Monday, 12 May 2014

The paintwork report

As a careful builder I was very meticulous with my handling of tools, being careful around the bodywork, masking things up and so on.  However, even being as careful as I was it seemed inevitable that during the build process I managed to chip / scuff my paint in a number of areas (without knowing) which in turn led me to believe there was an issue with the paint.  The paint (to me) seemed like it was too soft, or had not been hardened properly. 

I made a comprehensive (to say the least) document of bits and pieces that I wanted checking at PBC (post build check) stage and rectifying prior to me taking eventual receipt of the vehicle, and the paintwork was a fairly substantial part of this "dossier".

Dean (CC midlands) sent my bonnet off to http://www.xkengineering.com/ last week for testing.  XK engineering are not the original painters of the car, and as such today provided an independent report as to what the paint status is.  The great news for me (and reassuring for other potential Caterham owners) is the paint is in fact good.  The report states:
  • First test 95% adhesion (just a few edges lifted) still a pass though.
  • Second test 100% adhesion.
  • There is nothing wrong with the paint adhesion/strength of the paint on the bonnet supplied.
So Dean and I have spoken about the paint test results this morning, and we've come to the conclusion that although the paint is good, rectifying some of the areas where the paint is chipped / scuffed will be extremely difficult. Also if these bits in question were just blended in, there is the probability that the finish will not be as good as if it were newly painted from the factory. So..... and quite drastically sounding - we've agreed to repaint the car!  The car will be disassembled today (where required) then sent off to XK engineering tomorrow.  The bodywork will be prepped accordingly, the car will be repainted and should be back with Dean at CC midlands early next week.

Some pictures below of the areas of paintwork that were in question:

Scratch on carbon nosecone - this was there out of the bubble wrap packaging
Scratch on carbon nosecone - this was there out of the bubble wrap packaging

 
Chips where nosecone meets front of bodywork covering chassis
Chips where nosecone meets front of bodywork covering chassis

 
Scuffing where hood sticks attach to top of rear bulkhead
Scuffing where hood sticks attach to top of rear bulkhead

 
Scratch on drivers side carbon rear wing - no idea how this got there
Scratch on drivers side carbon rear wing - no idea how this got there

 
Chip on passenger side entry arch - I've asked to get this armourfended as I can see this area getting some abuse
Chip on passenger side entry arch - I've asked to get this armourfended as I can see this area getting some abuse

 
Removing the foam on the front scuttle actually lifted some of the paint off
Removing the foam on the front scuttle actually lifted some of the paint off

 

Pretty sure this was chipped when the revised decals were fitted
Pretty sure this was chipped when the revised decals were fitted


XK engineering also offer a carbon tinting service - which looks very unique... Below is a picture of a red tinted front carbon cycle wing.  I think it could look really good on some cars, but this may just be a little bit too "bling" for me.


Red tinted carbon front cycle wing
Red tinted carbon front cycle wing

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