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Friends that recomend shops

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by RDAH, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. RDAH
    Joined: Mar 23, 2007
    Posts: 465

    from NL, WI

    My 54 Merc was painted back in the 80's & I wanted a perfessional paint job on it because it's in great mechanical condition. I've had it for 12 years & put a 91, 302 w/AOD with disc brakes & other stuff the first 6 months I owned it. Now since last May it's been in a shop getting a repaint. Almost a year & he only found a little rust in the front right fender. I went there almost once a week & finally when it was sitting outside 2 months ago with the windows down in a snow storm I lost it. Was ready to grab him by the neck & he knew it. 2 weeks ago it was painted & I polished the stainless for him to put back on. He has 5 guys working for him & 500 excuses for not getting at my car. Always says 2 weeks, 2 weeks. Started another project that needs the motor bored & valve job. Thats been in another shop for 5 weeks & still sitting in the same place. I disassemble & build my own motors just don't have a boring bar or valve grinder. The 3rd part is an auto transmission. Going on 3 weeks. I checked yesterday & it's still sitting in the same place also at another shop. How do these guys stay in business.? I was told the car would take 3 months = OK, the motor guy said 2 weeks & the trans guy figured 2 weeks or he'd call. Sorry for the rant, but I just getting a little frustrated with shop around this area.
  2. I also have a 54 Merc in the shop for full resto. the body has been ready for paint for a month and still nothing. the upholstery shop has had my seats for 3 months and still sitting in same spot. I sent my stainless to a guy in Kansas and he won't even return my calls. Maybe it's a Merc thing.
  3. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    from arkansas

    it,s called body shop hell also jail or prison---well documented phenomenon ,,,
  4. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    Sounds like you need to do more research before dropping your car off somewhere. All of those wait times are crazy. A year to paint a car? Yea, with a pinstripe brush. 5 weeks for a motor rebuild? 3 weeks for a transmission rebuild? I watched my shop do mine in 6 hours and it was just a guy and his wife. Plus, she stopped to answer the phone. Did you pay these guys up front? I've never heard of dragging ass to get paid on a job.

    I'd find new friends or do more asking around.

  5. daddio211
    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 5,999


    Make a deal with the shop owner BEFORE you agree on the project, AND GET IT IN WRITING!

    An upholsterer friend of mine has a reputation for being slow. He's really not, but a few jobs ran long with the wrong people and they still bitch years later.

    So, my good buddy had this friend so a leather interior for his Deuce 3 window. Upholstery guy said he needed the car for 3 weeks, car owner said "I'll give you four, but every day after 4 weeks you owe ME $50."

    The car was done on time, but finished the last day of the 4th week with several sleepless nights for the upholstery guy. Car owner was so THRILLED with the work he threw him a fat cash tip.

    Point is, most contractors will take as much time as you allow them, but you have to set the guidelines up front. Most shops are cash poor and are taking today's customers payments to buy equipment for last week's customer projects. Sad economy, poor business practices.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
  6. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


  7. 48 Chubby
    Joined: Apr 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,014

    48 Chubby
    Member Emeritus

    And then when it IS ready, He is gonna say some thing like, "well you know prices have gone up a mite in the past year. You don't expect me to settle for what I quoted way back then do ya?"

    If any one tells me 3 months, 90 days later I put a gun in my pocket and go get my car.
  8. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,797

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    How is this about your friends recommending the shop? So many times things take longer than planned, gotta get deadlines in writing.
  9. I've dealt with the same crap! It's terrible. I was dumb enough to pay for alot of it upfront, then it sat till I paid more. Shop ended up going broke, didn't finish my car and I had $3500 in a primered '56 Chevy wagon.
  10. 1ton
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 495


    The worse thing you can do is try to be a nice guy and tell the shop guy that there is no hurry on the project. If you say "Take your time just get it done right" He will and it won't. Always set a deadline and stick to it.
  11. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors

    in a body shop world its feast or famine, problem with a lot of this is people don't want to pay for it plain and simple everybody wants to most they can get for as little as possible..without realizing the amount of work and time involved to make your shit turn out right...i don't think most body men delay you on purpose but they have overheads and bills to meet just like everyone want it done in three months be prepared to fork over 15-20k to make it happen cause guess what you still wont be happy so go to your local community college and take some body classes and do it yourself!...

    my .02's
  12. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    What it boils down to is some shops being too cheap to hire enough help or too greedy to say no until there's room in the shop. I worked at a paint and body shop and if someone came in for work and all our bays or men were tied up, we'd recommend another shop to meet thier deadline.

    What good is it to make 25K on a paint job, if the cars sitting in the shop for a year and pisses off the customer? People talk a lot of shit about poor over seas quality, yet a lot of my experiences lately have been bullshit American work ethics. If your shop is full or behind, don't take in more work.

    A year for a paint job? That SOB better win the damn Ridler.
  13. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors

    the customers are the cheap ones....your every day joe that wants a 25k paint job cant afford so wants it done for 3500. because macco can do it for less...
  14. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors

    and one of the best customer lines oh by the way you do good on this one i have another i want re-done and my buddy wants one done too....

    yeah right!!!!! it comes down to is hey im a cheap F'k and i want a show job!

    go learn how to do the work yourself and you would know what it takes to you would feel better knowing you did it yourself :)
  15. studeynut
    Joined: Mar 13, 2011
    Posts: 290


    If I was closer I would love to finish them for you. A typical body shop makes more money doing newer cars, collision repair, etc., its quick money. They take on old cars to fill in when it gets slow and to draw in other customer. Last couple of years I've finished several "Body shop" jobs and removed alot of bondo in the process. I specialize in 70's and older vehicles only. Find a shop that also specializes only in classics to get it done quicker and better. Dream Ride Builders, Twin Falls Idaho
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  16. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    The everyday joe wants his moneys worth in a reasonable amount of time. Like the OP stated, his cars been sitting in shops gathering dust. He doesn't want it cheap, he just wants it done. ON TIME.

    True, there are a few guys looking for a 25K job on a 3K budget, but there's also shops dragging ass to finish other jobs to buy supplies for new jobs and those new jobs get left in the back of the shop.

    And you make it sound like the answer is to do it yourself? Like, how long does it take to learn the RIGHT way to do body and paint work? If it's so easy, then why are the shops even in business? According to you, everyone should be painting cars because it so easy? wow.
  17. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors

    never said it was easy i said you should learn so you would have a better understanding what it takes to do maybe next time when you see joe body man you know he earned his keep is all...:cool:
  18. trentagxw
    Joined: Apr 17, 2013
    Posts: 4

    from new york

    the body has been ready for paint for a month and still nothing. the upholstery shop has had my seats for 3 months and still sitting in same spot.[​IMG]
  19. Munster Motors
    Joined: Jan 23, 2012
    Posts: 457

    Munster Motors

    hopefully you get your car back or done soon man, i feel for ya
    sorry for the pissing match on your thread..
  20. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    There's no pissing match. It's called a discussion. That's what this place is for. Or are we all supposed to have the same opinions?:cool:

    OP, I'd get my stuff out of all those places and possibly seek legal advice. Reasonable amount of time has clearly been misused.
  21. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    When you drop off your job get a time when it will be done. Stop by occasionally and remind the shop that you'll need the car on that date. When the date comes arrive with a trailer and ask for help loading the car. The excuses will flow and if you stick to your guns you'll have some work done (obviously not all of it) and if you've been paying by the week for progress made (the only way to contract a job) you'll be closer to the finish line and the shop will understand they don't have you over a barrel with no options. I figure that a reminder every week for a month that you'll be after the car on the agreed date should eliminate any excuses. Oh, and when you leave with your car (most likely NOT finished and probably requiring the presence of law enforcement to make the extraction) be sure to tell the owner you'll be giving a recommendation to any potential customers you might encounter reflecting your experience.

  22. Fast, cheap, or good. Pick two.

  23. car repairs, body shop repair, auto painting, upholstery repair etc, are business operations and are governed by laws and regulations. Every state has consumer protection laws including automobile repairs.

    Maybe it's time "to spread the gospel of protecting the rights of ALL hot rod, custom car owners in the USA (hoodlum or not)".

    If, you are dealing with a legitimate repair shop they have rules and regulations that, they must follow as described in state law. If, it's a back yard, home garage operation etc. more the reason to draw up your own list of what work will be done, when the work will be done and cost. Signed by the repair guy and the car owner, it is a legal contract, all being of legal age.

    The most important step and is step Number 1 is the repair authorization. When signed by the customer, it becomes a legal contract and most of the burden falls on the repair shop. Specific expectations can be added to the repair order like when the work will be DONE, the exact type of work to be done, cost etc. When it is signed by the shop representative and the car owner it is a"legal contract". With the "legal contract" it isn't necessary to make veiled threats, "I'll be in once a week", " no good pr for you" etc.

    Any reputable repair shop must have the state required "repair authorization", ask the shop for one and read it. Leaving your car at a repair shop without getting a signed repair order could be the first step down a sad, slippery slope

    Almost all of the body shop, painter etc. complaints on the HAMB never mention, "I got a signed repair order", (the legal contract), instead the thread goes "my buddy said this, this guy said that, the shop did, did not blablabla". It's easy to find whatever car forum feeds your interest, finding the laws that, protect you and your car are just as easy to access on the internet.

    Time to find out how to protect yourself and your car.

    Or let's call this the gospel from the "book of holy hot rods, chapter one, verse one" or how to protect your a$$.

    Here is a primer lesson for Wisconsin found on the internet;


    The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) regulates many consumer transactions, including motor vehicle repairs. A customer has certain rights when getting his or her vehicle repaired. These rights are outlined in the DATCP’s regulations, specifically Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter ATCP 132. A copy of the Code can be obtained from the DATCP or at your local courthouse library located in the county courthouse.

    Chapter ATCP 132 is applicable when a motor vehicle is repaired by a repair shop. A “motor vehicle” is a motor vehicle or a motor home. “Repair” is a broad term, which can mean the diagnosis of a problem, the installation or removal of a part, improvement, adjustment, replacement, maintenance, or service of a motor vehicle or its parts. A “repair shop” is a person or business that engages in the motor vehicle repair business.

    Violations and Remedies

    If a repair shop violates Chapter ATCP 132, the customer could sue in court to enforce his or her rights and to obtain damages. In addition, Wisconsin law provides that customers are entitled to double any financial loss suffered as a result of a violation, as well as receive reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

    If you believe your repair shop violated the law, you should contact a private consumer law attorney. Look at the ads in the yellow pages under "Consumer Law Attorneys." Look for ads indicating no charge for initial consultation. Also, you can obtain the name of a consumer law attorney from the State Bar Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (608) 257-4666 (in Dane County) or (800) 362-9082 (statewide). If you are low-income, and you have a claim concerning a violation of Chapter ATCP 132, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. may be able to assist you. However, because your attorney fees may be payable by the repair shop if ordered by a court, you should consult a private attorney first before seeking legal representation at Legal Action.

    In addition to searching for a lawyer, you should file a complaint against the repair shop with the DATCP. The DATCP keeps track of such complaints in order to fine, enjoin, or criminally charge shops that violate the regulations. The DATCP can be contacted by mail at PO Box 8911, Madison, WI, 53708 or by phone at (800) 422-7128. You can also visit its website at

    Rights and Rules under Chapter ATCP 132

    This is not a complete list of rights and rules under Chapter ATCP 132. You should refer to the actual Code or a lawyer for further information concerning the application of these rules to your particular situation.
    Repair Authorization
    No shop may perform any repair that has not been authorized by the customer. Before a shop starts any repairs whose total price may exceed $50, a shop representative shall record the repair authorization on a written repair order.
    Written Repair Order
    Before a shop starts any repairs whose total price may exceed $50, a shop representative must prepare a written repair order that clearly and legibly describes the repairs authorized by the customer. If there is face-to-face contact with the customer, a copy of the repair order must be given to the customer. The repair order must include the following:
  24. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,728


    When I had the interior done on my '32, all lot of guys in the area used a guy with "Fast" in his name. Only problem? He's expensive and slow. He takes in more work than he can handle, thus your car sits unless you threaten to take your car out. The guy I used only does one car at a time. I have had complete interiors done by him and each car took one week.

    A "high end" painter I know told me the reason he takes so long is to justify his $25K price. He said customers won't spend that kind of money if he did the car in 2 weeks, which he said he could do. Who knows? It took my painter 6 months and $8K to paint my car, a '32 3 window. I took my next car to a regular body and paint shop. They charged me $1800 to weld up trim holes, color match the paint and buff the whole car. It was 2 weeks. The job came out so well, my wife thought they had repainted the whole car. I now recommend them to everyone I know.
  25. G'day all, Had my car at a shop to have some specialty work done. He sold the hardtop, the windshield posts, door posts, front bumpers, and most of the new parts. I got it back but the dash pad he was supposed to put in was done so poorly it was pathetic and will have to be redone. I got back a shell of a car and a bad check to cover what he had stolen. A couple of other guys got some nice restorations done with my parts though.

  26. no shop owners chiming in?

    i run a repair shop. we do old and new cars

    i won't take work i can't get done. vintage or late model. if they want me to do the work, they will schedule it and i will get it done.

    i give my customers 2 options for large scale work on vintage vehicles... i'll get it done as quick as possible if you're willing to pay for every minute i spend on the project, or i'll flat rate the job so long as i have the luxury of working on good paying, fast moving, quick money, late-model jobs as they come in. i'll get to your old stuff when i have time.

    if its something like valve cover gaskets or brakes i treat it like anything else and just bang it out. if i KNOW its gonna be a pain, i treat it as such. i am up front and pride myself on communication and disclosure. THAT'S the way ALL business should be run, from auto repair to construction to dry cleaning.

    i get a lot of repeat business from people that have had bad experiences at other shops. most old car guy shops suffer from lack of business sense, not lack of ability. its nice to try and exercize both.

    for some reason, paint and body is a fertile garden for these types of hassles. good luck on your quest.

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