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2nd childhood 11-08-2012 05:29 PM

just begining
this my first post i am just starting a frame up restoration on a 1964 chevy stepside.It's my first time to do a frame up project any advice will be welcomed.

WriterDennis 11-08-2012 07:38 PM

First of all, take your time and enjoy the project. If something isn't working, walk away for a day or two so that you don't do something you'll regret. This is supposed to be fun.

Label and sort parts as you remove them. Categorize them as 1) usable as is, 2) usable with some work, 3) swap meet stuff, 4) scrap metal or recyclable, and 5) trash. Don't get rid of anything that you take off the truck until the project is finished, because you may not be able to find or afford a replacement.

Don't be afraid to take photos and notes during disassembly. You wil find they come in handy during reassembly.

Plan out the entire truck as much as possible before doing anything. Having a clear idea of what you want the vehicle to be before you start buying parts and building will save you time and trouble later.

Hope this helps,

Dennis W. Parks
author of automotive how-to books

techinspector1 11-08-2012 11:29 PM

As you disassemble the truck, keep track of the shims. Make a diagram of where they came from, number the shims, bag 'em and tag 'em. I have seen many sad examples of amateur restorations where the panels don't line up.

E.Furgal 11-08-2012 11:46 PM

digital camera.. use it.. one with the ability to do video better..
use it. and burn the stuff to dvd's..
you'll thank me when 2 years later you're looking at parts going, what the_______...
lable EVERYTHING.. zip lock bags and black markers are your friend..
notes on parts to help remember .
walk around the truck now. listing everything in 3 columes.. repair/ replace/modify

this will give you a working list of what you'll need, what you don't..
I break it down to engine/drivetrain/frame and chassis/ body/trim/interior/wiring

make a plan and stick to it.. know what you can do and what you'll have to farm out..
have a budget.. that doesn't break the bank.. more project go stillborn because of dreaming to big
take your cost that you think it'll cost and X2..

good luck..

get a service manual
and pick forum members brains for idea/hint/etc
and join forum/sites for your truck.. will be big help
is one.. there are tons..

one last thing.. shipping of parts gets costly.. and one reason that list is important.. it's cheaper in the long run to order a few big orders than to order a few here/there/ there/ and then again.. keep that in mind..
amd is down south from me.. and if I go to fla for a vaca.. I'll pick up body parts on the way back.. as crating/shipping gets mighty $$$ fast..

AutoGear 11-09-2012 12:25 PM

Any large scale projects I've taken on; I bag it, tag it and take lots of pictures. Additionally, I write a "To Do" list on a white board, broken down by systems, and a prospective date to start. Adjust accordingly and OFTEN
This keeps you on task, and gives you a continual sense of accomplishment and the ability to compartmentalize the whole thing (smaller chunks) Keep you from getting overwhelmed, without skipping steps if you need to say Stop the body work because its too cold outside, you can recover your seats in the basement instead.
Heres a basic list. Keep it orderly, keep track of your expenses, your receipts and keep a journal with the car so you can write down your experience. "I hate XYZ Parts, this fender didnt fit at all, lost 2 weeks making it right. I love Auto Gear, they got the thing done and invited me to bring the car down to the Nationals" When you're done, you can relive the experience. I spent 5yrs refurbishing a car with my dad in my late teens and early 20s. it was a great gift, to have stories of my own to share about his car, along with his. We don't own hot rods, so much as we're their caretaker now. Its important to pass that stuff on to your kids or the new owner.

-drop off shortblock June 1st
-Rebuild carb (June - July) Done May 17th
-buy edelbrock heads, intake (April) Done
-Assemble Longblock (July 1st)
**Note from May 17th: Need 1 inch aircleaner spacer to clear linkage - add to next Jegs order along with edelbrock fuelfilter and line kit)

NO OIL IN UNIT!!!! - Added Oil May 1st (1qt of Stay-Lube GL4 non Synth)
-Drop off at Auto Gear for clean/inspect (April 1st) Done
-Order Overhaul Kit (April 14th) Done
-Pick up is scheduled for May 1st Done


Rear Axle



Fuel System

- Fenders

- Doors

- Quarters

- Trunk Lid

- Inside Trunk Area

- Floors

- Hood

1971BB427 11-09-2012 06:40 PM

Make a list and write it down. Keep a notepad near the project, and another close in the house. Amazing how many things would cross my mind, and then I forgot because I didn't have a pad and pencil to write it down quickly. Lots of pictures during disassembly, and lots of bags and bins to keep parts sorted.
I've done a few and they are pretty exciting, and lots of fun, but learned the hard way to keep track of small parts when I had to buy a lot of small hardware I couldn't locate at the end.
Make a budget, and try to stick to it. I generally go over my budget by about 20-25%, and some I've heard go even further over.

2nd childhood 11-11-2012 06:28 AM

Thanks to all that replied I think I am on the right track so far by what y'all are telling me.I already have my truck down to the frame I am trying to get my game plan in order now. I would like to hear opinions on powder coating or painting?

techinspector1 11-11-2012 02:51 PM

Powder coating by a country mile. More costly than paint, but nicer in my opinion. You might want to look into systems that you can operate from home.....
Powder Coating Equipment - Powder Coat Paint Colors - Powdercoating Gun

sedanbob 11-11-2012 05:30 PM

I had my chassic powder coated (plus 4-bars and panhard bar) for $400. Very tough and chip-resistant.

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