Dealing With Body Estimate Fallout

Dealing With Body Estimate Fallout

April 2015 – Body estimate fallout

I’ve struggled with a few realizations / body estimate fallout since my meeting with Bill the body man. I’ve definitely decided he’s the guy, if my last post left any doubt. But as you’ll recall, he recommended I have the car sandblasted before I bring it to him. He makes a good point: with the amount of surface rust and the presence of some body filler, it’ll be a lot more efficient if the car is completely stripped back to bare metal. And it aligns with my mantra of taking known unknowns and making them known knowns, i.e. I know I don’t know exactly what’s under the paint, and it would be best to know what’s there before we begin the bodywork process.

While I can accept that this is probably the right way to go, it presents some complications, namely that I’ll need to basically undo almost all the work I did to the undercarriage and suspension before I can send it to the blasters.  After all, I certainly don’t want sand in my brand-new suspension components.  And all that painting and scraping and cleaning I did?  Useless…it’ll all get stripped off by the blasters.

After I pull off the new suspension components, the next question becomes, “how do I get the car to the blasters?”  After some searching, I found the answer: a body cart.  I don’t need a full rotisserie, thank goodness, a body cart will work just fine.  As it turns out, there’s a company, AutoTwirler, that makes body carts to specifically fit early Mustangs and Cougars (I imagine it would probably fit Falcons as well).  While the cost ($419 at SummitRacing.com) seems a little high, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to sell the thing for what I paid for it when I’m done.

I wish I’d thought through this process a bit more up front; sandblasting is definitely the way to go with a body this far gone, and had I planned to do that from the start, I wouldn’t have wasted a year or so getting the underside sorted.  In fact, had I known more about the prospect of using a body cart, it would’ve saved me a lot of time elsewhere as well.  From all the pictures and reviews, the cart makes it a lot easier to move the car around, and it’s permanently up high, so it makes servicing the underside that much easier.  What I’ll likely end up doing once the cart arrives is mounting the car on it, and then I’ll leave the shell on there until the car comes back from paint.