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Documenting Mods... by Orig88GT-NC
Started on: 07-14-2015 01:08 PM
Replies: 14 (405 views)
Last post by: fierosound on 07-19-2015 11:04 AM
Orig88GT-NC
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Report this Post07-14-2015 01:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Orig88GT-NCClick Here to Email Orig88GT-NCSend a Private Message to Orig88GT-NCEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm kind of re-hashing a thread by fierosound > Please document your mods I thought this was a good point that's probably not being done enough. I have always documented or scribbled some notes when doing modifications to a car, but now I'm taking another look at how & why I'm documenting..

I have had my car for awhile and every now and then I stumble across something in the car and think ( what was this for ? .... I had to have done it ..... I'm the only owner!!). So I look through my notes which were sparsely written and end up spending a lot of time trying to figure out how I did something 10-15 years ago. So I was thinking about this and the next person that would end up with the car and the fun they would have trying to troubleshoot something... got to be a better way.

My other thought was RE-SALE, having good notes can only help the resale value of the car. I've done high quality work to the car but if you cant see it, a buyer can only assume the worse. Good photos taken of details during the process of a build can help to support the asking price.

Now I'm doing Major Modifications and upgrades to the car. I photo document each mod at different stages of construction. ( hundreds of photos now)
Beyond taking good photos..... I'm also now generating ( Maintenance Supplements ) pdf pages laid out giving details of the parts, reference pics, construction details and wiring schematics. Enough information that if someone else ever had to fix something they would be well armed. ( I know this is getting a little extreme ) Don't think most people would want to go this far, but for me it looks more professional and can't hurt when I go to sell..

Any thoughts on this ....

------------------
88 GT
Choptop, Vertical Door Hinges
Lowered Suspension w/ 13" Brake Disk
CarPC - WinXP Pro (GT Sport Edition)
+ a lot more.....

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Report this Post07-15-2015 01:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Orig88GT-NC:

Any thoughts on this ....





More documentation is better than having none at all.
Even if only for your appraisal and later "rework" if needed.

The saying "1 picture is worth 1000 words" is SO TRUE... in my friend's case.
It takes A LOT of talking to try to explain something you can't see clearly once it's in the engine bay (or is under the car).

But as you pointed out, the NEXT possible owner will likely be scared off because all the car modifications can make the original Service Manual practically useless.
It is NOT done sloppy - but without diagrams/pictures I'm not sure how anyone could "take over" owning this car - and fixing anything. Even he gets lost!
In addition, none of his mods are "standard" PFF mods others have done as well either - so everything is a "one off".

Some other mods my friend has done since that thread:

Power steering using Chevette rack with extensions
Air-bag suspension over rear struts (Lincoln pump and self-leveling)
F23 trans swap - all his own bracketry and using Muncie 4-speed cables
7749 ECM with Memcal he tuned with TunerCat software
Pretty sure he installed electronic cruise control
... and of course, lots of monkeying with the wiring for all this stuff.

------------------
Calgary time/temp

3.4L Supercharged 87 GT Click me
Super Duty 4 Indy #163 Click me

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 07-15-2015).]

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Report this Post07-15-2015 01:42 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Oops - just went back to look at original thread, and some people missed the point.
LISTING your car's modifications for us in a post is not what I meant by "documentation".

More like the threads in the HOW TO Section if you're documenting a simple mod or repair...
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/135687.html
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/129057.html

More extensive work to your car needs to have more pics and be better organized.
A summary of each area (interior, exterior, engine etc.) with before/after pictures, receipts with Part Numbers etc.
Skitime did it //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000073.html

That's what you Appraiser needs to determine an "insured value" on your car BEFORE someone T-bones you.
Too many stories of guys here trying to "prove" how valuable their car was after it's been totaled.

For my Indy, I put together a package very similar to my build thread (but better organized and on paper)
It's appraised/insured for $40,000 //www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum3/HTML/000077.html
I get a cheque for that amount - no questions asked - if a dump truck hits me (god forbid).

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 07-15-2015).]

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Report this Post07-15-2015 02:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierosound:


...
But as you pointed out, the NEXT possible owner will likely be scared off because all the car modifications can make the original Service Manual practically useless.
It is NOT done sloppy - but without diagrams/pictures I'm not sure how anyone could "take over" owning this car - and fixing anything. Even he gets lost!
In addition, none of his mods are "standard" PFF mods others have done as well either - so everything is a "one off".




This is true... most people...even professional installers don't do a good job of documentation, which is why everything being equal a clean stock Fiero can be worth more than a heavily modified one. If you take over someone's heavily modified Fiero and something goes wrong you have to start from scratch and reverse engineer everything. If it was heavily documented that can only help the resale value. I have all my mods documented well enough for me to understand but those professional looking PDFs are a lot better.
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Report this Post07-15-2015 04:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:
This is true... most people...even professional installers don't do a good job of documentation, which is why everything being equal a clean stock Fiero can be worth more than a heavily modified one. If you take over someone's heavily modified Fiero and something goes wrong you have to start from scratch and reverse engineer everything. If it was heavily documented that can only help the resale value. I have all my mods documented well enough for me to understand but those professional looking PDFs are a lot better.


Even if you keep the car forever, you might not remember everything entirely many years down the road when something goes wrong. I'd like to create a new set of owner and service manuals for my car when I get it finished, with proper diagrams, part numbers, etc… to match the changes. Something with SVG images and text that can be output to PDF, so that it's easy to use, and searchable. It will take a lot of work to make it as nice and accurate as OE service manuals are, though.
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Report this Post07-15-2015 05:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have preached this to many people as documentation is the only way you can be sure to get top value of your investment in your car. Too often people will do things and they have no proof of what they did let alone the quality of the work.

Over half of the cars built are crap jobs that often are done improperly. I work in the performance after market and know many people think if they have a Craftsmen took kit they can do what ever they dream. The fact is we often see cams installed improperly. Clutches poorly chosen and converters not properly matched to the engine and weight of the car. Wiring that has killed many a harness is one of the worst things.

If you are building a car properly you should document and photograph all spec and changes. This way when you say you have a such and such cam or the engine mounts you did and the buyer can not see will know you did it right.

Too often I have seen pro street cars and hot rods that have been fabricated and no documentation to back up their quality. This often leads for a car with $60K in it selling for less than half of what was invested.

The other factor is if you have the car appraised it also will add to the value and that is important when you go to insure it for a specific amount with some companies.

Body mods and paint are not that big of a seal but anything mechanical or electrical.

Case in point my buddy bought a Z/28 that was heavily modified. It has a note book documenting all changes and tunes that were applied to the car. It was good so if something went wrong we knew just what we were dealing with and when he went to sell it the book was added value to the buyer.

A book documenting a modified car to me is as important as a log book for an Airplane. Records of plane maintenance can add a ton of money to a planes value and with out it you will lose your shirt.

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Orig88GT-NC
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Report this Post07-15-2015 08:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Orig88GT-NCClick Here to Email Orig88GT-NCSend a Private Message to Orig88GT-NCEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well thank goodness I'm not as crazy as I thought....seems that I'm not the only person who believes in good records.

The PDF pages I create don't take me long to put together, maybe an hour. I just use a Paint Shop program to create them (mostly cut and paste), then I convert them to a PDF with an Acrobat Pro program. The Acrobat program allows me then to do OCR on the page which I can then create Indexes, links ect... The Maintenance Supplement(s) PDF are written as if somebody else had to work on the car. If figure with these pages and a copy of the Pontiac Fiero Service Manual that any qualified mechanic should be able to fix the car.
I don't do this for every Mod on the car (ie body mods, cosmetic changes and such). I do it for items that are more technical or one of a kind, like changes to wiring and mechanical items that deviate from the OEM design.
I do keep a separate Master List of everything that has been changed or added, that includes a description of the work, part numbers, supplier info , prices, dates. and any other info that might be helpful.

 
quote
Originally posted by hyperv6: ................A book documenting a modified car to me is as important as a log book for an Airplane. Records of plane maintenance can add a ton of money to a planes value and with out it you will lose your shirt.
This is my line of thinking, I do meticulous records for aircraft why shouldn't I do it for my car.
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Report this Post07-15-2015 10:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for dobeySend a Private Message to dobeyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Orig88GT-NC:
Well thank goodness I'm not as crazy as I thought....seems that I'm not the only person who believes in good records.

The PDF pages I create don't take me long to put together, maybe an hour. I just use a Paint Shop program to create them (mostly cut and paste), then I convert them to a PDF with an Acrobat Pro program. The Acrobat program allows me then to do OCR on the page which I can then create Indexes, links ect... The Maintenance Supplement(s) PDF are written as if somebody else had to work on the car. If figure with these pages and a copy of the Pontiac Fiero Service Manual that any qualified mechanic should be able to fix the car.


Yeah. If you're doing just individual pages where you basically just paste photographs in, or copy/paste stuff from other service manuals, as more of a supplement to the existing manual, it can be done pretty quickly.

What I was suggesting would take a long time, is creating entirely new diagram drawings of everything, and making a new, 100% complete service manual, as if it had been made that way originally. When I start illustrating things, I tend to be sort of perfectionist about it, which can be pretty time consuming.
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Report this Post07-15-2015 10:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Orig88GT-NC:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by hyperv6: ................A book documenting a modified car to me is as important as a log book for an Airplane. Records of plane maintenance can add a ton of money to a planes value and with out it you will lose your shirt.
This is my line of thinking, I do meticulous records for aircraft why shouldn't I do it for my car.[/QUOTE]

Do you do this for a living on aircraft? Yes it's very meticulous. To be perfect it has to seamlessly integrate with the factory service manual so that any non-stock feature is documented equally well as the stock features and anyone could troubleshoot your mods as easily as stock features. To do this completely right would be very time consuming. But if you plan to sell your modified Fiero it might pay off in the end.
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Report this Post07-15-2015 11:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Neils88Click Here to Email Neils88Send a Private Message to Neils88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I have more than 1200 pictures taken so far for my Aventador build. (not counting the 800 I took for the first engine swap). I only post a few pics, but I have an extensive file of all pictures, receipts, circuit schematics, wiring diagrams, software coding (all 5000+ lines of code for the dash), etc... It takes a lot to put a car together. I definitely won't remember all the details down the line so proper documentation is the only way to go.
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Report this Post07-15-2015 11:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Neils88Click Here to Email Neils88Send a Private Message to Neils88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Neils88

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quote
Originally posted by dobey:

What I was suggesting would take a long time, is creating entirely new diagram drawings of everything, and making a new, 100% complete service manual, as if it had been made that way originally. When I start illustrating things, I tend to be sort of perfectionist about it, which can be pretty time consuming.


Unfortunately I don't have time to go that far...wish I could.
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Orig88GT-NC
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Report this Post07-16-2015 12:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Orig88GT-NCClick Here to Email Orig88GT-NCSend a Private Message to Orig88GT-NCEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by dobey:
................................What I was suggesting would take a long time, is creating entirely new diagram drawings of everything, and making a new, 100% complete service manual, as if it had been made that way originally. When I start illustrating things, I tend to be sort of perfectionist about it, which can be pretty time consuming.

Actualy looked at doing this to. Custom tailoring a complete manual specific to my car. But like you said to time consuming. I figured in the long run it would just be better to clearly document only the changes that had been made.

 
quote
Originally posted by jscott1:
Do you do this for a living on aircraft? Yes it's very meticulous. To be perfect it has to seamlessly integrate with the factory service manual so that any non-stock feature is documented equally well as the stock features and anyone could troubleshoot your mods as easily as stock features. To do this completely right would be very time consuming. But if you plan to sell your modified Fiero it might pay off in the end.

ya, I work on planes, as you may already know, planes takes as much paper as the do fuel to get in the air. I don't think I'll be writing a complete manual for this car any time soon. I recently completed a manual for the FAA, took over a year to write another 3 months of revisions to get approved. Like you said, completely right would be very time consuming, I'll be satisfied with detailed and understandable.


 
quote
Originally posted by Neils88:
I have more than 1200 pictures taken so far for my Aventador build. (not counting the 800 I took for the first engine swap). I only post a few pics, but I have an extensive file of all pictures, receipts, circuit schematics, wiring diagrams, software coding (all 5000+ lines of code for the dash), etc... It takes a lot to put a car together. I definitely won't remember all the details down the line so proper documentation is the only way to go.


1200+ pics I'm not quit there yet....but I'm not that far behind you either......I save everything too.... My memory isn't what it used to be.... (By the way nice build, I've been watching)
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Report this Post07-16-2015 06:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for hyperv6Send a Private Message to hyperv6Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Now documenting is fine but you do not have to get too overly crazy.

Photos of what was done and details of what were used are generally enough. Toss in the receipts

and any documents you may have from a Dyno shop etc and that is generally enough.

More will never hurt you but there is a limits to what more it will do you.

The key is to document what is in the car and to the level of quality the work is and that is usually enough.
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Report this Post07-17-2015 07:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I started modding my Fiero in 2001, right about when digital cameras came into being. So I have thousands of pictures that I took for my own reference. First time I disassembled a steering column, I took lots of pictures just so I could figure out how it all goes back together. For some more complex things I have videos. The point is that you need something other than memory, because nobody likes to work on someon else's mess anyway,

I have a dealer installed alarm that I have no idea how it's wired up. Since the fob stopped working I'm going to have to remove it and try my best to restore the factory wiring before I install a new alarm. And of course I will document the wiring on the new one right?
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Report this Post07-19-2015 11:04 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierosoundClick Here to visit fierosound's HomePageClick Here to Email fierosoundSend a Private Message to fierosoundEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by fierosound:

That's what you Appraiser needs to determine an "insured value" on your car BEFORE someone T-bones you.
Too many stories of guys here trying to "prove" how valuable their car was after it's been totaled.



Here's an example.
//www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/095403.html

[This message has been edited by fierosound (edited 07-20-2015).]

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