Cost of Body Shop Frame UP Restoration [Archive] - FSB Forums

: Cost of Body Shop Frame UP Restoration

06-24-2010, 12:43 AM
I've just spent 3 hours going through all the old posting but cannot find any reference to having a Body Shop do a frame up (not a frame off) restoration, it all seems to be DIY. What would it cost to have my body lifted 6" above the frame and sat on 6"X6" posts while all the metal (chassis, hangers, etc) is sand blasted and painted with a 3 stage Eastwoods treatment.

I've got a 96 Bronco EB 351W which I intend to keep forever. The interior has a few minor problems. The exterior has a few dents mainly from me and rust in 3 places (not me), inside the drivers door. passengers side rear wheel arches and as every other Bronco the Tailgate. My major concern is the underside, insidious rust is creeping in, parts attached to the chassis like hangers for the springs etc are covered in rust and the paint has been lifted off the metal 1/8" by big scabs of rust. I need to cure this forever and from what I've read Eastwoods seems to be the best solution. Not counting the bodywork how much should I expect to pay to have the underside treated, I live on Long Island NY but would be willing to take it and leave it for as long as it takes within a 200mile radius.

Thanks in advance for your help.


06-24-2010, 01:03 AM
Well, it's not a bronco, but a while back i went out to get my '68 international truck painted (after i finished up everything else) there was some minor body work, a little rust repair, and such they had to do.. and i wanted a metallic paint color which required clear coat (i also wanted the old paint removed, etc) oh, and they painted the dash and interior (i had it all out before i brought them the truck)

anyway, knowing exactly how i wanted it done, i put it on a trailer and took it to a bunch of body shops and got estimates. they ranged between 7,000 and 45,000. but mostly in the 8 to 12k range (except for the idiot who quoted me 45k) finally i gave up as it was out of my price range.. and started phone calling places.. got a place that sounded pretty good, went there and looked at their work, brought them the truck and told them i had 5500, and could they do it for that.. they said yes and i had them do it... so it ended up costing me 5500.. maybe that doesn't answer you're question, but it's what a bunch of body work and a nice paint job cost me. and that was a bigger truck than a bronco, too. i know there are some guys on here with broncos they've had redone as well.. at least repainted, i think pretty much everyone has done their own work (other than paint) so you might be hard pressed finding someone

oh, here's how the IH came out (click) (

glad you plan on keepin' the bronco nice, forever :)

06-24-2010, 08:02 AM
Read my resto/build thread. I was in almost the exact same situation as you, and tried to do what you were thinking before finding out that it wasn't worth doing. If you intend on keeping the truck forever, take the body (and everything else too) off the frame and do it right. I'm pretty close to you in the area, and if you need any help or resources please let me know, would be glad to help.

06-24-2010, 09:46 AM
Nice job on the IH rhauf. I wonder what you'd have got for $45,000, Dancing Girls at the very least.

sydude, I read you thread last night, that's why it took me more than 3 hrs of research. I'm 68 with back, hip and knee problems, it took me 5 days to put headers and an exhaust on last week so I don't rate my chances of doing the job myself. Once I realized I would have to remove the transmission dipstick tube and the wheelarch apron things were easy but it takes time to sink in, most of the work was done using a ladder to help me reach down into the engine bay.

Even if I was willing to tackle the job myself I have nowhere to do it. The Bronco is too tall to fit in the garage and I'm not even going to try it in the driveway. I,ve thought about getting a set of old donut wheels to lower the Bronco so I can get it in the garage for working on it in winter.

I love the Bronco, in 2002 when my 1990 was on it's last legs I spent every night for a month on the computer looking for a 96 with less than 60,000 on the clock. I figured it was the last year they made it so it would be the best I could do. It's only got 105,000 on it now but the rust scares me. Ford replaced the Bronco with the Expedition which has no appeal to me and the price tag is stupid. I thought I could get the Bronco into good enough shape to last 15 years more, after that then I wouldn't care what they dragged me around in.

06-24-2010, 09:46 AM
OK.. you need to figure somewhere between $80.00 and $100.00 per hour to work on the truck.
That is just labor.
Then wrap in the cost of paint itself.
Clear coat itself can run over 100 bucks a gallon and the Bronco might take at least an entire gallon of clear.
A gallon ob base is right around $150.00 a gallon and you can count on a few gallons of that.
Then you have primer, bondo, and all the other goodies that goes along with it.
The most expensive part, by far, is the labor involved.
Your best bet, if you plan on keeping it forever, is to remove the body and try to do as much work as possible yourself.
I see that Sydude has offered to help. I would jump on that offer in a heartbeat.
If you can remove the body yourself and do all of the prep work yourself, you can probably get an absolutly beautiful paint job with high quality paints for around a grand.
Color also comes into play. Light colors are much more forgiving to first time body work people then dark colors are.
Gloss black will amplify every single mistake you have while white pretty much covers up all the small mistakes

06-24-2010, 03:16 PM
you get what you pay for

ain't uncommon for a 45k and higher on frame up jobs it is labor intensive stuff

I can bet 5500 did not lift the cab off the frame and short cuts were made

my shop rate is cheap at 50.00 but frame up stuff is pure hourly rate no quotes
money up front as well when that runs out the work stops

06-24-2010, 03:39 PM
You can trailor the body and frame in seperately. There is a shop that will do the frame work for 3500 clean and prime only repair damaged sections include removing the suspension components, Another shop about 3 miles from my house will do body work (replace primer panels for another 3,000 but I have to provide panels) My brother in law is a professional body painter so painting would be done at 800-1100. So you figure around 9,000 tops for the work but if I can find someone with a welder close by would be a shit load cheaper.Figure panels I need to replace would run me 500 Tops both 1/4's wheel well arches I would bone yard the tailgate for a rust free one. I need repair panels for the floor as well haven't found them yet.

06-24-2010, 06:58 PM
My Bronco had well over 25k invested in it from the PO and he did most off the work himself but thats everything I've spend thousands myself on it. What I mean is unless you just want to do one for yourself to do it you will save so much $ buying one close to the way you want on the PO's dime.

06-24-2010, 08:20 PM
When I had my 77 painted, I had 4K in just paint/body work alone.....and that was a decent deal for the amount of body work I had done.

06-24-2010, 11:24 PM
You could easily spend $5000+ for a basic frame-up restoration on the Bronco, and I would busdget closer to $10K for incidentals or misc. items. Yuo can get a few estimates from body shops, but in my experience they genereally do not care to do that kind of work. They are more intersted in insurance claims, repairing body damage and fixing minor panels. You also need to plan on leaving your rig with thwm for several months, as the shop will only work on your project when they have spare time. My advice is to look around for an individual that does this as a hobby, perhaps a retired body/paint man that does the work in his home garage. This will be much cheaper on labor cost alone, since you are not paying shop rates for several people, overhead, profit margin, etc.

The latest project I was involved in was a 66 Mustang, and the owner wanted a new paint job. Several local shops quoted from $5K-$6K just for the body work and paint with s 6-8 month timeframe. We ended up taking it to the same dude that repainted my 84 Bronco a few years ago. In both instances, his quote was half the amount of the lowest shop bid, plus a 5-6 week turnaround. There are folks like this guy scattered around, jsut takes a bit of searching and asking at local parts stores, car shows, etc.

I did all of the frame restoration work on my 84 Bronco, with the body lifted up but not completely removed. That took me about 4 months to do myself, JSM84

06-24-2010, 11:36 PM
I know it is along ways from you but I do restorations. I am almost done with a 79 f150 can take pics if you want. I am in north central florida(starke zip 32091 45 miles south of jacksonville and 30 miles north of gainesville) If you could take detailed pics of things you want fixed shoot me a PM and I could shoot you a PM with a qoute would also need to know what exactly you want done and it would be on you for the transport. the one I am doing now I charged $4800 for it had a few patch panels cab corners and looked like some one massaged it with a ball peen hammer. However I will tell you now it is no fast processes I have had this truck for 11 months so far I will have the paint completed (buffed and waxed) tomorrow and motor done next week. and if nothing else I have give you another price to look at that is close to what i normally charge. Or I know a decent painter who can have it painted in about 3-8 weeks depending on the severity of the damages for about $1000 plus materials usually about $1500-$1800 total everything out the door.

06-24-2010, 11:58 PM
For what it's worth, I bought an Alfa Duetto for a thousand bucks about 20 years ago. Had zero body damage or rust. Planned on doing a full restore, and my wife and I painstakingly spent 3 weeks removing everything off the car. Then I put her on a trailer and hit 4 different shops in the San Diego area. Cheapest place we found wanted $8,000.00 for the stock Sikkens Orange paint job. Thought about it for a week and decided to unload her, as-is. Got $2,800.00 for her, completely disassembled. But g-damn,sure wish I had her now.........:smokin:

06-25-2010, 09:39 AM
sydude, I read you thread last night, that's why it took me more than 3 hrs of research. I'm 68 with back, hip and knee problems, it took me 5 days to put headers and an exhaust on last week so I don't rate my chances of doing the job myself. Once I realized I would have to remove the transmission dipstick tube and the wheelarch apron things were easy but it takes time to sink in, most of the work was done using a ladder to help me reach down into the engine bay.Alan, I'm sending you a PM with my cell number. Call me, and I'll try and help you go in the right direction.

06-25-2010, 09:51 AM
Alan, I'm sending you a PM with my cell number. Call me, and I'll try and help you go in the right direction.

Thats really cool of you to do that dude..
I am planning a resto of my truck myself.
I will not be going frame off (for now) but, any pointers you could give would be helpful.

07-17-2010, 01:56 PM
Just another Idea that has worked for me . Im not getting a frame off but I found a guy who works at a body shop doing side work at the local profesional paint store . Ive done all the removal and heavy cleaning and he paints as the project goes . For example i had the motor and trans out for work so I took the truck over to him for engine paint . I redid the interior and I had him do the jams The doors are next since I got all new rubber its a slow process bet at least its a moving project .