Eastwood Chatter

  • Stop and cure cancer before It comes for your loved ones.

    Well here in Eastwood land (Pottstown, PA.), we are getting hit with major snow and inclement weather. This always brings to mind Cancer. Metal cancer that is, AKA rust. It's no secret that we are in the "Salt Belt" here in PA. and many cars begin to rust prematurely due to preventative cleaning. We've gone one step further and  developed a road salt neutralizer that can help combat and keep rust from taking over your daily driver. What you do is mix a small amount of the neutralizer in with a bucket of warm water and either spray or sponge it onto any areas of concern that are prone to road spray. The neutralizer is made with inorganic acids and corrosion inhibitors that work to dissolve and clean the film and "gunk" left behind by road spray and that salty wet water you drive through on the roads during this time of year! Keep your daily driver from becoming one of those "extinct" classics years down the road with some preventative measures such as our road salt neutralizer! Keep warm and  safe out there!

    Buy it here:http://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-road-salt-neutralizer-gallon.html

    Keep your vehicle from becoming a victim like these sad classics!

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  • Insider's look at a new Eastwood product and our R&D department

    Welcome to  the first of my insider's view of some new products we have on the way. Also below is a quick view of where we design, test, and develop all of our exclusive Eastwood products you see in our catalog!

    First I thought I'd show you around the building a little to give you an idea of where all the "magic" happens. Don't worry these spy photos got the OK, so we won't have to use any "mob" tactics to keep you from sharing them with your friends!

    Here are a few Random photos of the outside of our building, inside the retail store (feel free to stop in if you are a local to the Pottstown, PA. area!), our warehouse, and also the R&D department (including the test vehicles we use to test any products we can on).

         

      

    Lately our R&D team has been quite busy designing and testing some new products and I'm happy to give you some photos of our new welders that are due to hit the market in March. These welders are going to finally give the DIY'er a industrial quality welder for just over entry level welder price (135 Mig under $300 and 175 Mig under $500)!  Also check out the photos of the go-kart frame we built from scratch with the welder and our (stay tuned for more on this shortly) tubing bender. Keep an eye on our Facebook/Twitter/Homepage for the debut of this new product!

        

       

    Industrial Unit Weld       Eastwood 135 Weld        Low Quality Unit Weld   

      

    Thanks for reading and watch this space for more spy shots, sales, and other news regarding your favorite restoration supply headquarters!

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  • Projects, Headaches, Love Affairs.

    A lot of you know that while I’ve had hundreds of American cars over the years (and love our early numbers Mustang test vehicle – a shame it’s too far gone to bring back), I’ve always had a soft spot for English cars.  As I’m getting used to blogging, I thought it would be fun for me to share with you a few stories about the latest cars parked in the Strohacker garage.  My ’63 Austin Healey is right up there at the top as far as stories go.  My son and I have covered many miles in it and it loves to be driven.  None of the usual English car “gremlins” as long as it is exercised regularly (they need love and attention!).

    We found the car in 1999 in northern California inside a warehouse where it had been sitting on jackstands for 15 years. It was a true California car (yes I know you hear it all the time, but this one actually is!) with its original black and yellow plates and it's tags and inspection sticker dated from ’84.  Cosmetically, it was in pretty rough shape – torn seats and padded dash, the convertible top was in tatters and the paint was pretty far gone.  Structurally, the body and chassis were incredibly sound.  No rust, at all.  There was a bit of bondo at the bottom of the front shroud where someone had backed into the car, but other than that, no structural work to be done!

    The odometer read 75k, and we felt this was accurate.  The car ran great, was fast as hell compared to the other Healeys I’ve driven and aside from a big puff of blue smoke at startup didn’t seem to have any other issues.  Once we got the car back to Pennsylvania, we sorted everything as best we could and drove it around “beater style” for a few months (I’ve always loved seeing time warp cars on the road even if they don’t look the best!) before fixing up the body and having it painted. (trust me our best friends were the welder, sandpaper, and a spray gun!) We also had a new interior put in.  Then we tackled installing new valve seals (blue smoke problem solved) and updated the wire wheels to 72 spoke for a bit more safety through the turns.  Not sure if you’ve ever experienced this but in the old days the sound of spokes breaking on wire wheels as you put the car through its paces on a twisty road isn’t exactly inspiring!

    We’ve put about 25k miles on the car since and it continues to run well.  The six cylinder Healeys have such a great exhaust note, and the stainless exhaust we put on only makes it better, a real treat in tunnels and underpasses!   Even though my muscle car friends out there can absolutely blow the doors off of me at a red light, I can keep up in the turns and have a decent amount of torque – starting off in 3rd gear from a dead stop is never trouble. I often think it would be fun to get another one and drop in a narrow 289 V8 – lots of people have done it and the Healey rear end is robust enough to handle the extra power. (not to mention it'd be fun to surprise some traditional muscle cars with this setup!)

    Next up for this car may be some engine mods for a bit more power – perhaps a rebuild, port/polish the head, bigger carbs and bit of tweaking with the header and exhaust.  I’m also inclined to put taller tires on, as the ground clearance is pretty terrible – any Healey owner who says they haven’t torn at least one exhaust system off of their ride are either lying or haven’t been driving their car enough!

    Next time I’ll tell you about the 1967 Austin Mini Countryman I completely restored many years ago – a unique car that was ahead of its time and continues to impress me.  Stay tuned!

    I hope you get to spend lots of time in the garage, and keep in touch – we want to know what you’re working on!

    Best,

    Curt

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  • Light as a feather, strong as a bull. Carbon Wheels the next auto modifying craze?

    I find myself reading many automotive blogs during my free time. Normally I am strictly a vintage European auto enthusiast; although I feel reading and learning about the many different aspects of the auto industry can give inspiration to even the "little guy" like me that is just tinkering with old Euro "clunkers".

    Yesterday I was quite amazed at this new automotive feat I found being offered for "free". Only catch is that you need to buy the $740,000 Shelby super car. This is the first time I've found a full carbon wheel being put into production (even if it is on a nearly untouchable super car). There has been many prototypes and even a few companies working to make split wheels with carbon outer "hoops". The wheel is apparently being manufactured by a Australian company named Carbon Revolution for Shelby SuperCars. It features a 9 spoke design with about half the weight of a similar aluminum wheel. "Why does this matter?" Well, it means essentially that the engine is turning less unsprung weight first of all. Also because of how strong/stiff carbon fiber is, it removes some of the flex/give found in the common aluminum wheel (read: better handling/road feel).

    After reading some feedback on this subject, it has raised a few questions. Carbon is known to shatter, not just bend/crack like a common aluminum wheel would do. Such as if you say "hit a pot hole going downtown for some drinks with the wife". This is a bit scary to think of! Although I have a feeling 99% of these cars will spend more time on display in a "collection" versus actually being driven around. So this may make that a null and void point. Carbon Revolution has gone through 5 years of development on these wheels, so one would think they would have tested driving them over some pot holes or speed bumps at excessive/dangerous speeds. I envision a test driver just mashing the pedal and speeding over a sequence of speed bumps at 100mph. All while having a grin on his face knowing he is allowed to try and break a set of these priceless wheels.

    So what does everyone think? Bad idea? Dangerous idea? Motorsport masterpiece? I'll just sit back and see what happens before purchasing my set (ha!)

    Thanks to http://www.carbonfibergear.com for the story and pics.

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  • Testing 1-2 1-2

    Repetition makes for the best final product. This is why our R&D department is always buzzing. From testing new products that are under development, to reviewing current products and seeing how we can make them even better. This at times can be a bit frustrating, but in the end we feel this what makes Eastwood products stand out from the rest of the industry. Here is a little insiders view on what we've been up to in R&D the past couple weeks.

    One exciting new product we are very close to releasing is a product that is best described as an "inner frame coating". Often times when restoring an old car or truck, you do extensive work to treat the exterior of you frame/chassis for rust. But, what about the inside of the frame? Many older vehicles actually rust from the "inside out". This product is specially formulated to coat, neutralize, stop and treat the rust or corrosion found in those places you couldn't reach with normal methods. This product is slated to be available in an easy-to-use aerosol can with a special "wand extension". This "wand" has a machined brass tip on the end that has been designed to give a broad "fan-like" spray pattern (check the pictures below for a sample of what the spray pattern looks like). This is the key to fully covering the inside of the frame. You can even see in the pics below how there is a fine "green" mist of the frame coating coming out of the bottom holes of the frame as Mark is applying the product. Throw away everything your tech ed teacher taught you when painting something; with this product you WANT the coating to be dripping out of the frame. Seeing that will tell you that you are getting a nice thick coating inside the frame.

    Keeping on the same wavelength of chassis and frame restoration, we have another product in the final testing stages. This product is being dubbed "After Blast" It is pretty easy to figure out when this product is to be used.. but to those that are unclear, it is a cleaning product sprayed on any part you have blasted. You simply spray  it on after blasting your metal clean and wipe down with a clean rag. I was amazed at how much contaminants it pulled out as Mark sprayed and wiped the chassis down numerous times! This is just another product that backs the belief that "prep is the most important step" when coating/spraying or restoring. Check out the pics below of Mark blasting the frame clean with our Eastwood exclusive Master Blaster Dual Blaster then testing the "After Blast" on the freshly blasted frame!

    As many would guess, one of our best selling product lines is Powder Coating. Because of that, we are constantly testing and perfecting our powder coating products. The past couple weeks it has been the powders themselves being tested. First was our High Temp Silver powder. We were testing a couple different samples for 1.) how they sprayed out 2.)How they cured and flowed out 3.) How well they handled the high temperatures that we guarantee them to.

    Also here are a few photos of some cool items being coated this past week at the Eastwood headquarters with some of our favorite powders! My personal favorite is J.R.'s vintage go-kart shot in our Starlight Blue Powder. Look at how all the "flake" shows up in the direct sunlight!

    Hope you all enjoy this recent "insiders look" at what we have going on here at Eastwood! Let us know if there are any products you would like to see as a DIY or blog entry.

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