Trunk lid, hood, and doors also. Stitch Your Pieces Using an upholstery needle and heavy gauge upholstery thread, stitch your pieces together. This could be as much as a few hundred dollars. They have project management software designed specifically for the auto restoration enthusiast. Check the Welds Check the welds of the chassis to make sure they are all secure.
The idea is that you can use the worksheet to get a rough idea of the total cost and time involved in your restoration. Hooker Headers were quite popular during the muscle car era. This method, for me, works from a work, cost, and time perspective better than other methods I've tried or seen. Very grueling work but I've done it all by hand removing undercoating, rust etc. Disassemble Existing Upholstery Remove the seats from the vehicle, if possible. Another option which is enviable, is that you have a bunch of money and you send it off to a restoration shop.
Before you start, paint the entire car with black primer so that dents and other imperfections will show up better. You pay for the parts as they get them and then pay for the installation as it is done. Frame rails and firewall is detailed one section at a time then pieces start being restored one at a time and reinstalled until all is back together. You also have to have every nut and bolt cleaned in an acid bath and then re-plated. Congrats on doing such a great job. Planning the Frame-off restoration is much like planning the In-Situ restoration only we have the luxury of not having our work results be driveable at the end of the day. I've debated this question for a long time.
Often, restoration is actually easier by taking it out completely. Rebuild original cooling, front steering and suspension, brake, fuel and ignition systems. The parts would have taken me over 30 minutes each to clean and paint which equates to about five dollars an hour for my time. First one I did I sanded, then bought a sand blaster. Much safer I would think. Both body off projects were onging and took five years for the first and twenty for the second.
Mark 53 Mark, you might want to look at it again. If needed, take a course or two at the local college on mechanics or body work. My 56 is a California car, which has undercoating in the wheel wells and floorboards. If this isn't monitored, those small holes could turn to big ones in time. Again I emphasize if you are doing 100% of the disassembly and reassembly of panels on a body-off, that helps minimize the cost difference.
The first thing to do with a new project when you get it home is to explore the vehicle in detail. Fixed non-working lights and gauges. If you are knowledgeable in a service or product, there are a number of online forums and classified advertisements to post your abilities in trade for someone to help for your restoration. I plan to do everything I possibly can myself. Jim - I appreciate your comments on whether to do a frame off.
If you plan to drive at high speeds or simply have a lot of horsepower in your car, a roll cage will be a vital addition for your safety. Other additions included ceramic coating the exhaust to reduce engine heat in the passenger compartment, ceramic coating the brake drums to keep the brakes cool, replating the original fasteners, and undercoating the whole car with truck bed liner. Known for creating awesome amounts of power and torque, this engine is still in high demand today and is sold by many engine retailers and builders. . You have a desireable body style. The only way to get the axle out was have the car raised high enough because there wasn't enough side room or room at the rear of the car to take it out that way.
Although labor rates usually stay for a few years, with inflation they are subject to change. You can do it on-line at. I have also thought of using a pop up canopy 10 x 10 as a paint booth as well. If you do need to stray from the original design on the interior of your car, try to at least choose fabric, upholstery and other materials that match those that were used during the era of your muscle car. What part of the country are you from? Prices to Expect for Muscle Car Restoration Parts Depending on the type of parts you need for your muscle car, prices can be high. But somewhere along the line, someone replaced the original leather seats with the optional Smoke Grey cloth seats.