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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry everyone, but I need to vent. I welcome constructive opinions as well.

I took my car to a guy who has done bodywork for about three decades (since I don't have the tools or experience right now). He doesn't work solely on classics, but has restored a few ponies from the ground up. I asked him to just take care of the rust and a couple of relatively minor cancer spots, as well as some adjustments on the doors since he's there. That was six weeks ago. :eek:

He's charging me a reasonable hourly rate, but has elected to only work on the car occasionally (when the planets seem to align to his liking). He had originally implied that he would have it no longer than a week. Now the car is all apart and he's not returning my calls. I stopped by today and loocked at the lack of work being done, but he wasn't there.

One of my biggest complaints is that he doesn't seem to be respecting my ride. Although it does need a new paint job at some point (which I can't afford right now), that doesn't mean that I want the car treated like a piece of junk. I've found scratches on it. I've found him leaving tools and car parts on or against it. I found a footprint on the front (above and behind the right headlight) and bunch of paint chips where it looks like something fell against the vehicle. Needless to say my temper is beginning to boil. :mad:

I found another guy that is supposed to be excellent. He restores these cars for a living and has people send him cars from all over. I don't know what his pricing is, but he's looking pretty good right now.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading my rant. I needed to let someone know who would appreciate my situation. I welcome any thoughts.

btw, he's going on vacation in a week-and-a-half and I want my car back before then. I'm also worried that I'm being charged for him having to fix a few of his own mistakes.

Help! :frustrated:
 

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Is this a professional shop, or just some dude doing it out of his garage? if its just some dude, you probabally could have an a$$ ripping laid out for him... if its a company, you could do some BBB action and file a small claims suit on it. not that it will get your car done quicker though.
If it were my car I'd come completly unglued. Even if it were a piece of junk, its my piece of junk- and thats the whole point of fixing it; so its not a piece of junk anymore.
 

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I can feel your pain...

But its really not a good idea to do body work (especially rust repair) UNLESS you go all the way to finished paint as part of the process. Its nearly impossible to evaluate the work for fit without painting it (primer hides defects), and unless the car is kept in a completely dry environment the entire time, water can invade (including the new work - primer is not the same protection as enamel).

What I HAVE found will work is to do the work a panel or component at a time (assuming money is tight). Keep the car in secure, dry storage, and take the guy 1 panel at a time.
 

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Wow. That's so messed up. I would be out of that shop as soon as possible. Just get all of the parts together and go somewhere else. If you get angry with this guy (like anyone would be) you might not get as good of a job as you wanted. I'd take it to that other shop. Sounds like a good place and it's probably well worth the extra dollar or two. Sorry to hear about that man.
 

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Do you have anything in writing saying when he would be done and the price?I would find someone else even if you lose money you learn sometimes.Most body work can be done with a simple set of body hammers and dollies.Its a art forum can be learned in a month or two.Look up eastwood company they use to have videos on body work.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Let me complicate the situation even further for you...he's the father-in-law of a friend of mine. He's also well known in this area (born and raised), whereas I was not born and raised here. Essentially, it could be a bridge that I would regret burning, at some point.

I am going to have him put on a single-stage paint over the repairs until I can have the real finish done.

It is being done in his garage. He used to own his own shop but is going to retire in a few years.

Some of the body work that I'm having done is from a small collision (in a driveway) that happened many many years ago. The kind of work that a professional really needs to do.
 

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What I see is a problem with getting your car back from this guy. He can prevent you from getting your car back if he has a mechanic's lien against it. This means that you're going to pay him whatever he wants for the services he has done to the car. You may be breaking the law by stealing your own car if he isn't paid. What a jerk. The best thing that you can do is to find a way to get your car as far away from this guy as soon as you can. It sounds as if he just doesn't give a sh!t if he finishes it or not. He can't turn a quick buck on it.
 

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I went thru a similar situation getting my 67 finished. The painter origianally said 3 months, I got it back 18 months and many thousands of $$ later. What I learned (I eventually had to get a bit nasty at the end) is you have to make it clear, with no ambiguity, what you expect, and what you will do if your expectation are not met. You need to see the guy face to face, explain what you are concerned about. Then (this is the key part) you need to tell him what you want (exactly what you want done, and when you need it completed (be reasonable on this, but be clear). Then tell him that if he can't meet your needs, fine no problem, you can go elsewhere. but make it clear that if he can't do what you expect, that you will go elsewhere. You have to be crystal clear, and then it will be up to him to agree or not. Keep in mind if you do walk, you may have to pay him reasonable funds to cover the work already done, but if the the job is not finished, you should not have to pay for finished work.

good luck!
 

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i would enlist the help of your friend who is related and explain the situation and then both of you go over there with his wife aware of the problem and see if cool heads and minds can straighten the situation out. wes
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good news. The message I sent him yesterday (or something) must have gotten through. When I arrived today he was actually making some pretty good headway on it. If all goes as planned I'll have it back next week.

As far as the scratches and chips...that's going to be a bit more complicated.

Thanks, guys! :happydancer:
 

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Glad to hear its moving along Will, but this is EXACTLY why I do all of my own work, even if I do it twice its ok by me because I learn and i dont care who you are, you seldom - if ever- get what you pay for and have to deal with this very situation. good luck my friend
joe
 

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Yeah i learned to do it all myself its cheaper and i get it how i want it.I think for a mechanic's lien you have to have a contract or something in writing saying whats being done.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Joe, I'm quickly transitioning to your viewpoint. After researching online, and watching some of what this guy did, I'm beginning to feel a lot more comfortable. In fact, I think if I had a little more time and practice (eg welding) I could do a better job on a lot of it. I just need some of the tips and tricks that are learned over the years. For what I'm paying this guy, I could probably get some of the equipment I would need to work on it myself.

I am still doing a lot of the work myself. Just left some of the welding etc to him.

I was going to comment that it would take me a lot longer than him because I'm so particular...but at the rate it's been going (or not going), maybe not. :gringreen

Joe, I was trying to recall...when you repaired your fenders did you do but welds, or flange welds? Just curious.
 
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