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Quality concern on possible purchase


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I looked at a '90 coupe this morning that I like. Everything looks good but driver's door was a little difficult to open - nothing that I haven't experienced with some other Reattas that WD40 or silicone can't remedy. Second owner doesn't think the car has been in an accident (CarFax has no report of an accident but they can be wrong). The paint/finish on the door looks good as does its' alignment. But I noticed there was some paint over spray on the lower horizontal black molding. Upon further investigation, when I pulled back the 'carpeting' in the trunk where the remote control module is (left rear), I also some some over spray on the back side of the rear panel. My Reatta is far from where I currently am so I can't look at it to compare.

This is a low mileage Reatta and although I'm not sure if a past accident would be a deciding factor on a purchase, I'd like to know if such over spray had been known to occur. Other then crawling underneath, I have no means to place the car on a lift to thoroughly investigate the undercarriage.

So the question is... Any knowledge of over spray on Reattas during the manufacture/assembly process (for the car in general)? I would assume fenders and doors were painted prior to assembly but I want to put that question out there. Thanks.

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You're right, Carfax can be wrong. SeanR is right. Unlikely there would be overspray on trim pieces. Look at the Vehicle Certification Label and the Tire Information Label on the driver's door. Does the VIN on these match the VIN on the dash? Also, does it look like these labels were masked-off for a respray?

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I don't think there's a VIN label on driver's door (just passenger door).

The deal looks like it will fall through. We're far apart on the car's value and seller isn't budging. I think he needs a few weeks to pass before reality sets in.

But I am curious if there were any known 'over spray' issues when the cars came off the assembly line. Could there have been 'touch up' done on cars due to damaged paint during assembly?

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Ervin,

Is the car in question red? I ask because you referred to over spray on the back side of the rear panel (I assume you mean the curved rear quarter trim) visible from the trunk. An anecdotal piece of information is that the interior trim (rear quarters and door panels) were made by vacuum forming the vinyl over a very thin layer of closed cell foam. This was all held on with a spray-on contact cement that is red in color. Most of these panels have visible overshoot of the contact cement on the particle board, and I can see where one may think this was paint over spray if the paint job on the car happens to be red.

If it is not a red car, then this clearly is not applicable. Given the other over spray you noted I suspect something happened that required repainting of part of the exterior. May not have been an accident of course; it could have been keyed, or scratched/marred by other means. Carfax, as you noted, is by no means foolproof. Repairs are only reported by participating dealers/shops and I imagine by most insurance companies.

Since these cars predate the internet (in it's consumer version of 95 onward) and by extension Carfax, I suspect data for reported incidents prior to that time frame are sparse unless someone went through years of old records and entered it all. That would be a tremendous amount of data entry, even if it could be culled from other existing databases.

KDirk

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Ervin,

Is the car in question red? I ask because you referred to over spray on the back side of the rear panel (I assume you mean the curved rear quarter trim) visible from the trunk. An anecdotal piece of information is that the interior trim (rear quarters and door panels) were made by vacuum forming the vinyl over a very thin layer of closed cell foam. This was all held on with a spray-on contact cement that is red in color. Most of these panels have visible overshoot of the contact cement on the particle board, and I can see where one may think this was paint over spray if the paint job on the car happens to be red.

If it is not a red car, then this clearly is not applicable. Given the other over spray you noted I suspect something happened that required repainting of part of the exterior. May not have been an accident of course; it could have been keyed, or scratched/marred by other means. Carfax, as you noted, is by no means foolproof. Repairs are only reported by participating dealers/shops and I imagine by most insurance companies.

Since these cars predate the internet (in it's consumer version of 95 onward) and by extension Carfax, I suspect data for reported incidents prior to that time frame are sparse unless someone went through years of old records and entered it all. That would be a tremendous amount of data entry, even if it could be culled from other existing databases.

KDirk

The car is silver (as is the over spray).

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Ervin,

My car car had a similar "overspray". I am 100% sure my car has not had any bodywork done on it. Though back when the car was new, my dad did have the car professionally rustproofed. It is possible that something they sprayed on the car is what I was seeing. Cleaning it up was one of the little things I had the detail shop do before I drove it down to LA last June.

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Overspray on the trim!? Perhaps they had it painted at Maaco or by an individual who didn't care enough to avoid that, or maybe even they did it themselves. It could mean that they just wanted to paint it, or it could mean that it was in an accident (maybe small, maybe big). If they'll let you I would ask to take it on a nice long drive and feel for yourself whether the performance of the car has been affected somehow (steering, braking, or suspension irregularities are ones to watch). If it runs well and looks good then the odds are it was not wrecked or was repaired well. If you buy it and it turns out to be a dud, you could always sell it or part it out for the good parts.

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Ervin,

My car car had a similar "overspray". I am 100% sure my car has not had any bodywork done on it. Though back when the car was new, my dad did have the car professionally rustproofed. It is possible that something they sprayed on the car is what I was seeing. Cleaning it up was one of the little things I had the detail shop do before I drove it down to LA last June.

Kind of why I asked. Attention to detail/quality back then wasn't what it is like today.

It does become a moot point in this scenario as seller's value on the car does not equate to current market conditions.

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FYI:

I took delivery of a new Ford LTD around 90. While new, it had overspray. We put together that it had been dropped off the delivery truck. Probably damage to such a vehicle wouldn't show in records.

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I have never seen ANY overspray on any original Reatta. Remember they were painted by RRP not GM and after paint they were assembled.

So how could there be overspray....unless...............

unless repainted orrrrr a failure by RRP! CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE FOUND THE RARE OVERSPRAYED REATTA :D

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