• June 21, 2010

Classic Car Restoration Tips

Classic Car Restoration

Restoration is a part of life. For some it’s a hobby while for others it’s a need. Whether one wants to restore a classic car that they purchased or they want to restore a car that has been lying unused for months, there are some tips that need to be kept in mind as these will make the process cheaper and simpler. Priority needs to be given to the steps so that the process becomes easy and enjoyable. With basic tips in mind, one can ensure that the process is enjoyable and the next time they can look forward to it and not shy away.

Go Step Wise

Photo by Precision Car Restorations

In a broader perspective, the restoration of a car can be compared to the building of a house where one needs to start right from the foundation to the making of roof. As a part of the first step, one needs to carefully and meticulously plan what they need to do and how they want to go about it. After the steps have been decided, one should sit and make a proper list so that nothing important is missed out, which might later affect the entire process of restoration. The plan should be made following the overview. You can perform following steps:

  • Transmission
  • Engine
  • Electrical
  • Suspension
  • Interior
  • Body
  • Wheels

Sound Proofing

Restoring an old car can be very noisy which can annoy people around you. If one needs to restore and go down to the undercarriage, it is always advisable to ensure that necessary action is taken in order to reduce the noise during the process of restoration. One can use a reflective insulation wrap, insulating foam or spray undercoating. This has the capacity to reduce the vibrations to a minimum and thereby bring about a reduction in the noise. Undercoating does this through the use of a metal sheet and is very effective when one needs to reduce the noise which comes through fender voids and metal air ducts. When one needs to fill the cavities, the foam also comes very handy. The foam expands and thus one needs to be careful to leave enough space for the expansion. The warp is perfect for lining as this comes in rolls, which can be pasted using any kind of adhesive.

Steel Wool

Many people those who possess a hint of knowledge on auto repairs do not relate steel wool with it. There are different types of steel wool, which can be used in auto repair and in the restoration process. The finer varieties or grades of steel wool are perfect for the purpose and reflect better results. This variety of steel wool can be used in different parts of the car and it does not leave any scratch marks on the surface. One can use steel wool with chrome polish as it adds lustre to the surface of the car. Besides it can also be used to polish the auto parts and clean the head lights. One should be careful and start with a small amount especially when they are using it for the first time. The steel wool is easily available at the hardware stores. One should first use it in any corner part of the vehicle to test out the results.

Right Tools

If one uses the wrong tape, the problem of tearing off a fresh paint can arise even though separating an area will protect the trims and the windows. But when one realizes instead of them using the right tape will cause the paint job to get spoilt, the best and the easiest way out is to use a hair dryer. The tape can be heated as it is pulled off from the painted surface. The tape should be pulled gently though still it might leave a residue, which will easily come off with the use of solvent.

Use Cleaning Products

When one tries to glue leather or vinyl on the seats or the panel, one can see stains of cement on the upper side. This may not at times look good. Again, if one uses cleaning solvents which includes the presence of some kind of an acidic substance, the parts can very well be cleaned but the colour and the shine will fade off soon. Instead of using these cleaners, one may also use aluminium duct tape or vinyl and wrap it on the fingers. When doing this, one should ensure the adhesive side is out. The glue spots can be patted with the tape and the glue comes off from the surface easily.

Restoration is a hobby for some but it does need a lot of time and effort; needless to say, the right tools and the right strategy come along with it. With the perfect steps in place, one can really enjoy the entire show.

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