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OEM clear coat

#1
On average, how thick is OEM clear? I often have to remove somewhat deep scratches on cars and wonder how much I have to play with. I do have a thickness gauge.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#2
Hard to guess as proper way is measure after base.
Most new cars and trucks will read 4 to 4.7 mils including e-coat, base and clear.
safe guess is 2 mils, so that leaves no room for wet-sanding and buffing without shortening the life of the clear.
 
#3
I wrote this once before. When I got a replacement hood for our 97 Lumina and painted it with "factory" stuff, it really seemed like the clear just completed the basecoat. It was not going on in layers, the base just started to get shiny untill 4 passes were made and it looked like wet basecoat. That is why there is some disconnect with real clears with some people.
 
#4
I checked some new cars today for fun. Ranged from 4.7 to 15 mils. Same model and year. Looks like the factory redid some.
 

Barry

Paint Fanatic
Staff member
#5
I checked some new cars today for fun. Ranged from 4.7 to 15 mils. Same model and year. Looks like the factory redid some.
Kent, this weirdo for fun plays with his mil gauge all the time and highest I have EVER seen from a factory is 4.9 mils.
However factory's do have a redo line but I would guess that car was damaged and repaired after it was shipped by the factory.
 
#6
Kent, this weirdo for fun plays with his mil gauge all the time and highest I have EVER seen from a factory is 4.9 mils.
However factory's do have a redo line but I would guess that car was damaged and repaired after it was shipped by the factory.
I know when my father bought his new station wagon in 1973 they offered a scratch resistant coating. The new deal are these ceramic topcoats, do you think it might be an optional extra protection that might be adding 10 mils?
 
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