Originally Posted by 5.0 Hatch
I'm having a difficult time keeping up the paint on my 99 Tacoma. It hazes up REALLY bad compared to any other black vehicle I ever owned. The truck only has 39k miles and has been parked under a cover most of its life. The thing that gets me is that it doesn't look to have a clear coat at all, the roof stays dull no matter how much detail work I put into it. Is it possible that the previous owner may have buffed it through the clear? or does it not have a clear to begin with?
Any advice would be great.
Its almost impossible to tell just by 'looking'. From what I've heard, the only factory color from Toyota in recent history that was NOT clearcoated was white.
That being said, your truck could have been repainted. Are you the original owner? Factory paint typically holds up much better than a repaint. You can tell by using a paint gauge (I have one and it's very easy to tell).
Take some micro-abrasive polish and rub a very small area with a light-clolored cloth until the paint looks rich and shiny. Wipe off all the polish and then rub the area again with polish and a clean light-colored cloth. If you get black residue on the second application, there is no clear coat. The first application may remove oxidation and junk on the paint's surface that may darken the cloth, which is why I recommend you do it twice.
Single-stage paints have gotten a bad name, but there's nothing inherently wrong with them. Both single-stage and two-stage (basecoat/clearcoat) can be done well...and poorly.
A paint-expert friend of mine says there is nothing richer and darker than a well-done single-stage black paint job.