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Restoration Blog

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Restoration Blog Dec 15

Chances are everyone interested in classic or custom cars will be interested in this Restoration Blog  which is the first in a series of restoration news videos.
Restoration Blog is filmed and presented by Jay Leno as he takes us through his workshop and some of the many projects he and his team are working on.
Getting into someone elses workshop and looking at the vehicles they have  and seeing what they are up to can be the highlite of anyones day, but is seldom possible. So the next best is to see it all on video, just like the one below.

No doubt some people viewing this post will have partly or fully restored a vehicle, so like me you will know seldom is the vehicle in the condition you expected before starting to dismantle, rust will be more so requiring untold hours of fabricating and welding replacement panel bits.
The biggest full restoration job I did was a 1969 Series 1 Jaguar XJ6. It was 20 years old when I bought it, still relatively low mileage but looking a bit sad. Luckily the leather upholstery only required re-dying to bring it back spot on.
7 months later the Jag was looking and going like new and the only job I farmed out was to recover the dashboard top.  A tremundous amount of self-satisfaction and no big  labour bills.
But hows this for revenge, later I wanted a Series 3 so the Series 1 was sold to a traffic cop guy I knew and it was now his pride and joy. However he upset his wife one day and she went and tipped a big tin of paint stripper all over the car.  Time to call the marriage quits?

One thing I have learnt from watching friends in restoring cars is when dismantling apart from the obvious is label everything else, and group nuts and bolts into labeled containers. Plus take photos, is easy and only standard printing cost now with digital cameras.
If I can give some friendly comments when restoring a car leave rebuilding the motor till last, or follow these rules if too late.

  • Fill with storage oil, this grade will retain a longer term protective film of oil in the engine.
  • Every 2nd month or so take out the spark plugs and put a teaspoon of oil into each cylinder.[Be guided by the oil specification]
  • Now spin the motor over on the starter motor for about 30 seconds. With the spark plugs out will spin quite quickly and pump oil right through the engine under pressure.
  • Put the spark plugs back in, finger tight is fine.
  • But – when you come to fire the motor no more oil in the bore. there is enough there already and you need to burn through this quickly so dont glaze the bores and help bed in the rings.  2 or 3 minutes at around 2500rpm will help.  You will of course have changed to the correct grade of oil first.

Reason is if you just turn the motor over with a spanner – like one guy I tried to tell – you are turning the motor over dry, no oil is circulated.
If you do this once every couple of months in 2 to 5 years time a lot of wear has taken place.
As for the guy who didn’t want to listed to sound advise,  well within 2000 miles of the car being on the road the fully reconditioned motor which cost a lot of money was stuffed.  Luckily the crankshaft journals were okay, but all the bearings needed re-metalling, bores scored so it was another rebore with new unfinished pistons being required and then machined to specifications, with rings and gaskets being specially made.  Not cheap.

My favourites are the two SS100 Brough Superior motorcycles. I am looking for a good Brough Superior car video.

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