Pontiac GTO Forum - View Single Post - Requesting 1973 GTO reservation tips
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-20-2016, 10:27 AM
Pinion head
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Injun Territory, 'Merica!
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Deal with production body shops nearly every week dropping off hard to find original parts, occasionally, have a friend's shop put a car on a frame machine, or pull out a combination of damaged body panels, before I can get after the panels drilling out spotwelds and damaged panels.

Don't want to come off being negative, but just don't have a lot of faith in the above average body shop, to "restore" a 40+ year old collectible vehicle, esp one that the guys doing the work are not repetitively acquainted with. Mention that, but with typical body shops, ESP ones that might, if you twist their arm, take on an older project car on the side, their main traffic flow in their shop is late model work. Too many times, in these instances, important parts are lost or damaged and if the younger employees cant google up an exploded view or find something in a repro catelogue, they are next to lost.

Further example, its hard to count the numbers of early GTO's, Firebirds, Chevelles, that I've dealt with owners over the last 25 years that the cars front end sheetmetal was bolted together with whatever bolts and casteners a couple body shop employees could quickly find after the fenders and doors had been jambed. First ran across this in the early 90's, a local woman owners all numbers matching '65 GTO convert had fresh paint and bodywork. ALL the fender to inner fender bolts were '78-mid 80's METRIC junk. After this completed GTO had been "restored" at the bodyshop, the engine needed to come out, inner fenders come out, everything under the hood needed to be properly detailed. All the body shop guys could do was generic production work.

Will also mention the countless times I've ran across big piles of what were nice clean undamaged original near irreplaceble parts thrown in a trunk, or thrown in the interior of a very collectible car at a production body shop. No concern to interior plastic trim being damaged. Absolutely no knowledge to how poor the "new" part was that body shop "restorers" figured the owner would end up ponying up for. Can't tell you how many times I've heard' "It doesn't matter, he's going to buy new"....Yeah, sure.

When dealing with body shops, I always encourage my buddys and customers that EVERY high value part, those flawless original taillight lenses, the unscuffed original rocker trim moldings, the flawless console, killer condition original seatbelts, that near flawless original strg wheel, they all come out of the car before they go to the "body shop". The plan should be to drop off a roller for metal replacement and bodywork, usually from the cowl back. Want that good running original engine covered with grit, and dust, leave it between the frame rails and send it that way to the body shop.

There are advantages to taking mild rust out fenders, mildly damaged fenders, to a good metal man to propperly reoair vs dragging the entire car to a production body shop. Same deal with fixing mild rust spots on hoods, or deck lids. Removing fenders, I always take a bunch of pics, note every original bolt head and bolt size on a Post-It-Note,stick each size bolt in small ziplock bag after sticking the post it note on the outside and going over it with thick 3M packing tape. Same with fender shims, note how many from each position, esp, when fenders and doors lined up extremely well. All bagged small parts go in sealed 28qt RubberMaid tubs, nothing gets lost! When it is time to deal with a body shop with a roller for rear 1/4 work, roof work, I usually totally remove the interior, bag and tag everything.

Got to get back to work.
Could go on and on for hours on this subject.
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