Taking Pictures During Disassembly To Save Time Later

We’ve all been there, you’re getting ready to put your project back together but you have no idea what goes where.  Running into a problem like this can set your project back and even sometimes cause a loss of motivation.

Today almost everyone has a smartphone or cell phone with a camera, the easiest way to remember exactly where everything goes is to snap a few photos before, during and after disassembly.  Now you know exactly where everything goes and wont have to browse the internet to find a car similar to yours.  The key is to take pictures at different points during the process.  Sometimes I’ll even print the pictures out and write some notes down on parts I know I’ll forget.

Here is an example of pictures I took while disassembling my car before painting it.


The first picture Is of the door panel with only the trim off.  I will use this in the end a reference to how the inside of the door should look when it is completely done.



The next picture is with the door panel removed. As you can see there are many electrical connections all with similar plugs all going different directions.  Now I will not have to worry about which wire goes to each connection, all I have to do is reference these pictures and I’m good to go.



Last I took a picture after the inner door was removed.  I may not end up needing it but it doesn’t hurt having it around to reference in case a part goes missing or something gets broken.

Taking pictures also helps if your project spans a long period of time.  You may think you’ll remember where everything goes but its worth the extra time to take a few pictures because you never know what may happen.

Check out the Eastwood Blog and Tech Archive for more How-To’s, Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

– James R/EW



  1. All well & Good, BUTT, I Seem to be Doing a Lot of Mechanical Work, (Read Filthy Greasy Messy etc.) and Wish there was an Inexpensive Camera available that Could take any Filth you happen to get on it Without the Camera Failing. Something with a Nice LARGE Click Button, and Maybe an Easily operated ZOOM Button/Lever. I’ve Been Doing this Stuff for about 45 years, Even Used to use the old Normal Film type, Then Moved to the “Polaroid” Style, until the Film got Crazy Expensive!
    GREAT Article though!!!


  2. Hogman,

    Thanks a lot! Many don’t see the benefit of taking pictures but as you know its well worth it. Responding to your statement about finding a durable camera, if you do a quick ebay search for “rugged digital camera” you’ll find many great options for under $100 that can get covered in dirt and grease without damage. Just make sure you find one that is waterproof, that way you can just rinse it off when you are done.

    Thanks for the comment


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