what questions should I ask the body shop when I get an estimate?

Oliver Closehauf

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This is one of those prep for the future posts.

I'm going to need at least one cab corner, inner and outer rockers on the drivers side, inner rocker on the passenger side. And I'll put a new bed on it so it will need paint and any body work the bed requires. Also the passenger fender has rust in the wheel arch so that needs replaced too.

I have a body shop I will probably use that's less than a mile away. They did some work on my Mustang 30 years ago. They were straight up. Shop is still there and has expanded. So I think I can trust them if they decide to take the job, but as a totally **** control freak with trust issues, what questions should I be asking?

Once we agree on an estimate, I plan on gutting the interior before I take it there for actual work, so I already have that on the list to see if that will reduce the cost.

How long is the estimate good for.
Do they warrant their work and how long.
Where do they get their parts.

Anything else you all can think of I should ask?
 

GTyankee

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you will have to know if your cab is
Regular
Extended
Mega

( I think Quad Cabs have outside handles on the rear doors )

You mentioned cab corners, is that Rear or Front

new parts sources are:

&
https://www.millsupply.com/index.php

Mail order companies like LMC, would almost have to buy new parts from Raybuck & MillSupply

then the Auto Recycling Yards
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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I'm expecting to have to use their sheet metal sources, but I appreciate the links.

Rear driver's side cab corner is the only one I see that has issues.

I'm not doing these repairs. I don't have the skill. And I don't have the facility (building, voltage/amperage). I want this to look good and last forever, as much forever as I have left anyway.
 
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Lyle Longboat

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I’m currently doing my body work. I just finished the rear bumper/tailgate. I’m starting on the driver’s side floor, rockers inner and outer, both cab corners, and both rear wheel arch panels. I did the front fenders and just have to apply body filler, sand, and paint them. I ordered my cab corners and rear arch panels from a parts store in southern Ontario. The outer rocker panels I bought off eBay and the inner rockers I’m making out of 16 gauge steel plates. Mig welding everything in and using body filler to smooth over.

2005 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad cab 5.7 4x4
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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If I already had a place to do it, I'd probably do it myself. Unfortunately I'll have to rely on someone else. Believe me I don't like that situation, which is why I'm looking for questions I should ask.
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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I just watched a few videos of a guy (lakeside autobody) using SEM to glue panels in place instead of welding them. He just did a rocker panel. It's glued and riveted.

I could do that. Not saying I'm going to but if I'd know there was a glue strong enough, I'd have been doing this on other projects. I've actually tried this but had crappy results because of the type of adhesive I was using. He seems to be having great results, but it's just sitting there.

I just wonder how it holds up? I don't want the seams cracking a month later.
 

Lyle Longboat

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Idk, I saw that as well, gluing the panels on. Most likely works well as I see guys using this method instead of welding. I’m learning how to weld and taking a course this fall so I thought I’d get going ahead of the course. I know the basics as taught by my father.
 

Lyle Longboat

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If I already had a place to do it, I'd probably do it myself. Unfortunately I'll have to rely on someone else. Believe me I don't like that situation, which is why I'm looking for questions I should ask.
My work is done outside my shed on the ground lol. But yes, having the option for someone else that does this on a daily basis is the better option. I don’t have that option here so I’m teaching myself as I go.
 
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Oliver Closehauf

Oliver Closehauf

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I had watched a video last year where after cutting the hole for the new panel, they ran a tool along the edge of the opening that recessed the edge for a lap joint of the new panel before welding. That tool would be ideal for gluing in a panel.
This guy gluing panels goes in after and beats the seam down with a hammer so it will take filler. That just "seems" wrong.
I've never had body work look good for more than a few weeks. Every time I try it, I think this time it will last. Never does. Looks great for a few weeks and then starts bubbling. This Lakeside Autobody guy is still making videos, but we don't get to see what things look like 6 months later.

As far as welds go, I'd want a panel welded where when its ground down, the seam is solid and not full of holes. Trying to figure out how to approach the body shop with that.
 

tron67j

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The biggest issue I have seen after repairs is rust coming from seams. You need to ask them to seal inside area as well to prevent rust from forming. Also, make sure they weld end to end instead of overlaying metal repair panel on top of existing metal. And they need to cut back to fully clean metal, all rust must be removed.
 
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