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Check and check again (Part 4)
Classic Cars
Tuesday, November 09, 2010 1:38 AM

Check and check again (Part 4)

NOW that your classic is totally stripped out and is currently in the body shop, let's go over a few details to help assess the damage.

As I have mentioned earlier, when you are restoring body work in a classic — even on a limited budget — it's better to get everything done at one go.

If you don't treat a metal problem right away before painting, it will most certainly come back to haunt you one day.

So my advice is it's worth it to spend that extra money on body work repair and paint as well.

You can still compromise, or better off delay the progress of other parts if you are on a tight budget.

Let's get down to business.



Remember, the key here is to be able to ''see'' the damage in the first place.

So be sure that front fenders are removed as well as all doors and both windscreens.

Together with your welder, get some screw drivers and hammers and try to locate sick areas on the outside of the car, and I mean every inch of it, even in the engine bay and the trunk.

Look for rusted areas, and also areas which look weak.

Take the abovementioned tools and knock on such areas to help you find out how big a problem it actually is. Check around the door sills as well.

Now go over the inside of the car. This is where you need to check the floor boards, and a place where many people forget to go over, the inner part of the firewall (which is located behind your dashboard).

With proper lighting, check for holes and rusted areas.

You can also counter-check the outside of the firewall in the engine bay. If this area is not addressed, rain water can make its way into the cabin.

Next, put the car on hydraulic jacks and go underneath it. Check for rust on chassis rails, floor boards again, and wheel wells.

Don't forget the doors, hood and trunk lid as well.

If your classic seems to have a very thick amount of putty or cement on it, it would be better for you that your welder remove them so you can see what is underneath it. Most welders here may use a blow torch to remove the layer.

If your car just looks very bad, I advise you to sand blast it.

Yes, it's extra money but it will pay off one day, trust me.

This is where it's always best to buy a classic that is in good condition in the first place.

If the car's body condition is moderate, you can get away with just removing all components and finding the damage yourself.

Well, there you have it!

Basically check everything and everywhere, and try not to compromise on body work and paint.

Next month, we'll talk about welding and painting your beloved classic.



» Welding know-how (Part 5)
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