You wouldn’t build a house on a foundation that wasn’t square and level, but you’d be surprised how many classic car enthusiasts start building their cars on a frame or chassis that is out of square. Let’s face it, the components of your car are designed to be bolted to a solid and square frame or body, so an important first stem in virtually any car restoration project is to begin with a good foundation.
Oftentimes a car owner assumes their car is straight and square based on their gut feeling or assumption that it has to be good as there are few miles on the car. But virtually any high-quality restoration begins with checking the car’s straightness.
No car is immune from being out of square: rusted or rust-free, low or high-mileage, frame or uni-bodied, they all can be out of square, and sometimes these problems don’t show themselves until a hood or door or window just doesn’t fit right. Whether you take the steps to check your car yourself or you enlist the services of a professional frame shop, it is almost always time or money well spent.
Helping us get the straight scoop on checking your car for square, we visited Bob Wilson, owner of RJ Restorations in Farmington, MN. Wilson’s relentless attention to detail is legendary and key to his success as a concurs Ford Mustang restoration shop. Bob takes us step-by-step through the process of checking your classic car for square and discusses ways to make corrections yourself or when it may take a frame bench to bring your car back into square.