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A good body shop is worth its weight in gold - Bumper fixed and all gaps fixed

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Old 01-16-2018, 10:37 PM   #1
Tool Hoarder
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Default A good body shop is worth its weight in gold - Bumper fixed and all gaps fixed

My buddy Brian Dodson at Auto Elite here in Virginia Beach got my 2014 better than the new ones - https://www.facebook.com/Auto-Elite-...0662853325168/

When I purchased my car (2014 Z51 with 44k miles - Thanksgiving 2017) I noticed my front door gaps were very wide at the front and got wider top to bottom. The other margins looked very good so I had no idea where to start. I made this post (https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...n-purpose.html)

Then a couple weeks ago I tore up my bumper trying to remove it in a cold garage; lesson learned. With the bumper off I noticed the fenders were cracked at the outer headlight attachment points from factory over-tightening as well. I also had the all-to-common peeling paint at the bumper edges. Thread here (https://www.corvetteforum.com/forums...e-cracked.html)

I used to be an insurance adjuster and know a lot about body work and automotive construction. I've also built a C5 show car and a C5 roadrace car from the frame up. Even so, I didn't think the door gaps were fixable. I thought I had bad panels from buying a 2014. I kept hearing door fit was a big problem in the early C7s.

The short of it is my bumper is repaired and the panel gaps are better than new! I'm a perfectionist who is never pleased, and my expectations are exceeded by a huge margin. I also had them go ahead and do my Z06 grill and stage 1 splitter. In addition to the doors the headlights were a little off, the driver fender had a hairline crack, and the gas door wasn't centered. They had to adjust both door and the fenders to get it right. He said the hood ended up perfect and didn't need to be adjusted.

I have been frustrated with the fit/finish on my C7 thinking the panels were bad... I'm ecstatic now.

Gaps Before... both sides were bad with passenger side being the worst. The door was also inset from the fender at the bottom body line.





Bumper debacle...



Peeling paint before...





After...


















Last edited by Tool Hoarder; 01-16-2018 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:43 PM   #2
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Looks Great!!!
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:58 PM   #3
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Very cool. That must be a relief for you.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:17 AM   #4
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Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting. Looks like some skilled body shop guys for sure.

If body gaps like this bug you, do not buy a Tesla. They'll have to institutionalize you.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:28 AM   #5
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YOU are VERY fortunate!!!
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:31 AM   #6
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Fortunate no. The minor imperfections so many have coronaries about are relatively easy to take care of by any competent paint and body shop at minimal cost.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:36 AM   #7
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Fortunate no. The minor imperfections so many have coronaries about are relatively easy to take care of by any competent paint and body shop at minimal cost.
Mine weren't minor to me... the front door gaps stuck out bad on a white car. With the headlights in I couldn't figure out how to get it right and, because my fender and hood gaps were really good, I didn't want to open pandora's box and move the fenders. Body man ended up having to adjust the fenders and doors to get it dialed in. Not only were the door gaps wide, the doors were inset from the fenders. The fenders have no play like a C5 as they're SMC and not urethane.

Regardless the car is dialed in now. Other than the rear bumper to quarter fit but I decided to wait until I find a reason to pull the rear bumper to have them mess with it.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:51 AM   #8
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I'm glad your shop was able to dial yours in to your liking! My 2014 had some really bad issues too.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:54 AM   #9
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I'm glad your shop was able to dial yours in to your liking! My 2014 had some really bad issues too.
I remember your saga with the yellow car being taken back to BG. Followed it closely
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:56 AM   #10
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Glad you got it fixed.

Whos gonna take your place starting several complaint threads every day?






Yes, Im kidding. Kinda. Sorta.
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Old 01-17-2018, 12:56 AM   #11
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It was quite an adventure! And then to get it all taken care of only to loose her in a flood! UGH!

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Old 01-17-2018, 12:58 AM   #12
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Glad you got it fixed.

Whos gonna take your place starting several complaint threads every day?

Yes, Im kidding. Kinda. Sorta.
Someone else can have that title... I'm happy with the car now.. I was getting disappointed with it.... I've wanted once since watching the reveal on 1/13/13 live but life and family took priority. My four C5s were all very good cars and I have been a life-long Corvette fanatic. I was annoyed with all the little issues this car had as I'd spent 5 years wanting one so it had big shoes to fill.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:05 AM   #13
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Mine weren't minor to me...
Yes, that's clear. Glad you're happy now and have found out how easy most such issues are to correct.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:11 AM   #14
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Yes, that's clear. Glad you're happy now and have found out how easy most such issues are to correct.
They're only easy if you find the right people. There are countless threads on here of people trying to get this type of work done by the dealer under warranty and it often comes out worse. Also, I was an insurance adjuster around here for a few years about a decade ago.... have experience with all the local shops... only a handful I'd trust to get this type of detail work right. Maybe your area has better body techs

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Old 01-17-2018, 01:22 AM   #15
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Someone else can have that title... I'm happy with the car now.. I was getting disappointed with it.... I've wanted once since watching the reveal on 1/13/13 live but life and family took priority. My four C5s were all very good cars and I have been a life-long Corvette fanatic. I was annoyed with all the little issues this car had as I'd spent 5 years wanting one so it had big shoes to fill.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:00 AM   #16
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Looks great, glad it worked out.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:04 AM   #17
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I appreciate your concerns and agree the paint defects caused by the rubbing is terrible. However don't forget the lower door panel is inset a few mm to account for the flow of crap coming off the front tires to keep the leading edge of the door from being sand blasted. I had the 2014 reference saved and will find it tomorrow, must be on my ipad.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:06 AM   #18
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I appreciate your concerns and agree the paint defects caused by the rubbing is terrible. However don't forget the lower door panel is inset a few mm to account for the flow of crap coming off the front tires to keep the leading edge of the door from being sand blasted. I had the 2014 reference saved and will find it tomorrow, must be on my ipad.
Yes I am aware of the lower door design and that it's inset to the rocker. That was not an issue and was not adjusted.
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Old 01-17-2018, 03:25 AM   #19
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You mention hairline cracks; how were those fixed?
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Old 01-17-2018, 08:19 AM   #20
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You mention hairline cracks; how were those fixed?
The cracked bumper tabs were fixed with 2-part urethane epoxy. The torn tab was reattached with a reinforced stitch welder, the hairline crack in the fender was on the edge on the vertical lip. I believe he used a tiny bit of SMC repair and then airbrushed the repair. The crack was either a panel defect or from the previous owner curbing his aftermarket RPI splitter and flexing the whole front. The crack was on the driver side which is the side the splitter was hit.
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