Owning a classic car is often called a labor of love. Anyone that has one knows that the project is never finished. Once the older vehicle is running, other parts often need to be restored. For serious classic car enthusiasts, garages, car lifts and tools are all important elements to restoring older vehicles. Casual mechanics focus on keeping them competitive at car shows or at least the road worthy and fun to drive. Those with auto lifts have an easier time maintaining vehicles that are at least 25 years old. These repairs are unique to older cars and often require the car to be up in the air to access parts that need to be refurbished, repaired or replaced. Some popular projects include rear-end replacement, exhaust system, transmission and the brake system.
Changing out the rear-end of a vehicle affects how it handles and enhances safety. Owners might also relieve wear on other parts by changing the rear differential to another ratio, and may improve fuel mileage performance and speed in the process. Accessing the differential and connected parts can be done with a vehicle on ramps, but it is easier and faster when the mechanic can work on them beneath an auto lift.
This project involves more than simply replacing dull stainless steel exhaust tips with shiny chrome ones. The exhaust system runs across nearly the entire length of the vehicle. Using a car lift for these projects makes it faster, safer and more comfortable for the weekend warrior. It is especially important to clearly see that all of the replacement pieces are properly bent and don’t interfere with or rub against any other parts.
Brake systems are very different today from how they were decades ago. Many owners change the vehicle’s drum brakes to disc brakes to make the car safer. This usually involves changing the proportioning valve which is time consuming and cumbersome without auto lifts, and difficult to do with ramps alone.
Transmissions in classic vehicles are a common labor of love. After 100,000 miles, most need to be replaced or rebuilt. With an average of 10,000 miles per year, most classic cars are at or beyond needing a new transmission. With the right tools, an auto lift and a friend to help, this project becomes easier, and will keep the vehicle on the road and out of a junkyard for a long time.