Finding the right car can leave you scratching your head as there’s nothing out there that’s right for you. This might lead you to the world of car restoration, and there’s plenty to know about this hobby and interest. Car restoration is so popular because many gearheads and car enthusiasts believe that they don’t make cars as they used to, which is technically true. There’s a desire for authenticity, and car restoration can allow you to relive the heyday of performance and muscle cars, exotic foreign cars, and machines that are hard to find in good condition.
Car restoration can be divided into two subcategories – restoration of an existing car and rebuilding a car from the group up. These two subcategories require some different levels of skill, knowledge, and parts, but they are both intended to have a working car as the end result. In either case, if you want to get started on a car restoration project, you’re going to need a checklist of the most important parts. Every part of a car is important in one way or another, but without these, the car won’t be able to do anything, so here are the most important car parts for your restoration project.
Table of Contents
The engine consists of a large collection of parts, all of which are important. Pistons, spark plugs, gaskets, etc., but the idea here is that the engine is useful to repair, or you need to do an entire engine swap. Engine swaps are expensive because it’s the main source of power for the whole car, so reasonably, it contains a staggering amount of parts. Engine restoration can be a simple job if the car was reasonably maintained to a degree, but if it was left out in a backyard or a junkyard, the odds are that the engine is toast. The radiator, oil valves, coolant valves, engine block, and camshafts are among the many parts in an engine. You can get really lucky and end up with an engine that needs repairs, not a total swap, but for those who want to push the car’s performance, then a total replacement might satisfy that urge.
Also Read: 5 Car Oil Changes You Want To Know About
Tires and Rims
Technically falls under the body of the car because it’s a mostly exterior part, the tires and rims are an easy replacement. If the rubber has balded on the tire, then they are useless and need to be replaced. Rims might be in restorable condition, but if there’s too much rust, you might be looking at changing them out as well. Older tires can cost more because they are rarer to find, but it’s your best bet if you want to go with the full restoration. Similarly, you need to be sure to get them adjusted for the car as well once the restoration is complete to ensure that they are road-ready, and that your axels are aligned.
Another vital part of the car restoration parts list is the transmission. Most car restorations are done on older classic models, which means that they are going to be manual-driven only. The manual drive will require you to check the gear shifter to see if you can switch from neutral, reverse, drive, etc. to confirm that you can work with what you have. The problem doesn’t end there, as some old transmissions might allow you to the gear shift, but there’s a clanging or whining sound that prevents a smooth operation. This 1967 Mustang brake pedal assembly highlights what kind of price you’re looking at for transmission parts, but the importance of the entire unit is the difference between a scrapped restoration project and a successful one. The pedals and clutch are desperately needed for a good restore, so these parts are up there on the list of importance.
Interior and Upholstery
The inside of the car can really be whatever you want it to. Some people leave it barebones for performance reasons to lower weight, while others go the full distance and restore to its factory look, and some like a good mix of customization and historical accuracy to create the ultimate machine. Whether you want leather upholstery, bench seating, convert it into a two-seater, or anything in between, you clearly have options. The interior should be one of the last things you deal with because a lot of it is mostly for aesthetic purposes rather than performance. There’s also the need to not get the interior dirty during the installation or repair of engine and body parts, so saving this for last is a smart way to keep the car clean until you need to change pieces. Steering wheels and dashboard material (wood, plastic) are pretty easy restoration jobs in the grand scheme of things.
Chassis, Frame and Exterior
The frame and supporting structures of the car are a mixed bag when it comes to restoration needs. In some cases, the exterior can be well-kept and needs minor maintenance like a rust cleaning or paint job, and in other cases, it can be down to barebones and need a huge overhaul. The exterior is where you need to do a significant amount of heavy lifting with a hoist to get everything fitted. This part will also take place before and after the engine, as the chassis needs to be fixed or replaced before you install any internal functional parts. The exterior can be broken down into the frame itself, doors, and the chassis/struts. The chassis is the most important to get fixed first as mentioned, and the rest can be done post-engine repair because the doors are less necessary to the overall project at the beginning, but still important nonetheless to find the look you’re going for with paint job.
Restoring a car as a project is a great way to spend time working on something with a purpose. Many people enjoy this as their hobby or interest because it allows them to recreate a vehicle they love and give it a new lease on life. Whether you do this to bring a car to life from the past for driving or just for a collection, these are the most important parts to consider.