Restoring old vehicles is a common hobby or goal for many people. If you have an older truck sitting around that you want to restore, you may be wondering how to go about it. It’s important that you follow some steps during this process, otherwise, you could find yourself wasting time and money. Below are the steps we recommend you follow the next time you want to fix up your old truck:
Make a Plan
Start by making a plan. This includes going through your truck and deciding what areas you need to fix or improve. Does the truck need a new engine? Do you want to give it a new paint job? Are you looking to replace the body kit? After making a list of everything you want to do, start to prioritize this list.
As you start buying parts and tools you may realize you don’t have enough money to do everything you want. By prioritizing your list, you ensure that you get the most essential parts done first.
Identify Replacement Parts Needed
If your plan included getting new parts for your vehicle, the next step is to find those replacement parts. It’s sometimes hard to find replacement parts for older vehicles, so you’ll have to do some searching around. Be sure you get a part that fits your truck’s exact make and model.
For example, if you’re driving a Chevrolet truck from the early 1980s, it’s likely that it uses a 700R4 transmission. Trying to install a different type of transmission, even if it’s from the same manufacturer, likely won’t work. You can often find parts lists online or in your owner’s manual so start compiling a list of everything you need and how much it’ll cost.
Learn What to Do
Before jumping into the repairs, it’s a good idea to learn about what you’ll need to do. If you don’t have a lot of experience repairing or restoring vehicles, there’s a lot to learn. Luckily, there are some great online resources that can help you out.
Try searching for the job you want to do, such as brake replacement, along with the vehicle type. Google should turn up some results that can help, as should YouTube. Read through the guides or watch videos to determine if this is the type of job that you can do.
If the job looks beyond your skills, consider asking for assistance. Find a local auto repair shop in your area and talk to them about what you’re trying to do. This may cost a little more money but is likely worth it as you won’t have to worry about damaging the car further or installing a part incorrectly.
Get the Right Tools
If you decide to do the jobs yourself, you may need to get some additional tools. Once again go through the guides and see what tools you’ll need to do the work. Some common auto repair tools include a torque wrench, a screwdriver set, a socket set, and a breaker bar.
For older vehicles, you may also need a spray that can break down rust to make nuts and bolts easier to remove. Factor in the cost of tools and supplies when figuring out your budget for this project to ensure you don’t spend too much.
Set Aside Time and Space
Finally, you’ll need a space to work and time to get the project done. When you’re working on a repair, you’ll need a flat space where you can park the truck. For jobs underneath the truck, you may need to get some jack stands to securely raise your vehicle.
As for time, set aside more than you think you need. There are always some complications that arise during the project and things take longer than you’d expect. By setting aside enough time, you help to ensure the job gets done right.
Go One Step at a Time
Finally, once you get to work, go one step at a time. With so many different aspects of the truck to work on, it can be tempting to jump around from section to section. However, this will only lead to a disorganized workspace and won’t help you restore the truck any faster.
Go through your list of goals again and start with the most important. Once you finish that, then you can move on to the next one.
If you continue like this, taking each project one step at a time before moving on to the next, then before you know it you’ll have a fully restored vehicle.
We hope this guide was able to provide you with a framework you can use and that you’ll have that truck back on the road and driving like new before long.