Input requested: Clear coat issues on new-to-me 2006 LX

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My boy and I took a flight to Tennessee this past Friday to buy an LX from a small dealer outside of Nashville. One-owner Crystal Pearl 2006 with saddle interior and 174K on the clock. Impressed the hell out of us on the highway driving through seemingly endless thunderstorms. Was a great dad-son trip.

When I washed the truck at home I was surprised to see that "hard water spots" on the hood (and only the hood) would not wash off. On closer inspection the clear coat appears to be letting go in an odd way (see photo). The dealer did not mention this issue and the perpetually rain-spotted hood provided a perfect disguise. Not cool. I'm a member of an LX group on FaceBook and a fellow LX owner who works at a Nashville Lexus dealer knew about the truck and said the former owner only sold it after learning the cost of a complete dealership repaint. He noted that it's a very solid vehicle (southern truck, no frame rust, extensive service history at same dealer, healthy AHC, etc) that the Lexus dealer only chose to wholesale due to the cosmetic issue. I evidently bought it from the small dealer that snatched it up.

My questions:

- Is there any hope of wet sanding the current clear coat and then spraying more coats of clear (rather than complete repaint)?
- Anyone else in here with a Crystal White 100 (or any other LX color) have similar issues?
- Is this a tough paint color to match? I assume so, especially on a 13-year old truck.
- Will the hood paint need to be blended with surrounding fenders?

I'll be approaching the guy I bought it from to see if they're reimburse me the cost of a hood repaint but, well, you know. I'll also be getting a quote or two from local body shops. It seems to be a great truck save this one issue so I'd appreciate any helpful input. Looking forward to learning more about my LX from such a savvy group. Thank you.

1970667


1970662
 
My boy and I took a flight to Tennessee this past Friday to buy an LX from a small dealer outside of Nashville. One-owner Crystal Pearl 2006 with saddle interior and 174K on the clock. Impressed the hell out of us on the highway driving through seemingly endless thunderstorms. Was a great dad-son trip.

When I washed the truck at home I was surprised to see that "hard water spots" on the hood (and only the hood) would not wash off. On closer inspection the clear coat appears to be letting go in an odd way (see photo). The dealer did not mention this issue and the perpetually rain-spotted hood provided a perfect disguise. Not cool. I'm a member of an LX group on FaceBook and a fellow LX owner who works at a Nashville Lexus dealer knew about the truck and said the former owner only sold it after learning the cost of a complete dealership repaint. He noted that it's a very solid vehicle (southern truck, no frame rust, extensive service history at same dealer, healthy AHC, etc) that the Lexus dealer only chose to wholesale due to the cosmetic issue. I evidently bought it from the small dealer that snatched it up.

My questions:

- Is there any hope of wet sanding the current clear coat and then spraying more coats of clear (rather than complete repaint)?
- Anyone else in here with a Crystal White 100 (or any other LX color) have similar issues?
- Is this a tough paint color to match? I assume so, especially on a 13-year old truck.
- Will the hood paint need to be blended with surrounding fenders?

I'll be approaching the guy I bought it from to see if they're reimburse me the cost of a hood repaint but, well, you know. I'll also be getting a quote or two from local body shops. It seems to be a great truck save this one issue so I'd appreciate any helpful input. Looking forward to learning more about my LX from such a savvy group. Thank you.

View attachment 1970667

View attachment 1970662
I think that could come out with some buffing, maybe some more aggressive wet sanding. I know Black Onyx is single stage, maybe Crystal White is? I know that my 2000 4Runner (white as well) was single stage. From the pic above, it LOOKS like faded/damaged single stage. I'd get out there with some rubbing compound and a rag to see if I could make a difference. It is pretty easy to determine if you have base coat/clear coat or single stage. Grab some 1000 grit sandpaper, a water bottle, and wet-sand in an inconspicuous area. If you have white color (paint color) on your sandpaper, it is single stage. Might be a bit harder to tell since your car is white.

The good news is, white is pretty easy to spray, compared to black. It does not show flaws or mistakes as easily. I HIGHLY doubt you'll need to blend the paint in with the fenders.

EDIT: Disregard most of this, looks like Crystal White is a 3-stage coat (pearl) according to Toyota Color Codes - 062 model/year code 062 Cross-Reference.

Will be a bit harder to spray since it is a "pearl" finish. Are you sure its paint code 062? ImportArchive / Lexus LX 1998‑2007 Touchup Paint Codes and Color Galleries

Whats interesting is that website does not notate its a "pearl" finish, though 062 IS Crystal White Pearl everywhere else.

If a repaint is required, I'd go to Lexus, ask who does their paint/body and go from there. You might have to get the fender's blended to make you happy (I would).

I personally think you can fix that your self with a Harbor Freight buffer and some semi-heavy compound as long as your careful. You need to clay bar that hood to pull out sap, bugs, and other paint contaminants before buffing. My 1993 4Runner looked extremely similar and just clay barring the roof made a huge difference. If you run your hand over the hood, does it feel rough?

I would do this first, in this order:

1. Wash the car with dish soap (to pull any old waxes, sealants, etc out of the paint) with a quality microfiber rag.
2. Clay bar the vehicle (kit from AutoZone by Meguiars)
3. Buff a corner of the hood with some light finishing polish and gradually move up the heavy-ness of the polishes if needed.
4. Wet sand with 3000 grit (then 2000, then 1000 if needed) lightly. If you can't fix it with this, a respray is required, as the clearcoat has been etched and effectively ruined.

Since this appears to be a "pearl" finish, I do not think you can just respray the clear coat, since its effectively a tri-stage paint. A whole respray would be required.

Post more pictures of the damage, I think it is fixable just from what I've seen and worked on other cars. I am by no means a professional, I just have the opportunity to work and fix other's vehicles and I've researched what I can, when I can.
 
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I think that could come out with some buffing, maybe some more aggressive wet sanding. I know Black Onyx is single stage, maybe Crystal White is? I know that my 2000 4Runner (white as well) was single stage. From the pic above, it LOOKS like faded/damaged single stage. I'd get out there with some rubbing compound and a rag to see if I could make a difference. It is pretty easy to determine if you have base coat/clear coat or single stage. Grab some 1000 grit sandpaper, a water bottle, and wet-sand in an inconspicuous area. If you have white color (paint color) on your sandpaper, it is single stage. Might be a bit harder to tell since your car is white.

The good news is, white is pretty easy to spray, compared to black. It does not show flaws or mistakes as easily. I HIGHLY doubt you'll need to blend the paint in with the fenders.

EDIT: Disregard most of this, looks like Crystal White is a 3-stage coat (pearl) according to Toyota Color Codes - 062 model/year code 062 Cross-Reference.

Will be a bit harder to spray since it is a "pearl" finish. Are you sure its paint code 062? ImportArchive / Lexus LX 1998‑2007 Touchup Paint Codes and Color Galleries

Whats interesting is that website does not notate its a "pearl" finish, though 062 IS Crystal White Pearl everywhere else.

If a repaint is required, I'd go to Lexus, ask who does their paint/body and go from there. You might have to get the fender's blended to make you happy (I would).

I personally think you can fix that your self with a Harbor Freight buffer and some semi-heavy compound as long as your careful. You need to clay bar that hood to pull out sap, bugs, and other paint contaminants before buffing. My 1993 4Runner looked extremely similar and just clay barring the roof made a huge difference. If you run your hand over the hood, does it feel rough?

I would do this first, in this order:

1. Wash the car with dish soap (to pull any old waxes, sealants, etc out of the paint) with a quality microfiber rag.
2. Clay bar the vehicle (kit from AutoZone by Meguiars)
3. Buff a corner of the hood with some light finishing polish and gradually move up the heavy-ness of the polishes if needed.
4. Wet sand with 3000 grit (then 2000, then 1000 if needed) lightly. If you can't fix it with this, a respray is required, as the clearcoat has been etched and effectively ruined.

Since this appears to be a "pearl" finish, I do not think you can just respray the clear coat, since its effectively a tri-stage paint. A whole respray would be required.

Post more pictures of the damage, I think it is fixable just from what I've seen and worked on other cars. I am by no means a professional, I just have the opportunity to work and fix other's vehicles and I've researched what I can, when I can.

Really appreciate the thoughtful reply. I'll post more pics once I'm home -- my wife is driving the LX right now (and loves it). I'll follow the steps you suggest and see how it goes. I have wet/dry sandpaper in various weights, a 5-inch orbital buffer and this stuff already. I'll pick up the clay bar kit next. Should the polish follow the last wet sand?

Given the truck's very good overall condition I find it odd that the Lexus dealer did not consider repainting the truck's hood and instead just wholesaled it. Maybe they don't put much effort or dough into used vehicles before flipping them (lower margin) so they only feature the cream of the crop on their lot.
 
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Keaton, I really appreciate the thoughtful reply. I'll post more pics once I'm home -- my wife is driving the LX right now (and loves it). I'll follow the steps you suggest and see how it goes. I have wet/dry sandpaper in various weights, a 5-inch orbital buffer and this stuff already. I'll pick up the clay bar kit next. Should the polish follow the last wet sand?

Given the truck's very good overall condition I find it odd that the Lexus dealer did not consider repainting the truck's hood and instead just wholesaled it. Maybe they don't put much effort or dough into used vehicles before flipping them (lower margin) so they only feature the cream of the crop on their lot.

It's a white truck, they possibly didn't even notice it. Also, most dealers have higher margins on used cars than the new ones. That's why most new car dealers have a pretty sizable used lot and don't just blow out their trade-ins at the auctions.

The clay bar won't do anything for the water spots if they've already etched the paint. It should be done as part of your correction to remove contaminants, just don't expect to "see" any difference. Those who do are just seeing a clean surface for the first time. As stated, you'll either need to wet sand or cut with a heavy cut compound before polishing it out. Like keaton said, start with your least aggressive polish that has actual abrasive properties and work your way up incrementally as you need to, depending on how much progress each product makes. IMO, it should come out pretty well.
 
no issues on my 06, the body shop at I-75 and I-4 close to Tampa I had good results on a classic car in the past
 
Really appreciate the thoughtful reply. I'll post more pics once I'm home -- my wife is driving the LX right now (and loves it). I'll follow the steps you suggest and see how it goes. I have wet/dry sandpaper in various weights, a 5-inch orbital buffer and this stuff already. I'll pick up the clay bar kit next. Should the polish follow the last wet sand?

Given the truck's very good overall condition I find it odd that the Lexus dealer did not consider repainting the truck's hood and instead just wholesaled it. Maybe they don't put much effort or dough into used vehicles before flipping them (lower margin) so they only feature the cream of the crop on their lot.
No problem, I live for this kinda stuff. I never have enough time to do what I want on my truck, so I'm happy to live out my dreams thru sharing what little knowledge I have. Glad your wife loves it haha!

Yes, your should follow the final wet sand with a polish. Do not try to press into the paint too hard with the sandpaper, as that can ruin the pearl finish. You're just trying to remove the water mark etching. Super excited to see how it turns out.
 
No problem, I live for this kinda stuff. I never have enough time to do what I want on my truck, so I'm happy to live out my dreams thru sharing what little knowledge I have. Glad your wife loves it haha!

Yes, your should follow the final wet sand with a polish. Do not try to press into the paint too hard with the sandpaper, as that can ruin the pearl finish. You're just trying to remove the water mark etching. Super excited to see how it turns out.

Probably won’t get to this until the weekend – – like you I have more dreams than time. Will post an update.
 

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