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Importance of a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) Part 2


As promised in the 1st part of this PPI Article, here are a few cars we saw recently.

Dodge Challenger

This was a Dodge Challenger that came in for us to redo the already installed PPF as well as ceramic coating, etc.  Initially, we were told it was a “bad install” and he wanted to replace it.  Unfortunately, it was a lot worse!  Not only was the install bad as you can see based on some of the edges below, but the paint was very badly cut up.

In this photo we pulled the top part of the “seam” and you can easily see the cut in the paint….

Different angle and light showing the cut.  You can see the horribly wavy cut on the top edge where the film was removed and then the more straight cut below.  The film is removed and these are just deep cuts in the paint done by a horrible, careless installer. Unfortunately in this case we couldn’t fully remove all the scratches since they were down to the primer in some spots…

This photo shows where the front bumper meets the fender.  The fender still has old film on it and as you can see it’s fairly far from the edge which is why our client wanted it removed.  The bigger issue is that horribly deep cut on the bumper where film was already removed and you’re seeing the primer towards the bottom of the cut!  Totally unacceptable and I wish anyone doing this is held accountable, but more often than not “it is what it is”.

Porsche 911

Next up is another car that came in for film replacement.  This Porsche 911 had some panels repainted recently so wanted to install PPF as well as replace some old film that was showing age.  Initially we thought “great, new paint, clean car, should be easy”… Nope!  More cuts and other fun stuff.  I didn’t get a photo of the other cuts as they were along the film line, but this one was a very obviously bad cut.  Someone simply didn’t know what they were doing, didn’t care and cut this 911 roof pretty deep…

This photo actually shows how the bodyshop removed old film, forgot some adhesive, painted over it, then had their installer put new film on…

Rear quarter panel where old film was simply painted over with clearcoat…

I can’t remember the exact location of this, but you can see the bad cuts on the top panel and then the badly installed old film on the bottom panel…

In this last photo we see a random cut in the panel, but also some clear coat that ended up on the trim after the paintwork was done.  Overall this car looked great from 10 feet away, but there were dozens of random cuts, paint issues and overspray from a horrible overall job.

Ferrari 488

Lastly, the Ferrari that motivated these articles recently!  A regular client said he was getting a pretty rare 488 from out of state and wants to wrap the full car, replace any old film that needs to be replaced (it was partially wrapped) and ceramic coat everything.  All of that sounded great and I was excited to document the full job.  Buutttt… As soon as it got dropped off we noticed stuff was off.  It sat in the shop for a day or two while we finished another job, so we only briefly looked at it and saw that it had random film missing… Passenger door and quarter panel were missing, rear bumper and some random little pieces.  We figured maybe some stuff was removed or fixed, but when we started working on it it became obvious things were way off with this car.  Once we noticed a bunch of random tell-tale signs of repainted panels, we measured everything.  I don’t have enough time and DI doesn’t have enough server space for all the photos haha, but here’s a summary of it… Hood was one of maybe 5 panels with what seemed like original paint, showing around 8-10 mils…

Then we move onto the door…

Rear driver quarter panel had a much higher reading than the hood, but it seemed original based on a visual inspection…

Lower passenger door had a normal reading…

But just a few inches back, toward the rear of the door, it was definitely off…

The paint gauge confirmed all our initial suspicions, even though they were pretty obvious as you’ll see in the following photos.  The whole passenger side had been repainted at some point and there were obvious signs.  Here you see the edge inside the jamb of the passenger quarter panel going down the rocker panel…

It’s obvious that these were repainted since you normally see texture like this in jambs or panel junctions (bumper and fender for example).  It happens because the lazy people doing the work simply sand the outside of the panel and get the edge a bit, but never get into the hard to reach areas.  Next up is the passenger door I mentioned earlier…

Similar to the quarter panel but a smaller line of texture.  This happens because the panel was taped and paint went down a bit differently.  I assume this door was painted closer to the rear edge only since the front of it was reading the normal 8-10 mil range but the rear closer to the edge was 20-30.

This was the rear quarter panel… Similar to the 911 above, they repainted over old film adhesive that was never removed…

Of course there were bad swirls and sanding marks all over, but we also saw some cracks in the front bumper…

It was pretty surprising that the front bumper wasn’t badly repainted since the old PPF had been removed, but this is how we found it.  There were MANY other issues we noticed all around the car, but the horribly repainted panels were the biggest issue.  We reported all this to the client and he ended up calling the dealership out of state, luckily being able to return the car.  Best guess is our thorough inspection saved this owner a good $30-50k in losses down the line if he sold the car and a buyer noticed all this.  A lot of these issues were pretty easy to see with somewhat trained eyes, but way too many cars like this pass through multiple hands without anyone seeing a thing wrong with it.

Thus the importance of a pre-purchase inspection, especially if buying a rare and/or expensive car.

Ivan Rajic LUSTR Deatil
Ivan Rajic
LUSTR Detail
257 N Woodwork Lane
Palatine IL 60067
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1 comment on Importance of a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) Part 2

  1. Ryan Hager says:

    It is unfortunate that some shops do not even realize they are cutting into the factory paint with the PPF treatments!! I’d be really upset if I had bought one of those cars and not known in advance.

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