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From my 30 years of experience, here's a breakdown of the ten best air tools for automotive repair and restoration.
An air drill enables you to drill holes in metal without running out of power or getting the drill hot. Be careful though, air drills run so fast that you may have a hard time starting a pilot hole. This drill was particularly helpful while removing the riveted brake rotors on the 1966 Corvette. Good air grinders have more power than electric grinders, and have a smoother action that won't fatigue your hands as quickly. An air saw is more compact than a Sawzall or Portaband, so it's handy for close quarters, such as cutting part of a floorboard out. The many uses of a air blow-gun include cleaning fuel lines, blowing away filings and metal chips, cleaning spark plugs, etc. After you're done with your garage session, you can use the blow-gun attachment to clean up your shop area. Having an air compressor and air tools in your garage will save you time and allow you to work more effectively. Like other shop equipment, they are an investment, so buy quality name brands when you can. Some of my air tools are over 20 years old, and work just as well today as when I bought them.
As motorheads, we enjoy looking for old cars to fix or restore, and we love taking on projects. With vague plans to repair or restore them, he leaves them out in the weather, where the cars will deteriorate faster than he can fix them.
As motorheads, we thoroughly enjoy our hobby, but having too many projects interferes with other obligations (house, family, job, etc.) Man does not live by old car alone.
If we are really serious about fixing and completing our project cars, we will sacrifice some of our precious garage space for them, or at least keep them under an outdoor car cover. Presently, my garage projects include a 1966 Corvette (long term) and a 1961 Harley-Davidson Servi-car.
I also have an "extra" Chevy small-block on an engine stand, which someday may go into something. My wife puts up with it because I've proven over the years that I can complete projects and make a profit.
Accumulating too many projects is easy - finishing an old car project is 10 times harder than bringing another one home. If you are absolutely in love with a particular year and model car, your choice is already made. Traditional thinking says that the initial price for a car, house, or any other investment is where the profit is made. When you're buying something that you expect to appreciate, the price is of secondary importance. Several factors play into desirability, including year, model, engine, and color combination. Options such as air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, power windows, etc., are nice to have if you're planning on driving the car.
Classic vehicles don't need to be expensive to maintain, but you just don't know what will go wrong with a 50 year-old vehicle. Popular brands like Fords, Chevys, and Dodges will always be cheaper to maintain because of greater parts availability. With availability, driveability, and cost being equal factors, here are our choices for the ten best classic cars to restore. No, it's not a Javelin, but the shorter-wheelbase, V8-powered, two-seater that's one of the best handling muscle cars of the era. Interest in the original AMX is growing, as more enthusiasts are realizing just how fast and nimble they are. While they will never command the same price, an AMX with the 390ci motor will shred tires like a big-block Camaro, at a third of the cost. Measuring nearly two feet shorter and weighing three hundred pounds less than a sixties Beetle, the bug-eye Sprite is positively tiny.
Reliable, fun to drive, and easy to work on, first-generation Camaros make a great choice for an automotive restoration. Parts availability is unbelievable, with Camaros sharing many parts with other Chevys as well as the same-year Pontiac Firebirds. Literally everything needed to rebuild one (including new 1969 Camaro bodies) are available. With the advent of automotive emission controls and safety regulations, the diminished horsepower of 1978-1982 Corvettes are often lamented by classic car snobs. What they fail to realize is these later third-generation Vettes, developed and refined for over a decade, are the smoothest and most reliable of all C3 Corvettes. There's dozens of specialty companies selling just about every part needed for a full or partial Corvette restoration.

Aside from the base 318ci V8, the 383ci motor was offered in both two or four-barrel versions, producing 290 and 330 horsepower, respectively. On the top of the engine option list was the 375 horsepower 440 Magnum and the legendary 426 Hemi.
Sharing the 'B-body' platform with the Coronet, the Charger's suspension consisted of torsion bars up front with leaf springs in the rear. Aside from the changes brought about by safety and emissions regulations, the Spider changed little in its 18-year production run. Alongside the Alfa-Romeo Spider, MGB, and Chevy Corvette, the Fiat Spider is one of the longest-running production sports cars in automotive history. The pony car that started it all, the first-generation Mustang has always been a restorer's favorite.
The standard and only drivetrain was Ford's FE big-block with a three-speed automatic transmission. With a unibody construction process that allowed third-gen Thunderbirds to sit long and low, the ride is still smooth and refined. On convertible T-Birds, the forward end of the trunk lid is rear-hinged, which raises and lowers through hydraulic cylinders. Demand has been growing for these early four-seat Birds, yet prices are still relatively low.
Marketed as an affordable, six-cylinder sports car, the Triumph TR6 rivalled similar classics such as the MGB-GT and the Triumph Spitfire. While most sports cars at the time were designed with sleek, curved lines, the TR6 was squared off at both ends, making it stand out from it's competitors.
Properly restored and maintained, classic cars make good investments that appreciate over time, but there is no guarantee.
There is a tremendous satisfaction that comes from bringing an old car back to life, and when accomplished, easily outweighs the bother and frustration.
Getting an old car back together, running well and looking good is a great feeling when accomplished. Starting an automotive engine that's been sitting for several years requires extra procedures and precautions.
Before trying to get an old car running, care needs to be taken to ensure internal parts aren't needlessly damaged or broken. If the vehicle in question is new to you and you have no history on it, there's no guarantee the motor will start.
Getting an old car running again will not only depend on your efforts, but factors such as mileage on the engine, mechanical condition, etc. Before you begin, remember that an internal combustion engine is essentially a large air pump - aside from any mechanical issues that the motor may have, given fuel and spark in the correct timing it will start and run.
A spark plug is exposed to more stress than any other engine component, yet has no moving parts. Reading the firing end of the plug reveals what kind of tune the motor was in when it last ran. There's probably dozens of various plug end appearances, but here's the ones most commonly found.
Oil deposits on one or several plugs indicate worn or broken piston rings on those particular cylinders. The last thing you want to see on a plug tip is a broken insulator (the white ceramic part). Automotive engine oil degrades with time and can start losing its lubricating qualities in less than a year. If possible, take the valve covers off and pour fresh oil over the valvetrain components while performing the oil and filter change.
One cap-full at a time is all that's necessary, and remember it takes a while for the oil to penetrate. With the spark plugs still removed (but plug holes covered with a rag) crank the motor slowly by hand, if possible. Do not try starting an engine that will not turn over by hand - forcing it will most likely break something.
Sitting unused, gasoline turns bad, and over years of time it will eventually turn to varnish. The car had sat for nearly 20 years, and when I removed the carburetors and disassembled them, old gas had hardened into varnish in the float bowls (see picture below). This required slow and careful scraping and cleaning before the carb rebuilding process could begin. I am always hesitant to pour good gas into a 20+ year-old gas tank, so I usually substitute a plastic gas jug as a temporary gas tank (if the fuel pump is operative). On several occasions, I rigged a 'gravity-feed' gas container, which hung from the top of the open hood and connected right to the carburetor inlet, thus bypassing the need for an operative fuel pump. With the spark plugs removed and primary coil wire removed (you don't want to start the engine yet) see if the starter motor will crank by turning the key.
With good spark, fresh gas, and a fully-charged battery, you're now ready to see if the engine will fire up.

Crank the starter, but limit starter operation to a maximum of 5 to 10 seconds, with a minute in-between tries.
If it doesn't start up right away, a squirt of starting fluid into the carburetor may help. If the engine fires after starting fluid was sprayed, but doesn't continue to run, you know that the ignition is O.K. On my days off from my regular job, I get caught up on house chores, grab a cup of coffee and head out to the garage. It's taken me years to set it up the way it is today, and in doing so, have come up with a lot of ways to increase work output.
By organizing our tools and shop equipment, we can attain maximum productivity, and get that classic car back on the road sooner! After tools and a toolbox, a sturdy workbench is the most important piece of shop equipment. Cutting, grinding, painting, polishing, inflating - an air compressor makes these chores possible.
The outcome cannot be any better than the care put into each and every step, and there are a lot of steps.
If you want it done right, either pay a reputable shop a lot of money, or learn to do bodywork yourself. The MIG Welder in my garage is a 20-year-old Solar 2150 unit, made by Century Mfg (Century was acquired by Lincoln Electric in 2003).
When I'm in the garage working on my old car projects, I'm using 30+ year-old tools, and some of them are even older than that. Most of my hand tools are American-made, but quality tools are quality tools, regardless of where they're made. I have been building and restoring cars for many years, but 2015 was my first go kart project. Minimal supplies were needed, including several spray cans of primer and paint and about $20 of hardware. Proper protective equipment includes safety glasses with side shields, foam ear plugs, and gloves.
After purchasing your project car or truck, work space, tools, supplies and cash lay-out come next. Removed body panels that are going to be stripped down to bare metal need to be stored in a safe spot where they won't start rusting or get damaged. For instance, interior restoration requires specialty tools that may not be worth buying if only to be used once. I know from experience that a classic car restoration poorly planned can turn into a long and drawn out affair.
Proper planning will go a long way in helping you achieve your end goal easier and quicker. But it is not the plan you choose that is most important, as much as it is your resolve to see the project through to completion. While cutting sheet metal, slowly slice along a marked-off line with the cut-off wheel, letting the air tool do the work. Not only will it fit into places hand ratchets can't, it will deliver needed torque to remove that stubborn nut or bolt. Although all models are worth restoring, the Gran Sport option included the dual-quad 425ci Super Wildcat V8. Although there's plenty of engine and suspension upgrades offered, Corvettes that are restored back to original will always be worth the most, and models with their emissions systems still intact even more so.
There are several aftermarket suppliers, parts interchangeability is good, and most maintenance can be done by the owner.
And if it's an original engine in a valuable car, you may consider not even trying to start it, and move right into disassembly and a rebuild.
You don't want to risk damaging something internally - overnight is a minimum time to wait. I usually refill with straight water first, then later drain and replace with coolant if all goes well.
With the car ignition turned on, you should be able to 'rock' the distributor rotor back and forth and see if the points are sparking. This is allow you to see if the engine will run before investing too much time and money in it.
It's not surprising to see, fifty years later, that Sprites are not only popular as collector cars, but also competitive in many vintage racing venues.
On many automotive engines, you can prime the engine with oil with a drill attachment on the oil pump shaft. Automotive engines can be kept running by repeated squirts of starting fluid into the carburetor, but that's never a good idea.

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Comments How to restore old car batteries

  1. mfka
    Charge the batteries in most cases this was eventually settled with a class action lawsuit.
  2. Polat_Alemdar
    Rarely tell you which one they use or are testing to for initially and then.