1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

I haven't posted on the forum for along time. I'm trying to do a thorough restoration, but hopefully not a concourse restoration, because this **** takes a lot of time and money. I don't know how you guys without welding skills or body work skills get your stuff done. I had my body media blasted in May 2018. I sealed/primed the body and then proceeded to find a body guy, lose a body guy, find another, lose him too. I found another local guy that said he could do a fine job welding in new metal in front and behind the rear wheel openings. All I seem to get is a lot of talk and little action. Today is the 1 year anniversary of me finding the body man I "using" now. Trouble is, he doesn't seem to be in hurry to get anything done. The body shops around me only want to work on late model insurance jobs. I'm getting frustrated and my wife is getting angry about all the boxes of parts I have lying around waiting for the body to come back from body/paint. Who can write her a script for Xanax?
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That's all I know for now...
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 09:38 PM
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

I know of a 1969 Firebird TA that's been in body shop purgatory for 35 years. Unfortunately It's a story that's been told since people have been restoring their cars.

Iowan
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 04:54 PM
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

It might easier, and faster, to take welding and metal working classes and do the work yourself. Another excuse, or reason to buy more tools!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-15-2019, 06:10 AM
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

That's exactly what I found out in my area. Body shops just want insurance claims so my next option was a classic car restoration shop, until I got the rough estimates $$$$$$!. So I'm stuck trying to do the work myself. Won't be pretty just I just want a weekend toy, not a show car. Good luck with your project.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 03:47 PM
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

For body shops, honestly the best money is in insurance jobs. For repair shops, it's the typical brake jobs, shocks, tune-ups, 3-year checkups and so on. That's how the biz works today.

It's a good idea to at least do some homework on how bodywork is done. There are tons of YouTube videos that walk you through all kinds of stuff. Likewise, most any local library should have at least a few books you can checkout.

At a very high level, bodywork breaks down into two parts - metal work/alignment and paint prep. Anywhere there's rust, a section needs to be cut and a patch welded in. Sometimes panels are just replaced because it's easier (fender, hood, door, etc). Next is panel alignment. If gap perfection is desired, adjustments are made with metal, not filler. Once all the metal work is done, the body panels are skim-coated, block sanded, glaze coat if needed, block sanded, guide-coated, block sanded and then primer-surfaced.

Given all that, it's possible for you to break things down and get help in different areas. For instance, you can find a metal guy to do the patches and maybe even the alignment and gaps (or as 70XL said, you can take classes and learn how to do the work yourself). Then you can find a different guy who's more an expert at body prep. Perhaps he can also paint too. Not saying it's necessary to seek out different guys or shops, it's just an option.

A few last thoughts ... ask around on this forum and others like the FE Engine Forum to see if anyone knows metal and body guys in your area ... go to car shows in your area and ask the owners where they had the work done ... ask friends/family and friends of theirs who have classic or muscle cars where they had the work done. You can also check Craigslist, but if so be SURE to get references and preferably see the cars that were done and talk with the owners. Typically good shops don't advertise and have long wait lists.

This effort may help you unearth a local shop you never heard of, a referral who does work on the side, or someone who does it privately. You may also find there's a shop an hour or two away (or further) worth considering.

Whatever the case, be sure to talk with the owners and see both their shop and their work. Usually a clean orderly well-lighted shop is a good thing. Owners should be forthright and willing to listen/understand your needs, invite you to see their work and share references. Also, make sure they are FULLY insured.

Keep in mind it's not uncommon for shop owners to be slow (or even poor) at answering emails/texts and returning phone calls. That's mainly because they spend most of their time in the shop running their business. Face to face discussions are always best.

Good luck!!
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Last edited by 66SevenLitre; 07-16-2019 at 03:50 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-01-2019, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

I've been following up with my body guy every other week or so for the past few months. I have had some direct, but friendly discussions with him. I've threatened to pull the job away from him, but he doesn't want to let it go. I did give him some upfront $ to help persuade him to accept the job in the first place. I'm sure he doesn't want to give me any money back that he probably doesn't have. So maybe he feeling personally responsible to do the work. Well, maybe its paying off; the last time I stopped by the shop he had started to cut/fit/weld in some fresh metal where it needs to go. He talks like he going to focus o the project a little more. He says needs the money and wants to do the work; just getting to do the work is the hard part. I plan on visiting again on Monday; we'll see what he's gotten done in the last 2-3 weeks. I've attached a couple of pictures to prove to myself that he's actually doing something...
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That's all I know for now...
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 06:43 PM
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

If you need to grease the wheels to get a car in the shop I can just about Guarantee the grease is gone five minutes after you leave.
Dont pay a shop in advance........period.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-05-2019, 09:16 PM
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Re: 1966 Custom 500 In Suspended Animation

I did some welding in High School (1987) and I bought a used mig welder. My dad gave me some body hammers. I made an anvil from 1 x 6 flat stock and I put it in my vice. YouTube has given me the rest. I watch Eastwood videos, DIY auto School videos (you will LOVE my friend Pete.) Anyway, if you want to see someone who has come a long way, check out my thread. I read the old stuff and its embarrassing. I'm not sure how my Galaxie sheet metal will turn out but i know I am going to learn a lot while i do it. I saw a commercial and the guy said, "No one has worked on my car but me." That sticks in my mind

Get out there and get dirty.

62 Galaxie Convertible
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