OK! Rusted Through roof! Total repaint.

RDR89

Apprentice
Jul 25, 2020
61
8
Manassas, VA
So! My new ride 86 GP LE ( thank you ) has a rusted straight through roof and some side rust under an opera window and a little dingage under the bumper.

One estimate was I need a donor roof. 1,000 just to put that on then an additional amount for paint.

Bleh

Went to a junkyard that paints. Saw 4 cars he did, a nove a Monty so forth..

$2,800 for rust repair and redo of the 2-tone paint.

Kean and neato eh??
 

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565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
8,187
113
Michigan
IMO I would look for a hardtop donor car and transfer everything to that.
 
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kustomkyle

G-Body Guru
Apr 14, 2008
635
28
Honestly, it sounds like both estimates are unrealistically low.

For someone to do a big rust repair job like that AND paint it, two-tone on top of that, I wouldn't expect much in terms of quality/longevity. There are cases when someone does good work for a decent price, but don't expect it.

Think about what all has to go into fixing the roof skin by itself (ignoring the rust at the base of the vynil roof on the quarters). Pull vynil and trim. Remove drip rail moldings. Remove windshield and rear window moldings. Remove windshield and back glass. Remove headliner (and everything that has to come out first). Realistically, they should remove the whole interior to prevent damage/fire, not to mention cutting/grinding/welding smell is awful, and your interior will smell like that if exposed. Then they have to drill out spot welds and strategically cut and remove the roof skin, then repeat on whatever they are getting the replacement metal off of. Prep, grind, hammer/dolly flanges and remove (likely) checked original lacquer and/or surface rust from the donor roof. Reweld the 50 or so spot welds, butt weld the seams. Grind, fill imperfections. Etch prime, fill prime. Block, sand. Seal, paint. Reinstall glass (IF it came out ok and doesn't need replaced as well). Reinstall trim. Reinstall interior.

Then there's the rest of the car and all it's imperfections, disassembly/reassembly. Not to mention all the labor in making patches for the other rust (that's not part of the roof). Realistically, just like on the donor roof, the aged, checked old GM lacquer paint needs to be stripped to bare metal, etched, filled, fill primed, etc.

For $2,800, although that's a lot of money, I wouldn't expect much. For quality paint and materials, that's about what you should expect to pay for...paint and materials. If you can do it yourself, it's always going to be much cheaper. I honestly think they would fiberglass the rust and do a poor paint job for that much.
 
Last edited:

RDR89

Apprentice
Thread starter
Jul 25, 2020
61
8
Manassas, VA
All good points.

I will post the after results.

Not looking for a show car. Not having rain inside the car and some paint.

Good enough for me.

Like the informed comments. Thanks.
 

kustomkyle

G-Body Guru
Apr 14, 2008
635
28
It really doesn't look like a bad car at all. Virginia cars generally have rock solid undercarriages. Maybe the roof rusted because it was a coastal Virginia car? There is a 1978/1979 that a YouTube guy was selling ("Cerealmarshmallows") in Southern California, but yet the roof was badly rotten too.

If you had the abilities and found a junker with a good roof, it wouldn't be bad.

I personally watched a black 1985 Grand Prix sit at a repair shop used car lot for 10 years. Looked like a clean original car at first. Then about 5 years after it appeared, I finally stopped to look at it. It was obviously repainted before it was put out for sale, and rust below the 1/4 windows was bubbling back through, as well as in every corner of the hood. Another year or two passed, and you could put your hand into the holes that spread under the windows. Last year, it disappeared. The owner of the shop finally hauled it off for scrap.
 

RDR89

Apprentice
Thread starter
Jul 25, 2020
61
8
Manassas, VA
It really doesn't look like a bad car at all. Virginia cars generally have rock solid undercarriages. Maybe the roof rusted because it was a coastal Virginia car? There is a 1978/1979 that a YouTube guy was selling ("Cerealmarshmallows") in Southern California, but yet the roof was badly rotten too.

If you had the abilities and found a junker with a good roof, it wouldn't be bad.

I personally watched a black 1985 Grand Prix sit at a repair shop used car lot for 10 years. Looked like a clean original car at first. Then about 5 years after it appeared, I finally stopped to look at it. It was obviously repainted before it was put out for sale, and rust below the 1/4 windows was bubbling back through, as well as in every corner of the hood. Another year or two passed, and you could put your hand into the holes that spread under the windows. Last year, it disappeared. The owner of the shop finally hauled it off for scrap.
Well.. the word was from the dude I bought it from that he bought it from the original owner. She let it sit for years which is why the roof rotted on the trim line.
 

08Malibu

G-Body Guru
Feb 9, 2014
636
93
North Jersey
Honestly, it sounds like both estimates are unrealistically low.

For someone to do a big rust repair job like that AND paint it, two-tone on top of that, I wouldn't expect much in terms of quality/longevity. There are cases when someone does good work for a decent price, but don't expect it.

Think about what all has to go into fixing the roof skin by itself (ignoring the rust at the base of the vynil roof on the quarters). Pull vynil and trim. Remove drip rail moldings. Remove windshield and rear window moldings. Remove windshield and back glass. Remove headliner (and everything that has to come out first). Realistically, they should remove the whole interior to prevent damage/fire, not to mention cutting/grinding/welding smell is awful, and your interior will smell like that if exposed. Then they have to drill out spot welds and strategically cut and remove the roof skin, then repeat on whatever they are getting the replacement metal off of. Prep, grind, hammer/dolly flanges and remove (likely) checked original lacquer and/or surface rust from the donor roof. Reweld the 50 or so spot welds, butt weld the seams. Grind, fill imperfections. Etch prime, fill prime. Block, sand. Seal, paint. Reinstall glass (IF it came out ok and doesn't need replaced as well). Reinstall trim. Reinstall interior.

Then there's the rest of the car and all it's imperfections, disassembly/reassembly. Not to mention all the labor in making patches for the other rust (that's not part of the roof). Realistically, just like on the donor roof, the aged, checked old GM lacquer paint needs to be stripped to bare metal, etched, filled, fill primed, etc.

For $2,800, although that's a lot of money, I wouldn't expect much. For quality paint and materials, that's about what you should expect to pay for...paint and materials. If you can do it yourself, it's always going to be much cheaper. I honestly think they would fiberglass the rust and do a poor paint job for that much.
Honestly, you can’t get a scuff and shoot for that price. Materials are probably half the budget alone.
 

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