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Jambo Parts -- Paint

Exterior Color -- 2H Topaz Gold (Wagoneer Color)
Jeep planned to paint all Jambos Topaz Gold Metallic (2H), just like they had painted all the '79 CJ-5 Silver Anniversaries a single color. Only Jambos could be painted Topaz Gold Metallic, which had been reserved for the Wagoneer. Later Jeep painted about 80 Jambos Olympic White, which was a very common color (6000 Olympic White CJ-7s in 1982 alone--100,000 in total). If you are restoring your Jambo you need to make sure you get the right paint color (BASF Limco 2H). Nearly all 2H formulas you can buy today are too gold.
The 1982 Jeep Paint Colors are shown on the right. The Jambos were orginally all supposed to be Topaz Gold Metallic (2H). Later, Jeep allowed Jambos to be ordered in Olympic White (9B).

Please note that the scan of the paint swatches distorts the colors and removes any reflective properties. For example, 2H looks too flat and too brown in this swatch.

We believe that Jambos #0001-#0450 were all painted 2H. Starting with Jambo #0451 (we think), Jeep allowed 9B. About 40% of the Jambos between #0451 and around #0700 were painted Olympic White. In total, about 570 Jambos were 2H and 80 were 9B.

Topaz Gold Jambos were painted using paint gun (booth) 19 and Olypmic White Jambos were painted with gun 01.

What is important about the Topaz Gold Metallic Jambos is that color was never used for any other CJs. It was used on the Wagoneer. In fact, AMC only offered a gold color in 1972-1973 (490-Butterscotch Gold) and 1982 (1D-Autumn Gold).

Olympic White was offered 1979-1986 and, before that, Alpine White (G7) was offered 1975-1978. Olympic White was a very common color. We estimate that around 6000 Olympic White CJ-7s were produced in 1982 alone and around 100,000 in total.

Restricting the use of 2H to the Jamboree is the same approach Jeep used with the '79 Silver Anniversary. In this case, they painted the Sivers Quicksliver Metallic (8C). This particular silver was not used on other CJs. However, other silver metallics were available through the years. For example, 9J-Arrowhead Silver Metallic was also avaialble in 1979. This can make it challening to identify a Silver Anniversary. In contrast, gold metallic paint is a strong indication you are looking at a Jambo.

Because the paint is such an important characteristic of a Jambo and many Jambos are in need of repaint (metallic paint does not age well), below we carefully walk through the selection of a repaint color.

Repainting your Topaz Gold Metallic Jambo

You would think that buying new paint for your Topaz Jambo is as easy as walking into the paint store and ordering up some 2H paint from your favorite manufacturer. Unfortunately, it is not that easy. As we demonstrate below, most 2H formulas have drifted over 35 years and manufacturers have not kept them up to date as toners changed or were phased out or banned by the government.

On this page, we are going to walk through the extensive study we went through to select the paint for #0152. We hope this will save you the time, expense, and the great stress that we went through!

What's the Big Deal?

When we started work on #0152 thought "What's the big deal? 2H is 2H. Just go order some." Well, as it turned out, our shop preferred Sherwin-Williams and they did not have a 2H formula in their database, because it was too old. So, we had them conduct a match to our roll bar, which had been covered for 35 years. Here is a picture of the roll bar (this is as close to the true color--from the showroom--as you will ever get):


Sherwin-Williams brought in their most experienced paint mixer and after hours and hours of work, the two pictures below show the best they could come up with (in two different lighting situations). The match was horrible. Not even close!!


Panic Sets In

After realizing this was a lot harder than we thought, panic set in because #0152 had already been taken apart, stripped, and primed. Note for future reference: match the paint and then strip the vehicle.

OMG, what are we going to do? At that point, we undertook an extensive, two-month, study of 2H paint colors from seven different manufacturers. We obtained paint samples from all across Austin, had them sprayed out, and compared them to the original paint on the roll bar and tailgate, which we had also saved--thank, God!

The picture below is a comparison of eight different 2H sprayouts from seven different manufacturers: Nason, PPG, Dupount, Martin Senour (Sherwin Williams), BASF, Matrix, and Spies Hecker. These are all two-stage paints that use a base-coat and a clear coat. We also compared some single stage paints to base/clear and found no difference in color. Given the challenge of spraying single-stage, we decided to stick with base/clear.

The samples are shown against the original-paint tailgate from #0152. This tailgate has faded, but it provides a starting point. Notice the incredible variance in these samples. These samples are all 2H! So, you can't walk into the paint store or trust your painter to order 2H and go with it. What was especially concerning is even the Spies Hecker match, which was performed with a spectrometer and special software, is a very poor match. In person, it looked even worse--like a carmel apple.


Of the samples above, BASF Limco looks the best. Matrix is not bad, but as we discuss below, it seems to be too light when seen in person. Here is a picture of #0401, which was repainted to Matix 2H, next to #0407, which still has original paint.

Here is the Spies Hecker match next to our roll bar:

So, two matches, one with a camera and the other by a top color matcher, failed to produce matches that were even close. Based on this, we decided we need to go with an off-the-self formula. This would also make it easier for other Jambo owners to match.

We then carefully analyzed the formulas for each of the above off-the-shelf 2H paints. This is shown below.

Toner Nason PPG Omni PPG Deltron Cromax Martin Senour BASF Limco Matrix
Fine Aluminum - - 38% 3% 49% 21% 37%
Med Aluminum 39% 29% 7% 24% - 19% 5%
Gold - - - - - 13% -
Yellow 34% 26% 27% 39% - 9% 17%
Red 23% 45% - 17% - - 32%
Red Gold - - - - 46% 29% -
Red/Orange - - - 6% - - -
Orange     24% - 5% - -
Blue - - - - - 3% -
Black 3% - 3% 5% - 4% 3%
White - - 2% 7% - 2% 6%
# Toners Used 4 3 6 7 3 8 6
% Metallic 39% 29% 45% 27% 49% 40% 42%
% Fine Metallic /
% Med Metallic
0%/100% 0%/100% 84%/16% 10%/90% 100%/0% 53%/47% 88%/12%

These mixtures are quite interesting. First, note that the two that look the worst, PPG Omni and Martin Senour, only use three toners. PPG Omni has the lowest fraction of metalics (29%) and Martin Senour has the highest (49%), but Omni uses 100% Medium Aluminum and Martin Senour uses 100% Fine Aluminum. In addition, Martin Senour is 46% Red Gold and 5% Orange. No wonder it looks so orange in the photo above.

There are several factors that seem to set the BASF Limco apart:

  1. It uses the most toners (8).

  2. It is also the only formula that includes Gold! It is 13% Gold and 29% Red Gold.

  3. It is the only formula that includes Blue.

  4. It the only formula that has a nearly even balance between Fine and Medium metallics. All the other formulas are nearly only a single size metallic.

The table below details face (straight on color) and the flop (the color seen from the side) colors for the BASF Limco 2H toners. This information was taken from here.

Toner Fraction Color Face Effect Flop Effect
Fine Round Aluminum 21% - Fine Silver Very light Silver
Medium Round Aluminum 19% - Clean Silver Clean Silver
Red Gold 29% Red Gold Reddish Yellow Reddish Yellow
Gold 13% Reddish Gold Slight Redish Yellow Slight Greenish Yellow
Yellow 9% Dirty Red Rellow Slightly Reddish Yellow Light Reddish Yellow
Lamp Black 4% Lamp Black Dirty Black Bluish Black
Low Strength Blue 3% Green Shade Blue Greenish Blue Slightly Green Blue
White 2% White White White

These toners are going to produce a paint with a brighter face than the flop. The face will be a brownish-red-gold and the flop will be more towards brownish-gold, without as much metallic. This sounds like Topaz Gold Metallic!

Why does BASF Limco use so many more toners? We are not sure. However, we strongly suspect that BASF was the manufactuer of AMC 2H in 1982. BASF was the supplier of other Jeep paints in 1982, but we have been unable to verify that they supplied 2H. If they were the manufactuer then perhaps the formula above is based on the orginal formula, whereas the other manufacturers tried to match the paint using as few toners as possible.

We Start to Calm Down

We next compared the BASF Limco 2H sample to our roll bar:

Here is a close up of our paint sample the the original paint on the roll bar:

The roll bar is brighter, but that is because this surface is curved. The thing to compare is that the metallic flake consistency (size and number) looks very similar.

Based on these samples, it appeared that BASF Limco 2H was the best match. Or, at least, it was the best we were going to be able to do. Heath Aggen (#0180) and Bickel (#0152) then went to see a very low mileage 1983 2H Wagoneer, which used to be owned by Red Skelton. Here is a picture

Here are several pictures comparing the BASF Limco 2H sample (inside the white boarder) to the 2H factory paint (in amazing condition) from 1983:

Wow! This looks very good. We are starting to feel better.

We next compared the BASF Limco 2H sample to an original Jambo hood that we own (this is off of #0670):


We had one other data point that suggested most 2H paints are too gold. The Jambo tire cover was supposed to be a "straight shade simulation" of the paint color. Check out the picture below, which shows three Jambo tire covers owned by #0152. The one that looks almost orange (bottom one) is an NOS tire cover that was never installed. Look at the color difference! The two used covers have obviously faded. The NOS cover is much darker--the paint has a strong orange tint. Clearly the original Jambo paint color was much closer to a orange-gold than gold.

BASF Limco 2H is the Official 2H Repaint Color of The Jambo Registry

Based on this research, we selected BASF Limco 2H (clear coat / base coat) as the Official 2H Repaint Color of The Jambo Registry! Is it perfect? No. However, we believe it is as close as one is likely to get using today's paints. Even special camera matches are unlikely to provide as close a match.

Click here is the BASF Limco 2H formula. We purchased our paint from English Color in Austin, Texas. You should be able to find BASF Limco 2H at a local paint shop. If not, call English Color in Austin and ask them to ship it to you.

Here is a picture of paint, clear coat, reducer, and hardner on #0152:

The color and the way the metallic stands out is also dependent on the spray gun tip and the air pressure used. Here is what we used:

Tip: Satajet 4000 1.3 mm

Air Pressure: 28 psi

The Final Product

Below are some pictures of an original paint Jambo hood next to Jambo #0152 with BASF Limco 2H paint. The match is excellent!

Here are some picture of the final product:



Below is a comparison of the original paint to the new paint. The paint on the top half of the roll bar is original paint that was covered for 35 years. The rest of the paint is new.

And, last, but not least, here is BASF Limco 2H and the NOS tire cover. Nuf said?

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