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Projects Need a sheet metal guy.

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by ManualOldsOnly, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    Anyone know a decent sheet metal guy near Nashville? I the guy wanted to go to is trying to retire... I will also say I cant afford high end. I know someone who charges in the low end hourly rate (45-60 an hour). I'm willing to travel for sure.
    Before the lectures start.
    - no you do not always get what you pay for. (the guy that gets paid 100 an hour does not always give you 100 an hour quality)
    - I understand the triangle of time/quality/cost
    (time does not matter to me, they can take all the time in the world if its affordable, I would like quality however)
    - I've already looked for parts cars and have assessed my options this is me assessing junking the body or trying to save it
    - I'm not an idiot I understand the time it takes to do something correct, and I understand when you start digging you often find more crap that needs fixed.

    now that I've gotten through that. The project at hand..
    It is is a 2 door 64 Oldsmobile 98 custom sport coupe. I do believe it is worth saving as these cars are on the rarer side.
    The car is from the north so it has the wonderful signs of that.
    The car is also already stripped completely down to bare shell on frame (yes it's a roller)

    Thing I know are bad:
    Both quarters along the bottoms are rotted
    Trunk pan (at least these are repop-ed)
    Firewall seam
    Cowl bottoms
    4 spots on floor.( two very small holes in back one at each corner, one on the passenger seatbelt hook and one larger one the passenger foot area)
    weird former dent repair on passenger rocker
    weird dent on passenger side roof door opening
    probably various pin holes around the body
    possibly some repair around taillights (hard to tell)

    That's just my initial assessment, like I said I'm sure there's some more stuff that will be unearthed as I go. I would love to find someone who I could talk with about the project and maybe get as excited as I am about it. also I can just talk about cars with about anyone for hours. I can also get as many pictures as desired for sure, and if I can find someone to fit the profile I need I am more then willing to work with them and traveling for it isn't a huge deal pending of course.

    Thanks everyone
  2. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,784


    This car will never be worth what you put into it. You just have to ask ,"is it worth it to me?" I passed on a solid 64 Wildcat convertible because it needed a complete paint, upholstery, top and "get it running" job. Even with me doing all the mechanical work and stripping it, I was going to be upside down and just didnt love the car that much.

    Metal fabrication is expensive for several reasons. First, you have to peel the onion and lord knows what you will find when you do that but it is always worse than you thought. Second is actually doing the work. A more expensive per hour guy might be fast and cost less dollars, whereas the next guy might charge less per hour and take forever to get it done.

    IMO, you are miles and dollars ahead to buy the nicest one you can find and drive it. I guarantee it will cost less.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
    lostmind, 57JoeFoMoPar, Jibs and 5 others like this.
  3. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 9,993

    anthony myrick

    Post pics here.
    Can ya weld?
    Have a welder?
    Sounds like an opportunity to learn.
    spudshaft and warhorseracing like this.
  4. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    I do have those items but dont have the tools to recreate the panels as needed. Nor can I find panels or a decent parts car to patch with. I could do the trunk pan though..

  5. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 9,993

    anthony myrick

    I’d do the stuff I’m comfortable doing.
    You’ll hone some skills.
    Then tackle the hard stuff
    You’d be surprised what you can make with little to make it with
    warhorseracing likes this.
  6. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47



    Attached Files:

  7. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47



    Attached Files:

  8. Man you are going to be rebuilding half that car. There is going to be a ton of additional rust behind all those panels. That's a huge undertaking for someone who has never done it and you could buy two cars for what it would cost you to have it fixed. I am all for fixing stuff yourself and saving stuff as I am working on a 1950 Merc that has tons of rust but I would be hesitant to tackle that car.
    rod1 and rockable like this.
  9. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    Exactly that's why I posted about trying to find a sheet metal guy. This isn't my first rodeo. I know how these things can go and I dont have the experience and knowledge to undertake this car by myself.

    I will also say that I'm just solely pointing out the bad stuff. There's a lot of good too! And for a car from the salt belt it's actually pretty damn good.
  10. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,378

    Stan Back
    from California

    I think you should be looking for a donor car.

    Whoops -- it looks like you got one.
  11. Check with you local trade school and let the kids tackle it with an experienced teacher watching over their shoulder.
    Helps teach new hot rodders and gets your car done.
    Blade58 and Hot Rods Ta Hell like this.
  12. raaf
    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 656


    Does this car specific car have some personal importance to you? I would never want to discourage anyone from their dreams, but oh my.

    Just throwing ideas out there, but it may be interesting to see how much this has in common with 4 doors because you could potentially acquire one (at lower cost than a 2 door) and use it for donor panels...But even then (again not trying to rain on the parade) this would be somebody's life's work.

    Definitely seen miracles performed on the HAMB, but those miracles have been performed by near celestial fabricators on cars they love more than almost anything, or paid for by passionate collectors.
  13. chop&drop
    Joined: Oct 11, 2006
    Posts: 532


    You’re right, you don’t always $100 worth for $100/hr. but you don’t always get $50 worth for $50/hr. either. It’s your car and your money but that body is toast. It could take close to six figures to bring it back even at $50/hr. It will NEVER be worth what the body work alone will cost.
    -Brent- and rockable like this.
  14. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,906


    I did a 67 Nova that was that rough, never again. The car came out great in the end, but once you start chasing the bad spots it doesn’t stop. If the lower quarters are bad then the wheel wells will need work, then the floor flanges and so forth. I did it all myself.
  15. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,349


    That body would need to have some areas opened for access to even see
    the total amount of degradation from rust. Then a thorough sand blasting
    or a dip in one of those body immersion tanks. That would reveal the total damage. the cost of these processes alone would be expensive. It appears
    that you know how bad it really is by your remarks. If that body was a sick
    relative it would be time to call in the family! Good luck if you do pursue
    the restoration. I would let it go.
  16. Dont take this wrong just letting you know I have been in the same situation on a 68 Road Runner my uncle bought new I found it 30 years later close to the same condition as your car. Unless you are wanting to learn total rust repair got lucky high school prom night in back seat in it.find a donor car / find a better car /buy a restored car - a original car etc you are money time ahead and you wont hate the thing half way through the nightmare you are showing pictures of .
  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 17,896


    If you are so gung ho about this car, do the stuff you can first. Sandblast everything on the body. That car is so rough I wouldn't worry about the naysayers who say it will warp the panels. They will already need more work in rust repair than most other cars.

    Then, you will save half the $ because the metalman won't be spending his time doing grunt work like sandblasting. And the metalman will know exactly what he is getting into when he takes on the job.
    Hot Rods Ta Hell likes this.
  18. Load it up and bring it to me. $48 per hour.
    -Brent-, Flathead Dave, XXL__ and 2 others like this.
  19. cornfieldcustoms
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 967


    I am in Cincinnati and am a coach builder
  20. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    The good news is that I am set up to sandblast the body and frame already I was just waiting. And I'm sure there's several things i could totally weld in myself. The trunk pan/probably could get the couple spots in the floor and maybe the firewall. It's really straightening the roof and the quarters that worry me the most. Otherwise crazy enough most of it is surface rust the floor supports for the most part are pretty solid minus the spots near the little holes in the floor. And the drivers rocker is perfect the passenger's has a weird repair on it that should probably be addressed. The rest of the roof is perfect most paint still there and hell under the trim the paint was still shiny. All the pinch welds in the window seams are solid which I also find shocking. The cowl only has one rusted out spot on the lower passenger side where the AC was.

    It seems to me that all the damage is along the passenger's door from the door probably not sealing cause of the crappy repair job. The trunk and quarters are rotted from where it had sank down in the mud from sitting so long and the firewall is probably from the fact it sat do long without a hood on it.
    Big mike 1968 likes this.
  21. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    I go to Cincinnati a lot my in-laws live there.
  22. Guy Patterson
    Joined: Nov 27, 2020
    Posts: 369

    Guy Patterson

    If it was mine I would take Lloyd up on his offer
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  23. rod1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,012


    If you are set on that car :That's your guy. Me: all I can hear is "Run, Forrest, Run..."
    ekimneirbo, lothiandon1940 and Tim like this.
  24. ahshoe
    Joined: Sep 12, 2012
    Posts: 890


    Take a bit of your first body shop downpayment and spend it on gas to go to a dryer climate part of the US and get a better donor car.I had many shops tell me those words of wisdom and years before I started doing my own body work. I took their advice. Remember the body work and paint are just a small part of the “total” restoration. If you unload 25-30k on paint and body work you will still need tons of cash for everything else if you do it right.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
    rod1 likes this.
  25. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 9,993

    anthony myrick

    make a few mods while your at it
    Hot Rods Ta Hell likes this.
  26. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    Yeah I already got modified engine/trans/Interior/and front clip for it Haha
    anthony myrick likes this.
  27. spudshaft
    Joined: Feb 28, 2003
    Posts: 532


    I like the idea of looking for a clean more door body or similar from a dry climate for a panel donor. I think it would save a ton of time and money. I once bought a jeep from Pennsylvania- lesson learned.
  28. ManualOldsOnly
    Joined: Feb 15, 2021
    Posts: 47


    Oh its terrible up there. I used to live up there and I remember working in customer cars that were only a few years old that were just falling apart from those salty roads
  29. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,818


    I've done this stuff for 28 years.
    The 1st thing I'll tell you is to look for a better body, you will be money ahead. Start with the best body you can afford. If you have to pay someone to do the metal work, this really applies, metal work adds up fast!

    If this one is the best you can afford, you need to accept the fact that by the time you have it drivable, you are going to have 3x what a nice car would have cost you, to get to the same point. If you are OK with that, by all means proceed! I've started with way worst cars then that one.

    See if you can find a donor car that has the parts you need in better shape then your car is in. If you mostly need the left side stuff, find a car with a wrecked or rotted out right side that has a good left side. Buying a whole car (that has the parts you need still good) is probably cheaper then buying just parts, if you have someplace to put the extra car. Lots of times, other parts off that parts car will come in pretty handy. If you can't find, or store a whole car, buying just the parts you need off an original car will probably be cheaper then having sheet metal formed into the parts you need. Something close to home is better then something far away, shipping body sections is really expensive.

    Do as much yourself as you can! If you feel you can tackle the floor pans (or trunk pan) or other sections, go for it. Only hire out the stuff you can't do yourself. Once you get started, you may find you can tackle more then you thought, or you may find out where your limits are really quickly.

    The next best advice I can give you is: Once you get started, if you discover that the guys that advised you not to do it were correct, don't be afraid to stop! Figure the money you have already spent as the cost of learning, higher education is expensive. The experience you have gained equates to the lessons you have learned, and they are worth more then the money you have spent. It may not seem right at that time, but at some point in the future you will understand the value of those experiences.

    You can always start that search for a better body, you will have a much better understanding of what to look for, then use what you have as a parts donor. Gene
    WilliD and ManualOldsOnly like this.

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