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Body work or replace body parts?

1996 Impala SS: I have dents in my driver side door and in my left front fender that are quite sizeable dents like 1 foot accross or more. I can get a used driver door with glass for $85 but its the wrong color. I can get a used front fender, also of the wrong color for $125. Is it going to be cheaper to buy these body parts and have the body shop install them and paint them to match or cheaper to have the body shop just do the body work on the existing body parts?

It’s far cheaper to bolt on body parts and then have them painted.

I’ve been really lucky. Each time I had to replace body parts on my vehicles to repair damage, I always found used parts that matched in color.


Yep, replacing is typically cheaper - any way to look around longer for parts your color?

Even better is to get a paintless dent repair done, They can do miracles at a minimal price, sure it may not be perfect, but it is certainly good enough! I had a $835 body shop estimate looking good for 50 bucks!

Details I suppose, My ladder blew down in the wind and creased the hood and scraped up the headlight lens. Body shop, new hood, new lens. Paintless dent repair I had a very minor scar left, but totally acceptable, and they buffed out the lens.

IMHO it’s better to let the body shop doing the repair get the replacement parts or do the repair as applicable, even if it costs a few extra bucks. That way if the door doesn’t close correctly or the fender doesn’t fit right, they’ll correct it for no additional charge.

New aftermarket body parts aren’t really all that expensive, and shops generally use boneyard parts for older vehicles anyway. Ask the shop what the total cost to repair will be before making any decisions.

There’s another advantage to changing the parts out and repainting them. Some body shop guys have a tendency to slather on Bondo pretty heavy at times. This of course is a no-no and one which the car owner may not be aware of once the new paint is laid over a 1/4" of body plastic.
It’s far easier and faster to work Bondo down rather than a dent completely out.

There’s nothing wrong with having the body work done on the dented parts If the dents are worked out without an excess of Bondo.
We have a local guy here with a '40 Ford pickup that he had restored, which may be a bad choice of words. Good looking truck; red with black fenders.
However, I saw those 2 rear fenders before they got hit with primer and there’s 5 pounds of plastic on each one. Eventually it’s going to start cracking and falling off, maybe during one of the parades he takes it to.