Eastwood Chatter

    • You know you're in "deep" when....

      I use that statement quite often.. seems in the "car world", there are a number of different levels of being an "enthusiast". Some of us like to simply shine up our daily driver, personalize it a bit, make it our own. Then on the other spectrum, there are people like myself. We are the "sick" ones that let our "hobby" take over our life. After recently finishing 2 major projects (and forfeiting a personal life outside the garage), I came up with this list below to use as a way to check if you really are in "way-deep". This could possibly be a eye opener to allow you to take a step back and possibly "back off" a little (AKA save you marriage :p ), or possibly serve as a way to console yourself that you aren't the only one and there are many others that have the same sickness as you! (Imagine an AA meeting for car-people). In that case.. Hi, my name is Matt, and I am in "way-deep" with old cars.

      I recently really came to this conclusion about myself. I was finishing up a restoration on a set of vintage race wheels (full story to come later this month). You see, I went to further lengths than some people go to when doing engine swaps. Making these wheels fit and look "proper" on my daily driver Mercedes 190e was no quick, or easy feat. These wheel were the complete wrong offset, bolt pattern, etc for my car. This is overlooking the fact they were 20-25 year old race wheels that needed a full restoration! I went so far as to having custom wheel adapters machined to adapt the bolt pattern to my car and center caps machined from scratch to replace the original caps that were missing from the wheels (and made of "unobtanium"). Below are a couple neat photos of the caps being machined by a friend of mine... that was pretty much the defining moment for me, when I realized I am way, way in "deep".

      Here are my sure-fire ways to tell if you possibly have a problem with this sickness we call a "hobby". Feel free to comment or email with some of your "signs"!

      -You find yourself spending the majority of your spare money on your project or things related to the hobby.

      -You routinely break plans with family/significant other/friends to work in your garage on your project.

      -Greasy finger nails and  busted knuckles regardless of your "9-5" job.

      -When you aren't working on the project, you are talking about it... even if the person you are talking to has no idea what you are talking about.

      -You begin to sleep less and less in favor of late nights in the garage.

      -Skipping work to get a jump on a part or car you "HAD to have"

      -You find more and more of your clothing becoming "work clothes" without even realizing it.

      -You take more pictures and document more of your project than you do of your own family.

      -Mandatory family events and trips you try and work out a way to insert something relating to the hobby. (For me I've been known to search the local craigslist ads for areas where I will be traveling through)

      -etc.!!

      Don't forget to take a break once in a while and spend some quality time with the family, and keep the peace. Be happy that you have a understanding family/significant other, that puts up with you getting so far into it!

      Thanks for reading, I gotta get out in the garage and work on my next obsession... I mean "project".

      -Matt

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    • Eastwood Thermo-Coustic - It Will Even Quiet a Vuvuzela!

      If you haven't been watching the World Cup (as a sports fan/geek, I felt compelled to at least watch parts of the US matches), you're probably completely lost. That's OK - you have been spared. The vuvuzela is a plastic horn, derived from a traditional African tribal instrument originally made from the horn of an antelope, that produces an intensely loud and irritating sound, like a bee buzzing right inside your ear (for more info on vuvuzelas, click here). The best automotive comparison I can devise would be when you have a loose part somewhere in your interior and you can't find it; every bump in the road, every driveline vibration, every sound from your stereo seems to trigger an onslaught of rattling or vibrating and still you cannot pinpoint the problem and it is slowly pushing you to insanity. I know, I've been there. While performing a milkshake-related transaction on a particularly muggy North Carolina day, I somehow managed to drop some change down into my door panel when the window was rolled down and, even after removing the panel, I could not locate it. It got to the point where I dreaded and avoided driving my car because I didn't want to be tortured by the clatter of these phantom coins. Even if you don't have a loose part, or are more careful with your currency, road and engine noise can still make the cabin of your vehicle a pretty noisy place.

      And that's why we've developed the Thermo-Coustic Barrier. In addition to its excellent sound-deadening properties, Thermo-Coustic provides excellent resistance to heat, keeping the cockpit of your vehicle cool and drastically increasing your comfort level at an almost obscenely low price. If you don't believe me (most of that first paragraph sounded like an irrelevant rant, so my credibility is low), check out the demo video (again, for stunning 720p, click here).

      Awesome, right? Thermo-Coustic is comprised of three main parts, each of which serves a vital purpose. That high performance aluminum facing isn't just for show (although it does look crisp, doesn't it?) - it reflects heat back at its source to keep you cool during those long summer cruises. In the middle of this shiny sandwich is a layer of butyl rubber, designed to be impermeable to air and reduce vibrations in the bodywork which amplify road and driveline noise (more on this in a second). Finally, we've added dual-purpose hi-tack adhesive; in addition to making installation incredibly easy, it also ensures that Thermo-Coustic will adhere to pretty much any surface for a long time to come. If you noticed, in the video the Thermo-Coustic almost jumped onto the test panel and I barely needed to smooth it out. After heating up the rear of the test panel with the propane torch, I could immediately touch the aluminum facing of the Thermo-Coustic and it was barely hot.

      So now that you know what's in it, you're probably wondering how it works. Without getting too technical, sound waves travel as a vibration (you can hear it as the prolonged ringing of the door skin the first time I hit it with the hammer). The butyl rubber in Thermo-Coustic absorbs these vibrations, rather than amplifying them the way steel and other metals do, and the end result is that muffled "deadened" sound you heard in the video. If you're an audiophile, this means you'll be able to enjoy a richer sound quality from your stereo, simply because the Thermo-Coustic has significantly decreased all the other ambient noise. Either way, Thermo-Coustic will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your hard work in cool, quiet comfort.

      Enjoy!

      Shawn

      (P.S. If, for some reason, you really want to hear that vuvuzela, click here. But, I've given you plenty of warning - it's really annoying.)

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    • Give your achy hands a rest!

      Most any car enthusiast has experienced the feeling of having tired, achy hands from sanding and polishing. Elbow grease is a inevitable, necessary evil of working on anything. I  am a huge fan of the look of polished aluminum wheels, nothing beats the shine of a mirror polished wheel. Unfortunately the time and effort taken to get a wheel to that stage is quite extensive. What makes it worse, is the first time it rains, or you take the car on a drive.. a little bit of that shine is lost.  I dread the task of repolishing my alloys before a show or cruise. Here at Eastwood we came up with a product that is meant to greatly reduce the need to resand or repolish a bare metal part.

      This new product is our "Metal Protect". With this product you simply spray a thin film on the part (for me it is the polished lips of my wheels), and let it dry. Once dried, it now becomes a protective barrier from most anything mother nature can throw at it. When designing and testing this product, our R&D team took a couple different parts and sprayed them with the Metal Protect. They then left the parts sit outside for MONTHS (about 3.5-4 months) uncovered, and naked to the weather conditions thrown at us over late winter/early spring (including record breaking snow accumulation we received this winter). We found  that the amount of corrosion and flash rust that occurred on these parts was stopped dead in its tracks! The brake rotors below both were removed from a car at the same time. Check out the amount of rust built up on the non-treated rotor!

      Next we took a test panel (brass) and taped off one section while spraying the other half with Metal Protect. Even now, months later there is a definite line as to where we had taped off the untreated section.

      This brings some great ideas to mind for the alternative ways this product could be used. One I thought of, is whenever I am doing body work or metal repair on a vehicle, I always have to fight flash rust. Normally your options are slim when dealing with flash rust. You have the option of simply spending the time sanding the panel before beginning work on it again (to remove the flash rust), or  to prime the area.. only to then sand it off later when you want to begin working on it again. This is where the achy hands come into play, not only is it tiring enough that you have to sand body filler, welds, old paint, etc. But to have to go around and do that process each time you want to work on the project.. well, that just gets quite annoying (and painful too!). What I suggest you do, is to spray the bare metal generously with Metal Protect. This will stop flash rust and corrosion (Even if the part is sitting outside for a short period of time). Then once you want to work on the product again, or before you top coat the part, simply wipe the treated area with PRE Cleaner. The PRE takes the Metal Protect off quite easily, and allows you to get right back to work.

      Currently, we are also testing this product on rubber window seals, as well as plastic headlight lenses. How great would it be to preserve those rubber seals or keep those plastic lights from hazing? Currently we have tested,  and found that the Metal Protect is "Rubber safe". This means your rubber wouldn't turn white or discolor as some other protectants tend to do. The jury is still out on how long the formula will hold up when on the windshield seal or any other seal that sees tons of extreme conditions, but we know it will give a good barrier that is much better than leaving them untreated!

      We'd love to hear you experiences and interesting uses for this product! Drop us a line, or add a review to the product once you have tried it out!

      -Regards,

      Matt M.

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    • Sparks Fly

      Shawn offers up a sneak peek at the Eastwood Plasma Cutter.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
    • The engine is out!

      Looks like our crew over at Penn Manor got a bit of headway done on their VW truck project. Always a great idea to clean and paint parts before you put them back in the engine bay! I'll leave the details to one of the students to explain!

      Hey Matt,
      It has been a while since we last gave you an update, so we have a lot to tell you about.  We decided to pull the engine out to thoroughly clean it and to open up some area around the shock tower.  We power washed the engine after plugging any open holes, then de-greased and painted the block bright green as visible in the pictures. we are currently reassembling the engine outside the car and plan to drop the entire thing back in upon finishing rust repair.  We realized that the damage to the shock tower is rather bad and may involve replacing the majority of the wheel well, but the other rusted locations are not bad.  We would like to do as much to the body in preparation for paint, but we do not have the facilities to paint it, so we are looking for a painter. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share.  I have attached several pictures for the blog. The first is the removal of the engine, the second is the cleaning and the third is the painted engine.

      -Tyler

      Sounds like they have a bit of rust repair to tackle on this truck. Im sure our blaster, welder, and rust coatings will come in handy!

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