View Full Version : Places for bodywork?

05-16-2007, 10:43 AM
I had hoped to have Oleg do my fender repair, but it seems he is not doing bodywork himself these days... outsourcing. :(

Who else would you recommend? Sou'side please. Close to Littleton downtown.

05-16-2007, 03:43 PM

Not sure I can recommend them but Abra Auto Body on Broadway just north of County Line did a nice job on my Durango after the local kiddies decided to see what big rocks on metal would do...

Reason I can't really recommend them is we sold the Durango within 4 months of it being fixed so I don't have any long term report of the repair.

The other place I used was down off Titan road and Santa Fe...Name escapes me but they did the fix up after my deer hitting episode in Ouray. That was in 2000 and 7 years later the repaired area was still perfect. Let me know and I could look up the name for you if you want.

05-16-2007, 07:55 PM
please do NOT take it to abra on s broadway.

i know all the shops in denver and i've seen thier work.:banghead: :bolt:

take it to southeast auto body, county line and colorado. or highlands ranch collision down off s sante fe and titan ct. or bradford auto body in downtown littleton next to the melting pot.

there's also diamond a/b at sante fe and evans
or cherry creek collision (not sure of the address)

i've sold to all these shops and know of thier high standards. :thumb:


05-17-2007, 12:21 AM

Maybe I should warn the new owner :(

It may be ok though...I looked at the paperwork tonight after posting that earlier and remember now that Abra subbed the job out 'cuz they were too busy. So, I'm not sure who did the work as it doesn't state. Maybe that is why the repair looked ok :lmao:

The other place was called Auto Image. Not sure of their rep but after 7 years the work they did still looked great.

I would second Southeast Auto Body based on my dad's experience with them

05-17-2007, 01:53 AM
I used Southeast Auto Body quite a few times years ago. I am assuming that Ken is still the owner, but just moved the shop. The last time they worked on my Honda was probably about 11 years ago. It still looks pretty good sans the clear coat.

05-17-2007, 09:00 AM
Good to know, thanks. Bradford is right down the street from me :D but it sounds like I should get to know Southeast AB too...

05-17-2007, 09:29 AM
bill, if you go to bradford, mickey(not rubicon) is the owner, great guy and his estimater taylor is also top notch. they have been in the same place for a loooooong time.

you can't go wrong with either shop......oh yeah, auto image has a great work ethic also ;)

ask to see thier work first, a shop should have no problem showing you what they are working on.

what you want to look for are the tolerances or space between two body panels. the gap should be nice and even all the way around.

05-17-2007, 10:19 AM
Where my fender is cracking, the 4Runner flexes a lot. It started out as a small rust hole (the only one on the truck!) and I cleaned it out and filled it. Then it cracked, so I screwed it together and refilled it. Cracking again.

Either I cut out the fender$$$ or get it fixed, I don't want the thing to keep splitting. That, and my paint doesn't match very well. So I figger a good shop needs to do some nice TIGging.

Ron Helmuth
05-31-2007, 03:18 PM
Sam's Automotive-I use the guys at Oxford Ave. just east of Santa Fe-across from the Meadow Gold plant, Englewood Rec. Center-but I believe they have other locations as well. Their complex fills about an entire city block at that location. Their body work is excellent and paint work even better, I doubt they are the cheapest, but they are an Allstate guaranteed shop.

I rear ended 2 Ford trucks within 6 months in my youth-both with my '88
Toyota 4x4 van (surprisingly nimble off road-even with only 14" tires) and at the same intersection, northbound Havana at I-70 exit.

Both times Sam's did outstanding work for me, and the 2 repairs were within a couple of hundred dollars of one another, Allstate paid, not me.!!

Owner is Mike Chavez and Larry was the estimator last time I was there. I have used them also for upgrades and modifications but clearly their preference is repair work.

09-21-2007, 03:57 PM
I was recommended Abra on 9100 Pierce St, Broomfield, CO
(303) 427-5003 to repair the Mercury. What is your opinion of their work. They redid John's Liberty when Joy went into insulin shock and went through a few houses, a couple of trees, a few signs, a cable barrier, and probably a few other cars on the road. Their work was fast and impressive if you saw the car after her little "Joy ride". Get it? :D

I called the shop in Broomfield/Westminster and they can look at it but he said no shop in town would be able to paint it because the EPA does not allow Lacquer anymore and it cannot be recoated with any of the new stuff.

09-21-2007, 04:30 PM
My Dad tells me every time I see him (loudly) how pissed he is that he can't get Lacquer. He restores 30's and 40's Fords. And he is old school, he also tells me all the time how he can't believe there are mechanics that don't do body work. In his day mechanic's did everything. According to him, there were no bodymen.

Anyways there is a new paint system coming out, some sort of Lacquer based but environmentally friendly system, no formulas or mixing. Just stir what's in the can real good and spray, then there is a clear coat that can be applied over it.

Saw it sprayed on Gearz, supposedly real easy to get good results, also very inexpensive compared to enamel.

09-21-2007, 04:39 PM
From the web:

In California and an increasing number of other states, lacquer paint is no longer legal because of the contaminants it releases into the atmosphere. Most areas of the country will soon implement the same restrictions to ensure clean air and reduce airborne pollution as the EPA's plan to achieve "national ambient air-quality standards" for all 50 states. The paint police have imposed strict regulations on paint manufacturers and body shops to comply with VOC restrictions.

The California Clean Air Resources Board (CARB) is the enforcer of the VOC regulations, and each bodyshop is required to record the amount of materials used each day in a logbook. The book is periodically checked by CARB and, if the shop doesn't stay in compliance, serious sanctions and fines can be levied against the owner. Therefore, it's in everyone's best interest to be concerned with air quality, particularly since you can get a fabulous finish with today's paint technology while remaining within clean-air standards.

Two-stage (or basecoat/clearcoat) urethane products are used as excellent alternatives to lacquer. Actually, these urethane materials are tougher than the old lacquers and produce outstanding and long-lasting results. This system gives an almost bulletproof surface that will shine for years with a little care.

09-21-2007, 04:44 PM
Mike, it looks like you can find the right paint on the Internet. It's probably still legal to buy and use yourself in the repair and resto of an "antique" car.

Painting a car used to be relatively simple. There were basically two systems: Lacquer (nitrocellulose and acrylic) and Enamel (alkyd and acrylic). Nitrocellulose lacquer was introduced in 1924 and continued in use until the mid-1950's, when acrylic lacquer replaced it and was used by automakers until the early 1970's. Alkyd enamel was introduced in 1929 and acrylic enamel replaced it in the early 1960's. Each system had its pros and cons, but looked good, and was fairly simple to apply.

The purpose of this article is to present two paint systems that can replicate an OEM look for cars 1972 and before, and can be accomplished by the home restorer. First, let's consider lacquer; both nitro and acrylic. The pros are: they're both easy to apply; can be painted with a syphon-feed gun with a 2-3 horse power compressor; they're easy to blend when touching up; and can be painted in a home shop. On the down side: they're not legal in some states; 80-90% goes up into the atmosphere; the paint is fragile and can develop hairline cracks with age; and it's not readily available, generally being found only on the internet or from an antique auto parts supplier.

Enamels (alkyd and acrylic) have the following pros: alkyd goes on thick and glossy, and is fairly tough paint; acrylic when used with hardener can be color-sanded and buffed to look like lacquer; it's more durable, a little less expensive; and only about 35% goes up into the atmosphere when sprayed. It also resists chalking and is available in more colors than the other paints. The down side with alkyd is that it should be sprayed in a paint booth and baked on with heat lamps; and, having a very slow drying time, both enamels are susceptible to runs and are harder than lacquer to apply.

Application: The first rule in any paint system, is to stay with one manufacturer's products. Recently, I was painting a panel with Dupont Centari acrylic enamel. I had used MarHyde hardener and Dupont's second line Nason reducer together before, with no problems. Having them on the shelf, I mixed everything correctly (Dupont recommends 8 parts paint, 1 part hardener and 2 parts reducer, but I have mixed a 50/50 paint and reducer many times with no problems). I sprayed on the tack coat and it looked fine, waited 10-12 minutes flash time , then painted another coat. As I watched, the paint developed small, clear blisters called solvent popping . This can be caused either by trapped solvents in the top coat, or by incompatible manufacturers products. I had to strip the panel, prime and repaint. The next time, I used all Dupont products, made specifically for the Centari system: 1. Prepsol (wax remover) 2. Centari paint, 3. Centari hardener, and 4. Dupont s slow drying (for hot weather) reducer. The paint turned out great! It just proves, when you know what to do--do it! Don't try to cut corners for convenience. Go to the paint store and get the right products.

To apply lacquer: Use lacquer primer and lacquer-based body putty. Two-part primers and putty dry at a different rate than the lacquer, causing cracks in the paint later on. After priming, sand the primer with 400 grit (400 is coarse enough for the paint to bite and fine enough for a smooth finish). Wipe off with wax remover (Prepsol from Dupont; Acryliclean from PPG), then tack rag and spray. Mix lacquer 100% paint to 150% thinner. Hold the spray gun 8-12" from the surface using 35 lbs of air pressure at the gun. Too much pressure will cause the paint to orange peel. Use a medium temperature thinner for the first coats, keeping the gun parallel with the panel (don't fan at the end of your stroke). Put on two double coats with 50% overlap on each coat. Use the manufacturer s recommended flash time between coats. Paint left to right, then right to left, then follow with another double coat. I put on three double coats with medium thinner, then one double coat with a slow-drying thinner (same mixing ratio). This allows the final coat to dry more slowly, giving a smoother finish that is easy to sand and buff. Anything fewer than 7 to 8 coats, I find, might cut through to the primer when buffing, necessitating repainting. After the last coat, the finish should be uniform and semi-glossy with a little texture. The paint will become very glossy with buffing and the texture will disappear, leaving a shiny, deep, smooth finish.

Applying enamels: Alkyd enamel should be sprayed in a paint booth with heat lamps to bake the paint on. Air pressure at the gun is 55 lbs, and the paint is applied over the manufacturer s recommended primer. Acrylic enamel can be applied over lacquer primer and some two-part primers and two-part body putties. Mix the paint as mentioned earlier, strain and set the air pressure at 55 lbs at the gun. After tack-ragging, I apply a tack coat, moving the gun from left to right, then right to left, overlapping 50%. It is important to let the first coat flash (about 15 minutes, or time specified by the manufacturer) to let it get just tacky enough to accept the next coat of paint without sags or runs. I apply the gloss coats with 2 or 3 double coats, with flash time in between, holding the gun about 8-12" away from the panel (12-15" for metallics). After the paint is applied, I wait at least 48 hours to color sand and buff, and a month before waxing.

Finally, and this is crucial, find a paint supplier who loves old cars. Someone who can not only advise you on the right system for your needs, but can mix paint to match the color you want. It takes a lot of work to prep and paint a car, so the color must be right! We have several suppliers for lacquers, but have found that for special mixes in the Dupont line, there is no one better than Pam Oliver at O'Reilly's in Soddy, Tennessee. She grew up around cars and has the experience and passion it takes to get just the right mix. We ve had everything from Packard Blue (a very dark, almost black, blue) to a 1941 Packard French Gray Metallic that was unusually tough, because it had a green component in the original formula that is no longer available. Pam found a substitute in modern paint, and it turned out great! This has happened to many of the old '30's and '40's colors. Some of their components have been outlawed by the EPA and it s hard to mix them in the new paints. Pam advises spraying your color sample on metal to get the most accurate match. If the sample is sprayed onto cardboard, the computer analyzer sees the color of the cardboard through the paint, resulting in an inaccurate match. Ideally, a 6" x 6" sample is best, and check your color match under sunlight; fluorescent light will not show you the true color tint. When the color is finished, Pam prints the formula and attaches it to the can for an exact match next time!

Knowledge of automotive painting and application is important whether you are going to do it yourself, or just want to understand and appreciate what your restoration shop is going through. Thanks to Pamala Oliver and O'Reilly's for a nice visit and helpful advice on keeping our cars looking great! See you next month. Keep 'em driving!

Note: Always use paint respirators, gloves, paint suits and other protective gear recommended by the manufacturer. Read the label on the can.

O'Reilly's, Soddy, Tennessee: 423-332-1251

Dupont Tech Line: 800-3DUPONT

PG Tech Line: 800-647-6052.

10-23-2007, 11:57 AM
ANYONE RECOMMEND ANY SHOPS OUT WEST OF TOWN????? Need paint job after engine in installed. This is not a "show truck", so some place reasonable?

12-21-2007, 05:51 PM
danmit. Someone decided to make a left in front of me when they shouldn't have.
Jetta needs alot of repairs. I drove it home but the rad is leaking and I need a new hood front end, drivers fender and alot more.

I'm so pissed. This was a stellar car now it's tainted. I guess I have to look at it til wed or thurs when their ins comes to look at, I guess then it's off to SE autobody. :(

just paid it off this month too. MF

Shark Bait
12-21-2007, 10:40 PM
Bummer, Wes, :(

Uncle Ben
12-21-2007, 11:39 PM
danmit. Someone decided to make a left in front of me when they shouldn't have.
Jetta needs alot of repairs. I drove it home but the rad is leaking and I need a new hood front end, drivers fender and alot more.

I'm so pissed. This was a stellar car now it's tainted. I guess I have to look at it til wed or thurs when their ins comes to look at, I guess then it's off to SE autobody. :(

just paid it off this month too. MF

DUDE....that totally stinks! I'm very sorry that happened! :( Do we need to have a gunny sack party? :rant:

12-22-2007, 02:18 AM
x3 that sucks Wes! It was slick sheite out there where I was driving around...First time ever that I've turned the wheel on the LX and it didn't want to go where it was pointed :eek:

12-22-2007, 01:20 PM
Sorry to hear that, Wes! As you know I can definitely feel your pain!

12-11-2008, 11:20 PM
This thread covers the south side pretty well; any recommendations for the north side?

12-12-2008, 08:56 AM
i'd be interested in knowing places on the north side as well. Any suggestions?

12-12-2008, 10:21 AM
Is Oleg doing bodywork again? If so the best north side option is to drive SE to Aurora. Hopefully we'll see him tonight. :thumb:

12-12-2008, 12:49 PM
i'd be interested in knowing places on the north side as well. Any suggestions?

Call Jim over at Exotic Bodies by Jim. He used to work for Toyota and has a large shop. the last time I was there, he had 2-3 full restos going on. he's also and American Muscle car guy...