Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Do’s and Don’ts for Restoring a Classic Chevy Tri-Five Part 2 of Zen and the Classic Car Restorer

Getting ready to take 3 laps at TMSW

Do’s and Don’ts for Restoring a Classic Chevy Tri-Five
Part 2 of "Zen and the Classic Car Restorer"
   -Alan Arnell

link to Part 1 of Zen and the classic Car Restorer

  • Do budget your time and resources.  Know what you are willing to put in for what you want to get out of the project?  Know your desired outcome.
  • Do use proper safety practices and equipment.  Gloves, shoes, eyewear and hearing protection
    My homemade puller
    is very important.  Be mindful of not burning down your house and having cars fall on you.
  • Do get your family on board that you will need some alone time with your car.  Convince them that it is a good thing for them.
  • Do seek assistance or hire out what your are unable or unwilling to do.
  • Do find an stand alone space for work space, tools and storage.  There is nothing more life sucking than having to jockey cars and your stuff around before and after each scheduled work time.  
  • Whenever possible rent those special tools so you will not have to buy them or store them after use.  In my life experience; I use it once, then five years later I spend an hour or two trying to find the tool again when I need it.  The more you use a tool the easier it is to keep up with that tool.  
  • Look online for posted shop and assembly manuals.  Trifive Chevy.com has many of the manuals posted in a dedicated category.
  • Do plan to drive your car as soon a possible.

  • Don’t stress over money.  If you don’t have it now wait until you do.  Or, take on a step during that time that does not cost all that much.  Sanding is a good cure for that.  
    Restoring a vintage license plate
  • Don’t drink and restor.
  • Don’t (the most important Don’t) let your significant other feel threatened by your new passion.  You need to keep her happy or she may be unhappy with you moved out of your house with only half of your stuff.  Get the whole family involved and enjoying the project too.  If nothing else, your car project will or should induced a joyful calm that will be notice by that special person in your life.  Time alone is never a bad thing when used constructively.

Advice for choosing the right car for you.
  • Find the most complete car you can afford.
  • Look for an undisturbed car.
  • Find a car as close to what you would like to end up with as possible.
    Checking ring gear backlash.
  • Be ready to walk away if you can’t make a fair deal buying the car or if the car is a bigger project that you can complete.
  • Being a dumb ass begins when you are too anxious or over confident.
  • Never buy sight unseen, go look, feel, touch and smell.  If need be, hire a professional to look over the car and have them tell you if the car is a worthwhile project
  • Unfinished projects may be a great deal, many times you may find a treasure chest of parts inside.

The most important Thing.
Have lots of fun driving and mucho quality hands-on restoration and modification fun with your classic car.

I would like to hear from the experience restorers out there with your hard learned do’s and don’ts.

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