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No Paint Option? "In the White"! Like 1945 USAAC Airplanes

Discussion in 'Model X: Interior & Exterior' started by Vern Padgett, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

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    Seriously-- how about a no paint option?

    Should save like 3 thousand dollars.

    All this time and effort and materiel and labor is spent on paint. I just now watched another YouTube video on Model S production, and it showed all this labor, and time, and 6 hours waiting for the paint to dry, and inspections, and more ...

    Model 3 is what, years behind in desired production? At least a few hundred thousand cars behind the delivery that could be at this time purchased by drivers who have already placed deposits?

    How about a "no-paint" option? in the white!

    As I am sure many of you are aware, American airplanes produced in 1945 went to Europe with no paint. Bare aluminum surfaces. No need to paint them. No need for camouflage. The Luftwaffe was defunct. Kaput, if you will (wenn sie wollen).

    Do we need paint on the car?

    Would you not rather have your Model 3 weeks sooner and thousands of dollars cheaper, in bright shiny bare aluminum finish?
     
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  2. Derek Kessler

    Derek Kessler Member

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    Considering that the car consists of both metal and plastic parts, that'd look terrible. Not to mention that the paint helps protect the metal from corrosion. Making the aluminum "bright and shiny" would take significant polishing, as well, which would be important for maintaining a good drag coefficient.

    Also: the removal of paint from WWII planes was primarily about weight savings — roughly 300 lbs on a B-17 — that allowed for roughly 8mph in airspeed improvements. On a car it's only a few pounds of paint, so the impact would be negligible.
     
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  3. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Pure aluminum has good corrosion resistant properties, but aluminum alloys don't . Pure aircraft aluminum doesn't have good corrosion resistance. The only service of any nation that did much bare metal was the USAAF. They were able to do that because the US invented a type of aircraft aluminum called Alclad that had a layer of pure aluminum on the surface that turned to aluminum oxide and protected the rest of the metal.

    The Japanese and Germans both did some bare metal at the end of the war, but it was an emergency measure and the expected combat life of the planes at that point was only measured in weeks.

    Restored aircraft in bare metal finish are usually given a clear coat after the aluminum is polished to a good shine. With the bare aluminum exposed to the elements, it turns to a dull gray very quickly and wouldn't really look very good on a car.

    The DeLorian is the only production car I know of that came in bare metal, but that was stainless steel, which does retain its shine.
     
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  4. 1208

    1208 Active Member

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    Imho silver cars look like that.
     
  5. Derek Kessler

    Derek Kessler Member

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    Stainless steel is also twice as heavy as aluminum (or more, depending on the alloys used). Using stainless steel for the body would add hundreds of pounds over using aluminum.

    That said… some Tesla high-ups (including Elon) have said that the 3 won't use nearly as much aluminum as the S and X. Though that was three years ago, so that might have changed in the meantime.

    Either way, a car needs to be designed from the start for a bare metal finish, like the Delorean, for there to be any chance of it remotely looking okay.
     
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  6. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    I agree, the DeLorian was a heavy car and underpowered too. I believe somebody has come up with a conversion kit to put a more powerful engine in them. But stainless steel is a gimmick in a car. It's expensive and heavy.

    We'll see what the aluminum/steel mix is with the Model 3. I've heard all sorts of rumors ranging from only a little steel to only a little aluminum. In a final product, aluminum is usually about 60-80% more expensive than steel. That's a big difference in a mass produced car. The two metals also have different properties that go into the pros and cons for both.

    Pure aluminum is more corrosion resistant than steel, but pure aluminum is nowhere near as strong and aluminum alloys are usually used in high strength applications (like aircraft skins), which are not corrosion resistant.

    Load bearing is better for steel. If you put a load on steel, as long as it isn't more than the structure can handle and there is no corrosion, the steel structure will hold that weight forever with no problems. If you do the same to aluminum, it will eventually fail. Even if it doesn't corrode, aluminum under load will develop small cracks that will get bigger and bigger over time. On stressed skin aircraft, the aluminum tends to start cracking around attachment points. It can be slowed down by drilling small holes along the cracks, but eventually the plane needs to be re-skinned.

    I believe the highest load parts of the Model S/X have steel parts. I know most of the internal structure of the dashboard is steel. The car also doesn't have a stressed skin like an aircraft. In aircraft, they save weight by distributing some of the structural load to the skin of the aircraft. That allows for a lighter internal structure, but means that if you punch too many holes in the skin, the structure will fail. It isn't an issue for most civilian aircraft, but can be for a military aircraft. The B-17 was renowned for being so tough in combat because it had a lot less load born by the skin and the plane could take more punishment than the B-24 which was the next generation of heave bomber. The B-24 had more range and could carry a bigger bomb load, but it couldn't take as much punishment in combat which made it unpopular in heavy combat environments like over Germany.

    The A-10 was designed with a non-stressed skin so battle damage to the skin can be fixed with tape in the field.

    It wouldn't make much sense for the body panels of a car to carry much of the load and most cars are completely driveable with most of the body panels removed (though pretty ugly). I expect the body panels on the Model S and X to hold up fairly well because they aren't stressed much. If there are any components that take a lot of the load that are made from aluminum, those might start failing in another 10 years or so.
     
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  7. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    First of all, it's DeLorean or Delorean. please spell it correctly.

    Second, the stainless steel skin was just a thin sheet of 302 stainless steel, it did NOT make the car heavy. The car was mostly fiberglass on a steel frame, and the stainless panels were simply bolted onto the fiberglass tub. They offered zero structural support. Also, the car wasn't heavy at all, it was around 2,700 pounds. For comparison, a Honda Accord weighs more than 3000 pounds. Even the BMW i3 weighs more than a Delorean.

    Third, the stainless steel was not a gimmick -- these cars are now over 30 years old, and with absolutely no coating or finish, their body panels are as good as they were when they left the factory. How many other cars can make that claim (besides maybe the Fiero)? John DeLorean wanted to give the cars a lifetime corrosion warranty on the body panels, which would have worked, since they simply do not corrode. But the insurance company wouldn't allow him to offer it.

    Finally, yes, they were somewhat underpowered (130 hp) but for just 2,700 pounds, the cars can still move pretty quick. Sure, nothing like a Corvette at the time (which was its main competitor price wise), but the PRV engine is a very robust motor still running in most DeLoreans today. A few people have modified them for more output, and many people have swapped other more current motors into the car, including some V8s and a few electics, too.
     
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  8. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

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    They do-- I have one-- but I was proposing to skip all the fuss in putting aluminum-looking paint on it.
     
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  9. Vern Padgett

    Vern Padgett Proud and Grinning Model S90D owners

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    Thanks Derek K and W Dolson. You have educated me.
     
  10. pilotSteve

    pilotSteve Member

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    Besides... Doc said the stainless steel construction made the flux capacitor easier to build.
     
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  11. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Yes.. it improves the flux dispersal.

    With some style, of course.
     
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  12. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Sorry, spelling is not my strong suit, I stand corrected on the rest. The DeLorean is an iconic car that will go down in history with a much larger impact on the public imagination than its impact on the automotive market.
     
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  13. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Well, I think it had *some* impact on the automotive market.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    Great photo!
     
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  15. RayW

    RayW Member

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    I think WWII planes were left unpainted because most didn't last long enough for corrosion to be an issue.... and paint adds weight...

    But the idea of purchasing an unpainted automobile is intriguing as some people may prefer to paint it themselves
     
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  16. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    I've always like the idea of user-replaceable, light, plastic body panels, like the Fiero. You want to change the color of your car? Just go buy a new set of panels for a few hundred bucks and an hour in your driveway. I never really participated in the Model 3 speculation game, but before the big reveal last March, I thought that plastic body panels were a definite possibility to reduce weight and aluminum repair costs. I think some Saturns had plastic panels. I'm not sure why more manufacturers haven't gone this route.
     
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  17. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    That was true of Japanese and German aircraft left in bare metal, or portions in bare metal (some late war Fw-190s were left bare metal on the bottom, but camouflage on top). But American aircraft had Alclad which did stand up to the elements fairly well. There are US aircraft that sat out in the weather for decades with no paint and they were still in restorable condition when somebody finally bought them and restored them to flying condition.

    Most cars have some plastic parts today. Bumper covers are the most common. I believe the Pontiac Aztek had plastic body panels.

    We washed my SO's Impreza last weekend and she was lamenting all the paint chips. The rear bumper cover really covers the entire rear of the car from wheel wells back. The only part of the back that was steel was the hatch. All the chips down low show black plastic showing through.
     
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