There is a certain joy to owning a car. Certainly, the freedom having a personal vehicle offers can quickly outweigh all the costs of running it. However, while owning a car can bring immense satisfaction, nothing quite beats the sheer pleasure of buying a car that’s old, worn down and busted, and restoring it to life. However, car restoration is not an objective for the faint of heart. It is going to take a fair bit of time, effort and know-how before you can have a car to be proud of. Fortunately, there are a vast number of car restoration tips for beginners that are just perfect to get you started.
Before you get started with any restoration work, it is important to have an idea of what you’ll be working with. To that end, grab a piece of paper and write down the information most relevant to your car and its restoration. Note down the car’s manufacturer and model, including the year it was made. List any and all parts that it possesses, and make special note of any parts that are missing or need replacing. From that, write a list of any equipment or parts that you’ll need to restore the vehicle.
Once done, you’ll have a firm idea of how to restore the car. More importantly, you can do research into how much your restoration will cost, how difficult it will be to find the parts, and how much time you’ll need to sink into the project.
Be sure never to deviate from a plan you’ve set yourself. Doing so will have disastrous results for the overall project, and leaves you running risk of acquiring a part that won’t work with your make of car, or else running over budget. The plan is there to save you time. There’s no benefit in making things more complicated than they need to be.
Just What Do You Intend the Car to Do?
This is an important question, and one that needs to be answered as you are cataloguing the car’s parts. When the car restoration is all done and dusted, just what exactly will the car be doing? Naturally, there’s much difference between the pressures placed on a car that will be used as a working vehicle, and one that will mostly be a show piece.
Once you know exactly how this question is answered, you’ll have a better idea of the sorts of tools and work that you’ll need to employ during the car’s restoration. It will also help you decide whether or not you’ll need to hire out a professional to restore your car for you. High-grade restorations for car collectors and dealers, for example, will demand nothing short of the highest levels of professionalism in the final product. You cannot afford amateurish mistakes in such projects.
Learn How to Start Older Cars
Modern car models frequently use different mechanics behind their start-up than older models may employ. Subsequently, if you want to learn how to get older cars to start up you’ll need to understand how the engines and ignitions differ from modern variants, and how they work. Doing so will quickly teach how to work on the choke and tune the ignition, which goes a long way in helping you restore those parts to working condition.
You may need to fall back on old practises and tools, but the results are worth it and rewarding in the end.
Fixing Car Dents
Fixing dents in the bodywork of the car is also a useful skill to learn, and is something that can accomplished even by complete beginners. All it requires is a hammer, some dollies, and much patience. Working out car dents is a tedious and time-consuming process, and one that requires a good eye and a steady hand. That said, the results certainly speak for themselves, and it is a skill that is worth picking up early.
Paint the Car Yourself
Getting professional paint jobs on a car certainly guarantees a much better finish and look, however it can also take valuable dollars out of your budget, cash that could be better spent on hunting down better car parts.
If you are repainting a car body, it is worth the investment in time and energy to learn how to paint cars yourself. This is especially true if, during your time working on car restorations, you find you prefer working on the exterior. Learning how to correctly paint a car not only saves you money, but it can also lead you to working with car trims and details, further enabling you to get a car design more unique to you personally.
Get a Professional to Double-Check Your Workings
There is no shame in asking for a trained mechanic, such as the ones over at Linear Automotive to run over your car restoration with you, whatever stage you are at. During the planning stage, for example, they can help point out car parts you may have missed or not considered, and during the finishing stages that can advise on any final touch ups, or point out mistakes you may have made.
Getting an expert’s eye on the matter is crucial if you want a car restoration to be truly proud of, so consider it very carefully during your project. At most it would only take a day or two, and the help you could receive may mean the difference between the car of your dreams, or a sour lemon.