• Having site issues? Contact Dub@southernPolyurethanes.com

Clear coat failure, sand to metal?

'99 Dodge Dakota, clear coat failed, looks like surfaces that were exposed to direct sunlight the longest was where it failed. Anyways, I am trying to clean up my car including refinishing it. It's not a show car and will remain a daily driver so I don't need to go the extra mile but I do want to do a good job.

I started sanding and the basecoat where the clear had chipped off was super hard, 36 grit was only very slowly removing material (when compared to sanding clear/base/primer on other parts of the car that hadn't failed). I went all the way down to E-coat, because well I'd rather not go to metal and just sand the sections where the clear coat failed down to E-coat only, undamaged clear on the rest of the car will get 400/scruff pad. However, I noticed that the basecoat where the clear coat failed has these tiny fractal like cracks in it, and sanding down to the E-coat I can still see these fractal like cracks. Can I disregard that? Paint over it with SPI Epoxy and then base/clear? Or do I need to sand all of the E-coat off?

This is clear coat failing:

This is close up of basecoat on roof (not sanded yet):

This is close up of E-Coat after sanding off basecoat:



Trying to be the best me, I can be
The checking on the e-coat indicates that you need to take it all off. Strip it to metal or you'll have issues after you paint. Chrysler products from this era were terrible about paint issues. Especially Dodge trucks. Can't tell you how many I've had to strip the top hood and trunk lid on.


evil painter
Basic rule of thumb is most modern finishes properly sanded down are a good base coat to respray on as long as the finish is between cured & not deteorated.. Anything that looks like a crack , blister, etc, could temporarily go away, but most likely to always come back & bite you later. This also includes sanding scratches that are too course.