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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it's not my Caliber luckily but it is a Dodge. Noticed these two scratches, more like gouges, on the lfitgate of my Grand Caravan two days ago. I went outside for the paper this morning and see they are rusting pretty good. I obvioulsy need to take care of this quickly. Can anyone recommend how to get to clean metal and how to refinish it? I figure if i just cover it with paint it will just spread underneath until it falls off in chunks.

It's almost as if it was hit by a run-away shopping cart, there's a dent there too but I'm not too concerned about it if the paint is intact.



 

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There are a few ways depending on how much time/effort/cash you want to spend to make it look decent/good/like new.

Way #1 is to get some touch up paint in the same color you have and just brush it in the gouged area.. you will still see the gouges and it's very likely the paint will chip off again with time.

Way #2 is to use first a low grit sandpaper like 80-120 to sand around the gouges and feather them out so that when you run your finger over the gouge with your eyes closed you cannot feel rough edges anymore and then finish sand them with 300-600 grit paper make sure you also scuff the entire liscence plate area as you will be painting that whole area. Next use masking tape and roll it up so you will not get a distinct edge and mask off the area like I will show you at the bottom of the page. Next clean the area thouroughly and use a tack cloth after cleaning to ensure it's dust/dirt free. Then either get dodge to match you your paint in base/clear and spray it with a proper paint gun or have them get you a can of spraypaint that matches the car's color. Next prime the area where the gouges are, then paint the whole area inside the liscence plate area so that you don't end up getting dry spray on the other areas wich will look ugly. This method should make it look decent or great depending on how well you do.

Way #3 Remove the whole liftgate, strip it back down to bare metal either via a stripping agent or by sanding it down, prep it the same as above and then prime and repaint the entire liftgate.

That is the 3 way I see you can do it, also on a side note if you have metallic paint you had best let a professional do the touch up, because metallics are very hard to spray to avoid what is called modelling (where the metallics in the paint clump and gather together instead of bieng evenly spread out).

Here is a pic outlining where you should use apply the masking tape. Also be sure to mask off the rest of the liftgate to prevent any overspray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MoparMak said:
check out the scratch on mine.....

http://members.cox.net/tulsatech1221/DSCF1906.JPG


Kid on a bicycle hit it in my driveway the day after I made my first payment... Estimate is 666.27 I am not looking forward to dealing with his parents
That's just not right man.

The van is two years old so not as much of killer as if it was my Caliber. I'm going to go and try method #2 above. I don't want to just cover it with paint because the rust will still be there and it will peel soon and a full door make-over is just too time consuming. If worse comes to worse and there's a transition in the shade or finish in the color it's still better than a rusty scratch.

Thanks all for your input

If it goes well I'll post a before and after.
 

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.38 said:
That's just not right man.

The van is two years old so not as much of killer as if it was my Caliber. I'm going to go and try method #2 above. I don't want to just cover it with paint because the rust will still be there and it will peel soon and a full door make-over is just too time consuming. If worse comes to worse and there's a transition in the shade or finish in the color it's still better than a rusty scratch.

Thanks all for your input

If it goes well I'll post a before and after.
I noticed today that somebody has hit the front of our caravan, and scratched it all up, and gouged the grey plastic all up, which you cant just paint over, like you can for the painted portion of the bumper. What kills me is that had they hit the van 3 inches to the left they would have only hit the plate, which is falling apart anyways, and I wouldnt care. I know what a pain it is to get a paint to match perfectly on a car, after trying to do some bodywork on an old dakota of ours. Hey if the colour is terribly off just paint it flat black around the plate like the special charger editions. lol jk, but really i feel your pain.
 
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