Here are my suggestions:
- Buy some nice, steel shelves from Costco. Those are durable and hold a lot of weight. Any other store bought shelves will buckle and eventually fail. Yeah, you can build shelves from 2x4s and plywood, but considering the price for 2x4s and plywood, you might be ahead with the steel shelves.
- Buy a lot of small, plastic bins with lids. You can find them at Walmart and, again, sometimes Costco. Don't buy large bins. It's hard to dig through parts in large bins and they get heavy and hard to move around. Don't use cardboard boxes. Boxes disintegrate and pests LOVE to move inside.
- Try to categorize parts as best you can. Sure, it's great to bag and tag everything. But when you've got 18 bins of parts, in which bin is which part? Sure, it would be optimal to document every part in every bin using a spreadsheet. But man, that's a LOT of work. Label each bin with its category using masking tape. Don't write directly on the bin. Likely you'll use it for something else or change the label. Tape is easy to change. Permanent marker is not easy to change.
- Order the AMK fastener kits and use those them wherever possible; engine, body, interior. Trying to restore fasteners is difficult and extremely time-consuming. Likely, many of your original fasteners are missing and have been replaced with whatever previous owners had lying around. Other fasteners will be rusted, stripped, rounded over or just plain look lousy. It is SO nice to install spiffy, new fasteners! Buying the AMK kits was one of the best things I did during my restoration.
- If you don't have a blasting cabinet, get one. I used that tool more than any other during my restoration. Every part I didn't replace was covered is grime, rust and few mysterious compounds. It was SO nice to blast those parts down to bare metal, clean them, prime them and paint them to look really spiffy.
- For metal parts which were not originally painted, I would recommend getting a few different paints to coat them. I like the Cast Blast and Stainless rattle can paint. I like to use more than one so it doesn't look like everything matches which doesn't look right on a classic car.
- Technically, you don't need to prime before painting parts, but I like to do so. I find it turns out better and lasts longer if I prime first. I like the Duplacolor high-temp primer. You don't need the high-temp feature, even for engine parts, but it's good stuff. If you have spray equipment, use epoxy primer. That stuff is amazing. I like the SPI epoxy. Just be aware you must top coat it within a week or you'll have to scuff it before it you paint it.
- Also, when painting parts, don't put on too many coats. If you get too much paint buildup, it might look nice at first, but it will chip very easily.
- When ordering parts, stick with a few, reliable vendors. After 8 years of ordering parts, my go-to vendors are NPD and Summit Racing. Try to order in large batches to save on shipping. Order online. That way you can look at your account and see everything you ordered and when you ordered it. If you call, you won't have a record unless you save all your receipts and that get complicated. (If you need to call a vendor for information, get the rep's name and you can include it with your online order so he or she will get credit for the order.)
- Other vendors: For brakes and steering, I like Chockostang. For suspension parts and shocks, I like Shaun at Street or track. I ordered my wheels from Summit and got the tires from my local Discount Tire. That turned out really well. No messing with trying to find someone to mount and balance mail-order tires and I got the Discount Tire warranty is REALLY good.
- Don't rebuild the engine until you're ready to drop it in. I got so bloody tired to doing sheet metal work I decided to rebuild my engine. It sat on a stand for years before I actually installed and started it. I ended up wiping a lobe on the cam. Was it because the engine sat so long? Maybe.
- If you don't know how to do paint and body work, learn how. It's getting downright impossible to find a good, reliable body shop who will do quality "custom work" at affordable rates in a timely manner. Oh, good golly, the Internet is chock-O-block with body shop horror stories! I used the Kevin Tetz "Paintucation" video series and taught myself paint and body work. I had never done it before and it all came out pretty well. No, it's not Chip Foos quality, but I've certainly seen many "professional" paint jobs that don't look nearly as good as my Mustang.
* Don't forget to have fun! If you find yourself stressed, pissed-off and cranky, walk away. Regroup. Take a major time-out. If you persist while pissed-off, things just get worse. Ask me how I know.
Last edited by Klutch; 07-12-2019 at 02:35 PM.