Baseline and Bodywork: Cost/Benefit?

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Ozark80

Ozark80

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So lately I've been pondering if it'd be worth it to fix the cosmetic flaws on my 97. They are pictured below. The tailgate has rust under the windshield, there is a dent under the passenger headlight, and the paint has scratches and blemishes and could use a buffing and/or refreshing. It's Black Onyx, so no clearcoat to worry about at least. Front seats have also seen better days.

Does anyone know the what the rough costs would be to fix these things?

I know mechanical baselining is more important on these, but I'm wondering if dumping $3k in parts into this thing would be worth it when it also needs a fair bit of bodywork. For one thing, it'd only add to the long-term expenses if I decide to keep it and get tired of the dents and other flaws, and/or it might hurt resale when/if the time comes, since most buyers seem to prefer having a show car over a mechanically solid rig. Then again, I'm not sure I'd get back the cost of bodywork and/or PM if I were to fix it before selling either. I'm already $10k into the thing and if I've gotten totally burnt I'd just like to face up to it now and move on.

I reckon my options are a) Selling as is and trying to minimize the loss b)Fix whatever breaks and just use it as a daily beater/trail rig, c)"invest" into a mechanical baseline inc. top end refresh and either keep it or try to sell to a Cruiserhead who will appreciate the PM d)"invest" into a full restoration, including bodywork and pain refresh

I'd appreciate any insights, thanks.




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mjosoba

mjosoba

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I would definitely fix that tailgate rust as soon as possible, regardless of keeping or selling. I’ve got a tiny little bubble that’s barely visible and I’m super paranoid about it.
 
Ozark80

Ozark80

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I would definitely fix that tailgate rust as soon as possible, regardless of keeping or selling. I’ve got a tiny little bubble that’s barely visible and I’m super paranoid about it.
It’s been there since at least 2007 according to the PO. I guess nobody ever got around to it lol.
 
jpoole

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Agree with fixing any rust soon, even if you just wire brush and coat with a rust converter to slow it down while you prep for further cleaning, coating and repair of any rust.

Would be easy to knock out the worst of the front dent and make it less noticeable at least. Those panels are all easy to work (including the bumper) though you may need to pull things apart to some extent to get to the back of the dents. Simply hammering them back to shape, aligning/re-assembling the panels and doing a bit of touch-up paint may stop that dent from bugging you and could make it easy for a pro to get those panels looking pretty good if/when you do a respray.

Is your 80 Black with original single stage paint? If it is you can try to wet sand some of those scratches out and buff out the whole truck to get more life out of the paint.

I'd spend the few hours to move the bodywork in the direction you want and then drive/baseline the rig for a while. If you like the truck enough and the cosmetics keep bothering you you can do a respray. You may find that with just a little TLC that you find the bodywork acceptable and decide it's not worth a full respray. How you use the truck will impact this as well, if it goes in the woods new paint can be hard to take care of, etc.
 
Ozark80

Ozark80

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Agree with fixing any rust soon, even if you just wire brush and coat with a rust converter to slow it down while you prep for further cleaning, coating and repair of any rust.

Would be easy to knock out the worst of the front dent and make it less noticeable at least. Those panels are all easy to work (including the bumper) though you may need to pull things apart to some extent to get to the back of the dents. Simply hammering them back to shape, aligning/re-assembling the panels and doing a bit of touch-up paint may stop that dent from bugging you and could make it easy for a pro to get those panels looking pretty good if/when you do a respray.

Is your 80 Black with original single stage paint? If it is you can try to wet sand some of those scratches out and buff out the whole truck to get more life out of the paint.

I'd spend the few hours to move the bodywork in the direction you want and then drive/baseline the rig for a while. If you like the truck enough and the cosmetics keep bothering you you can do a respray. You may find that with just a little TLC that you find the bodywork acceptable and decide it's not worth a full respray. How you use the truck will impact this as well, if it goes in the woods new paint can be hard to take care of, etc.
Yeah it’s Black Onyx single coat.

And yeah I’m trying to decide which direction to go with it: make it a backwoods beater or try to make it pretty for resale/mall crawlin.

I’m kinda 50/50 on keeping it tbh.
 
jpoole

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If you aren't sold on the idea of owning an 80 or aren't really into the hobby/business of car maintenance and restoration then it seems smart for you to step back and re-assess. Only you can figure out what you value and the best alignment of tools and toys with your values and constraints. I think it's good to limit one's exposure to the care and feeding of stuff and to be sure that any stuff justifies its room and board sufficiently. To me the 80 is the best option for a single/primary vehicle and I enjoy tinkering with it but everyone's situation is different.
 
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12bit

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I personally wouldn't put a bunch of money into paint on a vehicle I plan to sell. A good paint job can be expensive and I imagine the ROI isn't great. A bad paint job would possibly hurt the resale value. I would address the rust and keep it mechanically solid. Nothing (aside from the rust) in the pictures you posted seems particularly bad, imo.
 
FMC80

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I’m in a similar situation and struggle with the decision. My 94s exterior is rough and a solid paint job with body work is going to be about 10K. Maaco quoted me 2.5K here but that’s going to be a shît job.

I plan to keep it so I’ll likely opt for the higher end paint job. I think even if I was going to sell, I’d do something. BaT is bat-shît crazy and presentable cars sell well.

Oh and the rust? Non-negotiable. That should be replaced or addressed soonest.

Just curious, why are you looking to potentially sell?
 
flintknapper

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I'd be interested to see pics of the undercarriage. If you have rust on body panels....then odds are you have rust on the undercarriage as well.

Depending on how 'rusty' it is (minor/major) it could significantly affect the value of the vehicle (with respect to resale) and might influence which direction you'd want to go with it (trail beater or restoration).
 
Ozark80

Ozark80

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I’m in a similar situation and struggle with the decision. My 94s exterior is rough and a solid paint job with body work is going to be about 10K. Maaco quoted me 2.5K here but that’s going to be a shît job.

I plan to keep it so I’ll likely opt for the higher end paint job. I think even if I was going to sell, I’d do something. BaT is bat-shît crazy and presentable cars sell well.

Oh and the rust? Non-negotiable. That should be replaced or addressed soonest.

Just curious, why are you looking to potentially sell?
The thing about the rust on the tailgate is that it's been there so long that I wonder if it's even worth fixing a this point?

As far as why I might be looking to sell.. I like the big heavy durable feeling of the 80, but I'm not in love with it as a DD. I'm looking for more of a light duty daily which doesn't need such intensive maintenance.
 
Ozark80

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I'd be interested to see pics of the undercarriage. If you have rust on body panels....then odds are you have rust on the undercarriage as well.

Depending on how 'rusty' it is (minor/major) it could significantly affect the value of the vehicle (with respect to resale) and might influence which direction you'd want to go with it (trail beater or restoration).
The truck was in St. Louis until 2007, then Arkansas since, so the undercarriage is pretty solid, but it's not a snow bunny cream puff either.

The worst spots seems to be concentrated on the rear bumper and spare tire carrier. People have told me it's basically no big deal but you could clean it up with a wire wheel and paint it if you want.

I'm thinking maybe it was garaged while wet and that helped cause the rust stains on the rear windshield?

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cruiserdan

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Rust is literally cancer. Ignore it and it will eventually kill the truck. Your call. Chassis rust is moderate. The truck is worth saving.

If a guy wanted to fix the body damage and body rust properly (not including the chassis) and then do a quality re-paint, you are looking at at least $10,000.00


Oh, those tires are SHOT.
 
FMC80

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Your tires need attention
 
Ozark80

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Rust is literally cancer. Ignore it and it will eventually kill the truck. Your call. Chassis rust is moderate. The truck is worth saving.

If a guy wanted to fix the body damage and body rust properly (not including the chassis) and then do a quality re-paint, you are looking at at least $10,000.00


Oh, those tires are SHOT.
Yeah I'm from Upstate New York so I've seen what it can do to vehicles. I was just wondering if doing the tailgate was worth it as its been there so long already.

I'm already 10k into this thing after tires and maintenance, so I could put another 20k into mechanical baselining, paint, bodywork, sandblasting, etc. Then I'd have a near-pristine Land Cruiser for 30k. Would you say that's worth it for a K292 with 230k miles?

Anyway that's all academic as I don't have that kind of money to put into a vehicle. The more likely scenario if I keep it is to keep driving it and maybe give it a buff and clean up the underside and/or look for part outs for the tailgate and fenders, if I ever get around to it in between replacing parts.

Also, for the chassis rust, do you think sandblasting would be the best option, or just clean it up best I can with a wire-wheel? I figured it wasn't anything catastrophic since the steel is thick high-dollar steel unlike my old Tacoma, but I could be wrong.

Thanks
 
cruiserdan

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It's difficult to blast an assembled chassis. I think I would knock as much of the rust off as possible with wire wheels/brushes and spray it down with rust converter.

I'd have a pro fix the tail gate. Those are discontinued and decent used ones are not all that easy to find. Be sure to pull the glass out to properly get to all the rust. Do NOT re-use the weatherstrip.
 
jpoole

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Your undercarriage rust is minimal. No need to make a mess with sandblasting. Spend a little time under it wire brushing followed by rust converter then chassis spray paint and you can knock most of that out quickly. Repeat that a few times over the course of a year or two and you should be able to find and eliminate any relevant rust. From there you can start coating it with fluid film or similar to prevent rust coming back and have no worries underneath.

From what I see I would not repaint that 80. Someone decent with a body hammer/dolly could make a big improvement of the front dent and since the paint job is single stage it will clean up and look nice with a buff/wax. Even if you end up with a couple of touch up places (front dent, rear rust spot) that don't match perfectly that could be a really nice 80 cosmetically with minimal cost and effort relatively speaking.
 
P

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The rear window can be removed and put back in similar to the rear cargo windows. You can fully sand and repair the rust and hopefully you wont require any welding.

This video shows how to pop them out with plastic scrapers:


The front headlights can be popped out pretty easily to get better access at that dent in the front but unless you're experienced in body work itll look like a DIY job.


I'm doing a full body respray on my 80 right now. Total cost is around 1600 dollars with a huge time investment.
 

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