My first H1 Heading
A Little About RodsShop
Here is a little about RodsShop, myself and how I got started. My name is Rodney Parks, I have been “mechanicing” since I was 7. That was when I put my first set of shocks on a car. At that same age I moved into lawnmowers and bicycles. My inspiration was finding a 3.5 hp Briggs lawnmower in the woods near our house. I drug it home, learned how to build a lawnmower engine and weld, with the help of my dad. Currently, still mowing with that same lawnmower.
Of course, riding a bicycle all the time kept my mechanic skills honed. It allowed me to build my knowledge and experience putting the chain back on and tightening bolts. You know, the typical things that can go wrong on a bike. Fixing all my friends and neighbor’s bicycles and lawnmowers followed. The neighbors caught on that my dad and I liked to paint and fix things. Before long we were painting friends and neighbor’s appliances, motorcycles and more.
In a very short time, I got into minibikes and motorcycles, both in repairs and painting. We had an old Craftsman compressor that was made in the late 50’s, it pumped up all of about 55lbs. My dad and I connected it to a spare tire to increase the air capacity. We installed an inlet and outlet for hose connections and it became our extra air tank. Using that and a pressure feed paint gun, we painted lawn equipment, stage lights, appliances, bicycles, motorcycles and even a few cars. It was a time you did and worked with what you had and they are memories I will forever cherish.
Becoming An Entrepreneur
My dad left home when I was about 16. I kept on being the body man and mechanic with all the skills I learned. I am altruistic by nature. At an early age , I learned that you take care of your customer, and they will take care of you. Always do the little things, because they do count. In the end, it makes for a happier relationship with your customers. I still live my life that way and like to make a difference by helping others. Since one of my strongest skills is automotive, I like to apply that by being there for others.
A little later on, I got into building Street-Rods, Show-Cars and Vintage-Cars. It was fun, but very time consuming. I had one car that took around a year to build. In order to survive, I decided to do collision repair in the interim. The insurance work kept me swamped.
Being a perfectionist is my nature, especially when it comes to doing body work. To me, it's like art work. I take pride in my tools, and like to take a professional approach to fixing things. You will never see me doing the "Greasy Eddie Shade Tree" method. I never have, and never will take that attitude to cut corners.
Saving money and stretching the dollar is just my nature. So I know how to get a professional outcome on a limited budget. No matter the job or how much I am getting paid, I try to make the job a great one. Keeping a good reputation is important to me, so I aim to please. I am easy going and easy to talk too. Those qualities and helping others is what I like most about myself.
One thing about RodsShop is the passion for Collision repair. I like doing things to improve a car’s look, and the same for making a car run better than factory. Through my careful selection of vendors, I get both the best prices and the highest quality. That way my customers benefit. This combines both passions, improve the quality of a machine and help people in the process.
I have repaired just about all type of collision damages. Quite often, the most common front-end damages, are more than just bumper or hood replacements. In many cases, it's often inner structure damage. Usually radiator supports, bumper supports and frame rails. I love to make wrecks look like they never happened. That includes not only the outside, but what isn't seen. RodsShop has many vendors and suppliers at its disposal. High quality OEM and Aftermarket body parts, to automotive manufacturer brands.
Auto Body and Paint
Most Paint and Body Shops want a pretty penny to repaint or paint blend a car. There are the Budget Paint Shops that will slap on a low-grade paint job complete with over-spray, runs, dirt and fish-eyes. One important thing to know about RodsShop, it is a big advocate for the "Do-It-Yourselfer." I want to offer as much help, support and products I can to my customers.
For the majority of my 40 plus years, I have used Dupont Automotive Paints. Dupont is now known as Cromax/Axalta, one of the top automotive finishes in the industry. Many cars today are painted with pearl flakes. I have found Cromax has the best stabilizing agents in their paint. This means that pearl and metal flakes automatically spread themselves apart evenly.
Stabilizing agents promote no modelling, having no blotchy spots in the finish. Without a stabilizing agent, metal and pearl flakes can clutter together. This causes a shading effect and creates a bad finish.
Cromax Chromabase base coats have the best matching system out of all the other paint industries. This makes blending very easy and the job superb. I use other brands that are cheaper but not usually for blending and matching. Kirker is one that has been around almost since cars started being made. The quality is very good and the cost is very affordable.
Limco is another affordable automotive paint that you can get great results with. Automotive Touchup is excellent and offers aerosols and paint for guns ready to spray. I will say next in line to Cromax is PPG, they have been around since the beginning of time and their paints are durable and long lasting. I have always got a bit more show car look from Cromax but PPG is right there with them.
Metal and Body Repair:
When it comes to damaged or rusted sheet metal, I believe in repairing the metal, not masking it with body fillers. Today's body fillers are awesome compared to Bondo from 15 or more years ago. However, there is still a time and a way to use them. I prefer to cut rusted areas out and weld in body panel grade metal in it's place. There are tools and tricks for getting dents out, even dent removal that doesn't require repainting.
I believe in working smart, knowing when to put time into a repair or just replace a part. My methods have always been beneficial to both my customer and myself. It wouldn't make sense to repair a hail-damaged hood by putting in 20 hours in it. The job would be far cheaper and better quality to replace it. Figure 20 hours and $45 an hour, that's $900 just in labor, Most aftermarket hoods average $300.
I always have given my paint jobs some type of rubbing and buffing after being sprayed. This gives it the high luster and deep look and a better than factory look. This is accomplished by my proven process where I color sand the paint and use a three part buffing system. My system leaves no buffing swirls and an under glass look. High quality, is all about RodsShop's image, complete customer satisfaction.
As I mentioned, I have a vast knowledge of building Street-Rods, Vintage Cars and Classic Cars. If you are just starting or have a current project like this and want advice, drop me a line. I have a successful history building custom cars so my knowledge could be valuable to someone starting off on a custom adventure. RodsShop is about helping the DIY'er get off on a good start.
My custom car work includes installing aftermarket ground effect packages, decal kits, modifying bumpers/spoilers and installing custom lighting. It also includes frame redesigns to accommodate newer suspension and braking designs. I have also set up Air Conditioning for vehicles that weren't originally equipped, custom dashes complete drive train upgrades and modifications.
My work also includes repairs on minor interior damages, such as trim. I have also repainted and or changes interior colors both in trim and material. Cromax has an incredible plastic and trim system. Their system covers prepping, paint matching and painting plastic trim. I have also done custom electric/non-electric window and door lock installs and repairs. RodsShop is about perfection, so you get quality repairs and customization's. This means I only use top reliable paints and parts.
I have over 40 years experience with all types of cars, the old ones and the new ones. My experience covers everything on a car from building engines and transmissions, to general maintenance. With excellent diagnostic skills, I look at repairing the issue first. I am not just a parts replacement tech. Often the issue can be a dirty connection, loose wire or loose bolt that needs to be dealt with.
I take a professional approach to repairs, maintenance and tuneups. There are few shops that I am not sure how they stay in business. These unprofessional shops, will replace one spark plug or one spark plug wire for a tuneup. This is known as a SCAM and that is not what RodsShop is about. When doing a tuneup, you replace all plugs and all wires if equipped. The initial cost may be higher but far cheaper than going back every month paying again to get another wire or plug replaced.
I believe in true "customer service," which means you are upfront and honest with your customers. The world needs to be more serving this way instead of the greedy manner it has taken. My firm belief is, "under promise and over deliver."
See RodsShop on YouTube
I want to help, the "Do-It-Yourselfers." RodsShop has a whole YouTube channel designated to provide "How To" information on various repairs. You can also view my How To Make Automotive Repairs page. There are YouTube videos on some topics plus step-by-step instructions and more.
Videos are continually being created as I run across problems from my customers vehicles. Some of my videos even come from people who write in and share their issues and the solutions. So be sure to stay tune, like and subscribe. If you have any experiences you want to share, CONTACT me. To go straight to my YouTube Channel, click HERE
Tune in and watch my channel and learn more about RodsShop and the variety of work I do.