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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-19-02, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Coupe Restoration


as most of you know im the proud owner of a rusty pile of bits that resembles an XC Coupe

Got a job as of late and the bank account is starting to grow and im thinking of starting the project soon..

But i was wanting to ask any fellow restorers out there (russ, botch, etc) where should i start?!

how should i tackle such a restoration, theres lots of work to be done and im not sure what/how to start

Any tips on how i can find out how it goes back together? as well as tips on dissasembling what is left to be disasembled?

what order to do things, how to do things

Anything will be much helpfull


"mmmmmmm, DOHC'rilicious..."
- H. Simpson
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-19-02, 06:12 AM
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Go to a swap meet or second hand bookshop and get yourself a genuine ford service manual. They have a wealth of information on how to properly fix your car. They also have handy stuff like paint and body codes etc.
Also eat lots of chinese takeaway and put all the bits you pull off in the container with a description written on the top. Its amazing how many parts you can lose once you start pulling stuff apart.
Get an understanding wife/girlfriend/lover !
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-19-02, 06:57 AM
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Ok gb - as promised.

Firstly let us start with the 3 rules of vehicle restoration -

1. Have a clear plan in mind from the start.
2. Have a solid budget mapped out from the start.
3. If you do not have 1 & 2 then DON"T start.

Once that is out of the way the next big question is restore or just rebuild. Basically depends on what your end goal is but the key difference is that retoration will seek originality as far as possible. Personal decision but another to get out of the way early.

Then comes the fun part - setting priorities. You will have some idea of these from your outline budget but the best approach is to tackle the tough things first - many a resto project has been abandoned when a difficult job has suddenly looked too hard / too expensive or whatever.

The suggestions above about a good workshop manual and tagging / storing parts is another absolute essential - but further to the comments above I would strongly suggest that wife/gf/lover be dispensed with for the duration!

For most people bodywork is the killer - it can eat large $$ very quickly. It is a good idea to go and attaend some basic TAFE / Adult Ed courses as they are good basic grounding - likewise with handy little skills such as welding and roping friends into helping.

A good basic tool kit is a boon along with a decent selection of good hammers - these can be used on various parts of the car or just thrown at the garage wall when it gets too frustrating.

A good network of contacts for hard to source bits, advice and encouragement isn't a bad idea either.

Mostly it takes patience and perseverance as witnessed by the large number of unfinished projects around.

With those two ingredients it will work.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-02, 05:59 AM
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What everyone else said plus:

If you don't have all the parts or want to get some factory extras like electric windows/long range tank/etc cheaply then look out for people wrecking GXLs/GSs in the trading post. You will pay 1/10 the price of a wrecker but it may take more time and stuffing around. Also if the chance to buy cheap panels or other spares in good nick comes up then do so.

Whatever realistic budget you come up with double it and expect that as a minimum. Well maybe not double but I never met a person who came in under budget if you know what I mean.

Take a balanced approach. Don't pour squillions into a great paintjob and stereo only to have shitty suspension and tyres.

Be very wary of using tradespeople you don't know or haven't been recommended by people you trust. There are plenty of clowns out there willing to take your money and do a bad job. If they aren't willing to listen or give you the time of day when you first approach them then steer clear. As Russell says, the more you can do yourself the better.

Expect that you will go through a stage when you have had enough and will want to sell the car. Just take a deep breath and walk away for however long you have to (even months). Sooner or later you will get the bug again.

Finally just have fun. The feeling on that day when you take it for a first drive will be magic and make it all worthwhile.

Former owner of:
'78 XC GS Sedan
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