Demolitions and Scrap Car Blog

How to Restore an Old Car – A Step by Step Guide

By on Feb 24, 2017 in Car & Bikes | 0 comments

Nothing beats the feeling of using a classic car. Aside from the vintage looks, it is way more sophisticated compared to newer models. Moreover, classic cars are way durable compared to the new one. With prices of new vehicles outrageously high, more and more people are now trying to restore their old car. Regardless of the reason why it became unserviceable, car restoration is very possible. If you’re a car enthusiast and planning to rehabilitate your vehicle, this article is for you. I will share with you step by step instructions on how to restore your automobile.

Important Things to Consider

I know that you are somehow decided to restore your classic vehicle. However, hold your horses for the meantime. Before jumping directly into the restoration process, try to take the following into consideration:

  1. Garage

A garage is a major requirement in car restoration. You must have an area with enough space where you can work freely. Driveways and vacant lots are simply not enough. Aside from sufficient space, you must also consider if you have the right tools. Obviously, you can’t refurbish a car with your hands alone. Thus, ensure that you have the appropriate tools and space for this project.

  1. Time and Money

These two always go together. Car restoration will require you a lot of time. In fact, some vehicle rehabilitation project can take several weeks or even months to be completed. Therefore, you must commit yourself to spending a huge chunk of your time. Similarly, car restoration is never cheap. The amount that you will spend depends on the current status of the car and the type of finish you wanted. Hence, better be prepared for unexpected expenses along the way. You must estimate the cost beforehand and set aside a certain amount for contingencies.


If you want to do it right the first, you won’t simply need basic tools. Instead, you need the right equipment to get the job done. For example, you might need plasma cutters, torch, and welding machines. You have the option to rent this equipment if they are available. However, never start your project without this equipment. This will only result in a waste of time and money.

Now that you know what to bear in mind before restoring your car let’s get into the business. Here are simple, step by step instructions that you can follow to bring back the original beauty of your vehicle.

Steps in Car Restoration

Step 1: Know What You Want

Sure, you have decided to restore a car. However, this does not end here. You need to determine the purpose you will be using the vehicle for? Do you want a sedan, SUV, or trailer? In addition, ask yourself if how much are you willing to spend? By answering these questions, you will end up with a vehicle that you will enjoy and can afford to finish.

Step 2: Look for a Prospect Car

If you already own a car that you want to refurbish, you may skip this portion. However, if you don’t have a car yet, you ought to start looking for one. The best places to start are online sites that sell unserviceable vehicles. Also, you can ask a friend who has done refurbishing before for referrals. It pays to ask the help of a veteran in negotiating the price. Also, they have an eagle eye when it comes to good deals. In looking for a car, look for a unit that has the least damage as possible. This will significantly reduce the cost of restoration.

Step 3: Disassemble the Vehicle

This is where the fun begins. To start the restoration process, you first need to strip all the parts of the car. This is where a spacious garage becomes necessary. Disassembling a vehicle may require up to three times more space. You also need to be organized at this point. Be sure to label all the parts and sort if necessary. Through this, you won’t have a hard time assembling it back again. After you have separated the parts, evaluate which parts you need. Similarly, you can now salvage those that you can’t use anymore. However, you need to be careful on this part. As a general rule, you should not remove more than what is required.

Step 4: Restore the Body

It is now time to restore the body. There are several ways to bring back its natural beauty. You can either sand or sandblast the parts to remove rust. Moreover, you can also use a process called chemical dipping for best results. For sure, the original paints are either flaky or underwhelming.  Thus, repainting is very necessary. Use the kind of paint that will not only restore your vehicle’s beauty but will also protect it from extreme conditions. Holes must also be taken care of here. You can either patch it or replace the entire affected portion. Remember, metal works is the star at this stage. Hence, handle your materials properly. Don’t forget the upholstery. Feel free to select materials and design that suits your personality without sacrificing comfort.

Step 5: Mechanical Restoration

 Restoring a vehicle’s mechanical system is a daunting task. Unless you have sufficient knowledge about this, I suggest hiring a professional to help you out. The engines, transmission, suspensions, and brakes must be restored to full functionality. Also, electrical connections must be corrected here. You may refer to available manuals for a more precise work. Trust me; you don’t want to mess this part.

Step 6: Reassembling the Vehicle

 When everything is done, it’s time to reassemble the vehicle. Just like puzzle pieces, return everything where it was before. It pays put one piece at a time. Through this, you can avoid installing a part where it shouldn’t be. Besides, it’s a surreal feeling seeing your car taking its shape. Exercise extreme caution not to damage any part. One everything is in place; you can test drive your newly restored vehicle.

Without a doubt, car restoration takes a lot of time, money and patience. However, once done, it brings a different kind of satisfaction. I hope that you have learned something from this article. If you’re planning to restore a vehicle soon, simply follow these steps. I assure you, it’s not that hard after all.



Author Bio:
My name is Tim Miller from Denver, Colorado. I don’t know why I do love cars and always want to discover them. At present, I’m a 10 years experienced mechanic and writing a blog named: share what I know to everyone.