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DIY Classic Car Projects That Are Quick & Easy to Do

Many of us are still staying home trying to do our best to keep ourselves and others safe from the pandemic.  This can often give us some extra time to accomplish those tasks that may otherwise be neglected.

If you do find yourself with an extra hour or two to invest in working on your ride, then we have some small projects that typically take less than an hour to accomplish. Some of these assume that you already have the replacement part on hand, but if you don’t then you might want to spend the time searching eBay Motors or other online retailers for the parts you will need.

Some of our small projects might seem like common sense maintenance, but we have included them anyway just in case they have slipped your mind. You will find that some of our suggestions are simple part swap-outs instead of restoring what you already have. In many cases it is just more time and cost effective to replace a part than it is to spend your valuable time and money restoring it. If you believe that an original part is either too hard to find or will really keep the “original factor”, then by all means take the time to restore the part if possible.

One last item to note is that none of these small projects involve you crawling under the car. You’re welcome! You should also note that this is by no means a definitive list nor will every idea relate to every car. You will likely have to adjust this list and add some projects of your own.

There are literally hundreds of things you can do to any vehicle that would take under an hour to complete. To get you started, here are 30 small projects you can perform on your classic car or truck during this strange time.

  • Exchange door, hood and/or deck lid rubber bumpers if they are damaged or missing.
  • Replace the insulation under the hood if it is missing or looks less than desirable.
  • For the firewall and fender-mounted accessories, replace any incorrect hardware.
  • If your fuel lines and filter setup are roughly assembled exchange it or make it right.
  • Find and replace that aftermarket radiator cap with an original or correct reproduction.
  • Window washer reservoirs often discolor or leak. Switch it out with a new or reproduction one.
  • Make your aftermarket battery look like an original by adding a battery topper.
  • Repaint the worn but original voltage regulator cover.
  • Exchange the stock external voltage regulator with a solid-state one.
  • If your master cylinder cover has a worn finish, exchange it with a new one
  • Strip and repaint the metal power steering pump cap
  • Those under hood decals have been waiting patiently for you to apply them ever since you completed your restoration
  • Confirm that all engine ground straps are securely fastened and clean
  • Double check that the battery cables and battery hold down are also securely fastened and clean.
  • Lubricate all hinges like hood and door hinges. You can also lubricate the locks.
  • Check and top-off all fluids if needed.
  • Exchange all the vacuum hoses.
  • Exchange the radiator and heater hoses and take the opportunity to install the correct clamps.
  • Check to make sure the carburetor linkage is properly adjusted to ensure true wide-open-throttle.
  • Replace any worn or dried-out belts.
  • Swap out the spark plugs and/or adjust the points.
  • Exchange the spark plug wires, rotor and cap for new ones.
  • Change the air filter and fuel filter (often).
  • Check the timing and adjust it if necessary.
  • Fine tune the carburetor mixture and make sure the choke is adjusted properly.
  • Exchange any worn or damaged exterior mirrors.
  • Install new windshield wiper blades.
  • Confirm that all headlamps and taillights work and replace any bulbs that have burned out.
  • Remove body trim pieces and emblems that are easy to remove to clean behind them.
  • Install a new steering wheel. Just remember to keep the original. You can do the same with the shifter knob.
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