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RESTORING DREAMS

Welcome to Doc's blog

 

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Around the shop or on the road meeting new clients and checking out the latest trends in the old car hobby.

 

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Doc

By drronaldf20719687, Mar 21 2018 10:52PM

One of the really neat aspects of the auto restoration business, is talking with customers and getting the history behind their car.

Original owners, young married couples buy a car and fix it up years later, a car or truck that has been in the family for years,….

The look in the owner’s eyes as he/she tells the story of when they bought the car brand new, you can feel the excitement all over. Or, when you hear about learning to drive in dad’s old truck, and now they want to restore it so their kids can do the same.

We get the sad stories too. The couple who bought a car and one of the spouses passes before they can fix it up, but still want it done in their memory.

Automobiles, to some, are nothing more than a means to get from point A to point B. While others, their car or truck is a part of the family with the same emotional strings.

It is a great feeling to bring the old memories back and restore their dream. Most of the cars we do are for people like this. They want a piece of the old life back.

Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot bring the car back. Too much rust and deterioration would make the restoration way too costly. It is very difficult sometimes to talk someone out of spending $20, 30, 50,000 on restoring a car that in A1 condition is worth maybe $10,000.

The real question becomes, how much is the enjoyment of driving the old car again worth? For some, that justifies the expense.

As I have posted before, if you plan to keep and enjoy the car, then by all means consider the restoration (keep it in your budget). But if you are looking to sell/flip the car, then leave it as is. You will never recover the amount spent to restore on a quick sale.

1968 Chevelle Rstored Dream
1968 Chevelle Rstored Dream

By drronaldf20719687, Jun 23 2017 06:36PM

One of the issues we run into way too often, people get taken when buying a classic/collector car. Hidden rust, shoddy repairs, “Dupont” engine rebuilds, and a host of other issues. Unfortunately we end up being the ones to break the bad news that the “Restored” car the buyer paid top dollar for is junk or unsafe to drive.

The classic car hobby is alive and well. Trends are changing from show cars to drivers. Buyers are looking for a cool muscle car or hot rod to drive on the weekends and have fun with it. Maybe finding a car they really liked as a kid. Beware, unscrupulous sellers are counting on the emotions involved in buying a long, sought after car.

Cosmetic repairs, body fill over rust, quick paint of the frame and suspension to hide the rust through. Paint the engine and change the oil “Dupont” Rebuild. A little stop leak and they are ready to sell.

These sellers look at the TV auctions and the prices paid and claim to be giving you a deal. “This car sold on TV for $45,000, but it’s a steal for you at only $38,000.” Knowing it will take $20,000+ to get it into the same condition as that one that sold on TV.

We have experience in buying and evaluating classic cars. We offer this experience to you.

If you are in the market, let us know. We would be more than happy to check it out for you. We know what to look for and where to look. We can give you a very accurate price range for the actual condition of the car. Give us a call. For a small fee, you can be more confident you got what you paid for and not get taken.

And, if you are looking to sell, we can go through the car and “Certify” its actual condition. Give the prospective buyer a little assurance, and get a better price.

Poor Rust Repair
Poor Rust Repair
Hidden Rust
Hidden Rust
"Rebuilt" Engine
"Rebuilt" Engine

By drronaldf20719687, Jan 18 2017 05:32PM

Winter time in Wisconsin means the cool cars are put away or are getting built. Needless to say, we have been very busy building some very cool cars this winter. 66 Lincoln, 79 Mercedes, 71 Nova, 55 Chevy Pick Up, 72 GMC, 66 GTO…..

With restoration, while the mechanical part is very important for performance and safety, it is the paint that gets the most attention.

Long gone are the days of the $39.99 Earl Schiebe paint jobs. A typical paint job without having to do rust repair easily can run $4-8000 for a basic driver quality. Higher end jobs can go $6-10,000 and top show quality can run $15,000+. Why?

Material costs, environmental regulations, sanding/masking/cleaning supplies, insurance and of course, labor. A basic paint job includes; removing trim, bumpers, etc… Removing the existing finish, filling or metal working imperfection, priming, block sanding, more primer, more sanding, sealing and then the color goes on followed by a clear coat. Then you have to put all the trim back on. Throw in a rust spot or previously repaired panel, and you have several more hours and materials tossed in.

Don’t forget, you have to re-mask at each stage!

Now that the paint is on and dry, it needs to be wet sanded (cut) and polished. Depending on the desired quality, this can be very labor intensive.

Most paint is well over $150 per gallon. Reds can run over $300 a gallon. Want a metallic, pearl or candy? Now you have doubled the paint cost.

The days of shooting a couple coats of lacquer in your buddy’s garage are long gone.

Be sure to keep this in mind when deciding on building a project car. You can save some money by doing some of the mechanical on your own. But when it comes to paint and body work, many shops will not want to work on previous repairs. We cannot guarantee paint unless we start with bare metal. Reason being, many paint brands are not compatible. Did you use a rattle can of lacquer primer?

Unfortunately, the only real way to save money on a paint job is to have a very clean and straight car to start with. So, if you have rust, dents or other damage, expect to pay for those repairs.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave below, Thanks!

66 GTO bad previoius body work
66 GTO bad previoius body work
Prep work
Prep work
1966 Lincoln jambed
1966 Lincoln jambed
1966 Lincoln fresh paint
1966 Lincoln fresh paint
1966 Lincoln Continental final assembly
1966 Lincoln Continental final assembly

By drronaldf20719687, Sep 29 2016 06:06PM

In one of my earlier posts, I described how we used modern technology to make a part for an older car. We used 3D printing to make an obsolete part.

One part of restoring older cars is dealing with chromed plastic trim and other parts. Until recently, the only way to somewhat duplicate the chrome was to use paint. Needless to say, the results were less than satisfactory. There was no way to get the deep shine of chrome with a spray can.

Early this year, I was watching an episode of Counting Cars. A reality show about a Las Vegas Customizing shop. In this episode, the painter was showing the owner a new “Chroming Process” using a spray on product. He went about applying the product and it quickly developed a beautiful, deep chrome finish. The owner was very impressed. So was I.

I began to do some research on this process called Hydro-Chroming. I found that not only can you do metal parts, but plastic, fiberglass, glass, concrete, and even wood. This would be perfect for all those arm rests, dash bezels and other interior (and exterior) trim parts.

We are now the only Authorized shop in North East Wisconsin to apply Future Chrome.

We can do the plastic trim, wheels, bumpers, light housings, or custom chrome any part for cars, trucks and even motorcycles. I have even seen motorcycle helmets get the chrome treatment!

For fun I plan to do my tablet back cover.

We can also do colored chrome finishes including; black, red, blue, green, yellow (gold), purple and many others. We can also do Candy finishes as well.

So, if you have old plastic parts needing new chrome, trim, bumpers or anything else chromed, give us a call! (920) 279-5521 local or (855) 490-1916 toll free.

To see some videos on the process and for more information, please visit Future Chrome

Original Painted Mirror to be Chromed
Original Painted Mirror to be Chromed
Chromed Mirrors
Chromed Mirrors

By drronaldf20719687, Jul 15 2016 11:03PM

If you have ever worked on a car or any other major project; you know what I'm going to tell you is the truth!

We are doing the final work on a very nice 1927 Chevrolet Capitol Coupe. We had done some head work (replaced a couple bent valves) and tried to reuse the old gasket. Of course the gasket failed. The oil pan gasket was also leaking quite bad, leaving a puddle of oil wherever it sat.

Luckily, the owner already had a complete gasket set! He mailed it to us and we began to replace the head and oil pan gaskets.

Here is where the fun began.

Once we got the head off, we noticed the #3 spark plug was white, while the rest showed the normal black soot. This would explain the rough running and popping. We also noticed the rocker arm shafts were quite dirty and not moving as smooth as they should.

Then we took off the oil pan. Here we found about an inch of thick sludge on the bottom. The oil pump pick up was plugged with sludge. The oil filter housing was filled with sludge.

The water pump shaft was loose........

You get the picture.

A simple gasket swap has now exploded into a complete engine refresh and cleaning!

And, of course, since everything is now nice and clean, we just has to paint everything.

Jordan spent a few hours, cleaning, polishing, truing mating surfaces, lubricating and rebuilding just about every moving part on the old motor.

He did a fantastic job! Check out the pictures below. Can't wait to hear how much better it will run now that everything is cleaned up and repaired. Stay Tuned!

1927 Chevrolet Head Removed
1927 Chevrolet Head Removed
1927 Chevrolet Engine Gasket Set
1927 Chevrolet Engine Gasket Set
1927 Chevrolet Rocker Arms
1927 Chevrolet Rocker Arms
1927 Chevrolet Rocker Arm  Assembly
1927 Chevrolet Rocker Arm Assembly
Spark Plug Not Firing #3
Spark Plug Not Firing #3
1927 Chevrolet Oil Pump
1927 Chevrolet Oil Pump
1927 Chevrolet Oil Pump Rebuilt
1927 Chevrolet Oil Pump Rebuilt
1927 Chevrolet Water Pump Rebuilt
1927 Chevrolet Water Pump Rebuilt
1927 Chevrolet Head Refurbished
1927 Chevrolet Head Refurbished
1927 Chevrolet Head Reinstalled
1927 Chevrolet Head Reinstalled
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