Cars, cars, cars, some people hate them, others love them, others just use them as tools. Cars are for some people the pinnacle of human creation and some people are really interested in old cars, or rather, cars which have achieved the status of classic. Now, which cars are those is often up for debate but the community more or less agrees on at least some of them.
Some people own classic cars, but are in terrible shape. What if you wanted to restore one? What would you need to know, besides metalwork, painting and a bit of engineering and in the case of some, electronics?
Following are the details on how a car is restored.
Finding a Car
This is one of the most important things to do when deciding on restoring a vehicle. You need to find the right vehicle, the one you care about, and more importantly, the one you can still get parts for. Ultra rare vehicles cost an arm and a leg and they probably cost as much in parts.
Make sure to check the online communities for the car that you might be interested in and then make the decision to purchase it.
Finding the Right Parts
Every car has its own lifespan, or rather, its parts do. Some things you can work on your own and replace them, such as metalwork and various cosmetic parts. Engine parts, fuel pumps, radiators, starters, compressors for the AC and all other car-specific parts, you have to either salvage from another wreck or find replacements.
It is unlikely that a manufacturer still builds parts for a 30 to 60 year old car. This is why you need replacement parts or parts from another vehicle which hopefully work. Finding these parts is a challenge which takes time, money, and patience.
Having Where to Work
Nobody is going to restore your car for you, unless you pay them heaps of money. Since most people actually enjoy working on the cars they are trying to restore, then you should have somewhere to work on the said car, like a garage. If you don’t already have an inspection pit in your garage, you might want to build one. A jack is essential, as are tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches, drills, paint brushes, a compressor and a multimeter. If you’re working on a newer car, then a scan tool is necessary.
A methodical approach is advised, starting from the inside, meaning taking the whole thing apart and working on everything that needs work. As you assemble the car, you should feel more and more gratification, which is the intended result of restoring a car.
Money and Patience
You cannot work on your pet project if you don’t have the parts and you simply can’t purchase all the parts if you don’t have the money. Odds are that you are going to run into problems while restoring the car, one way or another. When that happens, it is important not to stress yourself, but to remain level headed and come back to it another time. These projects take time and lots of patience.
Classic cars need time, attention and lots of parts and money. If you’re doing the work yourself, be patient and give it your all. The project might last a decade, but persistence can be very rewarding, in this case.