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saridout

i need some reassurance

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to make a long story short, i was going to do a trade with a dallas area body shop: the total rust repair, paint job and supplies for my 280 for the same value in radio commercial air time. they were very interested in the idea, until i pulled up in the z. then it was almost nothing but doom and gloom, and "we thought the car was in better condition than this," etc. they told me that they would call me back in a week with a cost estimate to work out the trade, but then this afternoon they called me and told me that they can't do the job after all, it's just not worth it to them.

now i feel horrible about my car, and though i've thought that it was easily salvageable since i bought it, now i'm not so sure. please look at the pictures i've attached and at my flickr gallery at www.flickr.com/76280z and tell me what yall think. positive thinking would be valuable :/

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Based on the pictures here, it doesn't look too bad. I guess the big things are the frame rails, support structures, and floor pans. What kind of shape are those in? Also, the rockers don't look horrible but hard to see. Is there a lot of bondo holding things together? It may be more than what they want to do but nothing looks terminal. The main thing that I have have been told is everything is fixable, it just depends on how much money you have to spend. They may be thinking a cheap fix and don't think they can get enough air time to cover the expense. Hang in there.

carl

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In your flickr gallery there's only one shot of rust and that's of the headlight:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/76280z/3850802953/

That's certainly going to need new metal and I'm not aware of a patch panel for that area. I'd have to see more body pictures to see what else they might be balking at. A typical insurance work body shop simply doesn't do that sort of thing so they may be doing you a favor - they're probably not qualified. From the rest of your pictures it appears to be that you've done a lot of great work already so you shouldn't get discouraged. I'd find a shop that specializes in restorations and make sure it's done right - even if you can't trade air time for it.

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These rust repair jobs are hard to make any money at. Most shops wont touch them. Way too much time involved for the dollars the average owner is willing to spend. Seeing that one shot of the inner fender by the headlight, if the rest of the areas that we can't see is the same, then grab your check book and hang on......

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that spot behind the headlight bucket is the worst of it that i can find. that rust extends two inches into the engine bay. the other side is much better, the hole only being maybe 4 inches long. the driver's side floor pan has surface rust from having water sit in it recently, and the passenger side has a couple of rust holes just forward of the seat that are less than a cm in diameter. the rails look good. i spent a lot of time with them during the engine bay restore, and i'm pretty sure they're solid all the way down the car.

the only bondo on the car is what you can see on the outside. the interior hasn't been touched. most of the bondo is on the front right fender and the right door. there's some bubbling at the lower rear right fender. the guy at the shop said that the right quarter window would have to go, which surprised me, but he said it's got rust on it, for what that's worth.

i know that these shops need to make money and they won't make it on this car, but i wish they hadn't taken the car and strung me along for a day, thinking they'd do it and then renege. i just wasn't sure if they just didn't want to waste their time on me, or if the car really is as bad as they say. also keep in mind, the guy there didn't get much of a better look at it than yall are getting. as far as i know, he basically stood back and eyeballed it.

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Well, I'd say that they are being fairly up front and ethical about it. No way any decent body-paint shop or person wants to paint over someone else's filler work, especially filler that has not been sealed to keep moisture out of it. No good can come of that. From their perspective, to do a decent job that they can be reasonably certain will hold up, all the exposed filler needs to be re-done. And that's way more work than they are willing to trade for advertising, that's all.

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Most of us have had to jump through similar hoops. This club is where you are going to get the most honest opinions and help (except from your dad of course..). When you have put in so much work into your car, don't get overwhelmed by someones singular opinion or the amount of work you have left to go!

DO NOT look at the car as one big project but rather a series of small ones. With good advice and a clear head - you will be successful in fixing up your ride! Good Luck!!

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Have you talked with folks in the local Z club about shops they have used and would use again?

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My car was much worse than yours. I'm in very good shape now, however the time and cost was more than it should have been. I did not see any shots of underneath your car, floors, rails, inner fenders etc. How do those areas look?

Arne has a good point and it doesn't necessarily reflect on your car too bad, it's just likely it's going to be more work than they're willing to do on trade. I would take that as a good sign and wait to see what kind of quote you get. You may still be better off doing a partial-trade if you can.

If everything UNDER the paint in those pics is good than you might not have to break the bank although it is gonna cost you to get a proper job..... like it always does!

EDIT: Heck up here that car is '99% rust-free'LOL

Edited by Zak's Z

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Rust repair is very time consuming. If there is rust underneath like most of these cars have, then the trade just wasnt reasonable enough for them. I did my frame rails, TC boxes and floorboards myself. It was very time consuming. Even professionals loose a lot of time and shop space on repairs like this.

Be brutal about the condition of the car. Figure worst case for any problem. Do the same for your skills. If the work is beyond your skills get some dollar quotes from very good reputable shops. If the cost is too much for you, then perhaps this Z is not for you and you can start to find a new project car. You can always take your offer to other shops, they may be more willing to work with you.

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I'm with Stevef on this one. Based on the visible bondo at the doglegs, etc., I'm guessing what's underneath is probably pretty bad. My Z looked much better when I bought it, but once I started digging into the "minor surface rust", I found quite a bit of actual, structural rust. Like Stevef, I did all the work myself so the cost wasn't too high, but it took around 100 hours for me to do all of the metal fabrication and rust repair.

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Paul is spot on, if you can do metal work it shouldn't cost that much just very time consuming. But once you started you can't stop...rust killing is very addictive :)

Edited by lubu

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this is all really helpful and encouraging. thanks a lot for that.

i would do the rust repair myself, except for two things: one, i don't have the room. my garage is pretty much for storing the car only. two, i would have NO idea what i'm doing. i've never worked on a body before, and though i'm a pretty good brazer, i've never been great at wire or stick welding. what would be awesome is if i could find someone who wanted to teach me, cause i'd like to learn, but i think i'll have less luck at that than finding a decent shop to do it for me.

i'm looking at some other shops now and keeping my hopes up. i'll post some better pictures of the body once i get it back tomorrow, and i'll let y'all know what happens.

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not to be the devil on your other shoulder, but if this shop does good work you trust.................what about contacting a competitor (good idea anyway for comparison) and offer them the same deal.

if shop #2 will do it, go back to shop #1 and let them know.

might make them realize the value of YOUR service in trade.

would they want their competitor to receive the free advertising??

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Rust is a funny thing you can photograph rust and it always looks better than it is and it hides so it could be a rust bucket, I don't know from the pictures. I think the problem is you went to a body shop not a restoration shop. Yes restoration shops cost more but they are setup to do repair from rust and you usually get a better result at the end. Rust is time consuming to get rid of, a restoration shops should hunt all the rust down, and you will pay for it, but rust never sleeps.

I'm going to be a little hypothetical here. If the restoration shop costs $15,000 and they found the rust and made the car sold and to your specs in the long run it could be cheaper, because the $10,000 bodyshop job they might miss some rust, bondo over holes instead of patching the metal. . . Now when they come out of the shop the look or quality may look the same, but what about 5 years down the road, you might need to redo the $10,000 for maybe another $10-$15,000. Or in 10-15 years you think the car needs a freshening up so you send it out for repaint it will cost more if their is rust and/or bondo that will need fixing before they paint. The old adage will always hold true you get what you pay for usually pertains in the realm.

What I'd do is go to some car shows, look for quality work on a car and ask the owner where he got the body work done or the paint . . . people are happy to tell you about good experiences with shops. Then start contacting these companies, go their with the car interview them this is a job interview you are hirer-ing them and their equipment. Make sure you tour the shop talk about cleanness of the shop, how they deal with surface contaminates before painting, and how do they control dust, what type of ventilation is in the paint booth make sure the paint booth is spotless, no dust. With your car it's great if they will ask to put it on the lift to look at it with you, wright down your expectations for the car, talk to them about what you are looking for be realistic, how are you going to handle parts, how would they like the car before dropping it off. Find out their concerns. If they want your business this will take about 3-4 hours, atleast it has with me. This is a major investment, most people won't buy a car with more than 2-3 hours of research, why would you pay for work major work that costs almost as much as a new car without invest some time into it.

In other-wards big deal if one shop didn't want to do the work keep looking until you find the right one

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If the rust in the area behind the headlight bucket is the worst place on the car and the frame rails and floor pans aren't too bad, then I agree with with some of the other members, the car isn't beyond repair and you should find a reputable shop that specializes in restorations. Dallas is a very large city, so there should be some shops there that will do a good job at a fair price.

Just one suggestion I would have and if you can fit it in your budget, perhaps look at changing out those big 280Z bumpers for the smaller 240Z bumpers.

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ok, here are some updates and photos. i went to a couple of other shops today, and got a $8000-9000 quote from the same guy who's doing zed2's early 240, which looks incredible in person by the way. i also got a $3600 quote from a shop that comes highly recommended, but he didn't have any work i could look at. prices drop dramatically once you get out to the country where my car is garaged. i have a quote from a very reputable body shop out there that does mostly collision work, but restores on the side, for $3500.

lonetreesteve, i'm one of those weirdos who like the big bumpers :)

here are the new photos: http://www.flickr.com/76280z/tags/bodyrust/

EDIT: let me make this clear: all "body work" you see in the photos, along with the magic marker, were done by the PO, not me.

Edited by saridout

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ok, here are some updates and photos. i went to a couple of other shops today, and got a $8000-9000 quote from the same guy who's doing zed2's early 240, which looks incredible in person by the way. i also got a $3600 quote from a shop that comes highly recommended, but he didn't have any work i could look at. prices drop dramatically once you get out to the country where my car is garaged. i have a quote from a very reputable body shop out there that does mostly collision work, but restores on the side, for $3500.

lonetreesteve, i'm one of those weirdos who like the big bumpers :)

here are the new photos: http://www.flickr.com/76280z/tags/bodyrust/

the 8-9,000 is a great price I'd question the 3500 job I don't think you can really do a great job at that price. I'd work out the details at that price. My car is in better shape and I'm looking at the 10,000-15,000 to get her done. So I might consider at that price shipping my car to Texas

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Your good enough, your smart enough, and dog gone it people like you!

Just wanted to pass along some reassurance there.:D

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