Should I do the bodywork and paint my own car or pay this guy to do it? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:17 PM
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Should I do the bodywork and paint my own car or pay this guy to do it?

i have a 1972 buick skylark coupe. currently there are some bubble under the paint near the rear quarter panel. scratches down to the metal on the roof. a large dent that has a hole on the edge by my rear left tire. numerous other chips and small dents along the cars sides and hood. the body still seems strong though.

i'm a poor college kid so i'm cutting costs everywhere. should i try to paint the car myself or get this illegal immigrant guy with experience to do it for me for like a grand?

what would be the best option for me to pursue?

i can rent a welder and air compressor with grinders and cutting tools and spray guns from home depot but i want to know if its even feesible to do it myself.

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Old 04-21-2009, 01:23 PM
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I'm in the same boat as you, broke but still wanting a nice car.

I chose to buy all the equipment and do it myself because I know the car is done "right" and by the time I get done I will have learned volumes and that my friend is priceless.

One thing to be aware of is this guy who does the work on the cheap still needs to make some scratch for himself so that means cut corners.
Sounds kind of like a bondo king, you know the type, stuff a hole with newspaper and slather the plastic on.

When it comes down to it, you need to ask yourself what you want out of the car?
Then ask yourself how long do you think it will take you to finish it. Then multiply that number by at least 3.

At that point would it be cost effective to rent equipment?
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:27 PM
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thats what im worried about. i dont want a ****ty body ive spent alot on the mechanical aspects of the car and i want her exterior to reflect that time and care.

my only concern is that i don't have a paint booth or large enough garage with ventilation so i'd be doing this either out on my driveway or my grandfathers driveway that has a car port but no sides to it.

any articles and advice would be golden for me
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:32 PM
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Regarding the garage situation depending on what type of paint you're looking at (metallic, bc/cc, SS) you might be able to get away with painting it out in the driveway.
I'm contemplating painting my beast outside using a single stage paint.
That way I can put some layers on and color sand out all the bugs and what not that may have found their way into the paint.
Just make sure to check with your environmental laws, some places really frown on painting outside.

Quick question, have you ever seen this other guys work?
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:39 PM
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no he just opened up his own "place" i heard about him by word of mouth. see i needed help installing my new engine so i found by word of mouth at my autoparts store about this guy who was good.

turns out his garage is like a shack behind a used car lot but it turns out he knows what he's doing (he's also not entirely legal) and he did the job great.

when i mentioned to them my thinking about doing the body work myself he said his cousin just came in to texas and hes does body work but because he and his partner aren't here legally they can't charge what they would normaly charge so people get a job done for substantially less.

ive never actually seen his work, i don't even know if he has any work to show really
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:50 PM
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i say hire the illegal immigrant --put an american citzen out of work---

when daddy finishes putting you thru school-- go look for a job
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich27028
i say hire the illegal immigrant --put an american citzen out of work---

when daddy finishes putting you thru school-- go look for a job
dude what's your problem. i didn't ask for the OPINION of *** holes. i have a job but college isn't cheap.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:20 PM
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not rocket science---start sanding

Sand paper and elbow grease, get to it. In one day you'll find the extent of the rust and how deep it is. Get some metal prep and clean the metal after sanding. Tack weld some sheet metal to shore up the body work if needed. There are people around that can assist. Check out Technical schools Auto body shops if on a budjet. Body filler is not difficult; sand it down and reapply to the imperfections. If you can't decide to paint yourself or another, pay for the painting. Most of the labor is the repair and time. You don't need to spend $1K. I agree, keep an American working. Give students a project. I have done all my work myself. 60 Belair, 46 chev pu, jaguar

rodder
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:44 PM
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If this guy works in a shack behind a used car lot, he's a quickie bodywork dude- I've seen what goes on in those shacks and it ain't right. I'm afraid you'll be sorely disappointed with his work.

If you do the bodywork right, you'll know it's right. Maybe you can bring him the prepped, stripped vehicle, and some quality materials and let him shoot it. My gut tells me to not let him touch the bodywork.

There's nothing wrong with shooting in a carport, either, if you pick the right day and time.

An old buddy of mine had a Cuda back in the day and paid one of these guys to "restore" it for him. When he got it back, it looked perfect-perfect . About a year later the paint started flaking off the rear quarters and what do you think was underneath it? There was gallons and gallons of bondo there. At that point, he started to network to find someone to do it right, and started to save some money, but he lent the car to his cousin, who used it to move a couple hundred pounds of marijuana across state lines, and the feds impounded the car and he never got it back.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:41 PM
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Hey. About the carport. If you go to home depot and get some plastic sheating in the rolls you can cover in three sides or all four. Cut vent holes and another tip. Before you start final prep and begin painting saturate the ground and surrounding areas with water. It keeps the dust down and particules from floating into your paint. Just a tip or two. Hope it helps
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
i say hire the illegal immigrant --put an american citzen out of work---

when daddy finishes putting you thru school-- go look for a job
Ain't that the truth, and a good reason why there are fewer
good paying jobs left. As if the wages body techs get, which isn't a clean or easy job, aren't low enough compared to other skilled trades out there already. Being an american, you should be thinking more of calling him in then considering taking work to him.

If your going to try to save money, at least try to find and give the work to some legal american who will do it on the side, and can do it a little cheaper because of low overhead. Many body techs do (yes even ones with years of experience that can produce pretty good work at home). One because they don't all get the great pay, regardless how expensive the work is (blame a lot on material costs, equiptment and regulations a legit shop has to comply with). Two, now with the economy many techs out there may have cut hours.

If this illegal has no problems with coming into the country illegally and will work in some shack illegally, how comfortable do you feel he wouldn't screw you or run off with your money somehow given the chance. What happens if you gave him cash and the feds crack down on him?

I know it sucks being broke, but we don't always get what we want or have to scrape and save or make sacrafices to get it. Which is why, even though I'd like to, why my engine is not at my favorite machine shop getting machined right now, since I am on unemployment.

Are there any skills you can offer? Maybe you could somehow work out a trade to save some money. I've considered putting an add on craigslist (but watch out for illegals and paint gypsys there as well, they often can't spell or take the time to write a coherent sentance) offering to trade a fair amount of bodywork for a good engine for the truck. And I got the truck in the first place a couple years ago for a paint job for a previous customer.

Last edited by kenseth17; 04-21-2009 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:31 AM
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i understand the negative views towards hiring this guy...trust me..

my concern is all the body shops i go to are charging me close to what i paid for the car for the body and paint work.

now that she's running at a decent pace what's left is the interior and the body.

like i said i'm a 20 year old MALE FULL TIME COLLEGE STUDENT.

that means my car means alot to me and yet i'm broke most of the time.

the girls like the car now but they'll love the car once she's got good paint and rust free body.

so when as i'm saving up for the imminent task my fears are:

i know i'm gonna need to weld patches in, but i dont know how to weld
i know i'm gonna need to find the sheet metal but i can't find it pre made online so far.
i know i'm gonna end up painting her by myself but ive never painted anything except my kitchen and living room. let alone dealing with the multiple coats of different paints primers and clear coats that i know nothing about.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:46 AM
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I would recommend that you do the DYI deal..There are a number of people here over the years who have done so and have now beautiful cars..

From what has been described there is most likely a number of rust areas on that car that need attention or replacement..those years of GM are known for rusting..

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Old 04-22-2009, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagarcia05
i understand the negative views towards hiring this guy...trust me..

my concern is all the body shops i go to are charging me close to what i paid for the car for the body and paint work.

now that she's running at a decent pace what's left is the interior and the body.

like i said i'm a 20 year old MALE FULL TIME COLLEGE STUDENT.

that means my car means alot to me and yet i'm broke most of the time.

the girls like the car now but they'll love the car once she's got good paint and rust free body.

so when as i'm saving up for the imminent task my fears are:

i know i'm gonna need to weld patches in, but i dont know how to weld
i know i'm gonna need to find the sheet metal but i can't find it pre made online so far.
i know i'm gonna end up painting her by myself but ive never painted anything except my kitchen and living room. let alone dealing with the multiple coats of different paints primers and clear coats that i know nothing about.
hang in there and just take it a step at a time..

Sam
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:38 PM
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ok now that you understand the illeagle worker part -- heres my idea-- --this is your first body repair and paint job--

sand down the rust and repair with bondo-- sand bondo and whole car -- spot primer-- shoot a coat of acrylic emamel with a hardner on it --

you will have done all the work and you will have learned a lot--

to morrow im shooting my 1966 galaxie with acrylic enamel [black]-- and iv painted cars off and on for 35 years--

in a month or 3 ill wet sand and buff--


good luck with yours and dont be afraid to try it your self -- what the hell its only a paint job --you can do it over as many times as you want --
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