Gary's Restorations

Preserving our transportation history, one piece at a time.


Paintless Dent Removal
•    Vacuum devices such as those used by companies like Dent Pro are available on the Internet ( for $50-100.
•    Glue pulling devices are also available on the Internet ( for $25-100 
•    Shot bag and planishing hammer is a technique which requires some skill not to damage the paint but that can be done well after some practice. A shot bag is a leather bag filled with lead birdshot. The bag will conform to any curved surface and provides a soft rebound surface for the hammer. 
•    A planishing hammer has a curved hitting surface so it will not leave hammer marks on the hammered surface.
•    They can both be purchased at or for about $25 each.
•    Buffing compounds: Most intact old paint can be polished to an acceptable finish by using a good quality polishing compound such as 3-M Perfect-it or Maguire’s Heavy Duty Cleaner. Using a soft cloth works best but you can use 0000 steel wool pads for rough areas that have the start of surface rust pitting.
•    Polish: Use 0000 steel wool pads with a high quality chrome polish. This technique will remove even heavy surface rust. It may require several applications. Use a light touch so as not to further damage the chrome finish.
•    Liquid and gel rust removers: Products like Evaporust (liquid), Navel Jelly (gel) or Rust-Away (gel) tend to only remove light surface rust on bolts and nuts if left to soak over night. In my experience, most vintage scooters and bikes have more severe rust than these products can effectively remove. Polish and steel wool seem to work better for me.
•    Buffing Machine: The most effective technique is to take the project apart and buff each component on a stationary bench electric buffing machine with a soft cloth buffing wheel. These bench grinders can be purchased for from $50-100. 
•    Metal parts: Use Jeweler’s Rouge
•    Painted parts: Use polishing compound
•    Engine Detailing: Use a non-toxic degreaser such as Simple Green and small detail brushes (stainless, nylon, or brass bristles). After the initial cleaning, you can hose down the engine or parts with water but be careful not to get water in the engines’ carburetor. Cover the carburetor with plastic wrap held in place by a rubber band. 
•    Engine Rebuild: If the engine does not run or operate smoothly, I suggest you take it to a reputable scooter shop and have it professionally rebuilt. This will cost between 
$800-1,000. Unless you are skilled at engine rebuilding, do not try to do this yourself. 

•    Hub and Crank Rebuild: vintage bikes should have the front and rear hubs, headstock and cranks rebuilt and lubricated. Old grease can become very hard after 30-40 years and no longer is able to adequately lubricate these parts. Products like Polylub are excellent bike bearing lubricants. Note: soak the bearings in a degreaser to remove the old grease and then apply a generous amount of lube to these parts.