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Thread: Question about average cost of rust repair

  1. #1
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    Question about average cost of rust repair

    if anyone knows Dodge Dakotas, they know that the earlier (2nd gen truck) models were prone to rusting of the bumpers and the fenders (both front and box sides).

    I recently purchased an '01 Quad cab that has this problem on the rear box sides right above the wheels. Does anyone who works in a body shop or has knowledge on this kind of repair know what a fair deal it is to repair this? I know its hard to do it without actually seeing it, but I had some quotes over the phone yesterday for $1,200 to 1,300 using replacement sheetmetal, and $1,500 to 2,000+ if they replace the entire box sides. I could probably find an entire box for that price

    The price for the box sides seems about right, seeing as how the box sides alone can cost over $500, but to just repair the area above the wheel well, $1,200-1,300 seems a bit steep. I figured maybe $500 since the replacement repair panels are under $100 from somewhere like LMC Truck.

    Here is a picture of the one side, the driver side is the same. Its rusted right through and would rather repair it now before it gets much worse

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  2. #2
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    I'm not in the autobody sector, but I've had some work done recently and know the guy who did it. First, shops are not selling you panels at $100. There's markup, and most shops won't use customer panels, even if they're from the same place. Factor $250+ for the actual skin. Cutting, fitting, welding, grinding and filling all takes time and skills, which must be paid for. The painter must do the final cleaning, approve all the fitment, and mix very expensive paint. Cutout, replace, prep, paint and everything that goes into that... they've got probably $300 in materials in each side of a truck bed. Then pay the welder/bodyman, the kids that did the sanding, and the painter himself. The counterman that sourced the parts, the driver who got them, the building, the compressor, the booth... Just can't be done commercially for $500. They'd lose money. Especially when you consider what they earn from an insurance claim. A side jobs cannot sustain a business. They need those big ticket sales to pay for the equipment. A $500 spray-n-pray would be one guy, using stuff that's already paid for, and cheap fillers and paint.

    The guy I had to my 4Runner quoted me $800 for the LHS fender, door, blend, and tailgate, with some minor bodywork on the gate and fender. This did NOT include the $150 I paid for my fender, nor the $150 I paid for my door (which I hung myself, first mistake). I asked if he could rehang the fender properly, and he flat out said "not without a lot more cost. I can do it right, or I can do it quick. There's no in-between." My $800 paint job looks decent, 8.5/10 in most places. He didn't sand/prep properly under the rear cargo windows and it's peeling there. My inexperienced hanging of the fender caused rub-through from the flare. So while it''s still 1000x better than rolling with mismatched panels, it'll never be correct without spending $2k to have it all torn down and done right.
    ....-Noltz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noltz View Post
    I'm not in the autobody sector, but I've had some work done recently and know the guy who did it. First, shops are not selling you panels at $100. There's markup, and most shops won't use customer panels, even if they're from the same place. Factor $250+ for the actual skin. Cutting, fitting, welding, grinding and filling all takes time and skills, which must be paid for. The painter must do the final cleaning, approve all the fitment, and mix very expensive paint. Cutout, replace, prep, paint and everything that goes into that... they've got probably $300 in materials in each side of a truck bed. Then pay the welder/bodyman, the kids that did the sanding, and the painter himself. The counterman that sourced the parts, the driver who got them, the building, the compressor, the booth... Just can't be done commercially for $500. They'd lose money. Especially when you consider what they earn from an insurance claim. A side jobs cannot sustain a business. They need those big ticket sales to pay for the equipment. A $500 spray-n-pray would be one guy, using stuff that's already paid for, and cheap fillers and paint.

    The guy I had to my 4Runner quoted me $800 for the LHS fender, door, blend, and tailgate, with some minor bodywork on the gate and fender. This did NOT include the $150 I paid for my fender, nor the $150 I paid for my door (which I hung myself, first mistake). I asked if he could rehang the fender properly, and he flat out said "not without a lot more cost. I can do it right, or I can do it quick. There's no in-between." My $800 paint job looks decent, 8.5/10 in most places. He didn't sand/prep properly under the rear cargo windows and it's peeling there. My inexperienced hanging of the fender caused rub-through from the flare. So while it''s still 1000x better than rolling with mismatched panels, it'll never be correct without spending $2k to have it all torn down and done right.
    X2 - I've done repairs on my S-10 over the wheel wells and the rockers, and even at zero cost for most of the labour (paid someone to weld in the panels actually), I was probably still into it for $2k in paint, filler, other supplies, etc.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noltz View Post
    I'm not in the autobody sector, but I've had some work done recently and know the guy who did it. First, shops are not selling you panels at $100. There's markup, and most shops won't use customer panels, even if they're from the same place. Factor $250+ for the actual skin. Cutting, fitting, welding, grinding and filling all takes time and skills, which must be paid for. The painter must do the final cleaning, approve all the fitment, and mix very expensive paint. Cutout, replace, prep, paint and everything that goes into that... they've got probably $300 in materials in each side of a truck bed. Then pay the welder/bodyman, the kids that did the sanding, and the painter himself. The counterman that sourced the parts, the driver who got them, the building, the compressor, the booth... Just can't be done commercially for $500. They'd lose money. Especially when you consider what they earn from an insurance claim. A side jobs cannot sustain a business. They need those big ticket sales to pay for the equipment. A $500 spray-n-pray would be one guy, using stuff that's already paid for, and cheap fillers and paint.

    The guy I had to my 4Runner quoted me $800 for the LHS fender, door, blend, and tailgate, with some minor bodywork on the gate and fender. This did NOT include the $150 I paid for my fender, nor the $150 I paid for my door (which I hung myself, first mistake). I asked if he could rehang the fender properly, and he flat out said "not without a lot more cost. I can do it right, or I can do it quick. There's no in-between." My $800 paint job looks decent, 8.5/10 in most places. He didn't sand/prep properly under the rear cargo windows and it's peeling there. My inexperienced hanging of the fender caused rub-through from the flare. So while it''s still 1000x better than rolling with mismatched panels, it'll never be correct without spending $2k to have it all torn down and done right.
    Thanks for the reply, I understand buisness costs and everything, just felt at first that for what was being done, $1,200-1,300 seemed pretty steep. They will markup the price of the panel sometimes (not all the time), but they are also getting them at a shop cost which is much lower then what I would pay as a consumer

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