Does Car Restoration Pay Off?

There is a time in every car enthusiast’s life where he or she thinks about restoring a classic. It’s completely natural for something like that to occur from time to time. The question that makes the majority of people back off from that idea is – is it worth it? You have to put in the time, money, nerves, whole lot of research, sweat and tears. Just thinking about it can make you change your mind about restoring a car.

Choosing the right car

If you are brave enough to start the journey of car restoration, you’ll need a car. Cars that are being restored usually date from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Some are even from the 90s, but a really small number of them. The right car is the one you want, the one you love and respect. When buying a car for restoration, it’s always better to buy a car that is in as good condition as it can be and with as much spare parts as you can find. No matter if it’s an Alfa Romeo, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or any other car, be prepared to strip it down to the metal.

Inspecting the car

For a complete restoration, you’ll have to make everything perfect. When you buy the car, take a few days and inspect it. Look at all the bits that need to be replaced and make a list. A well organized restoration is much easier than working on a car without knowing what you have to do and replace. Take the car apart and look for rust, cigarette burns and tears in the seats and upholstery, check what works and what doesn’t. This way, you can continue the restoration knowing what needs to be done. If the upholstery and seats look good, give them a deep clean and leave them for later. Be sure to check everything because it will be easier to fix something while the car is still apart, rather than taking it apart again so you can fix a small hole in the floor for example. Restoring is a slow and detailed process, so take your time.

Searching for genuine parts

You’ll probably come across new body parts for classic cars. Although possible, it’s really uncommon to find a new door for a 60s car. Putting on parts that are not genuine will probably give you a headache, much bigger than a two month search for a genuine part. Aftermarket doors look almost the same as the genuine, but there are always things that won’t go as planned. If you find a bonnet, and it has mounting points that don’t align with the mounting points on the chassis, you will have a huge problem. The same is with doors, carpets, boots and every other part of a classic car. Take a look at your list and search for genuine parts you need.

Restoring a car can last up to a few years, but at the end, if you ask anyone who has restored a car was it worth it, the smile of the owner will give you the answer.

Infotainment System Upgrade for Older Cars

It’s not uncommon to see a car enthusiast driving an older car even though they can afford a new one. This is maybe the best definition of car enthusiasts – people that drive older cars they like, even if they can afford a better or new car. It’s all about the love for a car that makes car enthusiasts what they are. There is a variety of modifications available for almost every car, from customizing the exterior look, to upgrading interior and gadgets so the time spent in the car will be the most comfortable. One of the upgrades that are getting insanely popular is the infotainment system. There are 2 din touch-screen multimedia systems available for most cars, but a DIY modification is cheaper and usually better.

Will it fit?

Upgrading your car audio system to an infotainment system is a bit tricky but it’s something that will bring you joy when finished. There are parts, wiring and a few devices needed for this upgrade, but it’s cheaper than buying a infotainment system ready for plugging in directly to your car. Everyone that has the “know-how” should try this upgrade. Depending on the car you drive, you can fit a tablet directly in your center console. Some cars have the space for a tablet or iPad, some don’t, so measure everything before you start a project like this. You can get the best results with a 7” tablet which actually fits a large number of cars from the 2000s.

Buying the parts

First of all, you will need a tablet. If you already have one lying around – great, but if you don’t, you’ll need one. Look for a tablet that you would use in everyday life that has Bluetooth, WiFi, a fast processor and enough capacity to fulfill all your infotainment needs. You’ll also need an OBD Bluetooth connector that will send information directly to your new infotainment system. You can get information about fault codes, traffic information, speed, navigation, real-time sensor readings, music, internet… You’ll need an AUX cable as well and a charger for the tablet. You will maybe need some parts fabricated to fit the tablet in the center console, but there are usually aftermarket parts already made for this kind of upgrade, so check the internet first!

Connecting everything and trying it out

Once you have all the parts ready for installation, you can look up similar projects on the internet for ideas and help with connecting everything so it will look like a factory infotainment system. Connecting everything won’t be a problem if you’ve ever changed a car stereo system. Be sure to plug in your OBD Bluetooth connector so you can get all the real-time information on your tablet. Connect the speakers and charger as well, and put everything in place. Once you finish this and everything fits, you can spray-paint the outer trim of the tablet in any color you think will look best!

Body Kits and Exterior Styling for the Ultimate Look of Your Car

Many enthusiasts start modifying their car from the exterior. There are hundreds of exterior modification possibilities for making your car look better. Starting from the wheels, lowering the car, spoilers, stickers, stretched tires… The possibilities are endless. When it comes to the exterior look of a car, everyone has their own taste and everyone customizes their car in a way so it will look the best by their standards. The first thing people usually change on their car is the stock wheels for bigger ones. This dramatically changes the look of any car, no matter how big or small it is.

Bigger wheels for a better looking car

The first step is to find the right alloy wheels for your car. Every make and model has their bolt pattern when it comes to wheels, so check that first! The most common bolt patterns for European cars are 4×100, 5×100, 5×110, 5×120, 4×98, 4×114.3 and so on…The center bore is also different from car to car, so the best thing is to find wheels with the 100% fitment for your car. The center bore can be changed with plastic rings, but it’s always better not to change anything. The safest bet when you look for bigger wheels is to go 1” bigger than stock ones, but most of the time, even a 2” bigger wheel will fit. Before buying, try it on to see how it looks and fits your car.

How low can you go?

The second step to car customization is lowering your car. With bigger wheels fitted, lowering can be tricky. Forget the measurements you made when the car was with stock wheels and tires. Measure again and look for the optimum option for lowering your car. You can get lowering springs, sets of shocks and springs, and the most popular of all – adjustable lowering kits. With these, you can slam your car to the ground when you’re going to car events, and lift it in a matter of minutes so you can go to work and drive the kids to school. This is the best option if you start customizing your daily driver and you need your car on factory height from time to time.

Body Kits and lighting

Body kits are very popular for extreme car customization. Custom bonnets, side skirts, bumpers and spoilers are usually all included in car body kits, and they are usually completely different from the stock parts on your car. There are some body kits that are more “discreet”, but they are usually far more expensive because they are being made by large tuning brands. You can also change your headlights and brake lights for aftermarket ones. They can be upgraded with xenon projectors for better visibility as well, but the most common difference between aftermarket and stock lighting parts is the color.

Three Suspension Upgrades for a Perfect Ride

There are so much car modifications available today. Some are purely for looks, some are for performance. One of the upgrades that must be planned and done with high-quality parts is the suspension system. Yes, you can make your car look more aggressive with some alterations, but the suspension will keep your head on your shoulders. This is something no one should play with, so only upgrade your car with quality parts.

There are three things you can upgrade in your suspension system that will make sure you have a quality alternative to your factory suspension setup. You can add wheel spacers, upgrade springs and shocks and add sway bars.

Wheel spacers

Using wheel spacers, you get a wider stance for better looks and better overall handling. It’s important to get high-quality spacers that are made from aluminum alloy. Eibach’s PRO-SPACER wheel spacers are made with high-precision so the wheel balance will stay the same. All of Eibach’s spacers are available from 5mm up to 30mm width. With wider tracks, your car will not only look better and more aggressive, you will also get better handling.

Shocks and springs

After adding wheel spacers which slightly improve handling, it’s recommended to upgrade the shocks and springs. One of the most popular kits that include shocks and springs is the Eibach’s B12 PRO-KIT. By lowering the car up to 40mm, you will get a serious improvement in handling and looks. This kit includes Bilsteins B12 shock absorbers and Eibach’s Pro-Kit performance springs. This seems to be a winning combination, because it’s the most sold suspension upgrade in the UK. When you upgrade your suspension with this incredible upgrade kit, you will feel the difference in handling as soon as you take your car for a drive. It’s perfect for daily drivers and occasional track days.

Sway bars

The third step in upgrading a suspension system is to fine tune the ride by adding additional parts that improve some critical elements. One of the kits that will improve handling even more is an anti-roll kit. Eibach’s anti-roll kit will make sure you get the best possible handling. This is accomplished by reducing lateral and centrifugal forces that tend to twist the car and decrease traction while cornering or changing direction fast. By making the car stiffer, you will also reduce over and under-steering on the track. This kit is manufactured from a cold-formed steel alloy and it includes mounting hardware so it can be easily fitted to any car. The red powder coat finish is just a bonus, adding a sporty look under the hood.

Off-road Drivers Are Enthusiasts Too

When talking about suspension upgrades, the first thing that comes to mind is lowering and sports suspension. A big majority of people forget about off-road vehicles and people that drive them. Off-roaders are often left out of the car enthusiast community. One of the most important car upgrades is the suspension system. Although SUVs and off road vehicles already have suspension system that are capable of tackling rough terrain, there are upgrades available for extreme off-road conditions. One of the best manufacturers for upgrading off-road suspension systems is Bilstein.

Better steering and overall control with the Bilstein B6 4600 shocks

Many drivers are satisfied how their SUVs drive on and off road, but there is always that one thing, that little tweak that would make the suspension perfect. If you are one of those drivers, the Bilstein B6 4600 shock absorber will do the trick. An increased carrying capacity, better traction and overall better control will make sure that the suspension system is right for you. The B6 4600 shock absorbers are fitted easily, because there is no need for any modifications. It’s bolt on, and you can use your OEM springs, so the cost is even more affordable than you might have thought.

Suspension for extreme off-road use

Modern SUV drivers usually don’t drive their cars off-road, but there are still enthusiasts that use their off-road vehicles for off-road driving. Some people drive on such extreme terrain that almost no factory SUV can handle it. A serious suspension upgrade is necessary and the Bilstein B8 5160 is the perfect kit for the job. This kit is ideal for lifted vehicles, and it’s easily fitted to existing vehicle mounting points. It increases the wheel travel distance on almost every car and it’s ready to tackle the most extreme terrain conditions.

Air suspension OE replacement

OE replacement parts must be high-quality, especially when it comes to suspension. If you replace your factory suspension parts with low-quality parts, you can seriously decrease driving performance, comfort and stability. That’s why Bilstein’s engineers developed the B4 air suspension module in close cooperation with the engineers from Mercedes Benz. With this OE replacement, you get maximum reliability and driving safety, quality and comfort. It feels like driving in a new car again. This module was road tested to assure top quality and factory performance. This kit also comes with an optional Bilstein’s DampTronic damp system for vehicles with factory electronic adjustment systems. This allows the suspension to automatically adjust itself depending on road conditions for perfect traction and stability.