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No offense, but I thought that when I first seen it. Like I said no offense, anything can be fixed but sometimes it's not cost effective to do so.
Unless you are really good or have a friend like "Mr. Welder" then it would be cheaper to start off with a whole different car.
Best wishes to you on your build and I am following it and loving the pictures.
No offense taken.
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this project (time, money, rust, etc.). I thought I was going to clean up my old car, paint it, and slap an LS2 in it. Had I known what was involved up front, this car would be sitting in a junkyard right now.
It's too late to turn back now. Dollars, time, and sweat will have to be spent to whatever degree to make this work. I'm just hoping I don't have to go all of 2013 without having it back on the road. That first smoky burnout will be worth it all.
I just received word that Mr. Welder is ready to send the car home with me. He still needs to do the gas tank mods, and the front fender rust repair, but he doesn't need the full body hanging around for that.
So, now I've got to figure out exactly what my next steps are. Mr. Welder recommends removing all the old seam sealer, having the car soda blasted, putting in new seam sealer, then finally sealing the body with primer/sealer.
Do I really need to remove all the old seam sealer? Can't I just add to what is there with some fresh seam sealer? This is another area where I'm clueless.
Also, I've got to figure out if there's anyone near me that can do soda blasting. Mr. Welder gave me a lead for someone who is supposedly very inexpensive. I checked on sand blasting, and the cost was going to be about $1200. I sure as heck didn't want to spend that much on it, and I don't particularly like the idea of using sand. Soda is much easier on the metal, and also there is less of a mess to clean up.
Anyway, I'm getting my Christmas wish, which is to have the car home for the holidays. Now it's going to be up to me to move things along toward completion instead of constantly waiting on someone else. Kind of scary.
I honestly don't think I could have performed the extensive surgery on this car needed to bring it back to life. The latest news is that the 30-year-old bodywork was just 3 or 4 gallons of bond-o thrown over a wrecked shell. Mr. Welder dug out all the bondo and got the panels straightened and patched as best he could. He said the lower portion of the passenger door was pretty rusty underneath all the bondo, and he came very close to just telling me to get another door.
In any case, I haven't seen the final bill yet, but Mr. Welder said we're "north of 3k". And that's with the old engine and tranny I gave him figured in, as well as a friendly discount. I'm about ready to spit up blood from how deep this car is digging into my pockets.
But, there's the lesson in DIY. Don't want to spend thousands on a car? Then learn some welding.
Again, though, I think it would have taken me years to get the skills needed to do what Mr. Welder has done. So, I have to weigh a few thousand dollars against months or years of extra work. I don't like it, but I guess I had rather spend the cash.
The only problem now is that I'm about to be in the boat with most other guys on this site - I've pretty much drained the resources I had set aside for this project. Now I need to go on a budget to get it finished.
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