If you have an older vehicle that you have just bought or that has been sitting on your property, restoring it is a fun project you can do in your spare time. Car restoration projects can be done at your leisure to ensure you get the best deal on parts needed. Here are some tips to use when restoring an old vehicle on your own.
Start With A List
The first step in doing a restoration is to evaluate the entire vehicle while writing down the repairs you need to make. Start with the exterior and work your way around the vehicle noting each dent and rusted area. Having a diagram of the vehicle can help you as you can mark areas needing repair so you can find them easily when it comes time to start working on them.
Take a look underneath the vehicle and write down parts that appear cracked and rusted that you know will need replacing. Finish with the interior as this will most likely not be fixed until after you make repairs to the body and mechanics of the vehicle. After you have a list of areas needing repair, you will be able to compile a list of parts and materials needed to start the project.
Collect Your Pieces
If the restoration project is extensive, you will most likely not be able to buy everything needed to repair it all at once. Take time finding the proper parts needed as the pricing can fluctuate greatly between sellers and distributors like Parts Chain. If parts are obsolete, you may have some difficulty locating them on your own. Inform junk yards you are looking for particular parts and look online for forums where other people have the same vehicle as you do. They may be able to point you into the right direction in finding a source for parts needed.
Enlist Some Help
The most important part of a vehicle restoration project is going to be getting it to run. If you have a friend with a knack for mechanics, have them help you with fixing problems under the hood. If the vehicle needs a new engine, they may be able to help you drop it into place and hook it up to get the vehicle started. If you cannot find someone to help you at your home, have your vehicle towed to an auto mechanic to get the vehicle in running condition. Afterwards, you will be able to concentrate on making cosmetic improvements.
Finish The Project
After the mechanical portions are working properly, you will be able to start working on the way your vehicle looks. Battle dents with auto filler and sandpaper. Sand down rusted areas and add a rust inhibiting spray to keep the metal from rusting again. Bring your vehicle to an auto painting service to be professionally colored after you have handled bodywork. Add any detailing, trim pieces, rims, bumper, and emblems as you find pieces close to the original or to suit your specific style. With a little patience, your old clunker can become the vehicle of your dreams.