All The Mistakes I Made With My Project Car
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Buying a project car can be an exciting moment in any car nerd’s life, but it can also be super easy to find yourself in over your head. Today I’ll show you my current project car, help you learn from my mistakes, and tell you plan to get going again.
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  • Donut Media
    Donut Media

    Hey everyone, thanks for all the encouragement in the comments. Clearly there are a lot of things I should have done differently, but from what I've read from some of you, that's just part of the hobby. I'm fire d'up to get going on the Imperial again this year. Just yesterday I was at James' installing some new brake hard-lines to match the fresh brake components, and it just felt good to be wrenching again- even if I was on my back in the dirt with decades-old grease and grime falling in my eyes. Thanks for watching. - Nolan

    • lars kristensen
      lars kristensen

      you need to find a guy who is into these older cars. like the youtuber running vice grip garage. he is a special character on screen but know his way around these old machines and their issues. he drives around the country buying and repairing old cars that have been sitting for decades. often fix them on the spot so he can drive it home.

    • DragonSword

      LIke you said, these things can take YEARS of constant work or off and On work. Plus money. Also since your a 'black-thumb[fuk yeah mad max reference!]' it's easy to assume that "even if I was on my back in the dirt with decades-old grease and grime falling in my eyes." you'll get a face shield now that their SUPER plentiful in stock this year [lol covid, sorry covid really sucks] but the memories will fade abit and the patina of "awesome build memories" will form on that vehicle. Much like leaving the military I'm told. You leave with ALL the bad memories fresh, but years later you consider re-upping because you remember the good times. The camaraderie, easy answers because of rigid rules etc. Then someone reminds you of burning tubs of human waste in the desert with diesel fuel for several hours every other week and you IMMEDIATELY give up those bad\good thoughts! Suffice to say, your Imperial, and Dart projects will be Alot better memory wise! I'm not saying good luck with your projects because, Hey. You don't need it! Have fun.

    • Pissed up Gamer
      Pissed up Gamer

      U boyz r class

    • Charlie Miles
      Charlie Miles

      Luck with it Nolan, it will be a lot of work, but we know you can do it.

    • ThePatUltra

      Nolan; getting an old engine running is basic if it's not locked up or internally damaged. Pressure check your cooling system, do an oil pressure check with the plugs out, and a compression test thereafter. Once those have been sorted, On your Polytech V8; I seem to remember you set the point gap for .0006; ignition timing at 12 degrees BTDC and unless you have a factory carb, you'd do well to go for a Holley 600 CFM if your intake is 4-barrel. Use a GM P7127SE 1-wire to convert your car to 12 volts so you run a normal battery and stuff. As it's Automatic, you'll be setting idle at 1100 RPM +/- 75RPM. If you do an automatic choke; set the spring where it just barely has the strength to close the choke flap at room temperature. If you need to anything else, consult ALLPAR dot com; there should still be articles on the Polytech Hemi. Have fun; good luck!

  • Jorge Basulto
    Jorge Basulto

    I would add to de recomendations to consider how important is the condition of the project car, "small detalis" could cost a lot more time and money than you think

  • Broseidon

    I got an AE86 GTS coupe that hasn't ran in 17 years at the time of purchase. I had no car experience whatsoever aside from basic car maintenance like oil and brake change I really felt like I was way over my head with this car and still dealing with so many issues to include rod knock. After two years I finally got her to run and it was the BEST FEELING EVAR Anybody who is feeling discouraged from their project just remember to take it one step at a time. Do everything that YOU can do, save money for professional service when something is truly out of your realm of skill level. Remember that it's a project car. Have fun with it

  • Sergio Perez
    Sergio Perez

    Everything said in this video is DEAD ON ACCURATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Colin Chung
    Colin Chung

    alright, ill take it from you Nolan

  • Clay3613

    Are you only 30 or something?

  • E P
    E P

    The labored talk preferentially injure because client secondly decay like a low cabbage. irritating, halting vibraphone

  • רועי קניון
    רועי קניון

    I’m 17 and me and my dad bought a project car, I was so worried that it would happen to me too but along the way I realized that the solution is to just never give up and most important, find friends who have the experience and would like to help

  • capn

    Where’s the Slant six video?!?!?

  • Horacio Gonzalez
    Horacio Gonzalez

    6 ads ?!

  • Wanna be Retro
    Wanna be Retro

    I have an mgb that I’m determined to get it done by Summer

  • DatBoi correa
    DatBoi correa

    James gives it to pimp my ride.....

  • Zach Pel
    Zach Pel

    Fix the Dodge Dart


    theres a 1953 Buick super i found for $500 it has engine, body trim, easy to fix rust (door and rocker), but no upholstry, the engine is also not a popular one so theres no performance parts for it and theres no luck finding easy upholstery, also if i decide i need more power i don't want to take up my dads time having him help me do a engine swap again like he did in my truck because he's the one with all the tools, the knowledge, and the garage and his own project car that hes been waiting to build since he sold his truck and duster before i was born and he deserves his share of fun so if i do buy it, it will be getting the side yard treatment like that 350 Chevy block sitting in my backyard under a garbage bag, wheelbarrow, and 2 ft of snow

  • Remko Kentrop
    Remko Kentrop

    Very much been there. Luckily I had a friend that taught me. My current car is a rolling project. Bought a good base car I knew I wanted to rag around trackdays as often I can afford so left the engine alone. Reliability trumps power for that purpose. Nolan's advice is sound. Know what you want from your project

  • brandon hodge
    brandon hodge

    I wanna get salvage 350z and fix it up

  • Alex

    Well, you have the space, lockdown brings the time and you have people around that know what they are doing. I cant see any way this should not be a new moneypit series. The miata is cool and all but I want to see an old car done where tha aftermarket isnt mega large.

  • JLOL

    awesome video... maybe I won't LS swap and supercharge my 2008 honda accord daily driver... on my own... while in college... and working part time... with absolutely no experience

  • Sean Bailey
    Sean Bailey

    That's why you have a spare carb that you know works...switch it out, if it runs then it's the carb. If not check the next thing on the list.

  • Dave P
    Dave P


  • Nuff Said
    Nuff Said

    Lazy ass

  • D. En G. Av
    D. En G. Av

    I don't have better words than yours to explain what starting and successfully finish a project car is, anyway, that doesn't stopped me starting two project car. At last I had to admit my semi failure a I had to ask for help to friends with more knowledge.

  • anybajsforsen1


  • FortuitusVideo

    You won't love it when you fuel up that 70 year old v8.

  • Pascal Mössinger
    Pascal Mössinger

    Damn I want to see dat Dart brought back on the road by you !!!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  • v65sabreking

    Great video.. getter done

  • deepti sharma
    deepti sharma

    You should start to restore your dodge dart

  • Christopher Rhoads
    Christopher Rhoads

    Still better than my truck

  • Mike Aux
    Mike Aux

    You need some Vice Grip Garage in your life?

  • Brant Ardrey
    Brant Ardrey

    I'm not knocking your experience video problems Etc? But after 50 plus years of doing this old cars are my forte also it's a point ignition standard fuel system take the engine out take the engine apart clean all the guck out of it and you can get it running again if someone expects to put fresh gas in it and get the engine running that doesn't fly a project car is strictly that you tear it apart I wish I had that car because I love old cars if you paid too much for it maybe $500 too much or whatever? It's still a point, carburetor engine so shouldn't be a problem unless you expect to pay $2,000 for engine parts where in my case it's all labor and basics good luck

  • Moe Fitzgerald
    Moe Fitzgerald

    That’s too funny! I bought a 65 Dodge Dart senior year of high school. 5 years later she is still my daily driver. Best advice for buying a project car is to find a car that will at least idle. It doesn’t have to run perfectly but at least when an engine is running you can diagnose problems easier. Plus if it runs... you know that you have compression, spark and fuel right off the bat. Makes life easier

  • StormDweller

    Thank You for this video! It is a bit eye-opening, but also uplifting. Would like to watch You fix that Imperial.

  • EFL Gamerz
    EFL Gamerz

    "Very little rust”

  • Spectacular Spaghetti
    Spectacular Spaghetti

    I want to get a project car, but i also dont want to because im too scared to go bankrupt straight away

  • Trent Burbish
    Trent Burbish

    "In the meantime, my grandpa gave me his old Taurus"

  • yael lopez
    yael lopez

    Dude I’m 16 still reading the drivers handbook lol. and I like cars and love the channel and I seen many of your guys vids. You saved me hundreds if dollars in the future because I just think “lemme buy a car and put some cool mods in it and repair it” but never thought of all of these valuable things to put into concern

  • Alec Rinko
    Alec Rinko

    Nolan is a dodge guy? Hmm

  • Stephen Covert
    Stephen Covert

    You have to many commercials. Bye

  • Jan Valle
    Jan Valle

    Junkyard Digs is the OG. Their videos are long, but they show pretty much everything that goes into these broken ass cars. Give em a holler if you haven’t y’all.


    Shit his 3v is a project car that shit is bone stock 🤢🤮

  • Car Hawara
    Car Hawara

    Who you trying to fool by now Nolan? Acting like you didnt knew you had to weld the sh.. out of that car at the beginnig while you sourrended by every specialist about cars...

  • rich


  • Mick Bakema
    Mick Bakema

    you gonna ls swap that thing

  • Jonny 5ive
    Jonny 5ive

    "If you want a project car, you probably can't afford it. Rich people don't have project cars." Sam Hyde

  • Elysian Flowers
    Elysian Flowers

    This was a super awesome video, and is super encouraging

  • Jeff Richards
    Jeff Richards

    B.Y.M.M. = Backyard mechanics matter lol

  • Rafa Stunter
    Rafa Stunter

    you are rich. not a big problem for you. stop complaining. you didnt lose anything

  • Chris Klesmith
    Chris Klesmith

    Thanks for keeping it real and emphasizing the work it takes to build your ability. Videos always make it look easy, doing the work isn't.

  • deathmare88

    Thumbs up for the Meshuggah t-shirt!

  • Owen Storm
    Owen Storm

    Using this to convince my dad to let me buy a 54’ Hudson Hornet

  • mchawk315

    Wait wait wait, Nolan clearly said "when up to speed was on" so does that mean they have officially cancelled it? 😭

  • 10gaugesbelow

    You can do it nolan!!! Get those two cars running! Just a bucket of youtube generalized tutorials and your on your way.

  • Sunfishen Sunfishen
    Sunfishen Sunfishen

    It’s pretty, I would have brought it too

  • 1978garfield

    Your dad is super cool! Have you rebuilt/ had rebuilt/ replaced the carb yet? If you have never done one before see if you can find one like yours and try rebuilding it. There is no shame in admitting "this is beyond my pay grade" and trying to find someone local or opening up the latest Holley or Edelbrock catalog. Funny project car story, having learned my lesson from a Mercedes 300 SEL / Ford 300 Straight6 swap that I planned out when I was 16 that never happened (never count on help from a relative if that relative is an alcoholic) I vowed to only buy projects that would start and run. Many many years later I found a Galaxie 500 at a Yard sale for $500. It was a 2 door fast back and I knew it was as close to Richard Petty's Torino as my crippled checkbook would every take me. I handed over the cash, put in a battery and a couple gallons of gas and drove it home. I would start it every now and then, she always fired up no problem. My health kept getting worse and and at some point I had to take the dream of my Petty Blue Ford in to the back yard and shoot it. Not the first or last dream I have had to go "Ol' Yeller" on but it sucks every time. I finally found someone who was interested in her. By then the drum brakes had locked up and she would not start for anything. He got her loaded up and to his place. According to him the carb was full of asphalt like sludge and had to be replaced. HE also had to put some fancy electronic ignition on it to make it run. This is a car I drove home (about 12 miles) and that would start first crank no problem for years. This just goes to show even "simple" carb and point set ups can go bad just setting. Really bad. I have reason to believe the guy had worked on a lot more cars than I had, he had a lot more money to play with. SO I think he knew what he was doing. Best of luck with the Imperial and don't forget about that Dart. I hope your dad is still around and healthy. If so I hope you get to take him for a ride in both the Impearl and the Dart.

  • Khristian Gillespie
    Khristian Gillespie

    NO just don't hotrod soul to made that car got the car for 3,000K USA too that srucb

  • Michael Sapulette
    Michael Sapulette

    the intro song reminds me of the "No Strings Attached" video McLaren made.

  • Robert Garcia
    Robert Garcia

    Take it to Scotty Kilmer!


    So you show us this car and dont plan on doing video progress wtf , this would be the first realistic project on your channel take it over to your buddy and make a money show with that

  • Noah Hall
    Noah Hall

    No offence to everyone else in the donut crew, but Nolan is my favourite

  • Mouthy Merc
    Mouthy Merc

    This should be the new money pit car.... just saying

  • Onyx GT
    Onyx GT

    Don’t buy a mustang with bent valves. Frgn 3 valves.

  • Sebastián Pérez
    Sebastián Pérez

    Great video. If I only could listen with my ears instead of my heart. Damn you Mazda 929 1978 Luce I hate the idea that you dont let me go...great and down to earth video...I hate it...and love it. Keep up man...youll succeed eventually.

  • Robert Myles
    Robert Myles

    "What if you found a super rare car for cheap that only had a few issues?" What if you divided by zero? What if you invented time travel"? What if you traveled faster than the speed of light? What if Pumphrey's dad loved him? All of these questions have one thing in common: they're impossible and will never happen.

  • R1sk3z

    Your first mistake was not counting the number of doors in the car, because it obviously has way too many for it ever to be cool.

  • Cristian Feliciano
    Cristian Feliciano

    Great video, I like videos that show what’s to be expected.Eye see that the donut merchandise got a little illuminated.(*meant “I” not “Eye”,I guess made the mistake because I’m not all seeing.😇)

  • Ozzy S13
    Ozzy S13

    Learn and make friends you’re a car UZloadr I’m sure you have friends that know how to do it so help them with what you know and they’ll help you (hopefully)

  • Rattle-Can-Resto

    Quit being lazy yo

  • Michael Garcia
    Michael Garcia

    It's okay. My friend *TOOK OUT A LOAN* and bought a 95 Eldorado that didn't run, and swapped a motor in it, and still didn't run. Both the car and the memory of the project are deeply repressed now.

  • Laura Brown
    Laura Brown

    In Modern Living Rooms Everyone Using "SoundProof Curtains" That Stops Outside Noise by 80% (25 Db) Tested. Check Here:

  • Vietnamese Plays roblox
    Vietnamese Plays roblox

    Bro don’t worry! Me and my dad got a 63 impala that is in ROUGH shape but no rust! I understand where you come from bro and don’t get discouraged cause when it’s done it will be sweet and worth it!

  • Surms41

    This car needs a money pit

  • Cameron Kelly
    Cameron Kelly

    I bought my 96 cherokee for 1000 with out realizing how rusty it really was later I found out that the entire floor except for the trans tunnel needed replaced but I didn't have the money for the legit replacement panels so I used home depot sheet steel and rivets to at least give me some floors i don't regret the purchase since it was my first car I've had it for 2 years now i bought it with 212000 miles now it has 230000 miles that old 4.0s still kicking strong but the rust has gotten to severe for my experience if its even saveable period but ill never not want to have a cherokee parked in my yard because of it

  • RcCatFish 666
    RcCatFish 666

    Have roadkill help you there cool as shit lol

  • HereFishyFishy

    It's an easy place to start. Ask yourself this can you turn it over freely? If so check the oil make sure there's oil in it. Then try to turn key, nothing happens, jump the starter. Starter works? If so, pull a plug wire check for spark. Got spark? Ad starting fluid in cylinder directly. It's not that hard to diagnose these old cars.

  • Jake Stewart
    Jake Stewart

    Wait he said “back when up to speed was on” dose that mean no more up to speeds?😢😢

  • Victor Gonzalez
    Victor Gonzalez

    I bought my first solo project car 2 months ago 1950 dodge coronet. Cant wait to have it out there

  • Giacomo Bettini
    Giacomo Bettini

    Maybe not the best, but the realest

  • Patrick Carrillo
    Patrick Carrillo

    You know what you should do You should pull the motor and unload the the wrapper then put the motor into the dart

  • Average Black Daddy
    Average Black Daddy

    Dude I feel your pain. I bought a 67 Impala last year and quickly realized that parts are not as plentiful as Chevelle or Mustang parts. At least it has the original 327 though. Also never buy a car without a title unless you have a lot of time and aspirin on your hands.

    • Average Black Daddy
      Average Black Daddy

      @1978garfield yeah you can kinda get away with it in Louisiana.

    • 1978garfield

      Don't do it at all in IL unless you never want to legally drive that car.


    I still don't understand why your car isn't going? Did I miss something?

  • Anthony Tah May
    Anthony Tah May

    I think you didn’t watch enough Chris fix Nolan

  • Bare Rose
    Bare Rose

    1st of all, great score on that Imp man you got a heck of a good one for sure. Only thing I could add is "don't get caught up on the Budget Build crap". Every build is a "budget build" but they NEVER tell you what that budget is. Resto-Mods, Rat Rods, LS Swaps are all ways to go, but it ALL costs money and it's usually 2-10X more money than you where expecting. When people ask me what they should do to their car it's simple. Drive it. Manual Drum breaks are FINE, they used them for YEARS, you won't DIE the second you hit the freeway because your car has 1950's Tech going on. Fix what it takes to get it on the road THE WAY IT IS, and upgrade from there. Back in the 70's and 80's we didn't have Rat Rods. Those where guys who where Driving Their Projects and having fun with them as they went along. Good Luck on the both these man. You have some real gems there.

  • AS_EV4D3R_ 1
    AS_EV4D3R_ 1

    So you’re telling me I cannot revive and rebuild my dream wrecked Toyota Supra body with a 1000hp 2jz engine with my minimum wage job on my parents driveway with UZload video help!!!😳😤

  • Noppera bō
    Noppera bō

    i’m literally in the exact same position except i’m 16, and it’s my first car so i feel screwed

  • Adam Meehan
    Adam Meehan

    Nolan, I'm right there with you man. Back in April of 2020, I bought myself a project luxury car too. A 1976 Cadillac Coupe Deville D'elegance. The car was technically running when I bought it, but not very well. So, I began doing the standard things one does when they get an old car. Change the oil, replace the sparkplugs and wires, battery, alternator, etc. I ended up wanting to do more with the car though, such as replace the carb and intake for more power, and run a better exhaust system. It all started to become an issue of money, and as a result, the car has been parked up for some time now. I am committed to the project though and do hope to have it done or at least to my satisfaction by the end of this year. I wish you the best of luck with your projects.

  • Johnny Rico, Male Escort
    Johnny Rico, Male Escort

    Lol as soon as it cut to "we bought a 440 big block" I yelled WHYYYYY

  • Pinkamena Diane Pie
    Pinkamena Diane Pie

    When you have 18 project cars and then see this video

  • elosada

    So true, having that same experience with my 76´ 280Z, now it´s finally starting to look like something, but I spent the first two years wondering what I got myself into. My advice, buy something that runs, so you can at least drive it while you are working on it

  • Np P
    Np P

    Loosing interest in projects is a big problem when you don’t see progress you loose interest and slow down. Sometimes you have to force yourself to work just like getting out of bed in the morning when you don’t want to

  • Daniel Llanos
    Daniel Llanos

    When’s the part 2 coming, we NEED it.

  • Paganbloodlet985 Odin
    Paganbloodlet985 Odin

    Where you fucked up was buying a other project car if you have one project finish it before you start another that way shit gets done


    It’s called a classic car. It takes work

  • Cody Braley
    Cody Braley

    Drop a Cummings turbo diesel in it, that would be sweet.

  • ★Mικε☆

    I may have gotten in over my head haha. I bought a ‘93 del sol, i drove it for a few months then the engine and trans were going. My buddy has a good amount of knowledge. We decided to drop a gm 3800 series 3 and the trans from an ‘04 Grand Prix

  • stampy Dragon
    stampy Dragon

    Hay I will work on your old cars like your Crisler. And your dodge if you fly me out to you I will do the work for the cost of the flight and my accommodation. As I'm a mechanic who has specialised in old school cars

  • HamOnRye Chinaski
    HamOnRye Chinaski

    Old cars can be depressingly expensive. What have you taken off engine? What diagnosis did you try? Did you even take carbs off and spent a few quid reconditioning them? Man this is vague. Has it turned over? Did it spark? There is a list you can go down...staring at an engine attached to a flat battery ain't gonna do shit. Once the simple stuff doesn't work it has to go to a shop and your budget has to cope. You have to have a friendly garage who'll not be charging you top money to even consider buying a not running car. The thought of that old auto gearbox mskes me shudder too.. Playin with brakes is just that, playing. Good playing when its not freezing cold tho. Btw, sourcing the mechanic handbook for your car is 100 times better thsn any you tube video. I'd even say it should be mandatory!

  • YeetSlayer96

    I just watched my '94 Celica leave on a flatbed today after finally giving in, and having to get something more reliable. I bought it cheap, and wanted to get it fixed up and keep it for as long as I could. Over the 4 months Ive had it, its true ugliness started to reveal itself. Truth is, the previous owner did not take proper care of it, and I didnt have the time and money to keep getting new parts to replace the ones that have failed. The nail in the coffin came when I couldnt fix a massive oil leak that put it in limp mode. It sat beached on my driveway for a week until I put money down on a 2018 corolla with 18k on it...its not my dream car,but itll keep me from having to borrow my moms van to get to work.. cause nobody wants that 🙃 Point is- its real easy to get in over your head when you finally have something you like. its easy to forget that theres some things that you just cant do on your own without having the knowledge to properly take care of it. A 94 celica isnt the rarest car in the world,but it certainly was difficult to find oem parts for it, especially obscure trim pieces. I am sad that she had to leave, but truth was: 1-it was an automatic, 2- it was the base 1.8L ST, and 3-it was approaching the 200k mark, which is typically engine rebuild territory, and something Ive never done. so in the end, Its probably better this way....but once that corolla is paid off, Im going for a GT4.

  • Joseph Climbs
    Joseph Climbs

    You really need to bring back the highschool project

  • David Berger
    David Berger

    I think one point that struck me the most was whether or not your next project car suits your driving needs/wants. One of my dream cars was a Chevy Corvair. I thought they were super cool ever since I was really little and saw one flipping end over end in a grainy film (don't ask why). Well, I finally scored one, got it running, started driving it, and then immediately sold it. I couldn't get past the fact that it was a tiny econo-box. It was fun to drive around corners, but sitting in humid Florida heat in traffic every day broiling with zero AC and black vinyl was the final straw. It was absolutely no fun after that. I still love that car in how it looked and handled, but will never own one again because there were too many short comings elsewhere. Now I own a '65 TBird (with AC!) and am totally happy driving it any time anywhere! Not my first choice in looks, but checks all my other boxes!

  • First Gen Garage
    First Gen Garage

    I’ve got a 1950 chev , loved this video