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When you have to do everything, where do you start?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NAES, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 484


    OK I guess I don't have to do EVERYTHING as I've already got a good head of steam going but I am coming to a crossroads and would like some input from those in the know.

    Here's where I'm at project wise. Got a wagon thats been sitting forever, old engine out, new one in with mounts tacked. My plan is to finish the engine/trans install and then paint and detail the frame and engine compartment.

    Next comes everything else. If we could maybe get a list going it would certainly help me and probably a bunch of others.

    Here's what I have to do in no particular order.

    1) Finish engine-distributor, wiring, carb, etc.

    2) Transmission-Needs linkage fabricated

    3) Driveshaft and rear end-Need to source a rear end with e-brake attachment and measure for a suitable driveshaft.

    4) Exhaust system-from manifolds back

    5) Cooling system-Rad is in stock location but the rest needs to be addressed

    6) Fuel System-EVERYTHING

    7) Brakes-Everything

    8) Exterior-Paint is usable, pitted chrome needs work but will probably just get a good buffing. (Definitely last on the list)

    9) Interior-Original and complete, just needs some stitching redone and a TON of cleaning (2nd to last?)

    10) Electrical-New harness needs to be installed.

    11) Tires-Fat white walls. Undecided on radial or bias ply (daily driver)

    12) Stance-Down the list I guess

    13) The million other things I totally forgot:D

    Any help you guys can give would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder

    I try to focus on 1 or 2 jobs at once so that the project dosen't overwhelm me, when I get it done I move onto the next one and so on. It works for me but not for everyone
  3. davidvillajr
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 1,003


    1,6,5,10,2,3,7,4 - then the rest.

    That's kind of the order I'd go.

    But, I'm not "in the know", and I tend to work in circles anyway....

  4. I make a list,,then start checking things off.

    My wagon list still has a page or two left but you wouldn't believe all the pages I've went through!:rolleyes: HRP

  5. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Do what you can within your weekly budget ,Thats what I do ,When you get overwhelmed Take a break and think ,And the answers will come to you ,I know you want to get it done ,But It is a hobby not a job ,When the fun is gone ,Mistakes will happen ,There are times that I rush through stuff and I make mistakes ,So relax and tackle one thing at a time ,
  6. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,993


    X2! Very good advice. Overwhelming yourself is the best way to kill a project I can think of.

    Break each task down into small, easy-to-complete steps. Take it one step at a time, complete that task and then move on to the next.

    Good luck!
  7. I'd say read the list and start at the top and check things off as you go. There is no specific system, just don't start something new till you have what your working on done. It's like eating an Elephant, one bite at a time till nothing is left. Looking at many smaller jobs is easier than looking at the total project.
    Joined: Mar 30, 2010
    Posts: 3,253


    I made a list & lost it.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  9. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,075


    I'm not a list person, and not very organized. I don't like redoing things, so be sure whatever you plan to do first on the list doesn't make sonethings 4-6 steps later cause a redo or modification.
  10. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 765

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    An old guy taught me long ago, do drivetrain, then paint, then interior. It's worked well for me.

    Drivetrain: Make it Stop, Turn, then Go. If you're going to swap in a set of disks and bag it, no need to rebuild the stock drums and spring suspension. Make it so it can go around a corner safely, no matter how low or high you go. Nothing to hit/rub or hang up when turning. Then build your wicked drivetrain.

    Paint: Do this next while everything is still rough assembled. No interior in the way to get paint on. Then do your final assembly and interior

  11. Flatheadguy
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,037


    It's no different than eating an elephant.

    One bite at a time.
  12. ems customer service
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 2,578

    ems customer service

  13. big bad john
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 4,727

    big bad john

    .........Just make sure its a small elephant..........
  14. 1959Nomad
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,158


  15. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,757

    Member Emeritus

    Nobody says that you have to follow your list in order either. I will reward myself with a fun job that I like to do sometimes that won't be needed for months. I like to make something pretty so that I can look at it when I slide out from under the car after scraping undercoating for an hour or two. It helps to restore the spirit. I usually check for things that can be done in the time that I have available. I think most of us have our engines all painted and pretty long before the car is painted and ready for it. Food for the soul.
  16. skidsteer
    Joined: Mar 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,251


    Your post says 'no particular order'. You need to put them in order of what has to be done before other things can be done -- then just do them one at a time, and forget about what else has to be done until it comes up on the list. Worked for me.
  17. TxRat
    Joined: Dec 22, 2004
    Posts: 1,412


    HA you beat me to it.....
  18. mrforddude
    Joined: May 30, 2010
    Posts: 134


    Is this a Mopar reference????

    You will get a ton of advice of "this is how I'd do it" but you need to find the system that will work for you and go with it.

    Best advice given is to finish whatever part your working on before you start the next.
  19. Antny
    Joined: Aug 19, 2009
    Posts: 1,071

    from Noo Yawk

    My order:

    1) chassis
    2) bodywork and paint
    3) drivetrain
    4) wiring
    5) everything else
    6) drive it
  20. Phrappster
    Joined: May 7, 2002
    Posts: 22


    When your bored at work make a sub-list for "Finish engine-distributor, wiring, carb, etc." cause the devil's in the details. As you check off simple stuff it makes you feel like you're getting somewhere. Then when you hit a little roadblock your not frustrated with #1 taking so long!
  21. DirtyThirty
    Joined: Mar 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,396

    from nowhere...

    I LOVE me a list.
    I make zillions of them...

    I like to work on a varied assortment of things, so as not to get bored or frustrated with any one thing too much.
    I also like that it gives me time to reflect on what I've started to do in one area, before totally commiting it, so that I can review it after some time spent thinking about it.

    Concentrate on whatever job you are doing at that moment, and worry about it as if it is the only thing that matters.

    DO NOT be afraid to un-do anything you have done if it doesn't sit well with you or you get a better idea on how it should have been done. This will only eat at you forever, and ever...if you isn't quite sitting right with you now, it won't get any better with time.

    Get help, on anything you think you need help on.

    Do as much research as you can before buying or finish welding anything.

    Hope some of these thoughts help...
  22. BigRy
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 83

    from colorado

    All I can add is, Do all fab work before any paint or primer goes on, hate to waste materials. One more thing, I have found with most things that say , will bolt right in, they never do. Always check that it fits.
  23. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 2,043


    I always do this order:

    1) Frame and chassis
    2) drivetrain
    3) wiring
    4) drive it
    5) fix and correct everything else
    6) take it all apart and paint
    7) Put back together

    Ive only ever gotten to step 5 on any vehicle besides my 1st pickup I ever owned...... which my sister rolled it a few years after I got it painted and back together.
  24. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    I've gone with drivetrain/chassis/wiring then body and paint then interior.

    The result is my car now drives great but looks like hell.

    If I'd had to work around paint or bodywork I would have screwed it all up moving the car around or replacing parts.

    I thought I had a decent interior-turned out the material was too light weight and stretched and tore, which was good since I trashed it moving it and out of the car, etc.

    I usually have 5 irons in the fire at any one time. That way when I hit a roadblock on one of them I can jump to another. In general though I try to focus on one thing at a time.

    And I love making lists of things to do, because I love checking things off!
  25. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    First thing to do is go buy a box of zip lock bags and a fresh sharpie marker, it becomes evident quickly why I place this first on the list.
  26. shmoozo
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 672

    from Media, PA

    Make a list. Any items on the list that can be broken down into smaller bites should be broken down into smaller bites.

    An item might be "Finish Engine." A few of the bites that might make up that item would be things like "replace water pump," "rebuild distributor," "remove old intake manifold," "install new intake manifold," "install distributor," and so on.

    Make notes on the list where an item or bite needs to wait until previous bites or items need to be completed. (You can't send the car out for paint until the bodywork is completed, can't install the distributor until the cam is installed, can't fill the engine with coolant until the engine, radiator, heater and all of the hoses have been installed, can't install the new front brakes until the front suspension is finished, etc..)

    Doing it that way gives you a hierarchical system that lets you really keep track of what still needs to be done, what can be done next, and lets you see what you've completed.

    If you really want to do it all like a pro, look at some project management tools. Wikipedia has some basic info on that in the article HERE. That may be a bit much for most rodders, but for organization wonks it's all just part of the fun.


    Oh, and don't be afraid to add things to the list as you think of them down the road. (Doing the list in some sort of word processing software with an outlining feature will let you make changes easily and quickly.)

    On an outline, any steps that need to be completed before an item can be done can be listed as entries within that item in the outline.

    Or ... create a Gantt chart ...

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  27. shmoozo
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 672

    from Media, PA

    Yup. And make them the "freezer bag" quality (which are heavier duty and more durable) and get both quart and gallon size bags, too. If you have a Costco warehouse club membership (or Sam's Club, or whatever) you can get good deals on large quantity purchases on those, and you'll need a large quantity purchase.
  28. Johnny1290
    Joined: Apr 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,834


    X2 on the ziplocks

    Freezerbags work the best because they're harder to rip

    I started stapling the boxes of them to my pegboard so I don't have to chase around looking for them. I figure the easier I can find anything the more likely I am to use it.
  29. BigBlockMopar
    Joined: Feb 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,360


    You're doing better than me 'cause I always get to step 4 and that's it... well not always, sometimes I skip #4 go straight to #5 and hit a roadblock there :D)
  30. NAES
    Joined: Dec 24, 2008
    Posts: 484


    Great input guys. I totally appreciate it. I realize this is only a hobby but at the same time I like finishing what I started and really hate redoing what I already did.

    Freezerbags and Sharpie, CHECK!
    Digital camera helps for quick reference as well.

    I think this thread will definitely come in handy.


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