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Discussion Starter #1
A past issue of Mustangs and Fords magazine had some kind of top ten lists of things that they hate about restoration projects. One of the things they listed was replacing suspension parts before painting the body; that way paint didn't splatter on new coils and what not. SO- in their Comet restoration, they have started with new wheels (what the..?), and now I see that they are doing suspension parts before the paint.

What is the correct general order for doing a restoration? I know that it matters how much work, time, money, etc that you can invest. But generally speaking, what is the sequence for a restoration?

I was kind of thinking bodywork (including paint), engine/drive line, suspension, then interior.

Thanks,
Brian
 

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There is no "right" way to do it. Its like asking what muffler sounds better. You will get a ton of different opinions.

Personally, my order is working out like this ; suspension, brakes, drivetrain then paint. (my interior is already good)

Some go for the paint first, which is great for looks, but I would build it from the ground up.

Just do what you want and can afford. M&F also said that a cougar was "not for modification" and for "luxury touring purposes only". Although I subscribe, I disagree with a lot of the M&F articles.
 

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its a toss up for engine and bodywork. unless you paint the engine bay as well. then id just pull the engine out before that completely. id paint a car then do the engine work. but most definatly.... having painted a few cars already in various states of restoration... please please.... dont to the itnerior BEFORE paint and body. i hate having to deal with a clean interior when im primering or wet sanding a car.
 

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I'm doing my suspension first but I'm also doing small interior stuff too. Then I'll do body prep while replacing or upgrading bits and pieces of the engine until I can afford a rebuild. So I'm kinda bouncing around but trying to focus on the stuff that makes the car safer and more enjoyable (and reliable) to drive.

One thing I have to say is that I can appreciate a classic car with some primer spots. To me that say the car is a work in progress.
 

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I've always done the running gear first. Then the body and paint...

Bruce
 

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I agree with Bruce, On the mustang I have already done the rear axle and in no paticular order I am doing the suspension, power disc's, power steering, and motor & AOD.
They will fall together as I get the parts and I will detail the engine bay since the motor is out. After the car is running and driving then I will tackle body & paint followed by interior & trim. I guess it would be different if the body was in really bad condition, then I might do it all at once.
John
wvcat
 

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Like others said, there's no real right way. Here's what I'm doing:

Already had all the mechanical modifications done and the car was running excellent with no bugs left to sort out. Then took it COMPLETELY apart except for the glass and the vinyl top. Did all the bodywork and paint. Now slowly putting it back together with all new rubber and will detail the motor just before I put it back in. The interior will be last.

Mark
 

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I believe this depends on how far the restoration is planned. I have done many restorations over the years. The RestoMod was a complete tear down. I took the body to the paint booth w/ only the doors attached. I did temp mount the fenders in the booth for a consistant color. The body was on a used suspension that came off after painting and was replaced w/ all new/rebuilt parts.Next was, align doors to body, trunk, top,glass,drivetrain,fenders,hood,grill, interior, and then all the little details.
 

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I think if your going to do one from the ground up, you need to start with a completely stripped body. I've got mine completely stripped and soon it will be headed to the body shop to go on the rotiserrie. After we shoot it, then I will start with installing the suspension, then either the drivetrain or the wiring. Finally I will install the interior and outside trim. That's the way they do it on Dream Car Garage and with the results they get, I'll trust what they say! The only thing I'm worried about is scratching the damn thing as I put it back together or one of the kids running a bicycle handlebar down the side!!
 

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I found this site www.autorestorer.com They take you through some of the steps and have a disscussion board too
 

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I think if I had all the money and parts and everything at once, it would go like this:

1. Pull motor and trany
2. Detail engine compartment
3. Pull front suspension
4. Send it to paint shop(have engine compartment painted along with wheel wells and car.
5. Install new suspension and Disk brakes (from drum) on front
6. Pull rearend and suspension
- Install new springs
- Install rebuilt 9"(replacing 8") w/new gears and disk brakes
- Install new shocks
- Install new Torq Thrust wheels
7. Put new motor and tranny in
- Figure out fuel injection wiring
- Install new radiator
- Install new gas tank and fuel pump
8. Install drive shaft
9. Weld in new subframes
10. Add cal-tracs(traction device)
11. Drive to the exhaust shop *OPEN HEADERS :D* and have exhaust installed.

In all reality this is how it will happen:

1. Pull Motor and tranny
2. Detail engine compartment
3. Put new motor and tranny in
- Figure out fuel injection wiring
- Install new radiator
- Install new gas tank and fuel pump
4. Install drive shaft
5. Drive to the exhaust shop *OPEN HEADERS :D* and have exhaust installed.
....Wait until I get more money...
6. Pull front suspension
- Detail wheel wells
7. Install new suspension and Disk brakes (from drum) on front
....Wait until I get more money...
8. Pull rearend and suspension
- Install new springs
- Install rebuilt 9"(replacing 8") w/new gears and disk brakes
- Install new shocks
- Install new Torq Thrust wheels
....Wait until I get more money...
9. Send it to paint shop(with new wheels removed.)
....Wait until I get more money...
10. Weld in new subframes
11. Add cal-tracs(traction device)
 

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I forgot interior...that would definately be LAST!
 

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I always do the mechanicals first. It is way too easy to scratch new paint trying to get an old nut or bolt loose. I typically do steering/suspension first, then engine/transmission, then I do the bodywork.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Geez, all this time I was thinking to myself "am I doing this right?" by doing the bodywork first! Thanks for everyone's opinions.
 
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