Tips for Restoring your Car

dodge restoration car

You only have to look at the current crop of television shows like Flipping Bangers and American Restoration to realise there is a growing enthusiasm for restoring old vehicles.

Classic cars from Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge are excellent candidates for restoration, with their distinctive styles and a ready source of spare parts—thanks to Hi Tech Auto Parts!

Restoring an older car is a big undertaking that requires skill and patience. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there today to help you get the right information, whether it’s service and repair manuals, historical data or finishing techniques.

Before you tackle that big restoration project, it’s important to be clear about your intentions.

Are you going for an authentic, historically accurate vehicle? Or are you wanting to ‘upgrade’ the car’s features?

Modernising a vehicle is a strategy that needs to be carefully considered, to ensure you are actually adding value to the car. These choices will influence the overall cost and factors such as parts availability may ultimately determine how original your vehicle can be.

Car clubs are a fantastic resource for help and tips from fellow enthusiasts.

The Chrysler Restorers Club of NZ (, has been operating since 1976 and produces a regular club magazine every six weeks.

If you’re into Jeeps, you probably already know about The New Zealand Jeep Club Inc ( Formed in 1990, the club is very active Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

These clubs offer informal workshops where you can pick up valuable tips and techniques on mechanical work, detailing and bodywork finishing.

One of the great benefits of DIY car restoration is the opportunity to learn how your car works.

Model-specific manuals for body repair, wiring, diagnostics and servicing will also make the process a lot easier.

Tech Authority offers a vast library of manuals for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep marques. Community night classes are another great source of training for essential skills such as welding, painting and upholstery.

If you are new to car restoration, you may want to consider outsourcing the more technical aspects to professional restorers and rebuilders. Many New Zealand based professional restorers are internationally recognised for their skills and expertise.

Another important consideration is your workspace. It needs to be dry and sheltered, large enough to work in comfortably and secure. It also helps if it's a dedicated space, so you don't have to pack tools away or share the area with others.

When it comes to finding a vehicle with restoration potential, it's beneficial to get a second opinion from a fellow enthusiast.

They can advise you whether the car in question is a good candidate, or whether it’s got ‘trouble’ written all over it. You can also give the guys at Hi Tech Autoparts a call to get a feel for parts availability. 

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