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saridout

quarter panel questions

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my body shop is stripping the rear of the car, and they've found what they say is irreparable rust over the wheel arch. i've seen this area rust in other cars, and i'd like to know if the rust in this area is usually just confined to the skin, or will it be likely to have bled onto the wheel housing? would it be better to just buy a rear wheel arch replacement panel, a la black dragon, or try to find a donor car? does anyone else sell a better replacement panel than BDA? i've heard tepid reviews of their body panels. which years will match my 76 when it comes to the quarter panels?

i'll be uploading a few photos later tonight.

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Good luck finding a donor car that doesn't have the same problem. The rear wheel arch is rust spot #1 for these cars from what I can tell.

If the body shop is going to weld in the new piece I would check with MSA and others to see what kind of repair panels they have.

Did the body shop have a recommendation for a source?

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the shop recommended a potential donor panel, for $525. i'm sorry, but i just don't think it's worth that. :ermm:

how deep does the rust usually go? which portions do most people replace? here's a photo of mine... i know you can't really tell what's there, but it may give you some idea of where i'm at.

post-18856-14150810766762_thumb.jpg

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A bodyman, decently skilled, does not require replacement panels. It may be less expensive, but replacement metal can be welded in and finished regardless of the amount of rust encountered without having to replace entire body sections.

Just old-skool talkin'

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that's what i thought before i talked to the guy, but he made it sound like the only option was finding a replacement. i'm going over to talk to him about this tomorrow. is there anything else i should keep in mind?

aside from all that, i'm fairly happy with the rust repair they've done on the front. what do yall think: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76280z/4559245394/

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Check out Tabco for body panels. They sell the rear inner and outer for the S30 series. They are probably the best priced out there because they manufacture their own panels and they fit well. It is my understanding that they produce some of the panels other Z sites sell. The only problem is that they never update their site so the prices are from about 1999. Call for correct pricing.

Here's the link:

http://www.tabcobodyparts.com/

John

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It comes down to the cost of the time to fabricate patches verses buying a premade repair panel.For large areas with intricate contours it more cost effective to buy a $100 part than to pay a body man six hours labor + Materials @ $50 per hour = $300 that being said i believe johnny'O is correct that Tabco supplys MSA and Black Dragon and JC Whitney so dealing direct is the way to go .TAbcos catalog shows both the inner and outer panels as being availible .Its easy enough to check if the inner is bad look inside the wheel well .

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ok thanks. i'll give tabco a call tomorrow after i talk to my body man and get a better idea of the situation.

I have a '78 parts car in Spring, Tx that I am going to finish off this summer. I know that the Rear Qtr Panels are good and perhaps a few other areas as well. Aside from a couple of parts promised to OldHemi, I will make it worth your while, if you are interested in the quarters. You can PM me.

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ok, i talked to the body guy, and he says: the quarter panel needs to be replaced, probably all the way up to the roof line. he indicated rust below the quarter window and on the rear side of the window as well. he says that a patch panel won't work for this reason, and that it would be better to have the entire panel.

i had misunderstood him last time we talked; he doesn't have a replacement panel from a donor car, he has an actual nissan replacement quarter panel. that makes the 500+ amount he wanted for it sound much more reasonable. he says he may even be able to get it cheaper than that. does this sound like a good deal to yall?

his reasoning regarding the benefits of a full replacement confuses me. when he gave me the quote for the full amount required to rust-repair and paint the car, he said $8000-9000 with additional costs for parts, worst case scenario. today, he told me that he could make a quarter panel from scratch if he needed to, but then he pointed at his his employee and said that he would have to pay the guy $125 a day, for probably 6 days of work, to fix the car without a replacement panel. i would have thought that replacing a quarter panel falls well within "worse case scenario." could he be trying to get me to spend money on a replacement part, so he doesn't have to spend his limited amount of profit on labor? or is it reasonable to expect an additional charge for replacing something like this?

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also, he said something that i thought was a little fishy... i asked him if the panel he has is the correct style for my year, and he said they're all the same. aren't the 75-78 years smooth while the earlier cars have an indentation for the bumper?

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I don't know the exact years but you are correct. There is a bumper indention on the early S30's. I wouldn't jump the gun yet though. He may just not realize that unless he specializes in Datsuns/Z's.

But... Definitely confirm the part is OEM before dishing out that kind of cash.

Edited by five&dime

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An OEM Genuine Quarter panel at $500 is CHEAP! Courtesy had one on ebay for $1600 (Series one 240 panel) The 70-73 cars take one panel (Actually the 70-71 series one does not have the vent hole on the sail panel and the 74-76 take another and the 77-78 take a different one .The difference between the 74-6 and 77-78 is the change in the door latch Just like the door shells are different for those years but in a worst case scenario with some "massaging " they can be made to work .Its just easier to use the right part from the start. Used parts take the time to "trim " out to what you need .My first choice would be an OEM Original panel from the right year .

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i'm pretty sure the OEM panel he has is for a 70-73 car. should there be any major problem with using that on a 76? is the vent hole different?

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I am thinking that he is looking to plump up his margin. I would almost pay him for the work he has already done (get a receipt), then I would take it somewhere else. He is going to Rob you and then when the work just isnt quite right - there will be all of these excuses. I am telling you - Listen to my keyboard....

From the pics, it just looks like a bunch of Bondo, I did not see any catastropic rust. Sometimes these body guys get lazy knowing that they can do a panel quicker than putting work/skill in fixing a repairable panel.

Did you get the estimate in writing from this shop?? I am thinking that the $8000 -$9000 is pretty high especially with "Additional cost for parts"... I mean Holy Crap. Does anyone else smell some BullSheeeit???

I say get your car and look elsewhere. I'll send you pics of my Rear Quarters, or you can go to TABCO. BUT you have to listen to all of us on this thread! You have quite a collection of folks who have already rode in this rodeo.

The place that did my Z would do it for $5K - $7K. Look at the pics in my Gallery.

Edited by ZCurves

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Here is my Tabco panel install on the right side. The Tabco's are less "crisp" on the folds (more rounded) and are pretty easy to distinguish from an original unless you do some hefty work on them. I was going to just do the doglegs but ended up having to do both wheel arches as there was lots and lots of bondo and some rust from behind spots... My car has 300K+ miles on it so my goal is "nice" instead of perfect. I'd say the way Guy is doing his cars (all datsun panels) is the way to go if you can. :beer:

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I am thinking that he is looking to plump up his margin. I would almost pay him for the work he has already done (get a receipt), then I would take it somewhere else. He is going to Rob you and then when the work just isnt quite right - there will be all of these excuses. I am telling you - Listen to my keyboard....

From the pics, it just looks like a bunch of Bondo, I did not see any catastropic rust. Sometimes these body guys get lazy knowing that they can do a panel quicker than putting work/skill in fixing a repairable panel.

Did you get the estimate in writing from this shop?? I am thinking that the $8000 -$9000 is pretty high especially with "Additional cost for parts"... I mean Holy Crap. Does anyone else smell some BullSheeeit???

I say get your car and look elsewhere. I'll send you pics of my Rear Quarters, or you can go to TABCO. BUT you have to listen to all of us on this thread! You have quite a collection of folks who have already rode in this rodeo.

The place that did my Z would do it for $5K - $7K. Look at the pics in my Gallery.

I disagree about the price aspect. If the guy is good, then $8-9k for everything minus parts sounds pretty reasonable if he just means the quarter when he says "additional parts". If you choose a quality body man who has to replace an entire quarter in addition to the rest of the body work, then prep and paint could definitely run $8-9k. A really nice paint job without the 1/4 could still cost you $6-7k. It's all about how much you are willing to pay and what kind of end result you want. It is also hard to tell by that photo. It's amazing how much damage lurks under decent looking paint and some bondo. If the work done prior was really bad, it's most likely more cost effective to replace as opposed to repair.

My fathers (Diseazd) current resto will most definitely cost well over $10k for body work and paint. Of course he did a dog leg and a front driver side 1/2 clip. You can see the work they are doing in the link I posted above. You can see the quarter on the first page. We did the suspension and then towed the car to the body shop and it's been there ever since :) That guy is a true crafstman/artist and doesn't cut any corners. He also stated he could do some fabricating and work with what was there but he prefers OEM parts. He isn't trying to screw anyone, he really only wants to do things the right way and it shows both in his price and in the finished product. This is not the first car he has done for my dad. We were also patient and waited until we found the right parts :)

That being said, I would never agree to anything that is not in writing if you are not familiar with the guy. I would definitely suggest getting something in writing before moving forward regardless.

Edited by five&dime

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I must agree with five&dime body and paint work is not cheap .Good materials alone from etching primers through final clearcoat costs more than you think .Add in tape sand paper masking paper and Labor it adds up FAST! The question becomes one of trust with the shop doing the work .five&dime has obviously found a shop that has proven they can do excellent work and is a repeat customer there .The 70-73 panel has the bumper indent that will need to be welded closed and may have a slightly different contour around the tailight opening? The vent hole would be the same unless the panel is from a Series one (No vent hole ) I would prefer to use a 75-76 panel so everything is as it should be with no open questions or additional labor required to make it work .What most people do not take into consideration is that if a shop wants to replace a part to make the job go faster verses spending time fabricating patches it will cost less .Labor is a major cost factor also new panels make a better repair that will take less filler and welding to get the job done .

Edited by jellobob777

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The intention was not to focus on the cost of the Paint and Body, but rather that is was suspicious that the quote was for "$8000 -$9000 with Additional cost for parts". A proper quote would have considered all of the materials AND the potential the unseen damage and priced accordingly.

Often, when additional damage is discovered the body shop can go back and explain and show the cause for "Additional Cost". It should never be Carte Blanche.

From the pics, I just did not see all of the rust that this guy claimed was unrepairable and thought is was weird. Like Jellobob777 stated, "The question becomes one of trust with the shop doing the work" -I guess I am just suspicious.

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-I guess I am just suspicious.

As am I.

I would be leary of anyone who claims they can make a quarter panel from scratch. Also, the price of $500. for a genuine Nissan replacement quarter is not even in the ballpark. In most cases where the dog leg, outer wheel arch and outer wheel housing has been severly rusted it does not advance any higher than the lower half of the outer wheelhouse. There will be a fair amount of surface rust extending higher but not to the extent that the metal needs to be replaced. Ask to see the replacement parts before he starts any work. Don't let him tear into it before he has the parts in hand. Then you will know "whats what".

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I agree with ZCurves and geezer. Be aware or at the very least suspicious of anyone claiming to be able to fabricate a whole panel from scratch. I also agree that it is very rare to have that much rust above the wheel well that would necessitate the replacement of the whole panel without showing some easily seen sign. I had damage and repair on both quarter panels that required new panels. My body guy and I knew there was something going on with one side more than the other, but when the damage was more than we thought and had talked about, he stopped to show me what was going on. Literally stopped and waited until I could get there to look at it and see what he was explaining to me and just how much we needed to replace. Attached are some shots of my car; the before during and after the quarters were done. Body work does not come cheap, but what he is quoting you seems to be on the very high side to me. Just make sure in addition to a written quote, that he shows you what he is talking about and just what needs to be replaced. If it is rust that is need of being replaced, then it should be rust and not be able to hold together. Surface rust is one thing, rusted through is fairly easy to tell. You can poke holes through it, which is what my dog legs were like, under all the previous bondo and repair work. Good luck.

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From the pictures in your Flicker account.... $8-9K for just the manual labor... WITHOUT extra for parts seems more than reasonable.

You had/have rust in just about EVERY major component of that car... Rockers, Front End Fender supports, Doors, Hatch, Hatch Sill, Floor pans, Roof (just above the windshield), the whole rear quarter panels INCLUDING below the quarter windows.... then to boot it was all covered with thick layers of bondo (and those cute little "flame" stripes up the back end which then got painted over) and at least one or two re-paints. What is NOT visible makes me shudder.

Without seeing the actual quote and talking to the guy to find out what he did and did not include in his quote, (patching in new metal, D/A'ing or stripping paint, sourcing the parts) it is extremely irresponsible to automatically assume that he is ripping you off or robbing you. Go ahead and pull your car only to find that the next body shop simply tells you to get lost, as they will not work on it.

Your car was a literal can of worms, just from the pictures you posted as "before", where you highlighted the problems YOU found. In another bodyshop, they would have told you to go find a better car or would have given you an "Earl Scheib" job and really ripped you off. That he even bothered to quote AND take on the job, may be more telling, or it could be your insisting that he do so. He may need the work desperately, or he's doing you a favor. But your car has a lot,and I mean a LOT of issues. Even if you were family you wouldn't get it for free, and unless he's into serious (stupid) charity, he's not going to give his time away, he still needs to eat. There are several hundred hours worth of work needed on your car, and from the looks of the disassembly pictured, you were looking for a complete restoration. Those do NOT come cheap.

You've been told this before:

http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37087

And you've also discussed how things are cheaper in Texas... especially out in the country. You've found a bodyman who, by your own posting, has done exceptional work, and now you're questioning his experience and expertise? You also had a dirt cheap quote for the same vehicle by another shop. There was a reason you went for this higher $ shop.

The "arm-chairing" going on here is interestingly contra-indicated by the advice those same people gave in your other posts, but like rust, as more comes to light opinions are wont to change.

As far as the bodyshop getting parts for you to examine and THEN approve the work... if this were the 70's and it was relatively easy to send parts back to the warehouse/distributor without too much hazzle or cost, then sure, ask them to do that.

However, nowdays just SOURCING the proper part is going to be a hazzle, and very few people are going to a) find it, B) pay for it, c) get it shipped/delivered to their shop for your consideration and approval if the possibility exists that you're going to refuse it. They're more likely to get stuck with the part and eating the cost. I doubt very much that you'll find anyone willing to buy parts for a 30+ year old car on speculation that you'll agree to pay for them.

As far as "repairable" and "unrepairable" rust... it basically comes down to time, money, tools and expertise. Plenty of all of these and you can re-create anything. (Look at the guy that built a wooden Lamborghini, or the miniature V-8 that runs.) Fabricating a whole panel from individual pieces of metal CAN and HAS been done, doing it from a single sheet of metal requires the molds, which is where Tabco comes in.

And, instead of accepting the advice of anyone who hasn't laid hands or eyes on your car directly, myself included, when it comes to the extent of the rusted metal and the amount of metal that should be replaced, trust your bodyman. If you try to micro-manage what he does, he's likely to tell you to take your job elsewhere or simply tell you that he won't guarantee the work.

FWIW, mileage will vary considerably, flame suit on?.... Check.

E

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No need for a flame suit, but WOW, I’m shaking my head in wonderment. Does anyone actually think it is anything other than asinine for anyone to say they could build a rear quarter from scratch? We are talking about a 1976 280Z here, not an ultra rare, count on one hand how many exist, exotic piece of automotive art, where money is no object. Good used replacements can be found easily enough without resorting to piecing together a “scratch” built abortion. That statement, coupled with talk of a Nissan replacement quarter section for $500. or less, should cause the BS meter to max out. That’s all it would take for me to walk.

There is nothing wrong with standing up for the profession. If you find a shop that you can develop an honest, good working relationship with, great, but “trust your bodyman”? What? I hope this is not a blanket statement to live by! If it is, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you. It is a tough way to make a buck, but that does not give them the right to dance around with part descriptions. Even if it was described as a genuine Nissan replacement quarter section in a signed agreement, I would have to see it before believing it or allowing any work to be done. What is the problem with that, if they deliver what was promised? The only way a problem arises, is if they turn up with $150. worth of Tabco pieces that they are charging you $500. for.

Just for the record, my previous post only addressed the original post concerning “quarter panel questions”. I would never venture a guess on what the total restoration cost should be, not knowing the car or even being current on the associated costs today. What I do know, is the cost of a genuine Nissan replacement quarter section. I also have a fair amount of firsthand knowledge on rust progression in these cars. If the quarter section is rusted as badly as the body man says it is, the entire car must likewise be afflicted. If so, I would rethink spending the money on it. It would be a cash cow for the body shop and the source of bad memories for you. In a recent post I showed a ’77 280Z, as rust free as an unrestored Z can possibly be, in beautiful condition that the seller was willing to let go for $10,000. Sometimes, it is better to cut your losses, stand back and look at the big picture.

Burn much? Next.

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Ok, let me add a bit of information;

I am the guy with the extra OEM (uninstalled) quarter panel that the shop is going to use for the project.

The shop restored my 240Z (read in another one of my posts if you are interested in the project). The price quoted for the part to saridout is completely accurate. I am not the greedy sort of person who has to make a killing on a rare part. (There are many people out there who have rare parts who want an "arm-and-a-leg" for what they have.) I have collected many parts for my project that I do not ever plan to use, this quarter panel is one of them.

The shop in question does exceptional work and I am indebted to the owner for the care and attention in my project. My indebtedness only refers to my gratitude for efforts as my financial obligation has long been settled.

I have seen saridout's car in person and agree with the shop's description of the work needed, presuming the car's owner wants quality workmanship. There are many shops that specialize in collision work that can do a fast, cheap repair. If a car owner is looking for quality restoration work, then the car is at the correct shop!

Just my two cents.

Keith

So how about everyone backing off a bit

Edited by zed2

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