Knowing where to start when restoring a car is overwhelming, and car restorations are significantly more complex projects than they may initially appear to be. Vehicles have many different components that must be handled with care and whose handling typically requires the use of specific tools. The process of restoring a car can be an exciting one, although there is also a large amount of responsibility needed in order to complete it.
What Is a Car Restoration?
Before explaining where to start when restoring a car, it’s important to define exactly what vehicle restoration is. A car that has been “restored” is one that has been reconstructed to make it appear as if it had just rolled off the assembly line where it was originally manufactured. Car restoration is different from the process of “refurbishment,” which simply refers to the act of upgrading (or otherwise improving the quality of) certain parts of a car such as an engine, wheels, suspension or transmission.
The vehicle restoration industry in the United States remains a significantly large one. According to Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide Automotive Aftermarket is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2022. The number of cars on the road and the increasing average age of automobiles are both major driving forces behind this figure.
Steps & Guidelines for a Proper Car Restoration
Regardless of how much knowledge of mechanical engineering and how much experience with cars you may have, you will benefit immensely from receiving assistance from a professional car restoration specialist when undertaking this type of project.
Remove Battery & Empty Gas Tank
This is the first step to take during a car restoration after ensuring you have sufficient space for your project. Part of the objective of doing this is to check whether your vehicle’s fuel is fairly fresh.
Remove Bumpers and Chrome & Stainless Trim Pieces
After emptying the gas tank, you should get rid of all these pieces, including any mold that may accumulate on windows and the windshield. You should also divide up each of these pieces into different categories depending on the amount of polishing or re-plating they need. It can also help to record all of this information on a list.
Remove All Seats
It’s also crucial to remove all of your vehicle’s seats (front and rear) during your restoration project. Also, be sure to take off the door trim, interior trim, and carpets. Another precaution you should take involves carefully removing and storing all glass components. Take plenty of photos throughout this process so that you can retain the proof of how it evolved, especially in case you decide to eventually sell your restored car.
Mark Wire Locations on Dash
If your entire dash can be removed, be sure to do this while the instruments are still mounted. If you cannot take off the whole dash at once, then handle one instrument at a time.
Remove Hood and Trunk Lid & Doors
Prior to removing all of these parts, take note of the edges of door hinges so that you know how to properly remount them in the future. Afterward, drain all fluids and remove your vehicle’s engine and transmission and finish off by removing the entire frame (body) if possible. If this is not possible, take off the rear axle and place the body so that it sits on the jack stands.
A car restoration project can ultimately be extremely rewarding. However, it can take months to complete and thus requires significant patience. Additionally, it is essential for you to hire a specialist who is highly knowledgeable about this process and can thus help you avoid making costly mistakes.
Contact the Car Restoration Experts
Speak to the professionals at Robs Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia for more information about the vehicle restoration process. Our team has experience dealing with all kinds of cars, including antique cars, vintage cars, classic cars, and muscle cars. Regardless of whether you are seeking to sell your car upon restoration or simply wish to display it at a car show, Robs is here to assist you by making your vehicle look as good as new.
Our restoration process always includes a frame alignment, as this is essential to allow a car to circulate properly on the road. We will then work extensively on your vehicle’s interior and exterior. Should any parts of your car need to be disassembled and replaced with higher-quality alternatives, we can assist you with this as well. Robs’ team also provides rust repair, engine swaps, and custom paint jobs. Call Robs Customs & Restorations today at 703-552-5001 or contact us online to learn more about our work.