Carbon Fiber Resoration - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-13-2009, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Carbon Fiber Resoration

So I've been trying all kinds of things to get my carbon fiber hood and trunk, maybe 3 to 4 years old, back into shape. It basically looks very hazed, milky white instead of having a transparency to the clearcoat. This takes away the glimmer of the fiber. I buffed with my drill and a medium-low cut rubbing compound. This made it look slightly better for a few hours, and then it looked like crap again. So I wet sanded with 600 and shot it with a few coats of clear, and it looked great for a few weeks. It was a laquer clear, so it dried rough without a smooth finish.

I shot it with my father in law, and he thought after a rubbing it down with some polish and wax, it might help the surface. I haven't done this yet. But I'm starting to see the old spots returning in the trunk, a bit of hazing, and what looks like water marks reappearing. They aren't water marks... they are rings of some kind, like if you let something clear and sticky dry on a countertop, but they are under the clear, and they are the SAME exact spots as before reappearing, I definately recognize them from before.

So now when you look at it in the right angle in the sun, it shimmers like carbon fiber should. Any other angle yields a dull black look. I've been fighting this and trying different things for over a year now, and of course there is lots of info online, but I don't know what REALLY works.

SO, has anyone else successfully resored their carbon fiber? I don't mind if it's a compound I have to re-apply every 6 months, or a clear I have to shoot every year or 2. These gel coats they use are terrible! These hoods and trunks cost $500 to $900, they should last longer than a few years.

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post #2 of 4 Old 05-14-2009, 02:29 AM
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My buddy had the same problem you have. He had a very old CF hood with extensive UV damage. We wet sanded it down very lightly then took it to a reputable shop. They sprayed it with their quality clear coat and it came out great. We then wet sanded it again and buffed it out. The shop has a lifetime warranty and also applies an extra UV protectant at an additional cost. It cost him 140 all together. So far it has been three months and no problems. It doesn't look spectacular but a major improvement from its original condition.

The quality of your Carbon Fiber (Company) as well as your climate depends on how susceptible your hood will be to UV damage. You have to regular conduct maintenance on some brands more than others.

Here are some things to consider:
1.) Is there major damage to your hood such as cracks or blemishes that are irreversible?
2.) How well you wet sand
3.) The quality of your Clear Coat
4.) The amount of coats you apply
5.) Post wet sand & polish
6.) UV protectant
7.) Park in areas with minimal exposure to the sun
If youíre still not satisfied then you might as well buy another one. If you go that route make sure you apply the UV protectant and keep an eye on your hood before itís too late. Hope this helps
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-14-2009, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, so no matter what, it's never going to look like it did huh? Maybe it's time to spray it to match the car. I suppose I could check for shops that spray a uv clear coat.

Mcguiar's makes a polish that is supposed to restore carbon fiber, and they have clips on youtube showing how amazing it is of course. I don't know if it's worth spending time and money trying to find something like that now that I've already cleared it.

What # did you wet sand with on your prep and final pass? What kind of maintenance? Does waxing/polishing make any difference on your friends hood?

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post #4 of 4 Old 05-15-2009, 12:13 AM
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Anything over 15K should be fine as long as you donít
- apply to much pressure
- sand evenly and watch the corners
- don't wet sand too much

Maintenance = Reapplying a clear coat every year or UV protectant. Depending on the brand of CF will be the determining factor of your scheduled maintenance.

And yes' It helped out allot. I wish I could show you pictures, but unfortunately he is out of state. His hood had been sitting in Texas sun for over 2 years. This was direct sunlight light mind you and it was torn up. I didn't believe that it could be fixed, but was amazed at the results. If it ever fades the shop will reapply another coat and UV protectant. Thatís pretty sweet for the deal.
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