Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
General Tips for Restorers.
An entry with this title should be an ongoing thing so please add your tips via replys.
1. Take lots of pictures of the car before you take anything apart.
This applies particularly to "How was it routed? pictures. Wires and tubes and pipes can be a bear to refit if you don't remember how they were routed. Pictures are great and digital cameras are cool because you can make sure they are what you want very easily.
2. Don't work on your retoration when you are tired or angry.
3. *my opinion tip* The best small tool that you can have is a caliper that registers in metric and SAE both. This little goody not only tells you what size things are in both disciplines but is an automatic converter. Second best is a metric screw thread gauge.
4. *my opinion tip* The best big tool you can have is a compressor. Cleans stuff, drives air tools, paints and makes a very impressive noise when you take lug nuts off. Mine usually brings one of the neighbors over.
5. Do not throw anything away that has a part number until the car is finished. If then.
6. There are alot of worth while chemicals on the market. Experiment and find the ones that work for you. I have the following around: PB Blaster (loosens rusty fasteners, acts as an assembly lube for old nuts and bolts and serves as a cutting lubricant for drills); OOps cleans overspray and other previous restoration goofs; Greased Lightning cleans stuff; Brake system cleaner (helps clean things that you can not get to with a brush; Vinyl dressing to lubricate rubber things when assembling them.
Things that you think can never fit into other things just snap in with a little Vinylex which is easier than mixing soap and water.
7. Do not tighten a bolt until all bolts on a given part are installed and the part is properly positioned.
8. Use a torque wrench whenever possible.
9. Lock washers should be used once only. According to the Ferrari factory, split lock washer should not be used on aluminum. Use wave washers on aluminum. They dont cut the metal up and after 2 or 3 three disassembles, it makes a difference.
10. Find a parts catalog. They are invaluable. They are around. My son Quattro found one for a Nuova Giulia Super on eBay for me.
11. The internet has changed restoration work in a big way! Use it. Information is readily shared now. Parts for European cars that were considered unobtainable are showing up all over the net. They were out there we just didn't know where but now THAT information is available.
12. When you order something from folks who do not use English as a first language, be extra careful with spelling and grammar. The person that you are trying to communicate with may be trying to use a dictionary. They usually have trouble with slang and always have trouble with abreviations.
13. Use pictures when ever possible when communicating about parts. Email with pictures is so great for the parts guys of the world it is like a revolution.
14. Be patient.
Nothing good has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm !