Having done this before both as a customer, and as the professional doing the work, I suggest going to the shop where you want the work done and sit down with the owner/manager and discuss your plans and budget. Let them keep the rig for a couple of days and let them crawl all over it, in it, and under it looking for problems. Be upfront and tell them you plan on stripping the interior, and ask if they have anything else they would like to have you take off (generally if the customer offers I have the customer take out all the lights, the grill, trim molding, and anything they don’t want painted).Thanks man! Yeah I want him to look over the frame but honestly I THINK (hope) my only significant issue is the front passenger floorboard. Almost seems like something was leaking there because the rest of it looks pretty dang solid. I haven’t taken the carpet out yet but underneath looks pretty healthy. Nooks and crannies I can shine a light on look healthy. Other than that, a few small dents that will show especially w new paint.
I really considered finding another block or getting a long block but I don’t know, I kind of want to keep the original if I can. Sentimental I guess! Honestly if it just needs some seals replaced to get it through another few years that’s fine too. It runs really good if you ignore all the fluids going everywhere! Haha. It’s not that bad, but I can’t justify making her pretty and letting her spit up all that.
Start buying up replacement parts now, you’re going to need little things like window seals, chrome windshield moldings, door and cap weatherstripping, and stuff like that. Put all the small parts into a box labeled with : Your Name, Bronco, Year, and VIN And leave the box in the back of the Bronco telling the shop that the box is parts you want replaced during final assembly. I wouldn’t just stop at exterior detail pieces, but do the same thing in the engine compartment and undercarriage... anything you can source as an upgrade, source it and put it into a box. There is nothing I hated more than a customer who brought his own parts, but on a job this big I would look away because it was less time for me to be waiting on parts having a rig tying up my bay.
Find out if they will be lifting the frame off the body. If so it might be a good idea to order a set of body bushings with hardware so they can just cut off the old bushings to save time and you money. Is it really worth $100 to remove one rusted $2.50 bolt and a $3.00 bushing?.
One last word of advice. Ask to see their portfolio. as you look through it see if they have done anything similar to what you are wanting done. Judge the shop as you are discussing the build to see if they are generally interested in the build. If they aren’t interested the final quality of the build will show. No matter how much money you throw at them.
Any ways, that’s my $1.99 on the subject.
One last thing before I go. I’m thinking about doing something similar in the nearish future. But I’m striping my 89 down to a roller (bare tub, frame, axles, and wheels with tires) and I’m going to have the body ready to come off the frame so they can lift the body off with a forklift and I can take my frame to another shop to get the chassis blasted, then I will bring the frame back to the body shop for them to-paint And install the frame. Meanwhile my engine is currently at the machine shop waiting to be worked on and I’m waiting to hear back what to order for the engine build. Lastly I have new glass for the shop to install for me when they are done.