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Hello,
After Interruptions from work, school and deployments, I am finally ready to begin a real restoration on my 70 XR7 Convertible. It is in decent condition and has been garage kept for 20 years. It didnt take much to mack it drivable, but now i want to get it back to a good condition. I have a schedule and plan to strip it down, and then send it to a body shop for some pactching and panel replacement and structural integrity verification. fter that is done, I plan to do all the mechanical work myself and then send it back to the body shop for paint. I want to replace the floor pans for sure, and the rear quarters may or may not need to be replaced. Problem is, no one near me in western PA seems to want to do the work, let alone see the car for a quote. Im getting frustrated with getting a pleasant first contact, and then no call back. Does anyone know a relatively local shop in PA that does a good job and wants to do the job??
I am beginning to think that my best option is to buy a good welder and learn to do it myself.Heck I may even paint the thing myself since I am tick at my local shops. I am mechanically inclined and have a great garage with access underneath to do the work as well. Any good books or videos on the repairs that I am thinking of?
Thanks
 

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Lots of good books out there....sounds to me like you've committed to the idea of doing it yourself. I think you will find it way more affordable - no doubt. I did everything myself, but I ended up taking it in for the paint job after I botched it twice (1200 clams down the drain)! I'd say leave that to the pro's, since they have the right shop/equipment to get it right the first time. You can have it ready to just shoot and save yourself some major bank. Look at it this way - you can buy a mig and all tools for less than paying a shop to do it. Then you'll what you need for the next project.....cuz you know that's how it goes. Let us know how it's going.
 

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You would save the most money if you did all the body work yourself. There is a lot to it though so you need to research and keep asking questions. Talk to your local paint and body supply shop people> I found out the most information from them...they are the pros. For me I am doing all the body work myself plus primer and for the final paint I am not risking it in my dirty shop so I will trailer it down to a paint booth and have them spray the color and clear coats. Might even have them buff and cut cause it looks like a pain. Also, it's how much work and time you have to put into the car. If you want it done as fast as possible you better be out working on it just about every night because it's a very slow process. I wanna see pics by the way.......
 

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You are going to find that your current typical body shop doesn't want to work on your car. These shops are far more interested in collision work. Our cars require more time and expertise as compared to the thin metal cars of today. We tend to be more picky about the quality of the work on our cars. I know the Ford dealer, back in January 1970, probably got tired of seeing me every other day when they did some collision work on my Cougar. You need a shop that pretty much limits themselves to our kind of cars like restoration shops. Yet they are few are far between. You will also find many production shops do not want to do full body paint jobs. Definitely the case out here.
 

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Some good replies here so far! I've been in and out of the biz for 35 years and now do it as a "serious" hobby, aside from m "real" job. I totally agree with the collision shops not wanting to do it - but even more important - you don't want THEM to do it. I've seen and hear about bodyshop nightmares all the time. Some will take a resto in, then sit on it forever, have the worst apprentice on it and then - after they've taken your money and time - give it back to you half done!

I say do it yourself. Every year most major car magazines do body and paint issues. This is the time, so watch out for them! CarCraft, PopularHotRodding, FastFords, etc. They'll go over pan replacement, quarters, welding, filler and even paint. Of course the internet and YouTube is a great resource too. Do the parts you want and can do and maybe have a pro do some parts you can't or don't want to. Best of all, take your time, think it through and have fun!
 

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351coug,

i know a guy that is in danbury connecticut that does great work and knows cougars as well. If you want his number PM me and i`ll send it to you and his name. He is a good friend of mine and will do your car right and has the correct parts to do your car.

thanks
pat
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you very much for all the replies! I look forward to following your advice. I think I'm leaning towards doing it myself for now. It seems like the most affordable and rewarding course of action. I didnt think of you tube but I bet there are some good how to videos on there so thats a good idea too. I'll keep an eye out for the magazines too. I'm probably going to research some good welding equipment this week as I want to get started soon. I hate not being able to drive it. I will put some pictures up as well. I think maybe I can add in the garage section? I have looked at places that offer the whole floor pan, but im a little worried about finding the quarter panels . Ill have to do some more hunting .
 

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Hey, I was just reading your thread and thought I would pass this thought along.

Check your area CraigsList for out of work body men. With this economy you might be able to get a good deal on having someone else do your body work, and maybe even paint or paint prep.

On the other hand, nothing can replace learning how to do the work yourself!

Oh, you might also ask those shops that don't want to do your job if there is someone they can recommend. They might point you toward that old school body man who only advertises by word of mouth, or somesuch.

Good luck!
 
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