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Discussion Starter #1
I only have one book on Mustang restoration and it basically just tells you to take the car apart, tag everything and take a bunch of pics. Some good stuff in there, but mainly common sense. I was thinking that it would make a great deal of sense to restore the car as I take it apart, rather than as I put it back together again. So... If I start with the interior, I will remove one seat, recover it, paint the brackets, bag the parts, etc... then pack the whole thing in plastic. Same goes for every other part- refurbish then pack it away. When it comes back from paint, I'll just put humpty dumpty back together again. I'm hoping this will keep my interest in the project, as it won't be sitting with fresh paint and still a TON of work to do. What do you think?
 

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The only problem I would se is having the stuff laying around and damage waiting to be put back together. Just my .02
 

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There's nothing wrong with a rolling restoration. I've done a few myself! ;) But the main problem with taking such small bites is you won't get the overall picture...

If you pull out that one seat and recover it; then pull out the next one and recover it; and so on and so on – you will have dumped a ton of money into pretty shiney stuff before you discover your floors are gone!

If you pull everything apart at the begining, you can better prioritize. You can determine the most important issues that need to be addressed for safety's sake before other things; and those are rarely (if ever) in order of disassembly. I've driven a Mustang for weeks (and sometimes months) with only the driver's seat bolted in! :p Repair the structure first. It may not be as much fun; but it's money well spent.

Basically, the labelled bag approach works best. Even for a rolling restoration.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not talking about a rolling restoration. What I'm thinking about is to restore each part as I take it out, then store that part, not put it back on. When it's fully apart and all the restored parts are in storage, then I'll strip the paint and send it to the painter. All I'll have left to do is put the restored parts back on the car,
thx jim
 

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I think that is an excellent idea. Especially if you have the funds and time to restore the "sub-assemblies". I'm doing that to a certain extent, but in most cases I am restoring the old parts just prior to putting them back on. If you only do the seats in the manner you mentioned, you will get a bunch of work done while the car is in the shop. And your completed seats will be complete, less parts to lose! And restore that dash gauge cluster, glovebox lid, mirror, visors, heaterbox, etc... You will have fun putting the 'new' parts back on when they are in nice pristine condition.
 

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Unless you have unlimited storage space where all parts can be stored out of the way WITHOUT damaging, be prepared to restore some parts twice as they are sure to get dented, scratched, misplaced, etc.

Also it will take longer to disassemble the car, and if you plan on subbing out any of the work on the car such as paint, body, rust repair, etc. it will be down longer than if you were to disassemble the car, send it in for paint & body and while it's getting painted you could be restoring parts.

Otherwise if your doing everything yourself and have the storage room, then it will work just fine!

BTW, how can you ever get bored with a Mustang? ;)
 

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I don't know, I would rather dive into the body work and work on the small stuff while you're waiting for the car to be painted. Or, in my case, while you can't be loud in the garage when the kids are asleep. I've restored the dash (heater/instrument gauges...) in between body work. I'm saving the vinyl for one of the last tasks as the seats are stacked in the corner of the garage.
 

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no offense, but that really isn't too good of an idea.
first problem is that the pieces will get damaged. you're going to finish doing a beautiful job recovering your seat, and stick it in the attic for 3 years where all the little creatures that call it hope up there will proceed to chew on, [censored] in and crawl all over your brand new seats.

alot of things you don't know are broken untill you actually take them apart... it might snap when you take a bolt out, or you may not even know you need a particular part untill you begin to put it all back together. you run the risk of buying some parts ala'cart, than realising that more are broken and having to buy thoes parts individualy... but if you had just known all the pieces were broken in the first place, you could have gotten a kit with everything you needed for less $$$... take the front suspention for example.

It sounds to me like restoring parts as they come off of the car would be far more work than just restoring them as they go back onto the car... just my $.02 though.

- Jason
 

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Jim,

I vote for complete dissasembly first. Then have the body, frame, engine, etc. work performed.

Sub-assemblies can be worked on while the car is out at the shop. (i.e. console, instrument panels, etc.).

Then as the car is re-assembled do the restoration work that is needed and replace the dub-assemblies.

For our interior restoration this past winter we completely dissasembled per some instructions from a couple of books. We tracked the order of each piece as it was removed and labeled and bagged.

We took the items into the basement and began restoration of these part over the winter (console, quarter trim, shifter bucket, kick panels, instrument cluster, heater box, etc . . . ). We worked on these when it was to cold to be outside.

We we could get outside we repaired the interiror components such as the window regulators, etc. Cleaned the floor pans, and then as soon as it warmed up we were able to apply the POR-15.

Of course at the same time we were working on fuel lines, tanks, power steering leaks . . . .

Just my .02.

Oh and yes, I held until the last possible opportunity to have the seats done. The minimal time sitting around the better chance they won't get dammaged.
 

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I can give you an Ahmen to that brother...I am replacing about EVERYTHING but the strut rods on my front end. For a few more $$ today, you won't have to worry with it for a long time to come.
 

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I've thought about this approach, and I've decided against it. First, buy some more books and read about other approaches/angles.

Most of the arguments have already been made,but I'll add 1or 2 more. If you recover 2 seats now, then tackle your dash in 2 months, sure it's done.

You pull some thing, and find that a hard to find part is busted and it can't go back together, your screwed until you find it. If you mean to put it back in right away you have a significant problem.

BUT how do you know what you need to order ahead of time? You don't. And that adds up to potentially ALOT of extra shipping charges and delays as you wait for stuff to come in.

I'm planning on a careful, documented tear-down, go through the parts, determine what needs to be replaced, repaired, or just cleaned up. Prioritize everything, get the shops in order (if not before), and start looking for the hard to find parts so I'll have them when I need them. Then make 1 or a few massive orders for parts, to cut down on the shipping.

Thats my gameplan, but I know me better than I know you. I'd have problems down the road using your plan. You may not.

Good Luck

SprintCC
 

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A complete restoration is expense and time consuming. Having been there myself several times I have this to offer. By restoring while you take parts off causes you to repeat the same tasks over and over. Even worse you may find yourself taking several long trips to a salvage yard instead of just one. A good parts source you had yesterday may not be there tomorrow.

Dismantle the entire car making a full list of what you need to buy, fix and replace. This includes the engine, trans and rearend. Decide what you will buy repo (I record the list an an Excel spreadsheet). Go used parts shopping. Group the parts together by restoration activity & finish. Do all your sandblasting at once. Paint all cast parts at the same time, paint all black parts at the same time, etc. Get the bodywork done and get the car painted. Get the engine, trans and rearend rebuilt. Purchase the repo parts (seat upholstry, headliner, dashpad, etc). Re-upholster the seats only when they are ready to go in. Clean the area where the car will back together and assemble away.
 

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Gordon,
Contrary to the majority of responses, I'm with you. I'm going to begin the rebuilding of my '65 coupe as an early FIA Group 2 (Trans Am) clone this fall and plan on going about it just as you suggested.

Taking a car apart is very easy; it's putting it back together that is difficult and time consuming. Look at how many "basket-cases" there are out there for sale where you can buy a shell and a bunch of boxes of broken and dirty parts.

SWMBO has given me exclusive use of our garage to do the job, so it's been outfitted right for the work. I've installed plenty of lighting, a large work bench, shelves and peg board for storage of parts, and a TV/VCR and old laptop computer to document everything with videotape and digital pictures.

I'm going to begin at the front and slowly take the entire car apart down to a bare rolling shell with the old worn-out suspension in place. As parts are removed, they will be cleaned, evaluated, and either rebuilt or replaced. I don't plan on removing another part until I am satisfied that what I just removed is ready to be reinstalled. Each part or sub-assembly will then be carefully packed away (ensuring that it is protected from damage and corrosion) and tagged for re-assembly. I will also document everything with notes in a book, numbering each step and marking the corresponding number on the box/bag containing the parts and the spot it occupies on the shelf/peg board. One benefit of this process is that I will be able to focus my parts search on each item as it is needed, rather than looking for a bunch of stuff all at once. I will, however, consider consolidating my purchases of parts so that I can take advantage of a single shipping charge when pratical.

Finally, the rolling shell (on the original, ratty suspension) will go to the body shop for paint. While it is there, I will tackle the interior issues (I'm doing a color change to the interior). When the shell returns, the old front and rear suspension components will be replaced with new and the differential will be cleaned and repainted (this will ensure that I don't have overspray on the leafsprings and other undercarriage parts). Once the suspension is done, I will install the remaining parts working in reverse order.

As for broken or misplaced parts, I guess I'm lucky to have a dedicated area for the work with sufficient space for storage. Also, I don't have kids, so I don't have to worry about anyone getting into or disturbing the parts that have been restored and are awaiting installation.

The most important part of the rebuilding process is to have fun. How you do it is just as unique as the work you do. In order to enjoy it, do it the way that will work best for you. I'm a very anal-retentive person and I like to have everything planned from the outset and have all my parts and materials ready when I begin a job. Recognizing that, I know that when it comes time for reassembly, I don't want to be chasing around for a bunch of parts.

Later,
Chris
 
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