Old cars often capture our imagination and envy, and renovating them can be a fun project. However, auto enthusiasts underestimate the time, money, and resources used to renovate an old car. This leads to frustration and using more money than is required.
Here is a guide that shows how auto enthusiasts renovate old cars stress-free.
1. Finding the right car
First, you’ll need to find an old car to renovate. Do you want a specific vehicle, a 1961 Jaguar E-type, for example? Or, do you want to perform a restoration that falls under your skillset? E.g., you’re good at bodywork but not a great mechanic.
Additionally, you’ll need to consider the state of the car. Some auto enthusiasts go for partially restored old vehicles to make renovations easier. However, when choosing your vehicle, you should evaluate its purchasing and renovation costs.
For instance, the fewer the renovations required on your vehicle, the higher the purchasing cost. In contrast, a car in worse conditions is cheaper to acquire.
2. Finding the parts
Second, you’ll need to make an outline or an estimate of what the vehicle needs. It’s wise to do this before buying the vehicle to ensure you can find its parts locally. If not, can you ship them? And how much will the shipping cost?
Moreover, this is when you decide whether you’ll use replacement parts or stick to original parts. While both options are great, using original parts makes your old vehicle more authentic. Once you know where and when you’ll get parts, you can pay for your old car upfront.
One of the biggest projects an auto enthusiast faces during renovation is the bodywork. Start by inspecting your vehicle for any dents, scratches, and corrosion. For dents, you can fix them using the paintless dent repair technique (PDR). This involves the following steps:
• Grind off the existing paint
• Pull the dent
• Fill the dent with body filler
• Prime it to create a protective barrier
• Repaint the panel
Next, look at the scratches on your car’s paint. Even if you plan to repaint your old vehicle, taking note of scratches allows you to identify extensive damage on your panel. For example, an old car involved in an accident will have deep scratches that need sanding before repainting.
Ensure all bare metal on your car is primed or painted to protect it from rust. Also, you should remove any rust surfaces before painting your car to avoid creating additional problems along the metal panels of your vehicle.
4. Interior work
Once the exterior is complete, it’s time to restore the interior. You’ll first need to assess the condition of your vehicle’s floor. For instance, are there holes on the floor? This requires welding a patch, priming, and painting inside your car.
Next, take notes of any damaged upholstery. You’ll need to take out your car’s seats by unscrewing the bolts that attach them to the floor. This way, you can give them a deep clean to get rid of any dust and dirt buildup.
But, you may need reupholstering if your seats are torn or have deep stains. Finally, assess the condition of the dashboard for damages. Since any scratches on it cannot be repaired, you’ll need replacement.
Most old cars don’t come with a working engine, so you’ll have to do some renovations to get your vehicle on the road. You can rebuild or repair the engine depending on its condition. Once you have a running engine, replace any wires, hoses, and belts that are worn.
Ensure these parts are of high quality as your car needs them to run efficiently. Lastly, you’ll need to check your car’s tire to ensure they aren’t flat, worn, or damaged.
Once your renovations are complete, you can safely drive it to show off your handy work. Although renovating old cars is time-consuming, it’s worthwhile.