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Thread: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

  1. #1

    Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    V8-Archies widebody kit and his custom installation quality.

    Due to my lack of expiriance in automobile body work I had several people review the body on my car. Three where Central Florida Fiero club members, one in the automobile insurance two fiberglass repair shops. The situation comes down to this:

    - The gaps around the body panels (whole car) is much worst then expected this is due to my lack of experience with automobile body work.
    >Front bumper to hood.
    >Around lower part of right side headlight.
    >Left fender to left door
    >Deck lid to around rear clip.

    - The left door panel does not flow with the rocker when closed, it will need to be adjusted and the body panel will need to be grinded down to flow with the rocker.

    - Deck lid as mention above has gaps and in certain parts it's un even with the rear clip meaning there are rears that are higher (elevated or warped) on the rear clip. The entire rear clip will have to be removed to fix.

    - Rear tail lights to rear bumper there is a 1/4" to 1/2" gap. Don't know what going on here yet. It seems that the tail lights and bumper are on correct but i'm very concerned that the issue cound be something else.

    - Upper sail panel area on the rear clip has major openings; will need to be glassed in.

    - Hood to right fender has small holes (not to be confused with pin holes)

    - Small cracks on the hood vent and vents need to be cut out. Thank God I got a template for the vent cut outs from Troy's car.

    - Left front side burn of rocker is crooked.

    - Right side door area and panels seems to be ok. Waiting on my steering wheel to be able to move my car out for review since I can't move the notchback yet.

    NOTE: The only minor things are the pin holes & badly sanded areas (scratches) which that is not going to be worked on. A painter will do that. I spoke with archie's top client a few weekend ago and asked him if he had any issues with gaps and uneven body panels, He said no except for the door to fender do have a slightly bigger gap due too the verticle doors. My doors are stock. Then I mention what was going on with my car. archie and his shop do sh!ty work. As I mention to his top client "If I had to do it again I would not". All I should have done is the choptop and nothing else. The archies widebody kit is not worth it. Too much money out the door and worst then that is archie shop's BS... way to much BS.

    The estimate I got to repair everything is going to take aprox 70hrs+, so we are talking about several thousand dollars. I will see if I have any legal recourse at this point. Onced again I'm convinced this was out of revenge but what goes around come around and archie you will get yours.

    Almost all the body panels had to be removed from Fiero (except the rockers and roof) for fixing the gaps and uneven panels. Here are some pictures from the BEFORE. Work is almost complete and I'll have the AFTER shots up in a few weeks.

    Right side deck and clip uneven and gaps (gap not visible from angle).

    Left side of rear clip un even and gap (gap not visible from angle). Why?

    Left side (specially this side) and right side door gaps.

    Here we see the left door panel. The fiberglass part is starting to crack (separate from the plastic door). Interesting cause this car has NOT been on the road.

    Right side door.

    Left side door.

    Right side fender. Here are just two shots. This (nibbles, seems like there was a rat at archies shop) was present throught out the entire lenght.

    Left side rocker side burn. Not stright. Right side is fine.

    This applies to both headlights. Notice the gaps.

    The hood gaps. Not as wide as the Grand Canyon but close.

    More gaps in the rear... Notice the tail lights gap. which went from 1/4" to 1/2" in the center.

    Left side sail panel area.

    right side custom sail panel... no curve!

    Let his work speak for himself... No offense to anyone but archie. This is what came out of V8-archie's shop as complete. I have not posted all the pictures, really no need. More pictures when completed. Yes I feel I was taken advantage of in many aspects (communication, distance, charges, poor craftmanship, and my lack of body work knowledge), hey that's archie right? I'll let you decide.

    NOTE: archie has not even tried to get in contact with me to resolve this issue. He just doesn't care and you know I don't care either anymore. It's NOT my reputation on the line.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    So I guess the question would be, what did all of that work run you bucks wise? To me this is more like the stages you go through when you're building any kit car. You'd have the mounting and "roughing in" of the body. Next you'd have the, adjusting, and filleting out of all the body lines. Then, you would have the final, sealing, priming, guide coating and blocking, and final paint process.
    Almost all parts I've seen from any manufacturing concern suffer from the stuff you're pointing out. You've got to cut, fit, build out almost any body part. I bought Archie's Finale kit back in 2006. It took me roughly 300 hours for mounting and getting the body to what I would call production like gaps and alignment. Could I have done it in less time, sure, maybe 80 hours or less, but would it have met my standards for how I think an exotic car should look?, no way.
    How much work did you initially contract for on your car? I mean, were you expecting it to be ready to roll to the paint shop for what he charged? I'm really curious, as I've read several of your threads at the other forums as well. I'm not picking on you, I run several businesses and have always tried to be a good communicator.

  3. #3

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    I've visited Archie's shop, bought and sold him parts, and sent him a dozen emails asking about my V8 swap. I've seen his cars, and his customer service, and I have to disagree; Archie does great work, and handles himself pretty well. I'd do business with him any day.

    It seems to me this may be a case where expectations weren't in agreement for both parties. You expected it ready for paint, and he expected it ready to begin bodywork. I'd review the terms of the agreemnt, and see if you can't come to some resolution. Every time I've called him or sent an email, I've got a prompt response. Hopefully you can work something out.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    I agree with the above post. WHAT did you hire them to do? If you hired them to mount the body. You got it. Next step is body work and paint. I don't see any bodywork so you must not have hired them to do bodywork.

  5. #5

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    Reading material.

    This was my personal experience with his shop. Apprently the other two cars that had this same rear end custom widebody installed before me didn't have any issues. All I can recommend him for is doing choptops... nothing else. Again my personal experience.

  6. #6

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    It is hard to tell from the pictures, but the body looks mounted. The next step will be final alignment and prep for paint. This looks to be in the same shape as Delorean00 and myself dropped off our AD355s to the body shop.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    Hi.  I'm along-time reader but never actually said anything on these boards.

    I was really interested in this since the Fiero in widebody form always looks great!  However, I've just read through the entire forum post here:

    and not that it's anything to do with me, but David I don't think you've any reason at all to be bad mouthing Archie's work, or the state that the car came back to you in, and here's why:

    Originally posted by FierociousGT:


    I have decided to leave the car in incomplete status. Discontinue any additional work on my car. Assemble the interior, I will second day you the remote locks/unlocks and confirm the car is in the same working state as when it was dropped of the Sep '07. I need a detail invoice ASAP.


    On Page 8 of that forum. You ASKED for him to stop working before completion, what were you expecting to receive when you stop work partway through?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    Okay, so I've been building kit cars for 37 years now and still research every kit or project for awhile before I start. One of the things that convinced me that I could handle the Finale build was a build on a Fino done by Ed Stephens. He has a rather elaborate web site with tons of pictures about the build. If you check out each of these links you will see an entire page of photos devoted to the following subjects...

    Body Installation...

    Body Work done by Ed, BEFORE the car goes to the bodyshop...

    And here is the car finally going to the paint shop...
    Take a good look at the body picture here and you'll notice that the paint guy still tweeked the crap out of this body, blocking, guide coating, and leveling before he even got to the base color work.

    somejohn, and the other guys here are making a valid point. You never made it past the Body Installation phase of this project and even that was not allowed to be completed. Your first line truly says it all... "Due to my lack of experience in automobile body work, etc.,etc., etc..." That is why you are not satisfied. Those other guys you mentioned concerning widebody kits have dumped tons of money continuing their process. When doing this type of work you either pony up the bucks and have someone else do it or use hours and hours of your own "sweat equity" to get the project completed.

  9. #9

    Re: Careful doing custom body work @ V8-Archies in North IL

    Quote Originally Posted by FierociousGT
    All I can recommend him for is doing choptops... nothing else. Again my personal experience.
    Why do that when you can get a chop top from someone that puts the panels back the same way as GM did only lower and gives you all glass windows? DOT tempered side windows as GM gives you? Been using Glass windows for years. I just do not get it?

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