Some Tips on Car Restoration
Whenever someone decides to take the initiative to restore a car, it requires a serious commitment. I have seen too many people begin work and never finish. The successful car restorer chooses a car that fits his/her personality and budget, and follows the job through to the end. One must have a love for the process as well as the product, or the project will be rushed and end up to be worthless. I learned this tedious process when I was just fourteen years old, barely able to perform the difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks that are required to complete a show car. I would not recommend taking the steps I did my first time, so I will outline the best method I have learned through experience.
Most restoration projects are simple vehicles to begin with, so it isn’t very difficult to know what’s what. For those of us who don’t know all the tricks or don’t like to write things down I think a book is very helpful. I recommend one from the Chilton’s Automotive Guide series. These guides are available for almost any car, so finding one for your project should not be a problem. They feature blown up diagrams of the complicated systems of the car like the distributor, under-dash wiring, and engine internals. This can be very helpful in those frustrating times when there are parts strewn from wall to wall in no particular order. Mine was an integral part of the process on my 1969 Chevy project.
Most people who are new to the project car scene tend to begin the project with cosmetics such as paint, interior vinyl and carpeting, and chromed accessories. This will not pay off in the end. The place to start is with the engine and suspension. In doing this at the beginning, you will minimize the chance of damaging expensive cosmetics and having to redo your work unnecessarily. For example, I was doing some major engine work after my car had been painted, and a slight shift of the hydraulic...
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