OEM AP1 Front Lip Restore & Paint

I had been running a replica AP1 front lip for all of that season, and the fit was okay. But I knew that I wanted to find one of the now-discontinued true OEM ones. I couldnt justify going through the trouble of priming and painting the replica lip and ultimately not being 100% happy with it.

Earlier this summer, I found someone selling one in Southern Illinois and was able to grab it for a reasonable cost. Now that theyre discontinued, its extremely difficult to find them. When you do, the sellers usually try to get an arm and a leg for it. I felt that I got this lip for a fair price, and it was in pretty good shape for an 18 year old part.

Fit on the OEM part is obviously spot-on, and certainly worth the trouble to restore and paint.

I started by removing the OEM weatherstripping and rubbing down the part with isopropyl alcohol. I sanded in succession with 80, 100, 220, and 600 grit sand paper. Doing my best to blend the rock chips and curb rash. Wiping it down with alcohol in between sanding steps to remove the dust.

I picked up a can of primer, berlina black paint, and clear coat.

For the first primer coat, I did a light misting. I made a huge mistake of doing this indoors. I didnt figure that the light coat would smell as much as it did, but after about 15 minutes the entire house stunk of acetone. After turning on the house fan, putting a fan bu the paint site to the basement window, and opening some other windows, the odor had dissipated after about 90 minutes. Lesson learned.

We finally got a decent day, in the mid-60s. So I took the opportunity to add the second coat of primer.

Coverage turned out pretty good. It was slightly windy, so I wasted some paint.

Sanded and smoothed the primer with 600 grit.

base coat applied.

i didnt quite get the clear coat right the first go-round, so I wound up having to grab another can of 2K clear cost and hit it again. Here it is after polishing it with no wet sanding. The texture has a lot of tiny ripples in it, which isnt going to reflect the light the same way as the rest of the car.

So i decided to go ahead and try to smooth out the finish. I first attempted to just do 2000 grit, but it didnt quite knock down the ripples and left me with a TON of orange peel after polishing.

So i went back again, this time starting wet sanding with 1500 grit and working slowly. Spraying with water and wiping down a section at a time until i got most of the ripples out. Then I went over that with 2000 grit again.

As you can see, nearly the entire surface is now pretty smooth and dull.

Then I went back AGAIN, with heavy correcting compound, then correcting polish, then finishing polish.

I think that the results wound up very good, and this will certainly be good enough for my AP1. Im very happy with the quality of my work, having never done anything like this before.

Then I went ahead and installed the rubber gasket/trim molding to finish it off properly.

Ready to install! Although this unfortunately will need to wait a couple of weeks once Im back from vacation…

New OEM installation hardware. The paint looks so close, you cant even tell that it has orange peel or was painted in a backyard when youre standing right next to it in the sunlight. So I consider this project a success!

The color match looks spot on in sunlight. Im very happy with it!

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