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First time ever restoring a car, so go easy on me, I don't know all the ins and outs of the process yet. I have a '68 mustang coupe that has been kind of my weekend project car, whenever I have the time for it. I've been willing to do all the work myself until we get to the point of bodywork and paint. I know for certain that I am going to outsource the paint job, so that's not a real question. The real question is, and I know that this is a really open-ended question with not a ton to base it on, what would minor body work cost? The issue of alignment of the panels and any issues with holes, rust, etc. I can deal with fairly simply by myself (and have basically already done). Basically I can get it looking "decent" as in 80% of the way there, just not the "final details" and making everything "straight and pretty". But I'm trying to do this on a budget and don't know if I should stick it out and do all of the body work myself, or send it to a shop. Obviously I'm not looking for a show car finish, just a "good" or "acceptable" one. The only thing holding me back from doing myself is I don't know if I would be as accurate for "finishing touches." Again, I fully understand if this is too little info and you guys just tell me that you cant really put a fair estimate on it from this description. Thanks in advance though.

TLDR: I'm looking for "finishing touches" type body work, but trying to keep costs down. What would be a good estimate to just get it ready for paint with the "major" body work already having been done by me?
 

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1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
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Well a rough estimate for a decent daily driver paint job will be somewhere between $2500 and $25,000 at minimum. We really can't provide a reasonable estimate without seeing detailed pictures of your car. Best thing for you to do is to just visit a half dozen or so shops. Join a local car club and find out who is doing some decent backyard work. Do some research on the price of bodyshop materials to complete an all over paint job. The price of autobody material and paints will likely scare the $hit out of you.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I figured that this part will be the one that does the highest damage to my pocketbook. Thanks for the advice about the car clubs, I'll try to follow up with that and find a reputable backyard mechanic. I appreciate the response and the welcome.
 

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1966 Mustang Hardtop 289 4 Speed
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Ben, like many other trades, autobody is a learned skill. I learned because my dad used to buy and sell cars and was quite willing to let me try to fix some of them. I learned from my mistakes and repetition. I also learned from sitting on a 5 gallon thinner can and watching my grandfather. Btw, he had 1 arm. After my 1st failed attempt at university I went to community college and took autobody repair. If you have the desire to do this work yourself, you are halfway there. I know because I was in your shoes when I was younger. I started out as a rattle can bodyman, now look at me 😂
 

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I'm in about the same boat. I need to get MyFirstCar in the paint booth for its own protection and would love the next paint job to last me the rest of my life. The last one has been on for 25 years. I would settle for that, I guess.
 

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You can pay under $1,000 for a fantastic paint job..... if the body and prep work is immaculate.

You can pay $5,000 for a crappy job.....if the body and prep work sucks.

You might be ahead of the game if you switch roles.... have a professional do the prep work and handle the painting yourself.
 

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If the car is a mess and you have nothing to lose, why not attempt it yourself? Plenty of video on Youtube that should get you into the "good enough" range.
 

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Good for you that you want to learn a new skill. Doing most of the work your self will save money if done right. As a comment without seeing the actual car makes it impossible to determine cost and scope. 9 out of ten times the car is waaay worst than the visual condition. I wish you well.
 

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Absolutely good for you for wanting to learn. I learned on my 68 coupe which was my first car. Recently restored a 66 convertible. I did everything except final paint and machine work on the motor. Learned from here and a couple Bad Shoe videos to learn how to rebuild the C4 tranny and 8" rear end. Truth be told there is ZERO chance I could have paid somebody for the labor I had into it. I think I was up to around 3,000 hours from teardown to finish. I have many more skills now like welding :)
 

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Yes, do it yourself. Use the "Paintucation" videos from Kevin Tetz. You can screw it up several times before spending what it would cost to have a shop paint your car. FYI, I painted my car. I had never done body or paint work before and made it happen. I'm happy with the results.
 
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