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step by step procedures to restoration


elepaqxo

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1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 have been sitting for years but now I want to start restoring it. Goal isn’t to restore to stock, but overall it needs TLC everything from the bodywork to the engine. 

 

My my question is, what are the more or less steps to restoring a car? Start with the bodywork and then? Just looking for guidance/prioritized check box for restoring cars.

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Take lots of pictures and file them with easily sortable titles before you begin any disassembly.  If you haven't already buy both the factory service manual and parts catalog before you begin.  What ever your time estimate is at least double it as well as your budget and you might then be within about 50% of the ballpark - not trying to scare you but this is going to be like home renovations, there will be hidden surprises and shocks to what some stuff costs.  Take stock of all of the systems of the cars and determine what needs attention, decide what you can live with and what needs to be restored.  As others have said start with the body then my suggestion would be brakes/chassis/suspension, followed by electrical, powertrain and finally interior.  As you take things apart take more pictures, bag every nut, bolt etc and as someone else on here has suggested put a paper note in the bag as to what is there.  Marker on plastic bags will come off!  If possible tackle one thing at a time so that you can feel your progress, while thinking ahead to your next step and ordering the parts/supplies to have on hand as you complete the first task.  It will give you a better feeling of accomplishment that as things arrive they are being put to use and you also don't risk misplacing something that you bought 3 years ago.  Plan for lots of lead time on certain items, bumpers to get chromed for instance.  And most of all, involve your family where you can!

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I read an article years ago that described the process a shop was following.  

Essentially, it said that as each part is removed, it was refurbished, wrapped up, and stored for reassembly.  This assumes the part would not degrade as other tasks were undertaken.  

 

The idea was that once the body shell was done, parts were then ready to reassemble.  

 

Always made sense to me.  

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1 hour ago, Zimm63 said:

I read an article years ago that described the process a shop was following.  

Essentially, it said that as each part is removed, it was refurbished, wrapped up, and stored for reassembly.  This assumes the part would not degrade as other tasks were undertaken.  

 

The idea was that once the body shell was done, parts were then ready to reassemble.  

 

Always made sense to me.  

I must have read the same article. That's how I restore.  It never made sense to me to spend a lot of time to dismantle a car and end up with a pile of rusty parts. Repair from the ground up dry fitting as you go . Then after you get all back together, tear it apart again to paint, then reassemble again. 

Chassis is the last thing I restore. Chassis gets painted and assembled once and it smoth sailing from there. (Usually). 

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Don't look at the restoration as one project.  Break it down into smaller sub projects.  That way you will get small levels of satisfaction of completion all along the way.  Viewing it as one project may find you overwhelmed with a pile of parts and loosing interest in the whole thing.

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I'd think the first step is to look at your workshop and get it organized/prepared for the project.  When disassembled, that car will take up twice as much space as it does now (at least).  If you already have the room, tools and equipment, then try to establish a time-line and reasonable goals for your project.  An easy '6-month" restoration can end up taking years!   If you'll need to leave the car in "roll-around" condition while you work on it, that will determine how far you might want to go with disassembly.  Spend some time up front figuring out what you are not capable of and what will need to be farmed out.  Try to identify the necessary resources for tools, equipment, parts, skills and experience that might be needed.   Pay attention to details like how you intend to mark/tag and stash parts that will be removed.  Instead of spending half your time wondering where you put things, keep things carefully cataloged and stored with other components of the particular system being worked on. Take careful notes and file them with the parts.

 

I'd remove the interior, pull the engine//trans first so you can have easier access to see and work on things you cannot otherwise reach.  Agree with getting the body work sorted initially.  It's a process for sure and the key to success is to stay organized and detail focused.

Terry

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Start with 1. Knowing your abilities and limitations.

                  2. Budget

This is how I do it.

A. I know nothing about mechanical and so that part gets farmed out. I know that rebuilding the motor is a major expense so I put that off to the side burner. I can put money away for that part and just in case something happens with the body along the way I dont have a newly rebuilt expensive motor to figure out what to do with.

B. Because I have a limited budget, I do just about everything myself. I divide the car into sections and work from there.

     Start with the floors. New pans welded in etc. If all they need is cleaned and painted then all the better

     Pick a corner. R Rear- fix any issue that may be present there, i.e. weld in patch panel, new quarter, or just sand down and repair. I put sheet metal in epoxy primer after that section has been repaired.

     Repeat working your way around the car.

Body work is a major component of a restoration. During this long and tedious process you can break down smaller areas that may need addressed. Reworking the dash, restoring a steering column, restoring the rear etc. Any small component that can be restored on the bench and tucked away until needed.

    Once/during the body work stage you can work on getting the rolling chassis finished. 

I knew my motor guy had about a 6 month turnaround (actually ended up 2 years!) so when I figured I was that far away I took the parts to his shop for a rebuild.

I like to get the car itself painted, drivetrain complete  before putting the interior in. That is just about the easiest part imo. 

 

This is very basic as there are a lot of steps in between but you should get the idea. Also keep in mind, triple your time frame and triple your budget!  I worked on my first car - full rotisserie, not a single bolt left untouched- for about 5 years. My current project was going to be a quick paint job, roll out the door and sell in 6 months. 5 years later I am just about to see light at the end of the table. 

 

For me its a fun hobby, I dont go into debt and I put what spare money and time I can afford into it. I enjoy the building process and taking something derelict and restoring it to as like new as I can. Hence why my projects take so long. 

 

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