Organizing Your Parts for Restoration Projects
A piece of cardboard and a felt pen can help you keep the parts you take off an old engine properly organized.
Being organized is a big part of restoring cars and engines. When you’re taking parts off a car one year and putting them back on two or three years later, you need a good way to keep track of them.
Over the years, I have tried taping parts, labeling them with string tags or putting them in plastic bags. Magic marker notes wear off tape. String tags seem to attract grease that makes them unreadable. Plastic bags full of parts are almost as easy to lose or lose track of as parts themselves, and they can get very greasy and the bags are relatively expensive.
I have found the best way to store parts is on old pieces of cardboard. To attach nuts and bolts to cardboard, simply poke holes in it, put the bolt through and tighten the nut on the other side. Certain parts can be attached to the cardboard with electrical ties. The very cheapest electrical ties will suffice. If you are storing nuts that came off studs, rather than nuts and bolts combined, you can use electrical ties to hold the nuts to the cardboard. You can even use different colored electrical ties to indicate where the nuts came from.
If you’re keeping track of head bolts, cut the cardboard in the shape of the head and put the bolts in proper sequence. Label each position with a magic-marker. For some reason, the ink stays on cardboard much longer than on tape and string tags. A nice thing about storing fasteners and parts on cardboard, is that when it comes time to use a wire wheel to clean them, and some treatment to keep them from rusting again, you can take them off the cardboard, restore them, and put them back on the cardboard again.
This is a very easy system to use and I think you’ll find it works great. So, start saving those nice pieces of cardboard you get in your parts shipments. You’ll need a lot of cardboard in all shapes and sizes.
From Engine Builder: