Body & paint recommendations- left coast...

JFLLincoln

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Hi all, finally thinking seriously about bodywork and bare metal respray of my 1971 2800 CS (Baikal)... car has been on the west coast all of it's life, has had some accident damage from first owner (I'm the second owner and have had the car since ~1981). I think the car is pretty solid but has with some of the usual problems... I've got water leaks into the cabin from the front, some delimitation of veneers at the corners of the windshield, some rust on floors but they're still solid... I've got the rocker covers off and inner rocker panels seem solid.

I don't want to do full-on nut and bolt restoration, want to properly correct any rust issues that are present, correct deficiencies from previous body work and end up with a presentable driver quality car, not a concours-quality trailer queen.

I'm in Seattle and looking for a shop with solid E9 experience to do the body work (and hopefully paint too)... I would deliver the car to the right shop rather than pick a local shop without E9 experience... any thoughts on where to take this project would be greatly appreciated!

Jim
 

Markos

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Subscribed!

I plan to do the metal work myself and hopefully have my father in law respray. Good to have a backup plan also. Also, if the shop has experience with front/rear glass that would be helpful.
 

m73

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Do a forum search, I have posted a before about a shop in SODO area. He does not do e9's, but he did a repair on my car and I believe there were some lotus and mediocre Ferrari's.

Good luck with your project....

MF
 

Sven

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Jim,

There are not many options up here for shops with e9 experience. I know of one - Eurotech up in Kirkland. Mark has worked on bunch of these over the years. However, he is reluctant to give any cost estimates for the work and based on some other member's experiences the work has had some issues. I believe BimBill had his coupe painted there. IIRC he had to take the car back to have some paint work redone. In the end it turned out quite nice. If you are not on a fixed budget and make your expectations clear then they are an option. I suspect most shops up here would be reluctant to give you an estimate before they opened the car. California has many more options but then it makes stopping by the shop to check on progress, etc. difficult for you.

Last year I had a coupe engine bay prepped and painted by these guys in Redmond.
http://www.queencityautorebuild.com I am not sure of their metal work skills, as this was just painting (but nice). I don't recall the name, but could did it up if your interested.

There is a shop east of Salem, OR that does nice body work. They had a coupe in there last year being restored.

good luck,
 

bimbill

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Jim,

As Sven mentioned, my car was prepped and painted by Eurotech in Kirkland and there were a few somewhat minor issues when I first got it back from them. Not to go into too much detail, but I think there was some personnel turnover at the shop about the time my car was being finished. The result was a few imperfections that needed addressing. That said, Mark agreed the items needed to be fixed and did that without any argument and no charge. His integrity is beyond reproach and I wouldn't hesitate to use him again.

The description of your car sounds very similar to what mine was like when I started and although the car had almost no rust, it still needed about 275 hours of body work and prep to make things look the way I wanted and that was before paint work. I was after something that was as close to perfect as possible. Something that wouldn't look out of place at Legends and I think I got that.

For reference, take a look at Execmalibu's comments on the recent for sale thread (Cheqeured Flag cars) regarding body and paint costs in SoCal. I think many of us, when first contemplating a full body restore and paint, assume it can be done for a lot less than the reality of modern body shops. I'm not saying you couldn't find someone local who could meet your requirements for less than full retail. There is occasionally a small one-man shop that will do "completes" for less than the going rate. They are usually very slow and in the end the result might be OK or might not.

PM me if you want to have a more in depth conversation on this.
 

execmalibu

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Bimbill (Bill) how much was the cost to paint your car in Seattle vs LA

Bill,

If my memory serves me well I think I might know the previous owner of your Coupe:confused:?

OH yeah now I remember it was ME!


Just for comparisons sake what was the restoration charge in the body and paint shop in Seattle?

Around that time (3+ years ago) I restored the exterior on my CSi that had just a drop of rust and some minor rear body damage. John Esposito charged me $18,000 plus rubber and chrome... They did NOT strip the car to bare metal...

Notice the stripped to bare metal Coupe behind my CSi... That is the white car that Jeff Tighe restored. John said the cost was around $34,000 to do a bare metal respray with metal finishing... Esposito also did custom metal work inside the tunnel so that a 6 Speed modern trans would fit. Jeff upgraded that car with a modern ultra high performance M3 S54 engine.
 

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OCCoupe

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Paint and body are the scariest process of restoration, I wish I knew then what I know now.

First you should decide the scope of work you want to tackle. Do you want a rotisserie repaint? Just a cosmetic exterior? Color change? Do you want it to go to bare metal? Bare metal is obviously the most challenging and costly. It will reveal all the issues with the body; but if done correctly is the best way to discover and deal with rust.

I am in the middle of a coupe restoration. I opted to take the car down to bare metal, twice... The car was stripped to the last bolt. I attached the chassis to a set of dollies made specifically for the coupe and then sent it to the media blaster. After that it went to the body shop for minor rust repair and a lot of massaging. 2.5 years 2 paint shops and almost $30,000.00 later I have what I hope is a quality paint job.

My recommendations are as follows:

Go to some local car shows and scope out the cars for what you feel is a paint job suitable for your coupe. I would go to classic European and hot rod car shows. Interview the owners and tell them what you are trying to accomplish. Ask them about their experience and if they would use that paint shop again. What I want to hear is more than one person's experience with the same shop. Narrow down your results based on what you've heard. I would not listen to what they tell you they paid. After you have collected your data then select which shop(s) you want to interview. Ask them to look at your car and to give you an estimate based on what you want done. Ask them what paint they prefer and why. A lot of people get caught up on brand name paints which are obviously good; but what is most important is what brand the painter is most comfortable and experienced using. Many paint brands are now requiring the use of their primers and other chemicals. They are now calling their paints "paints systems". By doing these they are not only guaranteeing sales; but they are also controlling quality and reducing their warranty rejection rates. Take a look at the shop to see if you like the facility. Is there a lot of work, does any of the work look like its been abandoned? Do they have other like cars they are restoring? I would ask him for a realistic timeline and what they expect out of you. As for payment, I would arrange for a stepped payment plan. Define the completion of a phase and pay when that phase has completed. 1st payment at start, 2nd when the body work is complete, 3rd when its time for paint and 4th when it is time for you to received the finished product. Make sure you have an inventory of parts and ask if you can photograph the process. One thing they must do prior to painting is do a shoot out of the color so that you can approve it. You will then own the color so be sure that you are happy and not settling on the color. This is a project that you should share with the body shop. Work with them and don't annoy the hell out of them.

Some things to remember, you need to supply them with photographs of the schutz line at the front and rear of the car. Make a list and photograph the parts that you deliver to them. Body shops tend to loose stuff. Give them all the parts they will need when they need it and don't make them wait for you to find the part or order it when you discover you can't find it. I would ask them to re-hang the doors, trunk and hood. I would give them 4 headlight covers and 2 fuel doors. Make sure they fit the fuel doors. You don't want to go tweaking fuel doors to fit after you've had them painted. Have them fit the bumpers to your car to make sure they fit correctly to the body. Have them fit your headlight grills, tailights, and turn signals. This is a great time to decide if you want to delete your side markers. One last thing, the paint will shrink a bit more after the car sits in the sun, ask them if they will do a final cut after the paint shrinks up. This will make the paint job look more glass like and also will let the painter know that he might want to shoot an extra coat of clear so that he has enough material to work with for the final cut and polish.

Please keep in mind that even the best paint shops have comebacks. There is always something they missed. Don't be too upset if they missed something small or you find a fish eye in an odd place.

There's a lot more to remember and do. I am sure that others will chime in with their experiences. This is all I can remember for now.

Oh and if the guy sounds like a salesman, run!
 
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bimbill

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Good advice from OCCoupe

That is one of the most comprehensive set of guidelines I've seen. Well said.

Jim, I was at a local shop that specializes in 2002 maintenance and restoration work yesterday and the owner said many of his customers have used these guys to do complete paint jobs including some rust repair:

http://americanautopaintingandbody.com/

One of their "completes" was in his shop and while it was not up to Eurotech standards it was very presentable and was done from bare metal with some rust work for about $8500. It sounds like this might fit your requirements and budget and while they might not have E9 experience as such, they are familiar with older BMWs.

As for my experience with Eurotech, I am completely satisfied and wouldn't hesitate to use them again. The above mentioned 02 shop also has customers who have used Eurotech and came away impressed and satisfied. They wanted a no-excuses result that could win at a local or national car show and they got it.

Jeff, for your reference my body restoration and paint totaled $24,000 and that was with the shell delivered to Eurotech, plastic media blasted and on a dolly.
 

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