Senior Project Ideas With Cars

by Brandon Getty

Starting a senior project can be intimidating. The hardest part for most students is deciding what to actually focus their project around--not to mention the deadlines, essay and final presentation. Fortunately, if you're a car buff there are a variety of options at your fingertips. No matter what kind of autos you're interested in, there are a multitude of ideas to get you motivated.

Rebuild an Engine

For a truly impressive and gratifying project, you can opt to rebuild a car's engine. An engine is a very complex piece of machinery, so choose your project mentor wisely. Ideally, she should be an experienced mechanic with ample time to commit to helping you with your rebuild. Your mentor may be able to provide you with a scrap engine, but if not, begin searching auto shops or junk yards. Once you have secured an engine, learn its anatomy thoroughly. Locate and replace any missing parts, clean and re-lubricate as needed and test it often. If you can pick up a scrap engine and have access to a variety of tools, you can accomplish this project fairly inexpensively.

Paint a Car's Exterior

Coating your car with a vibrant new paint job will make an excellent senior project. For a mentor, your best bet is a certified industrial or automotive painter. A competent mentor should be able to advise you about appropriate stripping or media-blasting methods, different types of primer, paint and finish and the best modes of application for each substance. If you're feeling adventurous, you may choose to chrome the car's trim in addition to painting it--however, this may require an additional mentor and will increase the overall cost of your project.

Reupholster a Car's Interior

If you would rather focus on the interior of a vehicle, add new upholstery to the front and back seats for a custom look. An upholstery professional is your best choice for a mentor in this case. Depending on the age of the vehicle you'll be working with, you may also need to consult with a mechanic regarding seat removal. A reupholstery project can be performed cheaply as it only requires new fabric, staples or rivets and basic sewing equipment.

About the Author

Brandon Getty began writing professionally in 2008, with columns appearing in "Thrasher" magazine. He received a Bachelor of Arts in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lives in Stockton, Calif.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera man working on car image by palms from Fotolia.com