Piston Slap: Peeling Ponies and Contaminated Aluminum Hoods

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta

TTAC Commentator Kurt_B writes:

Hi TTAC. I’m a long time reader and member. My four-year-old Mustang hood is peeling. Ford does not cover this issue outside of the three-year comprehensive warranty, and even when repaints are authorized they don’t last. This is a very common issue that has to do with poor paint adhesion to aluminum. I’m pretty sure we’re going to see peeling 2015+ F150s in a few years with their aluminum panels.

For Sajeev: A lot of owners buy aftermarket fiberglass hoods (Cervini, etc). Others have their factory hoods repainted, which may or may not last. One shop I went to suggested vinyl-wrapping the hood — something I really don’t want to do to a four-year-old car.

I had a thought to copy the invisible bra concept and wrap the front of the hood only with 8 mm black vinyl (if that exists…it’s the thickness of the clear wrap). I think the normal non protective vinyl is 4 mm.

What are your (and the community’s) thoughts on this?

Sajeev answers:

Kurt, fear not for the new F-150: painting aluminum hoods is nothing new to Ford. My 1983 Continental has such a hood, the Wixom Plant did a fantastic job applying base/clear paint on this aluminum-steel-plastic flagship. Its paint didn’t fail until the mid-90s, but that’s not the point: contaminated aluminum hoods have a simple — if costly — repair. Per Ford’s TSB 04-25-1:

“Some vehicles may exhibit a bubbling or blistering under the paint on aluminum body parts. This is due to iron contamination of the aluminum panel.”

I’ll totally overlook the legal ramifications, focusing on the here and now: per TSB, this problem has a logical diagnosis and a fair solution. I reckon that any body shop collision repair center certified to straighten the body of an aluminum-clad Euro import, F-150 or Corvette Z06 is up to the task. The stereotypical body shop won’t cut it, but a list of local I-Car Gold Glass centers is a good starting point. Ask about their aluminum repair credentials.

Choose the best facility for your budget and make this problem a distant memory. The sooner you repair the Mustang, the sooner you heal.

[Image: Ford]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • Jthorner Jthorner on Sep 09, 2016

    Will Ford never learn to stop sticking it to customers when the company creates problems like this? I had a first generation Taurus on which the original clear coat started failing when it was only three years old, and out of warranty. Ford gave me the middle finger about it. My friend's '89 F150 paint started fading and chalking six months into ownership. Ford paid to repaint it with the cheapest paint available, and it was never right. If there are contamination issues with some Mustang hoods, those are Ford's problem and the company should make it right.

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Sep 10, 2016

    This is what you get when you buy a low quality vehicle from a company run by a guy who's business model is "profits now, recalls later".

  • Aja8888 Folks, this car is big enough to live in. Dual deal: house and car for $7 large.
  • Astigmatism I don't think tax credits will put me in this league, but if I could swing it, I would 1000% go for a restomod EV Grand Wagoneer: https://www.thedrive.com/news/you-can-buy-an-electric-80s-jeep-grand-wagoneer-for-295000
  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.