying it rusted from the backside on all the horizontal surfaces? I can assure you that's not it. It may be rust but not from the backside.
Hope you're right!
Just so you know, I am from Michigan... I see this stuff all the time, so don't be to quick to assure...
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:29 AM
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Hope you're right!
This depends on what kind of sound deadening the Desoto had. I know nothing about those cars but I know I have seen Chevys from the thirties with holes rusted from the inside out up in the middle of the doors because of the water soaked sound deadening material that were glued to the inside of the skin!

Brian
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:35 AM
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shops are in the business to watch their tails so the estimate saying "body and paint" only helps their liability. The more detailed the estimate looks the more they are on the hook for. The BAR has been pretty helpful in that dept.
But on the same note, if a task that was done to the car isn't on the repair order they are in deep poo poo with BAR at least here in California. EVERY SINGLE nut or bolt turned has to be documented for the customer. Putting a light bulb in a taillight without putting it on the work order is means for a fine.

Brian
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:54 AM
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So you're saying it rusted from the backside on all the horizontal surfaces? I can assure you that's not it. It may be rust but not from the backside.
If it's not rusted from the backside, then the painter did something wrong.
Especially for 20K
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