Restoring your car to its original factory condition is a great way of increasing your vehicle’s value, especially if you intend to sell it. Even if you don’t plan on selling it, you can gain from restoring your car as it shows that you, as a car owner, understand the importance of maintenance and ensures that your car is updated to current market standards.
Restoring your car can seem like a few easy steps, but a successful restoration project consumes a lot of time and money. You might need parts that may not be easy to find and will cost you quite a lump sum. Don’t be too surprised to find hidden problems along the way.
To help the project run smoothly, here’s a comprehensive breakdown of how you can successfully restore your car to its original factory state.
1. Create a Plan
Perhaps the most important phase in any car restoration project is planning. Creating a plan will give you a strong understanding of the entire process, including how long the process will take, how much it will cost, and how you intend to go about the whole process.
How much do you plan to spend on the whole restoration project? Make sure you consider the cost of each restoration phase. The more work you intend to do on the car, the longer it will take, and the bigger the budget you’ll need.
Where do you intend to store the car, considering it’s going to sit in one spot for a long time? Make sure the location you choose is convenient and spacious enough for easy access. Create a timeframe for how long you intend the project to take and how much time you’re willing to commit. Be realistic with your timeline and set practical goals.
Remember to make sure you have all the right equipment for the job.
2. Upgrade Your Car Seats
After you’re done with the planning, it’s now time to get your hands dirty. The first place you should begin with is the seats.
Car seats help determine how the interior of the car looks. Old, worn-out seats can make your car look really bad. But by installing new seat covers, your car will look better than ever. Most car seat colors are grey or beige but getting a color that pops, as long as it’s not too bright, can look really great against the exterior.
Consider the fabric of your car seats as well. Some people prefer fabric while others are more into leather material. Both options have their different pros and cons but whatever decision you make, always consider their durability. Delicate material can break at any time, leaving you with nothing but regrets.
Alternatively, you can choose to add seat covers to protect your car seats from those accidents that often happen when you have pets or kids in your car.
3. Assess the Engine Gearbox and Transmission
You also need to consider the mechanical aspect of your vehicle. Assess the performance of the engine and gearbox so that you can decide whether you’re going to upgrade a few parts or swap them altogether.
Use an engine crane to take out the engine but remember to drain all fluids out before. Doing otherwise might cause a mess that may prove difficult to clean. Ensure all wires are labeled as you unplug them from the engine and take photos of each step for easy reference during the re-assembly stage.
At the very least, expect to replace the timing belt and external seals and gaskets to avoid future leaks. Look at the alternator, water pump, intercooler, turbo, and fuel pump. If you decide to replace the engine, make sure you source a new engine with little to no mileage at all.
4. Wholesome Paint Job
Any car restoration project is not complete without a paint job. Giving your car a fresh coat of paint will make a very big difference in how your car looks.
Begin by stripping off all the paint through acid dipping or blasting the entire shell. You can also use a wire brush attached to an electric grinder, but this can take you a long time. You could also sand the paint off, but this option is not the most effective since it can be quite difficult to get in between cracks.
Remove parts that have been corroded with rust and replace them with freshly welded steel. If the paint job needed isn’t as thorough, you can always use touch-up paint.
How to Use Jeep Touch Up Paint
Using Jeep touch up paint is a great way of turning that ugly rust bucket into a beautiful machine that will turn heads all over town. You first need to find the color code of your machine.
You can find the color code located in the door jamb of the driver’s door or under the driver’s seat in newer Jeep models. But in older models, the color code used to be hidden on top of the radiator support, making it very hard to find since it would get all covered with grease.
Proceed to apply several thin coats of primer and allow it to dry overnight. Next, apply thin coats of touch up paint to the areas you want to be painted and allow the paint to dry for 10 minutes between each coating. After you’ve completed the process, allow the paint to dry for three days, then use a rubbing compound to make it smooth, shiny, and as good as new.
The Bottom Line
Planning a car restoration project will allow you to envision your car’s final look so you can outline the clear objectives of each phase. Of course, you might not expect to go to the spares shop and buy all the upgrades you need, but there are little things you can do that really matter when it comes to car restoration.
Whatever your motivation for restoring your car, it requires skill, patience, time, and a good garage with the right equipment for the project. Anyone who’s restored their car will tell you it is the ultimate labor of love, and it’s one of the most rewarding feelings.