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Re: [T3] Body Work (kinda long)


Re the recent discussion about doing one's own autobody work on a T3, 
I would respectfully like to dissethe prevailing good common sense that one sees with such monotonous regularity on this list.

I think that one can, nay, SHOULD, do some of his/her minor body work (dings, dents, scratches, minor rust, etc.), priming, and shooting the color coat.  My arguments follow:

First:  Anything is easy if you haven't done it before (it's only afterward that you learn what a bitch it is.)  So, if you have never done it before...

Second:  Pounding on sheet metal is therapeutic as heck after a stressful day, and it sure beats going home and kissing the dog and kicking the wife.

Third:  You will spend the $$$$ not for labor, but for equipment/tools that you will have from then on.  The tab for a good spray gun, hammers, etc. maybe won't bust you, but perhaps the cost for a good compressor will.  Go for it anyway...you can always overinflate your tires every weekend if you own a compressor.  And its running will drive your dog crazy!

Fourth:  You will learn patience, humility, and an enhanced vocabulary.

Fifth:  Your first job will most likely not look as good as that from a professional (read: expensive) shop, but it will be YOURS!  And you can promise the car that, yes, some day you will re-do it.

I did all this about 6 years ago on my '71 Square (even to the extent that I changed the color inside -- including the dash--and outside  from yellow to white).  This summer it will be time for a repaint after taking care of all the recent parking lot rash and one crumpled rear fender.  I was a babe in the woods when I started, I learned a helluva lot, I saved big bucks, I made mistakes, and...I bonded with my ride!  So should, I believe, other people.

Go to your friendly neighborhood library, check out of good book on body work/painting, read it, and then PATIENTLY work on your car.  Don't get in a hurry.  Don't rush the job.  A good hint is to slash all four tires the first day so you can't be tempted to drive the car before it is finished.

Assuming a pure Muirean philosophical stance, I think that do your own bodyinting is achieveable and rewarding.  

Or, heck, just spend a lot of money with the professionals.

Having said all that, I gotta get started on restoring the body of  40-year-old car the first weekend that brings pleasant weather.

I await the collective moans of those wiser and more prudent than I.

Phil
dillard@suu.edu




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