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First timer doing a total restoration. It's a basket case and not worth anything but we're doing it anyway. What would be the best book I could get to take me through the whole process step by step?

Thanks
 

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Don't know that there is one. However, one of the first rules of restoration is mark and/or bag everything you take off the car. Especially nuts, bolts, clamps etc., etc. I assure you, you CANNOT remember where all that stuff is supposed to go months later when it is time to put it back on.

A restoration is a huge, huge undertaking. There is no set pattern I know off to a restoration. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the project, lose confidence it can be done at all, and finally come to complete standstill. So, start with the easiest tasks and take them all the way to completion. It is a great confidence builder. I've done several full restorations and can tell you there will be periods of no activity at all because of temporary burn-out. I think that is normal. If you hit a hard spot, by all means get advice from the VMF members, your local club or other reliable source. There is a ton of experience in the school of hard knocks out there that can help you avoid the pitfalls. Oh ya, did I mention how huge a task and learning experience a restoration is?
 

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Jump in .... the waters fine!!
Oh and bring your credit card!!!
 
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Two words: Digital Camera. Take pictures of everything before you take it apart. It may be years before you put those particular pieces back together, and you're not going to remember how they went back together. Label and organize your pictures diligently. Make drawings, too, if the camera can't capture the essential concept. You'll thank yourself later for this dilligence.
 

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There is no cookbook; many ways to skin a cat! Just be organized and if the cars already a basket case, take time out to organize what you've taken off or inherited. Use Jim Osborn Body Assembly manuals to help identify parts and assembly sequences. Segregate parts into job groups and mark, e.g. these are the fasteners used in the right door, or more specifically, these are the fasteners used in the right door lock. I used freezer baggies, and marked each with a kitchen marker. If you have to sort them now to find out which go where, then take them in a lot to a cad platers and get the lot cad plated before segregating. In this manner you won't be doing the same job twice. Once I had them in freezer baggies, I lined the small parts up in shoe boxes and marked the shoe boxes. Get down to the unibody and when there, start fixing stuff, cleaning stuff, painting stuff and replacing stuff until the job is done.
 

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I put all my bolts in different zip-loc bags with labels on all of them so I know exactly where they go and where they are when I need them. Wires, I use white tape to label where it goes. I use beer to take care of the rest!
 
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One more tip on the zip lock bag trick- DO NOT USE THE WRITE ON BAGS TO WRITE ON! the ink will fade long before you are ready to open them back up. I used a Post It pad and a Sharpie pen and put the post it in the bag. Also, don't start a small pile of bolts with the assumption that you will bag and label them later. 3 months later you will be wondering what they go to.
 
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