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Old 09-14-2005, 08:21 AM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Jim, you need shiny paint for the suction cup to work. There would be no reason to use a stud gun on this car, there FULL access to every single square inch.

MrMuscles, these dents are only a tiny hiccup in the zillions of hours it will take to restore/rod this car. Believe me, you start doing the easier body repairs and by the time you need to finish off those dents you will be darn good at it and won't need much help at all.

That old Chevy has body structure made out of wood, believe me, that is your biggest problem.

DO NOT start on this big dent! You need to start studying, and learning slowly, this is a HUGE, MONSTEROUS project. One that most people would enthusiastically start but get VERY overwhelmed soon and dump the whole thing. Most people who start out with a car like this will have a friend with similar photos of it sitting in their front yard on a trailer in a year or so when they buy the car after the first guy gave up.

FIRST things FIRST, take your time and just start "fooling" with the car, take some things off, start learning about it. There are a million things you don't know about the car. How many were made? How many had the trunk and not a "Flat back"? Is it a standard with an I beam axle or Deluxe with an independent front? Is it an "early 34" or a rare "late 34" (I just made that up) and so on. There are of little things that may be unique to this particular car, cars were like that in the thirties. Have fun, get into the car before you start working on it.

The following text may not sound like it relates to you and this old car, but believe me it does. In your case, TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES And not the kind of pictures like you have here, TAKE LOTS OF VERY CLOSE PICTURES. Take these pictures and develop them or print them BEFORE you take the part off. Get those pictures and see if you can see what you wanted to capture. It will do you no good if you take a photo too far away or it gets washed out by flash and you can't even see the bolts and wireing you wanted to record for reassembly. I would have a photo album of this car BEFORE a bolt was turned.


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“Basics of Basics” disassembly and reassemble tips.

It is common in the body shop to have three or four or more cars disassembled at once. Sometimes they could be disassembled for weeks waiting on parts, insurance, etc. When doing a restoration they could be disassembled for years!

I use a very straight forward process on every single car. That is one of the tricks, to do exactly the same on every car.

First off, I have a stack of those trays with a handle on top used for cleaning house. You can get them at the supermarket and are made by Rubbermaid and others. I usually only need one per car but on bigger projects more are needed. They are not that good for restoration, boxes would be better.

I have a roll of ¾ inch and 2 inch masking tape at all times for marking items. Put a strip of tape on the tray you are using and right the job number on it. It is also advisable to put the job number on the windshield of the car. You can get markers that have a watercolor in them for this use. When the car gets washed when done, it simply washes off.

Along with the trays I use two different “Zip lock” bags small “sandwich” size and then large “gallon” size. I use a LOT of these bags. I don’t put all the bolts for the front end in a bag, I break it way down to much smaller groups.

I will even go down to right headlamp in one bag and left headlamp in another. If it is a particularly complex car like a Mitsubishi Eclipse for instance I will definitely break it way down. Heck the front bumper on one of these cars has about 50 bolts! So, I break it down to “left side”, “right side” and “under” maybe something like that.

I put as much as possible in these bags. The large ones will usually hold all the parts to a door for instance. Handles, trim pieces off the trim panel, etc.

Then EVERY SINGLE bag is labeled with a Sharpie felt pin. “Left front door”, “right fender” and so on. Also on EVERY bag is the work order number in case the bag gets separated from the car.

I also will wrap a piece of tape around screws and put a little note on it to aid in assembly.

On parts where a wiring harness is going to be removed and then reinstalled on the part or a new part I mark where it attaches with that Sharpie pen BEFORE it is removed. On the metal next to the clip I put a “W” for “wire” on the clips that are on a plug I put “P”. On the wiring that is clipped on the inside I put a “WI” for wire inside. On Cables I put a “C”. I will also put arrows where a wire or cable will go into a hole or write a note on the metal or a piece of tape. All it takes is a little time and a few notes, arrows, etc. and you can easily put it back together. You don’t have to mark every single thing.

A little note written on the inside of a door like for instance Dodge caravans have little metal brackets on the inside of the side doors that are held on with the nuts from the glass. I put a number “1” on the front bracket and a number “1” next to it on the metal. An arrow showing direction the thing bolts in is useful too.

I have found one thing is for certain, you can’t remember everything. Another very important point is YOU may not be the guy putting the thing back together. If there is one thing that burns me up is having to put together someone else’s project only to find a big box of nuts and bolts and brackets with no idea where they go. The time you spend on this “cataloging” of the parts is VERY well spent. It is much less time than standing there scratching your head when you are putting it back together.

Have a nice “table” of some sort to lay out all the nuts and bolts for each part AS you bolt it on. Do not open more than one bag at a time.

If you have some guys in the shop giving you a hard time because you do this, ignore them, they are the ignorant ones. I know that I have had guys make comments. They were the ones who did the worst work and always had a huge bucket or something filled with nuts and bolts (gee, I wonder where those came from) . Many of these guys would start doing what I do I have noticed.

When I am done with a car, no matter how big a job, I rarely have a single nut or bolt unaccounted for.
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