What not to do when restoring a vehicle
One of the biggest things not to do in vehicle restoration is to undertake a project without fully inspecting the vehicle before committing to purchase it. I know… it can be hard. Especially when the vehicle is the one you’ve wanted for years but it’s in a different condition and you’re in an online bidding war with other potential buyers who are equally determined to own a particular vehicle. .
However, even when there are several published photos of the vehicle with heartwarming claims of past ownership and indicating that it only needs “some minor work”, all potential restoration projects are better answered with a question than you should ask yourself, “If the person selling it doesn’t want it anymore — why?”
Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. But a good reminder that you must have doubts when it comes to buying a vehicle without a personal and thorough inspection.
What I mean is that one of the most common factors I have seen when it comes to buying an old vehicle to restore is rust. I’ve seen a lot of broken promises drive across the country and spy on what looks from the outside like a nice potential restoration project only to find that the firewall, floor and/or frames were so badly rusted that It was doubtful that you could winch the vehicle onto a trailer without it breaking in two.
Related Article: Scam Alert: What Dealers Don’t Want You To Know About Used Car Inspections
It’s the same with modern vehicles
Turns out, this advice isn’t just for vintage vehicle barn finds or abandoned trucks in the countryside, but it applies to buying a used modern vehicle as well.
In other words, the chassis inspection should be the first thing you need to pay attention to before anything else when considering buying a used car or truck. Especially the trucks! Unfortunately, however, many used car and truck buyers cling to what is more easily seen and miss out on what should be a deal breaker.
What got me started on this topic was a recent Rainman Ray’s Repairs YouTube channel video where Ray demonstrates why there are certain repairs that most mechanics will outright refuse to do—simply because the repair shouldn’t even be attempted for safety reasons. In this case, Ray was showing an example of a submitted repair request where the chassis rust was so bad that the power steering assembly was falling off the truck.
Rust is the cancer of cars. An insidious problem as it can be hidden in plain sight while the rest of the vehicle might not look too bad. Much like Big C in human health, in some cases it can be cured if you catch it early enough. But when it’s eaten through the frame, in most cases, it’s done for.
To see what I’m talking about, here’s the video showing just how bad hidden frame rust can be and what motivated Ray to stop attempting a repair on a 2004 Ford F350:
Rusty Death Machine! Ford F350 F250 Powerstroke
There are exceptions…sort of
Because there are always exceptions—even when it comes to heavy rust on the frame—here’s a second video where a mechanic took over the repair job of a heavily rusted frame on a Ford F150 and how he did it.
However, if you follow the comments of his video, you will see that it was a Herculean effort that many would not have attempted and will correctly point out that such repairs are questionable as far as integrity and safety are concerned. of the frame.
The value of this video is also that if you inspect a used truck and look at its chassis, you will get a good idea of what this type of repair looks like in the case of an unreported chassis repair.
Rusty frame repair, repair, Ford F-150 2004-2008, this one is pretty bad!
For additional articles on buying a used vehicle and protecting yourself through a thorough inspection, here are a few selected articles for your consideration:
• Used car dealership scam with superglue and drywall screws
• An automotive lawyer explains the myths, scams and risks of buying a used car
• An important warning about hidden used car damage for used car buyers
• Rattle Can Repair Scam Warning for Used Car Buyers
Timothy Boyer is a Cincinnati-based automotive reporter for Torque News. Experienced in early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for better performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily news on new and used vehicles.
Image source: Pixabay