OUR PROCESS OF RESTORATION
Asking questions about a shop’s process will ensure that you are getting the best quality work for your money. It is important for you, as the customer to know what you’re getting so there won’t be any unfortunate “surprises” later on.
Regardless of the present state of your vehicle, we at Carolina Kustoms LLC can bring your dream automobile back to life. Our goal for a finished restoration is to make it look as good – or better – than it did when it rolled off the assembly line.
The process below is used for a complete restoration on a car or truck. Although certain projects may be done slightly different, the steps outlined below demonstrate the care we put into every project we accept
Every great restoration begins with a good foundation. Before the restoration process can begin, detailed photos of the entire vehicle, inside and out are taken to document the exact state in which the vehicle arrived. It is critical to ensure that every trim piece, ground wire, and door gap is accurately recorded. These photos will later serve as a guideline for the reassembly process. Additional photos are taken throughout the entire restoration process for customer review. Any original factory stickers and/or decals are documented and will be replaced upon completion of the restoration.
The automobile is fully disassembled and all parts are inventoried. This process often reveals many issues that were not apparent prior to disassembly. Damaged parts, rust stains, and inadequate repairs are all documented and a detailed list of parts that need replacement begins to form.
Once each and every part is removed, the real work begins. First, we strip the paint from the body of the vehicle – this exposes the true integrity and any previously unseen issues. The amount of material that needs to be removed, the delicacy of the part, as well as the material that part is made of will determine the process we will use to efficiently strip paint, rust and undercoating. The three most efficient and effective methods are media-blasting, chemical stripping, and/or the use of rapid strip discs.
After the bulk of the material has been removed (including any original lead), it allows us to asses and determine the next course of action, prior to starting the metal-working phase.
At this point, the rust repairs or custom fabrication begin. All areas of damage are cut open and exposed. Any additional rust is media-blasted and new patch panels are made and/or fit into place. We then grind all welds and the panel is hammered and dollied to a smooth finish. Carolina Kustoms LLC strives to utilize the traditional methods and craftsmanship to fit and finish your vehicle. A good repair is one that cannot be detected and our goal is to create seamless repairs.
Once all the metal work is finished and the panels are fit into place, any additional aftermarket accessories and/or customized options are test fit.
As the vehicle begins to take shape, all chrome pieces are inspected, repaired and test fitted, then sent out for re-chrome plating. Due to the turn-around time of the chrome plating process, we do this prior to any body work.
Once all modifications and repairs are made, the vehicle is coated in epoxy and the body is set down on the frame with NEW mounts. We then sand the epoxy, and reapply if any bare steel breaks through. Body work or primer is then applied as needed. Throughout this process, the car has been assembled and disassembled multiple times to ensure a perfect fit for final finish.
With all body work now completed, the car is disassembled and final painting begins. Depending on the type of finish the customer is looking for, we might do a 100% original paint job – following original factory procedures.
The final assembly begins: everything on the car has been fitted, tested, marked, painted and/or chromed and all body parts look like new and every panel fits correctly. Final tune-up and mechanical break-in time is all that is required for the car to be ready for the open road.
With the car now complete, the customer is provided with all photos taken throughout the restoration of their vehicle. Copies of every invoice, along with a detailed parts book of what was installed are provided as documentation for the entire build. We at Carolina Kustoms LLC strive to not only provide superior service, but ensure that you know your car as well as we do – inside and out. We look forward to working with you.