What to do?
I looked into having local body shops here in Boulder repaint the truck. Their estimates were between $5,000 and $6,000 - an outrageous amount given the value of the vehicle. I explored having it wrapped in vinyl, which would provided a tax advantage (advertising cost), but the local wrap shop said that I'd need to have the rest of the clear coat removed prior to doing it. Plasti-dip was by far the cheapest option, but results were uncertain and it required a ton of my labor. Neither wrapping or plasti-dip would fix the rust bubble that was starting to form just above the windshield.
In the end, I chose Maaco. I was hesitant, but I toured their facility in Denver (on Federal) and their higher-end paint seemed acceptable. The el-cheapo Maaco options weren't very good and the highest end "Platinum" package didn't offer any further advantage in terms of warranty or real quality. I chose their 2nd highest end "Performance" paint work with DuPont paint, a 5 year warranty, and a base cost of $1,200.
Of course, like all warranties, there is a lot of legal language and carve-outs. Maaco's 5 year warranty is really pro-rated after 3 years and it doesn't include the rust repair, only the paint. See the table below.
The paint ended up costing $1469.85, the bodywork to fix the rust bubbles was $451.20, and a new windshield was $240. With taxes, my final out the door cost ended up being about $2,206.75. Here's the detailed invoice.
How'd they do?
For the price, they did a pretty good job. I expected minor imperfections and my expectations were met. Take a look...
|Paint chips in the hood are all gone. The white line above the grill is a reflection.
|A paint drip near the side mirror.
|slight over spray near the window molding
The only clear disappointment (so far) is that under certain light, there appears to be a very light mist of clear coat visible on dark plastic pieces of the dashboard, as if someone opened the door while there was still a clear coat mist in the air. It doesn't rub off with a fingernail, but I haven't tried a cleaner yet. I'm not sure what, if anything Maaco can do about it. I'll follow up with them and see what they say.
Overall, I'm satisfied. It's a 4/5 star review with one star being deducted for barely visible mist of interior clear coating.