Way back in the early eighties a little Fiat 850 was given to me by my next door neighbor, because he couldn’t saw himself refurbish this little rusted car. I have salvaged bikes before and knew you had to strip your project completely before you can start rebuild it.
As I stripped this little car I found that the floor was all rusted with holes in it already. By taking short cut and just riveted pieces of sheet metal over it, thinking it will do the trick. The first time I drove it in the rain all the new carpets became all wet, not to talk about the squeaks and crackling noises that came from the under body while driving it.
All this happened because I did not have the necessary automotive tools to do the job properly in the first place. The result was I had to redo the floor repairs and replace the carpets again.
My advice will be if you plan to refurbish a car at any stage you must make sure you have the necessary tools to do the job. Tackling the job yourself can save you a pile of money, if you have the necessary tools before you start to strip any car down to its metal framework for refurbishment.
The basic automotive tools you will need to perform the metal framework repairs with.
- A basic panel beating tool kit with hammers and panel beating dollies.
- Medium size compressor that can push up 8 bars.
- Small angle grinder with cutting discs and grinding discs.
- A metal fabricator tool set that contain a spreader bar set.
- Proper gas flame or heating torch, preferably a gas welding set and torches.
- A CO-2 welder or a small inverter DC welder will do if you are a novice doing it at home.
Now-a-days you do get small domestic pneumatic tools you can run from a small compressor, chisel, drill, cutters, grinders and a lot more.
Preparations you have to do before you can start with the metal framework repairs.
Strip the car completely down to its metal framework and get it sand or bead blasted before you start with any repairs.
The doors, hood, fenders and boot lid must be removed as well.
You will only be able to establish what the structural damages are when it comes back from the bead blasters. After seeing the damages and you not capable to do the job yourself source for some help, like a trained metal parts fabricator
Now you must start to cut out all damaged and rusted sections and re-fabricate section to replace the damaged ones with. While repairing the floor and boot section make sure to inspect the chassis beams and legs, if they need attention always repair them first.
After all floor repairs are done you must tackle the kick panels, running boards and wheel arches next.
Make sure to clean and apply some rust repellent directly after you finished a section.
The repellent will prevent them to rust again, as you don’t want them all rusted again when you fit the carpets and upholstery at the end.
All this must be done before any thought is put to mind how you want to improve on the car’s appearance. This is the most important part of the whole refurbishing project, because the better the under body and floors are structured and repaired, the better the road holding, safety and stability of the car will be on the end.
Many car owners that own some automotive tools make changes to their car’s appearance without thinking about the chassis which might need modification in order to handle these changes. These modifications might be necessary in order to insure the safety of the driver and passengers as they will affect the stability and safety of the vehicle on the road.