How to Get Started on a Project Car (it’s easier than you think)

How to Get Started on a Project Car (it’s easier than you think)


– If you’re watching this channel, you probably like cars. (cars revving) And if you like cars you’ve probably dreamt about having one as a project. Well what’s stopping you? Maybe you thought it was too expensive of hobby. Or maybe you thought you didn’t have the skills necessary to have one. Or maybe you thought you weren’t cool enough to join the club. Well, I’m here to you that none of that stuff is true. It doesn’t have to be that expensive. It’s really not that hard, and our threshold for what’s cool is actually really very low. Today, I’m gonna you five reasons why you can and should have a project car. And once I’ve successfully convinced you I’m gonna give you my top
three picks for project cars. I’m Zack, and this is Money Pit. (thunder crashing) All right. So you guys might be wondering what makes me qualified to talk to you, aspiring
mechanics, about project cars. And I guess really my
qualification is just that I am about as afflicted as it can get. I have a project car problem, if you will. I don’t think it’s a problem, but everybody else does. About six months ago,
I moved to Ohio to LA to work at Donut. I sold all my cars in Ohio, and drove an RV to LA. I lived in it for about four months, and I now have four project cars, and an RV in the back yard. So I guess that’s my qualification. I keep buying junk in various states, if running or not running. I think that’s cool, and if you’re kinda in the same boat and you have a project that isn’t running, that you haven’t been working on, I hope that you use this video as inspiration to get back into the garage and get working on it, and not be like my roommate Syrone who bought a perfectly good project car about three months ago, took up the only garage space with it. That broke. And hasn’t touched it in three months. So don’t be like Serone. Be like me.
Turn some wrenches. Okay, So cars can be scary and daunting and like super complex, especially these days. But, once you start to learn how to work on your project car, it sets you up very well to be able to work on any car. It’s kinda like learning a language. You start to figure out how
to pick up on the trails and the breadcrumbs. Okay, you hear a sound. Now that you kinda know
how to work on your car you know where to go for that sound. You know how to find the source of the sound, and fix it. It doesn’t only apply to cars. Say your washing machine breaks in your house. You can probably fix that now because you know how
mechanical stuff works. But be careful people
will catch wind of that, so all of the sudden you’re fixing everybody’s cars in the neighborhood. And they want you to do it for free. Charge them like half price, and then bam you’re making money. That’s a business plan. All right, so now that we got you all hyped up and confident thinking that you can fix anything in the world, sorry we gotta reel it back a little bit and be honest with ourselves, you’re not always gonna be able to fix everything. It’s inevitable that you get confused or you get stumped on a problem with a car. It happens to me all the time. But so what do you do when that happens? You turn to one of the
other biggest reasons for getting into cars,
which is the community. (music) It’s your family. The family that you’ve been building. The family that speaks this language that you’ve been learning. It’s like you and your friends dirty and tired in the garage at like two in the morning. You gotta this engine back into the car, but thing after thing after problem after issue is
stopping you, slowing you down, chipping away at your confidence. It happens.
I’ve been there. But through hard work and perseverance, you and your boys get that engine back in. You get the job done and you always do when it comes down to you and your friends working on stuff. You actually don’t always get it done. That’s a misdirection. Sometimes you’re not gonna get it done. This language that
we’ve been talking about transcends whatever language you speak. I have had so many interactions with people from all
over the world about cars because we all kinda understand, even if we can’t quite understand each other’s language, we understand the car language, and that is so cool. – That was really good man. That was really good. – Thanks buddy. Okay so you kinda understand that there is this language now, and I think I’ve harped on the community thing hard enough. So now I think it’s time
to start talking about the elephant in the room. Money. It’s honestly probably what’s
kept you out of this game thus far. But it’s okay. We’ll get through it. Let’s talk about it. When you’re getting into any hobby you’re gonna end up spending some money and this is no different. I think a lot of people get hung up on wanting to have expensive tools, which yeah expensive tools are nice sure, but cheap tools will get the job done. And I’ve made a list of the tools that you need to get started. Here it is. The list starts with sockets and ratchets, like these. You’re gonna want to buy metric sockets because pretty much all car stuff is metric these days. Though it does depend on
what you’re working on. You need a set of screwdrivers. Just get yourself a big ole combo kit with flatheads and phillips, you’ll pretty much be set. And you’re also gonna need some pliers. Again, just a combo set of piers, get a little bit of everything, you’ll be in good shape. You’ll need a set of wrenches. Again, metric. And I recommend getting an adjustable wrench to. Get you a good combo set, and you’ll be in good shape. And then you need a digital multi-meter to handle all the electrical
issues that you may have, and this. This is kind of a complicated tool but we’ll learn how to use this later on. If you’re working on cars that are OBD II, which means from 1996 or newer, you’re gonna wanna have a code reader, a scanner, so you can see what your check engine light is on for, what’s actually going on in the computer of your car, a indisposable tool. And of course you’re gonna need a jack and jack stands so you can lift your car,
get it off the ground, and safely work under it. Speaking of safely, you also need some safety equipment. I like to go with the 1982 version of safety glasses to keep your eyes in perfect condition. You’re also gonna need a hammer. This is one of the most indisposable tools in the garage. You bang stuff on, bang stuff off. You don’t know. And then honestly I think
having a pry bar is nice so you can, you know, pry stuff off. But that’s about it. That’s not to bad. And I actually, I went
tot harborfrieght.com, who does not sponsor this what so ever, and I put all this stuff in a cart. You can do all this for
less than 400 bucks, which is not bad. – [Friend] And if you can’t afford that just do what everyone else does. – Steal. – Steal one from your friends
one by one tool at a time. – And if you can’t afford that, do what everyone else does and just borrow them from
a friend permanently. At the end of the day with a project car, the only thing that
matters is what you like. You get to build a
project car to your taste. For your own satisfaction, and to flex on other mother******s. Regardless of what aspect
of cars you think is cool, you can do that, there are no rules. I mean if you want it to be street legal, there are kind of some rules. But you know what I mean. So no matter what your thing is, what your into, you can use
your project car as a way to further express that. And honestly, its on of the coolest ways
you can express yourself that I can think of. We get to play with machines. These are varietable machines. Pretty much any car on the road can do like 100 miles an hour or more. And that, when you think about it, is crazy. You get to drive a machine
that can do 100 miles an hour. And there is no better
way to express yourself than by building and
driving something like that. Okay so, you get to learn
how to work on cars, you get to join a really cool community, you get to spend all your money and time in a really cool way, and you get to express yourself through the coolest medium I can think of. So what next? What next on this whole gear head journey that were talking about? Picking out a project. So let me give you my top
3 picks for a project, as of early 2020. Each pick is gonna be for a
different facit of motorsport. If you want to call it that. Okay so if drifting is your thing, if that’s what your into. In my opinion you should pick up an E36. 325i or 328i. Their abundant, their cheap, their pretty darn reliable, and they make enough
power to get you sliding. You really don’t have to do much. If your a drift kinda person, get you an E36, like
the one in the garage. Come steal this one! Syrones not doing anything with it. So if off roadings your thing, I think my pick has to be a Jeep. Ideally a Wrangler, and ideally with a four liter inline six. Its got enough power to get you anywhere, but it can be hard to
come by those for cheap. So you go with a Wrangler
with a 4 cylinder, or you can also find Jeep Cherokees with that 4 liter inline
6 for really cheap. So I’d probably do that. And that brings me to my third pick, which I guess is actually my first pick, because I actually bought it. I bought a Miata! I’ve been itching do some
auto crossing and track dang, and hit all the beautiful
canyons out here in California. So what could be better to do that in, than a Mazda Miata. Their cheap, their reliable, their abundant, and most
importantly their good. It is a 1994 NA so its got the popups. James said I couldn’t have
one without the popups. And It might not look like much right now, but I assure you this
thing is an absolute gem. A diamond in the ruff if you will. And throughout the life of this show, we are going to wrench on
every little part of this car. And I’ll show you how it works, and how you install stuff, and what it does and
everything in between. Thanks a billion for watching. We’re about to take a huge
journey with this car, so I hope you stick with us. Follow me on Instagram @zachjobe, follow Donut @donutmedia, follow our new YouTube
channel for out podcasts, Donut Podcasts, and of course as always. Subscribe to the channel. See you guys next week.

100 thoughts on “How to Get Started on a Project Car (it’s easier than you think)

  1. Hey yall welcome to MONEYPIT!
    We have a TON that we want to do with this show, but what are your initial thoughts?
    What kinds of stuff do you want to learn about?
    What mods do you want us to do (and teach you how to do) on this Miata?

  2. Bet you guys never noticed my account picture.

  3. That MX5 is rotten… you can see the rust in the wheel arch! Will be interested to see what they do with that. Wide-body, perhaps…?

  4. I dont have a garage cause i live in europe in a city

  5. I have a go kart but it’s in a carafe 270km away

  6. No I have dreamt of it but I’m only 12

  7. Hell yeah harbor freight specials work 90% of the time and that's good enough for me! A wrench is a wrench, etc sure there's higher quality stuff but for the average backyard mechanic cheaper tools are just as good unless your looking for a specialty tool then I'd absolutely recommend spending the money on something you will use quite a bit.

  8. dude im 17 and been looking at cars and i want a miata! when you said miata i almost jumped in the air lol

  9. Praject caor

  10. OTC the safety glasses are not to be forgotten 😂 the other day I dropped dot 4 in my eye while changing my clutch slave cylinder.. I’m okay after a good rinse but the whole situation could have been avoided

  11. My first car will be my “experimental”car,which is a 04 corolla,since i grew up in that car it seems meant to be imo

  12. I dream of taking my Jeep off-roading already but at the moment it’s in the garage with just the chassis lol

  13. I’ve literally been looking for miatas, this couldn’t be more perfect timing

  14. or for offroading buy a 3rd gen toyota pickup with a 22re. May not be fast, but it'll get ya there and those things last forever

  15. I'm from ohio wants to go to cali for cars 😥😭

  16. Anyone else thinks he looks like me beast?

  17. would love it if you guys did this one the way you did high v low car with the Zs 1 episode with 3 teams one for each of the cars named that or continue the series for the other two cars after the Miata is done

  18. 7:20 E36 DRIFT MORNING DELIVERY MR LIH that mans a legend

  19. Your tail light is hanging
    Edit: nvm you broke it

  20. ლ(́◉◞౪◟◉‵ლ). "car time"

  21. A lot of time, love and money!!!

  22. I got my second car ever 2 years ago, a 3.0L v6 2000 toyota solara sle convertible with only 24,000 miles on it. I love it to death, nobody else does but that's okay. I'd love to put more money into it, but I'm afraid to break something in the process. Any simple upgrade ideas for something like that?

  23. I know this will probably not be seen but maybe do a build where your budget is 5k including the car price, I feel like it would be an attainable goal for a lot of people.

  24. "We're about to do everything on this car"
    Show gets cancelled like science garage…

  25. Honestly, I'm always sad when people mention the e36 they leave out the 323i, its just as good to go drifting as the 325i and 328i. and with some mods it has more torque and equal hp to a 325i.

  26. Miata is always the answer !

  27. About a month ago I picked up my first project: 2004 325XiT 5 speed, $1250. Biggest issues were window regulators and central locking, got both fixed for about $30 in used parts. Still has plenty more issues, being a BMW, but less than $1300 for a running, driving, 5 speed E46 wagon, can’t go wrong.

  28. Metric and imperial sockets fit pretty well with each other, but imperial numbers don't make any sense for the bigger part of the world 😀

  29. Can you ask James to do a everything you need to know about pop up headlights and at the end the song with a compilation of every car with pop up headlights ?

  30. 6:17 What do I think is cool? Hybrids! I think hybrid technology is cool!

  31. My car is 27 years old, I daily my project car.

  32. Keep working with @chrisfix

  33. Real helpful guys, thank you

  34. I would love to but i live in Germany, where basically everything modding related is illegal. Any tips from fellow Germans ?

  35. MORE ON THAT B5!! I feel like the only idiot who’s actually dumb/brave enough to work on mine.

  36. Who in the hell is this guy?

  37. A 1986 Buick grand national is my project car. Aka the money pit.

  38. This series is going to be a banger

  39. Great video, I feel like you could probably get by with less tools off the start.You could start with just changing filters and putting on cold air intakesand exhaust with a lot less stuff. And then upgrade to pry bars and mallets when you start doing suspension

  40. This has motivated me to save for a gsx😂

  41. Sweet its mr. beasts lol

  42. This guy looks like the car dude various of Mr Beast

  43. God damn this is really inspire

  44. I wish he also talked about what upgrades you could start with, new video idea? 😏

  45. What's that Toyota in the driveway?
    A Celica or a Levin/Trueno? The orientation of the engine is puzzling me

  46. god i love miatas

  47. Or maybe because your not old enough 🙁

  48. Looking forward to Seeing ya next week.!

  49. Anyone looking into tools invest in a dead blow hammer. It sends all the momentum towards what your hitting instead of bouncing back off. Also doesn’t bang shit up as bad

  50. Thing is i don't have a garage or a even a flat driveway and i don't wanna mess up my only car that i own so basically I'm stuck

  51. 0:45 the tail light is there and then 0:52 the tail light is gone lmao

  52. I'm not stupid enough to buy harbor freight tools lol

  53. My junk runs but shes far from mint

  54. Congrats!

  55. Dammit Donut, learn to use the right their/they're/there and your/you're in the captions.

    It's also diamond in the rough, not "ruff"

  56. Not gonna lie I was kind of hoping you would talk about the S 14 behind you

  57. Instructions unclear, I tried to replace the turbo for my car and it exploded. Now my $7,000 car is worth $500 😢

  58. What’s the difference between an actual project car, and just your daily that you wanna put some mods in?

  59. 8:08 A MOTORCYCLE

  60. I’m 13, and this is the type of learning I need, thank you Donut. 🙏🏽

  61. My shop teacher had one main rule: don’t be cheap on tools. Get what works, but make sure they’re quality tools

  62. Love it. I have to get a Miata now.

  63. Rubber hammer is a life saver too.

  64. had a project bmw e30, was an 86 325e so not the desired model which made it cheap, but a possum snuck into the garage one night while I was test driving it, went to start it in the garage the next day and boom, huge fire and the hose kept getting tangled so couldn't properly spray water on it for about 2 mins, but by the time my dad was able to get to the car, it was too late, needed new wiring (wiring out of the main fuse block was chrisps) new fuel lines, new wheel well covers, paint was bubbled around the area that caught fire and plastic was melted all over the engine bay and on the fender etc etc… after owning it for a year and a half, and just getting it running (got it running a week before this happened) it caught fire, all because of some stupid possum, I was heart broken. I was 17 at the time last year and had sunken every penny I had gotten from every paycheque, sometimes not eating until late at night just so I could save an extra 5$. The sad part is I didn't have the money to repair it again and at that point needed a daily, so I had to let the car go. Cried for several nights not going to lie and still miss it, I sold it back to the shop I got it from (I work there once a week so I have to see the car every time I work there) and they are going to part it out, but now I own a 2014 jetta tdi that I hav big plans for over the next 6 months and have been loving the torque of the deisel (miss the handling of the bmw though, had bilstein shocks and enkei springs in it) but I will just have to make up for the shitty handling with more powa baby! Still havent felt the same connection I had with the bimmer with the jetta but I hope some day it will make me as happy as the bimmer did 🙁
    P.s. It was running when bought, but after getting the suspension work 2 weeks after buying it, it quit and not even the shop owner knew why, would fire on brake clean and was getting some fuel (less then it should've) and after 6 months of fiddling I could get it to start and idle for ~30 mins before dying again and it wouldn't start agian for about a week, ended up being just a mixture of corroded battery connections, corroded distribution block and unplugging/replugging in all the connectors on the car and some other stuff that was needed.

  65. Yeah im following you for sure I agree but one thing though chief, you wanna hit me up I need like 3 grand to buy myself a project car, I got most of the tools, or why don't yall help your followers and fans out with a give away maybe?

  66. considering going to wyotech for automotive, diesel, and custom fab

  67. My top 3 project cars (EU) for poor people. Calibra, calibra, calibra. Might be bias as I have 4 tho 🤔😄

    Great video tho as allways, looking forward to more like this. Dealing with my first bushings change wich been kinda a pain in the ass but will be nice when its done 😍

  68. Loading carcaine addiction.

  69. Are there any videos on your a4 b5?

  70. Man I never really thought about this being a way to reach into the car community. Its diffrent then a typical build channel like rob dahm because this show teaches you how and why certain things happen and what they do.

  71. Nice

  72. Are you MrBeasts brother ?

  73. Omg its mr beast

  74. That is awesome that you sold all of your cars, jumped in your RV and drove to Cali to work at Donut. You sir are living the dream!!!!!!

  75. You will spend a lot more in tools… torx, double squares, torque wrenches, different length sockets… jackstands, jacks, power tools… so much more $$$!!!

  76. KA or SR people?

  77. My dream project is a 68 El Camino or a Fox Body

  78. I may have Brought a 40 year old Datsun 280ZX that has been standing still for 28 Years…… Its gonna need 3 years to finish it

  79. I would like to add something to the necessary tools list, i’d want some wood. Sticks and a few blocks. Because when you are gonna put a lot of stress on certain parts they are gonna bend and a bit of wood can spread the pressure

  80. I’m glad the video touched up on safety. Matter of fact it’s best you invest in safety equipment before tools. Really I can’t stress it enough, getting gas in your eyes is NOT fun. But also if you’re brand new to cars, you really should consider where you’re learning how to wrench from. No metrics and SAE sockets are not the same. No a flat head is not a pry bar! Make sure you’re getting reputable knowledge from experienced and certified people. I’ve seen so many people fuck cars up from following YouTube videos. Now there are some good channels out there… but there are also a lot of shade tree mechanic channels to. Remember when you drive that thing on the street and the lug shoots off and causes you to loose a wheel, or you didn’t properly torque a ball joint and now your steering knuckle breaks, any accident you cause due to improper installation is entirely on you! Do not bite off to much than you can chew and if you don’t know what you’re doing, for Gods sake seek a professional as you learn. Really, ask for help if you’re unsure. And get multiple opinions from reputable individuals. Hopefully those who go from never knowing how to hold a wrench, can go to changing their own oil properly in no time at all! Prepare for the most fun (and frustrating) time of your life!

  81. How much for the e36? XD

  82. “Join a really cool community” try going to ask what oil to use 😂

  83. If OBD2 came out in 96 why did my 94 Miata have one?and my 95 Miata?

  84. Miata is ALWAYS the answer!

  85. I personally would like to have a project Supra.
    Tho, it’s kinda expensive to obtain a Supra, and I’d rather not risk a Supra just so i can Rotary swap it

  86. I'm here for the miata, just saying be kind to her.

  87. U lied the only tools u need are wd-40 and ductape

  88. This video is why Donut is awesome! Really shows how much you boys love the car community, hope this love can spread throughout ❤️

  89. Buy a solid classic car. That's the only thing worth BUILDING. 80s-90s cars are just straight up beaters. Classic cars break necks, win/get LOOKED AT at car shows, and are worth the time and money.

  90. No 4×4 Toyota?… 😵

  91. U should keep the Mazda miata it’s my favourite car

  92. I just bought a $600 dollar Miata, and I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to modding so thanks for coming in clutch!

  93. And remember guys: Miata Is Always The Answer.

  94. Great thing about tools. But I’m more interested in those hands that pass you stuff. Where do I get them from and how much? Haha

  95. Two other absolute essentials: breaker bar and torque wrench.

  96. "Pretty much every car on the street can reach 100mph" Me: 😑😬🤫🤫🤫

  97. Well, I got an e46 but I’m still really happy with her. I’ve done so much to her already but I got more on the way. Working on it is probably what I look forward to the most every weekend. 🤙🏼

  98. I don’t really like all the community people I’ve met because they talk shit because I drive a v6 auto mustang

  99. Would rather see this as an ad rather than those "get rich tutorial" ads

  100. I want a project car but I’m just too young I don’t even have a driver’s license

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *