Dints and scratches

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Stelin, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Stelin

    Stelin

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    Hi, over the last few months we've collected a few scratches and small dents on the side panels of our Burstner. Also, a deeper scratch on a wheel arch caused by an altercation with a plastic bollard whilst manoeuvring to pay for diesel. I' m thinking we could repair these ourselves rather than a costly visit to a body shop - does anyone out there know if this is possible and what is the best product to buy?
     
  2. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Is the damage to the vehicle can IE paint work of to the coachbuilt part of the vehicle . Is the paintwork broken ?

    Pictures are almost essential as the dog needs to the the rabbit .
     
  3. Stelin

    Stelin

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    Hi Charlie, the dents haven't broken the paintwork, the scratches are fairly superficial, probably caused by branches on the nearside - all are on the coach built part, not the cab. The wheel arch is more of a gouge, which would need to be filled.
     
  4. DiggerJon

    DiggerJon Funster

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    Perhaps I am alone in not bothering too much about the dings and bangs of outrageous fortune. I still have a duck tape "bumper" after a low lying grass bank jumped on me back in 2011 when the MH was two weeks old. I work on the principle that £1000+ for a piece of plastic is a lot of beer tokens when gaffer tape is so cheap and effective. We're I to be selling the van it may be different, but for now my rear end is taped up and still holding after 4 years!
     
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  5. chasthedagger

    chasthedagger Funster

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    Have used chips away and been very pleased.
     
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  6. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    look in your local yellow pages or google for a local SMART repairer. these are the people used by dealerships to repair minor dents and blemishes. much cheaper than a bodyshop and will do the job at your premisses in a few hours
     
  7. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    I have much experience of repairing superficial scratches and chips to automotive paintwork. It's not my trade but it interests me. I did a long course in PDR but only for my benifit and I enjoyed doing it. So when it comes to standard car/automotive body I can help but sadly I have no experience with the various composites used on coach built bodies or the finishes on them.

    There are it seems very many materials used. Fibre glass is easy enough but it's the composites and finishes that will dictate what is apropriate
     
  8. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    As Charlie has said a motorhome is a very different thing to repair from a car so for the bad stuff you are better getting somebody who knows what they are doing. Some Caravan Medics are worth asking, but being a franchise the quality varies. For some of the more minor work such as tree scratches, as long as you can't feel them with the your fingernail they should polish out. If your not confident using polishes try using something that isn't abrasive but will clean up your paint / gelcoat such as Mer polish.
     
  9. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Us as well a few times. A smart repair cheapest option..
     
  10. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    I prefer to think of these marks as Honourable Scars Of Travel :LOL: Unless I can polish them out easily.
     
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  11. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    All traditional paint finishes are easy ! Its very possible to remove scratches even deep ones by polishing them out.

    But not all paints are the same. German paint for instance is very hard so requires a heavy cut finish Note that Mercedes owners.

    Japanese paint is extremely soft so use a light cut polish.

    If one were to use the heavy cut polish required to remove scratches on a German car on a Japanese car it would be easy to polish thought lacquer. NOT good .

    I will try to explain. It might help.

    Cars these days have a base/colour coat with a lacquer coat over the top.
    It is the lacquer that we can polish. Go through the lacquer and the panel will need re painting. So take care !

    I use a paint thickness gauge when machine polishing automotive bodywork. It is a very expensive bit of kit ! My one measures the lacquer coat and the base coat as two separate entities. Cheaper ones measure the combination of the two layers being the base and lacquer together.

    So if polishing out deeper scratches I can actually measure and see how much material I have in hand. This prevents me burning through to the base coat which is disastrous !

    Fibre glass is an easy one to polish as the "Gel coat" which is the same to us as the lacquer coat is always quite thick. So we have much material to go at when removing deeper scratches.

    I have some experience of polishing Fibre glass hulls on boats and Jet Skis. Both old hobbies of mine.

    Where I fall short is the info on composite panels. I have next to no experience of dealing with the finishes on them. There are it seems endless types of these materials and until I get let loose on some I cant voice an opinion on how to deal with them. Sorry.

    Our van is a PVC so I have nothing to look closely at.

    With respect Mer is an old out of date polish. It just is. It is a light cut polish that wont easily remove swirling or scratches from automotive paint. It will cleanse the paint and it has synthetic fillers so will hide rather than remove paint surface defects.

    If anyone has a specific paint finish or vehicle type I can and willingly will advise on which polish to use and how to use it. Just ask.

    Trust me on this one. All polishes are not the same .
     
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  12. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    1/ This does not apply to MOST motorhomes, which are single coat ie no lacquer
    2/ Not all motorhomes have a thick coat of gel, so care is required
    3/ respect appreciated but I quoted Mer as it is a known and easily obtained brand that even in the worse hands will not do any real damage but will remove / disguise any tree damage. I did not want too technical as this often confuses the issue
     
  13. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Please tell me which motor homes do not have lacquer over base on the cabs ? It is and has been a requirement to paint vehicles with Lacquer over base for quite some years..

    I named Fibre glass as a finish that can be polished in the same way as traditional Automotive paint . I actually said I have no experience of the composite panels and assume anyone interested enough to read my post would have worked that out.

    Mer is you are absolutely correct safe ! It is safe because it has virtually no cut. On a scale of 1 to 10 it would rate less than 1. So while safe I aint going to do a lot is it ?

    My apologies for going to technical. Its hard not to !

    I have virtually no experience in the field of motor homing. So I ask often daft or obvious questions. I get some ace answers but sometimes still don't grasp the nettle , So I ask again and lo and behold I get clearer answers . These I often need because I am dyslexic. This was illustrated in my thread about entering coordinates into a sat nav .. I asked specific and got specific answers which were brilliant.

    And that is why I said above. "

    "If anyone has a specific paint finish or vehicle type I can and willingly will advise on which polish to use and how to use it. Just ask."
     
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  14. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    All Sevel based (Fiat, Pug and Citreon) motorhome cabs up to and including X250 unless they have a metallic finish do not have a laquer coating. Most Renaults, Mercs and Ivecos are similarly painted. what has to be remembered is they are basically commercial vehicles. I do not know about the newest model Sevels but would not expect them to be any different
     
  15. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Commercial vehicles or not it's a long standing EU directive that says the old fashioned paints/solid or single stage if you like are no longer tolerable..

    To be fair I know this applies to cars but not 100 percent positive it does to vans..

    When looking at MHs a couple of months ago I always took my DeFelsko positector with me to identify any repair areas. Most vans are white and every one I checked was lacquer over base.
     
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  16. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    Charlie, I like your honesty and detailed knowledge of all things polish !
    Seems you have a real passion for it.
    I wish I could get as enthusiastic about my efforts to get my Hymer A class to shine !
    The sides are white but the front fibreglass sections are off-white / cream. After several days with 3M marine fibreglass restorer I think that is how it will stay !
     
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  17. Figaro

    Figaro Funster

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    I don`t understand these different formats either, I`ll have to have a read of the thread.
     
  18. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Because I don't know or understand the finishes on the coach built parts of a MH I guessing..

    There are so many different materials used and all will have some sort of top coat finish perhaps a lacquer on the composites. So it's very likely the discolouration is under the lacquer or whatever is used. So polishing other than giving a slick feel and improving shine will not change the colour.

    I would imagine that maybe batches of panels are made and mixed up during production of the coach built elements of the vans.. But to be honest it's more of an educated guess .

    My opinion is a sealant rather than a wax would slow this discolouration down especially if the van is new or not too old.
     
  19. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    My Burstner rear mudguards are screwed on. Could you not simply remove it and take it to your local body shop.
    I had a similar issue with a garage bollard in France.
     
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