Project Duster: Phase I

We will begin this restoration by carefully inspecting all visible components of the vehicle to determine what will need to be replaced and what could potentially be reused. It is brought into the shop and put into a stall for our technicians to start the process.

Once it is visibly inspected and all pertinent information recorded we begin the task of removing all components from the vehicle save for the rear axle. That means pretty much the entire car, minus the body.

The interior of the vehicle needs to be removed in its entirety, leaving nothing but metal and dust on the inside. On the outside our technicians will remove all of the bolt on panels, like the fenders and hood, giving us space to remove the front drive line as well as the engine and transmission.

The front wheels and suspension will also have to be removed but we will place stands on wheels that clamp on the body of the vehicle to allow us to move it. Once everything is removed from the vehicle, and all we are left with is a rolling chassis, it will be off to the next step which will be removing the outer panels, the rear axel and installing it on a rotisserie.

Project Duster: Phase II

For this next phase of the restoration we will transport the vehicle to a different location from where it was disassembled. There, we will finish removing the last few things before starting on some of the sheet metal work.

At the new shop, work begins with the removal of the rear axel making the vehicle imobile until it is placed on the rotisserie. This lightens the body of the vehicle significantly but you have to make sure that it can stay where it is for a while. But we will be able to fully inspect all surfaces of the body now and have a much better idea of what work will need to be done.

Before installing it on the rotisserie some of the outer panels will be cut away. These panels are ones we can already clearly tell need to be replaced and cannot be reused. This will further decrease the wait of the body and allow for easier installation of the body on the rotisserie. Care must be given to not cut off any segments that provide structural integrity to the vehicle or the body may fold during installation or while on the rotisserie.

Now a rotisserie is more or less what it sounds like. It is a stand that the body of the vehicle is suspended on that allows the body to be rotated in place along the axis from front to rear. Essentially, we can make it do a barrel roll.

Project Duster: Phase III

Now that the vehicle has been installed on a rotisserie, we are able to begin the removal of panels that provide structural integrity as well as further strip the paint off of the rest of the vehicle. First we will have to carefully inspect all the exposed segments of the body of the vehicle and figure out which panels will need to be replaced and which can be repaired.

As more of the bare metal is exposed, we are finding more and more panels that need to be replaced. To expose the metal we hade to grind the paint off with a variety of tools that could reach into the different areas. After the metal was exposed and inspected, segments that didn't need to be replaced were sprayed with primer to protect it from rusting.

As we move on to replacing the panels, we will have to carefully brace the body of the vehicle before removing any of the segments that are keeping the vehicle in its overall shape while on the rotisserie. Attention to detail will play a key part in removing and replacing these segments one at a time.