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DIY Bodywork/Painting - Would you recommend it?

88B2EB

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I bought an '88 Bronco II recently that's in great shape other than some rust spots starting in the usual places that I wanted to get fixed before driving it. No holes visible, although that will probably change after sand blasting. The plan is to fix the rust spots and do a complete repaint in the original 2-tone color scheme.

So is this something I could learn and do on my own or is it better left to the professionals? I did read through TRS's tech page on bodywork and realize there's a lot involved. My ability: I'm an Architect by profession but am always out in the garage in my spare time and enjoy spending a lot of time on the details. I recently did a full motorcycle restoration so I'm fairly mechanically inclined but I've never done body/paintwork. I have an air compressor, sandblaster, and 2-stall garage but understand I'll need to buy quite a bit more.

The issue with a body shop is not so much the cost but finding one I trust. I know someone who spent a lot of money at one and the rust came back within 2 years. The original plan was to have a friend of the family do it but it's been 2-1/2 months already and he still has no idea when he can get to it. I figure if I take it on myself it would be a great learning experience, I'd save some money, and I'd feel more comfortable knowing I got all the rust.
 


country0001

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There are plenty of resources on here that can help you. The Tech Library has a ton of useful articles in it, covering a little bit of everything. Most people on here do their own body work.

I'd try it at least. Good luck with the B2!
 

Pbheadshots

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Well check out my build thread, I've been doing that same thing. Threads in signature.
 

Pbheadshots

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Also when ridding the rust use a product called Evaporust, the best stuff to get rid of rus completely and it's fully safe.
 

PetesPonies

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No one will warrant rust as long as 2 years. usually when just filler is used, 6 months tops. Only way to do it right is cut out the bad metal and weld in new. That is what I do for a living now. It takes time and is expensive. You have to decide on what the car is worth . . does it warrant paying someone to do it right?? To me, sounds like you have a vehicle that you could give it a try. They are not very valuable and you have to learn somehow.
 

88B2EB

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No one will warrant rust as long as 2 years. usually when just filler is used, 6 months tops. Only way to do it right is cut out the bad metal and weld in new.
Yeah, It wasn't really a warranty issue, just that he paid to have it done right and found out 2 years later that the shop had bondo'd over the old rusted metal. That's the issue, I feel like if I take it to a shop I just don't know.
You have to decide on what the car is worth . . does it warrant paying someone to do it right?? To me, sounds like you have a vehicle that you could give it a try. They are not very valuable and you have to learn somehow.
The Bronco's really in nice original condition and I expect to have it for quite a while so it's worth it to me that it's done right. If it isn't reasonable to think that I could learn and do a good job on my own then I won't even attempt.

Thanks guys for the comments, more welcome...
 

PetesPonies

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Well I used to teach autobody as well, so if you have any questions . . . .
 

88B2EB

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Thanks Pete that's good to know:icon_thumby:

Maybe some pictures would help keep the discussion going:







Here's the bike in case anyone's interested in seeing an old Water Buffalo:

 
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Shran

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The rust in the second pic is hiding a hole and the bubble above the fender in the 3rd pic probably is too. Looks pretty clean otherwise.

What I would suggest is go to the junkyard and pick up a couple body panels that have some rust damage, and cut sections out of them to build one good panel (just as practice.) That way you have some idea of what you're getting into before you try fixing the rust on your B2.
 

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The rust in the second pic is hiding a hole and the bubble above the fender in the 3rd pic probably is too. Looks pretty clean otherwise.
Agreed.

Take a look at my Bronco II project:

http://www.broncoiicorral.com/project/bodywork.htm

There I fixed a hole in the fender in the same place using fiberglass and resin.

Bodywork isn't hard, it's time consuming. I taught myself after being unhappy with a 'professional' paint job from a major body shop company.

You can get a decent gravity feed paint gun from Harbor Freight for a reasonable price, and a good body shop supply place will guide you in what product to use. The cans will tell you how to mix it, and at what pressure to spray it.

It's best to get something like an old fender to practice spraying so you know what you're doing.
 

Pbheadshots

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Honestly go for it! Just take it slow with the prepwork and perfect everything!
 

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I like this guys. You guys are doin a great job of encouraging people and helping them out on their projects! Im very impressed with the people on here.
88B2EB keep posting on this I'm interested in it. I've gotta do some body work to my rig but I havnt had the funds to do it yet. If you don't mind I'd like to learn from your project and mine might work out lol.
 

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I've done quite a few paint jobs--not too proud of the first few, but got better with practice. Having a good compressor and spray gun are key. Preparation of the body is what I hate the most--not the sanding, but fixing the blemishes with bondo, etc. I always sprayed arylic urethane base/clearcoats and they work really well. Your garage is going to get dusted pretty bad if you use an old style spray gun--I had a blower rigged up to suck air out of the garage as I was spraying. also, I scrubbed the garage floor and rinsed all the dust from sanding out before I started spraying to keep from getting dust in the paint. Practicing on something you don't care too much about might be a good idea first.
 

88B2EB

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Jim, I read through your thread a couple times already and it was really helpful. A few of you mentioned practicing on a scrap panel. That sounds like great advice and since I have new fenders for the bronco I'll plan to use one of the old ones for practice.

Sounds like it's time to start a build thread!
 

Shran

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I would recommend NOT doing the fiberglass method. Why?... because when you get that fiberglass mat rolled up inside your rust hole, patched up, and painted over...you still have a rusty hole, and the inside has all that extra filler to hold water and dirt, thus making it much easier for rust to form again and turn that small hole into a huge one.

Seems to me that it would be easier to just fix it right the first time than to have to cut all that filler out and start over.
 

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