Rebuilding a car/engine?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allan, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi, I was thinking about learning more about cars. Ideally, I would one day be able to take an old beat up car and rebuild the entire thing (engine, brakes, interior, etc....) I know this sounds optimistic, esp since I don;t know anything know. I was just wondering if there are any books and/or internet sites that would be helpful to read on the subject.

    Thanks,

    Allan
     
  2. Stephen_Opipari

    Stephen_Opipari Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm assuming you mean an older car? Newer ones are so computer controlled that a lot of DIY folks can't DIY due to the cost of tools.
    If you are interested in VW's at all, check out www.vwvortex.com and check out the forums. They have lots of VW specific info, and there are quite a few folks who are restoring old Beetles, A1 and A2 body GTI's and whatnot. I'd personally like to get a Corrado that's in iffy shape, blown motor would be fine and rock it with a new 1.8T motor that VW makes (I have one in my 2k Jetta) with a K04 turbo instead of the K03. There's been a few people who have done that very conversion out there and it makes for a fast car. [​IMG]
    Anyway, whatever you do, have fun.
     
  3. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Old British sportscars are good cars to learn on. They are basic, the parts are sometimes easily available since multiple cars use the same starters, generators, etc., and driving them is fun enough to pay back the effort you will put in to restoring one of them. I learned the hard way: I got a '59 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite in pieces and got it running. A chrome-bumper MGB or a Triumph TR6 might be good candidates: basic, fun, and relatively common.
     
  4. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    If you do not want alot of frustration, make sure you pick a car that has alot of after market parts availible

    if you want really old, both the Ford Model T and A have a thriving after market, you can practicaly buy all the parts and build a new car on the after market

    same goes for the 32 ford V8 coupe

    if you want slightly younger cars there is a huge aftermarket for the 57 chevy family and the late 60's and early 70's chevy muscle cars

    early ford mustang's have huge parts availibility

    as some one else mentioned VW bugs are good candidates because they are still being made in mexico and all the parts are availible since what is being made in mexico is essentualy a 73 bug. Just avoid the 67 beetle because its fenders and some other body parts are unique to it which is why they are worth more than the years surrounding it
     
  5. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    I got my feet wet and my knuckles scraped up on a 1970 VW beetle, excellent car to try and restore. Parts are dirt cheap and plentiful. The car was engineered well, it's fairly easy to take apart, etc. And the potential financial beating is minimized.

    As to websites, they are around...check out some of the stuff in Yahoo under the auto's area.

    Andrew
     
  6. Scott_G

    Scott_G Second Unit

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    Key word there ... old car. I hate to try and rebuild a new one with all the computers and sensors.
    I'll second the VW bug. Very easy engine, not a lot of parts. And it's light [​IMG]
     
  7. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    If I were you I would strongly take into account on all that goes into rebuilding/refurbishing an old car. I've done 2 and am still working on my current one. I don't mean to sound pessamistic (sp?) but I've about pulled all my hair out fixing the engine/body/interior/ in my car. Expect all sorts of problems (especially if you don't know what you are doing)
    I would suggest you have someone who knows about restoring cars along side with you so you can learn on a step by step basis. What kind of old car are you looking for? Do you know anything about body work ie, welding, dent pulling, body filler, primer, wet sanding, paint..the list goes on. If not try and hook up with someone who does. Luckily for me my husband worked in a body shop so we did all the work on our cars together. As far as interior goes you will probably want to contact someone that does that professionaly. Engine work you can do with someone there to help you. Depending on the car of you choose to restore there are many message boards dedicated to cars that can help you along with tips, tricks, and answer questions.
    Good luck....may I suggest an old Dodge, Plymouth, Chrysler? [​IMG]
     
  8. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the advice (although it has made me doubt my ability to actually go through with this). I have always been good with my hands and stuff... I would not even start such a project until I leave NYC (not for at least 5 years) but I was hoping to get some books/internet sites to read up on now as an intro. As far as what car? Maybe a Ford Mustang from the 60's or 70's, maybe a classic porsche. Suggestions?

    Allan
     
  9. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    A Mustang isn't a bad choice, there's lots of parts out there, the parts are fairly cheap and the cars are plentiful. It's another great hobby, but you have to be careful about biting off more than you can chew to start with, hence a simpler project or a project on a "common car" is a good way to start out, or else you can pretty much loose any/all money/time you had invested in the project (actually you'll probably loose money in any case, but the percentages can vary a lot).
    Porsche's are nice cars for sure, but man that would be a painful project to have to do. Page through a Porsche catalog and take a look at some prices and you'll see where that can go.
    Mustangs are nice because the engine parts (small block V8) have been made pretty much forever from Ford, interior parts, body panels, etc can all be found for good prices, etc.
    Ditto for VW Bugs, it's probably as close to the perfect resto-project as you can find. The need for special tools, or heavy duty tools is minimal (4-6 of your friends can take the body off the chassis easily), you can drop the motor in a couple hours and 3 strong people. I bought a bug for $100, my initial investment of parts was under $1k (for floorpans, bodywork, some engine parts).
    For some websites, go to http://dir.yahoo.com/Recreation/Auto...es_and_Models/ and pick out whichever brand/model you're interested in looking at, you'll probably find some projects listed (like Mustangs for instance). Once you find a couple, you can check out the links on those sites to find more sites, etc.
    Andrew
     
  10. Brian Crowe

    Brian Crowe Stunt Coordinator

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    It's a good idea to read up on things before you get started for sure. I subscribed to Popular hot rodding for several years in high school and learned a lot about different projects, costs involved, things to look out for, etc. It's really nice because you can 'watch' someone else do it first and decide if it's for you or not. Also most performance shops have a section of books such as 'How to build a small block Chevy'. If there's a speed shop around then look there.
    The thing that taught me the most however was just buying an old beater and driving it around. I picked up a '73 nova for $800 from a neighbor. For that low investment I didn't feel bad hacking it up and tearing it apart. Sometimes it was a full time job just keeping it running. When it's your only transportation you learn to fix it quick. [​IMG]
    For domestic I'd reccomend a Chevy- cheapest parts around and easy to work on. My friend has a nice 66 Mustang but it's just a backwards car to work on. I wouldn't wish a Ford on anyone.
    For foreign it looks like VW is the choice. I know my grandfather used to have one. He had 2 engines for it. The stock one he'd drive to work during the week and the Hi-Po one he'd swap out on Friday night to cruise on the weekend. So, they must be pretty simple.
    Have fun with it, old cars can easily be as addictive as HT and just as costly. [​IMG]
    ~Crowe~
     

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