The restoration and rebuild of a vehicle usually revolves around finding and fixing the vehicle’s most problematic areas. Sometimes these problems aren’t visible on the surface, so we need to disassemble part of the car or in some cases the entire car, to fully understand how big our project is going to be. We have seen cars that look great turn into nightmares after disassembling the vehicle as we made the painful discovery that there were hidden damages we simply couldn’t see from a walk-around.
Tearing down a car and taking it down to metal will also give you a history of the vehicle in terms of any structural damage that might lie underneath the surface. You’ll be able to tell if the car has been involved in a fender bender, or if it has incurred more severe damages. The other benefit of the disassembly of a vehicle is to inventory the car’s parts to see what needs to be fixed or replaced. For this, organization is essential if you do not want to lose anything major and we recommend going to your local grocer or convenience mart to purchase a few household items that will help you keep things organized. The organization and separation of parts will help you keep everything in order and allow you to see what extra purchases you will need to make in terms of parts for your rebuild. There are several ways to keep your bolts organized, from using a traditional cardboard to separate them and mark their placement, to using a Ziploc bag and labeling them. We hope that these organizational tips help you when you are ready to tear down your project. Now follow along, as the pros at House of Pain tear down this classic Impala.
1. Before tearing anything down, we headed to our local Target as we looked for a variety of Ziploc bags and right size totes for our parts.
2. When separating your parts, you can separate by color or style of container. For example; you want your interior accessories and screws to be separate from the engine bolts and the sheet metal hardware. By keeping them separate upon disassembly, it will make it easier to plug them in when it is time to put the car back together.
3. Some people like to use see-through totes to glimpse through the containers without having to open them up when looking for specific parts.
4. This ’68 Impala was ready to be torn down and inventoried.
5. Before even tearing anything down, we knew we had to find side moldings as they were lost or damaged at some point in the car’s life.
6. The blown engine had already been removed, saving us about an hour of tear down.
7. The fenders were removed completely, as it made it easier to strip them down once they were off the car. The trim, emblems, and fender wells are easier to access in general, saving you time during disassembly.
8. The radiator core support was removed, along with the headlight harness that ran through it.
9. Just a few hours into the tear down; the front end was almost completely broken down.
10. The header panel and full grill assembly came out as one piece. By disasembling the car in big sections, the process can be done quickly, and you can still keep everything organized.
11. All of our sheet metal front-end screws were swept up, packaged, and Ziploc bagged.
12. Even though the windshield was cracked, we didn’t kick it out, as we didn’t need the glass shattered all over the car.
13. The seats had already been removed and the interior was quickly being disassembled too.
14. As everything was being taken out, it was being separated and packaged.
15. The firewall was almost done being stripped down, and only needed the brake booster and wiring harness to be removed.
16. Here is an example of the separation for all of these parts, which belong to the interior compartment, along with all of the hardware and screws that hold the parts in place.
17. Some screws were separated and bagged and then re-bagged to help keep them organized.
18. The chrome trim was all separated and a list of missing parts was made.
19. These parts were all going to be stripped down to metal, but some will be restored with powder coating.
20. After looking at the parts, we had marked everything that was going to be sandblasted and catalogued what was going to be sandblasted and powder coated.
21. This car was ready to be put on a body stand so it could to be taken down to bare metal.