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Order of Restomodding Priorities?

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I presume the order would be the same between a restomod and a restoration.

I am a new member of the forums, and hope to make use of the wide variety of resources available here in the very near future.

Within the next two months I plan to be the proud owner of a 1972 240z

That being said, I have no experience when it comes to cars, other than fluid checks.

While I do have relatives that are into cars, who know their way around one, and who would be more than willing to help out-I want this to be about the experience as much as it is about the car.

Supposedly the car is supposed to have a recently rebuilt motor with minimal rust in areas that are not the difference between the car being structurally sound or not. It also has new head gaskets. That's about all I know at the moment, but I am finding out more.

 

Now, on to the purpose of this thread.

While this is one that is in no way unique to this one car, what parts should take priorities over others?

Looking into this question didn't show much. The bulk of answers I found seemed to be as the following is laid out;

1. Take care of rust

2. Make sure engine runs

3. Under hood

4. Exterior.

I would want something a bit more in-depth. Do you guys have a process that you follow, or just fix whatever you find first no matter its importance?

I would like for you to be as specific as possible when it comes to individual parts.

Thank you for your time and I hope to become as happy with mine as the mass of you seem to be when reading through so many build guides.

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First thing I would do as soon as you get the car would be to put it up on jacks (or a lift if you are lucky enough to have access to one) and take EVERY exterior panel off.  Rust on these cars has a nasty habit of hiding in the nooks and crannies between panels.  This includes hood, fenders, tail-lights and their bezels, front cowl, access hatches, and even the doors if possible.  The areas under and around all of these are likely to have rust, and unless the car was garage kept and never driven in rain (and even that is no guarantee) expect to find your fare share.  If you plan too and are able too, I would remove all the suspension, brakes, and drivetrain downstream of the transmission at a minimum.  This will allow you to access/inspect tight areas up in the rear arches as well as any mounting points for the suspension.

 

After you have done this, there are a number of areas on the interior that you should inspect as well.  Floorpans and spare tire well are prone to rust and rot.  It is worth taking the seats out (4 bolts each) to inspect underneath.  This will also free up a lot of space in the interior to do any restoration you need.  Remove the door cards and check inside the doors.  If the car ever got wet, there is a possibility that some moisture got between the glass and weatherstrip and dripped down into the bottom of the door causing the inside to rust.  

 

This should give you a decent start to identifying any major rust issues.  Check the underside of the car THOROUGHLY.  The rails are one of the most common problem areas for these cars.  Even if you dont notice any holes or rot, there could be some lurking underneath any undercoating.  Once you have Once you have checked the whole car over (paying extra close attention to the above listed areas) you can move on to checking mechanicals.  If you have removed all of the suspension/brake/drivetrain components previously, I would inspect all of these for structural issues or major rust.  I would replace all bushings and things like ball joints/tie rods whether they appear to need it or not.  They are likely old and worn to begin with (unless the previous owner has replaced them recently) and it is very easy to replace them at this point.  Even stock replacements will be better than old worn items.  This also applies to wear items in the brakes.  I make it a point to replace brake rotors/drums and pads/shoes immediately after purchasing ANY used car (especially one I dont know the history of).  Brakes are something that isnt worth taking the risk on, and brand new stock replacements (and even some upgrades) are not even all that expensive, so it is best to start with new.  

 

There is plenty more to be done when starting any restoration or restomod or simple refresh of a vehicle, but this should at least get you started.

 

Good luck!

 

Pillar 

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Typically I would say build the car first. Then take it all apart, fix all the rust and body issues, and put it back together. That way you're not cutting into your freshly done bodywork when you change your mind about something... But then again, my ADD is always making me do it anyway, and I end up building it a few times over. YMMV

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Before you do anything you should try to decide exactly where you want to end up with the car, and the parts, modifications, etc. that will be necessary to get there.  Then take some time to put them in order of priority and incorporate that into a plan to fully inspect and repair any damage to the car including rust. This is where your family members  can be helpful.

Some questions to ask are:

Which engine, transmission, differential do I want?

Do I want to upgrade the brakes and, if so, which brakes?

Do I want to upgrade the suspension and, if so, which upgrades?

Do I want to do modifications to the body and, if so, what mods and how will they incorporate into rust repair.

Do I want to upgrade the wheels and tires?  4 lug or 5 lug wheels?  What size? How will that affect the body repairs/modifications?

What are your plans for the interior?

There are a lot more but this would be a start.  It is really really REALLY important to have plan.

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