Oh man. thanks for the freehosting photobucket. I'm not even mad. Lets try this imgur hosting.
So this happened on my way home from work on 6/19/17. Two lane left turn lane, i'm in the right lane. Guy in older Dodge Caravan in left lane decides to go straight and doesn't see me during his decision to go straight. The bump was light, and the guy didn't even pull over, but he did stop at the next red light. Being that it was 2am, I just got his license plate and called the police. I'm finally posting about it now because the body shop was really busy, understaffed, pregnant wife, re-staffed, [fill-in-body-shop-excuse], etc, but today the car finally got sprayed in the booth.
Thanks to 181stLeader and Da5Dime for all their text messaging and guidance through this process.
Here's the timeline:
Quarter Damage and rear bumper damage nothing major.
The wheel didnt get hit and the suspension is fine. the wheel is loose because
I was getting my spare wheels put on.
Morning right before I dropped off the car at the body shop. I went with a local body shop because I've seen plenty of Subaru activity coming and going out of the shop as it is near my local freeway on-ramp. The reviews didn't look terrible online either. In the past, my go-to body shop is AutoExplosion in Gardena, but I just didn't want to drive that far.
I wanted to help them out and protect some of my hard-to-find parts, so I partially disassembled the car and gutted the interior and trunk - as I opted to have the side molding holes shaved as well.
Every time I drove by the shop, I could see the car had barely moved or had any work done to it. ONE MONTH!!!
Finally I see it being worked on. Looks like they took care of accident damage and started doing some of the cosmetic work and disassembly.
More work, possibly start doing the molding removal?
I was thinking at this point "yeah they're making slow steady progress, hopefully it'll be done in a couple weeks"
WRONG! I drove by the shop with the car in this same spot and condition for almost 3 weeks. I've been in the car game for a while and know how these things work. You can't rush the work, or it'll show in the final product. You can't give them free reign, or you'll never get a final product. It's a hard game to play.
After seeing the car sit, I had a stern talk with the shop guys about realistic time estimates. I knew they were understaffed and behind on timelines, but I just didn't want to keep hearing the generic "by the end of the week [fill-in-the-blank] should be done." I told them to be honest with me and if they were too busy I would pay them for the work already done and go somewhere else that could finish the car in a timely manner. I knew I couldnt be the only upset customer, as many of the cars that were there when I dropped the car off were still there with small progress.
I finally see more promising work my next visit. I forgot what this stage was called, but it was a thick coat of primer, and required a couple of days of curing time, so I was told. Once cured, final blocking could be done to the car.
At this point in time, there was a death in the family, so I really really wanted my car back to get my mind off of the grieving. Of course, the car sits in this state for too long.
The body shop actually called me the day before to say that the car was going into the paint booth. I had requested to see the car before to make sure everything was ready and correctly masked.
my Euro-market rear bumper (thanks Dave to the link to the guy in the UK)
front bumper, front lip, and rear bumper support waiting to be prepped (thanks Dave for the license plate lights).
I had to keep reminding them to smooth the rear fender lips, so they finally did it in this picture with one of their air hammer tools.
I was so happy to finally see actual work being done. On a Saturday no less.
yessss finally in the paint booth, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining. The last coats of clear were just laid before these pics were taken.
I haven't seen a car this quickly after painting in person, but it did seem that there were a lot of specks of dust or maybe bubbles? I read up on this, and its possibly because they laid the clear too thick, or didnt let it flash enough between coats? Hopefully wetsanding etc will leave a cleaner finish?
Maybe its one of those "dont look at how the sausage is made" kind of things?
Either way I just hope it doesnt turn into another waiting game to get the bumpers and other loose parts painted. Then another waiting game to get it colorsanded and buffed. Or some other issue I cant tell yet (painted parts that werent masked correctly, engine bay, door jambs, suspension parts etc.
I feel so nervous about all of this. Like I waited all of this time, for only a sub-par paint job.
If all goes well, hopefully it'll be presentable for Subiefest on October 15? I only live 3 miles away, so I hope so.
My last visit saw them begin wet sanding the car, but I talked to the guys and we agreed that the original paint with all the bubbles and dust would need to be re-done. I'm not sure if they were covering up their mistakes/equipment, but either way I didnt want a sub-par end result.
Right before they were going to re-clear the car.
10/4/17 4:27PM I was muuuch happier with the clear this time around.
Finally seeing some work on the sideskirts and bumpers.
I need to repaint my STM also. How much did they charge you for all that? I live in San Diego though but if I know it will turn out good I might drive it up there in LA. BTW the car looks awesome just like 181stLeader's ride.
Thanks! I dont know if i would recommend them just yet on behalf of them taking so long. I will go over all the small details of the work done once I get the car back. As far as pricing I dont know what the final tally will be. I also had accident repair done, so I cant give an honest number if you are going for just a re-spray.