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Old 11-10-2009, 07:43 AM
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What auto body tools do I need?

Hello,

sorry if this is the wrong section but I thought it might work since it is about auto body tools.

I will be tackling my first auto body project this winter, a 1964 t-bird convertible. I have been doing a lot of reading and building up my confidence level before I start. Christmas is approaching and I am getting hassled about turning in my Christmas list. I decided I wanted to put down tools on the list but I quickly figured out I really don't know what I need. I was hoping you all could be some help.

All I have right now is a welder, air compressor (no reg. dryer though), and die grinder besides a fairly well established collection of hand tools for working under the hood of cars. What do I need for doing auto body work? I have a basic idea of what is needed but it seems there are a million choices for each item that all range in price. If someone could either point me to a specific thread that already went through this (did a quick search but didn't find anything), or make a list of what is needed (model numbers would be great) I would really appreciate it. Also, what is the best place to buy this stuff?

I don't need top of the line stuff but i don't want junk either.

Thanks!!!

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Last edited by snorulz; 11-10-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:23 AM
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Tools for body work....

Hi,Harbor freight and northern tool,have all the body tools in a plastic case,decent assortment,i dont remember price,but it was in the neighborhood of $30.00.great starter kit.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:48 PM
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"I will be tackling my first auto body project this winter, a 1964 t-bird convertible."
"What do I need for doing auto body work? "

have no idea what you plan to do but to start:

full face shield
decent dust mask
foam rubber ear plugs, keeps the sound down and the dirt out
nitrile gloves, keeps the gunk off you and hand oil off the car
knee pads, will save your knees and about 6 pair of jeans
decent broom, this is messy work
quart size freezer bags, keep and mark the hardware from each panel
floor jack and jack stands, that cars is rather low and heavy
a heat gun, you'll use it every time before you prime or fill
decent movable lighting, down to the floor, 4 tube 4" florescent fixture is nice
heat, everything for bodywork works best at 75*F
a few friends, the parts on that car are very heavy
a decent stereo, this is long, boring work, tunes help
NO CELL PHONE, talking about it is not doing it and the clock is ticking

a clear idea of what you wish to do to the car, then a panel-by-panel plan to get it done. Only do one panel at a time, it's really easy to get buried with too much open work.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for the advice, I should have mentioned what I was planning on doing. The car has been in storage since the late 70's but it was a daily driver until then. It has some rust but nothing to terrible. My goal for this winter is to get it ready for paint but my guess is it will take longer than just the winter months. There will be several panel replacements and several dents to fix. I am planning on taking the entire car to bare metal unless someone tells me otherwise. In the next couple weeks I will get some pictures taken of the car and ask for advice on the best way to fix the problems.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snorulz
Thanks for the advice, I should have mentioned what I was planning on doing. The car has been in storage since the late 70's but it was a daily driver until then. It has some rust but nothing to terrible. My goal for this winter is to get it ready for paint but my guess is it will take longer than just the winter months. There will be several panel replacements and several dents to fix. I am planning on taking the entire car to bare metal unless someone tells me otherwise. In the next couple weeks I will get some pictures taken of the car and ask for advice on the best way to fix the problems.

DO NOT strip the whole car, at least not at once. You need to do it a little different than you would in a shop where you can work on it all day long every day. Fitting all the panels so they are all decent, replacing the ones needed. THEN striping ONE panel at a time and getting each one stripped into epoxy primer is the safest way to go. Anything more than that and you will likely become overwelmed.

Brian
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:15 PM
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On any convertible, its usually best to start with the floor. Ones that don't have floor damage from water intrusion are rare even in areas where body rust isnt a big problem. You can develop both basic metalworking skills and the patience required to do good bodywork by getting the floors squared away first, and in the process you end up with the interior and other such parts stripped out for access, so you're ready to move onto the body once the floors are done.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:47 PM
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Convertible, the first question is 'how's the roof', not cheap or easy to replace. Been in storage for 30 years, put some plates on it and drive for a while with attention to:

gunk in fuel tank
radiator and heater core
transmission
brakes from pedal to wheels
front end, specifically the upper A-frame bushing, a royal pain in that car

No sense putting lipstick on a pig. Anything can be fixed AT A PRICE.

If it all checks out and you're happy DO NOT STRIP THE CAR, sand it down to the factory primer. Unless it is damaged, NOTHING else will match the factory applied primer's adhesion. 1964 T-Birds were the baby, the showroom Flagship, they received very nice paint jobs from Ford. That and stripping is a down-right slimy mess, not cheap and a bear for disposal.


"Christmas is approaching and I am getting hassled about turning in my Christmas list."

sanding blocks

heat gun

parts racks

parts blankets

jack stands

wire brushes

paint gauge
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:21 PM
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SNORULZ,

I would recommend that you to visit the Vintage Thunderbird Club International website, if you haven't already.

I have a '63 T'Bird HT that I am resto-modding, and have found the VTCI site to be invaluable.

PLEASE do not think that I am trying to "take business" away from this forum! Quite the contrary! It is just that the VTCI is T'Bird specific and will prove to be a VERY valuable resource as you wade ever deeper into the seemingly bottomless pit that is the T'Bird obsession!!

"ABANDON HOPE, ALL WHO ENTER HERE!"

texastomeh
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
DO NOT strip the whole car, at least not at once. You need to do it a little different than you would in a shop where you can work on it all day long every day. Fitting all the panels so they are all decent, replacing the ones needed. THEN striping ONE panel at a time and getting each one stripped into epoxy primer is the safest way to go. Anything more than that and you will likely become overwelmed.

Brian
Thanks Brian, I was planning on doing it one part at a time but it is good to know that is the right way to do it. I can see how you can easily get overwhelmed if you try to do it all at once.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TubeTek
On any convertible, its usually best to start with the floor. Ones that don't have floor damage from water intrusion are rare even in areas where body rust isnt a big problem. You can develop both basic metalworking skills and the patience required to do good bodywork by getting the floors squared away first, and in the process you end up with the interior and other such parts stripped out for access, so you're ready to move onto the body once the floors are done.
I believe the floor is fine, my dad bought the car in 68 and drove it until the mid 70's where it was parked in a garage until 98. It spent its whole life in Missouri until 98 it was moved to Wisconsin where it has sat in a garage since. I will have to double check, i like the suggestion of starting there first.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldBodyman
Convertible, the first question is 'how's the roof', not cheap or easy to replace. Been in storage for 30 years, put some plates on it and drive for a while with attention to:

gunk in fuel tank
radiator and heater core
transmission
brakes from pedal to wheels
front end, specifically the upper A-frame bushing, a royal pain in that car

No sense putting lipstick on a pig. Anything can be fixed AT A PRICE.

If it all checks out and you're happy DO NOT STRIP THE CAR, sand it down to the factory primer. Unless it is damaged, NOTHING else will match the factory applied primer's adhesion. 1964 T-Birds were the baby, the showroom Flagship, they received very nice paint jobs from Ford. That and stripping is a down-right slimy mess, not cheap and a bear for disposal.


"Christmas is approaching and I am getting hassled about turning in my Christmas list."

sanding blocks

heat gun

parts racks

parts blankets

jack stands

wire brushes

paint gauge
When we brought it up to WI, my dad had the engine rebuilt along with the transmission. I have gone through the brakes my self replacing the master cylinder and brake booster. The gas tank was also replaced. Once this was done it went back into storage until more funds could be established. I decided to tackle the body work part since I have always wanted to learn how to do it. Thought it would nice to learn on someone else car with their funds.

That is a really good point about the primer, would I use a DA sander to take the paint off? Do I use an epoxy primer for the panels that need to be replaced?

Thanks for the tool list!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texastomeh
SNORULZ,

I would recommend that you to visit the Vintage Thunderbird Club International website, if you haven't already.

I have a '63 T'Bird HT that I am resto-modding, and have found the VTCI site to be invaluable.

PLEASE do not think that I am trying to "take business" away from this forum! Quite the contrary! It is just that the VTCI is T'Bird specific and will prove to be a VERY valuable resource as you wade ever deeper into the seemingly bottomless pit that is the T'Bird obsession!!

"ABANDON HOPE, ALL WHO ENTER HERE!"

texastomeh
Thanks for the link to the site, I believe I have been there once but I will get much more acquainted with it now. Glad to know there is another t-bird fan on here.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:24 AM
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"That is a really good point about the primer, would I use a DA sander to take the paint off?"

Yes, it's easier than hand sanding but it will beat up your compressor. Check with your local jobber, here they had a package deal for a dust-free DA and a case of the new 3M Zircon hook & loop paper, assorted grits, cuts great and lasts forever. Not cheap but a lot less expensive than buying separately. For dust-free just get a small shop-vac and several filters.

"Do I use an epoxy primer for the panels that need to be replaced?"

Epoxy is great BUT I don't know that you want to use it at home, read all of the warning labels first. For priming you'll want to use one of the little HVLP spot-in guns, a lot less overspray and a lot less material, it all goes on the car.

That car is not galvanized or aluminized so prep the bare metal with Metal-Prep or Ospho, rinse it off and dry it, heat it to get the water vapor out and prime. Don't get the Metal-Prep on any filler, it's an acid wash and you'll have to remove and redo any filler. Actually it's easier to prep, prime then do any filler work.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:02 AM
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When I finish building my compressor system, I should be able to make at least 20 scfm so the sander shouldn't beat up on the compressor to much.

I will look into the epoxy primer more before I were to buy any. Glad you told me about priming before body filler first, I might have done it the other way and ruined all the work with the metal prep.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldBodyman
"I will be tackling my first auto body project this winter, a 1964 t-bird convertible."
"What do I need for doing auto body work? "

have no idea what you plan to do but to start:

full face shield
decent dust mask
foam rubber ear plugs, keeps the sound down and the dirt out
nitrile gloves, keeps the gunk off you and hand oil off the car
knee pads, will save your knees and about 6 pair of jeans
decent broom, this is messy work
quart size freezer bags, keep and mark the hardware from each panel
floor jack and jack stands, that cars is rather low and heavy
a heat gun, you'll use it every time before you prime or fill
decent movable lighting, down to the floor, 4 tube 4" florescent fixture is nice
heat, everything for bodywork works best at 75*F
a few friends, the parts on that car are very heavy
a decent stereo, this is long, boring work, tunes help
NO CELL PHONE, talking about it is not doing it and the clock is ticking

a clear idea of what you wish to do to the car, then a panel-by-panel plan to get it done. Only do one panel at a time, it's really easy to get buried with too much open work.
Hey DBM, you forgot to tell him about having Barry's phone number handy
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