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Lookin for good body shop and engine rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sgt_Slacker, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    howdy all!!

    im looking for a fair price body and paint shop to get my 1955 buick roadmaster 4door sedan. (also if the shop could take payments)

    i got quoted $8,500 on it and i think that is a weeeeee bit to much for me!!

    yes it has some rust through and all over surface rust, and some jack-a$$ put a thin layer of bondo on it. but 8,500??? :(

    it will need to be brought down to bare metal. and some metal patch work.

    im also looking for a good place to get my stock 322ci and trans rebuilt. (that takes payments)

    im also willing to trade my 56 plymouth and some cash for these services

    im a 28yr old married vet, still in the army reserves and always wanted a nice car to cruse in and take to shows with my 5yr step son. but im always gettin screwed over. every time i get ahead on the car i get deployed or sent away on training :( sorry for the sob story

    i live in the San Fernando Valley, Ca

    PM, post comment or email me please. i will send as many pix as you want


    Attached Files:

  2. ssimpala
    Joined: Jan 25, 2011
    Posts: 121


    I hate to be the one to tell you...but $8500 looks cheap to me. You're going to have to do most of the body work yourself and then find a painter.
  3. flamed34
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 733


    Agreed. That is rough. Hours and hours of fabrication will be required just to complete the metal work. Once the fab work is done, it still all needs to be straightened out and painted.

    There's a '55 4-door in driver condition on that auction site right now for $7800...probably a cheaper-in-the-long-run solution.
  4. 01spirit750
    Joined: Oct 27, 2010
    Posts: 86

    from Ohio

    Paint supplies are getting reall expensive in California.

    Looking at the pictures, $8500 is reall cheap and I don't think it could be done for that. I think you are realling looking at $12k.

    If you go with this shop you should really expect the $8500 to be just the starting point.

    Remember with car building you only have two options:
    Do you want it done cheap
    Do you want it done right

    Pick one.

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  5. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,735


    If it's driver quality, you might try places like One Day or Maaco. A friend of mine took his '58 Panel Truck to One Day. Stripped to bare metal and rust repair, then paint cost him about $2K, no fabrication, just rust repair. Based on your pictures, it may be more.

    Buick motors and trans aren't cheap to rebuild. If price is a concern, you may be better off with a used 350/350 combo.
  6. farmergal
    Joined: Nov 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,074

    from somewhere

    Paint is one of the most expensive parts of doing a car; that includes the paint, the clear coat, the supplies to prep for paint, etc. On top of that there's the labor charges

    My boyrfriend is a mechanic and runs a body shop. We did our entire '50 plymouth from the ground up ourselves...including paint. The most expensive part of the entire car was the paint and we did an original color which wasnt very spectacular in any way shape or form.

    If the car is covered in surface rust its going to require a complete strip job by someone (which could take days if not weeks) then its going to require dismantle (fenders, hood, etc) to ensure all spots get paint and its a quality job.

    If you want quality youre going to pay for it.

    Talking to my b/f he would tell you to strip it down yourself and get it to bare metal and ready for paint. Buy a D/A and a bag full of sand paper and strip it down really well; make sure you get in everywhere too. Then dismantle what you want to ensure it all gets paint and bring it in peice by peice. it'll save on labor charges to have them take parts off to make it easier. We did our body shell and then staged all the fenders, hood, decklid, doors, etc in the paint booth and did them seperate. That way we knew we got in the door jams, no spot was missed due to the hood or fender covering an area of stripped metal when sprayed.

    Strip the car yourself; circle any dents with a permanent marker if you cant fix them yourself and bring it to the shop ready for dent fixing and paint. it'll cost you way less.
    Joined: Mar 31, 2011
    Posts: 216


    well this is my opnion.............

    take it for what it is worth,

    i have quite a collection of tools and equipment that i have accumilated over the years. i have the capability to take a car body and strip it and prepare it for the body people and the same with engine parts also. the more you do yourself the less it is going to cost you to get things done. a bit of dirt and grime and crap under the fingernails is proof that you have and had hands on bragging rights. throw in a couple of nicked knuckles, a broken finger nail, and some dirty clothes to put in the washer, and as far as i am concerned you own what you accomplished. if it takes years to accomplish then so be it. if you have plenty of disposable income and don't want the bragging rights then spend the money. if after it is all done and there is something you would have done different it is too late to change it.

    as far as i can say and there are many, many others out there that will agree with me, and that is;

    if you want it done a certain way, or if you want it done right, or if you get taken to the cleaners, and you say;

    why didn't i do it my self.

    well i will leave things at that.

    the best part of any project is when someone asks questions and you can say;

    i did it like this, or this had to be done this way, or what ever, you can proudly say, "I DID IT AND I HAD FUN DOING IT" and think to yourself wow i really accomplished something.

    accomplishment is a mind blowing drug.
    it is legal
    it is habit forming
    it is personally addictive
    it comes with bragging rights
    it is yours and yours alone, no one else can lay claim to any part of any of it
  8. That car doesn't need a paint job , it needs a a restoration. I wouldn't even start on it in my shop if you don't have 20 grand to spend. I'd bet another five that wouldn't be enough, once it was striped and you could really see what you have. SERIOUSLY, in your situation, go buy a driver. What you have is a parts car.
  9. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787


    I passed on this one for a grand last year, stuck motor, weak floors...

    you could get something a lot closer to being on the road for not much money...if you look outside So Cal...

  10. hunter
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 60


    For $8500....thats cheap....$8500 would probably get the metal work done and be ready for bodywork....maybe..once it was blasted the truth comes out....
    Tinbender is right....that car needs to be rebuilt.....thats far from a paintjob...sorry to say it, but its the truth. ask any guy who has a shop and he'll say the same thing.
    after looking closer at pictures....that car is rough....thats a parts better have deep pockets to fix that car properly.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  11. Old&Low
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 410


    As most on here have said already, you're seriously undervaluing the cost of 'body and paint' work. In 1980 I used to get $3K for the average paint job alone in my Resto Rod shop; trust me, things haven't gotten cheaper. The best advice you've gotten here (other than the general 'Do it yourself' advice) is from Tinbender telling you to "go buy a driver." That Buick in r8odecay's post above is a good example; not a 'driver,' but just rebuild the engine and you'd have one that looks pretty close. Good luck!
  12. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    well, i take it that $8,500 is not a bad price!! its through a friend of mine and he said he would normally charge $12k for it but since im a friend ;)

    as for some of the comments about it being a "parts car", its faaar from it!!! the pix i posted made it look worse than it is!!!! i can count on one hand the rust through spots and i sanded down the rear panel and the body is VERY straight!! everything works on it, down to the window switches, it runs and drives great!

    and i cant afford to just get another car. this car is 100% complete with low documented miles! in the pix yall see, that is after i stripped all the chrome and stainless off. NOTHING is missing from it. hell, id just spray can it, drive it and save if it comes to it.

    as for the "20 grand to spend" comment, remind me not to go to ur shop! geeze does that include a $400 oil change??? lol wow. i got that quote from a VERY high end shop that does show winning cars for alot less!

    i thank you for the comment about doin the work yourself and then getting it painted. a weekend of sanding and a bit of welding would do the job (my father in law owes a precision sheet metal shop and can get ANY type of metal for free and his welders would do the work for free) :cool:

  13. lolife
    Joined: May 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,123


    I took my Dodge Panel truck to Maaco, paid extra for the good paint, and it was good enough for another 50,000 miles. Took them three weeks to prep it (they paint cars as a priority, and body work is secondary), and a day to paint it. It was a good job. Not something you want to put on a $30k car, but just the ticket for a $2k truck.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  14. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92



    awesome!! can you send pix??
  15. choptvan
    Joined: Mar 19, 2010
    Posts: 2,161


    You will be getting robbed if you do it at $8500! That might be a skim coat of filler over the rusted areas ( wrong way to do it btw! ) and then some single stage paint over the filler with no primer. Seriously. That car is every bit of a wreck and it would take easily twice that for a good job to be done on it. If not more. And remember, surface rust is not always on the surface. Usually it is a problem peeking out from underneath that is the real issue.
  16. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    i guess i need to say it again. i got that quote from a friends high end shop. they dont do filler jobs or crappy single stage. they ONLY do quality jobs, they have a rep to keep.

    the quote included: down to bare metal, fix all rust (weld NOT filler) replace dents with sheet metal, 3 stage paint, rims, interior, inside doors, engine compartment AND re-installation of the glass and other stuff i cant remember off hand.

    i dont know what kind of shops people on here take there cars too but most sound like they are ripping you off!! lol well i guess it helps i know the owner! ;)
  17. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    wow it looks great!!!!!
  18. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    ok, i guess i go the answers i needed lol now, on to the engine.

    im looking to put a 350 combo. has any body done it on here? if so, what needs to be done? as in motor mounts, rear end, drive shaft, radiator, trans mount upgrades etc.......???

    also, id like to upgrade the front brakes to disc and a "mount on the firewall" power brakes

    i have the origanl 322 and trans in it now and was hearing its gonna cost MORE to rebuild then to buy a 350 rebuilt combo. (i saw a few on cragslist for under $800!!!

    should i rebuild or install newer?????????? and does anybody of a good priced shop to rebuild??
  19. lolife
    Joined: May 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,123


    The paint job cost more than the truck. I think it was $3500 back in 2007. That was for all the body work mostly, as I didn't want to do it. I stopped by one day and they had two non-english speaking guys sanding it, and using bondo on the dents they couldn't get to. You know, the screw and yank tool, and then grind it smooth. Slap on some bondo. Prime, paint.

    I found a picture with my brother trying to figure out how to remove the plumbers modification. That wood smelled really bad. You can see the rust everywhere. I think Dodge uses rust in their steel alloy. Just rust everywhere. The right rear door rusted off the hinges, so a friend welded on a new hinge set.

    I guess I'm just pointing out, that for a driver to have fun in, it can be done with shortcuts. I don't know who owns it now, so can't comment on how the paint held up, but it was a sorry looking rusted truck, that looked really good after it had color on it.

    I think the $8500 type jobs have a place, as in frame-off restorations, where you remove all the rusted panels and replace them. That is $50 an hour type work, and takes years. Once painted, it will not rust again in a year.

    In my Dodge truck, I started seeing rust forming around the wheel wells again, in about a year. But this was the trade-off I accepted for the type of repair.
  20. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    but still, as a driver to have fun with, it looked GREAT!
  21. sawbuck
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,864

    from 06492 ct

    you said it runs great,why mess with a motor swap?
  22. HighSpeed LowDrag
    Joined: Mar 2, 2005
    Posts: 968

    HighSpeed LowDrag
    from Houston

    Sorry but I call total BS on your 8500 estimate.

    Down to bare metal with a DA and other tools = 16 hrs
    Fix all rust = 80 hrs
    Fix dents = ? Dont know what you have
    Filler and paint prep = 200 hrs minimum
    Paint and labor = 600 - 2500 depending. 10 hrs

    That's 306+ hours of labor plus.

    8500 is way low. Even at 50/hr ( in Cali ?) thats only 170 hours of labor and no materials.

    If you actually beleive that one person could do all of the above in 170 hours (4 weeks or less counting price of materials), you have a lot to learn. I think 25K is a little on the low side.

    Having said all of that, I appreciate you service to our country. Maybe you could find someone to help you learn how to do the work yourself at a discounted labor rate.
  23. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    thank you for the support! :) and you can call BS all you want, i told him im in no hurry to get it back so it will prob take a few months, i never said he was gonna charge $50 an hour, it obvious he not gonna change me that! its a friends shop and will be done in between jobs. $8500 is what he quoted me, he said he would normally charge in the range of $12-15k, but he gonna cut me a deal with payments!! soooooo bullox to ur BS!!!!;)

    im NOT looking to make this a Pebble Beach show winner!! dam!! $20-25k just for paint and body, yall must be high!! if your willing to pay that for a car paint n body for this car, i have some beach front property in Montana id like to sell yall ;):rolleyes::D
  24. We build painted rollers ( paint and body finished mounted on a frame with panels swinging, adjusted and latched) for 20k - 25k all day long. We also do $8500 full paint work. Guess which ones get finished in 2 weeks or less...You are getting a smokin' deal from your "buddy".... Don't get all uppity with us.... Just be forewarned of the "buddy deal". Keep us posted. I'm makin' popcorn to see how this turns out!
  25. jasone
    Joined: Jun 2, 2006
    Posts: 431


    Body work is expensive no matter how you slice it. If you need a rebuild, check out Taylor Engine Rebuilding in Whittier, they can tackle that 322. The guys over there know their stuff and won't dick you around.
  26. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    awesome thanks!! ill check them out!
  27. rod1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 664


    Can I have salt with my popcorn?Seriously, dude, no is trying to take you here.They are trying to steer you clear of some painful heart ache. When I was 15 years old I had a 55 F-100 That I had a guy finish up and paint,after I had spent a ton of time working on myself.He charged me a thousand bucks to finish up, with less than spectacular results.(1975) I started bitchin about it,When someone said to me" dont 'whine unless you can do better yourself" I spent the next 25 years learning what it takes to really do a good job and what a deal that guy really gave me.I quit doing paint jobs about ten years ago because of the uninitiated experts drove nuts.I still build cars for a living but no paint for the customers yourself a favor, and do it'll learn tons!
  28. Sgt_Slacker
    Joined: Feb 25, 2011
    Posts: 92


    dig the advice!! yea listening to every1 here i started to do my own body work. starting with bringing it to bare metal. BUT, i just found out, from my mother-in-law that she has a cousin that does auto body and paint!! not a back yard shop but a full high end shop!!! LOL so yea im gonna ask him and if worse comes to worse ill do ALOT of the body work my self, i have access to metal and welders. :D
  30. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,558

    from Garner, NC

    it'll end up costing a whole lot more to put a 350 in there. You're going to need a tranmission and to convert to open driveline. It'll nickel and dime you way past the cost of the 350. Do yourself a favor and rebuild the 322 if it needs it.

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