Labor Hours Required Quote?

A place for professionals to network and discuss the business and technology inside the shop.



Non-Lurker
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2022 2:07 pm

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2022 2:14 pm
Trying to get some opinions/approximations about how many labor hours I should expect for some work I'm about to have done by a professional restoration shop.

I know that's a super difficult thing to ask even if you were to see the car in person. It's even more difficult via just photos on the internet.

I should add that the entire bottom of the car, interior, trunk, cowl section and tail section has already been media blasted and painted. Those jobs are already done and good enough to eat off of.

The car has an 8 point cage cut through the floor and welded right to the frame rails, welded sub frame connectors, new DSE front sub frame, ladder bars, mini tubs, Strange rear end as it is. This thing isn't coming apart without lots of cutting and new parts.

But, that's what I have to work with so here goes:

I'm about to drop this car off to the restoration/body shop to have the following things done:

1) Reassemble car
----a. I'm asking the shop to reassemble the body properly. I want every panel perfectly aligned, all door gaps correctly shimmed etc. I'm not hesitant to spend money on their time to get this 100% correct. I've seen cars 'restored' before where panel gap is absolutely atrocious.
----b. As you can see from the photos, the car has a new DSE front sub frame. So there are really no reference points to begin reassembly, so it won't be easy.
----c. The fenders, hood, front end, doors, bumpers are all off the car right now

2) DA sand body down to bare metal (doors, hood, fenders, roof, trunk, quarters, bumpers etc.) down to bare metal.
----a. This car HAS BEEN painted once before in the mid 80's so I have to assume there's the original paint on the car as well to get through

2) Repair any significant rust issues
----a. I'm pretty certain this really won't be an issue. So for the purposes of the thread lets assume there's NO RUST to repair

3) Smooth fire wall
----a. I want the firewall smoothed. I don't need the shop to worry about a/c, heater core, steering column. I just want them to cut out the factory firewall and smooth it.

4) Cut out damaged drivers side cowl door section and replace with OEM part

5) Spray car in epoxy primer
----a. I'm NOT HAVING the shop get it 'paint ready'.
----b. Bondo work, filler, seem coat, all of that type stuff is going to be MUCH further down the road when I get it painted.
----c. I just want it reassembled, gaps corrected, sanded, and put in epoxy primer so I can store this thing in my garage while I do what I need to over the next few years

Some things to point out:
----I have all of the factory sheet metal from this car (including rust free inner fender walls).
----I have a perfect OEM front core support and new door hinges for the car
----I'm NOT HAVING them put the wheel fares on the car
----All the parts to the car are already properly labeled and marked which should help them out a little bit

Attached are photos of the car in the shape they will receive it.

Can you give me an idea of how many labor hours you think they'll quote?
Attachments
4.jpg
3.jpg
2.jpg



Top Contributor
Posts: 5787
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: Pahrump NV.
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 9:31 am
Yikes! a lot going on in that post. I will take a shot at Panel Gaps:

These cars NEVER had perfect panel gaps NEVER!!!! they can get close they can get acceptable but perfect? no! Not from the factory never happened, your gonna get gaps filled with filler that's cut and sanded that can and will crack and break off OR add metal and filler to get gaps perfect.
Is it cool? ya I guess if you wanna geek over gaps if your into that sorta bragging right BUT in my opinion Perfect panel gaps is total BS created by body shops that want to drain your wallet promoted by Show car clowns and magazine BS and Forum Keyboard warriors, Its your car and your money. I would rather Geek on Flat strait Panels myself.

Also these cars should have engine and transmission installed with weight of car on its wheels when aligning Doors fenders and front end.
Think about it, they get it all aligned looking good then you put the thing together a few years from now only to find out the Doors wont open or close BUT the gaps look good!!!!
Good luck getting them to eat it down the road.

How many hours will they spend taking their time to get everything perfect That's not possible in my opinion Its a customizing thing depends if they cave and pave or do metal work adding metal every one of these old F body's are their own individuals They were all abused at some point in their lives and as such its not something you can bid unless the one doing the work knows its gonna take longer than he plans and is willing to eat some of it hoping to get lucky.
Its one of those things that It takes as long as it takes.
An experienced tech with F bodys knows he needs the engine weight and car on its wheels beware of shops that say they can do it without.

I wouldn't do it, F body doors are HEAVY! and must be aligned to the body AND the Fenders at the same time you have to throw the front nose on for the weight and the hood and you juggle all at same time to do it right. F bodys are fun to align with very little adjustment available, Have to use shims.
Then to ask a shop to fully align and shim take a measurement of end gap only to have to remove panel for welding? then reinstall and realign? Yes its entirely possible to have to go their if you want metal.
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



Fully Engaged
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:21 pm
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 10:08 am
If someone came in with a car to my shop, and started out with "These guys on the internet said it should cost $XXXXX", my schedule just got really backed up and we don't know when we can get you in.

If you've got a shop willing to take it on and has actually finished customers cars in a timely manner, talk it over with them and decide if it fits in your budget.

User avatar

Top Contributor
Posts: 2246
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:46 am
Location: Canberra
Country:
Australia
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2022 4:04 pm
Good points above.

The question that came to my mind is why a car that looks like it's destined for drag racing needs to have a concourse de elegance finish? Looking at the rear wheels and tyres that thing is going to have a huge engine which will twist the body all over the place every time you even look at the accelerator.
Chris



Non-Lurker
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2022 2:07 pm

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 7:33 am
Good points. And thanks for the input.

To be 100% honest, this car doesn't need 'perfect' panel gap. When I was talking to the shop that's going to do the work they sided with you guys and basically told me that perfect panel gap just 'bs'. It looks good for a few years and then once you beat on it a little bit a door/fender seem will narrow over a bump, clip each other and get ruined (for example).

I should have been more clear: I really just want panels that are 'flush' with one another with 'even' panel gap throughout. I don't need the gap to be 1/8th of an inch or anything like that. You know what I mean...you'll see a decent paint job from 15 feet away, walk up to the car and notice horrible fenders that stick out past the door like 1/4 of an inch. That's the type of thing I want to avoid.

So yeah, the body shop definitely set me straight and thanks for clarifying in regards to the stupidity when it comes to panel gap. I also know cars from back then didn't have the build quality of today, so I'm well aware. I know it's going to take time getting everything lined up (hood, fenders, front end).



Top Contributor
Posts: 5787
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: Pahrump NV.
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 8:22 am
I am surprised then if after all the other work you have done to the car to date that your still willing to farm it out?
Its not all that hard once every thing is on you just have to spend some time playing with it to get it all looking good then finalize your body work.

If I were you I would give it a shot, get it all hung and on and at least try you'll be surprised at least by how close you can get it. Then if you still feel over whelmed run it into a shop it will at least save you some money getting it all hung and on and gaps at least close.

Seriously the hardest part is hanging the Doors in my opinion their big & Heavy! a door cradle on a floor jack solves that, Or you can do what I do and use a cherry picker and some straps to hold it up.

Smoothing the fire wall is a different story but here again If you did all that other work to the suspension sheet metal welding should be easy peezy for you?
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



Non-Lurker
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2022 2:07 pm

Country:
USA
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2022 9:59 am
Doright wrote:I am surprised then if after all the other work you have done to the car to date that your still willing to farm it out?
Its not all that hard once every thing is on you just have to spend some time playing with it to get it all looking good then finalize your body work.

If I were you I would give it a shot, get it all hung and on and at least try you'll be surprised at least by how close you can get it. Then if you still feel over whelmed run it into a shop it will at least save you some money getting it all hung and on and gaps at least close.

Seriously the hardest part is hanging the Doors in my opinion their big & Heavy! a door cradle on a floor jack solves that, Or you can do what I do and use a cherry picker and some straps to hold it up.

Smoothing the fire wall is a different story but here again If you did all that other work to the suspension sheet metal welding should be easy peezy for you?



To be 100% honest I'm beat. I need a break from this thing. I really just don't have the energy to bring myself to the point where I want to get out there and do the body work.

The whole point of farming it out is to fall back in love with it and pick it up where they leave off once I get it back. I'm looking forward to doing the brakes, drivetrain, electrical, fuel system and interior myself once I get it back.

But right now I just need a break and I'm willing to pay for that time off. There's a long road ahead even after it gets back from the body shop.

I have a 22 month old son who takes up a lot of my time, my wife is pregnant with our second child and we're also in the process of building our next house and selling our current home.

The car needs to go off to summer camp and I need a break from it.



Top Contributor
Posts: 5787
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:17 pm
Location: Pahrump NV.
Country:
USA
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2022 2:38 pm
I have been working my F body off and on for over 6 years still not done lol
Every thing keeps getting in the way or giving me an excuse any way lol
Dennis B.
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.

Return to The Pro Shop!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests