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bingstudent
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Questions for people that know way more than me ...

So today I was leaving a parking lot and this guy in a van stopped me to ask if I was interested in having some body upkeep done. I let the guy continue, we walked around my auto (which is a bit aesthetically beat up) and he told me he could bend out a rear side dent, fix up my bumpers, and work all the scratches out for $300 and it would take him under an hour. I asked him where his shop was and he told me he can do the work out his van right there in the parking lot, no charge if I'm not satisfied with the result. I didn't take him up on it but did take his business card.

So here are my questions:

1) if this guy can fix up my car's body with equipment out of his van then it really can't be that complicated to do myself, right?

2) what's the best way to work the scratches out of the paint coat?

3) given I have one dent, two beat up bumpers, and lots of scratches, is $300 a fair price for the services offered?

Thanks all!
Old 06-29-2012, 05:46 PM bingstudent is offline  
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Tex Arcana
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More than fair, if he actually does a good to decent job. And he might be the best body man on the planet hitting on hard times, and the job might be what puts him over the hump and onto the road to recovery; or, he could be a duffer trying it out (or trying to buy a franchise), and really sucks. Given the state of the economy and 1% class warfare, this happens all the time these days.

So, the real question is: can you afford to lose $300 on a chance? If it pays off, it's money we'll spent; if not, you just fucked yourself.

Any of that is fixable, and a lot of folks here can tell you how. The question is, is $300 worth it to you to find out if a guy can do it right enough for you.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:55 PM Tex Arcana is offline  
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tegandje
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Sounds like a good deal to me.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:08 PM tegandje is offline  
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illig
 
god no - it's a common grift in auto-parts store parking lots around here

basically, a guy or two get some basic tools (drill, slide hammer, sand paper, bondo, etc.) and prey on people with beat up cars... they'll drill, hammer it out, slap some bondo on and call it a day

it will look about as good as you doing it yourself - plus the drill holes will rust, and the patch will be crappy
Old 06-29-2012, 11:54 PM illig is offline  
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nubz
 
Cut out the middleman and just buy him a rock/8 ball/sack.
Its what he most likely wants anyways.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:15 AM nubz is offline  
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show us the damage to your car you are talking about
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:23 AM grjr is offline  
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[H]ard|On
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Usually van in parking lot body repairs aren't worth doing.

They look like shit and equate to duct-tape plumbing repair. Yes it's a little improvement from 6 feet away, but no it won't look good. If "better" is a relative term to you than maybe it's worth it. I'd rather DIY than let someone on the street do it having seen their typical results.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:03 AM [H]ard|On is offline  
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punisher
 
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It just depends.

At the dealership our used car dept used a "guy in a van" dent removal/touchup paint service, and that guy did nearly flawless work. He was an artist. I saw him spoon out dents in 20 minutes that would cost thousands to do in a bodyshop. Nice setup, professional all the way.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:21 AM punisher is offline  
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[H]ard|On
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punisher View Post
It just depends.

At the dealership our used car dept used a "guy in a van" dent removal/touchup paint service, and that guy did nearly flawless work. He was an artist. I saw him spoon out dents in 20 minutes that would cost thousands to do in a bodyshop. Nice setup, professional all the way.

He's not one of many then. My mom used a van guy for her car, and a friend used a van guy for his truck. Both came out looking about as good as I could have done which isn't very good; and yes I've done for example the fender of my old celica (bondo + primer + color+ clear + sanding etc) with acceptable results, from maybe 6 or 8 feet away

Ps. what dealership? I'm going to guess....... Ford.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:59 PM [H]ard|On is offline  
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