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FREE New Car DIY Paintjob

We had a previous post that discussed the “free” car that Mr. Joe got from his sister and he was going to fix up to replace his old car. A New Car for FREE!

It’s a 2005 Hyundai Elantra with 99,000 miles on it. This will allow us to get rid of Mr. Joe’s 1997 Acura Integra that has 210,000 miles on it.

Here’s what the Integra looks like:

As we mentioned before, the Integra had some maintenance issues and was just getting a bit old in a number of ways.

The Elantra had been in a minor fender bender and had a couple other issues but was mechanically sound.

It needed:

  • New front bumper and fender – $270.56
  • New headlights – $111.52

Here’s a picture after having the headlights, bumper, and fender removed:

Trying to get it Painted

Mr. Joe called a few different Maaco and independent body/paint shops to see what they would charge for a paint job for the fender and the bumper. They all wanted $500+ which seems insane considering we had the entire Integra repainted 6-7 years ago for less than that.

So Mr. Joe decided to try and paint the fender and bumper himself in the driveway. He’d never done any painting like that before so it was a learning experience and he knew it wouldn’t be the best paint job in the world. That wasn’t a big deal because this is a daily driver for a long commute and he doesn’t care what this car looks like as long as it isn’t two different colors.

The DIY Paint Job

We don’t have any pictures of the painting process, but he built a paint booth out of PVC and plastic sheeting in the driveway. We purchased the paint from a local Sherwin Williams Automotive Paint store and he bought the spray gun from Harbor Freight. Also installed the new headlights. Here are the final results:

Overall it’s a paint job that is satisfactory for him. From a reasonable distance away you can’t tell that it is a driveway paintjob but if you’re about 10 feet away you can tell something is off. From up close you can definitely see imperfections and errors but that’s fine. It’s still in way better shape than the Acura Integra was.

Selling the Old Car

After finishing painting it we got it titled, registered, and insured. He’s now driving it to work each day and the Integra got listed on Craigslist for sale for $1,000. We didn’t even wash or vacuum it but immediately had a couple people respond to the ad that they wanted to look at it that weekend.

The first gentleman that came to look at it had some questions and we were honest about the faults with the car and he ended up purchasing it for our full asking price!

More Repairs on the Hyundai

After driving the new car for a week or two, Mr. Joe realized the car needed some work on the suspension. It was quite squirrely at highway speeds and just didn’t feel right. After inspecting the front suspension components he noticed that it basically needed to be completely redone except for the shocks and struts:

  • Ball joints
  • Outer Tie-Rod ends
  • Lower control arm bushings
  • Sway bar end links
  • Sway bar bushings
  • Brake pads
  • Brakes rotors
  • Windshield wipers

Basically anything that was rubber or a wear part on the front end was either torn or damaged. We use (no sponsorship or any financial relationship, we just find them to be cheap and good) to buy most of our replacement parts for our cars and this time was no different. We got all of those parts shipped to us for $303.56 and from we bought an oil filter, air filter, cabin air filter, and oil drain plug to do some scheduled maintenance.

After replacing all of the parts listed above we had an alignment and wheel balance done at one of our local maintenance shops and it now drives great! Mr. Joe still has planned to flush all the fluids, change the spark plugs, and replace the belts but those are relatively inexpensive maintenance items.

In the end this ended up being a little more expensive than we first thought which is probably true for almost everything involving cars but it is a big upgrade in vehicle and should last us a very long time…

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