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Bogus repair shop "quote"?

 
Old 03-21-2019, 05:43 PM
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Project1976
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Default Bogus repair shop "quote"?

Hey guys! I am very new to the world of corvettes and just as new to the world of fiberglass. I recently picked up a 1976 Corvette that for sure needs a little TLC on the outside. But then again, that's what I bought her for; a project for my boy and me. I just heard back from an auto body place in the Phoenix area that claimed to have experience dealing with Corvettes and older classic cars and basically was told that my new project is a lost cause. His email went as follows:

"SO LOOKING AT THE PICTURES THE CAR NEEDS A LOT OF WORK, I COULDNT EVEN GIVE YOU A PRICE ON IT. I WOULD HAVE TO STRIP THE WHOLE BODY DOWN AND PRETTY MUCH REDO ALL THE FIBERGLASS ON MOST OF THE BODY. YOU WOULD BE INTO THE CAR FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND THATS NOT EVEN THE PAINT WORK, IT WOULD BE CHEAPER TO BUY ANOTHER CAR WITH A GOOD BODY THEN TO REPAIR THAT ONE."

I intend to learn and do as much as I can on my own but I was curious what an "experienced classic car shop" would charge. It makes it easier to convince my wife to let me buy new tools. Lol

Based on the transformations I have seen on this forum I am calling BS on his claim but I figured I would reach out to you guys that have been playing this game a lot longer than I have and get some opinions. Here are a few photos of the project and some of the areas that I intend to work on.





Driver's side door (I imagine someone opened it into a wall or another vehicle?)

Passenger's side front bumper

Old holes from luggage rack and a few from an old spoiler of sorts


No doubt we have our work cut out for us but I have trouble believing that the car is beyond repair. I know it needs to be stripped down and a few spots need some time and effort but It should be noted that we are not looking to build a show quality car. I'm not going to lose sleep over small imperfections (like a small gap between the bumper and body in a place or two) but I do want to get the body straight, put some quality paint on it so it looks nice, and spend the rest of the time and effort playing with the mechanical side of the project to get my son working with his hands. The interior is in good shape with no cracking or tearing and it runs just fine. It needs some steering and suspension work but as far as father/son projects go I think we are off to a good start.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:56 PM
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Dave Tracy
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Obviously, the paint has failed and there are some fiberglass repairs needed. I would have to agree that the paint needs to be removed to better assess the body work needed. Another aspect that you did not bring up is the condition of the frame and birdcage. Those repairs can break the bank and hopefully were evaluated prior to buying the car. The fiberglass/SMC can be repaired and a beautiful paint job can be done. Fiberglass repair is something you and your son can do.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:47 PM
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Well, from what I see in the pictures, the body shop is probably saving you a bunch of money by telling you theyíre going to charge you an arm and a leg Hahahaha. However, Dave is right, fiberglass work isnít that hard, but you need to check your birdcage thouroughly, before starting any work, if itís junk, then itís definitely not worth it. If itís good though, you and your boy have a great project ahead of you. If the birdcage is good, get paint stripper and razor blades and get to work taking off all of that paint and see what youíre dealing with. Itís a time consuming task, but not hard to do. Iím sure Dub will chime in on this and he is a excellent source to ask about what youíre up against and what to use. I personally use aircraft fibeberglass paint stripper and laquer thinner with red scotch brite pads, this is working great for me on my 68! Just follow the instructions on the paint thinner and watch what it does and youíll be fine, and the paint will come of fairly quickly. Donít be impatient and let the stripper do itís job!
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:33 PM
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just be glad those people did not get the car. they know nothing. it has been repainted by a hack at one time. strip it then asses the damage. likely not as bad as it appears. i see nothing that would scare me .
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:57 PM
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Project1976
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Originally Posted by Dave Tracy View Post
Obviously, the paint has failed and there are some fiberglass repairs needed. I would have to agree that the paint needs to be removed to better assess the body work needed. Another aspect that you did not bring up is the condition of the frame and birdcage. Those repairs can break the bank and hopefully were evaluated prior to buying the car. The fiberglass/SMC can be repaired and a beautiful paint job can be done. Fiberglass repair is something you and your son can do.
Yeah...the only thing I knew about C3 corvettes before I got my hands on this one is that they sure look cool! So I had no idea about birdcage rust issues. Fortunately, after absorbing a TON of information of this forum about potential issues and after sweating a bullet or two before getting the chance to check on the potential issues, I pulled some panels to find only a little surface rust and very minimal surface corrosion. The frame is in good shape with the same minimal surface rust you would expect on a 43 year old frame. The guy I got it from bought it from a shop in Yuma AZ so my best guess is its probably spent a good portion of its life in the SW. But I'm just spitballing here.

Originally Posted by Chonciceptor View Post
Well, from what I see in the pictures, the body shop is probably saving you a bunch of money by telling you theyíre going to charge you an arm and a leg Hahahaha. However, Dave is right, fiberglass work isnít that hard, but you need to check your birdcage thouroughly, before starting any work, if itís junk, then itís definitely not worth it. If itís good though, you and your boy have a great project ahead of you. If the birdcage is good, get paint stripper and razor blades and get to work taking off all of that paint and see what youíre dealing with. Itís a time consuming task, but not hard to do. Iím sure Dub will chime in on this and he is a excellent source to ask about what youíre up against and what to use. I personally use aircraft fibeberglass paint stripper and laquer thinner with red scotch brite pads, this is working great for me on my 68! Just follow the instructions on the paint thinner and watch what it does and youíll be fine, and the paint will come of fairly quickly. Donít be impatient and let the stripper do itís job!
I bought some Dura-Blocks and sand paper (180 and 320 grit) and was just planning on getting out there with some sweat equity and start stripping it the old fashion way. But I'm weird like that. Is this the wrong way to go about this? I know its not the easiest way but I just want to make sure that I won't jack something up.

Originally Posted by porchdog View Post
just be glad those people did not get the car. they know nothing. it has been repainted by a hack at one time. strip it then asses the damage. likely not as bad as it appears. i see nothing that would scare me .
Yeah the crappy paint and clear coat that is on it right now is the 2nd coat. The first coat that I have already sanded down to in a few spots was the same color. I figure to sand it down to the original primer and then put a decent paint job on it. Like I said, I'm not going for show quality so I'm not looking to take it down to fiberglass and build up a perfect body. Just looking to build a sharp car to make some racket and learn a thing or two from.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:08 PM
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I dont't see anything that is not repairable. For you and your son it would be a great project to learn on. Body work takes time and patience to get thing right and looking good. You will need a few tools to accomplish a positive end result. I will tel you that it is very rewarding when you get things completed. You will want to get down to the fiberglass before you start going forward. Mat , resin VPA will all be things to learn, and many products to get comfortable with. Go for it, you can do it!!!!


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Old 03-23-2019, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by rvzio View Post
I dont't see anything that is not repairable. For you and your son it would be a great project to learn on. Body work takes time and patience to get thing right and looking good. You will need a few tools to accomplish a positive end result. I will tel you that it is very rewarding when you get things completed. You will want to get down to the fiberglass before you start going forward. Mat , resin VPA will all be things to learn, and many products to get comfortable with. Go for it, you can do it!!!!


RVZIO
How critical is it to go down to the fiberglass rather than just the original primer? I know I will need to do it in the places that for sure need repair and then build up from there but is it critical on the whole body if Iím just shooting for a driver quality paint job? Iím willing if necessary but just trying to learn what the general consensus is.

Also, is it ok to do it all with long blocks or am I shooting myself in the foot there? Iím weird about learning to do things the old fashioned way first...but then again with fiberglass bodywork Iím not sure what the ďold fashionedĒ way is?

Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge! My son looks at this car as being the sweetest ride on earth but I still look at it and think, ďOh man, what did I get myself into?Ē
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Old 03-24-2019, 05:50 AM
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Well the body work portion of a project is a lot of work and it does get messy. Keep it under control you can do it. Clean up after each time you work on it, you and your son should wear a good mask while sanding etc. The issue of sanding down to the fiberglass is intended for you to see and determine what or if any other stuff is going on under the paint. Like old Bondo repairs as well as a clean surface. This allows you to remove ant old product and repair properly. Takes time and effort? Yes it does but the rewards are great. Anyone can prep their car the way they see fit. Cutting corners in the prep work which by the way still takes time leaves you open to the possibility that your time, money for paint, and all of the work. doesn't measure up to your expectations. In short "it looks like crap: You and your son will learn together that just a nice paint job takes some effort so why not learn good techniques.

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Old 03-24-2019, 09:30 AM
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Copy that. We’ll get going on it and let keep everyone updated on our progress! Thanks again!
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:43 AM
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Nothing better than a good father son project. Take your time and enjoy spending time with each other, this will be the biggest reward. You two can do it and you will find all the answers you will need right here, I know I have.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:51 AM
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RUN from that shop
RUN
First - touch base with people who knows these cars
Second - check the frame - make sure it is not rusted thru - large expense
Third - Check the birdcage - make sure it is not rusted - if it is - car is not worth repairing
Fourth - Check the mechanicals - compression test - etc... what needs repaired or replaced

The paint is delaminated - meaning the clear coat separated from the base - typical 80s GM paint
Get with Corvette guys that know what it take to do it right
You can learn how to do body work but there is a learning curve

also what is your budget?
What are your expectations? Driver or show car
You will spend 8 to 10 just on paint and that doesnt inc any body work
prob another 5 to 8 in body work
plus parts
new weatherstrip?
new lights?
redo the interior? - another 5k
the paint will need stripped down to the glass
If you dont know how to do it all - you can pay someone to do it.....

Last edited by csherman; 03-25-2019 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:25 PM
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The frame in in good shape, the birdcage has minimal surface rust but other than that it is I good shape, and the car runs (I drove it 2 hours down I-10 at 70mph with no issues) but I still want to play with the 327 a bit. I think it has a lot of potential.

The guy I got it from put a new aluminum radiator in it, new lights, electric headlamp motors, and new glass T-tops, among a few other small things.

I have a pretty lenient budget but I don't plan to drop $20K in the car. I will spend what needs to be spent to make the car safe, run great and look nice but I'm not looking for show quality restoration. If I'm being honest (and maybe slightly immature) I just want a good looking, loud/powerful, fun, obnoxious project that I can take my wife to dinner in or take to the local Inde Motorsports Ranch near where I live and goof around. Also, my younger brothers have convinced my son that it will be the best take-a-hot-date-to-prom car ever. He's only 10 so he doesn't even really know what prom is yet but hey, the uncles are cooler than Dad so they know best right?

I am fortunate enough to have a cousin up in Phoenix who does amazing paint work. He used to race funny cars but now does a lot of drag boat racing and painting. He has a paint booth in his huge shop (no joke, his shop is bigger than his house) for his classic car restorations, funny cars, and his drag boats so I will be enlisting his skills to paint the car after I finish the body work. That alone will save me thousands of dollars as I would really only be paying for paint. Over the years he has always done his own fiberglass work on his drag boats so if I run into anything I feel I can't take on with the body I will be buying him a steak dinner and enlisting his expertise. But I will be doing all the body work I can on my own, learning curve be damned! I really only reached out to the body shop out of curiosity.

The interior is in good shape so I probably wont mess with that unless I want to upgrade seats/belts/etc. Except a decent sound system...that is a must.

Really I am just looking to have some fun with my boy. I'm not looking to break the bank but I do want the car to look good and drive nice. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:41 PM
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I'd have it blasted with the dustless system (water) and then make a plan to fix the fiberglass thats broken. there is no telling how good the substructure of that paint job is, why risk it. your gonna have your hands full just wit the fiberglass issues alone and the restoration. strip the interior out remove the headers and side pipes and have it blasted (water based/dustless) hopefully it s a mobile guy who can do it in your driveway. runs around $800 near me for a whole car . tucsondustlessblasting.com
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:34 PM
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Thanks Lyndwood! I just called and spoke to Tucson Dustless Blasting and he said it would be $800 to blast my '76. My only question would be this: you mention dustless but he says he uses recycled bottle glass (3070 grit). Do you think this would damage the fiberglass? When I asked him about it he said he just did a 30' boat a few days ago and there was no damage to the gel-coat. How does that translate over to my corvette being as it doesn't have gel-coat (at least I understood that they stopped gel coating in the mid '70s?). If it won't damage the fiberglass then this might be the way to go. Then I could take a swing at any fiberglass repairs that will likely show up. I would still have my son do some sanding with me...surely it builds character.
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:50 PM
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I was going to suggest blasting
I blast all mine
but I do different restorations (body off)
Corvettes were not gel coated ( I just love the Corvette gel coat story !!!!! )
They were bare glass then primer then paint
A quality blaster with experience should know how to treat glass
If he doesnt - yes like anything he can do damage
but then you can go straight to doing repairs and body work
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:48 AM
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For what it is worth:

You can choose whatever method to remove the paint and primer...but in my opinon...as like previously stated...getting off all of the old factory primer is needed to now allow you to begin with products that can be applied on the surface and provide the best foundation for you paint job.

Paying someone to blast the car costs money....stripping it yourself with your son is less expensive but will take some time and effort but save you hundreds of dollars on the bottom line of costs. Which can be spend elsewhere when needed. This also depends on how much you value your time. Personally at my shop... I chemically strip them due to no one in my area can blast them without causing for some damage that will still cause me to spend time in an area that I could have avoided.

Like stated above...NOTHING on this car scares me and it all can be repaired.

Knowing that this is your first venture into doing this...I can bet that when you get into it....you are going to be advised to perform some repairs that you feel are not needed and will be just fine to leave them be. I can already see that coming up soon. SO...if you are advised to do something....and do not do it...just remember that many of us who have been doing this for living and those who have done numerous Corvettes for themselves.....are ONLY trying to help you out and PREVENT a possible problem that will make you regret not doing what was advised.

I know you have no interest in making it a show car....I get that. BUT...when you are in the body repair stage...all it takes is time and attention to detail to take an average looking body to one that is exceptional when painted.

That being said....not wanting to make you feel I am brainwashing you.....but for those of us who do this and have done it....when you get the body stripped and are doing repairs...you have taken such a huge step in getting it RIGHT......why not take the time to learn and do it RIGHT. Unless you are the type of person who can live with grind marks in the body and missed nicks and gouges that were painted over. Because the BEST paint job cannot help a car with BAD body work....and the best body work cannot help a BAD paint job.

So...do it as you see fit and make yourself happy....because at the end of the day that is all that matters.

And just to be honest here.....the 'quote' you got is only the guy being honest with you. Due to no one can tell what is going on under the paint and until it is removed. It is all a guessing game. Because I have seen cars like this that when I begin to strip it...there is tons of body filler and previous damaged areas that will ALL need to be reworked. If he gave you a 'quote for $1000. Then you will hold him to that and if anything else came up....you then would be pissed off because you now feel he is taking you for a ride....because IF he does this for a living, he should have x-ray vision like Superman and be able to see all repairs that are hidden by paint....which is not the case. The ONLY reason I am stating this....is because I deal with it from time to time when panels are stripped...only to find that they are really screwed up....but you could not tell by how well the body looked with paint on it. This is why I now tell my potential customers ..."We will have to wait and see what the body tells us it needs when I strip it."

DUB

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Old 04-08-2019, 02:08 PM
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Thanks for your reply DUB! What is the product you use chemically strip it? After hours of sanding I am starting to cave to the idea of a more time effective method of getting down to the fiberglass. Will the chemical stripper do any damage to the fiberglass?
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Old 04-08-2019, 02:12 PM
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csherman what kind of blasting media do you use? I have heard of guys using walnut shells and baking soda but I imagine that both can do damage to fiberglass if not done properly? I wonder if it would be worth just buying the equipment to blast it myself after factoring in all the costs of getting my Corvette loaded and trailered to Tucson (2 hrs away).
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Project1976 View Post
Thanks for your reply DUB! What is the product you use chemically strip it? After hours of sanding I am starting to cave to the idea of a more time effective method of getting down to the fiberglass. Will the chemical stripper do any damage to the fiberglass?
I use Klean-Strip AIRCRAFT remover. I do not get the one for fiberglass due to IF you know how to use it...it CANNOT damage the fiberglass like MANY corvette forum members have found out who have followed some VERY EASY instructions.

Once you understand and see how the chemical stripper works....you then will see that it cannot damage the fiberglass. Simple as that.

But buy and use what you wish.

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