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Who Can Help Me and My Daughter with Our Project Vehicle?

BodyShop Business Publisher Scott Shriber and his daughter are working on her 2000 Bonneville SSEI and need your help! Can you offer a creative solution to their problem?


Typical to the 2000 Bonneville SSEI, the area around the fuel door is rotted out.

So far this year I’ve written about some pretty heady subjects. We’ve investigated the accurate repair issue, employee satisfaction and retention, motivation and editorial integrity. These are all important subjects, and we have many more interesting ones to come. Having said that, I would like to take a quick jog in a different direction to add a little creativity and fun.

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The initial stages of the repair.

Many of you know I’m a weekend warrior with the hammer and wrench. From time to time, we’ve reviewed a current project just to add a little levity to the publication. I say “levity” because I am not a professional in the trade. I love cars and working on them, but I leave the truly tough jobs to the pros like all of you. Most projects include labors of love for one of my children. This episode is no exception.

My youngest daughter drives a 2000 Bonneville SSEI. It’s a 150K miler, but she dearly loves it since it was her first car. Plus, she loves the fact that it’s super-charged.

The results were not too bad for being done outside by an 18-year-old and a publisher/body tech wannabe.

Typical to that generation of vehicle, the area around the fuel door is rotted out. She wanted to fix it, so about two years ago, I assembled a hodgepodge of materials and we attacked. As you can see in the above photo, the results were not too bad for being done outside by an 18-year-old and a publisher/body tech wannabe.

The repair lasted about a year and came back, so I pulled out the grinder and the result was one big gaping hole.

Of course, it lasted about a year and came back. This time, I pulled the car out of service and got out the grinder. You can see the results in the bottom photo: one big gaping hole. So how do we remedy the situation? Before you jump in with your advice and fancy repair info, keep in mind that there are limitations here. Due to the design of this vehicle, there are no donor panels available.

What we have:

  • Assorted hammers and dollies
  • Grinders and snips
  • Files and abrasives
  • Manual riveter
  • Compressed air
  • 110-volt power
  • Air flanger
  • Drills
  • Enthusiasm and creativity

What we do not have:

  • English wheel
  • Press
  • Metal brake
  • Welder (no one would trust me with one of those, especially that close to the fuel neck)

So here’s the challenge: Whoever sends in the most creative and feasible way to make this repair to [email protected] will receive a $50 Lowe’s gift certificate. Remember, letting someone else do this repair is not an option. My daughter and I have to do this as a learning project. Let’s get the creative ideas flowing. Good luck!

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