Thursday, July 11, 2019

Restoring An Old Car - Phase 1



My daughter's car is fourteen years old.  There are lots of nicks, small dents, scratches, some tiny rust spots and a lot of oxidation, especially up on the roof.  Some things on the car need to be replaced or repaired.  On the whole the thought of all those things seems overwhelming to her and it is hard to know where to begin.  I suggested that we eat this elephant one bite at a time rather than try to stuff the whole thing into our mouth.  She agreed and we decided to begin with "Phase 1".  The Hood.

Oxidation and loads of surface scratches underneath wear the cover was

The previous owners decided to cover up the front of the car with a Le Bra.  A lot of people think this will protect their car and it will, however it isn't meant to be put on and to just leave it on indefinitely.  You still need to remove it and wash underneath.  They didn't do that.  Over time dirt accumulated and damaged the paint underneath it, but mostly the sun did a number on this car as well.  The hood was extremely oxidized and sun damaged.


We opted for a three part solution - rubbing compound, polishing compound and wax.  We also opted to do all of the work by hand as we didn't want to risk working through the paint and creating more damage.  We definitely didn't want to make the situation worse.

We all got in on the action, including my youngest

After washing the car we used rubbing compound and worked out the majority of the oxidation.  Then we used polishing compound to bring back the paint.  That was by far the hardest part of this project and required the most effort.  We had to break it up over two days to give our arms and hands a much needed rest.

rub, rub, rub, rub, rub

Lastly, but certainly not least, we applied and buffed the hood with two coats of carnauba wax.  Wow, did it ever shine!  You could see yourself in the finish.  It turned out much better than we ever imagined it could.

Almost got it

My daughter was beyond ecstatic, not to mention how proud she is of this accomplishment.  She admitted that initially she had little faith that we were going to pull this off.  She also told me while we were working on it that this was definitely where I was being a "Dad".  I thought that was pretty cute.

Boom!

The rubbing and polishing compounds were $5.99 each and the wax was on sale for $5.49.  A two pack of compound applicators was $2.49.  We purchased these things at O'Reilly Auto Parts, or rather my daughter did.  She has a budget, a rather small one at that, for making repairs and we are going to try our best to stretch it as far as possible.  Total spent on Phase 1 = $19.96 + tax

Before

After!

Before

After!

It took us two days and A LOT of elbow grease to work out the oxidation, polish out the scratches and marks left by Le Bra and then bring it to a shining conclusion.  It was a ton of hard work, but the end result certainly made it all worth it.

This is one happy girl!

I can see myself!

Beautiful!

Next project, or "Phase 2", is to repair the roof.  


It is beyond the clear coat and there is some small rust spots as well as damaged paint.  Wait until you see the solution we came up with for this!



22 comments:

  1. The results are amazing! You three did an excellent job.

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  2. Wow, the hood looks amazing! Can't wait to see what you do to the roof. And I'll bet you've got plans for those cloudy headlight covers as well...

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    1. Didn't it turn out great?! She is so happy about it. And you know me so well. Headlights are definitely on the project list.

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  3. The hood looks fantastic! Nice work & a great example of patience & hard work paying off

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    1. I made a believer out her, ha, ha. It has really motivated her to keep going too.

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  4. A fantastic job! And the bonus is your girls are growing up to know they can take care of lots of things themselves. That is priceless!!!

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    1. They are doing a lot of things most girls their age wouldn't even attempt. I love it!

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  5. Great job! It is so nice to see someone so young who has the patience for delayed gratification.

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    1. She had a long wait just to get the weather to cooperate. Holy moly. :o)

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  6. Wow!! My ten-year old car is showing some oxidation itself, and you have given me hope that I may able to take of the problem myself.

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    1. If you need any more inspiration or advice check out YouTube. Lots of good videos on the subject. I learned how to do this from my Dad long ago, but I still watched some videos as sort of a brush up course.

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  7. Wow, great work! You are teaching your daughters some great lessons. (Plus me...I had no idea that could be done!)

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    1. Isn't it amazing what you can do with a few compounds and some elbow grease?

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  8. Wow! Amazing. Looks great. We have a 2005 Scion that we got new in 2005. These cars run forever! Plus they feel roomy inside even though they look small from the outside. Let me know if you find anything that works well on water spots on the side windows. We dry our car after washing but have hard water here so this is always a battle.

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    1. It always amazes people when they climb inside at how roomy they are. So cute too. Have you tried vinegar and a blue scotch brite pad on the windows to remove the spots. I did that on my truck a few years back and it did a great job.

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  9. Wow, that's impressive! And what a great gift you're giving your daughters

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    1. Thank you. They will be learning a lot in the next couple of months! LOL

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  10. So far so good!! It looks awesome. The hard work is paying off.

    take care, Janie

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    1. Thanks Janie. We are having a lot of fun working on this car.

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