A full auto restoration is fraught with risk, and is a very time consuming process. Indeed, fully taking apart the vehicle and restoring every single one of its parts–from it’s bare bones engine to it’s upholstery–is a huge undertaking. As with anything, being prepared is the first step. By knowing the steps and what to expect, you can ensure that your full auto restoration is a success. To help you in the process, we’ve compiled some of the best advice in the industry to help you prepare for a full auto restoration. Read on to find out what you should expect and to learn a few tips than can do to make the process go without a hitch.
4 Primary Areas of Restoration
A full auto restoration will typically cover four main areas, including:
The body of your vehicle is the first aspect of your vehicle that will be fully inspected and disassembled. A full body restoration entails a full disassembly of the vehicle, with all pieces being cataloged and inventoried. It also means checking for any potential dents on any of the panels of the vehicle; and repairing dents by grinding down the paint that is already there, pulling out the dent, filling the area with body filler, and then repainting the full panel. With a full auto restoration, all waves and dents need to be completely smoothed out.
Fixing rust is the next step. Any amount of rust, no matter how small, can lead to long-lasting problems. And it cannot be painted over either. Therefore, rust must be completely removed. In general, there are no acceptable shortcuts when dealing with rust.
All trim is either replaced or re-plated, depending on condition. Many older cars have chrome mirrors, or bumpers, for example. While these areas are quite shiny, they are not that durable. If there are imperfections that are small, they can likely be repaired. If the chrome is significantly damaged, the part will need to be replaced.
A full auto restoration paint job is fairly straightforward. The paint will be stripped, and the whole vehicle will be sanded and buffed during the auto restoration. Inspecting the existing paint job before it is stripped can be really insightful. If there are scratches that are deep enough to feel, they will need to be repainted after being sanded down. If there are smaller scratches present, they can usually just be buffed out.
A full auto mechanical restoration includes several steps. In general, there is a rebuild of all existing mechanical systems, including the transmission, engine, braking, suspension and steering systems. In full auto restorations, the transmission is often upgraded, and the engine can get a full rebuild. Finally, there will be upgrades made to the braking, suspension and steering systems. All belts, wires and hoses are also replaced. This includes anything from spark plug wires to drive belts and radiator hoses.
The interior assessment of the vehicle will begin with an overall evaluation. An interior restoration typically includes replacing the seat covers along with the foam and repair springs that go with them. It also means replacing the carpet, headliner, dash, door panels, and restoring the interior trim. If the trim cannot be properly restored, it too will be replaced.
An extreme example of what is possible in the vehicle’s interior is a hole in the floor. This means needing to have a patch welded, then primed, and then repainting the interior. The condition of the interior of the vehicle will have a large bearing on the length of time needed for the overall restoration. Something like a hole in the floor can take a great deal of time to repair.
Upholstery may also be restored as well, requiring that the seats and existing upholstery be removed and replaced. Even if the seats and upholstery are in perfect condition, they will be given a deep, good cleaning. Any gashes or cuts in the seats will also be repaired, and if the holes are large enough, the seats may require a full reupholstering.
Any staining of the upholstering can typically be removed with a good cleaning. If the stain will not come out by cleaning alone, the seat again might need to be reupholstered. The same applies to the carpet.
Reach out to Robs Customs for more information
Interested in learning more ways to prepare for your full auto restoration, or interested in inquiring about full auto restoration services? Contact Robs Customs and Restorations today for more information, advice, and guidance!