Land Rover Paint Care & maintenance
Paint ain’t paint
Gone are the days when paint technology was simple. For some classic cars, the old materials and methods may be appropriate, these including relatively simple acrylics or baked enamels. On modern vehicles, there are three paint systems in common use:
A Single Stage system does not require a clearcoat to get a high gloss finish. It is mostly used on solid colors on older vehicles or for low cost resprays.
Most current systems involve a basecoat/clearcoat 2-stage process where the basecoat applies the colour. The clearcoat provides gloss and protection against UV and adverse weather conditions.
On many prestige vehicles, especially with metallic finishes, a tricoat system utilises two separate coats of base to deepen and enrich the colour, before the clearcoat is applied.
On the most recent models, Land Rover actually uses a 5-stage process that includes a 3-coat electrostatic paint application, followed by two stages of paint-protection and waxing.
Land Rover Paint codes
The type of paint used on each vehicle may be identified by the paint code and professional spray shops will have access to conversion charts from the main paint manufacturers like PPG, Gasurit etc. Refer to the PDF article that lists most of the recent paint codes.
If minor touch-up is necessary, touch up pens are available from Land Rover dealers
Care of newly painted surfaces
After a repair job or other major repaint, the paint needs time to cure fully and this process can take several weeks, depending on ambient conditions like temperature and humidity, During this interim period, it is important to wash the new paint regularly to keep it free of contaminants. Proprietary brand car washes may be OK, but the label should be checked carefully to ensure that no sealants are included. Actually, ordinary dishwashing liquid is arguably the best choice
Allow one month for the curing period, during which the use of waxes or sealants must be avoided because they will interfere with the curing process.. The new car buyer need not worry about the curing period because several months will mostly have alapsed between the vehicle being painted and the puchase date.
Buffing Land Rover paint
When a paint surface has degraded, POLISHING (not waxing) will frequently restore it to near-new condition. However, the correct materials and treatment will make or break the final result,
Paint that is already in good condition with no visible swirls requires only a single application of finishing polish using a fine buffing pad and light even pressure,
If there are swirl marks and small scratches 2 different polish and pads will be needed. A light cutting compound will remove these imperfections. If the paint surface is badly marred, two stages of cutting compound may be needed, starting with a more aggressive one, followed by a lighter compound. Only when the desired surface result has been achieved, meaning that no blemishes are evident, should it be waxed.
To wax or not to wax?
Once the curing process has ended (one month after the paint application) waxing is strongly recommended. It will protect the finish, add lustre and shine It is important to work small areas at a time and let the wax go cloudy before polishing with a clean cloth (turned frequently).
Selection of a suitable brand and type of wax will help to obtain the desired result. Land Rover does not recommend any particular type but we have had success with most of the major brands. Those that include glazes are harder to apply, but the result is excellent.
This article is one of many written by ASPAC Consulting,in collaboration with the technical experts at Graeme Cooper Automotive.
To download it in PDF format see Paint care.pdf
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