View Full Version : Frontend bodyshops & estimates - need advise
05-09-2006, 10:00 PM
The bumper, grill area, hood, both front quarters, and flares are about to be replaced. I have to two estimates from slighty "higherend" body shops near by. ONe is for $2800 and the other $3900. From what I gather, the 3900 job takes the paint down to metal and blends the rest. *shrugs*
I feel like a complete tool entering these places talk to these people. Are these prices justifiable? Is there anything I should ask about, paint types, sanding, how many coats, blending?:runaway:
Been putting it off for months but need to get it done as time is short.
Some of the smaller stuff on the drivers side dates back to '88 - in high school! Been hiding most of it with a LaBra but the LaBra can't hide the "big dent" of '05.
Here's a few pics to show the damage:
Any body shop adivce would be great!
05-09-2006, 10:05 PM
are they doing just the paint/blending or are they replacing/fixing the panels as they are?
I don't know much about bodywork... but if it were me I'd be looking at finding straight parts to replace what you ahve and get them painted instead of letting them bend/fix what's already there.
And for what it's worth, Ben's (shiki here) beautiful SDR 85 ran him about CAD$5k for bodywork (some dents here and there), paint, many hours of wetsanding and clear. this was from a pretty decent shop.
edit: I believe Ben also had his windshield replaced as well. Granted, the shop had his car for 7 months as it was not a priority job given the deal he was getting.
IMO get a good dent-free front header pannel, have the shop take that down to metal. Depending on the paint thickness they might have to take the paint down to the metal or just sand it down. From what Iv learned is that they will probably sand the front fenders, hood and headlights covers and blend it in about half way.
<---just finished second semester auto body Refinish, which doesnt mean much but at least now I have an understanding of what it takes to paint and fix body parts.
05-09-2006, 11:25 PM
You can find "deals". I usually deal with a local shop who's bread and butter is late model insurance claim work. Its rushed in and out because people are typically paying also for rental cars, etc. Sort of "on-the-side", he does restoration work on old cars and does a magnificent job tho. The only problem is that if we happen to have a run of bad weather and accidents while my supra is being done, my supra gets pushed aside. He has jugalo's supra now, since early February, but its nearly done.
How I found Cuco's shop tho is for several weekends one summer, I went to every local car show of every description looking at paint jobs and asking the owners of the cars who painted them. I swear the first fifteen cars I asked about gave me the same guy's name, but it wasn't Cuco. It was a guy by the name of Chris Recker. Unfortunately, that guy's paint jobs START at about $10,000. I finally got a recommendation for Cuco off the owner of a 1969 Camaro convertible that was a close second in quality to Recker's work and the guy said he only paid $4,500, but that it took several months. I was ok with the idea of months because I had plenty to do, finishing wheels, etc. while the car was in the shop. Since then, I've had Cuco do a couple of supras and sent him several customers. I may lose Cuco tho because in the few years I've dealt with him, his shop has grown, he no longer manages the day to day operations all by himself. Its the small proprieters that can produce the quality for reasonable costs. Another upstart firm may take his place tho as we had another black supra done at another shop when we couldn't wait for Cuco and did a fine job.
I don't know exactly how to estimate the cost of your job, but I don't recommend just going around getting estimates. If you go to a specific shop because you were sent there by another satisfied customer, then you'll know what kind of quality to expect, and the shop owner/manager will know that you've seen a specific example and thats the quality you expect. When getting that referral at the car shows tho, ask for a name of a person, not a shop. When I was much younger and didn't know any better, I took a car to a shop where several of my friends had gone before and got a great paint job. I got chunk out of it from a door-ding and took it back and got a lousy job on the repair. Within a year, the place which had been in business for 20 years, shut down. I learned later from my volkwagen friends that "Tony", the painter that their entire reputation had been built on had left to work at a Chevrolet dealership for more money and that they were never able to get anybody anywhere near as good as Tony was, so they eventually went bankrupt.
05-13-2006, 12:51 AM
Slip: I'd give my left nut to have the quality that shiki's car has!
Zank: I have a spare header pannel and it was included in the estimates!
Phil: Thanks for your writeup. It's aways nice to hear the prospective of wisdom and experience on the subject!
We'll see how things turn out very soon!
05-13-2006, 11:11 AM
Wade,talk to Andy.He works at Service First Collision at 330 Terry in Downtown Seattle.I know he's not paying full price,but the "complete" make over to Lucifer,bill is over 9k
05-13-2006, 11:38 AM
My advice after doing this stuff. Get a straight used header panel which is an easy junkyard find. Also get a good fender flare thats not cracked (not an easy find). With used parts so cheap on these cars its not worth pay some guy 60+ an hour to straighten it. If there is nothing wrong with the paint on there you don't want to bother stripping it. You generally only strip the paint unless there is a bunch of old paint on there, the paint that is there is flaking, checking, etc, your doing one of rotissiere mega buck restos, or you have to do some sort of repair. More than likely they will paint the whole front end and blend back across the fenders to get the match. The bumper will take some work to get all the chips out as well. For people to do the work hit up the local car shows and ask around.
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