The Steps In The Rebuild Process

When you go to restore your car the steps in the restoration process are as follows. Obviously the first step is the inspection of the car, this is done by walking around the car and looking at the damage that you can see on the surface.

This would also include looking under that car, and in the engine compartment, interior, and trunk. It would include a basic check of the electrical system, such as lights, gauges, radio, blinkers, brakes, and head lights.

The next step in the restoration process would be to pull the car in the shop and start on the tare down of the car. The tare down is another part of the inspection process, but during the tare the actual work starts on the car, at this point it’s to late to turn back.

During the tare down we take the car apart and determine what parts can be fixed, and what parts need to be replaced. We take a lot of pictures, and fill a lot of boxes with the parts form your car, our job is to determine what all the bad parts are, and replace them.

In the next step the restoration of the car begins, this is where we send the engine to the machine shop, and begin to replace the parts on your car that need to be replaced. During this process we’ll replace rusted panels, pull dents, and fix mechanical problems that you car may have.

This is the stage where the major work begins on your car. This is where it starts to take shape and become a restored car, during this stage we fix everything that we have found wrong with the car, no matter how small, or minute it may seem, we aim to return the car to factory or better condition.

This is also the stage where we send the car out to be media blasted, during the entire process that car will go through a quality check process during every stage of the restoration. Our shop checks quality about fifteen times during the process of the build.

After the dents are all pulled, and the panels that need to be welded in are welded in. We begin the rough body work stage of the process, this is the stage where the car begins to look complete again. We’re filling very small dents and waves with plastic filler.

Just a word of warning while you use plastic filler, you should never have more the 1/8” of body filler in any dent, or wave on the car. Using to much body filler will cause it to fall out of the car as you go over a bump, it may not happen fast, but it will happen.

During this stage of body work we finish all of the dents, and waves to 40 grit sand paper with the plastic body filler. After you have the entire car finished to 40 grit paper, we can move to the next step, unless the car needs one more coat in some areas, you will need to do that first.

In the next stage of body work we move to 80 grit sand paper, you will need to coat the body work areas one more time with the plastic filler. Then you will be sanding them with the 80 grit paper, you don’t want to sand these areas completely smooth, leave them just a bit high.

This is the next step in the process of your restoration, in the step we move to 180 grit sand paper on a long sanding block, by the way the entire process should be done with the longest block possible, this is the finish body work stage, after this you will prime the car.

In this step you will finish all of the body work that you have just completed to 180 grit sand paper, after that you will prime the car, but first let’s finish the body work, if you get the car to 180 grit paper, and you still have some small waves or dents, you will need to apply some metal glaze.

Metal glaze is a very thin polyester type body filler, it’s almost runny it’s so thin. But it’s the greatest stuff in the world for very small dents, or waves in the body of a car. After this you will either primer the car, or feather fill the car.

Feather filler is just a spray-able body filler, that will help you get the car covered evenly so you don’t have to wonder if a small dent or wave will show through. I usually don’t go to this extent I usually stop at the last step and primer the car.

This is all up to you, this is the last step in the restoration process on the body of the car, in this step we will shoot primer to the surface of the car. You need to be sure that all body work is finished to 180 grit sand paper on a hand block, no machines for the best out come.

This is the very last step before the body of the car goes to the paint booth, and it’s where we will stop for this article. Usually I primer the body work areas before I shoot the entire car, I put three coats of primer on the body work areas of the car, giving it fifteen minutes to flash between coats.

After all of the body work has three coats of primer on it, you can move to the last step of the process, which is to prime the entire car with three coats of high build urethane, or epoxy primer, I suggest letting the car dry for 24 hours before you sand it for paint.

After you finish the priming process you should put a guide coat on the car, a guide cost will help you see the dents and wave if you have any, rather the just doing it by feel. After the primer is dry, you will be sanding it again with the 180 grit sand paper.

If you used guide coat on the car, all you will be looking to do is get the black guide coat off of the primer, once this is done you will primes the car one more time with three coats of high build primer. If you have some guide coat the won’t come off, don’t worry.

You will need to use the metal glaze and fill the low area before you shoot the last stage of primer to the car. After you shoot the last stage of primer to the car, it will be ready to be sanded for the painting process, we won’t go in to the paint process in this article.