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1995 SEDAN DEVILLE-4.9 & 1978 SEDAN DEVILLE-425
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1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I have`nt a clue yet on what would be a reasonable price on a complete repainting & body work on my '78 Deville.
Not much body work needed---just some surface rust on the doors side molding area and on rear quarter panels.
Why they put rivets and plastic clips to attach the door side moldings back then is beyond me.Seems at each rivet point the
rust begins.When I have the work done I may just have them eliminate the rivets completely and have them attach the side
moldings with 3m adhesive if possible.
The Cadillac steel used back then was really thick so nothing at all has rusted through.
Still have`nt made my mind up yet on paint color---been thinking of a classy gold or rich looking darker red.My vinyl top is
brown.
There are several body shops here locally and will shop it around for best quality and price.
Anyone have any numbers I could put in my mind on price? Not wanting to spend anything over $4000.
Thanks

Sorry, could a mod put this in the RWD forum?
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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19,278 Posts
Hi,
I have`nt a clue yet on what would be a reasonable price on a complete repainting & body work on my '78 Deville.
Not much body work needed---just some surface rust on the doors side molding area and on rear quarter panels.
Why they put rivets and plastic clips to attach the door side moldings back then is beyond me.Seems at each rivet point the
rust begins.When I have the work done I may just have them eliminate the rivets completely and have them attach the side
moldings with 3m adhesive if possible.
The Cadillac steel used back then was really thick so nothing at all has rusted through.
Still have`nt made my mind up yet on paint color---been thinking of a classy gold or rich looking darker red.My vinyl top is
brown.
There are several body shops here locally and will shop it around for best quality and price.
Anyone have any numbers I could put in my mind on price? Not wanting to spend anything over $4000.
Thanks

Sorry, could a mod put this in the RWD forum?
-----------------------------------
Anyone have any numbers I could put in my mind on price?
Not wanting to spend anything over $4000.

rust repair/body work/full paint job on a land yacht -
all for less than $4000 -
maybe a Maaco enamel-dip paint job -

remove ALL chrome trim that you don't want overspray on -
 

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2001 Seville STS, 1990 Seville (RIP), 1972 Sedan Deville
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26,323 Posts
At a GOOD shop - rust repair, body work, and not only a full repaint but a color change? EASILY double your $4,000 limit.
 

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1995 Fleetwood
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84 Posts
I paid a shop a couple of years ago to completely detrim, repair two rusty quarter panels, and completely refinish a '95 Honda Civic, was $2100 out the door, better than OEM quality, not anywhere near show quality.

Labor on yours shouldn't be too much more, but materials are probably double.

Detrimming the car, and I mean everything they'd remove to change the color, will save you piles of money. Keeping the factory color, will save you more.
 

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Registered
1995 SEDAN DEVILLE-4.9 & 1978 SEDAN DEVILLE-425
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1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I paid a shop a couple of years ago to completely detrim, repair two rusty quarter panels, and completely refinish a '95 Honda Civic, was $2100 out the door, better than OEM quality, not anywhere near show quality.

Labor on yours shouldn't be too much more, but materials are probably double.

Detrimming the car, and I mean everything they'd remove to change the color, will save you piles of money. Keeping the factory color, will save you more.
I`m hoping to find a shop that would give me a price like your shop did. I don`t need anything showroom quality,but I sure
don`t want a cheap looking paint job either.
Whatever shop I choose I`ll be sure to see some pics they have of other cars they painted to see the quality their work.
I know the detrimming would save a lot.
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,489 Posts
Hah !!! A '78 Deville is 4 times the size of a Civic. $4,000 is the bottom of the cost barrel for a decent paint job, minimal bodywork and same color.

Cheap paint jobs are .......... cheap. Good paint jobs are not.
 

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Super Moderator
2014 ELR
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9,734 Posts
You want to find a good local independent shop that makes their money on collision, and takes on one or two "side" projects like yours to fill the down time. Ask for referrals. Look online for reviews. Go over everything, talk to them about you doing as much as the prep as possible to bring the price down (removing trim, etc). Materials are expensive, and labour is, too. With some rust repair, you are going to approach your budget cap quickly. Make sure you don't pay up front, and have a contract for completion milestones, and job completion.
 

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1995 Fleetwood
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84 Posts
Hah !!! A '78 Deville is 4 times the size of a Civic. $4,000 is the bottom of the cost barrel for a decent paint job, minimal bodywork and same color.

Cheap paint jobs are .......... cheap. Good paint jobs are not.
So then the materials will be 4x higher.

But labor costs are a lot lower in some areas, than where you live.

For grins, I just called a buddy in Cadillac that owns a body shop. He said if he's not doing any collision repair, and only a few square feet of "surface rust", plus minor dents and dings, factory original color with PPG paint, a detrim and paint at his shop on that car would be $2500-$3k, tops.

I know the exact same job would cost 2x that in a major city like Houston or Atlanta.

In the service industry, price depends a LOT on the local market. I drive down to Grand Rapids for collision estimates, so when I have a local shop do the repairs, I never pay a deductible. Because the labor rate up here is 60% of what it is 2 hours away.

I knew a good Submariner once, but the Marines worked me so hard it stopped working, so I replaced it with a Marathon SAR......ROFL!!
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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7,345 Posts
You can cut costs way down by stripping the car yourself of all chrome/lights/etc that they have to tape off anyways. Color changes cost more usually and if you dont have everything painted looks poor. Color choice also drives cost. People hate Maaco type places but I've prepped and had them paint a few vehicles. They didn't turn out perfect but for the cost it was very good. As they say a paint job is as good as what you are willing to pay for.
 

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87 Brougham, 1969 Calais, 95 FWB, 07 SRX, 07 ESV
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4,246 Posts
the up side is you have a vinyl top so they don't have to prep and paint the massive roof ;)
 

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Super Moderator
2014 ELR
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9,734 Posts
For grins, I just called a buddy in Cadillac that owns a body shop. He said if he's not doing any collision repair, and only a few square feet of "surface rust", plus minor dents and dings, factory original color with PPG paint, a detrim and paint at his shop on that car would be $2500-$3k, tops.
Exactly the kind of guy you want to deal with. Go see him!
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
Cost of body work varies greatly depending on area and how much rust and how bad it really is. $4,000 is a good starting budget. A good job could come in less then that or more. You need to go to a few shops around your own area and get some estimates if you want anything close to an actual price.
 

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1995 SEDAN DEVILLE-4.9 & 1978 SEDAN DEVILLE-425
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1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Found a body shop today owned by a guy who went to the same high school I did back in the day--1976.
He`s owned his place for 30+ years. Just 3 miles from my house and he quoted me $4000 for everything I mentioned before.
He`s got very low overhead and his place is listed with BBB.Good reviews there.Nice website too.
Said it would take about 2 weeks from start to finish.
Said he`d get rid of those nasty body molding rivets,as I requested,and just use 3m adhesive to re apply them.
I`m pretty sure I`ll get it done there,but 1 more shop to check yet.
Have the color narrowed to 1 of 3 shades of ruby red.I`d get gold pin striping for the double stripe that runs from front of hood to rear of
rear quarters along the contour lines.
My '78 Deville has 3/4" whitewalls, wire hubcaps that look real and shiny,stainless steel rocker panels all around, with medium brown interior and medium brown vinyl roof.I`d post pics but it`s too much of a hassle
posting pics here.If they could upload pics from our pc`s to this forum "directly", sure would save a headache.
Does anyone else think a shade of ruby red is a good color choice and would compliment the other specs?
I`m not sure if the lighter or darker shade of ruby red is better.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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1,196 Posts
Id look into painting it yourself.

In my aera the body shops mostly deal in collision work, they laugh at our old cars.

Also I would weld some new studs/rivots back on. the 2 side foam tape will hold water and turn into a disaster.
 

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1995 SEDAN DEVILLE-4.9 & 1978 SEDAN DEVILLE-425
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1,673 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Id look into painting it yourself.

In my aera the body shops mostly deal in collision work, they laugh at our old cars.

Also I would weld some new studs/rivots back on. the 2 side foam tape will hold water and turn into a disaster.
I really don`t have the time or painting knowledge to do it myself. I`m 56 and legally handicapped/disabled.
The rivots are still on the car at this time but they will be coming off for sure. I don`t want them there at all. If you could see my ride there are circular golf ball size rust
pockets at each rivot point,about 12 in total, and don`t want any of that crap back after it`s painted.
I`ve re-adhesived many emblems on my '95 Deville,and did all my stainless rockers with 3m adhesive and never had any problems with water retention at all.
That said,I`ll mention it to whoever does the work and maybe they can off an alternative adhesive.
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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10,022 Posts
Red, even a dark red, with a brown top and interior would look odd IMO. I'd go with yellow, gold, brown, or white.
 

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1991 Cadillac Brougham D'Elegance 5.7 Litre, 1994 DeVille
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6,796 Posts
Part of the reason the rivets cause rust is usually the holes are drilled after the car is painted and they just pop them in. Not too often it was done that way from the factory tho but quality control was never the best in the 70s. I wouldn't worry about the tape. That's what's held molding and emblems on for over 30s years and the only problem with it is when it gets old it dries out and the parts start coming loose.
 

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1990 Brougham, 1990 Brougham d'elgance 1979 Coupe
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I really don`t have the time or painting knowledge to do it myself. I`m 56 and legally handicapped/disabled.
The rivots are still on the car at this time but they will be coming off for sure. I don`t want them there at all. If you could see my ride there are circular golf ball size rust
pockets at each rivot point,about 12 in total, and don`t want any of that crap back after it`s painted.
I`ve re-adhesived many emblems on my '95 Deville,and did all my stainless rockers with 3m adhesive and never had any problems with water retention at all.
That said,I`ll mention it to whoever does the work and maybe they can off an alternative adhesive.
Its definitely a lot of work, but its not hard work. I figure I will have over 200 hours by the time I finish painting my 90.

I would fill the car up with gas and spend a day going around to bodyshops. I wouldn't mention anything about your budget, otherwise they will all price the job at 4000$. You might find a feller that you like and will do the job at a price that's beneficial to both of you.
 

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98 DeVille, 97 DeVille d'Elegance
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Don't forget the time factor in your search. If a shop does it low ball you get put on back burner sometimes and can take forever if the place is busy. Many horror stories around about shops taking years... Don't pay too much down or you'll get screwed for sure.
 
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