Sign in to follow this  
curiousB

Scratch Repair Ls430 Black

Recommended Posts

My wife had a little trouble backing out of the neighbor’s driveway last night. Now I'm the proud owner of a 14" long scratch on the side of my LS430 at the height of the mailbox she scrapped against.

The scratch is pretty deep so buffing it out is not going to solve this one. An estimate earlier today was $735 to fix the scratch at a local body shop. I’m wondering if I can get decent solution by just investing some time and effort and some touch up paint. I’ve never tried this before and am wondering how successful it is to touchup paint and somehow sand and polish it level with the existing finish. For the record I am not a crazy about having a showroom (unflawed) finish. The car is about to have its 7th birthday with me so I don’t expect perfection. I have a few stone chips and minor scratches already but this “gash" is pretty deep and very noticeable. I’d rather keep the $735 in my jeans and put a few hours in to make the scratch disappear (or at least blend in significantly) if its possible as a DIY.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue is that you are talking about a black car which is about the most difficult to repair. At least it is the most difficult to make the scratch "disappear". If you are not familiar with bodywork or paintwork, leave it to the pros. But, take it to another shop and tell them of your expectations. I am guessing you could get this significantly repaired for around $200. Some shops are really anal and want to blend the paint in with the rest of the body and that takes time and cost $$$. However, there should be some very reputable shops that are hungry in these economic times and will do a much better job than you will be able to do for a fraction of the original quote. I recommend that you shop around and don't attempt this repair yourself unless you have experience in body/paint work. Post a pic if you have the time and inclination. We want to help you carry the load by feeling your pain. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife had a little trouble backing out of the neighbor's driveway last night. Now I'm the proud owner of a 14" long scratch on the side of my LS430 at the height of the mailbox she scrapped against.

The scratch is pretty deep so buffing it out is not going to solve this one. An estimate earlier today was $735 to fix the scratch at a local body shop. I'm wondering if I can get decent solution by just investing some time and effort and some touch up paint. I've never tried this before and am wondering how successful it is to touchup paint and somehow sand and polish it level with the existing finish. For the record I am not a crazy about having a showroom (unflawed) finish. The car is about to have its 7th birthday with me so I don't expect perfection. I have a few stone chips and minor scratches already but this "gash" is pretty deep and very noticeable. I'd rather keep the $735 in my jeans and put a few hours in to make the scratch disappear (or at least blend in significantly) if its possible as a DIY.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might have some luck with Dr. Colorchip. Go to their website at http://www.drcolorchip.com/. I have a black 2004 LS430 and like their product for minor chips and road rash. Deep scratches might be more than it can handle, but their kit has a very fine touchup brush that should help anyway.

Dandydon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Call a couple of good preowned dealerships and see who they use for their scrapes and door dings. Many of them have someone come up at least one day a week and do minor work on the cars. I refer quite a few people who have had their "wives" scratch up their cars to different ones. Its funny just had a guy call me his wife did the same thing with his Yukon. I don't think that you will be happy touching it up yourself. If you are going to do it yourself my only advice is to take your time and apply thin coats and build the paint up and don't try to glob it in there to fill the scrape. I have a small spot on the back of my Harley that I scraped...I mean my "wife" scraped... :) I have touched up and most people don't even know it has been touched up but it drives me nuts. I will at some point get it done right.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends if the metal was indented at all, and if the black is single stage or if it has a clear over it.

If the metal isn't dented and if the LS black is single stage, you can repair it and make it look better. You'll need to go to an autobody shop and have them mix you a batch of paint to match your code (touch up WON'T work as it'll never match exactly) and apply a thin layer every day until the paint is raised higher than the surrounding area. Then allow it to dry a week or so (at least, maybe longer) and blocksand and polish it down.

If you have an autobody shop do the repair, they'll just sand the entire area down to the metal, prime, and blend the color into the panel. I doubt they'd need to do the entire panel, as black is very easy to blend. Cheapest this could ever get done for is around $500...

Personally I would have a shop do the repair. The odds of you repairing the scratch until totally invisible is pretty slim... It will always show in direct sunlight and over time the new paint (in the scratch) will shrink and it will become visible again... :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have an autobody shop do the repair, they'll just sand the entire area down to the metal, prime, and blend the color into the panel. I doubt they'd need to do the entire panel, as black is very easy to blend. Cheapest this could ever get done for is around $500...

The metal isn't dented. Just paint scratched.

If this is how the autobody shop repairs it (sands down, then repaits and blends)then it sounds like there is no downside with me trying a touch up experiment. For the cost of some paint and sanding and polishing supplies, maybe $30 all in I can give it a try. I assume I can't make it any worse for the shop to repair (since they'll just grind down to primer/metal anyway). I guess my downside is I waste a little time and money.

As for whether its single vs dual stage aren't most cars clear-coated as a normal practice (hence dual stage)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the black LS does not have a clear coat. I learned the a few BMW blacks are the same way. I can't speak to the LS430 though, I'm referring to the 400.

Micah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious, I would be careful about assuming what the shop(s) will do at this point until you take it to several more shops for an opinion. You mentioned that you do not need it back to pristine so tell the shops that.

If you go in there sanding and painting yourself, then decide later its too difficult to achieve your goals, you may very well have forced the shop to have to take the more expensive route to getting it looking decent again. The upside to doing it yourself is that you will have more appreciation for what body shops do. ;)

I had my 98 LS400 rear quarter redone after I accidentally backed into it with our van...I mean my wife backed into it. :whistles: Anyway, the metal was dented and scratched. Took it to a local shop that does classics and hot rods and told the owner that it did not have to be perfect. $300 later I could not even tell there was any damage. Looked factory original. Other shops quoted me $500-700 but they wanted to blend the paint into the roof line, doors, etc, etc. No thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point, if you try it yourself, worse that could happen is that you mess it up and have to have a shop do the repair anyways.

Go to a shop and ask if the paint has a clear, they'll be able to tell yu. If it doesn't, then have them mix you a little paint and see what you can do...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh that doesn't look that bad... Try cleaning out the scratch (of all flakey paint) before you fill it though.

But since it's so high and because of the angle, you might still notice it when the sun hits it. But you can definitely make it look better. Black is an easy color to repair since there aren't any "shades", you might be able to get away with filling and sanding!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well some success but really not close to good enough.

post-88814-0-07911100-1290005462_thumb.j

I got some touch up paint from the dealer to the exact color code of the car. I dabbed it in the scratch. Dried it with a heat gun then repeated a couple times. I got to the point the fill was above the surface. Then I wet sanded with 1500 grit paper to smooth it back to level. It wasn't perfect but it was pretty well blended. Then I buffed out with a "scratch remover" paste then a finer "swirl remover" polish paste. This is the result.

I am thinking my polish steps hollowed out the fill which after wet sanding was pretty level. Could it be I have to let the paint fill dry several days before sanding/buffing? My theory leads me to think that fill paint was softer than the original and the polishing pad pressed into the gash. Since the fill paint was softer it removed more of that rather that the surrounding paint.

I'm willing to give it another go but my future in body work seems off to a bad start. I better not quit my day job just yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is not bad if you can live with it...maybe you will be able to get it better. The touch up paint needs to dry for a day or so. Build the layers up and then sand it down. That is my problem I am not patient enough for that either. I did the same thing with the chip I put in the back of my Harley. I would glob the paint in and think it would fill…learned a lesson. Take your time and thin layers…used the hair dryer trick too. I don’t think the hair dryer is fully drying the paint but it sure helps it.

I still say find a pro that fixes dings and scratches and he can have it fixed so you will not even know it was there for a few hundred dollars...

But your fix is better than nothing for sure! :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ught oh...

Yeah, the touch up paint wont work as it's not the same density as automotive paint. It's designed to be a good insulator, and not designed to dry hard. It's also not meant to be buffed.

Also, using a blow dryer will not work as it'll create tiny tiny bubbles in the paint (so small that you can't even see them) which will make the paint impossible to buff to shine. Under a scope it'll look like foam.

You really need automotive paint, and need to apply a thin layer once a day until it's raised. And it REALLY needs to be air dried, as the unusual depth will "shrink".

Always sand and buff at least a week after curing (i would suggest 2 with such a depth) to allow the paint to settle and reach the same density as the factory paint around it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this