Eight tips for staying out of your own way while assembling a car

Photograph Courtesy Ferrari

1. Test-Fit Emblems Early

Reproduction emblems and trim can differ slightly from the originals. For instance, new lettering can be slightly narrower, leaving holes to fill.

2. Work Inside Out

In general, begin reassembly near the center of the car and work your way out. Installing the doors, deck lid and grille first will just impede access to the interior, trunk and engine compartment.

3. Start With Wiring

The wiring harness touches nearly every system, so install it very early in the process. For bonus points, ready all of your electrical items so you can wire and test at once.

4. Build the Dash on Your Bench

It’s so much easier to install a dashboard fully built rather than piecemeal. Trust us, you’d rather mount and test all those gauges and lights when access is clear and easy.

5. Score a Quick Win

For a real morale boost, stick on a piece or two of chrome. Celebrate the achievement.

6. Don’t Connect the Battery

It’s fine to drop in the battery early, but leave it disconnected for as long as possible. Don’t tempt a blown fuse or worse.

7. Test-Run the Driveline Early

If at all possible, test-run the driveline on a bare chassis or subframe. Maybe you won’t be able to install the clutch pedal, but you can still temporarily rig up the fuel, ignition and cooling systems to bring your engine to life. This trick also makes tuning and finding leaks so much easier.

8. Align a Mounted Body

Perform all of your hood, deck lid and door alignments while the body is mounted on the chassis. Alignments can change a surprising amount once the body is bolted down.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more Restoration articles.
More like this
View comments on the CMS forums
peter890 New Reader
4/11/21 5:13 p.m.

great shot - hope the guys have the belt buckle to the side or back of their duds..

Our Preferred Partners