Reply To: Re:My Oldsmobile Restoration

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Hi Dalton,

I’m really glad to see a young man interested in classic cars as opposed to video games. I started working on lawn mower engines when I was about 9 or 10 years old and when I was your age I did my first car tune-up on my own including rebuilding the one-barrel carburetor. I had to teach myself because my dad wasn’t mechanically inclined. You’re never too young to get interested in cars and how they work.

It looks like you chose a good car for a project. A relatively rust free car is the best to start with. Your already on the right track by having a couple of parts cars to use. You are right that it will be more difficult than choosing a late model car for a project. The internet makes it a lot easier to find parts than it was before you were born. Part of the fun of a project is searching for and finding the parts you need. You will need a lot of patience.

I see that you have some other cars as well. I found it very helpful to focus on one project car at a time. Also, you should set your goal for the project. Do you want to do a complete ground up restoration or just get it running properly and leave the cosmetic stuff the way it is? It can be very expensive to do a complete restoration especially if you have to have a professional do the work for you. The more work you can do yourself or with help from your dad or others will help you save money.

Having a garage that you can use for the project is almost a must to keep disassembled parts organized and keep everything out of the weather. Take photos and make sketches and notes as you’re disassembling the car. Put fasteners into zip-lock bags and keep them in a box with the part that was removed and mark all boxes with the contents that are in them. One of the first things I recommend you do is get a factory service manual (Ebay is a great place to find these). But remember that the service manual may not give you every piece of information you need which is why you should take photos and make notes.

When I restored my car I treated each component of the car like it was a project in itself. When every component was restored I reassembled the car as if it were a life-size plastic car model. You will probably make some mistakes along the way, as most of us do, but don’t let it discourage you. You will definitely learn some things.

Whatever the level of restoration you decide on remember that safety if the most important thing. Always use jackstands that are securely in place before getting under the car. Definitely use eye protection, etc. The car’s brake system and steering/suspension systems need to be in good working order before doing any driving.

Let us know what level of restoration you want to do and I’m sure the members of this website will do whatever they can as far as advice, etc. I’ll do what I can for sure.

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