Mr. Mark Aquino, Classic Car Whisperer
Learn How To Restore Your Classic Car from Your Home Garage

Posts Tagged ‘home garage’

Day 2- How To Restore Your Classic Car From Your Home Garage

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Day 2- How to select the correct vehicle based upon your skill level and budget.

This is an important segment in restoring a classic car because the #1 reason people fail is that they choose a vehicle that’s way beyond what they can chew financially and/or mechanically.  So, you definitely want to be honest with yourself on your skill level and what tools you have on hand.  Some things may appear to be easy and then when you get into it, it’s real difficult and frustrating and may cost more than you think.  That’s why I’ve posted How-To Videos on my You Tube Channel, MrMarkAquino, so you guys can see tricks of the trade and learn from my mistakes before you pour out your own money and your time & labor.

To start, we need to evaluate your skill level.  Think about what you’ve done in the past, have you changed a headlight?  Services your own car? Oil change? Filter change? Tune up?  Have you ever done any body work?  Changed a bumper or a door?  Any rewiring, electrical rewiring?  Just evaluate what your past experience is and think about was that difficult or easy?  Again, the reason we need to ask this is because if the little things were difficult, then you may want to buy a car that needs more cosmetics than mechanics.  And this will help you determine which car to buy and which car you could be successful in restoring yourself from your home garage.

I made up a skill level gauge if you will.  It’s a scale of 1-5.  I would consider a Level I to be someone like my wife.  A level I person would be someone who has common sense and lots of potential.  It’s someone who’s changed a tire or serviced their own car before.

A Level II person is someone who has done tune ups, water pumps, alternator replacements, fender and door replacements, not necessarily doing it as a profession but is confident to replace a door or fender or door or hood.  It’s pretty straight forward, it’s replacing but because of the weight and bulkiness, I consider that a level 2.  And it take a little more skill to re-align the panel.

To be considered a Level III, I’d expect he/she to be able to rebuild a carburetor, valve job, trouble shooting and diagnostic, some body work repair like fixing dents, using fillers, spraying primers, some interior work, carpet replacement, door panel replacement, dash pads…not necessary interior restoration but confident in replacing parts of the interior.

Also a LEVEL III is beginning to have some kind of welding skills and familiar with, gas torches, arch welder, mig welder, confident enough to at least use them in minor projects.

LEVEL IV:  Mechanic wise can rebuild a front suspension, do complete brake jobs, stock engine rebuilding, is proficient in welding.  He/she can remove & replace body panels and suspension pieces and rebuild suspensions.  As far as a LEVEL IV body paint: sand and prep a car for paint including dent repair, rust repair, welding skills, body fillers, primer, and being able to spray a complete vehicle.

Interior is a very specialized part of car building.  Because interior is usually only done once, most people don’t invest in interior tools.  It’s not something you’d find in the average, wrenches and jacks to do mechanical work.  So, for a level 4 interior person, in my opinion, you would know how to restore a dash including rewiring, painting, disassemble and assembly and reinstalling headliner installation which is a difficult task to do right and very easy task just to do.

Finally, a Level V person, like myself, can do any body work, panel removal and replacement, floor removal & replacement, chop tops, body work to the most discriminating perfectionist, paint work included.  When it comes to mechanicals, a level V person can rebuild motors, transmissions, rear-ends, brakes, and basically everything you can possibly do to build a car.  Electrically, they should be able to wire cars from scratch, trouble shoot electrical problems, wire alternate systems,and pretty much any electrical you may encounter in car resto.

A note on upholstery. I’ve done dashes, replacement, restorations, headliners, which aren’t difficult but I’d rather not do…. I’d rather leave the seat upholstery & custom stitching to the experts because I can make more money doing others thing vs. spending ten hours doing a 2 hour job if left to the experts.  So, that’s one of those things that takes a lot of practice.  And again, you usually put one headliner in a car and there’s not much opportunity there for practice.  So, I tend to leave most upholstery work including headlining and seat upholstery to the experts.

Now that you’ve read these LEVELs, you can get an idea of where your skill level is and I’ll be referring to these levels when we go shopping for your classic car.  What I’m going to do is, post a video here on this post as well as on my You Tube Channel at MrMarkAquino, showing you how to gauge a car and how to match that car’s condition with your skill level and budget.  We’ll also do a review of Day 1 which goes over your tools, how to shop for your tools for your skill level and budget.  Once we get our skill level & budget down, find our tools and project car, then we can get to work!

I hope you enjoyed today’s segment, I look forward to hearing your questions on Day 3, next Wednesday at 3:30PM Pacific where we will discuss how to find, negotiate and purchase your Classic Car!

If you found this to be helpful and fun, be sure to leave your comments below, and share this with your friends!

See you!

Copyright ©2010 Marie Aquino. All rights reserved.

Day-1 Getting Started: Equipment & Resources

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

To start restoring classic cars from your home garage, you don’t even need a garage!  As Mark Aquino stated during his 30 min. segment of “Shop Talk with Mark Aquino” on Blog Talk Radio. As he did, you could literally start on a dirt floor! Although you don’t need a home garage, you will need some tools and equipment as well as some resources to do your homework.  Here is a list of tools, equipment & resources that Mr. Mark Aquino recommended on the show, “Day-1: How to Restore Your Classic Car from Your Home Garage”.

  1. Compressor, 5-horse or bigger with good oiling & filtering system
  2. Small mig Welder
  3. Cutting Torches
  4. Air Grinder-one that’s good all around
  5. Guide cutter
  6. Saw Zaw
  7. 6-8 inch “Hog” DA Neumatic Air Sander
  8. Assortment of electric hand tools (wratchets, screwdrivers, plyers, vice grips, etc.)
  9. Assortment of air tools, ie: spray gun, primer gun, finish gun

You’ll want to reference the following resources when doing your research:

  1. Auto Trader-Classic Cars
  2. Classic Monthly
  3. Muscle Machines from Hemmings
  4. Motor Trend
  5. Hemming Motor News
  6. DuPont Registry
  7. Hot Rodding
  8. Street Rodder and
  9. Walneck’s Classic Cycle

We’ll be broadcasting this show every Wednesday at 8AM live from San Diego, California, so call in to get your questions answered or leave your comments below! 

Hey, Mark Aquino here.  Just to make your life easier, I went ahead and put those magazines and resources in the “Get these” from Amazon box below.  You’re going to need them to do your research.  When it comes to purchasing the tools and big items, I’ll do a video segment on that, so stay posted.  Again, you don’t want to waste any money if you don’t have to!  And a note on buying used–you should if you could.  People are always upgrading stuff and one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, I say!  So, if anyone’s got some of this equipment for sale, post it in my For Sale page and leave it under “comments”.  Again, don’t buy your tools until you watch my “How To Shop for your Shop Stuff”…I’ll post it here and on my You Tube channel.  Did I mention that yet?  My You Tube Channel is MrMarkAquino-check it out!

Day-2 of Shop Talk “How To Restore Your Classic  Car from your Home Garage” will talk about how to choose the right vehicle according to your skill level and budget and this could be for a personal project or investment!   Talk to you Next Wednesday at 3:30PM on Blog Talk Radio!

Catch you later!


Did you find this post valuable?  Please leave any comments, questions, or feedback regarding this post or Day -1 of Shop Talk below.  And don’t forget to share this post using the button below!  Looking forward to sharing much more information with you on this topic very soon…

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Copyright ©2010 Marie Aquino. All rights reserved.