my fiero has cracking and chipping on the painted surfaces. i can only affors this maaco embassador service for 230$. i was only going to have them paint the body and leave the ground fx as is. the ground fx is silver, the car is black. so i was told they do no prepping. its just spray and go. therefore the chips and bubbling will show right through the new paint job. they also tried telling me that the front and rear bumpers require a special mix of latex. is this true? should i prep myself? is it hard?
Whatever you do, DON'T DO IT!!! If the paint is cracked and stuff, it will for sure show through, and still look like complete sh*t. Sand, and prep it yourself, I don't know specifics, but someone thats painted a fiero can help, I'd start with 320 grit carbide sand paper, and a sander, then higher and higher, make it wet sand paper, and break the back to keep it from clogging up.
------------------ PONTIAC FIERO OUTLAW
1984 Pontiac Fiero SE, Red, Blown Iron Duke, 4:10 4 speed. On a 1-10 scale, it's a 7. <Pipedream>What it will become: 1984 Pontiac Fiero GT Fastback, some sorta big ass engine, black interior, Mr. Mikes leather, Blue or Black Paint, and whatever else. On a 1-10 scale, it'll be a 12. :) ;)</pipedream>
Posts: 4144 From: Portland, OR Registered: Dec 2000
Don't ever let Maaco (or Earl Scheib, same crap) paint ANYTHING that you give a damn about! From the work I've seen come out of there, I wouldn't even let those guys paint my driveway lines. They do HORRIBLE prep work; in some cases I've seen people do their own prep to make sure it's done properly, but the Maaco guys did their own prepwork anyway (when my buddy told them it was ready to go, just wash it down, shoot paint at it) and added some horrible ripples because somebody got aggressive with the D.A.
You get what you pay for; iconsider that a good paintjob is a couple grand, and you want one for 230 bucks. Think about the difference between a good steak dinner (about 20 bucks, say)...then compare that to a $2.30 steak dinner. I think I made my point.
Bryce 88 GT
Dennis LaGrua Member
Posts: 12907 From: Hillsborough, NJ U.S.A. Registered: May 2000
I've seen some Maaco paint jobs that look real good and some that look like crap. If you bring Maaco a fully prepped and carefully sanded car your chances of getting an acceptable job increase. My son had an old S-10 a few years back that we sanded prepped and primed. We even masked it ourselves before we towed it to the shop. Maaco just shot the paint and it looked pretty darn good. However, if you bring Macco a car with a bad surface, they will just paint right over it and it will look bad. One thing for sure- for $200 don't expect to get a show car finish!!
I've seen some Maaco paint jobs that look real good and some that look like crap. If you bring Maaco a fully prepped and carefully sanded car your chances of getting an acceptable job increase. One thing for sure- for $200 don't expect to get a show car finish!!
------------------ Rich white 86 se, 2" drop, coil overs, KYB's. CRX intake, ported manifolds
My car is at Maaco right now. Been there for about a week so far. I sanded it down, then dropped it off to them. I ended up getting the third one up paintjob (Think it's ambassador, presidential, 3. supreme). I also am having a full clear over it. honestly, I don't have any idea how it's going to look YET. I'll post pics when it's done...hopefully in a few days. I've had that particular Maaco do work on other cars, and it was about a 60/40 shot. Some lasted forever, some didn't. SO, we'll see.
Posts: 4144 From: Portland, OR Registered: Dec 2000
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that all of the prep work you do yourself doesn't make a difference in how much overspray they manage to propogate through the car. I've seen some that aren't too bad, and some that are absolutely unbelievable. They also don't put much priority on good masking since it takes time to do properly. In my opinion, there's nothing goofier looking that seeing paint all over your seals and taillights, then opening the door jams or hood and seeing a mist of paint on everything.
I repeat, don't let them touch anything you really care about. If you care about the car, it's not worth the gamble for the few bucks you save compared to the irreparable damage they can potentially do. If you can't afford better, then just wait until you can afford better.
MACCO didn't paint our Fiero, but their local equivilent did. We were on a tight budget at the time. They prepped it & painted it, and @ 1st glance it looked great---but like Nashco says-there's enough overspray to have done a second car. All along the underside of the front lid, about 1 1/2" of overspray.& when you pop up the headlights, you can see white on black on the sides of the door supports. And the black trim-God they must have had a 5yr old taping it off. Took it back, only to find a vacant building. That was 4 yrs ago, & I'm still finding places where they oversprayed it. It is just acceptable-nothing more-but only after compounding & using 3m finish restorer. & I paid $500 for that paint job. It's time to do it again, since we completely re-did the interior ourselves, and had a new eng put in. I intend to go to the best place I can find this time. At the very least, ask to inspect the prep right before they start shooting on paint.
Posts: 3446 From: Cheyenne Wyoming Registered: Oct 2001
As a body and paint guy, you get what you pay for. I spend more on materials than MACCO charges for their entire paint job. Prep work is 95% of any paint job, and without the prep, you get the same surface you had before except it's shiny....or maybe not.
If you really want MACCO to spray your car, do the prep work yourself. Dennis is right....if you do the prep work, your paint job will probably come out acceptable. I did that with an Earl Sheib paint job years ago....it really wasn't too bad. I didn't have to dark tint my windows to hide while driving in shame.
I do suggest removing everything you can before they paint...take off the trim, decals, license plate (carry it with you, though), license plate lights....you get the idea.
If you are going to prep yourself, go buy a couple of books on body work. Read, read, read. Sand off all loose and cracked paint. Use 180 grit sandpaper on a dual-action (DA) sander, if you have one. Use an automotive grade filler/primer from someplace like NAPA. Follow that with 320 grit DRY sandpaper. Don't wet sand. If you have areas that don't need any repair, get a red 3M Scotchbrite and use that to scuff the old paint surface and scuff until the shine is gone. The Scotchbrite will scratch the surface of the old paint so the new paint or primer will grip, and it scuffs about the same as using 320 grit sandpaper.
Use good quality masking tape and paper. Don't use crap like Shur-tape, and don't use newspaper. Take your time.....
If you really want to learn, go to a local auto paint supply store and talk to the guys or gals (non sexist here) behind the counter. They will give you all the information about primers, paint, and what products to use where. It's not like painting model cars and planes....there is a lot to know. Read...read...read...
Mark the paint guru
BV MotorSports Member
Posts: 4797 From: Panama City, Fl Registered: May 2001
My car was painted by MACCO. Its owned by a local SCCA racer named Dale Blankenship. I have known him for a while and my paint job was $800. I removed all the trim, mirrors, wing etc. I'd say it turned out VERY nice. Most people dont believe its a MACCO paint job. Problem is, quality will vary from shop to shop.
------------------ 88 Fiero coupe 2.5 5 speed, Custom IHI RHB6 turbo equipped, gutted and track abused 88 Coupe Project "F-88" has begun....Classified TOP SECRET **your gonna love this** 88 Fiero Coupe 2.5/auto Not sure what I am going to do to this one! 87 Fiero GT 14.9/ 89mph **4.9 PFI swap in progress** 87 Fiero Coupe 91k miles 86 Fiero SE 88 Mazda RX-7 'vert SBC v8 383/T-5 Always have engines, fiero parts and accessories for sale. Custom engine swaps and chassis modifications are available.
Posts: 49497 From: A Western Caribbean Island/ Columbus, Ohio Registered: Apr 99
DO all the prep work yourself. There a franchise, so quality depends on which one. Check some of their finished jobs, ignoring thier lousy body work and prep. Like he said above, the shoot them for me for less than i can just buy paint and thinner for. My used car dealers cars that need all overs, all go to the one behind me. A few werent that good, but some were great. Remember their tapers and sanders only make like $10 to get your car ready.......sooooo.......There just hired off the street, with usually no experience at anything.
Maaco did my job...paint came out nice...no runs or anything...but the car was preped horribly...a lot of weak spots...but i'll bring it back to them and they'll fix it...or they'll get a law-suit
I paid $1100 CAD for it...and I got what I paid for...and I will continue to get what I paid for untill i'm happy w/ the Job.
My Suggestion...go to a professional shop that's well known and trusted among auto people. My job was supposed to origionally cost me $250 but at the end i had to pay $1000 beacsue of "prep" and "door Jams" and "clear coating" and "Changing colors"...etc.
Don't go Maaco...it's a shoot and miss kinda buisness..sometimes it's good but most of the times it's terrible
Posts: 3780 From: Brookston, IN Registered: Mar 2003
Call me cheap (I am) but who wants to spend $2000 or more on a paint job...especially on a car which has a total value of that much or less...which most fieros probably do (like mine) unless it's something special. I could see doing it on a 71 hemicuda, cause a car like that's worth some money. But as far as I see it, there would be now way I would spend that kind of money on my fiero. Sure it's in great shape and runs great..I love this car, but the fact of the matter is that's it's only worth so much, and a $2000+ paint job isn't going to raise it's value thru the roof. And personally, I don't think a picture perfect paint job is worth $2000+...but I'm not big on my exterior being picture perfect either. I'm definitely for doing all your own prepwork and then being VERY involved with those who are painting it...inspecting the car during every step of the process...even if this pisses the shop people off...it's my freakin car so to hell with what they think. If you see some things you deem unacceptable, point it out and have them fix it (assuming it's a mistake in their workmanship and not due to your prepwork). I know that for $250 I shouldn't expect perfection, but the things you guys are talking about are unacceptable no matter what the price. If they pulled that crap with me I wouldn't pay them a dime until it was all corrected.
Posts: 6495 From: Camden County NJ Registered: Sep 2001
Macco quality varies from shop to shop. I know near me there are two shops, one everyone says is horrible (i have seen a car they did..lets just say it looks good from 50 feet away, an inch closer and you can see the horrible prepwork) and they other people say is actually pretty good. Go to a book store and pick up a book on prepping and painting for like 20 bucks and prep the car yourself. Idaslo reccomend not going the cheapest job, upgrade to next level. It also doesnt hurt to meet the gy who is going to be painting the car and give him a little something extra
--Adam-- 1987 Blue GT 5-speed IM AOL: FieroGT5speed 16 years old and already selling my stuff to pay for repairs to my Fiero...which i sold my stuff to buy in the first place
Posts: 371 From: North Fork, CA Registered: May 2003
How much talent do you think the masking guys and spraying guys at Maaco have? You don't know, and looking at their cars that have been painted tells you only a little because you don't have a clue if the guys who masked and sprayed the car that looks relatively good are the same that will work on your car.
I am a firm believer in painting your car yourself. You can get a good top filling HVLP spray guy at Harbor Tool Freight or another cheap-o tool place. You can get one for around $75. Add a small touch-up gun for arount $15. Get a few gun mounted water filters as back ups to your air tool filter near your compressor. Rent a compressor if necessary. Go to a quality Automotive paint store that sells DuPont, PPG or House of Kolor paints and get primer, color coat, clear coat, assorted reducers and hardening catalysts, filters, and get all of the instructions from the people there as to how to use them. I go to a 'FinishMaster' shop... they really know their stuff. Buy REALLY GOOD masking tape, like 3M. Never scrimp on tape. And get a roll of masking paper.
You will ALWAYS do a better job masking and preping your prized Fiero that the little grunt that gets paid by how fast he/she masks yours and moves on to the next car.
You can't screw up a 2 stage paint job if you prep right.
Practice spraying cheap thinner on news paper or cardboard until you see the distance to spray at and play around with the shape of the spray.
Always start spraying high up on the car. I start at the driver's side center of the roof. Overspray at 50% of each run. I work counterclockwise around the car as I am right handed. Never sling your arm to paint... move your body so as to keep the spray gun at the exact distance and straightness to the surface of the car. Don't overshoot and cause runs. A thinner coat followed by a covering thin coat after the paint flashes is better than one thick runny coat.
Clear coat according to time and instructions of the paint store. If you have any runs or other boo-boos, you can easily wet sand them out to perfect.
You can invest around $250 to $350 dollars on the equipment and paint and end up with a paint job worth Thousands of dollars if you do it yourself. And you will KNOW that it is done right. You will know that it will last because it is not a whimpy thin one stage Maaco/EarlScheib/other quicky job. Once you do one car, the whole world opens up as to what kind of paint you can do later.
I have painted some sharp custom jobs, and I am no better than any of you. You CAN do your own.
I don't think the paint that Maaco did on my car came out that bad. I had a couple reasons for my decision. 1. The car isn't worth it. Damage to an ultra paint job is not very likely to be covered by my insurance and I have full coverage. Heck I even had them take pictures of it and the agent said I would still be lucky if I got $3500 for it. ugg 2. The car has 160,000+ miles on it and I drive it 40 miles every single day to work and back. Knowing these two things above it basically boils down to the fact that the car is not show room condition and the odds of dings, scratches, getting keyed, kids and several other unpleasant things is very high. In fact, my own son ran his bicycle into it about a month after I got it painted. Had it been expensive I would have been very upset. The way it is now...well I can afford to have it repainted every couple of years and whatever happens inbetween then, happens.
I will say that I spent about $600 on it and they did all the prep work. The amount of overspray was terrible. I bet I spent weeks cleaning it up and of course there is just some you can't get to but you have to look real hard to see it now. There are a couple of defects in the paint that I know of but most people don't see them unless I point them out to them. A color sand would probably fix it but again, see above. I agree that you get what you pay for when talking about paint and body work. I got what I paid for and it fit my needs and wants.
The only reason I can see for having a pristine paint job is if the car is very low mileage, garaged, trailered to shows and only driven on weekends.
Just my opinion. I think each person must satisfy themselves with regard to cost vs. use, maintenance, and quality. You may find the Maaco job acceptable after cleaning up the overspray and decide it looks pretty good. You may find that unless you get a $2000 paint job you will never be happy with it.