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It's taken me three days to get to a point where I could even write this.

I got a quote from a local autobody shop to do some bodywork, prep, and paint sLime. It's a daily driver, but I wanted it to look nice -- something where I could take it to a show occasionally and not be embarrassed. The shop does good work and comes recommended. We settle on a drop-off date. I spend last week taking the car apart to make their job that much easier. Two hours after I drop the car, I get a call from the owner of the shop saying they "can't do the car." (!!!) Basically, their standards of finish are too high and he wouldn't want to do such a job without totally sandblasting the car first. (Lesson Learned #1: Have the owner of the shop look at your job; don't rely on the evaluation of the less-experienced shop manager) Since this is not a total restoration worthy car, the cost and time involved in such actions is not something I want to do.

This shop owner's concern is over the various areas of surface rust on the body. Since the paint is original, his feeling is that there could likely be a 'spiderweb of rust' below the paint; the only way to clear that up completely is to totally blast the car. All of this totally makes sense to me and I appreciate the explanation -- I just wish someone had told me this before I spent three days taking my daily driver apart!

He refers me to the local one-day shop. I checked out their operation today, and they seem to be well-run. Although the one-day shop manager is very helpful and informative, he leaves me thinking that my paint job is going to turn out pretty crappy.

Now, my project plan is a mess. I still have some dents and dings needing repair, windshield/rear window weatherstrip replacement, etc. that I think I can negotiate with the first shop's owner to do before I pull the car out of there. (He was willing to do some of the work, because he felt badly that things have happened this way, FWIW.)

So, then what? Is it normal to expect this 'below the surface' rust, so you prep and paint and wait for it to show up (maybe a long time from now)? I'm thinking I should bring the car home and sand down all the 'rust point' areas to make sure the metal's clean, because it appears that I can't trust that to either place.

My apologies for length and rambling, but I'm dealing with a project plan that's totally blown up in my face. I could have done some of this prep work before I sent the car out, but I didn't really have the time or equipment at my house to do it myself, so I was willing to pay someone else to do it for me.

Much thanks to SAC69 (Tom) for helping me disassemble the car and allowing me to vent in his direction.

Any advice is welcome as I try to put a plan back together....
 

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Bill,
Sand blasting is a last resort measure. Me thinks the shop is trying to get more $. I can understand that they do not want to send out bad work and that prep is THE most important part of painting but.. I have never sand blasted a car for surface rust.
If Slime was my car, I would sand it down to metal using a DA. Figure about 30 hours to do this right. 30 hrs X $65/hr is about $1,950 in extra labor.
I would fix the dents, shoot the car with etching primer, fix the dents, primer, guide coat and go for it.

If your car has typical mustang rust, things wil show up when the car is sanded, that will need to be addressed.
 

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The one day shops do a pretty good job for the money especially if you do a majority of the prep work yourself. Pull the bumpers, trim etc. and do as much bodywork as you are capable of or are willing to tackle.

Scott
 
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I have had my buddy send cars to be media blasted and they run 1 inch tape acrossed all seams and panel gaps. Mask the windows with thick plastic and blast just the out-side of the car. Call the first shop and see if this is a ok with them and get prices from a reputable local blasting company. I was told the GTO that i was looking at only cost between $500 - $700 to blast the outside and they were very careful no warpage. It looked good and they just feathered the areas where the tape was.
 

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I had Clunker painted at Maaco 2 years ago for $400 and it STILL looks great. It's chipping in a couple areas and it won't last much longer, but when I tell people Maaco painted my car, they can't believe it.

Paint care is more important than who painted your car. I wash, polish, and wax Clunker (yes, 3 steps) EVERY week and I've done so since I got the car painted. For comparison, a buddy of mine had his car painted at a slightly higher grade shop than Maaco at a cost of $1,100 around August of 2001 and it's already chipping and fading because he never washes or waxes/polishes it. Tsk, tsk...

I agree with everyone else though, remove ALL the trim you can.
 

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Since you have your car basically stripped of trim, why not chemical strip? 2-3 gallons of aircraft paint remover will do the trick. You will need a shady area and some GOOD chemical resistant gloves. Figure on a weekend to strip her clean.

Figure on $120 + your time.
 

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I agree with 66Coupe. Why won't the first shop chemical strip the car. That is normal practice, and he would be able to see anything that is in need of repair. Then, he could spot blast anything that looks bad....sounds like he is just looking for more cash out of the job.....
 

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you know i've been in the bodyshop bussiness for almost 30 yrs,this is new one for me.it chaps my a!## when shops pull this kinda stuff. first there is 2 kinds of rust,one comes from the inside out,its bad news,2nd is surface rust,it can rust for years and not go through the metal.[just look at a 40 ford thats sat out for 50 years, the top won't be rusted through]. now if you have surface rust it's visible and the estimater should have prepared in his est.to surface prep the car and thats the end of story.if you have a orig. paint car there is no surface rust lurking under the paint[just take a pc. of sandpaper pick a spot and sand the paint, i'll bet you won't find surface rust!]if i was you i wouldn't let these guys touch my car and do just the bodywork because there just trying to get in your pocket a little deeper and that will give them the chance to do it.plus if something doesn't work out when it's painted they will blame the other guy and you'll be stuck holding the bag.i know it would be hard to do but if you have a good car with orig. paint it's worth getting done right. i'd put the lights,handles and whatever else back on the car and i'd go shopping for a shop,go down sat. night to where all the cars hang out and talk around and see if you can find somebody to recommend some one they have used.i'm just curious but how much was the bid to do your car?good luck it will all be worth it in the end.
 

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I find that most really good body shops don't want to paint over really old finishes or suspected bad repair. The first shop sounds like where you will get your quality and long-lasting paint job that will satisfy you....

See if you could do the stripping yourself and help on the cost, contact a plastic or soda media blaster in your area and get an estimate. Get several references from each body shop, talk to restoration guys, not collision specialists. Around here, it's around $600 to have a car soda blasted.

As always, the rule of 20 applies.
 
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