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I have a roller of a VW bus that I am intending to make into a rod. My family and I have a strong emotional connection to this bus although it's been neglected for many years by others in my family who had it before it came under our control. Before chopping and channeling it'll be put back into regular driving condition for a year. It has severe rust and needs new floors and has plenty of rust here and there. Miraculously none of the rust is effecting the suspension. But it definitely needs completely new floors and some welding in of some new sections of body. Under normal circumstances (without an emotional attachment to the base vehicle) I think someone would either just skip this bus and leave it as a parts bus because of the volume of rust work that it needs.

The rodding work I will have time to do myself a year from now, as well as the skill and experience to take it on. I understand it may seem wasteful and illogical to make this bus presentable for just 1-2 years of use before tearing it apart and rodding it but that is what must be done to satisfy some people in my family. So until then when my rodding work begins some time from now, I am looking for a halfway acceptable job let's say equivalent somewhat better than Maaco just to get it looking decent from 10 feet away and usable.

Since I don't have time or inclination to do this work myself, I thought I'd just bring it to Maaco to get working on it. So I trailered it over expecting to get a $5,000 estimate and that it would take 4 weeks to get done. But I'll be damned...they won't work on it. They said first of all they prefer it running and they don't do "restorations" because they are "production shop" meaning they want wham, bam, thank you mam work. They want to fix a bumper, or hard fender bender or some rust in the quarter panels of a subject car, but not a completely rusty car.

I actually like Maaco for certain jobs, so I'm looking for an alternative like them, maybe 1 or 2 step up in quality that will also replace floors and do a lot of rust work, and this would be anywhere in South Florida if anyone has any recommendation. I had a bad experience an independent non-Maaco shop 25 years ago that went out of business and never called me, and I ended up losing the classic car I had over there. At Maaco they do have a policy of calling everyone to pick their cars up if they are going bust which is good.

Remember, I'm not looking for gorgeous $20,000 of work and I do need them to replace floors and do a lot of rust repair and fabrication on basically every body panel, and lastly I don't want there to be a risk that it's an individual who could disappear or a very small shop that could quickly go out of business. I'm looking to spend $5,000-$6,000 for a job that should last about a year before starting to bubble up. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 

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SPI Thug
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you cant get the floors done for that. the value of the car has nothing to do with the man hours to do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
you cant get the floors done for that. the value of the car has nothing to do with the man hours to do the job.
OK, so $7,000-$8,000 total including paint is OK if it must be. Within that basic rough ballpark is important but not the crux of the question -- it's rather what would be a lower-end shop that will take on the job and not be $15,000-$20,000 and will not go bankrupt and/or disappear on me.
 

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Gotta love a turbo!
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I have a roller of a VW bus that I am intending to make into a rod. My family and I have a strong emotional connection to this bus although it's been neglected for many years by others in my family who had it before it came under our control. Before chopping and channeling it'll be put back into regular driving condition for a year. It has severe rust and needs new floors and has plenty of rust here and there. Miraculously none of the rust is effecting the suspension. But it definitely needs completely new floors and some welding in of some new sections of body. Under normal circumstances (without an emotional attachment to the base vehicle) I think someone would either just skip this bus and leave it as a parts bus because of the volume of rust work that it needs.

The rodding work I will have time to do myself a year from now, as well as the skill and experience to take it on. I understand it may seem wasteful and illogical to make this bus presentable for just 1-2 years of use before tearing it apart and rodding it but that is what must be done to satisfy some people in my family. So until then when my rodding work begins some time from now, I am looking for a halfway acceptable job let's say equivalent somewhat better than Maaco just to get it looking decent from 10 feet away and usable.

Since I don't have time or inclination to do this work myself, I thought I'd just bring it to Maaco to get working on it. So I trailered it over expecting to get a $5,000 estimate and that it would take 4 weeks to get done. But I'll be damned...they won't work on it. They said first of all they prefer it running and they don't do "restorations" because they are "production shop" meaning they want wham, bam, thank you mam work. They want to fix a bumper, or hard fender bender or some rust in the quarter panels of a subject car, but not a completely rusty car.

I actually like Maaco for certain jobs, so I'm looking for an alternative like them, maybe 1 or 2 step up in quality that will also replace floors and do a lot of rust work, and this would be anywhere in South Florida if anyone has any recommendation. I had a bad experience an independent non-Maaco shop 25 years ago that went out of business and never called me, and I ended up losing the classic car I had over there. At Maaco they do have a policy of calling everyone to pick their cars up if they are going bust which is good.

Remember, I'm not looking for gorgeous $20,000 of work and I do need them to replace floors and do a lot of rust repair and fabrication on basically every body panel, and lastly I don't want there to be a risk that it's an individual who could disappear or a very small shop that could quickly go out of business. I'm looking to spend $5,000-$6,000 for a job that should last about a year before starting to bubble up. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Realistically, for that work and a decent paint job, you 'd need to add another "0" to your estimate before anyone would consider it...

Russ
 

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SPI Thug
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best advice would be to find a bug shop that is solid . the majority of bodyshops will fail on this job. get the body ready then shoot it in white epoxy and drive it for a while then just sand , prep and paint later. a corner cut is one you will have to turn again . good luck with it .
 

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Discussion Starter #6
best advice would be to find a bug shop that is solid . the majority of bodyshops will fail on this job. get the body ready then shoot it in white epoxy and drive it for a while then just sand , prep and paint later. a corner cut is one you will have to turn again . good luck with it .
There are 1 man bug shops that will do it. But it concerns me that if they get thrown in jail let says for junk driving, or break a leg, or worse, who will unlock the door and turn the alarm off for me to get my car without a long court process? Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me.
 

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SPI Thug
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dont think it cant happen to a large shop . happens regularly . just do your homework . but a bug shop will be experienced at repairing the bus. body shop will be guessing and likely not finish it. they do collision work . a custom shop likely wont do it . look for a reputable vw shop . just like mustangs or vettes it is best to find someone who specializes in them.
 

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put up or shut up
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a hire a guy to do quickie rust repairs. All lap joints tacked in with some plug welds. That's the quickest way. Make sure the guy can weld though. So many guys talk a big ball game but when the welder is in their hands it's a different story. Try Craigslist. and ask to see some of their work. Once the rust repairs are done then budget more for paint or prep it your self and bring it back to macco. would be the cheap way on a budget.
 

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I have to agree with Shine, find a shop that is familiar with the VW's and get quality metal repair done, then use epoxy primer to seal it up and make it presentable until you get back to it. That way you aren't wasting time and money on a cheap metal repair and body work to have to cut it out in a year or so and replace it all again. JMO

Kelly
 

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VW floor pans are about the easiest pans to replace because they unbolt from the body theres a rubber seal (gasket) between the pan and body that will need replacing. even removing the body is simple that's why people make dune buggys and funny looking kit cars out of them, Its a simple do it yourself job .I've never done a bus but I imagine they are built the same way as the bugs. there is no simpler car to work on.
 

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SPI Thug
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bugs yes but the bus is a whole new bag of worms. . really need some pics .
 

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the 'Duracell Project'
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So I trailered it over expecting to get a $5,000 estimate and that it would take 4 weeks to get done.
times 10 to get it ready for paint, times 3 to paint it
that's why this is a diy forum
 
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