I'll start with a few of those theorems...
1) First and Foremost "You Know Ya Gotta use COMMON SENSE"
2) Off Brand Parts....Do not under any circumstance have to 2nd guess a particular performance or replacement part you are buying for your hot rod. I recommend from experience going with name brand parts especially in an igntion system. I ran into all kinds of trouble trying to cheap out in this area. Until the $500 MSD system fixed my problems.
BUT Off Brand parts are not always bad for example. Pro-Comp Cylinder Heads. These heads can be had for $12-1500 for a big Block Chevy, cheaper even for a small block, compared beside a similar $2500 set of heads you would have to have a magnifying glass to tell them apart. So in this case spending twice the $$$ doesn't always mean more HP or better parts...
3) Reproduction Parts... Used original parts will 9 out of 10x fit better than a new part everytime. Shop around for good used parts for your project and save a bunch of money.
One very popular example is 64-72 Chevelle Disk Brake Kits. They can be bought new for $600+ all made in China. But an original kit like offered here in our parts section can be had for $300 or less including a good used power booster. The good thing they fit 64-72 all A-body midsize GM cars, 67-69 Camaro/Firebird, and any vehicle along the 68-74 Nova platform as well.
Keep in mind also a $50 fender or door that needs a patch or two is better than that $400 new one. What is a few hours of your time to fix a spot or two?
More to come, any hot rodding tips or suggestions?? Email me at Jared1970MonteCarlo@yahoo.com
4) USED PARTS/NEW PARTS?... There is no question when it comes to restoring an old car whether it be a Fairmont or a 57 Chevrolet, original OEM parts were always tooled for better quality and better fit 9x out of 10. Some of the things you are always better off buying used that needs TLC is bolt on body parts like fenders, hoods, trunklids and doors. Rust out replacement panels that are hard to find, I recommend AMD brand over the cheaper Dii or Goodmark replacement panels.
For you Monte Carlo and 70-72 A-Body folks always install AMD STEEL as in Metal NOT Plastic Inner Fender Wells. For those of you worried about being "correct", some Monte Carlos came out of the factory with Steel Inner Fenders, and Chevelles/Elcaminos with Plastic. This is a case unless your factory steel inners are good, the new ones are an affordable replacement. Although a call to someone like me that has used parts can yield a good set of used inner fenders for half price of the new, so don't forget about that option.
***Glass... Can be very Expensive for a restoration, but when it comes to a hard to find car, new glass is the only way to go if availabe, because used simply is NOT an option, for instance an old Corvette. Other more rare cars it has to be custom made which gets very expensive.
Something to consider here is what kind of car you have? For the A-Body folks glass is still available USED, plenty is available from me for your Monte or Chevelle. REAR, SIDE AND QUARTER WINDOW GLASS is GREAT TO FIND USED. Used glass can be POLISHED, and made to look good as new without the high cost. I have plenty of used glass for the A-body folks.WINDSHIELDS....Can 9x out of 10 NEVER be saved once removed, Windshield Glass is Laminated and goes bad, it also takes all the punishment of the wind, rain, sand, etc for years and years and is MUST REPLACE in a restoration, so if yours is cracked looking for a used glass is a waste of time on MOST CARS, like a GM A-body car when one installed runs $200-250.
One cirumstance that would constitute trying to find a used Windshield is say a 65 Belair 4-door. This person checked on a new glass and it was $500+ for a $1500 car. By all means, it will be hard but maybe someone restoring an SS Impala could save their windshield to save someone like this some money but on a 50 year old car you may just have to put in a new one anyway.
To Sum it all up, on your A-body car Side Glass is highly recommend to re-use in your Restoration, and most of the time is never removed due to the Pain they are to re-install, but if a replacment is needed call me I can help you! The Rear can be easily removed but dropping it will shatter it completely, and should be removed and re-sealed even on a rust free car to prevent leaks and future issues. As for as the Windshield, might as well factor in an extra $200-300 for a new glass. Now you 55-57 Chevy owners can forget re-using anything except maybe the rear glass, things were done differently then, and even side glass blistered up.
I get amused when someone says they have a $50k car, but are looking for a sued WindShield, BAD THEOREM, for sure!