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#641921 - 01/26/09 02:49 AM Check your fresh work (Body & Paint)  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 772
Beemer Offline
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Beemer  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 772
West Des Moines, Iowa
Hey guys!

I'd like to take a few seconds to expain why I;m writing this for everyone. My first collison repair that I had was taken to what was known as a good shop, I wasn't looking for a cheap deal, but I've heard good things from them and decided to do business with them. After 2 weeks of not having my car, they finally called and said it was ready. At the time I jusdt got it and went out for the night, but the next morning I took a good look at it, and MANNNNNN, was I pissed.

Soooo. I thought I'd sit down in my spare time and type up a little "how to" on checking your fresh make-over of your beloved Monte.

Also keep in mind that I'm not speaking for every shop, just the ones I've seen go out of business or seen their hack work.

Lot's of people desire a beautiful paint job and perfect straight, smooth panels. This isn't an easy task to say the least, especially with the new types of paint and different skills to achieve the finishing product, not to mention your budget. So let's start with the elements of body.

The most basic way to check a plastic filler (i.e. Bondo) repair is to look for a few things. Pits, warpage and the commonly named "a-hole" spots. Take a look down the side of your car, with your face almost touching the panel adjacent of the panel reworked. Look at the full area where you had some damage. If you see any bulging, sinking, and/or fisheye type areas, take it back up and see what yall can work out, as this on a nice sunny day will piss you off to no end.

The common "a-hole" spots are performed by taking a DA (Dual-Action Sander) and instead of sanding the whole area down with patience with the pad flat, they dip the pad to get the dipped area quicker. Once you do this, it's hard to remember where the area was as you cant see where the sander didn't hit the spot. This is where guide coating comes in. Guide coating comes in many forms, but the easiest is with a flat black spray can. And you basically sand down until the spray is gone, and it leaves behind any sank in areas and high spots. We won't get into that too much but ask them before you take your gem in if they will be guide coating before laying a base coat. It's the least you can do.

Pitting is basically like rust pits, except these wont grow like oxidation does. But since thats a defect, (bubbles in the filler normally cause this), it can lead to cracking in the area. Keep an eye out for these.

You can always pull apart the panel you had done and see the extent of repair to the actual metal they performed. Say, for example, a door. If you had a hefty ding in the door, the proper way to repair this is to pull the dent with a spot puller or a basic body hammer and dolly set, to get the metal as flat as possible, to use minimal filler. It used to be lead work on the metal, but filler is easier now, so most shops switched to that. To check the quality or your repair, pull the interior panels off, I'm pretty sure you remember where the dent is, and see how flat the panel is. If they didn't pull it flat, there's a chance it will crack later on in life, and you'll have to get it repaired once again. You don't want high amounts of filler because: It's heavy, It will only thoroughly stick to bare metal, and it has a tendency to crack in cold temperatures.

The same goes for plastic bumpers and fiberglass. Our spoilers are ABS hard plastic, and our bumpers are made from a soft ABS resin to form and they are very flexible. Flex additives need to be added into paint for these areas, other wise you can push on your bumper, and boom you just cracked your fresh paint off. Just about everyone these days adds this, so you shouldn't worry about it too much, but if you're curious just ask!

Now that's the simple stuff with body work, It's hard to describe all of it as there's alot of work that comes into play.

Now onto paint.

Painting seems easy, and everyone thinks they can do it. Sure, it's easy to load a gun and spray, but for a full job, takes dedication, great eyes, attention to very fine detail, and a steady hand. So in perspective, anyone CAN shoot a car, but for it to be a great quality, you need to know what you're doing.

The basic elements of paint are this. Paint and hardeners. Catalysts are the magic beans that get that fresh paint to sit right and not stay wet for days on end. Without these, you're screwed. But you don't need to worry as that has been a standard since the beginning of painting.

The most common types of paint are these:

Single Stage - Base/Clear mixed together. It's cheaper, easier, but doesn't look better in the end because you cant sand much on the single stage as it's clear doesn't sit ONTOP of the base. Follow me?

Two Stage - Simple. Base then Clear. This is the most common method. You can lay as many coats of it as you want, and it won't stack dirty or muck up. With respect to which companies products you use. There are products like House of Kolor that you can stack 15 layers and the clear wont yellow. Most shots are 3 coats each. Give or take. It's easy to cut and buff (wet sand the clear, and buff with compound), and still relatively cheap.

Three Stage - AKA Tri-stage or triple shot. These are commonly used for high metallic or pearl paints. You can still add metallic flake in a Two Stage, but this Three Stage is dedicated to it. Since you have Base, Flake, and Clear. You can get you're depth of the flake layer without wasting color and stacking paint too high. The common thickness of paint is 3 mills. I've seen paint stacked to 14 mills. Which is about as high as you want to get on paint. If you're worried about how thick it's gonna be, Im sure you can see if a local shop will check it out, they are pretty cool. The more flake, the darker the color will appear. Always remember that. They will do a drop coating if they are a reputable shop, so ask them about that as well. This involves spraying at 45 degrees instead of 90 as their final layer to help settle the flake and keep it up top and even. Then you shoot you're clear. This is the best way to achieve a great flake job as with the clear sitting ontop of the flake layer, you don't have to worry about sanding into the flake and getting a rough, uneven paint job from the flake coming through the final layer. Still following me? I hope haha.

The last I will talk about as far as paint is the Chameleon paint jobs. Everyone knows what I'm talking about when I say "DANG look at that car it's changing color when you move!" that's a Chameleon job. These are impressive, and VERY expensive. The dangers with these is, depending on how many colors you want it to change, will have different amounts of layers. The one thing that will always get a painter in the end is messing up on one of these. If you mess up (i.e. runs, chip, scratch) you have to strip the entire vehicle and respray AGAIN, if you want it to look it's best. That's a complete loss of money if you do, and it requires alot of work, and dedication if you want that job to come out right. So you can see why it's so expensive.

So now that I've covered the basics of what types of jobs there are, I can tell you how to check for flaws.

From what I've seen in my early jobs, jobs by others, and simply rushing it, are these.

Overspray - Everyone knows what this is. Check all you're jams, weatherstripping, windows, and plastic parts in the windows, all your glass, behind the license plate, in the tunnel area for the gas tank. Check for any color there. If there is, take it back and see if theyll get it off for ya. It can be removed with thinner, but be careful, as thinner on fresh paint = etching. Which leads to rust, flaking, peeling, bubbling, color removal. You can try it at home, but if you do, you run the risk of pulling off fresh paint, which they will NOT fix for you as you did it.

Check your edges - A top quality paint job will involve removing components, instead of painting around them. Ask if they will remove the door handles, locks, side mirrors, emblems, trimming, ect. If they don't, I would recommend not doing business with them as you will not like the outcome unless you've got some deep pockets and are willing to pay extra. It will be rough around the edges, uneven, and half the time it will not be a straight line where they masked instead of removed. Always have this a priority, you wont regret it. Check all aforementioned areas for those problems.

Rocker panels - Alot of people will be lazy and forget to paint fully in these areas. Check them for full color and smooth clear, any sandy feeling is clear that isn't laid smooth from end to end. Take it back up and see what they can do.

Lips - No not the ones you kiss haha. Check all wheel well lips. Some people won't get down low and tip their guns at the goofy angle required to spray these. Check for paint and clear coat.

Exhaust tips and wheel wells/tires - Check for overspray and hard lines from masking here. If there is any damages to these areas, take it back up! Also check your tires and wheels for overspray. Nobody likes dirty wheels, especially if you cant get them clean because someone didnt take the time to mask right.

Obviously look for any runs or bare spots. Keep an eye out for fisheyes (think literally) as those are silicon in your paint and will mess the base/clear up.

Decals and pinstripping - Always check for adhesive around them, as some people have a tendency not to clean these up. Also check for air bubbles underneath as this will lead to peeling. Check to make sure the stop points (edges) are cut straight, and they don't wrap them around edges, as THOSE WILL peel very fast. I had a problem with all decals and stripes on the door (exactly what I described) and they fixed it.

Cut and buffing - These...don't ever expect your car to come back with NO orange peel unless you spent in excess of 10 grand. But do expect the texture to be matching and minimal on all panels. Trust me, I hate when they come out funky. This will cost extra more than likely, so be prepared for some extra cash. Check the edges to see how close they got, if they went overboard and burnt through the paint, or if they even cared about the edges. Edges are hard to keep even with the rest of the panel, unless you've been in the business for quite some time. I still have issues keeping them even, and if you sand on them when they are thinner the rest, you better be damn sure it's gonna burn through to primer/sealer or worse, bare metal. Just keep an eye out on your edges.

So there you have it! Off the top of my head, I went through the basic elements that I've seen flawed. I obviously left out alot, but that's because most of it is if they miss it, they will know immediately, as will you. I just wanted to point out issues I've seen/done, so that way other shops wont get away with it. Most shops have their own tricks of the trade, and are very good at them, so you shouldn't have to worry too much except for what I've listed. Also, if anyone wants to add anything, feel free too as I may have left out some good stuff and not realized it.

I sure hope this helps out alot for the future jobs done. ALWAYS ALWAYS check the rep of a shop, if they have insurance for your car being stolen, and ask if they have any pictures of their past work. ASE certification is always a plus. Have them walk you through their shop to see how dirty or half-assed the place is. This is very simple stuff, and if they can't do that for you, they don't deserve your business.

There are just too many low standard places. So it's always good to be on your toes and show them you know what you're talking about, that will get you really far with your job. If they know you're not messin around, they wont try to pull a fast one on you. And the ones that still try will more than likely be out of business in a year lol.

Anyways, that's it guys! Hopefully you got to here without sayin "good God, it's finally finished" hahaha.

Thanks for readin!

- Brandon

Last edited by Z65_Paul; 02/21/09 04:39 AM. Reason: User provided edits based on the issues others had with the write-up

Nothin but a G-thang

Jade
#642205 - 01/26/09 10:40 PM Re: Check your fresh work (Body & Paint) [Re: Beemer]  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,653
upflying Offline
20+ Year
upflying  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,653
Reno, NV
Great write up, I kind of thought this would be sent down to the DIY section by the mods. Prep is 95% and the most expensive part of a good paint job. I knew this and did all the blocking with high build primer and panel straightening before I sent it to the body shop for paint. I spent five months on the body, four hours a day before it was ready. This photo is one week after I got out of the shop. My car is painted with two stage Sikken's.


86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

#642209 - 01/26/09 10:46 PM Re: Check your fresh work (Body & Paint) [Re: Beemer]  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,653
upflying Offline
20+ Year
upflying  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,653
Reno, NV
Got a few more body work photos to share.








86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

#642219 - 01/26/09 11:12 PM Re: Check your fresh work (Body & Paint) [Re: upflying]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 772
Beemer Offline
Member
Beemer  Offline
Member

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 772
West Des Moines, Iowa
Great photos guys! I wish I had more for the monte but the only one's I have are these:







Turned out straight as a pin when I was done, damn these spoilers haha.

Keep it up guys! I love mid stage pictures =)


Nothin but a G-thang

Jade
#651372 - 02/21/09 03:52 AM Re: Check your fresh work (Body & Paint) [Re: Beemer]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 734
70 ELCO Offline
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70 ELCO  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 734
BALTIMORE MARYLAND
"The most basic way to check a plastic filler (i.e. Bondo) repair is to look for a few things. Pits, warpage and the commonly named "a-hole" spots. Take a look down the side of your car, with your face almost touching the panel adjacent of the panel reworked. look at the full area where you had some damage. If you see any bulging, sinking, and/or fisheye type areas, take it right back and demand it be repaired the proper way, as this on a nice sunny day will piss you off to no end seeing that area till not perfect."

Ok heres where this went wrong
1)filler pinholes not fisheyes
2)unless you cough up a bunch of money your car wil be getting finish sanded with a d.a. and it does not have to be held on edge to create waves it will make the panel appear rippled simply by running it across. If you do not want this YOU MUST SPECIFY UPFRONT THAT ALL FINAL SANDING MUST BE DONE BY BLOCK OR FILE BOARD AND AGREE TO ALL EXPENSE RELATED TO IT

Pitting is basically like rust pits, except these wont grow like oxidation does. But since thats a defect in their job (bubbles in the filler normally cause this), it can lead to cracking in the area. Keep an eye out for these.

Actually it won't cause cracking. In severe cases it may cause the paint to blister or lift.

You can always pull apart the panel you had done and see the extent of repair to the actual metal they performed. Say, for example, a door. If you had a hefty ding in the door, the proper way to repair this is to pull the dent with a spot puller, to get the metal as flat as possible, to use minimal filler. It used to be lead work on the metal, but filler is easier now, so most shops switched to that. To check the quality or your repair. Pull the interior panels off, I'm pretty sure you remember where the dent is, and see how flat the panel is. If they didn't pull it flat, there's a chance it will crack later on in life, and you'll have to get it repaired once again. You don't want high amounts of filler because: It's heavy, It will only thoroughly stick to bare metal, and it has a tendency to crack in cold temperatures.


For starters if you pull the panel off and break something don't expect the shop to fix it. If you can't trust that the shop properly repaired the dent then you made a mistake paying them to fix it. Using a stud gun will pull the dent out it will also burn off any corrosion protection that was on the other side of the panel. That will always breed rust especially in quarter panels and rockers. Furthermore you run the risk of burning a hole thru the panel. The ideal way would be to bump the metal oyt from the backside. If quality filler is used it will not crack unless it is entirely too thick and it will not crack simply because of cold weather. Also filler will stick to any properly abraided substrate. It is preferable to apply filler over top of epoxy primer with in the reapply window since it will have strong chemical adhesion.

The same goes for plastic bumpers and fiberglass. Our spoilers are ABS hard plastic, and our bumpers are made from a soft ABS resin to form and they are very flexible. Flex additives need to be added into paint for these areas, other wise you can push on your bumper, and boom you just cracked your fresh paint off. Check to make sure they'll add flex additives in the plastic areas. That's a must!


Most gm bumpers are olefin which just happens to be the nastiest of plastics to work with due to its waxy feel and difficulty to gain adhesion. Abs is a rigid plastic. As for flex additive proceed at your own peril i have used it but i don't like dumping foreign materials into paint. It oftenly clouds the clear and understand this paint and the plastic part it is applied to flex at different rates. While it may not crack it will loose mechanical adhesion underneath. This will eventually become evident when that crunchy candy shell gets a stone chip fills with water and a large chunk of paint comes off in one shot. I'll take spiderweb cracks thank you.

The basic elements of paint are this. Paint and hardeners. Catalysts are the magic beans that get that fresh paint to sit right and not stay wet for days on end. Without these, you're screwed. But you don't need to worry as that has been a standard since the beginning of painting.

Many paint systems are 3 part products i.e. clear hardener/catalyst and a reducer. In the old days paints did not have hardeners and they didn't cure they dried.

Single Stage - Base/Clear mixed together. It's cheaper, easier, but doesn't look better in the end because you cant sand much on the single stage as it's clear doesn't sit ONTOP of the base. Follow me?


Single stage is it's own animal and not a mix of base and clear. When going with a solid color single stage makes the color more pure and vibrant than base/clear. As long as you use a premium product it will have almost evry bit as much gloss as base/clear. It will also lay extremely well when using a slow activator.

Two Stage - Simple. Base then Clear. This is the most common method. You can lay as many coats of it as you want, and it won't stack dirty or muck up. With respect to which companies products you use. There are products like House of Kolor that you can stack 15 layers and the clear wont yellow. Most shots are 3 coats each. Give or take. It's easy to cut and buff (wet sand the clear, and buff with compound), and still relatively cheap.

The prime concern with multiple layers of clear is cracking and checking. Most paintmakers discourage using more than 3 coats and prefer for you to stay to 2 coats depending how how rapidly you achieve film build. That is a function of gun brand, travel speed, distance and product. If the vehicle will not be garage kept i like to stick with 2 coats since i spray slow and deliberate. I will do 3 if it is gettin wetsanded ao it will be garage kept. I also will warn that it is not advisable to wetsand a car that will be exposed to constant sunlight. There is a uv screen that is made into the clear and when the clear cures and releases solvent it goes right to the surface. Therefore wetsanding takes this right off the top.

Three Stage - AKA Tri-stage or triple shot. These are commonly used for high metallic or pearl paints. You can still add metallic flake in a Two Stage, but this Three Stage is dedicated to it. Since you have Base, Flake, and Clear. You can get you're depth of the flake layer without wasting color and stacking paint too high. The common thickness of paint is 3 mills. I've seen paint stacked to 8 mills. Which is 1/3" and not good at all haha. The more flake, the darker the color will appear. Always remember that. They will do a drop coating if they are a reputable shop, so ask them about that as well. This involves spraying at 45 degrees instead of 90 as thier final layer to help settle the flake and keep it up top and even. Then you shoot you're clear. This is the best way to achieve a great flake job as with the clear sitting ontop of the flake layer, you don't have to worry about sanding into the flake and getting a rough, uneven paint job from the flake coming through the final layer. Still following me? I hope haha.

To clarify 3 stage and flake jobs are completely different. 3 stage paint has been a factory options since the 80's and dating way back to the dawn of custom paint it was done using crushed pearls. It began as candy apple red's and pearl white's since certain colors absorb pearl and metallic due to their coverage and the strength of their toners. Applying a pearl or metallic midcoat over basecoat results in a mush lighter color. Most 3 stages have a tinted midcoat just to cast a color over the pearl. Regarding film build i can soeak for several paint brands that i have used which require a 4 mil build for the clearcoat itself. Do not confuse mils with milimeters. A contractor trash bag is one mil thick. Fold that over itself 8 times and measure it you will find it is nowhere near an 1/8" let alone 1/3". As for the metallic, the easiest way to lighten the face of the color is to add metallic to it. The particles will reflect the light thus giving the color a much lighter appearance. A drop caot will also lighten the color since the metallic will lay coarse and sit up higher. The proper way is to cross coat at the same distance and travel speed this way you do not affect the color's appearance and you simply hedge your bet against having tiger striped the panels in the event that your gun was not atomizing well or your air pressure was not staying consistent. I won't go in depth into true metal flake but i will say it will ruin a paint gun cause the flakes will never come all the way out (until you are spraying solid black) and the clear will have to be piled on to bury the flake. Even still the wetsanding must be very carefully done since the flakes are shrap and stand up high. It will have to be recleared and wetsanded several times to completely bury it. If a flake gets caught on the paper it will drag and gouge the paint and then you are back to square one having to redo it.

The last I will talk about as far as paint is the Chameleon paint jobs. Everyone knows what I'm talking about when I say "DANG look at that car it's changing color when you move!" that's a Chameleon job. These are impressive, and VERY expensive. The dangers with these is, depending on how many colors you want it to change, will have different amounts of layers. The one thing that will always get a painter in the end is messing up on one of these. If you mess up (i.e. runs, chip, scratch) you have to strip the entire vehicle and respray AGAIN, if you want it to look it's best. That's a complete loss of money if you do, and it requires alot of work, and dedication if you want that job to come out right. So you can see why it's so expensive.

I think you have chameleons confused with candies. Chameleons are generally easy to work with so long as your gun is spraying properly and your air source is staying consistent. The ones i have used where straight forward base/clear applications used over top of a value shaded sealer. Candy on the other hand requires a base coat followed by several coats of candy each coat will change the appearance of the color and if you get really involved you may opt to blend one shade into another or apply a different candy over the first one you apply. Candy can be blended but most times it is better to just redo the whole vehicle on a high dollar job.

Overspray - Everyone knows what this is. Check all you're jams, weatherstripping, windows, and plastic parts in the windows, all your glass, behind the license plate, in the tunnel area for the gas tank. Check for any color there. If there is, take it back and demand it be thoroughly gone over and all of it removed. It can be removed with thinner, but be careful, as thinner on fresh paint = etching. Which leads to rust, flaking, peeling, bubbling, color removal. You can try it at home, but if you do, you run the risk of pulling off fresh paint, which they will NOT fix for you as you did it.

Instead i would recommend that you request it be removed. Treat others as you would like to be treated right?

Check your edges - A top quality paint job will involve removing components, instead of painting around them. Ask if they will remove the door handles, locks, side mirrors, emblems, trimming, ect. If they don't, I would recommend not doing business with them as you will not like the outcome. It will be rough around the edges, uneven, and half the time it will not be a straight line where they masked instead of removed. Always have this a priority, you wont regret it. Check all aforementioned areas for those problems.

In a collision situation this will be required but in a resto/repaint scenario it will be optional. However be aware that it comes with considerable expense. Yes it will be worth it but be honest with yourself about what you have to spend on your project since paint cost will pile up very rapidly.

Rocker panels - Alot of people will be lazy and forget to paint fully in these areas. Check them for full color and smooth clear, any sandy feeling is clear that isn't laid smooth from end to end. Have them fix it.

Understand that unless your car is a full blown resto the outer rocker should be smooth and even in appearance but the underside will most likely have partial coverage due to the distance from the car to the floor being less than the height of the paint gun. You can request that they jack your car up and place it on stands but again every thing will add expense.

Exhaust tips and wheel wells/tires - Check for overspray and hard lines from masking here. If there is any damages to these areas. Demand repair or replacement (tips obviously haha, not replacing wheel wells lol) Also check your tires and wheels for overspray. Nobody likes dirty wheels, especially if you cant get them clean because some idiot messed up.

Rather than demand explain to them that you are unhappy with this and you want remedy allow them the chance to fix the problem before making threats or demands. When you threaten to sue us we mock you as soon as you pull away.

Decals and pinstripping - Always check for adhesive around them, as they have a tendency not to clean these up. Also check for air bubbles underneath as this will lead to peeling. Check to make sure the stop points (edges) are cut straight, and they don't wrap them around edges, as THOSE WILL peel very fast. I had a problem with all decals and stripes on the door (exactly what I described) and they fixed it.

Bubbles will not lead to peeling it will just make for an irritating blemish. Most decals are wrapped around the edge of a panel and there is a ood reason for that. Unless the striping is a die cut application specific set it will have to be cut at the end of the panel. Cutting it will leave a fine cut thru the clear and allow moisture a way to sneak inward toward the metal. For this reason it is preferable to have the decals wrap around since the cut can be made in the gap between panels where paint will not be damaged and the stripe can be folded around to stick nicely inside. Also this keeps the visual appearance consistent since looking from an angle the strip appears unbroken.

Cut and buffing - These...don't ever expect your car to come back with NO orange peel unless you spent in excess of 10 grand. But do expect the texture to be matching and minimal on all panels. Trust me, I hate when they come out funky, this is a fix they must do as it's part of the detailing section. Check the edges to see how close they got, if they went overboard and burnt through the paint, or if they even cared about the edges. Edges are hard to keep even with the rest of the panel, unless you've been in the business for quite some time. I still have issues keeping them even, and if you sand on them when they are thinner the rest, you better be damn sure it's gonna burn through to primer/sealer or worse, bare metal. Just keep an eye out on your edges.

There is a huge difference between orange peel and texture. Paint will naturally have texture. It did from the factory and any quality respray will have a far better texture than the factory sent it with. You open a can of worms when you expect your car to be wetsanded since it will continue to sweat scratches back out over and over again til the scratches are finally refined to the point that they are micro fine. If your car is black and it comes out with a nice texture i would go no further than asking that the dirt nibs be removed. Also as mentioned before you damage the uv screen and lets face it thats less protection left behind and less likelyhood that you will be able to buff out any battle scars. On my own vehicles i make no attempt to wetsand out to a panel edge or go directly up against a bodyline as these areas are often barely half as thick as the center of the same panel.

#651544 - 02/21/09 04:56 PM Re: Check your fresh work (Body & Paint) [Re: 70 ELCO]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 772
Beemer Offline
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Beemer  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 772
West Des Moines, Iowa
Hey Elco thats some good stuff man!

I finally had time to read through it all, and granted my post was flawed, in some spots we were on the same lines haha.

I'm glad it got corrected right as I'd hate to give out wrong information. This should be a good learning thread on what you're lookin at when you get it back, and has a crapload of pointers and tips on if you do it yourself!

- Brandon


Nothin but a G-thang

Jade

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