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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!,

I just want everybody's opinion on the trouble I am going through, especially the body guys on this forum. I sent my car to a body in January of this year to get my car worked on. It just came back from the welders in this condition.
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My friend who was helping me oversee the work on the car, and find a body decided to pay the bodyshop upfront $8250 CDN (I fought with him not to, but he insisted nothing would go wrong). By the way the 8250 breaks down to 6000 labour for 100 hours, 2000 paint materials. Now its almost the end of the year, the shop claims that they have done more than 100 hours of work and have kept my money and decided to kick my car out what do I do? The only additional work they have done was mounting the year one dash piece thats it. This is how much they have done:







Now my question in how many hours is that? Am I being taken?
 

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Well....

It's kinda hard to say....

100 hours of work is 1 guy working on the car for 2.5 weeks. I can envision one guy taking this long to bring the car from the first picture to the last. Installing body panels is simple and takes a couple hours... getting them to fit properly can take a couple days. The passenger side door gap looks like they should have spent more time with it...

What's with the use of all that bondo? It looks thicker than a "skim coat" in quite a few areas.... What happened to the seam between your rocker panel and quarter panel? Filled in with Bondo? Yikes! It also appears that your rear valance is now a permanent part of the car? Was this authorized?

Was there a written agreement specifying what work would be done... and for how much? If so, call your lawyer. If not, call a tow truck.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can get a receipt. Also I had asked for most of the lines filled on the car. They used a metal like filler on the seams before applying rage gold. I am probably going to small claims.
 

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BREACH OF CONTRACT

It is important that you consult an attorney in order to preserve your rights. Breach of contract occurs by the FIRST party to refuse to abide by the contract giving the SECOND party recourse to recover what they would have gotten if the breach had not occured. If you voluntarily take the car without documenting the "breach" or refusal of the shop to finish the car, then you might be perceived as the one who breached the contract by taking it.
 

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Here we go again...another body shop issue. I certainly cannot say it is all, as I believe there are good honest working body guys who just want to do the job right. But why does it seem that this particular profession has a much higher "screw the customer over" rate than other business'? Is it because of the laws that help the body guys more and it is just easier to screw over people, so unscrupulous people get into it for this reason? Again, I know not all are like this, and there are some good people on this board who do this work and are very skilled and honest. I am just asking opinions on this epidemic.

I feel for you, as I have gone through similar, but not as bad. Do everything you can to protect yourself and your car. Good luck.
 

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why exactly did they decide to "kick" your car out? Difference of opinion, direction, etc?
 

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looks like they put in trunk floors too?
how about other floor panels?
if so, yes there was probalby 100 plus.
but, id ask for some money back on materials,$2000 ?
at least they could have primed it.
looks like its going to be nice and a good solid car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright Wayne,
The welder pretty much welded:
Front frame rails, Heidt's Hot rod cross member, all four fender aprons, rad support, firewall patches on front and rear, welded cowls, floor to firewall patches, new floors, quarter panels, tail lamp panel, rear trunk divider, trunk floor pans, rear frame rails, trunk cross member, and flushed and welded both inner and outer wheel housings, welded in driver's side a-pillar, and both b-pillars, and passenger side rocker panel for $4500 CDN (He took a month and a half). The only welding these guys did was the seat supports, and they shifted the tail lamp panel over a quarter inch to line up with the trunk lid.

Fast68back

We asked the guys to hurry up with the car because taking a year is pretty much ridiculous, and I saw that these guys had no initiative to finish the car so we were bitter with one another in our conversations.

The ironic thing is the welder also did paint and body and he was an awesome person, but I chose these other guys because they had a sweet paint booth. I am kicking myself now.
 

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My car was in paint jail for just over 14 months. There were times I thought about picking it up and bring it home, but the thought of going through all that again made me sick.

The guy that did mine has a very busy shop, took me three or four months to get my car in. There were probably at any given time 12-15 cars in his shop and there were probably 12-15 owners wanting their cars done first or ASAP. The work being done ranged from touch-ups to full rotissoire restos. From the looks of it, and the list you posted, there was a lot of work to be done.

I don't really understand why a shop doesnt focus on one car, knock it out then start on the next, but they dont and I'm sure some of the body guys on here will explain why.

Part of what worried me about picking my car up was that the next shop would not want to put any type of warranty on someone elses bodywork and repairs.

Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah Fast68back,

The welder is separate from the body shop, that list was done by the welder, not the body shop.
 

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"Misery loves company", so take heart, you're not alone. My year long nightmare ended this august. It seems that for $8200, you expected the car to be painted, assembled, and completed. That's cutting it close, from my experience, and sounds like a "low ball" estimate. The hourly labor rate isn't excessive, paint and materials seem reasonable, but realistically, there aren't too many shops that I've heard of that could prep/fit panels, paint, and assemble car from scratch in 100 hours, or as Dave S says, 1 guy-2 1/2 wks. If you didn't get a written estimate/contract/price guarantee, you can try court, but the body guy will claim you misunderstood, it was the "minimum" figure, or there were previously "undiscovered" problems/complications with car you presented to them. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but the reality is he has the leverage...your car, your $. A lawyer will cost money, and if you bring the case yourself, it may be against his lawyer/insurance co. Think of a fallback/compromise...what would it take, money and time, for him to complete, and what break will he give you $wise, to get your car, and get you out of his life? If its' reasonable....less than you'd have to pay someone else, consider it, but pay him by the week, and visit when you pay!
 

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There are skum bags in the bodyshop business, no dought about that, but there are also two sides to every story. One HUGE issue is most classic car owners are not willing to pay the real cost of the work they want. Bringing one of these old cars back from 40+ years take tons of man hours. The work is nasty and bad for your health. Bodymen, like everyone else need to make a living. I think their biggest mistake is taking on a car without letting the owner know the true cost of the job. They withhold the truth for fear of losing the job they need, or poor communication skills. I try to only work on late model crash repair and usually regret taking on classic car work. It's like working for a month (or more) for 1/4th the pay. JMHO

Lstar
 

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development1 said:
Fast68back

I saw that these guys had no initiative to finish the car so we were bitter with one another in our conversations.
That was a very bad move. You hire somebody for his ability to do something requiring a lot of effort and time and you pi$$ him off?

You have to walk the fine line between pushing the guy and aggravating him. That's one of the reasons that body work can take so long.

As for guys working on multiple cars - they have to keep their cash flow going. You give a guy a down payment and a month later he has already spent it and he needs money so he takes another job to make some quick cash.
 

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The reason they don't focus on one or two cars and get them done is that they are bascially scamming the next car owner out of a deposit or more cash. As soon as they get THAT cash, they push the car into the corner and do whatever they need to do to get cash from the next guy.

When you dropped off your car did you happen to notice a few dusty cars sitting around that looked like they had not been worked on in a while? Unless those cars belong to the owner, you stand a good chance of having yours wind up the same way if you leave yours too.
 

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Not sure about your area, But I took a guy to small claims court about 4 years ago, and the dollar amount for restitution could not exceed $5000 to file in small claims (in Illinois). I think if you go over that amount, it starts becoming more complex and expensive to file. Perhaps some threatening letters on attorney letterhead would be a good place to start. Good luck with it!

On the other hand, mainemustang's idea may be best before considering legal action.
 

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Think of a fallback/compromise...what would it take, money and time, for him to complete, and what break will he give you $wise, to get your car, and get you out of his life? If its' reasonable....less than you'd have to pay someone else, consider it, but pay him by the week, and visit when you pay!
+1

Dave
 

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I think for all of that work you got a fair price. Ive restored, modified and fabbed many old Mustangs as well as few late model Mustangs. Your talking about alot of work, labor on that car. Not just the welding, but the cutting of hundreds of spot welds which is a bitch. Not only that, but aligning everything which isnt easy with aftermarket parts.
Also, IMO, the reason for other cars to be restored in many shops is that the money runs out for one car OR the part they need is on back order for a month or more. So they can have several cars in various stages of restoration since the parts and budget issues are resolved.
Another observation I have had over the years is that everyone wants a show car type of perfection in paint and bodywork in todays hobby without paying big bucks. When I was first getting into cars back in the late 70's a show finish then wouldnt be considered a good driver in todays world. Hell door gaps and hood gaps werent even that important as long as the paint was relatively smooth.
I dont think you got screwed as someone else said you now have a solid car, now finish it...........Mike U>
 
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