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Old 29-07-2021, 06:22 PM   #1
mighty chipster
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Full car respray - BMW E46 Cabriolet Help Please

Right, this is going to sound (and probably is) very cheeky....

I own a 2004 330ci BMW E46 Cabriolet with only 56,000 miles in silver grey which I love and cherish. I'm not a mechanic by a long shot but I've managed to keep it mechanically in tip top condition. But, the paintwork needs a full body respray and to be perfectly honest I cannot affort the prices I've been quoted (circa £2-3k). So, is there anyone that can help me with keeping the costs down to a minimum?

Does someone want to use my car to "feature" on their website, youtube or instagram? Or, what other options might I have?

I'm willing to help out where I can with the preparation etc (if that indeeds "helps" or not!).

I live in Northampton.

Thank you for reading and please don't be too harsh on me!
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Old 29-07-2021, 06:35 PM   #2
bellguy
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In all honesty 2 to 3K for a full respray is cheap, a good shop I would think would be about 5 to 6K minimum for a top quality job depending on where in the country you are, seen many more expensive resprays done than that and not on exotica either lol
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Old 30-07-2021, 01:18 PM   #3
Ennoch
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Yeah, at £2k or even £3k I'd actually be a little concerned over the finish you're going to get. What is it that makes you think it needs a full respray vs going to town on correction and simply sorting the bits which need sorted?

Unfortunately paint has increased massively in cost over the last few years, particularly lacquer/clearcoat, and that adds to an already expensive job if you want it done right. Nothing worse than fresh paint being thrown over a multitude of sins such as chips and dings. Proper prep (strip down, sorting any issues, cleaning, masking etc) is a time consuming job if you want it done well and for no corners to be cut. Of course some places offer great work for not silly money, and if you're looking for a car with less inherent 'book' value than something like a sought after classic then you need to balance cost with what it's worth to both you and also a future owner should you sell it. You may have no intention to sell, in which case the total cost might be less of an issue but from what you said that isn't the case. I'd rather have a mostly genuine paint job that's been sorted where needs be for £1-2k than a full job that's been done on the cheap for £2k which will never look right, or won't last.
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Old 30-07-2021, 01:29 PM   #4
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Primer, paint and lacquer will cost ~£500 to do a decent job. Add on prep time etc. and you'll soon see where the money goes. For an E46 cabrio I'd be expecting £3500-4500 for a quality job.
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Old 30-07-2021, 03:07 PM   #5
mighty chipster
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Thanks all for your kind replies.

Looks like I will have to just keep it as is.

BTW: Reason for respray, previous owner looks like tried to respray car himself as many panels aren't quite the same colour and there are numerous clearcoat runs.

But, as long as you don't look to close it's not a problem.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:26 PM   #6
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I think the main one is to keep the mechanicals in tip top condition and then maybe just put some cash aside for the time when you can afford a bad ass paint job. If you're planning to keep it for many years yet then my view is that you shouldn't lose sight of your desire for a respray, but just save up the extra and do it in the future when you can get a badass job done that justifies all the mechanical work you've done.

Maybe as an interim you could flat back some of the clear coat runs? If it's had previous work then you definitely want to be ensuring the prep on the new job is spot on, which probably means going back through previous repairs to 'good' underneath. I saw one of your other posts with some pictures; it's a good looking car and like so many cars of that era, there are far fewer than there were and many of those that are still around aren't in great shape.

As an example I just had a single panel redone on my BMW by the factory authorised repair centre; it came to £150 materials, £250 labour and £80 VAT. This was to repair a keying mark on a paint job they'd done themselves less than a month previously so prep was minimal. Obviously an MD backed bodyshop will be more expensive than a good independent but a good one still won't be backyard cheap. My goal with the Impreza is to invest in the time to paint it myself but dependant on what my commitments are like in the 5 year time frame I've given myself there's a good chance I'll end up just giving it to a good pro place, even if I know their attention to detail won't be the same as mine (albeit their talents will far exceed what I can do with the actual finish!).

Last edited by Ennoch; 03-08-2021 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:15 PM   #7
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Good resprays cost a lot of money, much better than having a cheap job you will regret is to wait and save up. We use a fantastic local bodyshop for all our work. No, they are not cheap but when you are dealing in high end cars and your pride and joy, the cost of repairs is irrelevant. This bodyshop we use is an authorised repairer for all makes, but also has a department where they do one off restoration resprays. they did a full strip down, repaint and build back up on a Ferrari Daytona Spyder for us years ago, everything removed, marked and catalogued and refitted after. The car looked completely original, as after repainting they flatted it all off and polished up again, to remove the high gloss from modern 2 pack paints and make it look more original. Brilliant guys.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:33 PM   #8
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It's about time the motor trade caught up with other trades.

I know it makes repairs more expensive, but it sucks how body shops wages are so low in comparison to most other skilled trades.

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Old 04-08-2021, 10:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicskate View Post
It's about time the motor trade caught up with other trades.

I know it makes repairs more expensive, but it sucks how body shops wages are so low in comparison to most other skilled trades.

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It's not just body shop wages, pretty much any job in the motor trade historically pays lower wages than comparable trades.
Valeting/detailing for instance. It is seen as a job for low paid non skilled folk, whereas everyone on here will agree that it is a true skill which can be very difficult to master. You either have the 'Attention to detail' or you haven't.
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