This is a large topic, so I will try to condense it down as much as possible, if you have questions about this post, then please by all means ask the in the comment box at the bottom of the post.This subject can get very deep and involved in a hurry, the first step in the process of any body & paint work is to access the job at hand and decide what needs to be done to make the car look the way that you want it to.1) The first step is a basic visual look over, to detect the major areas that are in need of attention, and you need to pay close attention to this one, as it's easy to miss things, even big ones.
2) Step two in the process is to decide how you're going to fix the areas that need to be fixed, rather its dents, rust, or just bad paint that's dull cracked and sun faded from years of abuse, decide what parts need to be replaced and what can be repaired, repairing things will usually save you money, unless you try to fix things that are beyond repair, this will end up costing you allot of time and money.3) Determine how much time, and what parts & supplies that you'll need to complete the project, this can be illusive so pay close attention, this is the stage where you can make the mistakes that will cost you, major time and money.After you've finished the process of figuring out what needs to be repaired and what needs to be replaced, then you can begin to order the parts that you need for the project, and remember that ordering parts and supplies will be an ongoing process throughout the job, it's just impossible to get it all at once, you find more as you tear in to the project.If you're getting serious about the car that you're building, it will be a long process of trial and error until you're used to how things go during a project car build.After the parts that you order have come in, that you can begin to tear the car down, make sure that you have plenty of boxes and parts bins to store the parts in, this is another area where you can cause yourself a lot of problems, so be sure that you take pictures of the parts placement before you take the parts off of the car, make sure that you label everything so that you know where it belongs when you start reassembling the car, and keep the pictures that you take with the parts that you pull off of the car, if you need to, draw maps of the parts locations so you can get it back together.
Make sure that you bag & tag the parts, just go to the store and buy some zip lock bags for your nuts, bolts and clips, and label the bags so you know what they are when you start to reassemble the car, and put these bags in boxes that are labeled for the area of the car where you took the parts from, if you do this part right, you'll save yourself a lot of agony in the end.After you finish this part, and your car is nothing more then a shell, you can take it and have it sandblasted, soda blasted or however you choose to do this part, once the car returns from media blasting you can begin the body work, and without a doubt, you'll find more things wrong with the body of the car at this stage of the process, it will show everything now.Begin by fixing the rusted areas of the car, this will consist of you cutting out the rusted portions of the car and replacing them with new metal, if you're not confident about this part of the process, you might want to have a professional do it for you, this stage of the repair process can get very involved, in a big hurry, in essence what you're trying to do is cut out all of the bad metal and replace it with brand new metal, you'll need to determine the thickness of the metal "usually called the gauge of the metal", this can be done with a micrometer or a metal gauge checker.
After you've replaced the bad metal, you can begin the main body work on the car, this will consist of locating the high spots and using a hammer and dolly to pound them down, if the high spots won't return to their normal posission, you'll have to use a torch and heat shrink the metal back to it's original posission, heat shrinking is a process where you heat the affected area until it glows orange, and then you use a waffle faced hammer and dolly to pound it back in place, and then use a wet sponge to cool it, this shrinks the stretched metal back in to place again.For the low spots you'll use a stinger, this is a tool that welds a copper nail to the surface of the low spot so you can put a slide hammer on it and pull it back in to place, be very careful with this tool, as you can pull to far and create a high spot in the metal of the car.
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I've been in the automotive business for about 20 or 25 years, I have worked in all facets of the industry, from parts to restoration, all different makes and models, I just want to keep people interested in the old cars because it's where my heart is.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Atkin.
By: David Atkin