frame off restoration cost.? - Chevelle Tech
Body Shop Paint & Body Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 8:36 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: northern ca
Posts: 43
frame off restoration cost.?

hello guy's i have a 1970 chevelle all original malibu 2 door car ,stock original engine, tranny, 10 bolt, champane gold with white top and white bench seat enterior, i want to do a complete frame off restoration, it does not have any rust issues so it will not need any panels replaced, the pass fender has small dent i was told she would cost appox 40,000 to do a frame off resto on this car and i dont see how it could,i just wanted to get some kind of idea, we live in northern california the shop i asked charges 70.00 per hour for labor please give me your feedback i want to restore her but the money don't sound right i got this car from original owner with all the paper work in glove box since car was built including pop on her best day she is worth 12,500, she is not a ss she is a a/c, 350 s.b. turbo 350 tranny 10 bolt , tilt column , 115,000 original mile car has been garaged most of her life thank you guy,s in advance, mark
springs209 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 8:43 AM
Senior Tech Team
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Gawd's Country
Posts: 1,237
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

it will cost what ever you allow "them" to charge......

Dana (I'm a guy make fun of my name...evrone else has)

"I ain't very lucky"
BlackBetty is offline  
post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 8:59 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: high ridge, missouri
Posts: 305
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

Im a little south of St. Louis Mo. and around here that car could be done for 15,000 to 18,000 labor..then add in your parts.if you are rebuilding motor[3000] trans{500] rearend[500] still should be around 25k to 27k.. this is what it would cost around here 45-50 per hour. for a nice car average restro time is about 300 hours. greg
greg5436 is offline  
post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 9:02 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Bad Brad
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NSB Or Daytona Beach Shark Bite Capitol of the World
Posts: 13,715
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

Originally Posted by BlackBetty View Post
it will cost what ever you allow "them" to charge......
100% Agree.
If you do it yourself it will cost you half as much and alot of hours that I know. Iam doing a 69 ss convertible and Iam 3/4 done and Iam guessing without all the figures to finish it on the top of my head it will be around
$30K-37K to do mine without all the hours in it of course.

I started with Nothing and still have All of Nothing!
Bad Brads 1969 Convertible SS
TC # 2747 ACES # 7166
2009 AACA 1st Place National Junior Award
2009 AACA National Senior Award
ACES Chevellabration Top 3
2010 AACA First Place Grand National Award

1badss396 is offline  
post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 9:06 AM
Lifetime Premium Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,934
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

If you are hiring somebody else to do it, then it will be expensive.
If you can do some or most of the work it will be a huge money saver.
Why do a frame off restoration. not every car needs a frame off resto.
just do what it needs.


1966 Chevelle SS 396/325HP 4-speed Convertible. Marina Blue.
droptop396 is offline  
post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 9:10 AM
Tech Team
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 283
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

Welcome to the world of building cars!

It would absolutely cost that much to do a frame off restoration. Panel replacement or not. Once you remove the frame you will find all kinds of little things that need replaced because it would not make sense to leave those ugly things on a new car. Those little things add up in a hurry, not to mention the cost to have them installed. A really nice paint job will cost up towards 25% of the 40k. Removing and replacing a frame can cost 5000 or more. Thats just R&R from what I have been told. I am very fortunate because I can do all of that myself. I just replaced the frame on my 66 and it has been a 3.5 month project. Of course I did more than just r&r the frame. So, while your car isnt book value at would definitely cost that much to build it to that level. Now you also see why I get irritated with people who think because its a 69 Camaro basket case it is worth 10k because fully restored its worth 40k. It costs too much to build it to make it worth paying 10k for the car. Thats just my opinion though.

Can you do any of the work yourself? Does it have to be a full restoration? You could do a cosmetic restoration at first and then do mechanical stuff later. It wont be a frame off new car but it will still be really nice and you will be closer to having book value in the car than 40k. Best of luck!
73z-6sp is offline  
post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 9:38 AM Thread Starter
Tech Team
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: northern ca
Posts: 43
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

the car does not need frame off resto i just wanted to get a idea from some sane chevelle owners, im having the same shop do a frame off on my 72 ss 402 chevelle it did need a frame off plus both qtrs replaced he said that one would be appox 590 hrs 40,00.00 in labor and 20,000.00 in parts every thing need,s to be replaced or rebuilt, replated, etc thank you guy,s for being honest
springs209 is offline  
post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 10:00 AM
Tech Team
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 282
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

I agree with these guys if you can do most of the work yourself do it. It will save you bundles. I'm doing a frame off on my 67 because it needed it bad. I have help from other people in various areas because I have basic know how, but somethings need to be done by other people like the welding part in my case. If you don't have to do a frame off I would do just what needs to be done. If you do think it needs a frame off, and you want to do it yourself, be prepared to spend alot of time and money. But when done right the rewards are worth it. Because you get to say that you did it. This is the second car I've restored but my first frame off and it's a big difference. Good luck with what ever you choose.
Canadian67 is offline  
post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 12:03 PM
Tech Team
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 128
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

The 40K sounds about right to me especially from a 70.00/hr shop. I have several thoughts on frame off restoration. When you get right down to it a FO is 99% cosmetic. All of the suspension parts will work exactly the same rusty or painted. I don't care how much scrubbing and rubbing you do to an underside, nothing can match the look of a FO on the bottom. Most FO restorations end up looking far better than factory original. A FO driver is good until the first time you get caught in the rain. The condition of a car, within reason, to begin with has little to do with the process for doing a FO.
nitetrane98 is offline  
post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 12:33 PM
Tech Team
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Middletown OH USA
Posts: 306
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

If you don't feel like paying for a frame off, why are you asking about? I sorry if that sounds rude, but it the best way I could make the point.

Your car clearly does not warrant a frame off. Financially justified or otherwise. If it needs work then just ask about what it needs.

A frame off restoration is costly no matter what. I just did a 55 chevy for guy and all he wanted me to do was the sheetmetal work. He and his brother wanted to do the rest. It cost him about 11k just for my part. I did not make a killing either. the parts for this car are unusually high compared to a Camaro/Chevelle, but the point is valid.

You will always find that a car is much worse that the owner even dreamed once the body is off the frame and the car is blasted. That is why I won't give a solid price. If the customer insist on a carved-in- stone price, then I will just make it sky high.

Reconsider wht you want and get back to us.

lrisner is offline  
post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 12:38 PM
Senior Tech Team
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Overland Park, KS (Kansas City)
Posts: 1,149
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

Originally Posted by springs209 View Post
hello guy's i have a 1970 chevelle all original malibu 2 door car ,stock original engine, tranny, 10 bolt, ...... mark
Guarantee it will cost more than it will be worth, so plan accordingly. I seen a number of people do one and do it right only to sell the car a year or 2 afterwards and sell it at a loss compared to what they have in it. Also plan on more than anybody quotes, as you will find hidden treasures(costs $$$$) as you go.


My car:

"The past is gone. The future may never see a car like this. It is one of the brutes, and all it needs is a way of staying in contact with terra firma" Hot Rod Magazine, May 1970.
Chevy 70 SS vert is offline  
post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 07, 8:48 PM
Tech Team
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 34
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

My sone and I bought 68 with a 10 bolt, pontiac 400 and a turbo 350. The car was in a lot worse shape once we started doing a complete frame off. We decided to do most of the work ourselves to save $$$.

We had the all frame parts , suspension sandblasted and repainted them. $1000

We replaced the engine with a Chevy 350 and rebuilt it new pistons, intake, crank, carb headers, exhaust. $1500-$2000

We rebuilt the trani. Replaced the rear with a 12 bolt. $1600

The entire floor pan, supports, trunk pan, quarters, inner and outer wheel wells, rockers, trunk lid, fenders, wheel wells, and rearbumper. We hired a reasonable body shop to do this work. I didn't know how to weld or do the metal work myself. $14K.

Had I known how, the welder would have cost me $500-600 and a plasma cutter about same. Bottle etc....$300 including gas. I could have done most of the work myself and saved $10K.

AS the work was being completed I went to the shop and set up a sandblasting tent and sandblasted the entire body. Cost of dust collector and sandblaster about $350 including sand.

We also bought a stand alone sandblasting cabinet for the garage to sandblast the smaller parts and paint them with POR 15. $300.00

Cost of a 13 year old burned out compressor? $400

The interior needs all new rags. $1000-$1500.

We still have to paint the car. We figure that to be at about $1500 doing it ourselves.

Right now I'm guessing it'll be $25K to get it street ready by May.

We learned lessons the hard way as I believe most of us do diving into these projects. The experience my son and hae had is irreplacable as well as the people who haved helped us, guided us and offered advice has been great. We'll have new friends we wouldn't have met other wise.

Do I dare say it? Priceless.

Good luck.
triguy450 is offline  
post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 07, 11:42 AM
Senior Tech Team
65 Malibu SS
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern Ohio
Posts: 1,349
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

Fixing up old cars isn't cheap, whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to do it for you. Even if you have the time or are willing to take your time with it and learn the skills as you go, the cost of acquiring or borrowing tools and equipment add up. But if you do it for the enjoyment and experience, it's all good.
JYags is offline  
post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 07, 2:01 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Franklinville, NJ
Posts: 15,582
Send a message via AIM to BlueSS454
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

I am in the process or restoring a 69 Charger. This car will cost me half of what my 70 Chevelle cost me to restore. I am doing everything on the Charger myself, and I mean everything (mechanical and cosmetic). I already did all the sheetmetal work, the bodywork is 95% done, and I will be painting it, myself, in about 2 weeks or so. Only cost I have in it are parts, which will total around $15,000 or so.
My 69 malibu cost me just a shade over $13,000 to restore, frame off. I did everything on that car except the bodywork and paint.
Lastly, $70/hour seems a bit high. That's almost double of what body shops around here cost.

Tom Rightler, MCC VP & Newsletter Editor
1970 SS Best ET: 12.31@108 MPH
1969 Malibu
1969 Dodge Charger
1970 Chevelle Convertible
Maryland Chevelle Club
BlueSS454 is offline  
post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 07, 2:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 21
Re: frame off restoration cost.?

I have a 69 chevelle and replaced engine (502 now), transmission, rearend (moser 12 bolt), brakes (wilwood discs), suspension (hotchkis), etc. Once we removed the body from the frame it became painfully obvious that a lot more money would be needed to bring the car back to life. Parts that came with the car were in bad shape and could not be re used. I needed to replace everything from wiring to interior. The body was in bad shape too. New rear quarter skins, trunk, and gas tank were needed. (did I mention I live in Juneau, AK; rust is the word for cars up here). New bumpers, all new brake lines and fuel lines,... the list goes on. I am doing all the work in my is a father, son project. This will end up costing approx 40K (that includes shipping parts to Juneau, approx 2.5K) when the tuxedo black is finally dry.

kenai9 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Chevelle Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address. Note, you will be sent a confirmation request to this address.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This Thread is more than 3783 days old. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
If you still feel it is necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so though.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frame Restoration went Sour shadowgray396 Restoration Corner 4 Jan 21st, 07 10:22 PM
Powdercoating cost for frame Ryan T Body Shop 4 Aug 15th, 05 8:04 AM
Frame Swap Out Question? chevyguy Restoration Corner 3 Dec 2nd, 04 10:06 PM
Covertible top frame restoration 1966_L78 2001 4 Feb 13th, 01 6:13 PM
Help !! Motor and Frame Mounts ?'s for BB DS76462 Top Tech 9 Sep 14th, 99 3:58 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome