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Old 09-11-2022, 12:07 PM   #1
davischevy
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Shops that repair old trucks.

Grumpy Old Man and I had an exchange about old men working on these trucks recently. That started me thinking about who we get to repair, paint, supply parts and in general work to keep our 67-72 trucks running, and how long some of the work has been done and if the shop is still up and running.

The shop, that installed the exhaust on my red and white Super 36 years ago, is still in business, with the same guy doing the work. This picture was taken last year and that same exhaust is still intact.
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Old 09-11-2022, 12:26 PM   #2
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I used to do all mine myself, though I did have a shop align it. I'll also take it to a trans shop soon to have the shift selector seal leak repaired. Not going to lay under it in the driveway and drop the valve body (at least I think that is necessary). Not sure if my arthritis is going to let me replace/rebuild the engine. If I had a place to park it off the street I could start in on it.
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Old 09-11-2022, 12:40 PM   #3
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

There are fewer and fewer shops and techs (mechanics) that still work on and understand old vehicles.

There is an old guy that works at the NAPA store that moonlights installing windshields.

My engine builder is second to none, but he won't even look at a quadrajet. The shop that does our company trucks is great on late model stuff but not so on old trucks, yet they have one guy that is great with quadrajets.

The air conditioners on our trucks are so simple, but nobody can work on them.
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Old 09-11-2022, 12:54 PM   #4
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

Most of mine are aging out, are no longer with us, or sold the business, I'm sad to say. I used to have quite the network for anything I needed with great relationships. I still have a fab shop, a sandblaster/painter, a body repair/paint/trick guy, a plating shop, a transmission/driveshaft shop, and a my machinist neighbor still has some of his equipment. He is also an excellent mechanic, used to do all the engine and transmission rebuilding for shops (and race cars) in the area. There is a guy that's been the custom stainless exhaust guy for a long time and all sorts of custom fabricators due to the drag strip (now closed). I have a shop I have taken my carbs, starters, and alternators (even generators) to for rebuilds forever. I feel fortunate to have them.

I think local word of mouth is my best bet. My friend had a shop in town since before I moved here and met him. He was the go-to guy for muscle cars and anything old. He was also a 67-72 truck guy from as far back as me. He had a '67 shop truck w/logo, dark blue/white top, black 8" steelies, and 406, in the '80s. He was Mr. 406, a 400 hoarder. Has one in his Hugger & White '71 Cheyenne Super and Hanky Panky II, also. That was his Vega drag car and Jeff's nickname was "Jiffy". Doggone if a couple years ago cancer didn't get him. He had a great guy working there for years. His son had also been involved for some time. So both of them are keeping Tabler's Auto Clinic alive
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Old 09-11-2022, 12:57 PM   #5
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I found my mechanic, when I saw a '58 Biscayne sitting outside several times. Have been going there for several years now. And recommended him to many.
Found a paint and body shop through recommendations by him and the upholstery shop. Too old and beat up to crawl around these vehicles anymore. Great to find honest, competent craftsmen.
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Old 09-11-2022, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I had to call and visit 4 shops before I found one that would do an alignment on my old truck. Going to check into a custom exhaust shop that has been recommended. I saw a dedicated classic car shop in Malvern, AR the other day. Saw an early C3 corvette and 71 SS chevelle in two of the bays. It stuck out to a car/truck guy like a beacon.
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:52 PM   #7
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I got advice on my trans seal. I can probably do it in the driveway. Truth be told, I also could do the alignment on my truck in the driveway. It'll probably not get done again in my lifetime. I've driven it about 6k miles since I rebuilt the front end and went to disc brakes. At this rate it'll have about 20k more miles on it by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil. That's 22 years according to the actuarial tables, and I'll put money on not being able to drive anymore before that.
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Old 09-12-2022, 08:46 AM   #8
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

Thankfully I'm in a situation where if I ever needed any drivetrain or general maintenance work done, I have a good family friend who is well versed in both classics and late models. Still though, I agree that these shops are thinning out as the years go on. If I were to ever have to search one out, I'd do like the previous posters have said and look for a shop with a few classics out front.
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

Agree finding a shop that KNOWS wtf they are doing with anything older than a 75 is hard to find. I have a few hobby cars and have always done all mechanical work myself. Paint/body/interior I have shops do. Machine work also but I will assemble an engine, trans and engine installs, done several.

But now in sunset years laying on my back under a car is becoming more a challenge but I still do

Fortunately I know of a good shop that basically only works on old, classic, cars and have a great suspension/alignment shop also. Both are 1 man shops and both are extremely good. Yeah generally a wait to get in them though
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Old 09-12-2022, 01:18 PM   #10
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

We had a local radiator shop for many years that's been gone for a while now . Luckily I had them rebuild my C-10 rad a few years before they closed up . Guess everyone buys a new one these days . I'm also old enough to remember when there were lots of Auto Electric rebuilders around . World we live in , I guess ? Thanks

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Old 09-13-2022, 12:08 PM   #11
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I am fortunate to have a local shop that has folks who work on new and older cars/trucks. Grilliot does all my work and is well known for quality work on vintage cars and trucks. Bo is the tech that works on my truck and he owns a 70 Bug an a 67 C10.
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Old 09-13-2022, 06:59 PM   #12
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I am lucky living in a City with 300K population and the same rad shop, transmission shop that were here when I moved her in the mid 70's and most of the same folks are still working at those shops. I know a real good body man that works from a home shop and is in his late 40's so the prime of his career. Local front end frame and alignment has a great front end alignment guy in his 50's that does tons of alignments on old stuff. I can imagine how frustrating it may be for some of you when trying to find knowledgeable people to work on our old stuff.
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:03 PM   #13
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I'm thinking more often about hanging it up I have been in since 1987 and not long after I got going my dad came he was a farmer not a car or truck man. We built tons of truck both old and new. We were each others shadows for better than 30 some years, I lost dad back in July and even though he had given up doing the work he still went every day with me and it is quite different at the shop without him. Jim
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:30 PM   #14
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

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I'm thinking more often about hanging it up I have been in since 1987 and not long after I got going my dad came he was a farmer not a car or truck man. We built tons of truck both old and new. We were each others shadows for better than 30 some years, I lost dad back in July and even though he had given up doing the work he still went every day with me and it is quite different at the shop without him. Jim
Sorry to hear about your dad Jim.
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:52 PM   #15
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

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Sorry to hear about your dad Jim.
X2- that has to be tough not having him around
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Old 09-13-2022, 10:50 PM   #16
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

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I'm thinking more often about hanging it up I have been in since 1987 and not long after I got going my dad came he was a farmer not a car or truck man. We built tons of truck both old and new. We were each others shadows for better than 30 some years, I lost dad back in July and even though he had given up doing the work he still went every day with me and it is quite different at the shop without him. Jim
I'm sorry to hear about your dad, I remember losing my dad 23 years ago. the truck and car hobby came to me from him, and I questioned at that point if I would build another, and within a couple of months of him passing I realized how much I missed wrenching, and went to work on my 72. and within a couple of years of that went to work in a shop full time, and have been there a little over 20 years now, and share the hobby with my my sons now. my years and memories with my dad are forever with me, very special times indeed! its interesting just today I pulled a engine out of a dodge truck for replacement, and put a clutch in a jeep..and he was on my mind quite a few times! sure would love to have him there with me
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Old 09-13-2022, 11:15 PM   #17
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

here lately in my area, a lot of shops have been sold as the owners have gotten older, and are retiring, along with techs doing the same. unfortunately the new techs often don't have the knowledge for the older stuff. where I work, there are 4 other shops within about a 10 mile area, that send all of their drum brake jobs to us, and pretty much anything with a carburetor on it, lol. we are booked 2 weeks ahead these days , and have been trying to get time for a little vacation
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Old 09-14-2022, 12:45 AM   #18
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

Trying to find somebody to paint my truck for a fair price is impossible in my town. All the shops around here want $20k to paint , not including body work. One shop actually told me he makes $1500 (profit) just color matching a replacement fender or bumper on an insurance claim so that is all he does.

Classics are a rich guys game. Iím not rich so I do everything myself. Taught myself to weld. Looks like I will be learning to paint.

Built not bought is more respectable anyway.
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Old 09-14-2022, 07:08 AM   #19
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

What's ironic for me is I'm no auto tech. I'm not good with a lot of things on modern vehicles. But I've been working on older stuff all my life. Now we have techs who aren't good with a lot of things on older stuff and shops that won't touch them
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Old 09-14-2022, 10:31 AM   #20
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

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Trying to find somebody to paint my truck for a fair price is impossible in my town. All the shops around here want $20k to paint , not including body work. One shop actually told me he makes $1500 (profit) just color matching a replacement fender or bumper on an insurance claim so that is all he does.

Classics are a rich guys game. Iím not rich so I do everything myself. Taught myself to weld. Looks like I will be learning to paint.

Built not bought is more respectable anyway.
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Paint isn't that tough, I've painted several of my vehicles. If you can rattle-can something and make it look half-way decent, you would be able to paint your truck. Good prep is of course, required, or it won't look good. What are you going to paint it with? Lacquer is kind of hard to come by, around here. When I repainted the roof on my truck I had to buy a mask.
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Old 09-15-2022, 01:49 PM   #21
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

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Originally Posted by Big Kev-O View Post
Trying to find somebody to paint my truck for a fair price is impossible in my town. All the shops around here want $20k to paint , not including body work. One shop actually told me he makes $1500 (profit) just color matching a replacement fender or bumper on an insurance claim so that is all he does.

Classics are a rich guys game. Iím not rich so I do everything myself. Taught myself to weld. Looks like I will be learning to paint.

Built not bought is more respectable anyway.
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Up until this post I was thinking, who can afford to have a "toy" of a vehicle serviced at a shop?

I too taught myself to weld on this truck. Like everything else. It is a process. If you follow the process correctly you will have good results.

I painted it myself. No it will never look like a job you paid a shop $20,000.00 to do but for less than $800.00 and lots of my time, like welding, painting is a process. Learn the process and follow it.

[FYI, I'm glad I painted it when I did. I paid less than $100/gallon two times on color. The last gallon of epoxy primer I bought was $26x.xx with the activator so that $800 I spent is likely close to double that now - but still less than $20,000.00]

AC? Not a problem. I put factory style AC on a non-factory AC truck cab. For that job I had to weld, paint, and do AC work. If you are not doing AC work every day, a Harbor Fright AC evacuation pump does the job. The factory shop manual tells you all you need to know about AC work.

There is very little I am afraid to attempt on such a simple vehicle. At the bare minimum, before you plop down good money at a repair shop, watch a YouTube video on the repair. These guys making videos with their iPod phones are no different than you and me.
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Old 09-16-2022, 07:43 AM   #22
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Kev-O View Post
Trying to find somebody to paint my truck for a fair price is impossible in my town. All the shops around here want $20k to paint , not including body work. One shop actually told me he makes $1500 (profit) just color matching a replacement fender or bumper on an insurance claim so that is all he does.

Classics are a rich guys game. Iím not rich so I do everything myself. Taught myself to weld. Looks like I will be learning to paint.

Built not bought is more respectable anyway.
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That's why I learned to do all the work myself. Back in the late 70s and early 80s as a poor airman in the Air Force, I didn't have the money to have body and paint work done. Even with the Earl Scheib $99 special, it was too rich for me, so I started to do it myself. Sure, I sucked at it at first, but I improved quickly and got to be pretty good at it.

I also learned the mechanical aspect as well, to me that was easier and a fun way to relax. Later, I decided I wasn't going to pay the cost of A/C work, and started picking up equipment on eBay back about 15 years ago when things were still cheap. Same with welding, two years ago I never welded, but perseverance and many hours of practice I have repaired the common rust areas on my C10.

I guess the moral of the story is we all have the capacity to learn and apply that knowledge. It may take time to get the practical application down, but you'll get there.
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Old 09-19-2022, 08:49 PM   #23
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

I am pretty lucky here in Kyle. I took my truck into Hometown Automotive, which the front of their lot is primarily filled with 60s Ford Mustangs and trucks (that they offer for sale). It's a pretty big shop and looks like how I think an old shop should look like. They did a super fine job on my font end. They under estimated the job but they charged not much over their estimate - so honest guys.

When I needed the TH350 fixed for its very annoying leak, I took it to Riley Transmissions in San Marcos Texas - its a husband/wife outfit and they are in their 60s. They actually had NOS parts on their shelf. He even talked to me about switching out the TH350 for a OD tranny when I went to pick the truck up. I have also had many people tell me, yes "Riley Transmissions" is the place to go for older transmission work. Heck I even found a real shop that works on Alternators and starters in San Marcos, A-1 Starter & Alternator. After fighting my starter and giving in to defeat, I took the trunk to this place. No more starting problems (though I do think I need a new flex plate).

Basically if I don't think I can get a job done in a weekend, I take the truck into someone. I just don't have the room for my LWB in my garage and work on it - long term. When the garage door is closed I have like two inches clearance. This is AFTER cutting out notches in my workbench lower shelf for my bumper guards to slip into!
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Old 09-20-2022, 08:14 PM   #24
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

Thanks guys for the kind word about losing dad, but let us ponder for a minute, most of the guys that are young and limber enough to work on cars for a living are born after the last carb equipped car or truck was built in the late 80's. That is when I started in my shop I am trained as a diesel tech along with auto mechanics. After getting trapped under a MACK truck changing a clutch[ For those that dont know and why would you the trans are like V shaped] the trans just kinda gently laid over against the frame rail pinning both my arms between the frame and the trans. Now I'm a big ol' boy corn feed but a 700 lb. tranny holding both my arms made me stay still. I was alone until my brother came by to visit he got me out. Then after that I couldnt stand the smell of diesel fuel on me so that was the end of me working on diesels and start of me building wrecks witch leads me to my next point, about anyone can paint. PREP is key it is called bodywork for a reason not bodyfun. About the time the average person thinks they have sanded enough on a whatever you like several hours of prep left. And if you need help about painting, I'd be glad to answer and questions you may have I have done that a bunch over the years on here. Jim
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Old 09-20-2022, 09:45 PM   #25
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Re: Shops that repair old trucks.

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Thanks guys for the kind word about losing dad, but let us ponder for a minute, most of the guys that are young and limber enough to work on cars for a living are born after the last carb equipped car or truck was built in the late 80's. That is when I started in my shop I am trained as a diesel tech along with auto mechanics. After getting trapped under a MACK truck changing a clutch[ For those that dont know and why would you the trans are like V shaped] the trans just kinda gently laid over against the frame rail pinning both my arms between the frame and the trans. Now I'm a big ol' boy corn feed but a 700 lb. tranny holding both my arms made me stay still. I was alone until my brother came by to visit he got me out. Then after that I couldnt stand the smell of diesel fuel on me so that was the end of me working on diesels and start of me building wrecks witch leads me to my next point, about anyone can paint. PREP is key it is called bodywork for a reason not bodyfun. About the time the average person thinks they have sanded enough on a whatever you like several hours of prep left. And if you need help about painting, I'd be glad to answer and questions you may have I have done that a bunch over the years on here. Jim
You are lucky to be alive! I used to work on anything that came into the shop (my b-i-l owned it), from kitchen chairs to semi tractors. We worked on a lot of farm tractors, as well. We got a 4020 John Deere in with a spun rod bearing at harvest time. We fixed it and got it running at about 2 AM and the farmer came and picked it up. The doors to the shop were closed (Idaho, but we should have opened them first, not that cold, yet) and the place filled with exhaust smoke. To this day I can't stand diesel exhaust, and will never ever own a diesel vehicle. We probably should have died that day.
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