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Post by wokrdan AKA BU Balls on Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:11 pm

So I got the quote back for getting my 74 Malibu taken care of. Here's what Empire State Chassis & Fabrication said:

Restoration estimate Chassi10
Restoration estimate Body_t10

How much of this stuff do you think I could do myself? I know the powdercoating, welding, sandblasting, and painting are pretty much out. Anything else?
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:36 pm

All I am listing is stuff you can with minimal knowledge do

Bushing kit , Shocks (have them here for sale NIB made for the front ), control arms rear (the price for lowers you can get the whole set) and if you look a little more into it he is charging you to chem strip and then to strip with media ?? Sound like the chem strip OR the media would be enough not both

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Post by Limey SE on Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:37 pm

you can also do the hinges your self

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Post by The Dude on Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:43 pm

A lot will depend on your own personal skill levels so only do what you feel confident in doing. Replacing the control arms, ball joints, & shocks is a no-brainer. Should be able to do the suspension bushings too. Sandblast & refinish rear end..... if you look at the hours involved, you would be saving money by getting a cheap blaster & some sand & doing this yourself. You might be able to do the brake lines if you are confident enough.

Chemically strip to metal? Sounds like a job for aircraft remover. I'm with Limey on getting double charged. One or the other.

Technically you could do all of the grunt work like sanding & priming, but it's a matter of how much money do you want to save vs how well do you want it to turn out? Not saying your quality won't be as good as theirs, but don't expect a refund if the paint turns out wavy.

If you know how to weld, you could do the trunk floors too.
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Post by Bill's 74 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:03 pm

Dude, the company my wife works for is doing a job in Malta.

I agree with what has been mentioned by Limey and Rago.

In addition, how much do you want THAT car? For that kind of cash you could buy at least two nice turn-key 1974s. I was looking for one in far better shape than the one I bought, but I have lots of experience and tools, and I knew what I was getting into.

Please note that not many 'quality' painters will paint a car that was prep-ed by a 'do-it-youself-er'. Even if you find someone and there are issues, they will not fix it for you after you take the car back.

A few things to ask yourself: Do you want THAT car? Do you NEED a frame off resto? Do you need the car to be that perfect? What will the car be worth when its done, both with a full resto or with a fix-up and paint?

Even with all the time, money, and work I have into mine, I would buy a better one if one came along then sell this one. The ONLY 74 I would keep is my first one if I ever found it.

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Post by laguna454/4spd on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:34 pm

that's a lot of cash ola if they are good that's too much but if they are great that's about right what yah gonna do ? i am dong my 74 guna because it was one i owned way back when and its a rare bird but i hope to do a lot my self other than sand blasting the thing and body work i tore mine down in just a couple of days to this Restoration estimate Garage23 started on it last week and here i am today going to sand blast the frame my self but wouldn't recommend the body because you can really screw up one fast if you don't know what your doing like warp a panel to the point its no good that's why i am letting the body shop do the shell and fenders door etc.
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Post by IndyG3 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:44 pm

I don't know...on one hand, that is a big chunk of change for a Malibu. On the other, you could be getting a very professional (no idea if who you got quotes from is good or not, so let's assume they're pro's at it) restoration that could potentially save you some money in the long run if any fixes you make don't hold up well. You could probably negotiate that price and do the simple stuff yourself. The real question is do you think that car is worth that much money to you.
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Post by pila on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:02 pm

The truth of the matter is, our '73 to '77 cars just don't bring the big bucks that say a '70 SS 396 Chevelle does. Doing the work yourself has to be a labor of love in order to justify your time in such a project. And even with all the equipment you might need, it takes a LOT of time. My current project has been ongoing since May of 2009, with an average of 4 days a week on it, and I have all the equipment. The cost estimate you have would be about the same for a different year/car, so that's likely about right for the work involved. And there are likely some shops that would want even more for that job.
If it's not all rusted to hell, you don't need a body-off project. My '74 Malibu had very little rust, and I just cleaned, scrubbed, and used a wire wheel on the bottom of the body and the frame etc to prep it for prime & paint. I used aircraft stripper on the whole body, down to bare metal. A good way to start fresh with new paint. etc

My Elco project was a body- off, but I likely wouldn't have had to do it that way. ( but I'm a glutton for punishment) Very Happy

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Post by ant7377 on Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:13 pm

If you have the dough and love that car go for it. I would do it on my 77 Monte if i needed too in a heartbeat, Ive had it 20 yrs so its the sentimental value as well.If it was yours from new then definately. If its just a car that you have or aren't very attached to then maybe just get it looking nice and acceptable to you.
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Post by pila on Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:36 pm

Yeah, I feel that way also. I've had my Malibu since 1990. Not likely gonna part with it very soon. My Elco project is gonna have a lot more bucks in than it will be worth, but that's just the way it is, and I'm OK with that. At least when we do these cars, they end up the way WE want them.

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Post by Laguna Budman on Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:29 am

Well said Pila. I really don't think that was a bad estimate but as you well know a person can save alot just doin as much as you can on your own. I;m saving alot of time and labor costs just 80 grit da in all my body parts. It's gotta be done but it's technically not body work so my painter is fine with it. It was basically saving him time to.
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Post by wokrdan AKA BU Balls on Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:11 am

The thing that got me was the estimate covered the body and the chassis, but didn't include re-installing the engine or ANYTHING for the interior. $6K sounds about reasonable for the chassis though. At least now I have a list of what needs to be done though. The car is under a tarp in the driveway until next year. I really don't have anywhere to blast it myself as we are renting a townhouse and it would piss off the neighbors and landlord. I've got less than two years left in the Navy and then I'll be getting a place with a garage to keep it in for the winter, but for now, it has to go through this and next winter outdoors. I'm still trying to finish putting the engine back together, but got set back on that due to shoulder surgery. The gave me 2 weeks off, so I was like, "sweet, now I have time to put it together," but then I realized it's kinda hard to torque bolts with only your left hand.
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Post by pila on Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:58 am

I understand your situation, and encourage you to hang in there with that project. And these cars certainly wont lose any value, and may even gain value in coming years.
And serving in the Navy is very honorable. Thanks, from an old Army man Very Happy

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Post by JB2wheeler on Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:37 pm

I hope you have it stored the right way. JB
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Post by abajc3 on Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:54 pm

make sure that condense doesnt form under the tarp, it can be worse than if the car was sitting out in the rain.

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