How To: Carbon Fiber Clear Coat Repair


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Re-re-clear coated my hood again! *Tutorial* (sorry 56k)

Well as im sure many of you know or may have noticed, my hood has always looked like complete s**t. Yes I do my best to hide it by putting all sorts of wax and other shiney stuff on it and by constantly taking low angle shots or just finding a backdrop to draw your attention away from it but the truth is it looked horrible and I just couldnt take it anymore.
A few weeks ago I found a DIY tutorial on how to reclearcoat an oxidized hood so I gave it a shot and it turned out great but then I decided to try to make it a little better yet and ended up sanding through all the clear coat, right down to the bare carbon fiber and all my work went to waste. I was pretty discouraged at wasting a good 8 hours of work, but finally I got up the motivation to do it again and here you have it... enjoy!

Materials Needed:
800 grit wet/dry sandpaper
1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper
Extra fine "0000" steel wool
Extra fine scotch rubbing pad
3 cans of clear acrillic laquer
Dish soap
Rubbing compound
A good wax
A lot of rags
6 hours of time!

Optional materials:
High speed buffer
Box fan

I got all of these products for under $40 bucks. Got the buffer for $15 from Wal-Mart, the rubbing pads and steele wool from Lowes, the clear laquer from Advanced Auto parts, and the sand paper from Ace (because they sell single sheets of all grit paper). You can probably narrow that list of stores down to a few, I just picked the things up over a week whenever it was convenient.

Here is one of the few shots I have where you can see how crappy the hood is.

Ugly areas where I sanded past the clear coat.

You can do a lot of the work while the hood is still on the car or you can take it off. I did a little of both.

Start by using 800 or so grit wet/dry sand paper and get rid of all the old clear.

It helps a lot if you keep it wet so have a hose handy. My hose sprung a leak and kept squirting me (you perv) profusly so I had to use pitchers of water from my kitchen. =)

Once you have gotten all the old finish off the hood should have a completely flat (as in not shiney) and smooth finish. Remove it and place it somewhere good to paint it.

Take a wet rag with some dish soap and wash the whole hood clean of any sanding residue, you dont want to spray a new coat right on top of a bunch of dust. Bust out the spray laquer and give it a good first coat. Use 1 whole can for this coat and make sure so get it all evenly.

Put a fan on it while its drying to speed up the process a little and keep the fumes from going to your head. Wait a good half hour for each coat to dry because you dont want to start wet sanding a sticky surface!

Once the first coat is dry, lay the hood down and get out the scotch rubbing pads. If you run your hand over the hood it should have a slight texture to it from the paint particles. The purpose of sanding it here is just to remove that very surface of the coat so dont sand too much. You will be able to feel that the surface is a lot smoother after just sanding it a little all over.

Once the surface is pretty smooth. Wipe it down again with a soapy rag and rinse it off. Make sure you dry it off thoroughly too because 1 drop of water will make things messy. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 untill you have put a full 3 cans of clear on and have once again taken the very surface texture off using the scotch pads.

Ok, here where the fun part comes. Use the scotch pad on it for a good while. (I did this for nearly an hour) If you look really closely at the surface of the hood you will actually be able to see the texture of the clear coat, just little micro spots all over the more you get rid of those the better and better the hood will start looking. I really advise taking your time on this part first going over the whole hood with the scotch pad (you will actually feel the resistance start going down as you sand, you will get less and less residue coming off the areas you wand more because they start getting smoother). I sorta mentally divided the hood into 4 parts the left and right sides, and the the front and back of the center section, then just did it a section at a time, which kinda makes you see your progress better.

Once you scotch pad the whole thing thoroughly for the last time get out your 1500 grit wet sand paper. You will pretty much be doing the same thing as the last step but just using a different sanding material. Take your time on this part and go over the whole hood a few times. If you can still see a lot of texture from the clear coat you are not ready for this step and need to continue the previous step longer. If you only see a very slight texture but mostly only see light lines from sanding then you are ready for this step.
I went over the hood a few times using a good amount of pressure and then a few times just lightly.

Wipe off the hood and look for any hazy spots. If you find some areas like this then look at them closely to determine if they need the scotch pad or the wet sand treatment. Once you have finished any touchup sanding wipe the whole hood off with soap and water.

Get out the rubbing compound and highspeed buffer. Spread some rubbing compound on a portion of the hood (not the whole thing because it will dry by the time you get through with the whole thing) Buff, Buff, Buff! I would recomend making sure the hood is cool when doing this because when its warm the rubbing compound starts drying as you go and doesnt work as well.

Heres where I started smiling, because once you start wiping it off its like a whole world of difference!

Put the car in the driveway and wash the whole thing clean cause theres probably crap all over it from working on it. Once everything is nice and clean Give the hood a nice wax and it should look beautiful. =)

12. Smoke a lot of bud for a job well done, that is if you can still raise you arms after all that sanding ;)
*pic removed, this isnt the vip lounge ;)*

Heres what it looked like when I was done with it.

Before I washed the car.

After I washed it.

Got my coilovers on now too so the back is sitting nice and low. Im going to lower the whole car 1 more inch though.

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Set This World On Blaze!!
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damn, ima have to do that to my looks like caca...
nice write up. good work.


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Because of this I just find out that you can redo a carbon fiber hood completly to its original glory. Lot of work, I have to make sure I get a nice sleep and a good breakfast before I start doing this. Exellent write up, couldn't see some of the pirctures thou!! still i give you two thumps up!!


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Car is awsome cept for muffler and sticker on back window...

Muffler looks like a can...


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Nice write up, I just bought my CF hood almost in the condition yours is in and I am looking around on how to restore it. Finally found this thread and I have hope again. Nice write up. PROPZ


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hells yeah nice work man!!!!


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great writeup. my hood looked like s**t and now it looks great. i only used 2 cans of the clear because i went to all the auto part stores in my area and only found 2 cans of this brand so thats all i used. i dont trust the other brands.
arizona auto repair
The last thing that you need to do is to wait for interested buyers. This won’t take too long, given that you have followed the instructions that I have discussed above. You can also continuously advertise your car by staying in popular forums and posting on relevant threads. If you are going to do this on a regular basis, I can assure you that you can sell your race car within a month or two.
try oreilys they tell you what to do right there in the parkign lot
Wow your eg is absolutely beautiful! I was actually trying to get mines to look exactly like that... I have a cf hood also so I was wondering, did you use spray cans of the clear coat??

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