SR20 Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
www.motorists.org
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
As I look through the yellow pages of this town of 35k I see about 15
different body shops in town. Besides asking around at work to see if
anyone's got some work done and how they liked it, how can I determine which
one to use? I want to get quality work done, not budget work. Dealer shop or
independent place? Should I ask them if they've done B13 Sentras or NXs
before? Or just Nissans? Are there some key questions I should help me
determine if they are competent or not?

*Any* advice would be helpful for me. I know of a quality bodyshop back in
my hometown, but it's 45 miles away and my NX has no front end and not much
passengerside fender material so I don't think it would be wise/legal to
drive it all the way there in that condition. Here's how it is now:




And there is no radiator support up front, just the driver's headlight
support is still there in front along with the condenser and stuff. If you
knew of a quality body shop 45 miles away with the car in that shape would
you bite the bullet and drive it there? Say with a car in front of you
driving the speed limit with it's flashers on? (2 lane road most of the way)



------------------
Ben98SentraSE
98 Sentra SE and crashed 93 NX2000
 

·
Get Some!!
Joined
·
596 Posts
In my experience, I would never trust the unknown when it comes to body shops or any mechanic for that matter and I'm sure you empathize. If it were my car, I would do whatever it takes to get it to the one that I was more familiar/comfortable with. e.g., I'm looking to paint my classic and I've basically called and talked to everyone in North Alabama when it comes to painting and body work and have narrowed it down to one place. Can you believe it? Out of about 50 or so shops! Basically this guy told me on the phone that if it didn't look good, then he wasn't doing his job and would do whatever it took to satisfy me.

Here's something else to aid your decision-making process: Take thorough pictures of the car (which we all know you do well), show them to some places, and get quotes from as many shops as you have time to. Interview these people; it's even better face-to-face. Another thought: leave the pictures with them, talk to them for a bit to get a good feel, and have them FAX you a thorough quote for the work in no more than 3 days. You'll have to use some subjective measures like location, appearance of the owner and his/her workforce, other cars that they are working on, and even the punctuality of quoting the work (shows interest in you as a potential client) as well as the primary objective measure: price. On this note I actually had to rule out one shop because he was WAY too expensive, BUT, he also had late 60s Jags, Mercedes, and Beemers in his shop, too! Talk about tempting!

The bottom line is you want quality work. Mathematically, the quality of a product or service has been stated to equal actual utility of the product or service divided by the expectation of the customer. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how to make that "number" very big! An idea here is ask your potential bidders what they think quality work is. If they say something like, "I-ohwn-no", "wuuuutdidujessay?", or they stutter and stammer, run like hell. But if they say something as simple as, "Whatever you think it is." then you're in business. The key phrase you're looking for is something along the lines of "Quality is in the eye of the consumer". YOU are in control, that's the cool part!

As a professional decision maker, I sincerely hope these ideas help because I know all too well that it is very tough.

[This message has been edited by Jason92Classic (edited 08-15-2001).]
 

·
Seeing red
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
If you can rig up lights and turn signals, wouldn't that be legal?

I see soft-top Jeeps with doors removed and other road oddities all the time. Put on your Skoal hat and go with the flow. If you drive under the cover of night, even better.

If a man can drive a riding mower across the continental United States, you can drive a perfectly good (but "slightly dented") NX2K 45 miles down the road.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">...how can I determine which [shop] to use?</font>
Throw out any places that:
1. Have a hand-painted sign.
2. Incorrectly spell "painting" on that sign.
3. Have "& Taxidermy" somewhere in the title.
3. Call you "dude."

Hope that helps.
 

·
www.motorists.org
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well "perfectly good" may not be true. See the pics? One person told me that he was afraid it might be possible that the strut tower could buckle under normal driving since quite a bit of it is disconnected from what it's normally connected to. What do you guys think? I'd have no issues driving it to Lafayette with no hood or front end or passenger fender as long as that strut tower (or more of the car) got damaged.
 

·
www.motorists.org
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Just went out and took more pics. The strut tower feels as solid as the other one does. I think it'd be ok to do. See what ya'll think:




 

·
Seeing red
Joined
·
2,084 Posts
Didn't know about the strut tower.

I'm all about making driving exciting through dangerous structural weaknesses, but I don't think it would be wise to drive that distance in a car that could literally fall to pieces.

Trailer it? All you need is to borrow a relative or friend's full-size pickup, rent a U-Haul "two wheels up" dolly, and cart it to the body shop.
 

·
www.motorists.org
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I've thought about something like that, but wouldn't that be about the same to the suspension as driving it? I meant the suspension will still be bouncing around similar to driving it being towed.
 

·
Get Some!!
Joined
·
596 Posts
how much is it up there to flatbed it?
 

·
www.motorists.org
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I originally flatbedded it from Indy which is the same distance to Lafayette and it was around $150 I think.

Honestly if you knock your knuckle on the strut tower it feels REALLY solid, as solid as the other one. I'm not going to autocross the damned thing, but I think it's ok to drive. The piece welded to the tower toward the front of the car near the passenger side motor mount doesn't really provide much in the way of structural integrity for the strut tower. It's more of a fill in piece to enclose the engine bay. The outside upper inner fender part is very structural, but I think having that disconnected but the other sides currently connected leaves it good enough to putz around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
Throw a STB on there! That should tighten things up.


Well, I think it's mostly been said, but I just wanted to re-emphasize how important it is for you to be comfortable with the place you take it to. If you're not comfortable with them, don't use them, period.

Other things to look for are what kind of equipment they use and what kind of cars they have sitting out front. Ask if they have pictures of other cars they have done work on. Ask tons of questions. Find out what kind of paint they use, OEM or aftermarket body panels, etc....

Just an FYI to you. I'm STILL not happy with the work that was done on my Miata. I talked to the owner and looked around beforehand and they seemed to know what they were doing. I'll be taking my car back to them for the 3rd time. Among other things, they left my car filthy on the interior, scratched it, broke some fasteners, and possibly busted my battery tray. They keep saying that they will fix the car until it is right, but it is such a pain in the ass for me to keep taking it in to them.

Ben
'93 NX
'99 Miata
 

·
www.motorists.org
Joined
·
3,047 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well I asked around and found a potential one. They sound like the type of place that works with you depending whether the insurance company is paying or you are paying yourself. I will be picking up the guy from his shop tomorrow and driving him over to my place to get an estimate. There is currently a 2-3 week wait but that's about normal for body shops I've dealt with in the past. We'll see what happens
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I would call my insurance company and ask them who they used so I would know NOT to go to that place! Insurance companies are not worried about quality, they only want to keep costs down. That means body shops that use cheap aftermarket body panels and cheap paint.

Ben
'93 NX
 

·
Get Some!!
Joined
·
596 Posts
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by NXBen:
I would call my insurance company and ask them who they used so I would know NOT to go to that place! Insurance companies are not worried about quality, they only want to keep costs down. That means body shops that use cheap aftermarket body panels and cheap paint.

Ben
'93 NX
</font>
ooooh, yeah, that's another good point -- see if they use OEM parts, etc.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top