The complexity of a car makes its restoration also a complex exercise. If you are an amateur it is almost impossible to carry out all the restoration by yourself. There are some aspects of the restoration that you will have to either consult or have a professional do for you. However, there are some easy restoration tasks that you can do for yourself and save money you could have spent hiring a professional. Here are some of the tasks you can easily do for yourself.
Restoring the interior of the car is easier compared to restoring the exterior. One of the simplest restoration tasks for a car’s interior is the carpeting. All you have to do is check for any rust on the carpet. If it is there, use a sandblaster to remove the rust. Sometimes you may find that the floor boards are rotted through and cannot be repaired. In such cases, instead of struggling to remove the rust, buy a new carpet.
Restoring the seat upholstery is a little more difficult than restoring the carpeting. However, it is not an impossible job. When doing the restoration, make sure you use the same materials as the ones in the original. In most cases these will be fabric and vinyl. If any stitching is needed use industrial sewing machine. This is because the standard sewing machine cannot be effective on the materials used on the upholstery seats. Apart from stitching worn out parts, also make sure you clean and remove any rust that might be on the metal that supports the seats. In addition, check out the springs of the seat to find if they are functioning well. If they are not, remove the worn out ones and replace them with new ones.
First, place the car in a shaded area so that the exercise is not affected by the elements. Next, get all the equipment you will need in the painting like sandpaper, newspapers and masking tape. To know the quantity of paint needed, it is advisable you consult a professional to give you a reasonable estimate of the needed paint. Before starting to paint, wash the car to remove any dirt or grease. Thereafter use sandpaper to smoothen the car. You don’t need to leave the metal bare as this will be very time-consuming. Once you’ve done this, wipe the car body with clean rag and some thinner. Then use a masking tape and newspapers to mask parts of the car you don’t want the paint to reach. After this, mix the prime with thinner and start spraying from the roof going downwards. Lastly, mix the paint with thinner and start painting. Paint three to four coats with each coat separated from the next one with enough drying time as specified in the instructions. After applying the last coat, remove the masking while it is still wet.
If you are mechanically inclined and passionate about troubleshooting malfunctions in cars, you are in a good position to learn how to open a garage. The following smart tips are meant to guide you on how to start and manage your own garage successfully.
1. Formulate a Business Plan
This is the most important thing you need to do. Your plan should include the types of cars you expect to deal with, the start-up costs, advertising methods, and the scope of your business. It should also include the number of expected employees, employee salaries, and planned operating hours.
2. Look for a Suitable Location
The choice of a suitable garage location should be driven by a number of factors such as traffic, security, and space. The space should not only be big enough to accommodate different types of cars, but should also give you enough room to work and store your tools. The location should also be easily accessible to your customers, meaning that they should be able to come in and leave without any problem. Be sure to provide a waiting area and a restroom for your customers to use.
4. Establish an Office
Set up a sizeable office where you’ll be meeting your customers and keeping vital customer and billing records. The office should have telephones, a computer with an effective accounting programme, filing cabinets, and other necessary office tools that will help you work efficiently and keep things organised.
5. Market Your Business
There are several ways through which you can market your business. Apart from using flyers, you can also use the Internet, radio, newspapers, or word of mouth.
6. Stay Current on Auto Repair
Every year, more technologically advanced vehicles are produced by different companies. To make sure that you are able to work on both old and modern cars, it is important to attend workshops and read car magazines regularly.
Restoring a classic vehicle is a fun and rewarding hobby. In fact, it is equally an art form as it is a real science. To bring back a car to its former glory, certain challenges need to be faced and overcome. Of course, you should always first understand the specific needs of the vehicle in question. Besides this, there are a handful of tools which will enable even the most difficult processes to be performed quickly and easily.
Tools of the Trade
Car restoration is usually performed in a number of individual steps. You will generally begin by tackling any issues within the undercarriage or underneath the bonnet. These very functional requirements are necessary if you desire your car to be anything more than a mere showpiece. Thus, essential equipment will include (but is not limited to) ratchet sets, screwdrivers, voltage testers and wrenches.
While the first step may be very obvious, let’s not forget that getting around a vehicle within a tight space can be challenging. If you do not have adequate mobility, the tasks themselves are nearly impossible. Also, more mobility equates to higher levels of safety; very important when working around equipment that can weigh into the tonnes. Car movers such as those supplied by Stringo are excellent options and as they can support a great deal of weight, accessing hard-to-reach areas is made quick and streamlined.
Wax and Polish
Once you have finished the necessary mechanical adjustments, it is time to give your car the shine that it deserves. Thanks to a host of different cleaning products, you will be able to choose from a variety of waxes, buffing agents and polishes. Some are designed for interior use (such as upon leather seats and the dashboard) while others will provide a glistening shine to the paint job on the outside.
Airless Paint Sprayers
An airless paint gun will come in handy if there are areas of rust or scratches that need to be addressed. Also, these devices are great if you wish to change the colour of the car altogether. Most will work with both latex and oil paints and the even coat that they provide offers a professional finish. However, it is always a good idea to carefully read the instruction manual before attempting to use any such sprayer.
These are a selection of the most important and useful tools that are required when restoring a vehicle. Within a matter of weeks, your hard work and dedication will certainly pay off!
Restoring a car can be a satisfying experience. However, these essential tools are necessary to help the restorer to bring the project to life:
Getting the engine out of large American muscle cars will require a quality engine hoist that can handle at least 2 tons. The restoration of any vehicle will make this essential, as complete overhauls cannot be undertaken with the engine in the chassis.
The best hoists use a hydraulic jack to lift the engine, and also feature sturdy wheels and a moveable cantilever arm to enable easy manoeuvring in the workshop.
The hoist will be useful later, as refitting the engine after the re-build requires the engine to be positioned correctly in order to ensure correct alignment of the mounting points and drive shaft.
On any restoration project, it is likely that there will be some repairs to the bodywork or chassis required. A Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welder is a useful purchase, and these can be relatively cheap.
Whilst the basic models of welder might be acceptable, a variety of current settings, a gas pressure control and variable wire speeds are desirable to cover any welding requirements on an automotive restoration. Such controllability also makes it easier for new restorers to learn how to weld!
When rebuilding engines, it is essential that mounting and engine head bolts are tightened to the correct torque setting in the manufacturers handbook. A torque wrench will apply the correct pressure to these important bolts by simply dialling the required torque into the handle gauge and applying pressure until the ratchet mechanism prevents the bolt being over-tightened.
Anyone that owns a car has to consider the maintenance work required to keep it running well. Those that can do some or all of the work themselves will need to find a place to buy car parts. The internet is an option for doing this and there is a choice of a few retailers.
Many of the major auto parts dealers now have online operations and car owners that want to buy completely new parts should be able to find what they need at one of these. Some of the companies to consider include NAPA Online, Pep Boys, and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Each offers a huge range of products for many vehicle makes and models.
These are in the business of taking old and damaged cars to salvage parts they can then sell on. Many have now taken the leap to selling online and this provides an easy way to find used parts at cheaper prices. This can be useful for anyone although can be particularly helpful for owners of older vehicles that may find the parts they need are no longer manufactured. Websites such as car-part.com provide a way to search many wrecker yards to find used parts.
Auction sites such as ebay have individuals and businesses selling car parts and this includes both new and used parts. This can be a way to bid the price you want for a part as a way of trying to get it. The ebay motors section is the place to find parts for sale.
The retailers shown above are some of those to consider for buying car parts online. They offer a simple way to find a huge variety of new and used parts without having to leave home, and have the added advantage that the parts will be delivered direct to your door. This makes it a convenient option for car parts shopping and it is something that any vehicle owner should consider.