Restoration Corner

Budget Restoration!

Check out the photo above, see anything wrong?

Under Construction

Before you begin restoration on that favorite vintage automobile there are a few things you should consider.  What kind of restoration do I want to do?  How much do I want to spend?  Do I have the right equipment for the job that I am about to under take.  This page will be devoted to tips and tricks that will help you to properly prepare and finish a restoration job you can be proud of.

First things First, ” the tear down” take lots of pictures and I mean lots of them.  Knowing the order that you disassembled your project is going to be very important 6 months or two years from now.  You mite try grouping things together like door parts, interior, engine compartment, wiring, glass, moldings, etc.  Labeling items is a good idea to, many times I have looked at a part a few months after starting a project and said to my self “what the blazes is this for”.  So any way think ahead, you will save your self a lot of aggravation.  I don’t know about you I am always miss placing tools even while working on a project.  Oops that screw driver that I’ve been looking for, it’s in my back pocket!

OK well lets get started, if your planning a complete restoration and want it done right then plan ahead and make notes.  Who do I call for parts, needed tools, primers, paints, gaskets, bolts, welding supplies, sand blasting, etc.  Working these things into your budget and shipping time plus when do you really need the stuff they all factor in.

Lets start with sandblasting, it will reveal rust that you mite not even think is there.  Pin holes lurking just below the paint surface, when disturbed by sanding will certainly come through within a few months after refinishing.  Sand blasting before you begin your restoration will let you know exactly where repairs are needed it maybe just patching or you find that an entire panel needs replacing.  I have been doing this since I was 17 and now at 63 even I have been surprised.  Wait for the least humid day and get it primed right away with a self etching two part primer or powder coating.  When having a cab or body done look for the areas where the manufacture has used a body seam sealer, the cowling, drip rails, etc.  Use a screw driver to chisel it off,  there will at least be surface rust beneath.  I recommend  after priming you use 3M or equivalent “Seam Sealer” to redo those areas.  Most likely when the parts come back from sand blasting they will need to be sanded with 80 grit to prepare them for priming.

Torch Set

Sweet Spot Zero tip, flame spit 3 ways!

1967 Chevy 1/2 Ton Cab

Rusted and Damaged both sides of 1967 Chevy Cab

Rust patching and partial panel replacement, now her is where the fun begins.  I am a little old school when it comes to rust repairs I still prefer Brazing for patching and copper coated steel for floor areas.  If you adjust the flame until it splits 3 ways that is the Sweet Spot for lowest temperature to melt 3/32 brass rod and have it flow nicely with very little expansion of the metal.  I usually concentrate the heat on the rod and touch it to the metal at the last second to get a nice flow.  I do not recommend flux coated rods they are messy, buy a can of the Blue powder flux and punch a small hole in the top cover about I/8 inch will work.   In the case of replacing a cab corner fit the door jamb first then push the metal around the corner to the back spot welding about every inch or so.  Now this is the tricky part across the back spot weld about every 4 inches on your first pass then back and every 2 inches then back to every 1 inch.  Now if you did this correctly the metal had time enough to cool and should be no warping.  When things have cooled off weld it solid and move as quickly as you can.   The reason I use copper coated steel on floor areas,  you don’t need to worry so much about things warping and the copper coating makes for a nice strong weld.  For those who prefer wire feed .030 and a low temp setting will work.   Notice that I outlined the original replacement panel on the cab back with a Sharpie below.  This was to see weather or not I could stay out of the indented areas, It was ok here to cut it 1/2 inch below this makes for a small amount of plastic work after grinding .  Go ahead and click on the illustration for a better view.


Click picture to enlarge!

Rusted Door Post and Floor

Rusted Right Lower Hinge Post and Floor Area.

Plastic or Bondo wasn’t meant to fill large dents it should not be more than 1/8 inch thick.  One more thing about brass you must grind all welds thoroughly, use a wire wheel for any hard to reach areas.  If you have a small portable sand blaster and can clean your work, even better!  Be careful though small portable units “non commercial” work nice on thick metal, rocker panels, door edges, wheel houses, etc.  If you wonder into the middle of a door panel it will warp on you.  On the right illustration above you will see the before pictures of the right door hinge post lower areas.  GM forgot about drainage here so mud and water collected to destroy the metal.  I will patch these areas with 20 gage paint lock steel.  First cut out the affected steel with a torch or cutting wheel then make patches to replace missing metal.  This must all be done prior to installing the cab back, rocker panel, and floor panel.  Weld only the patches, next the cab back then the door must be hung in order to insure proper alignment to the cab back and rocker panels.  If you weld the floor or rocker things may not fit properly when the door is finally hung.  Better to be safe then having to cut things to fit later.


  1. Hello,

    I have a 1976 Dodge Aspen that needs a front end alignment. Can anyone please recommend a shop that knows how to properly do an alignment on these J-body Mopar cars? Thanks!

  2. I have a 1937 Jag Kitcar with a bearing out i think or a rod its knocking ,Would some one know how to help me before i send it out for a rebuiler install

  3. I have a 2010 f150 pickup that needs to have the back bumper straighted it is painted black and has a small warp on the drivers side. I was wondering if someone in the club would be interested in giving it a look. I am a SCW resident.

    • I would be able to straiten it however I can’t do any painting right now. Waiting for the addition on the ARC building.


  4. Hello
    I would like to tour facility before I join.. who do I talk to.
    I have a 1967 Dodge Dart 2 door sedan v-8 console factory disc brakes, I am in the middle of restoring and need interior work.
    upholstery done and have already purchased the factory kit, do you guys
    do this too! 623 703 0861
    excited to hear from you.
    Bruce Bonds

  5. I have a 2004 SL500 Mercedes stuck in park. I am a member. Does anyone have experience with this problem. posted 1/31/17

  6. I’m a 44 year old young man and just bought my one of my dream cars from when I was 12 years old and will need some wise knowledge help to bring the 56 2 door post back to life. Any help is better than no help

  7. Admiring the time and energy you put into your blog and in depth
    information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material.
    Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  8. Hello, I have a question I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt I’ve had a major key issue stuck in the ignition. It was on a recall Chevy fixed it 2014. Now I’m having the same issue and a friend was able to get the key out by a release button under the steering column I took it to Chevy and they did a diagnostic test and it’s the shifter interlock system. It’s on a recall also. They quoted me a large sum of money because the car has a marked title and they refuse to take care of my problem.
    Is this something someone at ARC could fix. Of course I’m sure I would have to pay for the parts and some labor??
    I am a resident of SCW. Hopefully someone will respond
    Thank You

  9. Anyone interested in painting my 94 club golf car? Give me a price?

    • Hi I am Mike and could look at it please call me at 480-600-2339

  10. 57 roadmaster……….can I see it? Curt

  11. Roadmaster. Can I see it> 623)640-1059

  12. Hi there! I have acquired a 1958 Cadillac from my father. It needs quite a bit of work and I’m trying to find someone to help me with it, or a place to take it. Can you guys help? Or perhaps you can suggest a place where I could take it. I am a resident of surprise, 37 years old, not a retiree.

  13. Anyone interested in a 1957 Buick Roadmaster 4 door hardtop? Started project but son left and I have no desire to finish the project. Please contact me if interested and we can discuss. Thanks.

    • Can you email me a photo or two of it along with a brief description and I will place it in our classified section.
      We will see if we can put you together with someone interested. The price would be nice or a starting point.


      • I wish to voice my appeacirtion for your kindness for folks who really want help on this important area. Your special commitment to passing the solution around was wonderfully informative and have surely made some individuals much like me to realize their desired goals. Your interesting guide can mean a whole lot a person like me and somewhat more to my mates. Thank you; from each one of us.

  14. All I can say is “Bring on retirement! SCW here I come!”. Such a great thing for a motorhead like me to know that ARC exists. Now I just have to find that 68 Bug I’ve been looking for.

    • Looking forward to having you as a new resident of Sun City West. Hope you join our club also we need experience in all areas automotive.


  15. Is the 1st phase going to include a Paint Booth?

    • No, it will be in the second phase.

  16. Do you guys do work for anyone else besides your club members? I have an 87 Chevy I would like to have repainted. Please let me know.


    • If you live in Sun City West we can help you Joe.

    • See Lauren or Mike over at the SCW metal club for now…

  17. Anyone wishing to comment on or have a suggestion for this page, this is the place to do it.

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