How long to finish paint job? - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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How long to finish paint job?

I am wondering how much longer I should expect to wait for my MK4 paint job to be complete.

Here is the background: My Mk4 went to the painter in early September. He is 100 miles away and I chose him because he specializes in Cobras and other fiberglass cars. He even had a FFR Mk4 in his paint booth in the final stages when I visited him. He has a small shop on his ranch and has one full time helper who does the bodywork (although in years gone by he did the bodywork himself,,,, I found this out by reading articles featuring his work in old car magazines). He is known here in Texas and has a wonderful reputation.

My Mk4 went to him with everything removed from the body (lights, wipers, etc). The body, door, hood, trunk, had not been touched by me….i.e. the doors, hood, trunk had not been cut down yet, but they were installed and they fit very close even though they were still oversized. He also had to cut the opening for the scoop. So he had a lot of body work to do before painting.

We agreed to a metallic silver with red stripes. He gave me an estimate of two months and $xx,000. I figured it would probably take a little longer (3 maybe 4 months). He has had it six months now, and is nearing the end of body work and expects to have first primer on it this week. If it does get first primer this week, how much longer do you think I will have to wait for completion? (I don’t think my nerves can take another six months.)


Mk4 Roadster Donor build using 1996 Mustang Cobra
DOHC 4.6 T45 Trans Hydroboost PS PB and ABS
Build in final stages, going to paint end of summer
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 05:36 PM
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If it was me, I would drive out to his shop every weekend past 4 months and "stop in" to check progress...be a pest without acting like a pest, it will give him the message that you want your car back.

Show up in the morning with a cup of coffee for him, maybe a six pack if he makes some progress the week before. By all means...be nice, people tend to work better and faster for their friends. Ask about his family, get to know him...if he looks like he is working, don't stay too long, let him work.

Body men make a living by filling a pipeline of work, sometimes they will accept and put priority on other peoples cars who are being pests too.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-24-2016, 05:42 PM
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It could depend on if he also does insurance work on a regular basis, that pays his monthly bills. Often they will take priority over the project cars.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 03:47 AM
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three months to three years


paint shops are black holes for Cobras

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 05:34 PM
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He quoted you $xx,000.00, and its been 6 months. OUCH!!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:42 AM
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Got a call today from the painter. Body will be ready to pick up next week. He has had it for 14 1/2 months. So be patient - he will eventually have it done.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 04:25 AM
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If your car was next in line, one to two weeks top from the time you dropped it off. You are getting hosed in my opinion. I've been hosed by shops like that before. Nice guy, bla ba bla, lead me on, nickle and dimmed me to death. I feel for you. You are stuck now, take 6t8Darts advice and pray for the best.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 12:02 PM
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Given the fact that I will be needing a shop to paint my roadster in the late fall, I am perplexed by this topic. It seems that getting these cars prepped and painted, has been elevated to something beyond reasonable. I have been following the forum for several years now and the general paint theme seems to say you have to spend at least $5K and open ended schedule to get the job done. Without droning on and on, why isn't there a list(beyond one or two) of reputable shops that can be counted on, to actually get the job done at cost and on time. At Moochfest this month, a number of people I talked to claimed you don't have to pay 7-10k, but when asked for names, they get kinda quiet.
What I would like to find is a list of at least 10 shops here in the Northeast that I could call and pick from. Is that possible? I am standing by for incoming.....

RickinMaine
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:07 PM
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The OP's story is unfortunately all too common. The fact is that most auto body shops pay the bills with collision repair/insurance work, and it will always take priority. Those that will take custom work (many won't) may give you an estimated time for completion, but it will always be subject to what comes through the door for collision repair. If they're honest, they'll tell you that right up front. There are shops that only do custom work, but high prices typically go along with it.

I was pretty lucky. The shop that painted my first build does mainly collision repair and then custom stuff on the side. He promised me 3 months, and delivered within a few days of that. Others that have gone to the same shop took much longer. The shop that painted my second build is a custom shop, and once yours is started, it's the only thing (mostly...) that they work on. You may have to wait in line to get started, but once it does the finish is predictable. Mine was in the shop for three weeks, start to finish. But these are typically high end paint jobs, and expect to pay for it.

The cost for paint jobs isn't a real big mystery. There is roughly 150 hours of work required. Could be somewhat more or less, but it's in that range. Multiple that by any shop rate, from low to high, and that's the range for labor. Materials are also variable, depending on color and brand, stripe or no stripe, etc. The stuff isn't cheap. $1500-$2000 for materials isn't unusual. Expecting a paint job for a few thousand just isn't realistic unless you're prepared to have way fewer hours in prep and lower priced materials along with the final results.

There are of course DIY options, which many have done, for some or all of the work. I've done the basic body fitting, panel hanging and gapping, etc. on my two completed builds. The shops said I saved them "about 2 days" of work. Took me way longer than that (!) but I'll take the sweat equity savings. Most places will not be happy if you actually start applying product to the body though. But be warned. Body and paint is not for the faint of heart. As an amateur, it will take way longer than the 150 or so hours a pro takes. And it's not easy work. Ask anyone that's done it or read through some of the threads on the topic. I've heard of guys taking community college courses and painting their car in the process. That's interesting.

To Rick's point, there are a few places around the country that specialize in these. But I just don't think the volume is there to have a preferred supplier list or something of that sort. Ask around, and you'll almost always find someone locally with at least a little experience. But be realistic about what to expect.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:27 PM
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Per usual, a very well written explanation of the process based on multiple experiences. Since my other passion is restoring wooden boats, I understand the long hours it takes to prep a surface for finishing.

Given the fact that time is not an issue for me, I will take on the job of fitting the doors, trunk, hood and I will also level all the seams. This of course will be done with the body mounted. After that, my goal is to send the body out to one of the TBD high end shops for the body prep and painting. With over $40k into the car so far, I suppose the last phase of the project should not be dollar limited.

Still hoping for a list of shops that will put my mind at ease. I just want to send it off and not have to worry about the end result. Yeah, I know, that just takes $$.

Enough of this crying in my beer, I have a dash to wire!!

Rick

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 01:27 PM
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That's a lot of money and a long time. Painting is my big concern too as it seems as though unless you can get to Jeff Miller or Jeff Kleiner, one is at the mercy of the painter. While I understand the cost of $7-10k depending on different factors, the time to complete the project and all the reported delays is ridiculous.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 09:04 PM
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Kyle, While it is not a priority at this point in my build, I expect to have found someone after this summers FFR Open House. With that many cars, many from the local area, I can surely depart with a list of painters. Seems as though we need and east coast version of the "Da Bat". Keep me advised if you discover one.

rick
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-27-2016, 01:17 AM
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Stories like this are one of the reasons I decided to do it myself.
Yeah, I never painted a car before but for the cost and time it was worth learning. At least I had control over it.

FFR #7124 Mk 3.1, Levy 5 link, LCA's & brakes, 17" Halibrands, electric PS, SAI, Eibach springs, BOSS 427w, webers, hood louvers, tilt front. Delivered 12/23/09, 1st start 02/19/12. 1st go cart 03/03/12. Titled 10/3/12.

"I'm basing it on a collective interpretation of these particular cars. And whatever the hell I like". The Federalist Patriot
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 06:36 PM
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My last kit car too a year to get painted. These are not normal scratch and spray kind of jobs. The most important part of a paint job is the prep. I found a great guy in Sacramento, CA who knows how to paint fiberglass cars. He will not start painting till the car is ready. This just takes more time. At the time, we just had kid number 2 and dropped off the Earth anyways. I did keep in touch with the painter and would go inspect the car every month that I could. The end result came out great. There were a couple of lines on my car that were a bit off and he sanded them all down and then remade the lines to be straight from front to back. He did this from his OCD, but also how I kept talking to him as a friend. I never pushed to get the car back till it was done and done correctly. The funny thing now is that we have become friends over the years.

I now know why the hot rodders call sending your car to paint as, "Paint Jail".
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2016, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamrCobr View Post
He has a small shop on his ranch and has one full time helper who does the bodywork (although in years gone by he did the bodywork himself,,,, I found this out by reading articles featuring his work in old car magazines). He is known here in Texas and has a ............... reputation.
Did you get your car back yet?
Are his initials DB? If so, yes, he does have a reputation.

FFR #7124 Mk 3.1, Levy 5 link, LCA's & brakes, 17" Halibrands, electric PS, SAI, Eibach springs, BOSS 427w, webers, hood louvers, tilt front. Delivered 12/23/09, 1st start 02/19/12. 1st go cart 03/03/12. Titled 10/3/12.

"I'm basing it on a collective interpretation of these particular cars. And whatever the hell I like". The Federalist Patriot
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