Auto restoration is an amazingly popular and can become a passion for those with plenty of time, heaps of determination and of course, the money to rejuvenate an old vehicle back to its youthful vitality and splendor. Properly restored vehicles are extremely prized collectibles with valuable price tags attached.
If you are ready to give it a go and have an old jalopy in the yard waiting for that touch of magic, then these are the basic steps you will need to work through:
1. The Right Vehicle
You may already have a vehicle to work on, but if buying one particularly for restoration keep in mind that sourcing parts for the rare makes will be more difficult and more expensive. Classic cars of the 50’s and 60’s are popular models for restorers, but any model can be re-built with time and patience.
As restoration involves much more than making the exterior look good, you will need all the right tools from the wide range of them; including torque wrenches, hammers, screwdrivers as well as those for the specialist jobs of welding, polishing and painting. Almost every part will need replacing to produce a traditionally accurate and fully operating vehicle.
3. Interior Cleaning
The amount of work needed will depend on the condition of the vehicle. Clearly you may find in a junkyard will naturally need lots more muscle than one that has been garaged by a dedicated owner. The car may need entirely re-upholstering, perhaps new seats are needed or the dashboard gauges will need replacing and an original radio to be located.
4. Out with the Vacuum
A total vacuum of the interior after taking out the inside door panels and floor panels. Remove the seats and use a solvent or cleaning fluid to meticulously clean the inside. Then move on to the smaller sections like the sun visors and glove compartments. Allow time for drying thoroughly before replacing with new parts, or used ones sourced from scrap yards or online outlets.
5. Out with Old
The exterior may need stripping right down to get rid of every speck of paint usually by sandblasting or chemical applications.
All rust needs to be totally eliminated and is present in almost all restoration jobs. Sometimes it is more economical to buy new exterior parts than try to remove the rust. In some cases a piece may need to be cut out to remove the rust and a new section welded in. All the body panels will need removing to do the job properly.
6. In with the New
After removing the paint, the panels need a coating of an epoxy primer before the final painting. Finally each piece can be replaced in the car.
7. All Those Extras
Other exterior parts need close inspection to decide if they need either replacing or repairing. Look at the windshield, head and tail lights, mirrors, door handles and hood latches and all other small fittings.
8. Most Important
Of course, looking great is not enough. The all important engine needs careful attention and is really one of the most important jobs in restoration. Firstly, the engine needs to be dismantled; it all has to go, part by part. The carburetor, compressor, cylinder heads and fuel pump need to be checked and allocated to the replacing or repairing category.
Depending on your needs, the engine can be rebuilt with original parts to build a valuable authentic vehicle, but there’s also the option of installing a completely new and modern engine if the car is more your personal assignment.
Congratulate yourself on completing your project. Restoration is not an easy task and the difficulty of completing an entire assignment is not to be underestimated – it is truly a work of dedication.
For a full restoration consultation contact Marquis Auto Restorations 866-663-2770 the leader in auto restoration.