Storing Car Parts

Storing suspension components on my NSF certified shelving
Storing my suspension bits and bobs in the garage.

This is a kind of simple thing that I think most folks don’t really consider before building a car: storing parts.

There’s typically going to be a few types of parts that you will end up with:

  • New parts to install
  • Takeoffs to keep (seat belts, for instance)
  • Takeoffs to sell

Regardless of which type it is, you’ll want to keep everything dry, clean, and organized. Especially dealing with parts to install or sell, you will want to take extra care to ensure they aren’t damaged or lost. In my opinion, the best way to do this is with NSF certified shelving.

National Safety Foundation Certified Shelving

It’s for my house! Who cares if it’s NSF certified?! You should.

The reason I recommend NSF certified shelving is because it is rigorously tested and widely used. They are stable and strong. There’s no confusing assembly, and no way to assemble them incorrectly. Many accessories and add-ons make them very versatile as well. Most of these shelves can hold up to 350 pounds safely. Parts for these shelves are easily replaced, and will generally universally fit each other. My preferred NSF certified shelf is from the unholiest of places… Walmart!

Other options for storing parts

Platform bed storage:

Tired of laying on that mattress on the floor, like so many car enthusiasts? Time for a new bed! Platform style beds offer a great opportunity for storing bulky parts that you are interested in keeping (at least for a while). My platform bed is currently hiding my rear seats (upper and lower portion), seatbelts, and a host of other items that I wanted to keep on hand, just in case I wanted to put them back in. While accessing the storage isn’t the easiest, it’s not so difficult as to be overly onerous either. If I wanted to sell the items stored under the bed tomorrow, it’s a simple matter of lifting the mattress, and then lifting the platform to pull out what I need.

Closets:

Listen, you’ve got a dresser, and a closet. All of your clothes are probably stained with grease and motor oil anyhow, so why not clear out some closet space and tuck in those car parts for safe storage? Even if you can’t get away with stacking parts up to the ceiling, you may have some floor space that could host some mid-height shelves, perfect for storing replacement shocks, oil filters, or interior takeoffs.

Attics:

You need to be careful with this one, the temperatures in an attic (depending on your local climate of course) can exceed 140 degrees. There’s also increased risk of bug/spider infestation, as well as possible damage from rodents (particularly to things like seats, where the cushions can make a nice rat-house in the winter). I would use the attic as the absolute last resort in most cases, or for storing only large metal parts which will likely be unaffected by heat (humidity may need to be taken into account however!).

Final Considerations:

You may need to use reusable silica packet type tools to keep the area where you are storing your car parts dry. This could be the difference between having rusty, moldy parts, or having what you need when you need it. Wrapping your parts in plastic bags and labeling them is a good plan for smaller parts, as well as important collections of hardware.

THE MAIN THING

The absolute main thing you need if you’re going to be storing any car parts around the house, is the patience and understanding of your significant other. If your S.O. is not okay with a room full of car parts, you should have a plan to address that in a way that keeps everybody happy. Make sure that you have a plan for where your front bumper or old hood or any other large parts are going to be stored, so that you don’t end up with an angry significant other and a dented hood in the living room.

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