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General Tech The Devil is in the Details! Am I asking too much?

DornTRoriginal

Jedi Hopeful
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I got my car back from the body guy and I started looking over the car and assessing how he put things together all day yesterday. I was horrified when I found that he substituted different bolts and screws than the ones I provided and used "standard hardware store quality" bolts to complete the assembly of the fenders and attach the tub to the frame. The sheet metal screws are really interesting? (check out the pictures) (note that the drive shaft of the car came loose while the car was being towed and did a lot of damage to the floor and tunnel assembly 30 years ago. The body shop's task was to do the repairs in a professional manner. I gave him the the option to either buy a new floor panel or use a cut out from a parts car. He was also charged with doing all of the other body work on the car.

  1. In my opinion the holes in the tunnel cover are not "the way they are" and would never be like that on any TR3 with this floor configuration. The welding job, for a professional shop, is not that good.
  2. The bolts used to attach fenders are too long (1 inch length used EVERYWHERE) not only are they not the right length, they look crazy even if they will not be exposed or seen (in the tire well for example they hang down like little fingers).
  3. The sheet metal screws were used to attach the gas pedal assembly to the tub are the wrong size and incorrect type of screw I think?
  4. The shaft of the gas pedal was bent significantly as well during the installation and has to be corrected in order to work properly.
  5. The tub sits high in the rear and the access hole to the shock levers does not line up properly and the tub was bent to give clearance for the lever to travel up and down.
  6. The paint on the car is practically perfect, no issues there at all.

As some of you may recall the body shop has had my car for over three years, they have done a really nice job of painting the car but the way the assembly as been completed is just plain not up to standards, that's what I am saying. I provided the body shop with all the proper bolts and mounting hardware I got from TRF in kits (two kits for each application I double ordered by mistake), I provided detail drawings from an original Triumph parts catalog, and a Moss parts catalog I specifically indicated photo copies of the drawings what bolts were to go where. He says he "lost the bolts along with several other items. The holes in the tunnel are just unacceptable and need to be properly filled and the surface should be smooth.

According to my body shop owner "I am blowing a gasket over nothing". He has agreed to correct everything I want to have re-done if I insist upon it. He says he will complete the corrections now or will do it later after I complete installing the gas tank, wiring, brake lines etc.

What do you guys think, am I being "overly critical"? I have paid a lot of money to have the body work done and to have the car painted so it's not like I have been cheap. I say get it done now and do it right! What would you do?
 

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  • TR3 Tunnel cover repair hole(s) dented  (2).jpg
    TR3 Tunnel cover repair hole(s) dented (2).jpg
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  • TR3 Accelerator Pedal Assembly mounting with sheet metal screws (2).jpg
    TR3 Accelerator Pedal Assembly mounting with sheet metal screws (2).jpg
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  • TR3 Fender mounting 3 wrong size and type of bolt (2).jpg
    TR3 Fender mounting 3 wrong size and type of bolt (2).jpg
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  • TR3 Fender mounting 2 wrong bolt (2).jpg
    TR3 Fender mounting 2 wrong bolt (2).jpg
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  • TR3 pooly aligned access hole to lever (2).jpg
    TR3 pooly aligned access hole to lever (2).jpg
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charleyf

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If he is willing to "correct"the work, do it now before more items are added to the body and areas are less accessible. I note #5--on the car I am working on the driver's side shock hole is way off. Some things like that may not actually be his fault. But the rear of the tunnel looks like he didn't really try to bring it back to normal . Yes the accelerator pedal linkage screws are wrong and look bad. They look oversized which may preclude using a normal diameter screw in there.
Charley
 

TR3driver

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Take it back, as many times as necessary! And do it now, before the shop owner changes his mind, goes out of business, sells to someone else or whatever.

I believe those screws for the accelerator linkage are supposed to thread into the plate that retains the nylon bushing, at least that's the way mine are. Although not a lot of fun, you can probably replace the retaining plates to go back to the right screws.
 

JKB1957

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It's your call, but I wouldn't be happy with this work. I am looking at having my 1960 TR3A repainted. please send me a PM with the name of the body shop that worked on your car so I don't use them.
 

NutmegCT

Great Pumpkin
Online
I'd sure have him fix the issues - but give him photos and text of details, showing specifically what it needs.

Is this a classic car body shop? or a generic body shop? I'd bet if he does "modern" body work (insurance, accident, etc.) he uses the same techniques: bend to fit, whatever bolts are on the bench, etc. And if he's a classic specialist and does these things - what do his recent customers say when you talk to them?

Just my two cents.
 

Kleykamp

Jedi Trainee
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Your thread title sums it up pretty well. Most "generic" body shops won't even do restoration work, because of the detail and extra time required. If you are going for a "driver" restoration vs. show car quality, you can generally accept some short cuts in the interest of budget...if agreed to before hand. It sounds to me like you made it pretty clear before hand what you expected by providing the bolt kits and diagrams,etc. and he agreed to do the job on those terms. If he's done any restoration work, he understands the mindset of putting things back the right way vs. just functional. 1) If he lost the bolt kit for the fenders he should start looking for it or buy you another kit. 2) The tunnel should have been repaired prior to painting. 3) The sheet metal screws for the gas pedal will be problematic as charley said as they appear oversized diameter as well as too long. Maybe shorter ones with the correct hex head would suffice. 4) As previously mentioned, it is possible that the shock bolt access didn't line up originally and is actually where it is supposed to be. I'm not an expert or concourse judge, but I'm pretty sure the bolts along the fender were painted (as if they were on the car when it was painted). I've seen many NICE cars that have the unpainted or stainless fender bolts. I don't know if that factors into judging, if at all. I mention that more as a question than a critique. Maybe someone more expert than myself knows if it makes a difference. To your question. I don't think it's unreasonable to want the parts you took him to be used and if he's willing to correct the issues then I would go for it.
 

TR3TR6

Jedi Warrior
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They had your car for three years??? They probably lost any hardware that you provided in that amount of time. I would take it back and have the areas fixed that aren't right, but I would also have a timeline for completion in writing so they don't have it for another three years. This same type of thing happened to a friend of mine (wasn't a British car), he ended up going up to the shop with his son and just taking the car after they had started on it and then setting it aside. Ended up with the police there, bad situation. He ended up taking it too another body shop to have it finished. There are body shops and then there are body shops, well they think they are a body shop.
 

LarryK

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Personally, if a shop did this to me on a paid restoration, I would never let him touch it again. The shop has no inclination of detail and his crew are accident fixers for money. Better redo yourself so you know it is right. Any paint boggles or holes I would make him repair as he has the paint color code. Or get the code and find some hot rod guys to help you, they are more detailed.
 

HealeyRick

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I just read some of your earlier posts about your experience with this shop. I'd have to think long and hard about returning the car there to rectify these issues. Not being a TR guy, I don't know if the tub misalignment is a serious problem and if it is, you may have no choice but to return it to the shop. Obviously the tunnel cover is a bodge, but unless you're planning on competing in concours maybe you could live with it as I assume it's not going to be seen. The fasteners you could replace on your own. I'm not saying this to justify the shop's work, it just seems that by returning it you risk having it sit there for another year. I might even look around for another shop that could quickly do the tunnel repair. Even though you paid to have it done right the first time, you have to ask yourself whether dealing with this guy any further is worth your time and sanity.
 
OP
DornTRoriginal

DornTRoriginal

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No, I paid in installments for the work as it was completed until last year he asked for an advance to but the paint and so other stuff and I foolishly paid the balance because he said everything would be done in "two weeks".
 

Gliderman8

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I have to agree with the other guys; get as far away as possible from this place. Better to do it yourself.
Just have to ask: Did you make frequent visits to his shop to see the progress? Maybe you could have resolved the problem earlier?
 

pdplot

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The first loss is the cheapest. Take the advice given and either do the hardware work yourself or find a body shop with a track record of good classic restoration and pay them to straighten out the problems. Money fixes everything.
 
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DornTRoriginal

DornTRoriginal

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Personally, if a shop did this to me on a paid restoration, I would never let him touch it again. The shop has no inclination of detail and his crew are accident fixers for money. Better redo yourself so you know it is right. Any paint boggles or holes I would make him repair as he has the paint color code. Or get the code and find some hot rod guys to help you, they are more detailed.

His shop is a hot rod shop....
 
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DornTRoriginal

DornTRoriginal

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I have to agree with the other guys; get as far away as possible from this place. Better to do it yourself.
Just have to ask: Did you make frequent visits to his shop to see the progress? Maybe you could have resolved the problem earlier?

I visited the shop at intervals but not enough. His shop was a 3 hour drive to get there and so it made it difficult with work and everything. If I did it over I'd rethink it, I met the owner and he told me stuff that I found out through experience is not at all true, at least for me. I called four references and checked his web site, yelp etc. and everything checked out.
 

NutmegCT

Great Pumpkin
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One thing I found really helpful - getting references and reports from other club members. Even if you don't belong to a club, contacting the president (or someone) for opinions on various mechanics, body shops, restorers, etc. can be eye opening. A list of references that the shop gives you may be "highly edited".
 

CJD

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Sorry to hear...

Your experience is why I became a mechanical engineer. I have yet to find a shop that will fix things right the first time. Those that do good work charge triple what it costs to just do it yourself, both in time and money...not to mention the lost sleep wondering how to get them to do what they were supposed to do the first time.

It's a true art getting them to fix more after they are already paid. I wish you luck.
 

sp53

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A lot of tr3s have access holes for the rear shocks off like that, and like Randall said the gas pedal screws are special and have a metal bracket. Call Marv I bet he has some, and you can fix that correct yourself. The gas pedal hooks up counterintuitive, so do not let them touch that. Again I have seen fenders that do not line up either. What you want there on the fenders are the original embossed bolts and painted body color anyway--- with a paint job like that. Try and find your old bolts. If that is all the problems you have—DO NOT LET THEM TOUCH THAT CAR AGAIN> and John is correct again.
 

sp53

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What probably happened on the gas pedal is they forgot to put it on then put the tub on and could not get the assembly through the holes. They are tricky. I did that once, but was able to get the pedal in. I cannot remember if I got it in one piece or not, and maybe it was two, but if you start with a good pedal assembly and use a split pin instead of the stock pin, it will work fine. I am actually not sure if the rod is originally straight-- or not--- going along the back of the firewall because everyone I have seen has an arch. Don Elliot would know. Anyways hang in there and go slow. If you are worried about scratching the paint, put some of that painters tape around the area. Some people stick the tape to their jeans a couple of times to pull some of the sticky off. You can do this because there is a lot of help here!
 

Brinkerhoff

Jedi Knight
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Thats why a TR3 "restoration" can't be done for 15K. Its two -three months to put one back together correctly, plus break in time. I wonder what else has been assembled wrong don't you?
 
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