Anyone who’s conducted restorations of any kind can tell you, there is no such thing as a quick fix. There’s always something that winds up taking far more than its fair share of the labor. Here we’re going to discuss some of the most commonly recurring problems with vehicle restorations big and small, and our best solutions to keep you spending more time on the road and less in the shop.
Rust repair has to be the single most common and labor-intensive fix on classic vehicles, Rust can single-handedly kill any potential prospects for restoration in many vehicles, especially along the east coast, where the moisture and salt cause the vehicles to begin rotting from the bottom up, often shielding the vehicles true condition from the casual onlooker. The standard process for rust removal includes cutting out the older rusted parts, welding in newly shaped pieces of sheet metal, and applying several glaze coatings of Bondo. Finishing one fender can often take several days, sometimes even weeks of labor. For parts with less significant rust issues, they are often simply sanded and then glaze coated reducing the time required for the project, but not by much. Unfortunately, for serious rust repair, there are no real shortcuts, the best recommendation we have is simply to replace the whole fender or replace the rusted area with a cutout from a parts car, however for surface rust there are many things that can be done! Some of the best rust removal methods are soda blasting or the use of Rust Eze. both remove the rust without affecting the remainder of the good metal. Soda blasting does come at a risk of minor warping in the panel if used for too long but is a much faster process than using Rust Eze and a paint roller.
Another particularly demotivating issue commonly encountered is the issue of chrome restoration. You’ve almost finished your now flawless restoration project, but the chrome bumpers maintain a cloudy haze blighting the overall appeal of the vehicle. Many if not all of the polishes tried take forever requiring an application, scrub, and buff procedure, but all contain abrasives that scratch the surface of the Chrome further marring that mirror surface. The best solution we have found to this problem is the polish specially formulated and sold by Sheen Genie. Sheen Genie differs from other polishes in that is doesn’t contain abrasives that scratch your finish, it is specially formulated to remove and smooth surfaces it is applied to, allowing all imperfections in the metal to be picked up by the polishing cloth. This allows drastic reductions in the time spent polishing the chrome of the vehicles and improves the end result by leaps and bounds.
The upholstery of the vehicle is likely a nightmare, and it’s not cheap to get it cleaned professionally. Thankfully there are a couple of processes we’ve discovered to help you bring the interior of your car back to its former glory at a price you can afford. The best process for cleaning the interior is using the tried and true, Shop-Vac, and Super Clean. Just make sure your shop vac nozzle is free and clear of dirt, and other gunk that will further damage your upholstery. First off, be SURE you dilute the Super Clean degreaser before using it on your upholstery, it works, and as a result should be used with care. Dilute the super clean with water in a spray bottle and spray down all surfaces of your vehicle’s seat. Then use the shop vac with the nozzle placed flat on the surface of the seat and work panel by panel to remove all stains and discoloration in the seats. Just a side note, you cannot use Super Clean as a spot cleaner, you must do at least an entire panel or the whole seat to prevent discoloration upon drying. This process works wonderfully with all carpeting as well.
Hopefully, with these few tips we’ve provided your next project will go off without a hitch, know of tricks we’ve missed? Please let us know in the comments!