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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am a disabled vet needing a hobby. I have never restored a car before and don't really know where to start. I found a 67 impala 4 door that has a 283 with a 2 speed power tranny. The interior is basically striped except the front seat. It does drive. How much would a car like that be worth? Is there somewhere I could get a list of all tools required to do the restoration and where to start? Maybe a book that kind of walks you through it? I know I am biting off a lot but this is a dream of my son's and I to do together!
 

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Well you will probably love it and hate it at different points. I dont know of a book but asking questions here will help you thru to the end. I think your biggest problem will be finding 4 door parts .And thanks for your service.
 

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Welcome to the Team Jessie!

Besides dedication what skills do you and your son bring to the restoration? That will determine your starting point (the vehicle that you ultimately choose for your restore). The single most critical is being able to do body work at the fabrication level (able to form and weld thin sheet steel) as most of these cars have a lot of rusted panels in need of repair.

If you do not feel comfortable tackling fabrication and welding look to the desert south west (SoCal, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas) for used cars in better condition. Those cars will have good sound sheet metal but they will have cloudy sun burnt safety glass and all of the cloth and plastic interior parts will have turned to dust.

Mechanical parts (brakes, motor, transmission, or rear end rebuilds) are easy to do if you have the funds to buy the parts. We can walk you through any mechanical rebuild and offer advise on how to hot rod it to your level of comfort. What no one can tell you how to do on-line is how to block sand, wet sand, skim coat or apply sealer and paint to a car because you have to basically see what is being worked in real time.

I have attempted to paint a few cars, but I have given up as I can not do body work to meet even my low level of expectations (all of my cars since have been rattle can primer gray with an as found body condition). I can build motors in my sleep and repair anything mechanical or electrical on the car; I just can not build up the enthusiasm needed to sand for weeks at a time to get a good finish needed for paint (this is after spending months straightening and repairing corrosion problems with fresh steel to get a good body to paint).

We have members all around the country (around the globe actually) that can offer advise on what something you are looking at is worth once you get an idea of what you really want to build. We will need good photos to offer an informed opinion and many can direct you where to look in your area for a project car or for those hard to find parts.

Big Dave
 

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I agree on getting some decent sockets and hand wrenches from 1/4" to at least 3/4" (Sears/Lowes/Home Depot), assorted screwdrivers and depending upon your funds, being able to weld would take you a long long way in a car hobby. Practice is crucial; I started on small floor-board patches myself.

You may want a good wire-brush set (big and small) and a few scrapers, lots of sand-paper, some small assortment of hammers, including a dead-blow version, a torque-wrench in 'foot-pounds', a bunch of zip-loc sandwich baggies for your nuts/bolts and a permanent marker to label them. Maybe even a $20 metal/dent repair hammer/dolly kit from Harbor Freight.

It usually takes a skilled and prepared guy to make money on these cars.

As for a place to start, that's best answered with knowing how much work needs to be done or what you plan on doing. (Rust repair? engine coming out? body panels being replaced? does it need to stay driveable? etc)

If keeping it drivable is important, you should do things to make it safe first. like Brakes, brake lines, any rubber fuel lines, then front steering/suspension.
With the engine out, it's easier to clean that whole area up and work on the suspension.
 

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The digital camera can be one of the most important tools. Photograph everything even to the point of being ridiculous. You never know when one of those shots will come in handy when reassembling your car. :thumbsup:
 

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And bag and label bolts nuts brackets so you wont have to figure it all out 8 months later then tape the bag to the part so you dont loose it.
 
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