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Took the stang during lunch hour to a local body shop. The guy seemed honest enough, spent a LOT of time going over the car. Money doesn't grow on trees in my yard, so I asked him to tell me what the car needs most and how much that would cost.

Final verdict: rear frame rails first (before my leaf springs crash through the trunk floor)

He recommended replace the whole frame rail instead of just the last 20". Part of the wheel wells should be replaced as well (he recommended buy the whole wheel wells and he'd cut out what he needs to patch the car). Also part of the rear tail ligh panel should be replaced.

His esitmate was $2,000 in labor (i'd have to supply all the parts, which I think will run close to $650). Labor rate is $50/hr, so he's figuring on about 40 hours to do this.

What do you think? Car will be safe to drive, but I'm tempted to sell it for what I can and get a car with a solid frame. I've got six grand in it now and and body, interior, engine and tranny are all refurbished. It's what you can't see that makes this car a money pit...
 
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that sounds very good to me,i was quoted on 10,000 for my previous fb, and that was a front rail and the two rear ones, good luck -Pete
 
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Is this for both? I planned on haveing just the one side done on the drivers side and the body guy talked me into doing the other side as well. After he took the other one off (It looked ok) it was all rusted underneath where you could not see. I think it cost me about 1,500 - 2,000 for both sides. You may need to replace your trunk floor at the same time since they are connected.

Good Luck.
 

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That is reasonable for the amount of work to be done. Unless the front of the frame rails are bad, I don't see why you would need to do the entire frame rail though.
 

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If he can replace two full frame rails in 40 hours, he's one hell of a mechanic. Honestly, if I were you I'd find out what he will QUOTE it for not what he will ESTIMATE it for. What will you do if he get's into it and finds out his time is 100 hours? Get a QUOTE that way it's not your problem.

GOOD LUCK!

Phil
 

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The body shop that I used for the 65 convertible replaced the following in 36.75 hours:

Both rear frame rails, trunk crossmember, both trunk floors, taillight panel.

They estimated another 30 hours to replace the wheel wells (inner & outer) and the full quarter panels.....

Hope this gives you an idea.... my shop charges only $37.50 / hr.

Thanks.

Eric
 

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That's almost exactly what this guy said he'd do.

Poster above is correct, he gave me a verbal estimate....and made it clear that he charges by the hour. If it turns out to be a 100 hour job, I'm sol.

One thing I liked about him is that working on old classics is ALL he does. This is not one of those body shops who prefer the quick buck (insurance claims). Wish I knew someone who had work done by him...
 

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i'd get me a creeper and i'd spend the afternoon laying under the car to see how deep the money pit is.if when the rails are done everything else is solid fine,but if it's going to need floors,torque boxes,or front rails i'd get the for sale sign out or try to find a good solid shell and start switching every thing over.
 

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If you want to talk to someone who had work done by him then ask him for references. If you are really lucky then maybe you could talk to someone that had similar work done. I guess the big question is how many of these jobs has he done? The answer to that question should give you an indication on how accurate his estimate is. I would still try to get a quote from him although most restoration shops will not give quotes because once you start ripping into a car you never know what you will find but it is worth a try.
 
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