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Old 14th June 2011, 10:23   #1
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Default Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Hello!

Starting a thread capturing the details of the cosmetic makeover of my Palio GTX. A bit of background first. We bought this car from new in 2002 in Lucknow. For the first four years, it served as my father's car while I was studying (graduation > preps > MBA in Mumbai > Job in NOIDA).

In 2006, I bought an brand new NHC (my first car) and promptly exchanged it with the then four-years-old Palio. The Palio has been my daily driver since July 2006.

I lavish my car with loads of TLC, with no expenses spared. I rush to the service center for even the slightest problem. So while the car is almost perfect in every other way, the gradual cosmetic deterioration was killing me. Pictures in the thread would throw more light on this.


From a distance, the car looked like this:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-01.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-02.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-03.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-04.jpg


Nothing much wrong, isn't it? But a closer inspection revealed the problems:

Paint bubbling on the right fender:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-05.jpg

Paint peeling off near the badge on the right fender. The dealer had stuck the badge witht he equivalent of fevi-qwik, leading to damage around that area:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-06.jpg

Signs of the badge being removed and re-stuck. When the panel was painted at the dealer's, the painter had stuck the badges the wrong way (16V 100, instead of 100 16V). Had to get the badge removed, leading to damaged paint:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-07.jpg


Poor prep-work on the body filler / primer showing up:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-08.jpg


All the doors had dents due to people carelessly opening the door of their vehicle parked next to mine:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-09.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-10.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-11.jpg

Paint drip on the LR door. This was when I got the door handle painted at the dealer:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-11a.jpg


Extremely poor quality workmanship at the dealer's, when I got some damage corrected (caused by a bull):
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-11c.jpg


Damage from flying stones:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-11b.jpg

Old layer of paint showing from beneath the top coat (LF door). This is again, thanks to the dealer. I guess the dealer painted the top half of the door to match with the left fender:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-12.jpg

Scratch on the right side C-pillar. This happened when the car was with my father:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-13.jpg

Dent caused by a biker. In fact, this was the point at which I finally decided to get the whole car repainted (enough was enough!):
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-14.jpg

Clearcoat failure on the roof and hatch. This is a common problem with Palios. In my case, this happened despite the car being treated with wax every 3 weeks or so:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-15.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-15a.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-16.jpg

Dent on the bonnet. Some smart fellow apparently tried to fix the tube-light in the parking lot by stepping on the bonnet of my car!:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-17.jpg

General dull finish on the bonnet. This is a replacement bonnet painted at the dealer (the original one had to be changed when a trailer truck backed into me without warning):
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-18.jpg

Paint chipping off on the OE spoiler:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-23.jpg


Mark left by a brake-fluid spill at the dealer:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-24.jpg

Lots of marks on the alloys. Caused by forceful removal of weights, and puncture-wallahs removing the tyres with a lever (when the car had tube-type tyres between 2002-2006). My father's car driver didn't know any better to ask the puncture repair guys to be more careful:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-25.jpg


Badges looking sad and worn after 9 years of use:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-26.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-27.jpg



Damaged ORVM trim. Caused by a biker losing balance (presumably) in the parking lot:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-28.jpg



Well worn steering wheel. Looking decidedly second hand:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-30.jpg

Last edited by vipul_singh : 14th June 2011 at 19:12.
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Old 14th June 2011, 17:14   #2
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Default "During" pictures

Based on the "up-close" condition of the car (defects on every panel), I decided that the whole car would need painting. But a bit of prep work was needed from my side before giving it for paint:

1) Sourced a new leather wrapped OE steering wheel from the dealer: This was quite difficult since none of the dealers had this in stock. Finally, Mr. Sharma from Elegant Cars (Patparganj, Delhi) helped and coordinated the shipping of the part from Mumbai (FIAT warehouse). Cost: Rs. 4200
2) Sourced 50 clips to fix the door beadings: I understood that door beadings would have to be removed for paint. Typically, body shops use the old clips to put the beading back on, but this leads to an imperfect finish. So I bought the clips from dealer (again, Elegant cars). Cost: Rs. 250
3) Sourced LHS ORVM trim: Had to buy the whole ORVM since the trim was not available separately. Cost: Rs. 1300
4) Sources new badges all around ("100", "16V", "FIAT", "Palio", "1.6" and "GTX"). Cost: about Rs. 100


Choosing Autopsyche: I had learnt of the good work carried out by Autopsyche through this forum and the Autopsyche website. I had already had a brief discussion with Arush during the 2010 Auto Expo, which further increased my confidence. I also went to one of the other reputed garages for the same work, but the feeling was not wholly positive. Arush showed me the paint job on his Sonata Embera (painted in a custom colour) and promised a similar level of finish, so I was sold on getting the work done from there.

Total time promised was 2 weeks. However, due to certain unforseen circurmstances, the work took 2 days more. Here are the "during" pictures, which do not cover the whole process since I could visit the workshop only on weekends:


One week into the job. I must say, it was pretty difficult to see the car in this condition:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-31.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-32.jpg

Arush told me (and I agreed), that there were lots of minor imperfections all over the body. Fairly extensive surface preparation had to be carried out, as is seen in the pic below (look at the LR door):

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-33.jpg


I knew the results would be great once I saw that even on panel never damaged in the accident, the team had carried out pretty extensive correction / filling. I had never been fully satisfied with the factory metal- and paint-work. There were imperfections straight from the factory itself:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-34.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-35.jpg

Visited the workshop one week later, and the condition of the car was similar. But it was evident that more refinement had been carried out during the week. This is evident from the photographs below:

Bonnet refined further:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-37.jpg

RHS panels refined further. Look at the right fender. Would you believe that this panel has never suffered any impact! Like I said before, there was a defect on the panel from the factory which the denter detected. Same goes for the hatch:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-38.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-39.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-40.jpg


The car, after one coat of primer:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-41.jpg


I have no more "during" pics, since I had to attend office on Monday. Was too busy to take pics on Tuesday (the day on which the car was delivered to me). But here is an account of the Delivery Day:

Reached at 10:00 AM on Tuesday. The car had been painted. To my horror, I found a pretty deep green cast all over the car! Arush assured me that the cast would go away once the paint is flattened and refined with rubbing compound (3M Perfect-It II). Turned out, he was absolutely right! (Don't go by the apparant colour of the car in the 'After' pics. The colour temperature is a bit off). Smaller jobs like painting the alloys, wiper arms & blades etc. were also carried out. The interiors of the car were cleaned (by a third party provider). Finally, all the fittings were put back together (except the badges, which I stuck on later).

It was getting late (already aroung 8PM), and the team was hard at it refining the paint. I was worrying if I would be able to get the work completed today, but to my pleasant surprise, Arush asked me if I was in a hurry or could we move on to further refinement with Meguiar's Diamond Cut! I wasn't, so the work continued till 10 PM, with the vinyl trims also done up with Meguiar's Detailer brand trim restorer, and the paint topped off with Meguir's #7 wax (I use the same)

Once the car was home

The following jobs were carried out by me once the car was home:

1) Very detailed cleaning carried out in the interior, to get rid of dust, dirt residing in crevices
2) The car was given a good wash
3) New badges were stuck on using measurements taken earler (see pics below) and marking the positions with masking tape
4) Vinyl trims (ABS plastic) were cleaned with paint thinner I took from Arush's shop itself

I must empasize the importance of taking detailed measurements of the positions of each of the badges. This helped immensely while sticking on the new ones. Here's me and my friend taking measurements before the car went for paint:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-img_4736.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-img_4740.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-img_4743.jpg

Now, on to the "After" pics...

Last edited by vipul_singh : 14th June 2011 at 19:10.
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Old 14th June 2011, 18:41   #3
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Default "After" pictures

Here are the "After" pictures for all of you to enjoy. The car has been used for about 3 weeks before taking the pics.

Reflections off the bonnet and front bumper. The finish on the front and rear bumpers was really dull earlier:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-42.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-43.jpg

Reflections off the left flank. Fairly extensive correction had to be carried out here:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-44.jpg

Finish on the roof. Finally got rid of clearcoat failure (had been an eyesore for 2 years):

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-45.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-46.jpg

Reflections off the RHS flank. The lower part of the front door had imperfections from the factory:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-47.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-48.jpg

Finish on the hatch and rear bumper:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-49.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-50.jpg

Finish on the RHS ORVM. I am very happy with the way the ABS parts have turned out:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-51.jpg

Chipping on the spoiler a thing of the past:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-52.jpg

Re-painted alloys. The alloys could not be restored to perfection since I was informed that if we try to fill the deep scratches with body filler, it would eventually chip off:

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-53.jpg

All new badges arr around. Also changed the number plate to 'Utsav' - arranged by Arush:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-54.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-55.jpg

Replaced LHS ORVM trim:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-56.jpg

Shot of the interior. No work carried out here, except for the new steering wheel. I have always driven the car with the windows rolled up (even in great weather):
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-56a.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-57.jpg

Shot of the engine bay. No work carried out here either. I keep the whole car verry clean, but desist from cleaning the engine bay, except for the A/C condenser and radiator as the car is supposedly very sensitive to moisture (I've never had the misfortune to find out, though):

Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-58.jpg

Sitting pretty in its parking slot at home. Covered, spacious parking was a major consideration while selecting a house to rent:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-59.jpg

General shots:
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-60.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-61.jpg
Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years-62.jpg

Big thanks to Arush and the Autopsyche team, for understanding my requirements correctly and coming up trumps. I am not sure Arush has had to endure too many pestering customers like me. Thanks for your patience!


Epilogue:
My objective was to own one of the cleanest looking unmodified Palios around, which I believe I have been able to achieve. With people tending to abuse Palios (especially GTXs), clean examples are becoming rare, fast! I hope to keep the car running for as long as possible. In about a year-and-a-half, I shall be purchasing another vehicle and reducing the Palio's role to weekend / occasional duty. What I am clear is that I would not be selling this vehicle. Period.

Wish me luck, and thanks for viewing!!

Last edited by vipul_singh : 14th June 2011 at 19:14.
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Old 15th June 2011, 01:26   #4
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Wow the car looks brand spanking new

I must admit that you are very particular about the condition of your car because frankly even the before pics of the car are not bad for a 9 year old Car. Kudos to your enthusiasm, specially the efforts to keep it in stock looking condition
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Old 15th June 2011, 01:44   #5
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Awesome job. As mentioned by Technocrat, the car looked very good for a 9 year old vehicle. It is looking like a brand new car now. For me, this model of the Palio is the best looking hatch ever... till date.
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Old 15th June 2011, 01:56   #6
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

beautifully done !!Great effort on your part and Arush's team's.

It is good that you didn't try to cover some chips on the alloys - it is of no use.

The few items that you sourced seem to be very reasonably priced.

Which brand of automotive finish(paint) was used and how much lighter has your wallet become?

Last edited by vigsom : 15th June 2011 at 02:04. Reason: addition
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Old 15th June 2011, 03:56   #7
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Clean & neat job I could say.
She is shining like a brand new car out of the showroom. Perfection reflects in each & every inch of the car.
Congrats

BTW which car was that, the one in blue color & covered?
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Old 15th June 2011, 04:16   #8
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

gud job there and the car surely looks spanking new.

please share the costs involved and the breakup if you dont mind.

thanks
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Old 15th June 2011, 04:28   #9
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Amazing finish and way to go on the intricacies of your ride!

A job well done as well! My 2 year old i20 which is in the same color would look older I guess.
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Old 15th June 2011, 05:53   #10
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

One of my favorite hatchbacks which i tried buying after i had bought Indica. You have maintained well, even after 9 years the car looked very good and yes the paint job is awesome. More details about cost etc would help.
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Old 15th June 2011, 08:42   #11
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Absolutely brilliant looking palio there vipul, ahem !! That's even before the paint job . For a 9 year old car thats a clean example you have at your disposal. Pretty commendable job done by you maintaining the car man.

Drive safe !!
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Old 15th June 2011, 08:43   #12
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

The car certainly looks as good as new!

How much did this set you back by?

Why didn't you get the engine bay repainted? And the interior panels - are those repainted?

PS : You have to get mud-flaps man, monsoon is here; you don't want mud splashed all over the fresh bumpers!

PPS : Very very good decision to have covered parking. 5 years in Gurgaon (dust, sun, rain) and 1 year in B'lore (dust, sun, rain and pigeon ****) and my Corsa has started looking dull on a few panels :( I finally have covered parking!
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Old 15th June 2011, 09:06   #13
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Sweet. The Palio looks great. You are inspiring me to get my old girl (2002 Palio Adventure, 110K Kms) a face lift, the wrinkles are showing on her!
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Old 15th June 2011, 11:08   #14
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Default Simply Superb!

Kudos vipul_singh for the attention to detail and the effort put in. It clearly shows in the final outcome. A stunning GTX indeed!



Appreciate the fact that you have managed to keep everything stock even through a thorough makeover.
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Old 15th June 2011, 11:45   #15
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Default re: Cosmetic makeover of an ol' Fiat Palio 1.6 GTX. EDIT: Now @ 128K kms and 11 years

Boy I am jealous! This detailed work is so perfect that it is impossible for me to tell if this car has come out of the Showroom. Congrats to You, Vipul.

Congrats to Autopsyche for carrying out such a lovely detailing job. Keep up the good work.

Before i get myself bitten by the bug, i will take another look at the pictures and again take a look at the pictures and, well, Drool at the pictures - Enjoy the car and thanks for helping me out with the Badges from Samyak.

Take care & drive safe. Keep in touch.

Rated 5 Stars

Last edited by planet_rocker : 15th June 2011 at 12:02.
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