Opinions on auto painting companies?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by snoozy, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As some of you may recall, I was looking for a small diesel pickup so I can start making and using my own biodiesel. I found tan one, in great shape, very little rust, etc. Rust is apparently a big weak point in these old Japanese pickups, so I figure an extra coat of paint can only help (providing the prepwork is good.) And since I have a hankerin' for a schoolbus yellow truck, I want to get it repainted. I've been calling around, and the two big franchise outfits, Maaco and Earl Scheib, are neck & neck at the bottom of the price scale ($350-550), but everyone else is way more. One guy gave me a big lecture on how I'd surely be in to have them fix the paintjob I'd get from the cheap guys after a few months. But his minimum is $1600!... So, does anyone have any experiences with auto paint companies?

    Also, just to crow, yesterday I changed the fuel filter on this truck. I have never changed a fuel filter on any vehicle, but I was armed with the workshop manual for this very model. My usual mechanic said the filter was $50, and the labour would cost $60 (6/10 of an hour @ $80/hour) -- $110 to change a fuel filter!!? Yikes! When you start running an engine on biodiesel, it tends to clean out any gunk in the engine, so you have to change the fuel filter often in the beginning -- an expensive proposition. So I got the filter from an autoparts store ($27), and spent 2 & 1/2 hours figuring out how to do it. My hands and forearms are all cut up, but I DID IT! Next time will be much faster.

    Anyone have any home methods for getting diesel stink off your hands? Is there some country recipe like tomato juice or crisco or boiled nettles or something?
     
  2. Hogsubie

    Hogsubie Well-Known Member

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    Basically it comes down to...you get what you pay for.
    There are several reasons the chains have lower prices: big corp to spread cost's, bulk buying power, sometimes cheaper materials, lower wages for less experienced workers, labor process turned into system. I've heard stories on both sides of the coin about the finished product from the chain stores. Regarding locally owned auto painters: Some produce good to exceptional quality finished product. Others are just crooks. Most are the latter.

    The next question is: Is the truck really worth dropping $500 to $1000 on?

    You might consider trying it yourself. You can produce a decent looking paint job if you can do the prepwork. There are several methods of painting to consider as well. Some people have done well with rattle cans. Others have had success with the tractor enamels you can buy at Tractor Supply and farm type stores/co-ops. I've heard the tractor enamel is good because it goes on smooth, has a good even finish and is really tough, holds up well, when dried/cured. The nature of the enamel allows it to almost level itself to create a nice finish. But I have heard too much can produce runs which are hard to smooth out. But the biggest factor is the prep-work.

    It's all in what you want out of the vehicle.
     

  3. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This truck is definitely worth dropping $500 on. And the current paint is in really good shape, just a few rust spots, which I don't want to spread, and I hope to keep this truck for another 200,000 miles. But the tan bores me to death and schoolbus yellow is so very visible (therefore safer.) I don't think I want to do it myself -- I have no dustfree environment in which to do it.
     
  4. DAVID In Wisconsin

    DAVID In Wisconsin Well-Known Member

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    I had one of those $400.00 jobs done on a truck I use to own. I kept the truck about 5 years after the paint job and it still looked good. It wasn't a factory job but for the price difference, I was very satisfied.
     
  5. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Snoozy have you checked with you local Vo-Tech they have a auto class for painting and the cost will be not much over the paint. secondly there are add of prefilters you can install they use a cheap insert cartridge that costs about $!12.00 to buy the add on filter is a inline and is simple to plumb. It installs on the inside of the engine compartment the unit looks like a transmission filter external unit and is basicly the same thing just a fuel filter from frtlnr os mack to fit it. Or try a truck salvage and get a 2 stage fuel filter takes the lubafinder filters you change them every 25000 miles .that what they use in mexico because the fuel has impureities in it.
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    "Anyone have any home methods for getting diesel stink off your hands? Is there some country recipe like tomato juice or crisco or boiled nettles or something?'

    Pine tar soap.
     
  7. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Macco is the WORST experience that I have had in a long time, very bad, maybe not all outlets. However, the one in Vancouver, did a bad job, and helped create a very bad experience (I guess I was the other part of the bad experience - since it takes two to create such a situation - I did not like my reaction to the situation - very bad experience for me - and probably for them - and this was maybe fifteen years ago - so I hope things have changed for the better - they have changed for the better for me).

    Painting a vehicle yourself is great fun, a little filling, a little sanding - prep. is the hardest part - like any reconstruction task, then the fun part several coats of paint and or primer and paint.

    I say have some fun and forget the trouble and contract issues and on, and on.

    Enjoy the painting.

    Alex
     
  8. ShadyLady

    ShadyLady Member

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    My friend had bought a decent car for a great price but it needed a little cosmetics. She took it to Macco for a cheap paint job. They gave her the price quote and she thought the price to be accpetable. When she went to pick up her car they asked her for a little more than TWICE the estimate. They had charged her for prep work, stripping old paint, body work, and so on. They would not give her the car until she paid up. I think they are independently owned and operated, so hopefully this is not standard practice.

    I have to agree with the poster who suggested looking to a Vocational School for your paint job. They are under supervision and are taught quite well. You can really get a good deal on just about anything through a good Vocational school including automotive work and basic carpentry stuff.

    -Heather
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If it's more than 5 years old I'd just paint it myself. Roll it on and you can touch up what ever rusts first as you see it. Macco sux here too, very odd you can't wash your car for 3 months after its "painted". A good job here costs 2k CND easy.
     
  10. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just came back from Maaco in Bremerton, WA. They had their deals posted: $259 for a 1 year guaranteed basic deal, $449 for the 2 year job, $595 for a 4 year job... Oh, but prep work actually costs an additional $120 for the basic or $180 for the better prep work.
    And there is an additional charge for pickups of $75. And an additional charge of $100 for changing the colour. And if you want the door jambs done, it is an additional $75 EACH. And if you want the bed of the pickup done it is an additional $75. And a $13 hazardous waste dump fee. So with tax, I am looking at $757 for a minimum/medium paint job.

    I could see maybe the fairness of paying extra for a pickup if the sq ftg of paint surface is more than an average sedan. But then, if you don't include the pickup bed, that rationale doesn't wash.

    I might see paying $100 extra for painting the vehicle a different colour, except the fact is that their primer coat is a beige/tan just like my truck already is -- they aren't going to need any extra coats to make the colour solid.

    I think the tip to try a voc-tec college is a great idea -- think I'll call around.
     
  11. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Funny you should ask....

    I've painted tractors, but I've never tackled a car.

    Curiosity got the best of me, so a couple of weeks ago I checked a book out from the library that covered the process, complete with lots of color photos. I've returned it, and old-timer's disease won't let me remember the title, but armed with the info inside, I believe I could do a passable job (especially if nobody got withing 15 feet! :haha: ).

    Seriously, if you already own an air compressor and a gun, or can borrow a decent rig, it is well within reach, since you don't have major body work to consider.
     
  12. jacksun

    jacksun Active Member

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    snoozy i hav repainted evything from truck and tractors to cars and trailers you can spend thousands of dollars and not get a good paint job or spend a hundred dollars and get a good one.
    the biggest thing is the prep work and you can do that yourself take a wire brush to the rust spots then some 120 sand paper on a block then wipe on some ospho( this kills the rust if you dont kill the rust new paint wont mean athing it will just bubble back up )then use a good primer if its still rough use some spot putty sand smooth and primer again then you are ready to paint you dont need an air tite sterile place to paint some tarps or an old barn will do a wagner power painter will work wonders and if you use enamel you will want to use a hardner or it will stay soft .
     
  13. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We do own an air compressor...I can rig up tarps aplenty.... (My husband thinks I am crazy to even consider doing such a thing.) Okay, do I sand the entire surface so there is good adherence? How long does it take to dry? What are the different kinds of paint? What do you mean "use a hardener?" Where do I get ospho? And how do you know a good primer from a bad primer?
     
  14. Hogsubie

    Hogsubie Well-Known Member

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    Your next step should be to hit the library or book store. Also start searching some automotive websites. Then go talk with the guys/gals down at the local auto paint store. But don't stop at one, go to two or three to get varied opinions on product and process. Back in high school, my dad, brother and I painted our car a few times (always my bro's fault!). It's really not that difficult, but it is time consuming. We had mixed success, overall the car looked great, but if you got up really close, some areas looked better than factory, other areas had orange peel, with a few runs and bugs here and there. That's when you do do the finish sanding. Time consuming, but fun and satisfying as well. Good luck!
     
  15. jacksun

    jacksun Active Member

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    yes sand the entire vehicle use 220 grit on the good paint you dont have to primer the entire vehicle the old paint will act as a primer then wipe down with laaquer thinner to remove all oil and wax.
    drying depends on temp. and humidity and type of paint.
    ospho is phosphoric acid you can find it in hardware stores and auto parts ospho is a brand name there are others.
    on primer some of the spray cans dont work very well its a try and see type a deal but it should say sandable.
    hardner is used in automotive type paints especially enamels otherwise they stay semi soft you can make marks in it with something hard .
    you need to add the hardner to the paint to make it last .
    your library should have a book on basic auto body dont let it scare you it its not perfect even new cars have flaws in the paint and when someone hits it with a car door it won t matter.
     
  16. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why don't they put the hardener in the paint in the first place?
    What kinds of paint are there? Which is best? (Polyurethane, alkyd, etc?)
    How do you get the lettering off (the 3D trim lettering that says "Isuzu P'up" on the front fender) -- does it pry off?

    My husband says he once painted a VW Bug -- he said, Sure you go ahead...and breathe the horrible fumes, and do all the masking & prepping and then you'll see that the paint places earn their money.
     
  17. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My uncle used to be an highly paid car painter. I asked his advice on painting my car. He said "if you do the preparation work, Macco or Scheib could do as good a job as anybody. The key is the preparation." The painters in the cheap shops paint so many cars they are good at it. He said, "You buy the paint and get the car ready and you'll get a good paint job. If you do it yourself without the booth, the good spray equipment, lights, or experience, you will be lucky to get a great job."
     
  18. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Hello: I had a van that needed painting when i lived in tucson. I did a bit of sanding myself and removed all the trim (had that ugly wood look stuff on the sides). It cost me 100.00 to sand and remove the wood look, then I took it to Earl Shiebe and got a 350.00 paint job. It still looked great 4 years later when the kid rolled it!
     
  19. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I just had my Suburban painted by Maaco. Estimates at private shops ran from I wouldn't do it to $2,000. Maaco charged $700 with tax and the truck is red which is more expensive paint. Like others said if you do more of the prep work you will get a better job. I removed all trim and bumpers. I had one spot I wasn't satisfied with and they redid it with no problem This is the 2nd truck I've had painted by Maaco in 2 different states and I have been satisfied with both jobs. I plan on bringing my Bronco next week for them to paint.
     
  20. ShadyLady

    ShadyLady Member

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    Snoozy,

    I forgot you are in Kitsap County.
    Call the kind folks at Kitsap Penninsula Vocational Skills Center in Bremerton. I forget the name of the road, but its right off of Kistap Way, past the good ole Chiefton Motel (is that place still there?)
    It is (or was!) an *excellent* vo-tech school. They do a little bit of everything up there... really a great school.
    -Heather