The DIY Body Shop

Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by ultrabike, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Yup. I never dreamed I would have to fix a bumper that had a diagonal > 10" split.

    The back story is that > 9 years ago I got rear ended and the bumper was diagonally split in half about 40% of the way. It was taken to a body shop which apparently did a great job. But a few months into the repair, the bumper developed a bulge close to the trunk and eventually the whole repair fell apart. Clear coat began to bubble. Paint started to flake off. And 2 years into the repair the bondo-like compound cracked badly.

    Took it to another body shop in Santa Ana, and for a little over $500 things look great again. Things again fell apart 2 to 3 years after the repair.

    A few months ago things looked so nasty that I grabbed a screw driver and began to take the whole bondo-like compound out. It seems they fixed the vinyl reasonably well, but whatever they put in there did not adhere. They probably did not put adhesive promoter to the repaired vinyl.

    Anyhow, I was not going to put $500 - $1500 on body shop repairs on a 9 to 10 year old car. I didn't have much to loose so I watched some Your-Boobs videos and proceeded. I don't have pictures of before. But here are the after ones:

    Bumper fix. Like I said, the vinyl repair was not bad underneath it all. I just sanded it all after I went ape-shit with the screw driver, applied the adhere promoter, the Bondo stuff, and then sanded a lot more:

    BackCar.JPG

    Side fix. Side was another repair where bodyshop shit-job bondo compound held, but paint did not. And yes, I need to fix the front lights with a full kit coming down on Monday since the quick and dirty sand/toothpaste anti-yellow-dull headlight approach does not work well nor does it last given the need for a new sun protection coat:

    SideCar.JPG

    Bulge around the trunk fix: Used a heat gun and pressed down with something at several places in the bulge until nice right after sanding and before using the bondo stuff.

    Anyhow. Recommended products:
    1. Sanding: Some cheap random sander with all kinds of grits + really fine hand sand paper grits: 800, 1000, 2500 and 3000.
    2. Repair Kit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CEJKE6/
    3. Adhesion Promoter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007UAXJQ
    4. Primer: Some car-paint primer stuff from HomeDepot. Use the darker one for darker colors. I bought the lighter one and had to do more paint passes to fully take care of it.
    5. Paint: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DZ88JB3/
    6. Clear Coat: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043B7UQY/
    Stay away from the Duply Color clear coat. It's really bad. So bad, I sanded it out. Used the two part USC spray suggested above. It's reasonably good. Use mask when doing paint and clear coat.

    The paint is not going to match exactly. I heard stories about different factory batches, factory temperature, humidity and whatever. Half ass believe that, because different cans of paint from the same Duply Color manufacturer match each other reasonably well. They are slightly lighter than the original G2 color of the Fusion 2009. That said, I painted the whole bumper and IMO one can barely notice. I did originally painted the bumper partially, but blending did not worked well and proceeded to go all the way. That worked.

    Moving on to polishing now.

    BTW: I ended up paying for all those chemicals proly about a little over $100 or close. But it was less than the bodyshop (+ another 1 to 2 year disappointment down the road again), and it was a relatively fun experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Y'see, what I worry about is spending a few hundred on the chemicals and tools... then screwing it up and spending the $1500 at the autobody shop.
     
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  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    LOL! Me too. I did it because I went through the autobody shop 2x and got screwed 2x (*head-down, not-mad tone*)

    Also, the car is > 9 years old and I was not taking it to the shop again. So it was DIY or not do anything. If it didn't work I had no issues with a sad looking bumper. You guys know I'm cheap.

    The good news is that things came out alright IMO for maybe $100 - $150.

    Another thing that encouraged me, is that I also recently repaired the rear window whose controller just broke on it's own. Basically, the window fell down. I already had that repaired 3x on the front windows for >$250 each trip. I was about to had it repaired, when I got the quote: $1700. WTF! that's over 50% the blue book price of the car! That dishonest shop was the end of the line. So screw it, I fixed that also for about $60 in parts. Happy with the results as well.

    In other words, I'm getting tired of getting screwed by the repair shops. I'll try to minimize that as much as possible.

    Again, things like this happen sometimes when the car is > 9 years of age. Motor is good, and it has < 100,000 miles. It gets me to work. :)

    EDIT: Possible I'm also going through mid-life crisis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Speaking of DIY body shop, Costa Mesa has a fully stocked makerspace which includes a garage with hydraulic lifts. Monthly membership fee is insane though, but could be worth it for everything they have.
     
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  5. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    "Basically, the window fell down"

    As soon as I read that, I thought 'bet it's a Ford'. Sure as shit...Yes, I've had my own wonderful experiences replacing those POS window regulators in my F150. Even the rear door windows that have literally never been used eventually give up, there's a loud bang, and as you say, the window falls down. Fuck.
     
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  6. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Exactly. This car gets used almost exclusively for work commute because even though wife picked the color, she hates how it drives.

    I get the front windows, but the back windows never get used. One good day I am on the I-5 freeway with my carpool buddy from work, and we hear this loud cracking sound. We go "Oh Shit!". The back window regulator broke.

    *sigh*

    That said, my carpool buddy had a Lexus or an Infinity (Dunno why but I get those two confused), and the window regulators gave the ghost a few times as well.

    It seems this is common these days.
     
  7. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    This one?

    https://urbanworkshop.net/

    LOL! yeah. $125 - $175 a month is quite a bit of cash.
     

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