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Discussion Starter #1
I'm ready to start the body work on my Cougar, and I really don't know what I'm doing. I think I know just enough to get myself into trouble. I bought a couple of books, but I think it is difficult to demonstrate proper auto body techniques with just a few words and pictures. Are there any good auto body videos out there? I've found Kevin Tetz's Paintuation DVDs at Eastwood, but are they any good?
 

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hows your paitence level? its not overwhelming but it is tedoius, and the spraying is a artform if you have never used a spray gun
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm pretty patient. I haven't decided if I'll spray it myself yet. Considering what a good gun cost, I'll probably just take it to a pro. I plan on striping it, installing a patch panel, taking out all the dents and aligning all the panels. I'm looking for something that describes proper hammer and dolly techniques, the proper way to use body filler and glaze, and good block sanding techniques.
 

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Best thing you can do is practice on junk yard stuff. I found that I picked up painting quicker than bodywork but maybe that's just because I enjoy painting so much more.
 

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Best thing you can do is practice on junk yard stuff. I found that I picked up painting quicker than bodywork but maybe that's just because I enjoy painting so much more.
I agree with this info 100%. Painting is EASY compared to the art of great bodywork.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

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Adam, good luck with your body work, but you are going to learn stuff that you never wanted to know!!!
 

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Adam, I just spent the last few months on mine, this orbital sander was the best time saving tool I had:
http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/sanders/6-inch-self-vacuuming-air-palm-sander-98895.html
It works great on filler and flat spots but the 67/68 body style requires alot of block sanding in a cross hatch pattern \\\ ///
on most panels.
Autobody101 forum is good also Kevin Tetz's forums http://leopardsystems.com/paintucationforum/index.php
for help with tips and techniques. Good Luck!!
 

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Thanks, guys. Now for the tools. I was looking at this hammer and dolly set at Summit, http://www.summitracing.com/parts/APT-5510/ . The price is hard to beat. Is there something special about the more expensive sets?
Yes there is something special about the more expensive sets, it´s all in the balance and weight of the hammers and dollys, the more expencive ones is heavier so they hammer out the steel in a much better and easier way, has better balance so they are better to hold and use, there are miles between the function on a real cheapo set and a great quality set
 

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I would suggest you take a class or two from a local community college that has an autobody program. The one here offers one for hobbyists that don't want to have all the certification junk, just a good overview on how to really get good smooth finnishes, use different tools, approach various types of problems, and you get to practice using a well equipped shop. Ours will let you work on your own car as you go through it too....not a total repaint, but prepping and some final finnish work.
 

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that porter cable is the same sander I used to sand my 67 down to bare metal. Wasnt the factory paint job, but i used 40 grit to get most of it off, then went to 80 to clean it up. Worked great and its bulletproof. I am now doing filler work and removing small dents and learning just like you are. You could take a class, that would get you the best results, but Im more of a jump in and do it kind of guy. Basically its what you are after with the finished product. If you are going to be happy with a garage style restoration and on the cheap with the satisfaction of doing it yourself, then have at it. But, if you are new and expect a showcar, then practice practice practice or break out the check book. Either way, you end up with a nice looking cougar you will be proud of.
I have been doing so much research and have friends that have restored cars, so I enjoy getting out there and tearing into it.
Good luck and have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks for your advice. My goal is not to build a trailer queen. It will see a few cruise-ins, Wednesday night drags, and the occasional road trip, but the chances I will ever show it are slim. In fact, it kind of bothers me that there is a rating system on the garage pages. Do you really want to judge a project car in progress? Anyway, I'd like to do as much as I can myself. I find it very relaxing.

It looks like there is a night class at the local community college next semester, but since I was in NJ for 5 years, California wants me to pay out of state tuition rates for a total of $924 compared to $144 for state residents. To be considered a state resident for academic purposes I have to have lived in CA for one continuous year prior to the start of the semester. Unfortunately, I will only have been back in the state for 354 days by the first day of the semester.

Back to the question of tools. What would be considered a good hammer and dolly set for a hobbyist? Is this set from Eastwood okay?
http://www.eastwood.com/7-pc-body-and-fender-pro-set-fiberglass-handles.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Merchant-Centre&utm_campaign=Google-Merchant-Centre
 

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You could check out a high school that has a auto body shop program, then talk to the instructor advising him of your interest/concerns. Ask him if he has student that is good enough to spend a few nights with you providing HANDS ON methods. I did this years ago, and leaned a lot, and also found a good helper when such was needed. The instructor might also know of a FORMER student that is interested in extra work after hours from his regular job in a body shop. Pounding out dents WITHOUT some good knowledge of what you are doing, CAN lead to bigger issues.

I wish you well,

Dale in Indy
 

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A little caulk - a little paint - you can make it what it ain't! LOL that'll rub out!! No more than 1/8' thick was the rule, easily doable these days with the tools we have available. If you have long shallow dents a stud welder can be your friend for sure! So can a good suction cup for that matter....you can use it for glass work too.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was thinking of making big fender flares and a hood scoop completely out of bondo. They'd hold up, right? And I always like tail fins....

I wouldn't even think of drilling into a body panel (unlike one of the previous owners). I was looking at a cheap stud welder from Chicago Electric on eBay. I know, I know Harbor Freight tools suck, but for the price, they are nearly disposable. I am not going to open up a professional shop. I'm just here to have a little fun. I do have a 4" suction cup that works really well for large shallow dents on flat panels (and glass).

Is this hammer and dolly set worth purchasing?
http://www.eastwood.com/ew-7-piece-professional-hammer-set.html
 

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that hammer and dolly set will work, Im no pro by anymeans, but you can have the best hammer and dolly set of all time and unless you know what you are doing, very possible make the dents worse. Just start start with light taps, you will be surprised how soft and moldable the metal is.

I use a set from harbor freight... it was cheap and I used it when I could get behind the panel. It worked well on some, others I didnt even try do to fear of making it worse. But, some of these are light dings and possible hail damage. Nothing a little Rage Gold filler cant take care of.
Good luck!
 
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