Damaged van back from paint shop

More of an art than a science - discuss metalworking and welding here.



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:27 pm
Hi,

A while ago I sent my stripped full-frame-off van off to the professional paint shop to have it:

Sand blasted
Zinc thermal sprayed
Primed
Painted

The car was in perfect condition with no rust and panel damages whatsoever. Because the van is 35 years old (40000 mi original) and I want to keep it the next 30 years as a daily driver I wanted to treat it with the best solution incl sandblasting in the appropriate areas, zinc thermal spraying for maximum corrosion protection and onwards with a 2K epoxy primer, paint and clear coat. I made my research and settled for the best professional painter (I believed) who offers both blasting, spraying and painting in the same shop. Of course we agreed on the fact that blasting and spraying could only be performed on the strong parts of the panels: Weak, large areas would only be sanded before being primed and would thus not offer the same corrosion protection.

Now fast forwarding and to make a long story short:

I pulled the car out of the project from the paint shop because they had done so much damage to the body that I couldn't stand it anymore. They had no clue what they were doing and I discovered errors each time I visited them.

I delivered a van in perfect condition with absolutely no required body work, and this is the result I got back (blasted, thermal sprayed, primed + lots of bondo):

Image


I have 2 major issues:

a. They sanded (not blasting and not spraying) the roof with a power sander without the arch supports with the result that the roof turned into a bath tub (literally). After the pop-up of the roof, the sheet metal is now wobbly and destabilized. I believe that the mechanical pressure coupled with the heat generated by the sanding process made the roof wobbly. It is evident that the panel has been stretched a bit across the width of the van.

A video of the situation:
https://youtu.be/4ijsimtkUbI

b. As an error they used 1mm steel grit (with a very high density) and sand blasted the panels from the inside out resulting in panel bulges below the windows. Originally we agreed that the van floor had to be blasted and thermal sprayed and during that process the blaster hit the weak panel from the inside resulting in inward bulges below the windows. Without consulting me, they covered up the mess with 5mm (almost 1/4 inch) bondo.

A video of the situation:
https://youtu.be/jxQ6EdkRjoM

Question: Can anyone guide me in a direction on how to fix these problems? I need to know something about these processes on how to fix it. At the moment I feel I cannot trust any painter or body work shop due to the fear of even more damage. I did my homework in choosing the right place, but ultimately it failed anyway.

Lucas

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:43 pm
Have you considered suing the shop to cover your damages?
If you want to do this yourself, you are going to need to get some understanding of working with metal.
Oil canning, metal shrinking, and panel replacement if you hope to get it back close to where it once was.
Read the sticky post in this forum as there are some very detailed explanations.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=18781
1968 Coronet R/T


ACTS 16:31



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:38 pm
I feel for you, you had the makings for a real nice project now someone screwed it up. I think I would defiantly seek legal assistance, if only to get compensation to be able to fix or get the body fixed if possible. how would you put a price on a 40,000 mi. van thats nearly impossible to replace.
Jay D.
they say my name is Jay



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:56 am
As for legal assistance:

No, I will not sue him and/or seek legal assistance. In this case it is my impression that I will spend more money and time getting even. Mentally I moved on. When I saw the damages the first time I became almost speechless and got physically ill. I seriously stronly considered driving the body straight to the metal press and sell it as scrap metal. The 1h driving home was very unsafe I would say. I consider this the most expensive lesson learned in my life but I am looking forward and have put this incident behind me. I learned so much from it and learned exactly what to do next time in order to avoid such cases. This was the very first time in my life that I did a restoration in collaboration with a professional shop - and everything screwed up.

The biggest error I made: I went to see the car before it was finished (sarcasm). This makes me conclude that most people in this world are receiving cars with a nice paint job but all the damages are covered up, and they just dont know what really has happened to their car.

Lucas

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:56 am
The hard truth of the matter is that in most cases customers really don't want to pay to have a vehicle restored properly.

This produces shops that promise the same results for a lot less money. People tend to think the higher priced shops are just ripping them off (which some no doubt are) but quality work does take more time and better/costly materials.

The 1962 Chevy Truck I am working on in the projects section is a perfect example. It looked great when he got it back from a "professional" shop in California but in just a year or so the paint began to crack. The filler was over 1/2" thick in some places and the metal patches they put in were terrible. (I will posting a picture of another one later today.)

Metal working is an art in my opinion. The guys that produce restorations with no filler work are amazing but it costs a lot of money. One guy I know won't touch a job unless the owner has 100k to put into it but his metal work is the best I've seen.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:10 pm
bikemaniac wrote:The biggest error I made: I went to see the car before it was finished (sarcasm). This makes me conclude that most people in this world are receiving cars with a nice paint job but all the damages are covered up, and they just dont know what really has happened to their car.

Lucas


Lucas
No the biggest mistake you made WASN'T going to check on your property!
Trusting some one to do what they say and be what they claim was.

Just my Opinion but only trust a restoration shop or persons which openly documents and posts restorations and their progress online!
If they are not open to show there progress openly and publicly OR show their work how they did something openly on line they have something to hide! plain and simple.

There are many experienced metal men and home Preservationist that perform work way beyond the scope of what a conventional body shop has time for.
This type of work is best left to a perfectionist rather than professional body shops.
There your own research is invaluable tool as is a full discussion as to how what when and what if is very important as is what kind of work will be performed numbers matching restoration or a custom build with any perspective person you may wish to employ on any project.
I wish you the best in any new project you may take on

PS

There are many good Metal men on Metalmeet.com as well as here on this sight and there are many others out there such as the HAMB network aka the Hocky **** message board with members in DENMARK I might add, perhaps there is some one local to you that could help you salvage your project and get it back on track again for you???

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/

http://www.metalmeet.com/
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:30 pm
bikemaniac wrote:
Question: Can anyone guide me in a direction on how to fix these problems? I need to know something about these processes on how to fix it. At the moment I feel I cannot trust any painter or body work shop due to the fear of even more damage. I did my homework in choosing the right place, but ultimately it failed anyway.

Lucas


Hi again Lucas
At the moment your metal has been Sandblasted with an UNKNOWN material, It would have been better to use Soda in my opinion. any way the roof has been blasted from the out side resulting in millions of dimples shrinking the panel material, replacing the roof skin would be best way to repair it. the same can be said for the sides of the van The metal could be worked by hand but would be cost prohibitive.
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:57 pm
Doright wrote:At the moment your metal has been Sandblasted with an UNKNOWN material, It would have been better to use Soda in my opinion. any way the roof has been blasted from the out side resulting in millions of dimples shrinking the panel material, replacing the roof skin would be best way to repair it. the same can be said for the sides of the van The metal could be worked by hand but would be cost prohibitive.


What you are stating is not correct. I do know what the sandblasting media was: Steel grit. Another big error - steel is 3x heavier than sand for instance. Moreover soda blasting would not give the desired effect for the subsequent thermal spraying. Thermal spraying needs are really gritty sharp edged surface in order to have successful bonding. Soda blasting would never work. The roof has NOT been blasted from either side at all. It is simply a result of applying to much mechanical pressure from the power sander and not moving it covering large surfaces in order to reduce the heat. I suppose they sanded in very small spots to bare metal before moving to the next spot.

Lucas



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:59 pm
Doright wrote:
Lucas
No the biggest mistake you made WASN'T going to check on your property!
Trusting some one to do what they say and be what they claim was.

Just my Opinion but only trust a restoration shop or persons which openly documents and posts restorations and their progress online!
If they are not open to show there progress openly and publicly OR show their work how they did something openly on line they have something to hide! plain and simple.



Hi Dennis,

Thanks for your comments. You hit an interesting spot that I did not describe in my primary post:

When I discussed the project with the painter/blaster I demanded to see the work once the car was ready for blasting, thermal spraying, painting etc. I told him I wanted to visit his shop and see the result of blasting and thermal spraying - also in order to verify that they would treat the areas of my interest. This demand was simply out of my personal enthusiasm for this project. He agreed but told me he would call me on short notice 1-2 days before they would commence on the car. That was fine with me. I also told him to not rush the project and use the time he needed to do a proper piece of work. This entire discussion was verbal man-to-man and not written on paper.

I delivered the frame-off car and said goodbye

After a long period of several weeks (maybe 7 weeks) I haven't heard anything from the painter and called him to check on the project. On the phone he told that they just finished blasting, spraying and priming last week and I could come and see the car now?!?!?!?!? I was speechless and shocked. I trusted him to call me - but he never did. I figured it was not the time to complain now - maybe they did a good job. Within 2 days I arrived at the shop, saw my car and got physically ill. At that very moment I realized it would be worthless to get angry - these people simply dont have the skills to fix the damages. I was so shocked I really couldn't think clearly - I should have had a buddy with me. I chose to stay calm, drive home and let it digest for a while. Onwards it never became better why I pulled the car back home.

So basically I did what you, Dennis, told me to do :-). But it "#¤% up anyway.

Lucas

PS: I saw his previous work in the shop and it looked very nice.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:47 pm
Well I have never seen a Panel so damaged by mechanical sanding before ? How they managed to damage your panels so bad by sanding is beyond me. I have never seen a panel so damaged by regular old mechanical sanding. To me it sure looks like the panel has been blasted and damaged by blasting plain and simple. And in my own defense if you were not there when it was done how do you know what they did except for what they are telling you!????

You said steel blasting material was used for the material used I read that, In my own defense To me this is an UNKNOWN material here in the States I am not aware of any or familiar with any type of steel material available that is used for auto-body blasting besides Black Beauty witch is actually Coal Slag.
Just because I have never seen it or heard of it before does not mean it does not exist! It just simply means It is unfamiliar to me.

I am also not Familiar with the term Thermal spraying???? Please elaborate?
Thermal means HEAT the only process which uses heat in the process of Painting that I am aware of is Powder coating.
Now You can Bake some automotive coatings under special lights I have these myself but they are used more for speeding up the drying process not for adding any special hardness or better durability to the coatings.

I am not all knowing by any means and I don't claim to be nor do I claim to be any sort of Restoration expert or Auto body repair man I fix repair restore Aircraft Cars bikes boats quads for my My Employer self friends family and occasionally a customer take my advise accordingly as I am not an Automotive restoration expert.

As far as Soda Blasting goes you are correct it does NOT leave a mechanical tooth for Painting. Soda is very Genital to what ever it is being used on you can even use it over chrome and Glass with out fear of damaging either supposedly so I have read.

Here again I have never used Soda myself But I am planning to start using it for some of my projects in the future because it is so Genital.
In my research of using Soda on any thing it needs to cleaned thoroughly after it is use to neutralize the residual coating of soda left behind on the surface of the material its used on and then it must be Lightly sanded in most cases, I personally would choose 80 grit on a DA sander as I feel it would be ideal to leave required tooth for Primmer or Epoxy.

Soda gets a bad Rap for leaving a residual Coating that interferes with subsequent top coats that must be thoroughly neutralized before top coating by washing it in soap water and Vinegar most people fear doing this for the fear of flash rusting, But if you know what your doing cleaning metal this is easily dealt with.


At any rate I wish you the best of luck getting your Van repaired and back on track
Dennis Barnett
A&P Mechanic, FCC General radio Telephone Operator
Line Maintenance A&P Mechanic and MOC Tech specialist.
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