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Vehicle Restoration Planning w/ Free Printable Checklist

Restoration checklist and planning

 

Starting a new or a first project vehicle is as exciting as learning to ride your first bike .  (For some of us)

We hope to give you some considerations and some guidance that may help along the way.

One of the most important issues to consider for your peace of mind (this term may be an oxymoron once you start) is the space you will need.  So many people get so wrapped up in the possibility of the project that they don’t consider the comfort and organization needs of a long-term project.  Let’s face it, this will not be a few weeks and in most cases, you are going to go through a few seasons of inclement weather.

SPACE: It’s all about the space (Kinda)

The ultimate space for a project is at least a 2-car garage or equivalent space with a roof.  Consider the vehicle, the tools, the need for power outlets.

You will be removing the interior, body panels (which also need to be stripped) and stored as well as new replacement parts and panels.  You may also need space to remove and rebuild or replace the engine.

OUTSOURCING:

Consider the project parts you need to outsource.  Do you have a painter in mind?  Interior restoration, which will require specialized tools?  Have you given any thought to the transmission and rear axles?  Many of these items are best handled by experienced professionals.  Including serious engine work, such as cylinder boring.

With automotive bodywork, if you want it done right, you will either need to learn to do it yourself or farm it out to a reputable shop.  The same thing goes for welding.

To avoid a project that sits for years, give yourself a little time to sketch a plan and consider your options and what you will need.  Some research on planning for the unexpected will help you a great deal.

THE DREAM:     

How many people do you know that had that dream of their father’s first car or the truck they wanted in high school?  Now, how many of them bought a shell and it is still sitting somewhere unfinished, haunting them like their childhood dream of being a professional NASCAR driver or Hotrod builder like Boyd Coddington on American Hotrod.  I bet there are hundreds of unfinished General Lee’s,  still waiting for the opportunity to have some daisy dukes riding in the passenger seat and even more Bandit Firebirds  waiting for a young Sally Fields to toss off her wedding veil through the T-Tops.  

 

 

Let’s do a little pre-planning and avoid the haunting dream graveyard of cars.

Here are a few guidelines:

How do you plan on using the car when completed?

  • Daily driver
  • Car Shows
  • Off-road
  • High School Reunion
  • Weekends and occasional cruise nights
  • Barrett-Jackson (Wink, wink)

How much of the work will you do yourself?

  • Some mechanical
  • Most mechanical
  • Some bodywork
  • Most bodywork

For outsourcing

  • Are they an enthusiast like you, or just interested in money?
  • Are they easy to talk with, and are they listening?
  • Do they have a history of competence and quality?
  • What is their timeframe for completion?

 

Including initial cost, what is your estimated budget for this project?

  • Under $5,000
  • Between $5,000 and $10,000
  • Between $10,000 and $15,000
  • Over $15,000
  • Barrett-Jackson ($50k+)

How much time are you willing and able to spend on the project and when do you want it complete?

  • 4 to 8 hours a week
  • 8 to 16 hours a week
  • 16 to 32 hours a week
  • More than 32 hours a week

These are just some of the considerations.  There is no one way procedure for doing all the individual tasks involved.  You can separate the overall project into parts and give yourself some organized breathing room:

  1. Mechanical
  2. Electrical
  3. Body
  4. Upholstery
  5. Accessorize

If you only have one work space, try to set up two separate areas. That way, you can work on two different things at the same time. When weather or parts availability stops progress on one, switch to the other. Eventually, everything will be finished, and you can reassemble the car in reverse of above.  Make sure you document everything with photographs of before and after removal.  This will help you remember where everything sat in its original place.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking you will remember in 15 months or 2 or 3 years.

Create a book and log everything.  This will be of great value to you in the future and to the future owner, whether it is an heirloom build or to be sold.

Automotive enthusiasts are a supportive family of people.  This holds true for most of the manufacturers as well as the builders.  Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and support in exchange for recognition on social media, at shows, etc during and after the build.  Speaking as a manufacturer and enthusiast, I can tell you we are always willing to offer discounts for QuickTrick family in exchange for some social media and recognition.  (To back that up, you can email us when you are ready to start your project and we will back that statement up.  Just email me directly at tess@quicktrickalignment.com or MsQuickTrick@gmail.com)

Now, to top all of that mind boggling info off from above, here is a basic checklist that we hope will help on your journey.

If there are other topics you would like to see, just email us at the same email above and we will see what we can do.  We always learn new things when helping others learn something new.  If you think we should add something to the list below, PLEASE, share so we can help others.

Click Below for PDF

RESTORATION CHECKLIST

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