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Wilson's Auto Restoration Blog

Think Twice Before Making These Modifications to Your Classic Car

There are a lot of things you can do to a classic car to make it better.  Upgrading drum brakes to disc brakes is one good example.  Even though the vehicle will no longer be “all-original”, disc brakes provide better performance and safety.

There are however some modifications that we would advise you to give a second thought before making any custom modifications to your classic car or truck.  There are certain modifications that people have made that they soon regretted.  And in some cases, there was no turning back.

Aftermarket Stereo Equipment

Sure, you want to be able to crank the tunes while you cruise the strip but think twice before cutting any door panels or rear decks to fit those ginormous speakers you just bought.  Modifying the metal of your car to fit a pair of speakers is a bad idea.  Try to find speakers that will fit into the wholes already in the panels so you can keep the metal untouched.  Even if you never plan on selling your classic, we suggest you still try to find the right sized equipment and put down the Sawzall.

Rip-Roaring Exhaust

You might need a loud stereo if you installed a loud aftermarket exhaust.  Sure, it sounds really cool at the car show when classics have that loud rumble coming from underneath but give it time and we are confident that you will grow sick of that deafening sound.  If you must have one, then we suggest you spend the money for sound dampening material like HushMat or Dynamat so you can reduce the decibels in your passenger cabin being produced by that dragon you just installed under your ride.

Shorten the Shifter

This one is easy to reverse if you have already done it, but other than aesthetics, there really is no good reason to shorten a shifter.  It is going to be harder to shift and find the right gear.  All that unnecessary force is going to take its toll on the shifting mechanisms causing you have repairs.  Just keep the shifter the length that engineers had originally designed for the car or truck.

Aftermarket Sunroof

OK, this modification is a stretch, and most would never attempt this and for good reason.  Cutting a hole in the top of a roof rarely ends well.  The sunroof kits often leak and can cause some serious noise from wind leaks when driving.  Once you realize you made this mistake it is often too late.  Replacing that gaping hole with new metal will take some serious skill and knowhow to make it like new again.

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