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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Tue, Sep-17-2019, 09:28:05 PM   #1
ozone
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Default Repaint Advice

After 18 yrs of usage, I have racked up enough paint blemishes that my car will require a full repaint. Unfortunately, driving in the winter has also resulted in some rusting - most pronounced (but not a lot) at the bottoms of the door/rocker panels. The underbody is quite rusted, but I had that mechanically sorted out a year ago. Also, I have a slight crack in the rear bumper. I also need new rubber along the windows in many places, which has been partially and temporarily patched up recently (but not professionally).

I am in the process of getting estimates and wanted to get your opinions. My goal is OEM level paint job if possible without breaking the bank. My plan is to turn this into a summer car after paint restoration. Here are my options so far:

1) High-end shop - do a lot of work, looks professional. Estimate is $10-12K and they admitted that usually the cost goes up as they find some things. Takes up to 1.5 mo to do job. So I'm going to say $12K+ at least.

2) Individual guy - works out of home. Used to work for Mercedes and apparently still does some work for them. Recommended by a friend who knows him but not by any means a car guy. I told him I need OEM quality and he told me will take multi-staged extra coatings of clear. Prefers not to disassemble as he says that increases likelihood of things breaking (altho I could pay him extra to do that I think). $2.2K, will take about 2 weeks. He knows the value of the work and says it would cost $5K at a shop. EDIT: glass rubber will be extra

3) Shop #2 - Have not seen car yet but gave me a ballpark figure of $7.5K and said could go up after they see the amount of body work to be done (said they have done projects up to $25K) I'm guessing the price won't go down after seeing it.

4) Shop #3 - located in rural area. Do car restorations. Have sent pics for an estimate. My guess it falls somewhere in between.

Basically, I'm taking a leap of faith wherever I go -- as I have no strong personal references. The high-end shop simply does not seem worth it based on the value of the car and probably out of budget. I'll probably baby the car more than I have been (daily driver) post-restoration.

Appreciate any thoughts/advice.
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Last edited by ozone; Tue, Sep-17-2019 at 10:25:44 PM.
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Old Tue, Sep-17-2019, 11:35:49 PM   #2
Andrew 06M3Cab
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

My situation is very similar to yours, except that i was advised by two shops not to re-spray the car. My car is now in the shop. I am going to do the rust on both rockers (praying it can be done properly with out replacing the rocker), respray those, touch up the chips on the front end, and do a 3 stage paint correction.

I've stopped using my car as a dd, and will take it off the road in the winters going forward.

I selected the shop by looking at their work and comparing their advice. What type of cars do they work on? High end? Ask for referrals and most shops will probably have photos of their work. Then balance the cost estimates with the quality of their work. In the end it comes down to trust and a bit of a leap of faith.
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 01:57:03 AM   #3
ozone
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

Maybe the condition of your paint is better than mine? I have some random blemishes in addition to a few areas of rust. I also have some paint/ peel coming off the bumper. I'm not sure it can be salvaged by a paint correction.

Driving in the winter was fun, but it was a long term mistake and I didn't realize the repercussions going forward.

The sole proprietor doing it for $2.2K seems enticing but I'm reading in some places that taking the car apart is key for a proper job?
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 01:58:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

Before you make any decision you need to ask a few questions:

1) Is it going to be used as much as it is now? Meaning, will it be subject to the same wear and tear?

2) Can you sell the car, buy a lower mileage/less ďabusedĒ example for similar money between the two?

3) what are your future goals?

Youíll never see a return on the money you spend here, even on the low end. So if you decide to go balls to the wall, donít expect to see much return on resale. Iíd say if you are keeping it indefinitely, do a full restoration and donít half ass it here. Itíll cost you more in the long run when the clear starts peeling around window trim, door handles etc
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 02:21:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnVe46 View Post
Before you make any decision you need to ask a few questions:

1) Is it going to be used as much as it is now? Meaning, will it be subject to the same wear and tear?

2) Can you sell the car, buy a lower mileage/less ďabusedĒ example for similar money between the two?

3) what are your future goals?

Youíll never see a return on the money you spend here, even on the low end. So if you decide to go balls to the wall, donít expect to see much return on resale. Iíd say if you are keeping it indefinitely, do a full restoration and donít half ass it here. Itíll cost you more in the long run when the clear starts peeling around window trim, door handles etc
Good questions -- I have owned it for 16 years already so I am planning to keep it indefinitely. I have an attachment to this car in particular so no real desire to swap it out with a similar model (and would be difficult with the color combo/features anyways). It's a good point to do a proper restoration. I guess I am just trying to figure out what that entails as I have no experience with this.
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 02:23:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

#1 is a fair price.

I’d stay away from individual guy. The paint alone runs close to $300 a gallon, and you’ll need at least two gallons. Plus a gallon of primer, which is a bit cheaper. The fact that he suggested not taking the car apart is a red flag. Disassembly, masking, and reassembly is a few days of work.

I’ve painted several cars and airplanes, and will be painting my M3 next year. Painting is a huge job, and 80% of it is disassembly, prep, masking, and putting it all back together. Spraying is the easy part.
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 02:43:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

For a full repaint including rust repair, Individual guy isn’t an option I would consider unless he had access to a paint booth and all the features and tools of a legit body shop. But in that case, why not just go to a body shop?

Regarding the body shops on your list, I would go about it a different way. Look at examples of their work instead of fixating on the price quotes. Start with the absolute best quality, and work your way down if you can stomach paying for the best
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 03:01:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3AZ View Post
#1 is a fair price.

Iíd stay away from individual guy. The paint alone runs close to $300 a gallon, and youíll need at least two gallons. Plus a gallon of primer, which is a bit cheaper. The fact that he suggested not taking the car apart is a red flag. Disassembly, masking, and reassembly is a few days of work.

Iíve painted several cars and airplanes, and will be painting my M3 next year. Painting is a huge job, and 80% of it is disassembly, prep, masking, and putting it all back together. Spraying is the easy part.
Agree. Stay away. Some disassembly is necessary here or it is going to look awful.
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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 04:09:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

Will also chime in on the do not go to individual, Iíve done it personally and you absolutely need to disassemble prior to paint or it will look like shit. Nothing of quality is cheap or fast


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Old Wed, Sep-18-2019, 04:37:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Repaint Advice

how about an option 5, where you sell the car as is.....and use the money you would've spent on a paint job to find a better condition car w/o rust & paint. I always feel like when you're dealing with rust, it will ALWAYS rear it ugly head at some point down the road.
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Discussing Repaint Advice in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)