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How to Pick a Body Shop
#1
Made a NY's resolution to complete the car.
Need to find a body shop that knows something
about our cars. Where do you look?
I once did contact a shop that specializes in
all years of Mustangs. I needed a clutch installed
that I already purchased. They complained about
my choice of a clutch and wanted $750 to install it.
We installed the Centerforce II ourselves.
I am reluctant to go back there for body work.
Other than that experience, I have no clue where
to start looking. The Yellow Pages?

mike

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#2
Get with a local car club and ask for referrals. Worked for me.

Steve



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#3
Word of mouth is usually the best way to find someone. Look for a car you really like how it's done and ask who did the work and if they'd reccommend the shop. OR enroll in a local community college body class and do it yourself.

Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

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#4
one thing to take into account is most body shops are collision shops and will not want to mess with a full paint job cause the profit margin is a lot lower. normally they will shoot you a stupid high price so you don't come back. Look more towards a smaller shop they will have time or the willingness to take on that kinda work. Most shops will do a completes by the hour especially if there is rust or a lot of body work to be done, it so tough to bid a job like that cause who knows what you are going to get into. get ready to spend $45-75 an hour with materials on top of that.
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#5
Everything mentioned so far makes great sense. There are a a bunch of outstanding body shop guys here, and based on the information they've been willing to share along with seeing the results of their work, I would not want anybody else painting my car.

However, reality is that it's just not feasible or economical enough to send my car to Scott, or Greg, or the guy who painted Roy's car, or any of the other guys. If I had the disposable income, I'd do it because I know it would be done right.

BUT!

Word of mouth is how I found my painter. A friend on base had a yellow '72 'vert (I tried to get him to sign up here... don't know if he actually did or not), and he had the color changed with some rather extensive body work done to it. The results were awesome! Then he had a '72 fastback re-painted for his son, again with some bodywork involved, and it came out really nice as well. Unfortunately, he and his son sold both cars, but he picked up a '69 and immediately took it to the painter for a color change (yellow to deep midnight blue) and again, excellent paint.

I had also gone to the paint shop for some filler and primer (products that Q had recommended), and asked the owner if he could recommend someone. He thought about it for a second, and while he was thinking I mentioned that I had been given the guy's name. Without hesitation, he told me to go with him... and that I had just walked right by the guy (I actually passed him on his way out/my way into the shop - rofl )

The painter came to the shop to look it over, felt-up the whole car, asked me questions about what I'd done so far and what products I used (he was impressed with my extensive use of the Rust Bullet and the little bit of Icing work I'd done to the bumper so far - he was happy to see that I hadn't skimped on those things). I had also picked up some other things to get the body work even further along, and he mentioned that they're the same things he typically uses - so I told him I'd just leave it all in the car and he can use what he needs and keep the rest when it's all said and done. He told me I'd done a good job on the majority of the things I'd done so far, and pointed out a few mistakes that are fixable 'rookie' mistakes (nothing that needs replacement or anything). He told me he'd have it for about 2 months and gave me his target price, with the caveat that there might be a bit less or possibly a bit more cost involved depending on what he finds as he gets further into it. I mentioned doing the hinge kit and he just told me to leave the doors off when I bring it to him, since he'll be taking them off anyway. He also wants me involved during the process, so I can see what he's doing and make sure it's going the way I want it to. He did mention that tape stripes and decals are not his favorite thing to do - but I told him I'd take care of that afterward, and that I'm actually really good at it because of all the experience with window tinting I have. (I also noticed he doesn't have a web site, so I might work something out for him on that front as well that might reduce the price a little... we'll have to see how that goes)

Actually, this is also the first guy I talked to... but all-in-all, I'm comfortable with my painter because of having seen his work and the feedback I received. Sure, he stroked my ego just a little when he told me the biggest part of what I'd done so far was good work, but he also wasn't afraid to point out some things that hadn't gone as well (without making me feel like a total idiot) - that's a level of honesty I can totally appreciate.


I was really worried about this process because one of my friends at the shop (with a '70 Camaro) went through 3 different body shops over a year's time in the process of getting his car together (nefarious people stealing or doing drugs - or even stealing to do drugs, crappy work, asking for more money without actually doing anything, lying to him, just about everything wrong with a body shop you could imagine). It was so bad, that he found another car (a better one, honestly), and swapped the good stuff he'd done to that point over to it and sold the hacked up first car to someone to become a circle track race car. That scared the crap out of me, thinking there was nobody in town that would be able to do my car when the time finally came.

Sorry for the novel, but hopefully this experience will help someone make their decision.

Eric

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#6
There is a Mustang shop down the street that does all years Mustangs, parts, body work etc.
Problem being I once asked them to install a clutch I already purchased and they wanted
$750 for labor, plus they told me they did not like installing Centerforce clutches.
Maybe they can handle a paint job, but I am leary.
My Mustang is 1 of 100 made in '71 so we need to be careful.
I am obligated not to screw up the restoration, if you catch my drift.

mike

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#7
From what I've seen, I would send it to Q and pay the man whatever he wants.

Seriously, I've found almost all painters are crazy, in that they think very highly of themselves, and don't want to touch anything unless it is stripped bare. Even then, most shops around here are notorious rip-offs. That's why so many hobbyists end up painting their own cars. For me, I learned that painting is the one thing Wolverine and I have in common: we simply are not worthy.

Let me check your shorts!
http://midlifeharness.com

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#8
+ 1 on the word of mouth from someone's good experiences . Anyone can tell you how good they are or have a fancy sign or website , hate to see anyone get burned by taking a chance on an un- known shop . If a diner sends you a raw burger ,you can send it back .If a body shop gives you a raw deal , you could end up un-happy , broke and in litigation. Dodgy

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460 , Edelbrock Performer carb. + intake , 204 / 214 cam , Pertronix Flamethrower 2 billet dizzy + coil , Crites long tubes , C6 .









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#9
I paint all my own stuff but I have a booth I can rent, there are a few products you can use to help painting in a shop environment but if you don't feel comfortable painting yourself I would not recommend it. Its not rocket science but can go wrong quickly and cost you double. Defiantly ask for some references of any shop you check out and go look at some cars they have painted and are a couple years old. I have seen some nice paint jobs go south in a couple years because crappy products were used or crappy prep.
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#10
If I had a place to work on the car, we would do all of the work ourselves.
Have all the equipment and people that can use it, all I am missing is a roof.
I figure the most expensive work will be the paint. Asked a friend what a paint
job would cost and they answered with how good do you want the car to look.
We have been buying parts over the years and have most of what we need for the
body and remaining interior work. Engine, drive train, exhaust and suspension; done.
Too bad you can't just rent a roof for a month.

mike

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