So you’re revved up and ready to restore a car. Before you plant your foot on the accelerator, it’s time to focus on what you’ll need to get the job done. First and foremost, you’ll need a well-equipped toolbox, so we’ve put together a selection of must-haves for your project.
Where to start
Before you start, do some research and map out what tools you’ll need to complete specific jobs. Depending on the size and complexity of the restoration you may be able to get away with slightly cheaper models of different pieces of equipment. It’s also worth checking if you can borrow or rent the higher priced items.
1. Selection of hand-held tools
Make sure you have a fully stocked selection of hand tools. In particular, an assortment of screwdrivers including different lengths of both Phillips and flat. Pliers will also be useful; you’ll need regular, wire cutting and locking pliers in a variety of sizes. Consider investing in some Vise Grips. They’re one of the most versatile tools to have on hand.
2. Impact wrench
This one is a must-have. An impact wrench will be used for the removal of nuts and bolts. It replaces your ratchet wrench, and makes removing nuts and bolts incredibly faster and easier.
3. Air compressor
Although an air compressor is a slightly more expensive item to purchase, you’ll be glad you invested the money. Several tools including impact wrenches, grinders and spray guns rely on air compressors so you’ll be using it frequently. And once you’ve finished the restoration, you can use the air compressor for other jobs around the house.
4. Welding equipment
This is another big ticket item, but once again, you’ll be able to utilise it for a variety of DIY projects. If you’re new to welding, the simplest type to use is a MIG welder. The good news is basic welders are quite affordable but with anything, the more you invest, the more features the welder will have.
5. Paint stripper or a dual action sander
There are a wide variety of paint strippers, so it’s useful to decide what you’ll use the paint stripper for before you invest your money. For small amounts of rust removal or touch-ups go for an inexpensive model. However, if you’re looking to repaint the whole car, consider renting a larger and powerful model.