How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 12:01 am Thread Starter
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How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Coming back into Colorado this afternoon from a 1700 mile ride in Utah, Montana and Wyoming, I found myself head-to-head with a highway center striping paint machine. Arrrrrrgh!!! I was stuck in slow traffic with nowhere to go, and despite getting as far off to the side as I could, the wind deposited a bright yellow polka-dot finish on the plexiglass windshield, and basically the entire front end of my black LT.

Anyone know how to get this stuff off a bike without taking the laminate or paint with it? I've heard that some of these highway paints have a fine reflective bead in them (to make them more visible at night) and any scraping or buffing can cause the bead material to scratch the surface being buffed. What a bummer way to end a great ride! Any ideas would be MUCH appreciated.

Bob
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post #2 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 4:35 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

These products will do the trick:

http://www.autopia.org/reviews/archi...ning_Clay.html

Wolfgang

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post #3 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 7:21 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Bob,

They do spray glass beads over the fresh paint once the paint is sprayed on the road. It's a separate spray head set behind the paint sprayer. They want the beads on top to reflect light and not in and under the paint coat. An easy way to check if you got beads would be to stand back and shine a light over the area. Hold the light alongside your head and look for the reflections. Most likely you just have the over spray without the beads. I'm working in an area with lots of construction and painting and will talk with those guys. I'll see what they recommend and check the post to see if you got is taken care of.

John Jones
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post #4 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:28 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Believe it or not.....WD40. Spray it on, let it soak, then wipe it off. Works everytime. Won't harm anything.

Ken
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post #5 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:36 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fattires
found myself head-to-head with a highway center striping paint machine. ...the wind deposited a bright yellow polka-dot finish on the plexiglass windshield, and basically the entire front end of my black LT.

Anyone know how to get this stuff off a bike without taking the laminate or paint with it?
Some years ago in Michigan a section of freeway produces some really nasty hot tar deposits on hundreds of cars, and the state paid each owner who filed. Take photos of the damage, contact the department of highways and file a claim.
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post #6 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 9:03 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Highway paint today is nothing more than water based latex. They used to use oil base paints but stopped due to environmental concerns. If it were mine I would use either mineral spirits paint thinner or WD40 followed up with a good wax job. Make sure you wash the bike well before you start the removal process to get rid of any potential abrasives. Your paint is a base-coat clear which will tolerate the WD40 or mineral spirits without any problem. However the plastics in the windshield may eventually have some issues from the petroleum products. In any case stay away from Windex or similar cleaners on the windshield. It WILL do long term damage. Personally I use McGuires spray on detailer to clean the whole bike. It would probably do the trick as well, but I bet the WD40 is probably the easiest solution. Good luck with it.


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post #7 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 4:48 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

clay bar kit - safe and effective

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post #8 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 5:38 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Hi guys,

You've all been terrific with the help. I really appreciate how many ideas I received in a very short time. I love this joint.

I tried the WD40, paint thinner (only on the body), McGuires detailer, & my now sorry looking thumbnails. Results: nadda - zero - uh-uh. (I did find out that indeed it does have the reflective paint mixed into the beads. That's something, I guess.)


Sooooo, I wrote Colorado DOT and the Governor's Advocacy office, sending them picture attachments of my bikes new polka-dot yellow design. I received an email answer within 10 minutes and a phone call just now, about two hours after the email. The CDOT manager who called said it being Sunday, it was most likely one of their sub-contractors, and that he would find out and follow up.

When I asked why this paint was so hard to get off he said that it was "most likely an EPOXY" paint that they now use in some areas! He said, yes, it would be extremely hard to remove. So I guess that means new windshield and maybe a paint job?

Why me, Lord? I've been a good boy (mostly).

At least it sounded like CDOT was not ducking their responsibility in it.

I'll let you know how it all turns out.
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post #9 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 5:49 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

If you've got the reflective beads in the paint you quite likely have the epoxy or resin product. I know that when I worked an extra job as a motor officer with Georgia DOT contractors they mixed up bags of the pellets and the reflective powder and heated it. Then sprayed it on the roadway. It hardens QUICK! Cars were able to drive over it after the 2nd tail vehicle went by. They explained it's like a melted plastic. Sorry it's not good news for being able to get it off easy.

Chris Ehlbeck
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post #10 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:16 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

+1 on the clay bar kit. Clay Magic is by far the best and is available at most Auto Zone stores. Some of the others such as Mothers and the like are not that great. I've used it to remove polyurethane over spray that the strongest solvents would not remove. Clay Magic is sold under license from the original patent holder in Japan. It's hard to imagine how well this stuff works until you see for yourself!

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post #11 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:24 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

The painter that painted my GT top case used Easy Off oven cleaner to remove overspray from the gas tank on my R1100GS. Sprayed it on, let it sit about 30-45 seconds, and then wiped it off with a terry cloth towel. If you want to try this I would suggest starting in a small, less visible area, just in case. For the windscreen and other similar parts MacGuiers makes a plastic polish that should take it out.

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post #12 of 21 Old Jun 1st, 2009, 8:39 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Clay bar plus glass beads probably equals big scratches. I was not aware of the use of epoxies in striping. Man that really sucks big time.

Let us know what (if anything) takes it off.


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post #13 of 21 Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:23 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

I am wondering if you heat gun it? If it is epoxy/plastic if you hit the right temp you may be able to pop them off a spot at a time. Maybe just setting it in the hot sun?

Just guessing but if it is plastic of some type it must be able to get pliable. I mean on concrete or blacktop I can see it staying stuck, but on clear coat paint with hopefully some wax on I would think it would release.

Just throwing it out there.

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post #14 of 21 Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 2:14 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

I hate to say it, but you might try lacquer thinner on an inconspicuous spot to see if it will lift the overspray without lifting the main finish. The chances are poor though.

Get to the manufacturer of the highway paint ASAP for their recommendation (if they have any). The glass beads make it particularly nasty though.
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post #15 of 21 Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 5:12 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Bob,
That must have been you that my friend Phil called me about. He works at the NAPA store in Silverthorne.

Sorry to hear about the paint mishap. For what it's worth, I told Phil that it sounds like a claim to CDOT or an insurance carrier was coming

GB

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post #16 of 21 Old Jun 2nd, 2009, 11:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

George,

Yes, while I was in the Napa store trying to figure out what products might cut through this junk, Phil was calling your house! He obviously had great respect for your experience and advice. Small world. Phil also told me a little bit about your having an up close and personal relationship with a bridge. Made my problem sound so small.

And, yes, the ball is in CDOT's court at the moment I'm hopeful that they'll follow through. Just in case, though, I've already got a claim number with Foremost.

Regards,

Bob
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post #17 of 21 Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:42 pm Thread Starter
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Unhappy Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Final ruling:

(From Global Collision, BMW of Denver's recommended shop)
No solvents can remove the paint, which is enamel-based.
All painted surfaces where overspray has been deposited on the LT's body will have to be sanded and then re-polished.
Windshield, air deflectors, textured and chrome surfaces will be scoured with an abrasive, then re-polished.

Total cost = $1199.70
Look out for those highway paint trucks!
Foremost is covering the cost, minus deductible, and will go after CDOT for reimbursement.

As it turns out, the cost of cleaning the windshield (stock BMW / long) is almost as much as a new replacement. So I've been looking at threads on replacement windshields all around this Forum until I'm cross-eyed! Man, I haven't seen this many opinions since the last election...
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post #18 of 21 Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:55 pm
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?


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post #19 of 21 Old Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:57 pm
 
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Here's my go-to progression of solvents from least to most agressive (depending on substrate of course):

rubbing alcohol
goo-gone
paint thinner (or mineral spirits)
lacquer thinner
acetone
MEK

I've also used silkscreen screen solvent for stuff.

Someone mentioned Easy-Off or other oven cleaner...
On my car wheels, the plastic kind with the greyish paint, I found that easy-off gets the baked on brake pad dust without damaging the wheel cover. I just had my brakes dones and forgot to specify ceramic pads, now I'll be doing that a lot more. grrrr.
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post #20 of 21 Old Jun 26th, 2009, 7:23 am
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

You do not want the windshield to be scoured and repolished. The windshield has a coating that cannot be replaced. Just get a new windshield.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2fattires
Final ruling:

(From Global Collision, BMW of Denver's recommended shop)
No solvents can remove the paint, which is enamel-based.
All painted surfaces where overspray has been deposited on the LT's body will have to be sanded and then re-polished.
Windshield, air deflectors, textured and chrome surfaces will be scoured with an abrasive, then re-polished.

Total cost = $1199.70
Look out for those highway paint trucks!
Foremost is covering the cost, minus deductible, and will go after CDOT for reimbursement.

As it turns out, the cost of cleaning the windshield (stock BMW / long) is almost as much as a new replacement. So I've been looking at threads on replacement windshields all around this Forum until I'm cross-eyed! Man, I haven't seen this many opinions since the last election...

Larry
2009 Deep Blue K1300GT
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post #21 of 21 Old Jun 27th, 2009, 8:56 am Thread Starter
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Re: How do I remove highway paint overspray from windshield (and everything else)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larrykay
You do not want the windshield to be scoured and repolished. The windshield has a coating that cannot be replaced. Just get a new windshield.
Agree. I've already ordered one (VStream).
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