ZB. Front Lip Paint Prep

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Evolution Orange

2000 Miata LS

Front Lip Paint Prep

I had been searching for a front lip since January for the 2000 Evolution Orange Miata. I had not even seen one ad offering one for sale. I did not want to purchase an aftermarket lip. I wanted the OEM to keep the car original.

I posted a wanted ad on Miata.net and got an offer to sell me a 99-00 front lip from a fellow in California. We worked out a deal and he sent it last week. It finally arrived today. The box was a little worn, but the lip inside made the trip intact.

I knew from the pictures he sent me that the lip had chipping paint. It also was a red paint that did not look like the OEM red paint. So, I knew it would take some work to get it ready for paint.

These are the pictures he sent me.

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When it arrived, it was obvious the lip had several coats of paint on it. I first tried flaking off the sections of paint that were loose. That only got the first coat of paint off in a few places.

I then tried wet sanding and discovered the second coat of red paint. Both coats of red paint were a single stage paint on top of a filler primer and some body filler here and there. Sanding alone was not going to work very well. It would have taken a week to sand all the red paint off.

So, I took out my little peanut pocket knife and tried scraping the paint. It worked! The first layer would come off without too much effort. However, continued scraping was required to scrape the primer and the next layer of paint off. It only took about two hours of scraping with the knife and wet sanding with 400 grit paper to remove the old paint down to the original clear coat.

The original color looks like a midnight blue. There was so much body filler and filler primer on the lip that all the scratches appear to be filled. I removed most of the body filler since all it appeared it was for was to fill the larger scratches.

I do not think any further work on the outside surface will be necessary. I believe the color can be applied directly over the original clear coat. It may need some adhesion promoter on a few spots where the plastic is showing.

I will try to remove some of the red paint on the inside of the lip or paint it orange.

I have read that less paint on a flexible part is much better than many coats of paint. I clearly see that now. I do not think the person who painted this lip red was thinking of that when they applied all the coats of primer and red paint.

I sure do have a dull knife now!