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My 91 RC has rust around the liftgate and above the windshield. I've had it fixed twice. Both body shops used bondo and the last guy said there wasn't much left. Can't new sheetmetal be purchased or fabricated and welded in? Are the bodymen I've dealt with just too lazy to do the work the right way?!? I had a heck of a time trying to find the two that would even do the bondo repairs. I never told them money was an issue. They just don't seem interested. My last repair is starting to go and I don't want to keep throwing money at it for a 6 month fix. I also don't want to scrap the whole vehicle if it can be fixed right. Anyone out there dealt with repairs like this?
 

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Can't new sheetmetal be purchased or fabricated and welded in?
Yes.

Are the bodymen I've dealt with just too lazy to do the work the right way?!?
Yes.

If the sheetmetal is REALLY bad, you can always have a new cab-top welded on. If it is not horrible a good bodyman can cut out the bad portion and weld and contour new sheetmetal in. Bondo should only be used for FINAL smoothing, and should never be more than 1/16" thick (ever.)

I would find a new body shop. Bring a magnet with you when you look around for a new shop, and ask to see some of their work. If they won't let you look over the vehicle with a magnet, leave. If the magnet will not stick to the vehicle where it was repaired, leave.

My .02

-SM
 

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Slanted_Mind said:
Can't new sheetmetal be purchased or fabricated and welded in?
Yes.

Are the bodymen I've dealt with just too lazy to do the work the right way?!?
Yes.

If the sheetmetal is REALLY bad, you can always have a new cab-top welded on. If it is not horrible a good bodyman can cut out the bad portion and weld and contour new sheetmetal in. Bondo should only be used for FINAL smoothing, and should never be more than 1/16" thick (ever.)

I would find a new body shop. Bring a magnet with you when you look around for a new shop, and ask to see some of their work. If they won't let you look over the vehicle with a magnet, leave. If the magnet will not stick to the vehicle where it was repaired, leave.

My .02

-SM
I agree on all counts.. There should be a shop that knows how to actually do the repair.. Perhaps when you talk to them.. make sure they understand that you're wanting it FIXED and intend on keeping the vehicle. You are not wanting a patch done to get it sold. Sounds like that was all they did each time.
Aaron
 

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I was told a while ago that the top of the windshield can be VERY expensive to fix right!! Basiclly has to be rebuilt as thats not a "replaceable" part.
 

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phoenix827 said:
I was told a while ago that the top of the windshield can be VERY expensive to fix right!! Basiclly has to be rebuilt as thats not a "replaceable" part.
Phoenix827 is right.
If the rust problem above the windshield started from, or has grown into the area in behind the windshield molding, then it could be a colossal pain to get rid of. The lip surrounding the windshield opening ( that the molding attaches to ) is normally a seam where the outer roof panel and inner bracing come together. If rust has started to rot the seam out, it's a pain to fix so it lasts, but it can be done. The windshield, headliner etc. will have to come out… mask everything off and try and blast/cut all of the rust away before you start replacing metal. I'm in the process resurrecting a rotted Suburban and I'm at the point where all of the new panels have been welded in, painted and it's in final assembly. If I was going to do it over again, I shove it off a cliff and look for a rust free vehicle. It might be easier and cheaper in the long run to just sell it and head to Arizona for a shopping trip.
 

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K.C. said:
phoenix827 said:
I was told a while ago that the top of the windshield can be VERY expensive to fix right!! Basiclly has to be rebuilt as thats not a "replaceable" part.
Phoenix827 is right.
If the rust problem above the windshield started from, or has grown into the area in behind the windshield molding, then it could be a colossal pain to get rid of. The lip surrounding the windshield opening ( that the molding attaches to ) is normally a seam where the outer roof panel and inner bracing come together. If rust has started to rot the seam out, it's a pain to fix so it lasts, but it can be done. The windshield, headliner etc. will have to come out… mask everything off and try and blast/cut all of the rust away before you start replacing metal. I'm in the process resurrecting a rotted Suburban and I'm at the point where all of the new panels have been welded in, painted and it's in final assembly. If I was going to do it over again, I shove it off a cliff and look for a rust free vehicle. It might be easier and cheaper in the long run to just sell it and head to Arizona for a shopping trip.
Half the fun is fixing them-think about how you will feel once it is done and you can drive it down the road-Pure pleasure.
 

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Good point ….Yes you are right, taking on a task like that and doing a good job can give you a real sense of accomplishment. It can provide lots of entertainment and excuses to drink beer. Although, if it is a major undertaking, you just have to make sure that there is enough of you’re sanity left at the end of the project so that they will let you keep you’re driver’s license!
 

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You could always make it a "soft top". :D Just imagine having the only RC convertable in town!

I would go to a slavage yard and see if there is a donor with a decent cab-top, and have them cut it off (about 1 foot more than you need, you can always trim the replacement section) Then it is just a matter of finding a body shop with a competent welder.

-SM
 

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Slanted_Mind said:
You could always make it a "soft top". :D Just imagine having the only RC convertable in town!

I would go to a slavage yard and see if there is a donor with a decent cab-top, and have them cut it off (about 1 foot more than you need, you can always trim the replacement section) Then it is just a matter of finding a body shop with a competent welder.

-SM
That's hitting the nail right on the head.. minimal fabrication.. just requires some good alignment and a welder that doesn't warp the metal.. and you'll be good as new.. If they're really good.. You may even get by with just a dab of filler in it as well.
Aaron
 
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