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Old 12-26-2005, 08:09 AM
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72 Nova Body Work

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I"ve never done body work (except when I was 16 years old and slapped about 10 pounds of bondo on my 67 camaro - it looked like **** when I was done). my 72 Nova needs a little body work - usual places, like the bottom of the front fenders, the lower door edges, etc. No doubt there will be some metal removal work, body filler, sanding, probably welding in small sheet metal pieces, etc (I have a MIG welder). I'm good at working on cars and do everything myself, but............ bodywork takes experience and know how, plus some specialty tools I think. should I tackle the job myself or pay a fortune (which I dont have) to have a pro do it? My Nova is a low budget blue collar steet car, not a magazine cover show car. It's yellow with black racing stripes, a chevy 468 BB and auto trans. thanks.

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Old 12-26-2005, 08:23 AM
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Welding in patch panels on the bottom of fenders is not hard......Just take your time. With a mig you wont warp it much, if you don't weld on one spot too long. You will do OK...

BTW....lose the stripes.
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Old 12-26-2005, 11:19 AM
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I am all for someone trying something thereselves. Being a midwest car (right?) it is very likely there will be some areas to patch with some new sheetmetal because of rust holes. A bit of stuff you didn't think was there can be hiding under the paint that you don't realize the extent of until you start grinding off the paint. Found that out all too well. With a little guidance or common scence most things aren't overly hard to do, its mostly time consuming, even more so for a beginner. When mig welding in patches, take your time and don't build up heat. Skip around where you place your welds. You can use the old piece or make a template to help you make your patches. Another common mistake that a lot of beginners make is to sand too much of their bodyfiller off and not feather it out a little ways past what needs fill. It does take a little bit of experience to get the feel of when you have it straight and what areas need more work before primer. Maybe read through the archives here to get some of questions on products to use and procedures, and ask any specific questions you have. If you feel overwhelmed with the work you can always take it to someone then. Its hard to find many shops that will take in older cars anymore, but maybe you can find someone that will work with you and you can take off trim and moldings, or maybe some other tasks to help keep the repair hours down some. Many people end up doing the work themselves though either because labor hours add up quickly in this type of work and material costs have raised considerabliy in the last 10 yrs, and as mentioned before, many shops don't want an old car using up shop space needed for better paying collision work. How much you value your money versus time and how much you like doing the work may help you decide. Since you aren't expecting a show car, I say give it a shot and ask questions along the way. The only way to learn is to try and make a few mistakes along the way. I never thought I would be able to rebuild my engine without much mechanical training, but I did and it ran. Guess I value money more then time, at least on something that is for myself, because I don't take any of my cars to a shop to get repaired anymore and I'll try to fix it myself no matter how long it takes. But you have to decide if you feel confident enough to take the plunge and be willing to dedicate your time. Nice car by the way, I really like those years novas. People that do a bit of bodywork themselves start to get a new appreciation for those "rip off" body guys who want to charge thousands to fix an old car.
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Old 12-26-2005, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Welding in patch panels on the bottom of fenders is not hard......Just take your time. With a mig you wont warp it much, if you don't weld on one spot too long. You will do OK...

BTW....lose the stripes.

thanks for the advice. The stripes are cool looking. without them the car looks like a giant lemon.
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