auto tech in shop

The classic car restoration industry generates $1.4 billion in parts sales and another $1.3 billion in labor installation. If you’re working on a classic car restoration, you can save money on your project by doing the work yourself. 

To do this, you need to have the right equipment. One of the essential pieces of equipment is an auto body cart. This is a cart that you place the body of the car on. 

Keep reading and learn how to make your own cart. 

What Is an Auto Body Cart? 

If you’re planning on doing major work or a complete restoration on your car, then an auto body cart is necessary. It allows you to move your project around the garage easily. 

You have two options when it comes to getting your cart. You could buy one from a supplier, or you could build one from scratch. We are going to show you how to make your cart.

Gather Your Supplies 

You’ll need to buy some metal pipes or tubing and casters. You could buy new or save by looking in the scraps section. 

When it comes to the casters you choose, the bigger the caster, the more weight it can carry. 

Prep Your Cart Materials  

Take the time to measure twice, so you only have to cut once. Determine the dimensions of your car body and how high off the ground you want it to be. This will tell you how to cut your metal pieces. 

Your next step is to use a drill press to create the holes that the bolts will go through. Make the bolt holes big enough that the bolt easily slips through to the bolt head. 

Weld It Together 

Start by welding the metal tube pieces to the caster plates. Make sure you reinforce the areas that will be under the most stress and support the most weight. Then begin welding the arms to the caster plate pieces you’ve already created.

Now take your two cross beams and weld them to the long center beam. 

Put It Together

Once you’re done with welding, you can bolt the separate pieces together. You should have are two horizontal cross beams that are connected by a long center beam. Then there is a caster at the ends of the two short beams. 

If you plan on working on more than one car, you’ll want to keep the cart adjustable. Don’t weld the caster to the cross beams. 

Get to Building Your Own Auto Body Cart

Before you get started on your classic restoration, you need to think about how you plan to work on the car. While you could get away with putting the car on four jacks, this isn’t an ideal situation. 

An auto body cart will provide you with the mobility that jacks stands can’t give you. 

Check out the car repair section for more guidance on working in your garage.