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      08-25-2011, 12:48 AM   #1
stuka
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WTFBBQ cost cutting thin BMW paint

So, today I decided to meter the M3's paint, and holy cost cutting BMW!

The average thickness of all panels is less than 5mils!

To put it in perspective, the E39 M5 that I also have has a paint thickness of about 6.5 mils. Well, after the paint correction it was more like low 5.5 mils.

I decided to meter the paint because I noticed that on my less than 200 mile M3, there are already micro dents on the paint. The good thing is that it's just small superficial dents on the clearcoat and that it did not go through either the clear or the paint, but WTF man!?? Do we really have to cut over 2mils of paint thickness?

Oh, and my aluminum and steel paint meter registered nothing on the fenders, what kind of composite material is it?
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Last edited by stuka; 08-26-2011 at 01:16 AM. Reason: EDIT, the Venture Sheild actually adds 8 mils total to the paint thickness, not 6.
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      08-25-2011, 01:21 AM   #2
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Don't assume because it's thinner that it's cheaper. This may have been a weight saving measure (BMWs are porky and engineers have been struggling to shave weight for the past few years) and depending on what was done with the paint it's possible (I have no specific knowledge of this paint) it's more expensive.
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      08-25-2011, 01:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdollie View Post
Don't assume because it's thinner that it's cheaper. This may have been a weight saving measure (BMWs are porky and engineers have been struggling to shave weight for the past few years) and depending on what was done with the paint it's possible (I have no specific knowledge of this paint) it's more expensive.
They haven't changed the paint supplier, they are just using less of it.

And as the micro dents on my clearcoat demonstrates, thinner is most definitely not better.
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      08-25-2011, 01:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuka View Post

Oh, and my aluminum and steel paint meter registered nothing on the fenders, what kind of composite material is it?
It's injection molded, from a CFRP (i.e. some type of moldable resin, could be a type of ABS for instance, with carbon fiber strands mixed in it). The raw material (i.e. the pellets) have the glass or carbon fibers chopped into them already, so once they heat up and flow into the cavity, you get a finished part with some fiber content for added strength. The more fiber (to a point), the stronger, but also more brittle as it limits the plastic range of the material. Sorry for the poor explanation, didn't realize how tired I was until I started typing.
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      08-25-2011, 02:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 4G63 View Post
Seriously though, lifes too short to worry about petty things. Be happy you're driving an awesome car!
QFT! This statement should be a sticky at the top of this forum.
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      08-25-2011, 02:17 AM   #6
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The paint on my car looks fine to me its still shines!!!!
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      08-25-2011, 02:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
It's injection molded, from a CFRP (i.e. some type of moldable resin, could be a type of ABS for instance, with carbon fiber strands mixed in it). The raw material (i.e. the pellets) have the glass or carbon fibers chopped into them already, so once they heat up and flow into the cavity, you get a finished part with some fiber content for added strength. The more fiber (to a point), the stronger, but also more brittle as it limits the plastic range of the material. Sorry for the poor explanation, didn't realize how tired I was until I started typing.
AKA plastic
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      08-25-2011, 03:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
It's injection molded, from a CFRP (i.e. some type of moldable resin, could be a type of ABS for instance, with carbon fiber strands mixed in it). The raw material (i.e. the pellets) have the glass or carbon fibers chopped into them already, so once they heat up and flow into the cavity, you get a finished part with some fiber content for added strength. The more fiber (to a point), the stronger, but also more brittle as it limits the plastic range of the material. Sorry for the poor explanation, didn't realize how tired I was until I started typing.
They are most definitely not CFRP. The 6 series fenders for instance are made of an engineered polymer called Noryl GTX which is a blend of polyamide and a polyphenylene ether polymer. No filler is used.

I can't imagine the 3 series fenders would be significantly different from those developed for the e63 6 series.
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      08-25-2011, 09:08 AM   #9
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better put the full car condom on.
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      08-25-2011, 09:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
better put the full car condom on.
ahaha
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      08-25-2011, 09:30 AM   #11
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No surprise.
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      08-25-2011, 09:48 AM   #12
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I cant understand how we are on M3 post and your bashing the OP. Id expect it in e90post but come on? the man has a valid point.

Having a white m3, i notice the chips and indentations on my car all the time. I am one of the most anal people you will meet when it comes to my cars. My 2 other e90s can get scratched, dented, and dinged and it doesnt affect me. But DONT FUCK with a mans M3. That being said, I fully agree with the OP, this paint is far too fragile! I look at E39's and E46's that are almost 10 years old and their paint still looks far more in tact than an E90 born in 06.

The paint on the older models just held up much better, and i refuse to believe anyone can not agree with it. Sure its something small like paint, but for those who intend on keeping their cars for many years or even life its kind of dissapointing to have this to deal with. The amount of rock chips on my car drives me up a wall. I dont drive behind trucks, I dont drive through debris, and the indentations dont really cut all the way to the paint, it just damages the clearcoat.

Fuck, is a little more paint THAT much to ask for?
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      08-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #13
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If you think the paint is thin on our cars, try owning a DMC-12.
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      08-25-2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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I have nicks and chips all over the hood, bumper, fenders etc. Highway driving will cause it. Not happy about it but the car is a blast to drive!
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      08-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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European manufacturers are begin forced to use less and less paint due to environmental reasons.

Dupont is constantly striving to keep up with regulations
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      08-25-2011, 11:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4G63 View Post
OMG! Lawsuit!

Seriously though, lifes too short to worry about petty things. Be happy you're driving an awesome car!
A 200 mile car that already has some clearcoat damage because BMW decided that they can cut cost by using less paint is not petty.

It's 200 miles, not 20K miles.
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Last edited by stuka; 08-25-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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      08-25-2011, 11:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdosu View Post
better put the full car condom on.
My M5 has clearbra on the entire car.

I just haven't gotten around to getting clearbra on the M5, because who would have thought at 200 miles that there would be any micro dents on the clearcoat.
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      08-25-2011, 11:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SehrSchnell View Post
We know the paint is thin... the paint was thin on my Porsche, and Mercedes. Nothing new here...
My Turbo and my GT2 had thicker paint than 4.5 mils.

Even older BMW's have thicker paint than the M3, cars less than 8 years older than the M3.

Cost cutting is all well and good, like not painting the underside of the panels whereas back in the E34 and E30 days they did. But thinning the paint has a direct impact on the durability.
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      08-25-2011, 11:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Fleet View Post
European manufacturers are begin forced to use less and less paint due to environmental reasons.

Dupont is constantly striving to keep up with regulations
BMW uses Glasurit.
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      08-25-2011, 11:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDS335i View Post
I have nicks and chips all over the hood, bumper, fenders etc. Highway driving will cause it. Not happy about it but the car is a blast to drive!
I am not going to drive the M3 until it gets clearbra'ed. WHich means I would have to get my ass in gear and clay and wax the M5.
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      08-25-2011, 11:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuka View Post
I am not going to drive the M3 until it gets clearbra'ed. WHich means I would have to get my ass in gear and clay and wax the M5.
I just don't get it, why are people so afraid of getting a bumper or hood respayed? You spend $5,000 on rims but a couple hundred on paint is too much?

My front bumper and hood have a few chips and dings, **** happens, then it gets fixed.
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      08-25-2011, 12:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nine View Post
I just don't get it, why are people so afraid of getting a bumper or hood respayed? You spend $5,000 on rims but a couple hundred on paint is too much?

My front bumper and hood have a few chips and dings, **** happens, then it gets fixed.
A proper respray is closer to 5K than "a few hundred" for the hood, fenders, and bumper.

And you still have a respray'ed car.
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