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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:28 PM
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most of this body work is from the days when these cars where, well, worthless..
and just old cars , fixed to get back on the road.. my 75 cutlass fit this.. it was a rolling p.o.s. looked great..showed well, ran well,(well as good as a 260 v8 could) sounded good , but was put together with whatever was around as it was a 50.oo car.. I sold it for 200.oo lol..
I could've sold it for 3000.oo as it looked the part.. but just couldn't do that..

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by tech69 View Post
from experience, I'd say we were all hacks at one point. There seems to be an order of skills obtained and often times you will be a hack until someone points it out and you learn from it. Thick edges of filler is one thing. If you have a big dent and you know your filler is gonna go to the edge you gotta use a straight edge or something to indicate if there's metal work to be done to eliminate thick filler on edges. A straight edge nearly eliminates this problem. Another thing for me was pin holes. In a crunch, instead of wiping it down hard I would fill AND try to wipe it down hard to straighten and also leave me no pinholes. This just led to trouble. Always better to get it done and throw on more tight coat, and even the mixing and flattening it out will help with this. Now, I don't even need a poly glaze or top coating filler, I can get pinhole free work with good fillers. Another example is knowing where to skimp on the cheapie jobs. On this superbee we're doing the boss had a look at the dull yellow paint and thought it would be minimal spot filling. Turns out the color is deceptive and it needed more work. The decklid needed a lot of work and so instead of being patient and working the thing thru I stopped and made a judgement call. Turns out, after prime, I just spent 30 more minutes on it and it was a done deal. I should have just dealt with it the first time around. This was also a learning experience to know WHERE to cut corners and where not to. So for that job I can now safely say that the decklid and hood are looking good but thank god that reflective yellow paint will hide some imperfections down low, as I've learned THIS is where you'll be making shortcuts if called for. with that said, it's also a place where lazy older techs seem to miss stuff, even on the higher end jobs. Just trying to give reasoning behind some of the hacking you see from a tech's standpoint.
and this is the down side of a flatrate shop working on anything other than latemodel wrecks
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gearheadslife View Post
and this is the down side of a flatrate shop working on anything other than latemodel wrecks
You are so right about flat rate shops, even on late model cars the customer needs to be aware...Flat rate is fine if the technician is more concerned about quality than a pay check, but, as is the case with many people, greed takes over and quality goes down.

I made a lot of money when I worked flat rate as a painter, but I sure felt sorry for the guys in the prep department.

For example, in the late 80's and early 90's, Ford had a re-call on their paint work, especially on trucks. They where peeling and Ford paid private body shops to strip the trucks to bare metal and repaint them the factory color, (any body work was extra to the customer). Ford paid between 24 and 32 hours to completely strip and paint a truck, complete. The painter, would get between 30% and 40% of the time allowed (depending on the shop). So when you do the math, I would get paid between 7 and up to 12 hours to paint a truck. I had 2 down draft paint booth's, both with a bake cycle and in 3 to 3 1/2 hours I could bring in up to 20 payable hours. The guys in the prep department would get a maximum of 20 hours to strip, final prep and mask a vehicle. Not fair, but that was the way it was. After several weeks, the prep quality dropped, (the guys couldn't possibly do a quality job of getting the truck ready to paint in a maximum of 20 hours). I had to send trucks back to the prep line and this caused friction between myself and the prep department.

We talked it over with management and it was agreed that the prep department would be on straight time when doing a Ford warranty job and I dropped my flat rate by 10% so the shop could continue to do Ford warranty and remain profitable. The quality improved, moral was restored and the customer's got what they expected.

In so many shops where the flat rate system is used...the biggest concern a customer should have is consistent quality. When an insurance company does an appraisal on collision work, they want to give the technician the least amount of time as possible to save the insurance company money. The cost of replacing parts are predetermined by manuals that give standard times, but when panels need to be repaired and not replaced, this is where the conflict comes in as they are more educated "guesstamits" than standards and the technician with questionable standards may try and meet or beat the allotted times, giving way to, in some cases, less than professional repairs.

Straight time shops afford their technicians the time to more readily do quality work. If a repair calls for 6 hours to repair the damage and the technician takes 8, the technician gets paid for 8 hours and the shop loses, if he does the same repair in 4 hours, he gets paid for 4 hours and the shop keeps the profit. A good technician should be able to beat the repair order times in most cases and still do quality work. It's often the greed factor that takes over some technician's mind set in flat rate shops that lowers the quality of the workmanship.

For the people in the trade, I'm sure I don't need to explain this, this rant is more for the people not in the trade so they understand the difference.

Ray
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 05:52 PM
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yup dad made bank on all the ford trucks..
with ford footing the bill it wasn't hard to talk the owner into added work the truck needed...
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:12 PM
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Your right "gearheadslife", it was there, it was stripped, might as well do it when it's in the shop and Ford was paying the majority of the bill....can you imagine, during that recall I was making $15.00 an hour flat rate and had month's of over 600 flat rate hours.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:26 PM
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also helped ford as their trucks looked good longer, the shopper didn't know they where all repainted..
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2012, 06:46 PM
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I know a lot of Ford owners immediately took their freshly painted truck to the dealership and traded it off on a new one. Just made sense at the time.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:24 PM
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Iam from the midwest the more and more i talk to people the more i here flat rate sounds like the perfered way to pay your employees in the body shop buisness.It is very common in these parts you get paid 40 to 45 percent of the dollar amount per book hour that means more for frame more for mechanical. The shop i work at is very high quality even with all comission based employees we offer a life time gaurntee on all are paint and body work . So not all shops that are on comission do crap work . We still manage to do on a average of about 325,000 a month in sales
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by diggers View Post
Iam from the midwest the more and more i talk to people the more i here flat rate sounds like the perfered way to pay your employees in the body shop buisness.It is very common in these parts you get paid 40 to 45 percent of the dollar amount per book hour that means more for frame more for mechanical. The shop i work at is very high quality even with all comission based employees we offer a life time gaurntee on all are paint and body work . So not all shops that are on comission do crap work . We still manage to do on a average of about 325,000 a month in sales
warranty goes to every owner, or just the one that owns the car when the work is done.. ?

no one said flat rate don't do ok work.. it's just not the same type "quality" they'd do on their OWN car.. as most book time isn't enough time to do the repair correctly, and insurance co. are known to cut you down ,on what they want to pay for.. and what the car needs.. most times are totally different .. cause your replacing all the parts with factory parts right, not "like" parts i.e. used or aftermarket garbage. right..
or straighten a core support when they right for a replacement,
flat rate shop is the only way body shops can make money when the insurance co. will not pay your shop rate, and pays what they say they'll pay..
more over is your warranty go farthar then just the paint failure that the paint surplier would be covering?
many shops are getting caught straight'n high strenth steel parts the oem's and insurance co. require and right for(insurance co.) replacement.. making the finished car unsafe.. and not fixed correctly.. but it does look the part, i.e. it looks fixed..
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 07:51 AM
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I'm not saying flat rate shops are bad shops...I've worked flat rate...made a bunch of cash and did quality work. What I was trying to say that I have seen greed take over in people that work flat rate and quality has gone down in some cases, the same doesn't happen as often in a straight time shop, the tech gets to repair the vehicle without trying to hurry to get to the next "gravy job".

Ray
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:37 AM
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pos cars...........

If you want to see a REAL POS car,go to youtube,look at corvair from pennsylvania,IF I were that owner,i would fly back from England and burn that place of business to the ground..damn shame.business like that gives ALL AMERICANS a bad name....
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 08:48 AM
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most honest flat rate body shops are gonig under as they are NOt on the insurance co.'s "list"
as they won't play "ball" the way the insurance co. wants..
My dad left the bodywork trade as a way of life.. because he could not put out cars the way the insurance co.'s REQUIRED the work to be done..
anyone that says different is LIE'N
HE now does only old cars for friends and club members..
and finally is putting that aside to do HIS cars..
most of todays bodymen only know replace.. they'd never be able to look at a wreck, pull it and straight'n the mess. without cutting out any metal..
and with limited filler.. or god help them if the owner wants it pick and filed.. and/or lead work..
I suck at bodywork.. as I just don't have the Patience..for it..
I can do great job of it.. as I've learned the pick and file/lead etc.. but I have to walk away from it.. as I just get fustrated..
unlike my dad that enjoys it, he's in heaven working on cars straight'n panels and prides himself of the amount of cars they say can't be saved with it's original metal.. and mouths drop when it's at the local show..
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 09:07 AM
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[QUOTE=gearheadslife;1620804]most honest flat rate body shops are gonig under as they are NOt on the insurance co.'s "list"
as they won't play "ball" the way the insurance co. wants..
My dad left the bodywork trade as a way of life.. because he could not put out cars the way the insurance co.'s REQUIRED the work to be done..
anyone that says different is LIE'N
HE now does only old cars for friends and club members..
and finally is putting that aside to do HIS cars..
most of todays bodymen only know replace.. they'd never be able to look at a wreck, pull it and straight'n the mess. without cutting out any metal..
and with limited filler.. or god help them if the owner wants it pick and filed.. and/or lead work..
I suck at bodywork.. as I just don't have the Patience..for it..
I can do great job of it.. as I've learned the pick and file/lead etc.. but I have to walk away from it.. as I just get fustrated..
unlike my dad that enjoys it, he's in heaven working on cars straight'n panels and prides himself of the amount of cars they say can't be saved with it's original metal.. and mouths drop when it's at the local show..[/QUOT

You are so right about insurance companies and their policies for repairing vehicles. What they don't realize is that they are in a situation where, because they don't pay enough (time wise and dollar per hour for repair) they are going to run into a problem in the future. The problem is that they won't have any certified technicians in the trade. Why would someone get into a trade where they get paid 1/2 of what a mechanical shop gets paid? I have taught at several local College's and sometimes they don't have enough people to fill the seats and the class get's cancelled.

And being on the "preferred list' of shops from an insurance company often means "kick Backs" to the insurance company. So the "preferred shops" are actually paying to be referred by an insurance company. It's disgusting and has been going on for years. To all the people that feel that they need to take their vehicle to a "preferred shop" because that is what the insurance company told them, well you don't have to, it's your car, take it where you want. If they tell you that if you don't take it to their preferred shop they can't warranty the repairs, that's BS as well. The insurance company doesn't warranty the repairs, the body shop does.

Your also right about pick and file, and led work, it seems to be a dying art and an art it is. I still use led when I replace a full quarter on a restoration to match a factory seam, I still pick and file as much as I can. I realize that the metal used on cars today is thinner than than it used to be but, it's still possible and I do it to stay sharp. I did a 1930 model A Ford a while back, picked and filed all 4 fenders, running boards and then used led.

Ray
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 01:10 PM
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I've probably told this story in another thread, but...

An old customer brought me a 1968 AMX. He wanted to paint it in an updated version of the factory race cars of that era.

The car had been done on a rotisserie during the last restoration. What was obvious to me was the clear was peeling away from the metallic blue basecoat... showing me that they did not understand the adhesion basics for urethanes. No problem! I stripped the clear in one day using an air gun and razor blade!

Before I did that, I had seen some "dust or dirt" in the clearcoat. As the clear came off, I noticed the bumps were actually in the basecoat. I told him I would block it good... and then go to primer next.

When I blocked them... each bump was full of rust! At that point I told him we needed to strip the paint, because the rust obviously would ruin the next paint job too! Obviously the last shop... WHICH WAS IN FLORIDA!!!!!!... did not understand basic urethane paint principles OR "basic rust prevention 101"... either!!!

As the paint was coming off, I could see that this car had bodywork from top to bottom! It continued even futher! After the paint was off, I could see rust nibs under the bodywork! Of course that meant digging out a gallon or more of filler!!!

Under that was a nice selection of patch panels.... and we found some OTHER places that needed further repair work!

In the end we took it all the way back up, adding a factory Super Stock hood scoop, and some additional art on top of the red-white-blue factory race paint.

Today it should be good for 20 years or more... but it was a lengthy task!!!
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2012, 01:59 PM
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Love the car Jay, have always been a big fan of the AMX...Own one of each of the 3 good years...68, 69, 70. My 69 is all original with about 40 K original miles...the only thing wrong with it is a dent the size of a quarter just below the rear bumper on the driver's side. I won't fix the dent because it's a true survivor.

It always amazes me how some people can call themselves professional and put out work like you described. Common sense should dictate that things like this don't happen...but like the saying goes, common sense isn't that common. I feel for the unsuspecting public in a case like this, they probably got a tip from a"guy" who knew a "guy" and assumed they would get a first class job.

The stories are endless and I hope against hope that the overall quality of work is getting better. Is it? I don't know, it scares me to no end when I hear a story like yours and it involves a rare car like the AMX you saved.

God Bless you, there aren't enough of those cars left to let inexperienced or lazy people attempt to restore them and in the process make them worse.

Ray
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