Muscle Car Restoration is definitely a lengthy project that consists of patience and attention to detail. Knowing your car and the type of repairs that will go into it will make the process run much smoother; this way you can decide what you can do yourself and what to get done by a professional. Here is a general breakdown of some basic categories to get started:
1. General Car Awareness- When it comes to auto restoration, it’s always good to know your car. The best way to do this is by becoming familiar with option codes and service manuals. This will help you find out if any of your classic’s original options have been replaced or removed. Now that you’ve gotten this out of the way, it’s time to work on its mechanical functions.
2. Full Functionality- A car’s mechanical repairs are the main portion of restoring. This is where you’ll have to determine if the transmission needs rebuilding, regular maintenance repairs need to be worked on, all the way down to things that are commonly neglected like heater and vent controls.
3. Electric Maintenance- This area is the toughest when working on a classic. It definitely requires a professional (never work on this yourself if you are not trained to do so). The fact that it is an older vehicle, it may be necessary to improvise and use parts from another vehicle make.
4. Upholstery Work- Upholstery simply deteriorates over time. The general wear and tear of years put on a vehicle require replacement.
5. Rust Repair- When handling rust, you will need to know how to work with sheet metal and know how to weld.
6. Surface Preparation- Surface paint and rust will need to be stripped then prepared so it does not rust anymore, then painted again.
7. Body and Paint- This area can get very pricey because of the tremendous amount of work that goes into smoothing a car’s body before painting.
8. Refinishing- Final touches will consist of restoring chrome plated parts. This can be tricky because some parts can’t be fixed and re-plated. You may need to weld new metal into your trim or moldings.
Now that you’ve received the 101 on the general repair categories, you can get started. Remember, have your vision, create a plan, and get to work. Patience is key and have fun with it! For more on Hot Rod Restoration visit http://braunsautomotive.com/index.asp.