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How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car

How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car Published: 25th Apr 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car
How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car
How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car
How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car
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How To Carefully Dismantle Your Classic Car

Before reducing your newly bought project classic to a pile of cardboard boxes, think it through like a pro first to save you a lot of time, hassle and expense later on!

In short, don’t rush into things! Instead, set aside a particular area and tackle it thoroughly and carefully to avoid further damaging components which may well be difficult or impossible to replace later on, let alone their cost. Also, don’t dismantle something simply for the sake of it as certain assemblies are best kept safely together until you are ready to restore them.

What part of your car are you going to tackle first? Form a plan of action. Logically, it should be the bodyshell because the project is dead and buried if you discover this is impossible to repair and penny to a pound, it’s here the bulk of the budget is going to be gobbled up. Most experts advise starting from one end of the shell and methodically working your way through the car as doing bits here and there simply wastes time and effort, plus much of your good work may ruined if it has to be disturbed at a later date.

By all means set a timetable but use it only to get you suitably enthusiastically energised into action rather than a race to the finishing line and possibly ruining the project as a result. It’s a hobby remember not hard labour! Thank heavens for the digital age as cameras and smart phones are wonderful devices to have as they allow you to take unlimited photos of your vehicle before, during and after the strip down.

Brilliant as references so be sure to file them safely for the future and for goodness sake don’t delete them once the project is completed as this record will prove invaluable if you go to sell the vehicle – or you want us to feature it in the mag!

Like James T Kirk make a log of your exploits as well as a thorough, legible list as you go along; what’s been removed, what needs doing, and so on.

As each item is renovated or replaced, duly note this on the list along with the level of overhaul it required and cost incurred so you can balance the budget – or justify busting it…

Once parts are refurbished, painted or just cleaned up, treat them as if they were brand new and store them carefully – not chucking them back in those old cardboard boxes! Instead label and safely store them as poor storage over the winter months may put you back to square one.

Finally, never discard anything until you’re absolutely certain it is safe to do so, such as not until you have sourced correct replacements for example. And even then, consider keeping any replaced components as useful spares however worn or broken they are as original parts can sometimes be reconditioned, or at the very least used as patterns to make good replacements. Plus anything is saleable on eBay or an owners’ forum as one person’s junk is another’s treasure…

Best mods


Many classics, even British ones, are LHD and can be cheaper to buy. Now’s the best time to decide if you want to swap over; get parts quotes first

Auto to manual

There’s no better time to swap over than now although the parts needed (and cost) can be more than you’ve bargained for


Kits are available for many classics but some require major butchering of the chassis so can’t be reversed; many affect the future values

Top five tips

Use of time

There’s no better time to repair or renew everything to your satisfaction than right here, right now. So refrain from a quick fix that you promise to get done properly later on – you rarely will…

Move on

If an area is stalling because of lack of parts, knowledge and so on don’t procrastinate – move on instead to something else while you save up, gen up etc.

Prepare well

Before you even lay a spanner (or hammer) on the project, get your garage sorted out first so you can save items safely. Parts like trim, are best kept in the house where it’s warmer


You’re not first and won’t be the last to be sucked in too deep. If you find that the project is in a worse state than you thought – and many are – decide whether or not to proceed further ENJOY IT Sounds daft but it isn’t. Dismantling is a long hard slog – a single rusty nut may take a day to remove – and if it’s becoming a millstone, have a break or rethink the project through

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