Restoring a classic Jeep requires a special amount of research and preparation. Although the restoration process can be fun and rewarding, an ill-prepared restoration can be a slow, frustrating, and damaging process. This guide will teach you what to know before restoring a classic Jeep. By learning the ropes before your next restoration, you can avoid making any number of novice mistakes.
Prepare Ample Space
When you’re restoring a classic Jeep, don’t think you can park it next to your everyday car in a two-car garage and complete the project there. Before you even begin the search for the Jeep you want to restore, you need to make sure you have enough room to restore it. That being said, your restoration can take place in an area with other cars.
You must consider whether you have enough space to strip down the Jeep and safely store its components and any equipment you use in the process. If you’re doing this in an area that is too cramped and crowded, you can wind up damaging parts of the Jeep, as well as tripping over parts and hurting yourself. Having ample space is necessary for making your restoration project comfortable, convenient, and safe.
Do Your Homework
A crucial part of preparing for a Jeep restoration is understanding what makes it tick. By taking the time to research the ins and outs of your specific Jeep, you won’t be too lost or confused when inspecting it before the restoration. Understanding what makes the Jeep function and how each part makes those functions happen will make the inspection far more efficient and beneficial.
It should go without saying that it is key to research your Jeep and the specific processes for completing repairs and replacements. However, many people don’t think to do the homework of learning the complete story of any given Jeep.
The Jeep legacy is a fascinating story that begins at the dawn of World War II and continues to this very day. Not everyone is up for a history lesson, but a Jeep’s history, from its design improvements over previous models to its specific purpose for existing in the first place, is what gives it character. Taking time to learn the story of the Jeep isn’t a necessity, but it’s something that can make your restoration far more gratifying.
Inspect Your Toolkit
When you buy a classic Jeep, it’s crucial to know what repairs the vehicle needs prior to committing to the purchase. This will help you understand what parts you need to buy for replacements.
Suppliers like Army Jeep Parts can help you find a variety of quarter ton Jeep parts for a variety of Jeeps. However, you not only need the right parts for your restoration project, but you also need the right tools for repairing and replacing those parts.
Before embarking on your restoration, inspect your toolkit to ensure you have the essentials for the task at hand. Specifics will vary from project to project, but the essentials include an assortment of pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches (both socket and open-ended) for basic restoration tasks. Furthermore, you should have a sturdy floor jack to elevate the vehicle when necessary. Air compressors are also versatile tools that you should have at the ready.
You can use air compressors in tandem with paint guns, grinders, sandblasters, and other air-powered tools you need for your restoration. Just like with all the tools mentioned above, it’s important to learn whether the air compressor you have fits with the specifications required to perform the tasks for your current restoration project. A few other essential tools you should have on-deck for Jeep restorations are drills, angle grinders, and wire brushes.
Angle grinders are great tools that can assist with cutting through metal and smoothing out any rough, sharp edges on the vehicle. Plus, they can help you remove rust, which isn’t a rare occurrence on some classic cars. In fact, both angle grinders and wire brushes play a huge role in removing contaminants from metal prior to welding.
Invest in Welding Supplies
Knowledge of welding will come in handy during Jeep restorations, particularly when replacing any body panels. While it’s a useful process, it’s crucial to exercise caution during welds. Improper welding techniques can lead to injuries like eye damage, burns, fires, explosions, and electric shocks.
Furthermore, improper ventilation and a lack of personal protective equipment, or PPE, can lead to the inhalation of toxic fumes. Inhaling toxic welding fumes can irritate the eyes, throat, and nose, and cause dizziness and nausea. Those are just the symptoms of short-term exposure. Long-term exposure can lead to far more devastating ailments of the lungs, kidneys, nervous system, and other parts of your body.
This information isn’t meant to cause you stress. It’s simply meant to demonstrate the realistic dangers, of which these are just a few, that result from reckless welding methods. If you take the time to research the basics of the common welding techniques and safety measures you need to take, you can become a successful welder in no time.
MIG welding is the easiest type of welding to learn, so if you’re new to welding, you should start there. Each welding method requires certain consumables, shielding gases, and other essential components, so be as thorough as possible with your research, and purchase the correct welding supplies.
Welding PPE includes welding helmets, respirators, goggles, fire-resistant high-topped and steel-toed leather boots, leather jackets, shirts, and pants.
This is just a brief rundown of what you need for Jeep restoration welding, so be sure to do the proper research and take a training course so you can weld safely.
Now that you have a better grasp of what to know before restoring a classic Jeep, you can avoid making simple mistakes that make the whole process more annoying and, in some cases, more dangerous. Carefully following the steps above will play a key role in making your Jeep restoration feel as rewarding as it should when it is all said and done.