How-To Restore a Classic 1966 Ford Mustang (Part 2): Inspect Paint and Clean

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After you’ve visually inspected the vehicle for signs of damage, the next step in the restoration process of a classic 1966 Ford Mustang is to prepare the vehicle for a new paint job. Ideally, when you reach this stage of the restoration, you’ll have already examined your car for signs of rust, dents, scratches, scrapes and other damage. You’ll also have already removed any easily modified parts of the frame such as bumpers or fenders. Finally, you’ll have replaced the door handles, if they required it. If you’ve completed all of these various steps in the restoration process, continue reading for the next part of your procedure.

Step 1 — Prepare the Cleaning Supplies

Before you can repaint a car of any type, it’s essential that you clear off any and all substances that may be coating the vehicle’s paint and protecting it. This is necessary so that you can most easily access the paint; failing to remove this protective layer can cause a later paint job to be less reliable and more difficult to accomplish.

Gather a bucket, washcloth and a hose. You’ll also need a container of liquid dish soap from your kitchen or home supply store. Avoid using any sort of car soap or other treatment solution, as these oftentimes contain the very silicone based and wax based products that you’re attempting to remove from your car’s surface.

Step 2 — Rinse off the Car

Next, use your hose to rinse off the car. You’ll want to begin by rinsing the vehicle at the top, then work your way down the sides of the car and end at the bottom. This ensures that you reach every spot on the vehicle.

Step 3 — Wash the Car

Clean out the bucket, rags and washcloths that you’ll use to wash the car. Pour a small amount of liquid dish soap in the base of the bucket and fill the bucket up with water. The resulting solution should be foamy and full of bubbles. Use your rag or washcloth to gently apply the soap solution to one panel of the vehicle. Again, start from the top of the car and work your way downward, but this time it’s best to work on one part of the car at once so that you can rinse the soap off before it can dry or stain the paint.

Continue until you’ve cleaned the entire car.

Next, remove the nozzle from the hose that you’ve used to wash the car and gently allow water to rinse off the car from the top down once again, this time at a low pressure level. Allow the vehicle to dry completely before continuing with the restoration process. Do not treat the surface of the car.

If you have any questions about how to restore your 1966 Ford Mustang, ask a mechanic for additional information or continue reading with Part 3 of this article series.

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