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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #121
I asked him about pics as he goes through it, and he said he had no problem texting them to me. My guess is he'll get started on it after Thanksgiving. I'll be dropping by periodically as well, with cash to keep the project moving, after he gets going. :)
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #122
Well, a little update (just a little one).

I hadn't heard much from the body guy over the winter and spoke with him in early February about status - he told me he hadn't started it yet as he was trying to finish other projects, but had plans to get into it before the end of the month. I got ahold of him again this past weekend looking for another update (I had hoped to be getting the car back sometime this month). He told me work has been progressing more slowly than he'd like - exacerbated by the fact that he had to fire his help, and that due to the COVID-19 lockdown it's been hard getting materials. He did say he has photos he can send but hasn't yet done so - once I get some I'll be sure to post them.

One other interesting item he mentioned was that "whoever did them [the rocker panels] last sure filled them in". I merely told him I wasn't surprised - and that was all a factor in why I switched body shops. :)

Depending how this goes, I want to get the Mark VIII in next to get the rust spot that popped through the driver's rocker taken out this summer...
 

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I can imagine how disappointed you are that the progress hasn't been quicker. Fingers crossed this guy does a decent job for you. Looking forward to seeing the pictures!
 

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It sounds like your car is on the backburner of this project. I mean, it's been there since October (your post when you said you dropped it off), and he hasn't done a whole lot of work to the car. Even before this whole COVID-19 thing got started, he should have at least gotten the car torn down and maybe a few welds here and there?
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #125
Well, you are certainly not wrong. I'll text him tomorrow and ask for those pics...
 

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Excuses, excuses. I feel your pain. My car sat on the back burner at Robs for years before he finally tore into the engine and eventually told me everything needed to be replaced. Well, if this guy is good it will be worth the wait. Offer him a bonus payment if it is finished by a certain date as incentive.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #127
Yeah, I was thinking last night about mentioning that I didn't want to rush him, but was feeling lazy. Last time I had this type of work done, I was holding the body guy to his word and to his initial price estimate, which might have contributed to the lousy job he did.

I did just text him so we'll see what happens. He didn't give me any dates or a price figure - rather a range - but I did tell him I was hoping to have it back in spring when I dropped it off in the fall.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #128
OK - here is where things stand.

He's cut into the rockers and since I was out that way, he wanted me to see kind of where things were (and how the other guy "fixed" it) before he really started tearing into it. I have a few pics I took; he has more but he's clearly not tech savvy and has had trouble getting them to me.

In any case, the other guy merely beat in the old, rusted sections of rocker, glued on replacement panels, then used filler over everything! He never pulled out the foam like he told me, and there are obvious corner-cuts all over the place. The new body guy (Dave) was very vocal about the poor craftsmanship. The passenger side was much worse than anticipated (though we both anticipated it'd be worse than we thought, lol) but the driver's side wasn't too bad actually, relative to what we thought. He thinks it'll be ready in about a month, at less than my "max budget" as well.

Here are a few pics of the horrors within. Two for the driver's side, then two of the passenger side...

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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Wow, that’s way worse than I imagined, it looks like a good length of the inner rocker is gone on the passenger side. I’ve seen much worse but your old guy definitely went to a valiant effort to hide that carnage.

At least you can get that damn foam out. FWIWyou would have been able to tell the foam was still there if you pulled the sill plates and looked in the clip slots.
 

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Wow, that Sux.

That cars sentimental, right?
 

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Wow, that’s nasty! Looking forward to seeing it all done right though!
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #133
Yeah... car does have some sentimental value. Had it for over 15 years, first car, took it on the honeymoon etc. etc. so it's worth more than $5 or $6k to me. Which is, coincidentally, about what it'll cost to fix it. :cautious:
 

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Once it gets to the "Sentimental" column, it owns the cost/benefit spreadsheet, lol.

I have one of those; It has to rust into dust to be free, and I live in the south, lol.
 

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This is looking like a peak into my life this year, if I can find someone I trust. Mine isn't quite as bad, except in the rear portion where they all go bad. I'm looking at $8-10k in my estimation to repair and repaint the whole car. Are you painting the whole thing, or just fixing the issues? Sentimental value is a REAL cost!
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #136
No kidding! The paint job is OK but the new guy was commenting how the clear coat clearly shrunk and you can see sanding swirls in the finish. Maybe someday I'll get a show quality job done but not until the house is paid off!
 
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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #137
Oh, and since I never posted these, this is what the driver's side rocker looked like the day I dropped the car off! I also went through and re-uploaded the missing photos from day 1...

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Is that last set of pictures before you got it fixed the first time, or after it was "fixed" and came back? If that was after, then what the hell did the other guy even do? Was it patched with metal pulled off the hull of the titanic?
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #139
Yeah, it might as well have been! These were in November when I dropped it off this time. What you see there is the corrosion that was happening under the "patch" he glued on over the old rockers, without cutting out the old corrosion. A couple years ago it rusted through the body filler and the patch he glued on fell off, revealing all of that... :eek:

What it looked like before I went to get it "fixed" the first time is in post 39....

According to the new body guy, the old guy merely "beat the old rusted sections in with a hammer without cutting it out, then glued some new metal on over top of it and smoothed it over with filler."
 
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