Hello, My Name is...

Discussion in '1947-1954' started by RidesWithYah, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    Accepting My Limitations

    I'm no bodyman.
    Likely never will be.
    And I don't know how to weld.

    As my disassembly is nearing completion (does that mean I'm half done??), I see that my cab needs more than I'm capable of. The floor was patched by the previous owner, and that's passable - but the firewall has a couple of holes that need attention, cowls need work, and cab corners need replaced. Hinge nuts came loose, so the panel will need to be opened up, new nuts welded in place, then closed back up.

    This will be a daily driver, not a show truck - but if I don't get help, it will never get done (let alone done right). What are the odds I can find a shop willing to patch the cab and prep it for paint? And for the work described, can someone help me estimate the hours involved and a reasonable price per hour for this type of work?

    Lexington KY, if that matters.

    Thanks y'all.
     
  2. coilover

    coilover Member

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    The very first advice I have for you and, this is coming from one that has owned a restoration shop for over thirty years, is never, repeat NEVER give money up front for work to be done. Of the fifteen cars in the shop right now eight of them had to be taken away from other shops that had charged money up front and then didn't do the work or did very little. Remember all you have is their word for security while they have YOUR TRUCK. A reasonable offer is to start a bank account with enough money in it to cover any projected expenses and set it up to require two signatures, the shop and yours. When work is done then they are assured the money is there. If they don't go for this THEN RUN. Hourly rates around here run from $45-$75/hr with a couple so called big name shops near $100. Asking how long it will take and cost without seeing it is like going to a doctor and saying "I'm sick"; without checking the problem could be anything from a tooth ache to a heart attack.
     
  3. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    I could not agree more, with what Even wrote above.
    Also, my advice would be to get a time frame for completion times. Not just verbal, written.
    Never agree, in an effort to save money, to allow your truck to be "fill in" work. That will just ensure you never see your truck finished.
    Photograph, the truck, when you drop it off, so as to prove what was there, i.e., small parts, hubcaps. Read Nate''s thread on his '69 C10.
    Never, ever, agree to, "time and material"! They will end up owning your project.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  4. Zig

    Zig Member

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    Youtube videos for welding, or panel bond adhesive to put things back together.
    3M paint stripping wheels and an electric drill to remove rust
    More youtube videos for how to do body work.
    Don't sell yourself short. Doing things yourself will probably take less time than waiting on a shop to do it, and you won't have to worry about getting your truck back.
    Plus, the pride you'll have in it will be worth while as well.
     
  5. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    Great points, appreciate all the feedback.

    Right now my thinking is that I would be taking the shop a cab, not a truck. But all of the above still applies.

    Those of you who do this work for a living: For point of reference, what would you charge to cut out old cab corners, weld new ones in, and prep that repair for paint? Or would you not bother with a small job like a cab, rather than a complete truck?

    Knowing that piece will give me a feel for it, at least.
     
  6. e015475

    e015475 Member

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    I don't do metalwork for a living, but I just had my cab done last year and had about $6-7K in it. (I do weld, and like doing bodywork, just don't have the extra time at the moment, so I sub'd it out)

    This is my experience FWIW.

    The work scope included-

    - Sandblast cab and doors (a ground glass media was used) This reveals all the evils lurking under years of paint
    - Replace floor boards- both sides
    - Replace inner kick panels - both sides - half way up
    - Replace bottom of door - inner, not the skins - both sides
    - Replace one cab corner
    - Front door pillar outer skin - both sides
    - Re-pin the hinges
    - Remove factory firewall and fab new one to let engine slide back a couple inches (this is a restorod, not a restoration) - a new firewall was cheaper than filling all the holes in the firewall
    - Bearclaw door latches installed (not an Altman kit but a 'pocket' fab'd into the door to hold the mechanism away from the glass channel)
    - Gap the doors
    - Shave the gas tank filler hole
    - Repair 'extra' gauge hole in dash, antenna hole in roof and a few pin-holes under the pinch weld at the bottom of the windshield
    - All panels metal-finished with a hammer and dolly - no bondo
    - Bare metal primed with Southern Polyurethane's epoxy primer, then first coat of Featherfill to be ready for first stage of blocking for paint.

    This was a cab that spent most of its life in the California and Arizona desert and I thought was pretty rust free (except for the floorboard on the passenger side, which looked like the heater core had leaked), but the problem was that dust and dirt had settled into the corners and door sills and when it did get wet, it probably held the moisture against the metal and rusted from the inside out. You just don't know what's lurking under that paint until you strip it.

    The cab was blasted to bare metal before the metal/bodyman looked at it, and the final tally of what I spent was pretty close to his estimate going in. As Evan recommended, I didn't pay him anything up front, but I stopped by his shop every week to check progress and pay him in cash. His rate was $45-$50/hour (pretty much a one-man shop), and it took about 9 months to get it out of his shop. I'd told him at the start I wasn't in a big hurry to get it done, and as a result he worked on it in fits and starts. Every time a job came in he could knock out in a few days or a week, he'd stop working on my cab and do something else to make money, knowing my cab would be sitting there waiting. I've had cars in "paint shop prison" before and it was a little frustrating this time too.

    If I had it to do over, I'd have the money set aside and see if I couldn't do it all in one shot.
     
  7. 52wasp

    52wasp Member

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    Cheap/Fast/Good pick any 2

    Another thing to consider is if it needs some floor work, AND some inner cab corner work, AND some rocker work... a complete repop floor (which includes the aforementioned bits) may cost more $$$ up front, but the time required to do the work is less...

    Although the crushingly slow pace of my project is at times frustrating, I didn't have the $ resources to just get it done NOW.

    Not to mention the exceedingly intimate knowledge I will have of every single aspect of the truck...
     
  8. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    A few pictures

    Firewall, floor, cab corners, beltline, and roof.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    And the rest

    More pics...
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    I asked around to about 5 body shops. Told them what I wanted. Got contacts to about 5 guys that were either retired or did work on the side. Found a great guy that charged me a very reasonable price.

    Took him a 93 Mazda car to cut out and replace some rust. 300 bucks later I had new metal and it in primer. Amazing work.

    He is getting my ford truck. 06 f150 with a rotten cab corner. Known history on those. 350 bucks later it will be done and painted. Seeing his work it will be perfect with little to no filler.

    So glad to have him. Great retired body guy. Turned into a nice friend!
     
  11. Ricos54

    Ricos54 Member

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    Sometimes finding the guy's that work out of there backyard/garage give much better prices and don't have overhead. So the way they make money is to get the work done. The body shops can get busy which will make working on your body longer. Just make sure you get references to make sure the backyard guy know's what he is doing. The body shops are there to make money. I'm having a body shop paint my truck and of course now that I'm ready they are swamp and it's insurance jobs and that pay's big bucks. So the painter is going to paint my truck on a weekend to help me out.
    By the way welding can be learned by anyone, it takes the right equipment and of course a learning curve, but anyone can do it if you have the time and patients. I can't tell you how many thousands and thousands of dollars I saved by doing all the work myself..
    That also go's for body work I have never done it before and after 8 long months my truck is finally ready for paint, again patients
     
  12. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    Looks like my dream of just firing up the GMC 270 as is and driving off into the sunset is just a dream...
    Checked compression today (cold) and got the following.
    1. 140
    2. 130
    3. 128
    4. 115
    5. 70
    6. 135

    I sprayed some WD-40 into the number 5 cylinder and rechecked it, with no change. Does that mean it's likely not rings?
    Any significance to relatively low readings in adjacent cylinders (4 & 5)?
    Maybe, head gasket?

    Should I pull the head? Do a leakdown check?
    What else should I consider?

    If the Jimmy motor needs too much work, I may rebuild one of the Chevys and avoid modifying the front crossmember in my Chevy frame.
     
  13. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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    EXACTLY the same reading with the same #5 cylinder on my '52 228 GMC. See here: Login To: OldGMCtrucks.com Discussion Boards
     
  14. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    So ? .

    Tune that sucker up change the oil to some thin dino based multi-vis and make it run , let the rings and valves seat again and see what's what .

    Don't be in such a hurry to give up .
     
    50 Chevy LS3 likes this.
  15. 50 Chevy LS3

    50 Chevy LS3 Member

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    What Nate said^...
    Carbon, or lead, from the leaded gas days can keep a valve from seating. Get it running, and, get it to operating temp.
    Airplanes still use leaded gas, and, many old "hangar queens" fail their first compression test at annual inspection. First thing to do is, start them up, run them up, lean the engine, hold the rpm''s up until engine gets temp up, and re-test. Usually, you get good compressions, in all cylinders.
    Then, the guy that owns the plane breathes a huge sigh of relief.

    Steve.
     
  16. coilover

    coilover Member

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    First, the very first, is to have the cab stripped to bare metal and the best route here is with media blasting or dipping. What looks like a pin hole before stripping will probably be big enough for a cat to run through after stripping. Only then will the one you pick to do a job be able to give you an accurate estimate. We like for the customer to be present when cab corners, kick panels, cowl bottoms, rear cab seam, cab front mount areas, and the usual problem areas are stripped. We offer to let them try their hand on areas that can't be warped and some actually think it's fun. We make a mental note of these people as it is clear they have a mental defect (joking). When they are amazed at all the hidden damage, I tell them to think of it as a knock out beautiful girl all dressed up for church; once the uplift bra, the girdle, support hose, and cosmetics are stripped away there will most certainly be hidden flaws.
     
  17. Bill Hanlon

    Bill Hanlon Member

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  18. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    Amazing what $20 will get you these days. Here's the latest evidence, courtesy of a borescope.
    Thoughts on these pics? To me it just looks like there's goo on the intake, and the exhaust isn't fully seating.
    (Y'all know your stuff, thanks!!)
    2016-01-02_06-16-29-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-16-36-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-18-26-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-18-41-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-21-30-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-21-47-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-22-11-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-22-35-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-23-19-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-23-35-PM.jpg 2016-01-02_06-24-25-PM.jpg
     
  19. vwnate1

    vwnate1 Member

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    That's nice ~ my Harbor Freight Bore Scope works like this .

    In any case , it looks like the valves are not seating , do a valve adjust and change out whatever oil is in it with thin DINO BASED 10W - 30 oil and let 'er rip .

    You have nothing to lose and a very good powerful and unique engine to gain , if you take your time with it and bring it back to life .

    Once it's been running a while you can diagnose what it really needs .

    Agreed , if you decide to touch up the valves , replace ALL the valve guides with bronze ones , this is VERY IMPORTANT to ensure decades of trouble free service .
     
  20. RidesWithYah

    RidesWithYah Member

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    Thanks - Already has fresh Rotella 10W30 in the pan...

    My dilemma is that it's not in the truck. To use it, I'll need to swap or modify the frame's front crossmember. Want to know it doesn't need a complete rebuild before I do that - and I wasn't able to get it to fire yet. Need to verify spark; but the carb/governor setup and fuel pump are also highly suspect.

    Appreciate the encouragement - will keep chugging (slowly) along.
     

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