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Old 12-04-2012, 06:31 PM
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Bad body work /cars with hidden surprises

Has any one bought a car that looked great then found out after the fact it had some very terrible body work done to it? Or just seen some body work that was terrible post up some pics or tell some stories.

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:41 PM
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This is without a doubt as common as any other hack repair work done to vehicles just to sell them...I have seen filler over 4 inches thick in the quarter panel of a Dodge Dart, the complete bottom of a car carved in fiberglass, street signs used for floor boards...The worst I think I ever saw was the shaft of hockey sticks wedged into both A pillars on a 66 Nova to hide the rust. It was covered with fiberglass and body filler... even parts of the windshield channel where metal pop riveted to whatever metal was left and filled with filler. It happens every day and it's pure and total abuse.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:51 PM
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Buddy of mine bought a 59 chevy sedan delivery car looked great had shaved handles and all mouldings shaved.Bought new quarter mldgs to put on upon discovery they had filed the body lines up solid with filler over an inch of filler the car was straight to. He wanted to put the door handles back in it as well once he started doing that he discovered they put aluminum tape over door handle hole and lock cylinder and mudded right over it . Car was straight and looked good he is a body man by trade told him he needs to strip the rest of the car now to make sure there isnt any other hidden surpises!
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:07 PM
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Buddy of mine bought a 59 chevy sedan delivery car looked great had shaved handles and all mouldings shaved.Bought new quarter mldgs to put on upon discovery they had filed the body lines up solid with filler over an inch of filler the car was straight to. He wanted to put the door handles back in it as well once he started doing that he discovered they put aluminum tape over door handle hole and lock cylinder and mudded right over it . Car was straight and looked good he is a body man by trade told him he needs to strip the rest of the car now to make sure there isnt any other hidden surpises!
Aluminum tape...it's disgusting what some people will do...and still sleep at night...I remember a 76 Trans Am that a customer brought to me to do a frame ON restoration and wanted a quote (which I never do until it's stripped), I told him that it needed to be taken down to metal to see what I was dealing with...started stripping the car and both lower rear quarters had sweat socks stuffed into rust holes and body filler over top...When the car pulled up to m y shop it looked pretty good...whoever did it was good with filler...he should have been a sculptor, not a body man.

This also reminds me of a shop that I knew many many years ago...he used to do paint jobs for used car lots and cut the paint with leaded gasoline instead of reducer...it would shine like no tomorrow, for about 2 weeks and die off in a hurry..the lot had 2 weeks to sell the car.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:13 PM
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Aluminum tape...it's disgusting what some people will do...and still sleep at night...
I know right? Any dummy knows you're supposed to use that perforated drywall tape!! pfffttt! SHEESH!

Andy
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:22 PM
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I know right? Any dummy knows you're supposed to use that perforated drywall tape!! pfffttt! SHEESH!

Andy
Of coarse Andy, the filler needs to breath, LOL
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:06 PM
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Lets get some pictures posted!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:38 PM
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A friend of mine (first time 'bodyman') fixing up an old VW bug, used some filler to smooth out some small dents above the headlight on the drivers side. He kept adding filler and shaping it until he thought it looked right. I told him it looked like it had an eyelid above the headlight - when he compared it to the passenger side, he realized what he had done, but liked the way it looked, so he added filler to the passenger side!
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:44 PM
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OH Bob, first off, did you ever get that bump stop intalled? Still thinking about that...

Your VW story reminds me of the old days when instead of shortening the rear end and tubing a car they used to cut the wheel wells our and flair the quarter so they could stuff fat tires underneath...I never did get that and thought it looked like crap...how many nice cars got ruined all because of needing to have fat tires...My buddy had a 68 Chevelle, nice strong little 350 car, clean but had to put the L 60 X 15's on the back and the only way was to either lift it up in the air or cut the quarter, he cut the quarter...What a waste.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:20 PM
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Im working on a Shelby right now that did not look too bad when it came in, had some blistering rust holes here and there as they usually do. Sent it out to the blaster and when I went to pick it up, boy was it a mess. The rear quarters were so patched up with pieces from other cars, all welded and pop riveted with fiberglass pieces holding the inner wheelwells together. The driver side quarter was hit by the tailight and instead of pulling it all out they just muded the whole thing together (some spots 1 inch thick) and the best part was the trunk drop on that side had 3 inch thick foam pop riveted into a piece of sheetmetal. Needless to say it all had to be cut out and replaced with all fresh sheetmetal.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:47 PM
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terrible bodywork is often times what the customer asks for. They think the stuff is easy so they go hire these crack tweaks and generally don't know what to ask for or look for in qualifications. These poor victims are the guys that go into your shop and have a heart attack when you tell them the cost of the repair. So they look for "cheaper" ways and end up getting the short end of the stick. You also got "buddies" who do bodywork. I'm sure we all heard that before. Or what about the car flippers who tell their victims in a russian accent, "It's a salvage title but just a little front end damage, nothing major."
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:18 AM
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terrible bodywork is often times what the customer asks for. They think the stuff is easy so they go hire these crack tweaks and generally don't know what to ask for or look for in qualifications. These poor victims are the guys that go into your shop and have a heart attack when you tell them the cost of the repair. So they look for "cheaper" ways and end up getting the short end of the stick. You also got "buddies" who do bodywork. I'm sure we all heard that before. Or what about the car flippers who tell their victims in a russian accent, "It's a salvage title but just a little front end damage, nothing major."
Yes, the good old flipper that takes a vehicle that has a salvage title and puts it back on the road...There are many vehicles that when there is a salvage title, the only reason it has a salvage title is age and the value of the vehicle doesn't allow enough for a reputable shop to do proper repairs...say for example, you have a 10 year old vehicle and it's hit in the right front corner...the damage is hood, fender bumper, headlight assembly, grill and rad support, nothing structural...That car, if it was 5, 6 or 7 years newer, would be repaired and the car would be safe without any one needing to worry about safety or other issues.

The "flipper" is the one that takes vehicles with extensive frame damage and with nothing more than a telephone pole and 15 feet of chain, wraps the frame in the chain and proceeds to back up as rapidly as possible to bring the frame close enough to hang used sheet metal from it making door gaps close enough to open the door and if the gap is to wide, nothing more to the fix than than carve 3/16 of an inch extra to the panel out of fiberglass. If the gap is to small, a grinder will shorten that panel much quicker than getting proper measurements on the frame to achieve fit and finish.

And then there's the "flipper" that imports vehicles from another Province "Canada" or state where rust is a major concern. No salvage title, the car looks great, but structurally the car is a hazard. In Canada most vehicles brought in from another Province need to be mechanically and structurally certified before they can be licensed...this should, one would think, eliminate dangerous vehicles being put on the road when buying a vehicle from one of these rust prone areas. Not the case.

12 years ago I was involved in a situation where the wife of a former employer of mine was in the market for a 95 Camaro (the car was only 5 years old at the time)...I was asked if I would help her find a suitable Camaro and I agreed...I checked local reputable dealerships, gave her a call and said that I had found 4 or 5 that we could go and look at. I was told at the time that she had just purchased a white 95 Camaro and all was well. I said OK great (now my Saturday was free). A month later she called me and asked if I could adjust the driver's side door for her because it was getting more and more difficult to open and close. My radar went off and I agreed to "look" at the car. When I got to see the car I opened the door and as it opened it dropped at least 2 inches. I lifted up on the door (hoping I would see loose pins and bushings in the hinges), this moved the front fender...same situation on the passenger side, the door pillars where completely rotted out. We brought the vehicle to the shop and lifted it up in the air...The rear frame rails where so bad, by tapping them with a hammer we put holes in the frame. This car had been certified so it only gets better.

We drove the car to shop that certified it and they said that at the time they certified it there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, (it had been certified about 45 days previously). I asked who the government insurance agent was for that area and I wanted him to see the car. After much hesitation and a little song and dance all I got was a name and we where told to leave which we did. I called the agent and he mentioned that he knew the shop that certified the car well and that they where very reputable. I told him that if that was the case he wouldn't mind meeting us there so he could physically look at the car himself and make up his own mind...he agreed. At the shop we put the car up in the air and we showed him the door pillars, frame rails and the rust scales on the underneath of the floor...I couldn't believe what I heard, the insurance agent said it was surface rust and nothing to worry about...I took a blunt screwdriver, poked it through the floor and said "surface rust?" The insurance guy then asked me how long I had been in the trade and if I knew what I was doing, because if I had any experience at all I would notice that the doors had no rust at all and if rust was an issue that is where it would show...I told him that the bumper covers didn't have rust either and that if he had any experience at all he would know that they where both made of plastic.

We ended up suing the used car lot, the inspection station and the government insurance...it was settled that the purchase price of the car was refunded. The used car lot lost there license, the inspection station lost their privilege to do inspections and the insurance agent was given an opportunity to be successful some place else...(they fired him).

It just goes to show that just because a car has a salvage title, doesn't mean it not road worthy, or, on the other side of the coin, just because a car is certified doesn't mean it is road worthy...The old adage, buyer beware, is alive and well. If someone is buying a used car that doesn't have a good deal of knowledge about vehicles should bring people with them that do, not just the mechanic guy, the body guy as well, and make sure the people that they bring with them are credible.

Ray
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:12 AM
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My rust free Florida 1989 cargo Astro van had a previous owner that pounded down apart of the wheel well for more foot room.It tore a opening in the wheel well.Once I tore out the rubber mat I was disappointed in what I found.The padding soaked up all the water that got in there and rusted out the floor board.



Oh well.It will be right once I'm done with it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:36 AM
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Yes, the good old flipper that takes a vehicle that has a salvage title and puts it back on the road...There are many vehicles that when there is a salvage title, the only reason it has a salvage title is age and the value of the vehicle doesn't allow enough for a reputable shop to do proper repairs...say for example, you have a 10 year old vehicle and it's hit in the right front corner...the damage is hood, fender bumper, headlight assembly, grill and rad support, nothing structural...That car, if it was 5, 6 or 7 years newer, would be repaired and the car would be safe without any one needing to worry about safety or other issues.

The "flipper" is the one that takes vehicles with extensive frame damage and with nothing more than a telephone pole and 15 feet of chain, wraps the frame in the chain and proceeds to back up as rapidly as possible to bring the frame close enough to hang used sheet metal from it making door gaps close enough to open the door and if the gap is to wide, nothing more to the fix than than carve 3/16 of an inch extra to the panel out of fiberglass. If the gap is to small, a grinder will shorten that panel much quicker than getting proper measurements on the frame to achieve fit and finish.

And then there's the "flipper" that imports vehicles from another Province "Canada" or state where rust is a major concern. No salvage title, the car looks great, but structurally the car is a hazard. In Canada most vehicles brought in from another Province need to be mechanically and structurally certified before they can be licensed...this should, one would think, eliminate dangerous vehicles being put on the road when buying a vehicle from one of these rust prone areas. Not the case.

12 years ago I was involved in a situation where the wife of a former employer of mine was in the market for a 95 Camaro (the car was only 5 years old at the time)...I was asked if I would help her find a suitable Camaro and I agreed...I checked local reputable dealerships, gave her a call and said that I had found 4 or 5 that we could go and look at. I was told at the time that she had just purchased a white 95 Camaro and all was well. I said OK great (now my Saturday was free). A month later she called me and asked if I could adjust the driver's side door for her because it was getting more and more difficult to open and close. My radar went off and I agreed to "look" at the car. When I got to see the car I opened the door and as it opened it dropped at least 2 inches. I lifted up on the door (hoping I would see loose pins and bushings in the hinges), this moved the front fender...same situation on the passenger side, the door pillars where completely rotted out. We brought the vehicle to the shop and lifted it up in the air...The rear frame rails where so bad, by tapping them with a hammer we put holes in the frame. This car had been certified so it only gets better.

We drove the car to shop that certified it and they said that at the time they certified it there was nothing wrong with the vehicle, (it had been certified about 45 days previously). I asked who the government insurance agent was for that area and I wanted him to see the car. After much hesitation and a little song and dance all I got was a name and we where told to leave which we did. I called the agent and he mentioned that he knew the shop that certified the car well and that they where very reputable. I told him that if that was the case he wouldn't mind meeting us there so he could physically look at the car himself and make up his own mind...he agreed. At the shop we put the car up in the air and we showed him the door pillars, frame rails and the rust scales on the underneath of the floor...I couldn't believe what I heard, the insurance agent said it was surface rust and nothing to worry about...I took a blunt screwdriver, poked it through the floor and said "surface rust?" The insurance guy then asked me how long I had been in the trade and if I knew what I was doing, because if I had any experience at all I would notice that the doors had no rust at all and if rust was an issue that is where it would show...I told him that the bumper covers didn't have rust either and that if he had any experience at all he would know that they where both made of plastic.

We ended up suing the used car lot, the inspection station and the government insurance...it was settled that the purchase price of the car was refunded. The used car lot lost there license, the inspection station lost their privilege to do inspections and the insurance agent was given an opportunity to be successful some place else...(they fired him).

It just goes to show that just because a car has a salvage title, doesn't mean it not road worthy, or, on the other side of the coin, just because a car is certified doesn't mean it is road worthy...The old adage, buyer beware, is alive and well. If someone is buying a used car that doesn't have a good deal of knowledge about vehicles should bring people with them that do, not just the mechanic guy, the body guy as well, and make sure the people that they bring with them are credible.

Ray
right next to our shop we have a russian car flipper and he once did a van and I was quite surprised he staggered his inners/outers on structural pieces. Not the best at mudding or spraying but pleasently surprised he knew to stagger the cut lines. So true about letting good cars go to waste.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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Ray, Still haven't installed the bump stops - car is at the trimmers getting upholstery done. I'll have plenty of time this winter to get them installed. Thanks for asking. I saw some information about "rubber springs" - large progressively cushioned rubber spring boosters - in a variety of sizes/firmness. They make huge ones that supplement the springs in a truck for hauling/towing. The smaller ones might also function like the progressive bumpstops I was thinking of. Might have some application for your project. Search for rubber springs.
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