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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2008 fortwo has the dreaded peeling clear coat issue. I tell people she's molting.

Research has convinced me that wrapping is not the solution. Anybody have experience with wrapping plus the molting issue?

Anybody care to discuss painting the panels? Art at Madness said it's pretty much like painting plastic bumpers... Also that new panels are available in only black, silver or white for about 1650. None are the color I want.

Thanks in advance for contributions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, mine's blue. Alan (smart car go-to guy) from the Ft. Walton Beach club had never heard of a blue one molting before. Apparently the red ones were notorious for it. I guess I just had to be special.
 

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Before wrapping your car. Have you thought about replacing the bad panels on your car. That was a idea feature, about damaged body panel. For the smart car. I would look for salvage panels, on line. Contact this firm. They might be able to locate a panel color for you.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the link to the dismantler! I live an hour away from the nearest dealer, and no idea how far from a parts place big enough to be helpful. I'll check with them today.

Doing some research has convinced me that wrapping the car isn't a solution, so I don't have to go looking for a place that'll do a good job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Before wrapping your car. Have you thought about replacing the bad panels on your car. That was a idea feature, about damaged body panel. For the smart car. I would look for salvage panels, on line. Contact this firm. They might be able to locate a panel color for you.

Talked to Mike at autobahnsmart. Out of all the cars they have, one is blue--the rest are white. I'm going with white. It's immediately available at a decent price. I'll do some checking on painting and decide if I want to leave it white or not.

And, one of the guys there has a blue one that is molting as well. That makes two.

Thanks for all the input. I'll post pics when she's done, whether she's white/silver or brown(copper)/black.
What color do you have in mind?
I really want a coppery brown with black cell (which HAS to be repainted so I'll stop being irritated at the obvious difference between the original paint and the paint after the deer attack).

Anyway. Black wheels would be nice but I'm not sure I can bring myself to buy them, so I thought painting the existing wheels to match the body might be an option. Or paint them black. Is painting wheels a reasonable thing?
 

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I had a paint scheme I wanted and didn't have the time or space to do it myself. That, and I was intimidated by the whole thing. I happened to have a little extra cash in my pocket so I paid a local lo-dollar guy to do it.

I pulled all the panels off to minimize masking/prep that needed to be done to lower the cost. Stripped it bare so the only thing left on the car that needed paint was the visible parts of the cell.

For the low dollar I didn't expect much and that's what I got. A 30-foot paint job. Looks good from 30 feet, but any closer and it starts to fall apart. The wheels, painted 3 colors, were especially rough but from 30 feet I really like the effect. And despite the guy claiming the paint would adhere to the plastic just fine, it does not. I don't dare run it through a car wash.

The upshot here is that in the process I learned I don't need to be afraid to do the job myself. I am now fairly confident I can do at least as well as this "professional" did, if not better. Probably better. Pull every panel off and masking them is completely unnecessary, I can hang the panels so they're easy to shoot from any angle, no one panel is very big so handling is very easy, and once all the panels are off masking for the cell is pretty easy. Painting the wheels like I want is going to be a fiddly job that will probably end me, but a one-color job would be very easy to do well. When I get my shop built to work in I'm going to Plastidip the thing and get myself a 10 foot paint job, maybe even 5 foot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Before wrapping your car. Have you thought about replacing the bad panels on your car. That was a idea feature, about damaged body panel. For the smart car. I would look for salvage panels, on line. Contact this firm. They might be able to locate a panel color for you.

Just a note to say many thanks! I ordered my panels from autobahnsmart today, and should have them in a week and a half or so. The entire car cost me $600 plus freight. All together, a little over half what new ones from Madness would have cost.

I'm going to leave the panels white and paint the tridion cell a copper. Unfortunately the best color I found is powder coat only. If the color I decide on for the cell is close enough, I may be able to have the wheels powder coated.

Monday I'm having the window tint redone, and after the new panels and painting are done, I'll have the interior detailed and the headlights refinished. A brand-new 2008 car!
 

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2009 451 Rally Red, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40, Wix XP 51356, 185/55R15 tires, 44 psl
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Dupli Color makes Paint Shop colors, premixed...


(Click on the “Colors” tab)

You can find the quart cans for $25 on Rock Auto...

Just remember, primer/ base coat affects the color of the top coat...

And you will need a clear coat also...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info! I'll forward to my brother who will be doing the painting. He's wanted to paint a car and a friend of his has left an old Toyota with him, but I don't think he's touched it yet.
 

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2008 fortwo has the dreaded peeling clear coat issue. I tell people she's molting.

Research has convinced me that wrapping is not the solution. Anybody have experience with wrapping plus the molting issue?

Anybody care to discuss painting the panels? Art at Madness said it's pretty much like painting plastic bumpers... Also that new panels are available in only black, silver or white for about 1650. None are the color I want.

Thanks in advance for contributions.
My 2008 fortwo was also peeling. Unfortunately, after a country-wide search I could find only 3 pieces in the color yellow. I learned that the original panels could not be repaired or painted. I purchased black panels for the remaining pieces needed, which are paintable. Now the car looks like it's wearing a COVID-19 mask, so I'm leaving it as such until the pandemic is over. This is the most reliable vehicle that I have ever owned so the looks aren't my first priority at this time. Enjoy your Smart!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you so much for replying! You should post a pic!

Where did you learn that the original panels couldn't be repaired or repainted?

I've had my smart since 2010 and was terrified I'd have to buy a replacement of another brand that had more miles and used more gas. Was so happy when the mechanic tools me there was no transmission problem that would strand me somewhere.

Mine has just over 84k miles. How many on yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Talked to Mike at autobahnsmart. Out of all the cars they have, one is blue--the rest are white. I'm going with white. It's immediately available at a decent price. I'll do some checking on painting and decide if I want to leave it white or not.

And, one of the guys there has a blue one that is molting as well. That makes two.

Thanks for all the input. I'll post pics when she's done, whether she's white/silver or brown(copper)/black.


I really want a coppery brown with black cell (which HAS to be repainted so I'll stop being irritated at the obvious difference between the original paint and the paint after the deer attack).

Anyway. Black wheels would be nice but I'm not sure I can bring myself to buy them, so I thought painting the existing wheels to match the body might be an option. Or paint them black. Is painting wheels a reasonable thing?
My brother and I got the old panels off today:


There's a photo of the white panels mixed in there. It's going to be funny because the back says 'electric smart,' and it's not. 🤣

Next is cleaning the area to be painted on the car, doing whatever prep is required for the different surfaces, and then taping. The paint and clear coat came last week.

The big hold-up has been the wheels. I want them copper as well. I checked powder coating, plastic dipping and painting by a professional shop, and everywhere was outrageously expensive, plus everything but painting probably wouldn't be a good match for the paint on the car. So my brother's going to paint them, too.

In the meantime, I'm driving my mother's old car, the one she wrecked. My brother bought it and repaired it so the family would have a spare when needed. It's a Corolla, and it feels like a tank. I had to drive to Nashville earlier this week and it was much more stressful than driving my car. I haven't gotten used to where it begins and ends. My car just fits me.
 

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My brother and I got the old panels off today:

In the meantime, I'm driving my mother's old car, the one she wrecked. My brother bought it and repaired it so the family would have a spare when needed. It's a Corolla, and it feels like a tank. I had to drive to Nashville earlier this week and it was much more stressful than driving my car. I haven't gotten used to where it begins and ends. My car just fits me.
Last month I drove this truck from Orlando to Las Vegas.
It was more comfortable and less stressful than driving my first smart from Albuquerque to Las Vegas on a very windy day.
Between the truck our SUV'S and the toy smart, I prefer either of the SUV'S. Not too big and not toy like. Wheel Tire Vehicle Window Automotive tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The most unsettling drive I had in my smart was driving across the Pensacola Bridge in decent winds. I don't remember how much gas I had in the tank. I now make sure to have a full tank when I set out on the freeway. At this point I very seldom drive on the freeway more than an hour or so, so I still have an acceptable amount of weight in the car on the return trip.

Here in Tennessee we can get some pretty powerful winds even on sunny days, so it can get interesting. I've considered rescheduling appointments when the wind is really high if I have to get on the freeway.
 

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The spring time winds in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico were quite fierce. But I wasn't pulling anything behind the F350 so I never really noticed the wind. Now the 18 wheelers were another story.
They did come into my lane a few times while I was passing them. And with that extra wide dually, I ran out of left hand shoulder a few times. Automotive parking light Wheel Tire Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle registration plate
 
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