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Restoring a hot rod can be a fun and rewarding project. To do it right, though, there are several things you’ll need to keep in mind. Here are four of the top things you should be considering when you set about your first hot rod restoration project.
Depending on how old the car you’re restoring is, you may have a hard time finding the right parts for it. Luckily, if the manufacturer isn’t still making parts for your car, there are several specialty aftermarket suppliers who should be able to get you the parts you need. If aftermarket suppliers fail, scrap yards and companies that strip down classic cars for parts can also be good options.
Restoring a car involves quite a few decisions about how the finished project will turn out. One of the most important decisions you need to make early on in the project is whether you want your car back in completely original condition, or whether you want to make modifications to it. Upgrades, such as improved brakes, a more powerful engine or a customized interior, may make your car more appealing to you, even if they aren’t original. If your goal is to keep your car as original as possible, the restoration process will be quite different.
Unless you’re an expert mechanic, there will be some elements of car restoration that you won’t be able to do yourself. Specialized restoration processes, such as the spot welding needed to replace body panels or the precision work needed to properly rebuild an engine, are usually best left to professionals. Finding a good mechanic that you can rely on to do the work you can’t is an essential part in ensuring that your entire restoration goes as well as it can.
Just like renovating a house, restoring a car needs careful planning. If you go at it in an ad hoc fashion, you’ll end up doing more work that you need to. Try to work in stages so that you can be as efficient as possible. For example, if you’re going to have the engine out to have it rebuilt, that’s also a good time to make upgrades to your brake system, since the master cylinder will be easier to access without having to work around the engine in many vehicles. By staging your work properly, you can make the project easier and get it done more quickly.
By keeping these four things in mind at the outset of a car restoration, you can be sure that the project will go well. Restoring a car is a great deal of work, but it will be well worth it when you can drive your newly-restored hot rod down the road.