:::Thoughts (Should I Put In For A New Quarter Panel?)

NDL

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Hello Y'all! I am a budget minded consumer, who owns a 2001 Ford Ranger base truck. The truck's got about 200k, but she runs well. Even so, she's a work truck, nothing fancy. The portion of the rear quarter panel, immediately above the wheel lip, rusted through. I want to do something about this, such as to make the truck presentable looking, but I don't want to put lipstick on a pig. One thought is that I could bide my time with a temporary fiberglass patch repair (which I would do myself), thinking that it might hold me over until I buy something newer. The other option is to have a panel patch welded on; the patch itself will run $75, but then there's the labor involved + having to grind the welds down, and repaint. The shops around me are either of the low end Maaco variety, or top end shops which perform flawless repairs on late model cars. Unfortunately, we don't have a local shop that does decent, affordable, work. I am simply looking to make the truck look halfway presentable. Does anyone have a ballpark range as to what it would cost to have a quarter panel patch welded in, and fresh paint? Again...I haven't approached any of the shops around town, as they would do a showroom style job, costing several thousand dollars. I figured maybe someone in the know might give me a ballpark figure to work around. I live just west of Charlotte, NC. TIA
 
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581
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Omaha, NE USA
If it were me, I wouldn't bother with any of the options listed. Given that the truck is 18 years old with 200k I would probably just stick to minimal maintenance and not do any body work. With the current value of the truck any money spent sprucing it up won't net a return when it is time to sell it or trade it in.
 
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AR
At my local pick and pull a truck bed no lights or tailgate runs $150 plus tax. Idk about your area, but it might be a good option to look into.
 
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3,409
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St. Charles County, Missouri
Earl Scheib is long gone nationally, though a few stores remain as independents still carrying the name. I was having dinner with someone tonight and we were talking about the joys of getting a cheap paint job on a beater. In the old days you'd get to pick from about ten standard colors, which of course eventually chipped off revealing the red spots under the new maroon paint. Door jams, and decent prep were not included. If I were you, I'd get rid of that rust-- maybe a patch, maybe finding a pick and pull bed. I'd get the cheapest paint job I could wrangle. I'd pay a few hundred max. Do as much prep yourself as you can handle. In my day I got probably five different paint jobs, some in the seventies running thirty or forty bucks. Think I got some bodywork thrown in for well under $100. Don't think they ever painted my tires green but purists would cringe. Obviously prices aren't what they were a half century ago, but I still remember these crap paint jobs with certain fond memories. Sort of the equivalent of throwing a bottle of Restore into an almost cooked engine and getting another year out of it.
 
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1,730
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Cincinnati, USA
I'd need a picture, but considering the age of the vehicle you should be able to take a piece of sheet metal and beat it to a near enough shape, weld it on, plus filler. If this is not DIY, yeah there's the labor. Things you can DIY with low skill and cost could look fine but won't last long term. If by the labor you meant the DIY labor then it's all about how much work you want to do for cosmetic reasons vs paying someone... same as always except this is elective surgery. If you're really cheap but ambitious, you can completely remove the rusted metal and I mean completely, then lay down some fiberglass matting, epoxy resin, with a mesh or metal framework (riveted on if welding is beyond doing) if the gap is to large for the fiberglass to stay at the shape needed, and then body fill, primer and paint. It may not look perfect. Perfect costs $$$/$$$$, or a good eye for matching the contours and putting more on, multiple steps until you are satisfied and ready to paint.
 
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1,190
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south dakota
I have had stuff like that repaired and it always comes back. Either get a new box or have the patch panel welded in and painted. Either way it's going to cost you quite a lot of money.
 
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24,807
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Upstate NY
Originally Posted by NDL
Hello Y'all! I am a budget minded consumer, who owns a 2001 Ford Ranger base truck. The truck's got about 200k, but she runs well. Even so, she's a work truck, nothing fancy. The portion of the rear quarter panel, immediately above the wheel lip, rusted through. I want to do something about this, such as to make the truck presentable looking, but I don't want to put lipstick on a pig. One thought is that I could bide my time with a temporary fiberglass patch repair (which I would do myself), thinking that it might hold me over until I buy something newer. The other option is to have a panel patch welded on; the patch itself will run $75, but then there's the labor involved + having to grind the welds down, and repaint. The shops around me are either of the low end Maaco variety, or top end shops which perform flawless repairs on late model cars. Unfortunately, we don't have a local shop that does decent, affordable, work. I am simply looking to make the truck look halfway presentable. Does anyone have a ballpark range as to what it would cost to have a quarter panel patch welded in, and fresh paint? Again...I haven't approached any of the shops around town, as they would do a showroom style job, costing several thousand dollars. I figured maybe someone in the know might give me a ballpark figure to work around. I live just west of Charlotte, NC. TIA
I have found some "one man" body shops that will do rust repair at a reasonable cost. The large body shops are doing work for insurance claims and cannot be bothered.
 
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7,652
Location
MI
Maybe investigate some somewhat attractive and affordable fender flares? Treat the rust to attempt to slow it down, slap on the flares, and call it good. [Linked Image]
 

NDL

Messages
166
Location
Carolina Foothills
Thread starter
Originally Posted by csandste
Earl Scheib is long gone nationally, though a few stores remain as independents still carrying the name. I was having dinner with someone tonight and we were talking about the joys of getting a cheap paint job on a beater. In the old days you'd get to pick from about ten standard colors, which of course eventually chipped off revealing the red spots under the new maroon paint. Door jams, and decent prep were not included. If I were you, I'd get rid of that rust-- maybe a patch, maybe finding a pick and pull bed. I'd get the cheapest paint job I could wrangle. I'd pay a few hundred max. Do as much prep yourself as you can handle. In my day I got probably five different paint jobs, some in the seventies running thirty or forty bucks. Think I got some bodywork thrown in for well under $100. Don't think they ever painted my tires green but purists would cringe. Obviously prices aren't what they were a half century ago, but I still remember these crap paint jobs with certain fond memories. Sort of the equivalent of throwing a bottle of Restore into an almost cooked engine and getting another year out of it.
Originally Posted by Dave9
I'd need a picture, but considering the age of the vehicle you should be able to take a piece of sheet metal and beat it to a near enough shape, weld it on, plus filler. If this is not DIY, yeah there's the labor. Things you can DIY with low skill and cost could look fine but won't last long term. If by the labor you meant the DIY labor then it's all about how much work you want to do for cosmetic reasons vs paying someone... same as always except this is elective surgery. If you're really cheap but ambitious, you can completely remove the rusted metal and I mean completely, then lay down some fiberglass matting, epoxy resin, with a mesh or metal framework (riveted on if welding is beyond doing) if the gap is to large for the fiberglass to stay at the shape needed, and then body fill, primer and paint. It may not look perfect. Perfect costs $$$/$$$$, or a good eye for matching the contours and putting more on, multiple steps until you are satisfied and ready to paint.
Originally Posted by joekingcorvette
I have had stuff like that repaired and it always comes back. Either get a new box or have the patch panel welded in and painted. Either way it's going to cost you quite a lot of money.
Originally Posted by doitmyself
Maybe investigate some somewhat attractive and affordable fender flares? Treat the rust to attempt to slow it down, slap on the flares, and call it good. [Linked Image]
I want to thank everyone for their replies, and for the time y'all took to give me your opinions. You have all given me something to think about... The fender flares were a good suggestion, but a decent set will run around $350, which I could otherwise use for a semi temporary repair. The local Maaco shops are not well thought of, and Earl Scheib shops are sorely missed (my high school shop teacher had them paint his Nova, and they did a surprisingly good job). Assuming that I put a fiberglass patch over the hole, (and I have enough skill such that I think it would look halfway decent), what do you think the average shop would charge me to hit that part of the quarter panel with paint? Or is it likely that most shops wouldn't be interested in half a--ing the quarter panel, which would leave me with a rattle can paint job?
 
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7,652
Location
MI
If minimal expense is your goal, maybe after fiberglass repair could you do a faux fender flare with roll-on bed liner?? [Linked Image]
 
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2,680
Location
Lakeside, CA
If I were in your shoes I'd be on the lookout for a bed out of a wrecking yard in the same color. I pulled the bed off my old 1999 Ranger in under an hour by myself in my garage.
 
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4,429
Location
Connecticut
If you're up to the repair itself, why not a shot at the painting too? Pick up an inexpensive paint sprayer and compressor and give it a whirl. Lots of tips on line on how to do your first spray job.
 
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9,862
Location
Birmingham, AL
If the rust is bad enough to eat through the body, the truck had to have come from a Northern state. You may want to check things like the condition of the rear spring shackles, bumper mounting area, fuel tank straps, etc. before proceeding with repairing cosmetic issues. It's usually pretty hard to find a replacement bed that is a good color match...even if the color is the same it's probably going to be noticeable that the bed has been changed without some paint work, at the very least a good buffing. Replacing the bed would be a good opportunity to clean up the frame on the truck and make any necessary repairs to the parts I mentioned above though. There's probably nothing to lose by trying your fiberglass idea except some time and cost of materials if it doesn't work out. I'd just spray paint the finished repair.
 
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On another site
Originally Posted by Jethro_Bob
At my local pick and pull a truck bed no lights or tailgate runs $150 plus tax. Idk about your area, but it might be a good option to look into.
That was my first thought also, a donor vehicle.
 
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4,582
Location
Lima, Ohio, USA
check with your local "career center/Vocational School/etc" they usually have an auto body program, and need vehicles for the kids to work on. They normally have heavily discounted labor costs...
 

NDL

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166
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Carolina Foothills
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*** I hate not replying to each person individually, as I appreciate the time that each person has taken in offering a solution. I thank y'all for sharing your ideas. Contacting the area vocational college was a great suggestion, but I had already done that, and they don't do body work on donor vehicles unfortunately. The flares sounded like the best solution, but I didn't run with that, because I had seen flares costing several hundred dollars. Yet one poster (on this thread) came in around $150, which makes it a worthwhile solution. The other thing is to patch it with fiberglass, and yes, maybe give the paint a whirl myself. Again, thanks to all for your time.
 
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