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Hello, and some questions from a relatively short-timer:

My 96 Bird was parked out front at the curb when it got caught up in the senseless vandalism that seem to happen every so often. Long story on getting low-balled by the ins co, etc, but that's for another time, may yet involve legal action. Anyway ...

I've got 3 quotes for repair & repaint, ranging from $1,600 to $4,000. Body shops say that the tools of choice for the damage look like a ball-peen hammer applied liberally to the trunk lid and taillights, followed by a small-point Phillips screwdriver down the drivers side from rear to front, finishing up with a deep curlycue on the hood. Left rear quarter glass is gouged, too. Amazing they didn't pop the rear glass, almost wish they had, the defogger has several bad lines in it.

I intend to keep the car for quite a while, maybe decades, and start doing performance upgrades, so a high-quality refinishing job is definitely in order. Price is a secondary consideration, I would do the 4 grand job for the right results. (Cheap compared for 8,000-12,000 for a light aircraft.) I'll be keeping the same color, code SR dark forest green with the light gray interior. The trunk lid is beat up pretty badly, so much so that i've picked up a replacement lid from a 93 at the local wrecking yard rather than try to repair the 96 lid.

So, what should I be looking for in a class refinishing job? I'm thinking that all the cladding and bumper covers should come off and be done at the same time as the car. This is also to get the areas under the cladding redone, too. The high price place also proposes to remove ALL of the glass from the car to ensure no exposed paint seams after reassembly. This would be an opportunity to de-tint the back glass and repair the defogger. What other items/points of interest should I be on the lookout for?

"We are all ignorant, only on different subjects" - Author unknown

I'm ignorant on body and paint work. All comments cheerfully welcome, and thanks in advance.

Larry W7LES in Cheyenne
 

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seems like you have a good grip on what needs to be done. just go for the shop with the best warranty. pay the extra to get all dents and chips fixed, you'll be glad you did. a full colorsand/ buff might or might not be included, find out. that "show finish" costs a lot more time to do, but again, worth it.
 

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Ok, a few things to check out. First off, look around the shop and in the paint prep area to see how much things are taken apart. That's where the $2400 difference between the shops comes in. The more stuff they take off, the better quality the job will be. If they are going to remove all the glass, then chances are they are going to remove everything else too. Basically anything they tape up without removing leaves a place where it will peel in the future. Also find out what they do about the jambs. Find out if they use foam tape, a tape roller which both seal off the jambs from overspray without leaving an edge that can be felt/seen/cause peeling in the future. Another thing to find out is what kind of paint they use. In my opinion DuPont and PPG are the best. Find out what kind of clear coat they are going to use and how long they are going to bake the car. Basically they could use a clear that hardens fast which means they can move more cars and make more money, but it gets more orange peel. Or they could use one that hardens slowly which makes for a nicer and deeper looking finish, but it has to bake longer which means they can't do as many cars in a day and won't make as much money so they will charge you more. The other problem about the slow hardening clear is that it is much easier to get runs in the clear, so if the shop is going to use it on your car, you can feel pretty confident that they have a good painter. Another thing is to find out if they have a down draft spray booth. These are much better than the old style where all the ventilation was at the front of the booth, and will result in less dirt in the paint on your car. In my experience, with a few exceptions the more expensive the shop is, the better job they will do. Also if the insurance companies are giving you a hard time, don't tell them about the $1600 estimate. They will be more than happy to give you less money than you deserve and if they have a problem with the $4000 job, they can send their own adjuster out to estimate the damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for taking the time to read and reply, all good points to consider.

I'd forgotten to mention that the high-$$ shop that removes the glass will also take off the outside mirrors and door handles, along with the door glass and the door-to-glass mouldings. I've already stripped all the parts off of the new trunk lid. It's still the Teal Blue color, but at least it's ready for the strip/sand/paint etc.

I'm not familiar with paint booths other than a general understanding that they have vent fans and heat lamps. What does the term "down draft spray booth" mean? I'm picturing a setup where the air intakes to the exhaust vent fans are under the car? Regarding baking - this sounds like a hot process. What potential is there for melting stuff like interior trim pieces? If all the glass is out, there's not much protection temp-wise for the interior. How much interior should be/needs to be removed? I could pull out some of the interior stuff if needed.

What is a full colorsand/buff? Also, what brand/type of clearcoat woulld I want to hear that they intend to use?

Good point on taking the time to get it right. At this point the car is garaged for the winter. I'm going to schedule the body/paint work for March or April when it's warmer out, or doesn't that matter much?

Many thanks,

Larry W7LES in Cheyenne
 

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a downdraft booth is a room where the ceiling is a large filter, the incoming air. the floor is grated and is the exhaust. makes for cleaner jobs. also makes for quicker paint jobs, flowing more air by volume vs. a crossdraft booth. that slower clear can be baked quickly. 2 stage finishes are baked between 145-170 for 20-40 minutes. when spraying, you can pick your temp, and the air is dried to further speed the process. I can paint a nose of a car, bake it, and get it OUT of the booth in 1.5 hrs.

At work I'll bake 3-5 cars/day with no harm to the interior at all. all the heat does is fire up your air freshener a bit. you should however remove any ammunition and fire extinguishers(don't ask:rolleyes: )

When it comes to buffing, the reality is that stuff will land in the clear. sometimes bugs, mostly dust specs. buffing is best done the following day and is where you sand out the specs/runs with 1500grit, then buff it out. mistakes here can be tragic events, ruining a whole job real quick.

hope that helps
 
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