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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Arizona's a dry state, but some uncharacteristic rain a couple months back left us with a few potholes. Our cities' road crews seem fond of fixing these holes with a shovel-full of loose rocks and tar, relying on traffic to beat it down.

On the way home last night, I must've driven through one of these lovely patches. Heard all sorts of pinging and clamor inside my wheelwells (thankfully, I was far enough back from the guy ahead of me that nothing sailed up and nailed my front end). When I got home, I checked the painted areas behind the wheels. Dang. Little chips and pits.

Freak that I am, I spent the entire evening touching up a few of these and smoothing them out. Missed the entire D-Backs victory over the Dodgers on TV! Grrr. When I was done, the results were acceptable, but not perfect. I guess I could say that this area now has "character."

Truthfully, the pits are small enough that they don't catch the eye, so I have to be happy about that. Know what else makes me happy? The way the GTO is designed, it seems that most debris tossed up by the front tires stays INSIDE the wheel well, instead of being flung up the side of the car. The Vette was horrible for that kind of thing, with its rolled-under lower body and Coke-bottle sides. The front tires were forever spewing rocks against the flanks.

I wish car manufacturers would quit bringing painted bodywork inside the wheel wells, but oh well. As long as they keep designing cars that way, we just have to accept that these areas will get peppered with debris. I know, I know--I could do the whole 3M thing. I had Cleartastic on parts of the Vette. But I don't want to be as uptight about this car as I was with the Vette, so . . . I'll just have to chill.
 

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Fact of life. Cars + roads = potholes & stone chips. First thought you had a bent wheel or something.

You're right about the design of the GTO keeping stuff in the wheelwells. Wish my wife's car did. She has to hit every blob of gunk on the road -- resulting in the entire side of the car needing a wipe down in solvent and a reapplication of glaze. Really makes a Saturday morning doing that.
 

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I had a 3M clear bra applied to my Holden soon after purchasing it...I learned the hard way about. On just one drive to work during a mountain snowstorm, the pea gravel laid down by CalTrans sandblasted almost all of the paint off of my 323i's airdam.

I highly recommend a clear bra...it's amazing stuff. Makes bugs easy to scrub off as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The worst car I ever had for picking up self-inflicted chips was my '86 Corvette. If you recall that C4 body style, the "tumble home" on the lower portion of the body was acute. Nearly the whole back side of the front tires was exposed, so everything that came off those tires spewed up onto the lower doors.

Funny thing is, I was young and stupid then and just didn't care. I didn't know much about fixing chips, either, so I just left 'em.

I'm going to work on unclenching.
 

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I remember that Vette design. Wide enough for a surfboard down there. Think they did that to wrap around that piece of frame that runs under the rocker panels. The one that makes C4s so fun to get in and out of.

My Dad has a few Vettes -- and he's always on me about putting some kind of protective mudflaps on my cars. Every time it comes up, we always end up looking like we're on American Chopper.

I'd rather have a good looking car that has a few small chips in back of the wheels -- than a car with perfect paint and some goofy looking flaps -- although my Dad goes with some pretty subtle flat black plastic ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting you should mention mud flaps. I always think they look kinda goofy, too, but there've been times when I'd get those Corvette parts catalogs and almost place an order.

I get the feeling this whole subject of lower-body chipping used to be of greater concern in Detroit than it is now. My '82 Firebird had that crinkly, chip-resistant paint down low. You never see that stuff much these days, except on Porsches. Also, I recall (from reading about it, not from experience) that when the C3 Vette launched in '68, buyers complained about the exposed front tires chipping the body sides, so Chevy flared the fenders behind the wheels on subsequent models.

This design issue bugs me so much that when I look at the new Pontiac Solstice and see those curved-under flanks, I see a chipping nightmare. I call this "Design for Frustration," and I wish GM would quit doing it. They need to think of us poor, car-crazy slobs who react to a chip the way others react to a stock market crash or a death in the family. :D
 

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I found the inside of the fender behind the front wheels (where the body molding wraps into the fender) to be the worst area for chipping. I was looking (actually, admiring) my car the other day and noticed the chipping. Very small, but noticable when you rub your hand on it. Feels like sand paper.

I know what I'll be doing this weekend..! :eek:
 
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