Eastwood Chatter

  • Epoxy Primer on Bare Aluminum Before Painting

    If your project includes painting bare aluminum, make sure you follow these steps to ensure the best finish possible.

    There is a common misconception that the same steps should be followed when painting all types of metal.  To an extent this is somewhat true but with each metal there is a slightly different process that should be followed to achieve the best looking and most durable finish.


    Aluminum can be tricky because it can sometimes be difficult to get paint to stick directly to it.  If paint is applied directly to aluminum without primer, sooner or later it will begin to bubble peel up or chip.


    In order to achieve a quality painted finish on bare aluminum, you must first clean the metal with PRE Painting Prep or some type of solvent.  This will remove dirt and contaminants from the surface of the metal.



    Next, go over the aluminum with 320 Grit Sand Paper on a DA Sander.  This step can be done by hand but for the best results a DA Sander should be used.  After sanding, use a blow gun to remove any dust and then wipe down the aluminum again with PRE.


    Screenshot 2015-11-09 15.09.09(2)

    Now mix and apply Epoxy Primer directly on to the bare aluminum.  If a normal primer is used the paint has a chance of peeling or flaking later on.  Eastwood Epoxy Primer has self etching properties that chemically bond the primer to the metal rather than just a mechanical bond achieved by normal paints.


    Screenshot 2015-11-09 17.22.36

    Depending on the goal of your project you have a few options after the epoxy primer is sprayed.  If you are happy with the the primer looks all that needs to be done is a quick scuff the panel with a Gray Scuff Pad or 400 grit sandpaper and you are ready to paint and clear.

    Screenshot 2015-11-09 17.26.11

    If you are going for a more finished look you can apply High Build Urethane Primer and level with 320 Grit Sandpaper on a Sanding Block.  Scuff the piece with a Gray Scuff Pad and wipe down with PRE.  With the surface now level it is ready for paint and primer.


    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

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  • Cars of SEMA 2015 – Friday Wrap Up

    And as quick as that, another SEMA show is over. All the show cars that were the least bit drivable got fired up and took a lap of the strip, headed from the Convention Center to the SEMA Ignited public after party down the street.It was another great show and thanks to everyone who stopped into our booth to visit and see our newest products. It will take days, maybe weeks, to wrap our heads around all the neat new ideas and trends we saw at the show, but when we do we'll post them here for you. For now, here are some of the cars that jumped out at us even after 2 full days of looking at amazing cars.

    Just to prove that guys will hot rod anything, here is a souped up Allis-Chalmers Model B tractor. They started making these in the late 1930s and kept making them for a while, so no telling exactly what this is. It goes to show you that nearly the same principles can be applied to any wheeled vehicle, just make them lower and wider and they will look meaner even if they aren't really any faster. The flat head 4 must sound great as it spits fire out of the short tube exhausts.

    SEMA 2015 1938 Allis Chalmers Model B

    This may seem like a strange jump, from tractor to Porsche, but one of the first things the German car maker put their name on was a tractor. These air-cooled 911s, in candy colors, all in a row, look like what all of us adult children dream of seeing when we look under the tree at Christmas.

    SEMA 2015 Porsche 911

    If you instead dream of playing in a pile of dirt,maybe you'd prefer this Jeep Chief concept. Look close and you can see how much 4 door Wrangler is still there. But the retro front end look, and the custom hard top make it look like a completely different vehicle. Jeep sure can turn out some sweet concepts, now lets see if they can put some more interesting trucks in the showrooms.

    SEMA 2015 Jeep Chief Concept

    Wagons have a great big open space to practice custom paint on, even compacts like this Mercury Comet. The asymmetrical, flaked and striped, super glossy green, over a suede black body really pops. As you can see there is a custom stitched interior in matching colors too, and it continues all the way to the back cargo hold. SEMA 2015 1963 Mercury Comet Wagon

    It is hard to imagine this 1968 Mustang shares most of its chassis with the Comet wagon above, which never had any performance goals at all. This tricked out pro-touring/road race/track day fastback has plenty of scoops and air dams to keep the air flowing where it needs to to cool the brakes and rear end, as well as keep the car stuck tot eh pavement. It is kind of akin to the Elenore "Gone in 60 Seconds" Mustang, only more purposeful looking.

    SEMA 2015 1968 Ford Mustang

    We'll also have some more posts later detailing the cars and builders who won this year's Eastwood Hands-on Awards. For now here is a recap of some of the standouts that went on to the Customer Choice category.

    SEMA 2015 1960 Oldsmobile 88

    SEMA 2015 1940 Mercury 4


    SEMA 2015 1953 Ford COE Truck 1

    SEMA 2015 1952 Chevy Gene Winfield Desert Sunset 3

    SEMA 2015 1927 Ford T-bucket

    SEMA 2015 1949 Cadillac

    SEMA 2015 1950 Metro Ice Cream Truck 1

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  • Proper Garage Door Lubrication


    Keeping your garage door in good working order is one of those things that can be easily overlooked.  While it may not see like an important task taking a few minutes every couple months to make sure all of the moving parts are functioning the way they should.  It'll save you from a large bill down the road if the entire door needs to be replaced.


    Lubricating the door rollers is by far the most important part of proper garage door maintenance but its not just simply spraying them down with WD-40.  Using that product will help in the short run but actually make the door worse over time.  Garage door rollers usually come packed with some sort of petroleum based grease.  Over time that grease will wear away and the door will start to make metal to metal noises.  If you spray the door with WD-40 it will lubricate the rollers for a little while but it will soon evaporate, additionally the WD-40 will act as a degrease and effectively remove any old grease that was originally there.  Any metal parts now exposed to the elements now have the potential to rust and possibly get stuck in place.



    To properly lubricate your door rollers you must replace the grease with a similar product that wont evaporate over time.  CRC White Lithium Grease is a great lubricant for any moving parts with metal to metal contact.  White lithium grease will not wash off, melt or freeze so it is perfect for any door or garage that is exposed to the elements.  All it takes is a quick spray into each of the rollers and hinges and your door is good to go.



    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

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  • Cars of SEMA 2015 – Thursday Update

    Thursday is just another day at work for a lot of you who didn't get to Las Vegas for this year's SEMA show. For us, surewe were working but it didn't seem like it. We cannot stress enough how awesome the SEMA show is every year. Even if you can't get official passes as an industry insider, there are still hundreds of cars parked all over the surrounding area near the show that you can check out for free, plus the end of the week show that is open to the public; SEMA Ignited. If you are anywhere near Vegas, get over to Paradise road near the convention center tomorrow (Friday) from 3pm to 6pm for the fun.

    Sadly, today we all learned that legendary customizer George Barris died at 89. While none of his popular TV or movie cars are here at SEMA this year (that we know of) a lot of cars here are influenced by the his early customs, like the Hirohata Merc.

    Thankfully we still have Gene Winfield, another of the originators of traditional custom style, and he doesn't appear to be slowing down at all even as he approaches 90. Not only is he here demonstrating how to shape metal at the Eastwood booth, but he's got a brand new custom car with him; The Desert Sunset. This 1952 Chevy features all the traditional touches, perfectly applied by the master. The signature blended color paint job really just cannot be appreciated over the internet. You need to see it in person. This is also one of the cars you can vote for in the Eastwood Hands-on Awards "Customer Favorite."

    SEMA 2015 1952 Chevy Gene Winfield Desert Sunset 2

    SEMA 2015 1952 Chevy Gene Winfield Desert Sunset 3

    Another traditional custom is this black car spotted out in the parking lot. We must admit, we did not get a good enough look at it to even tell you exactly what car they started with. Give us your best answer in the comments below.

    SEMA 2015 1950s Custom

    A less traditional car is this 1959 Buick custom, but perhaps no factory style represents the influence of the custom car culture better than the long, low and wide 1959 and 1960 models. These cars all looked like wild customs straight off the showroom, and it is hard to imagine a time when every car on the road looked as wild as these.

    SEMA 2015 1959 Buick Invicta

    More in the Roth style of "cartoony custom show car" is this VW van, but is it even? This may just be a rolling piece of sculpture with not a single ounce of original Volkswagen in it.

    SEMA 2015 1964 Volkswagen Van

    This workhorse Chevy Scottsdale truck from the 1970s has been given a new life as a low, low show truck. The contrast of the nearly bone-stock looking 40 year old body with the modern stance and retro wheel and tire combo in modern low profile sizes really makes for a killer look.

    SEMA 2015 1976 Chevy Scottsdale Truck

    This tastefully restomodded 2nd generation Corvette could be mistaken for a stock car. But if you look at the wheels you see they are old style, but again in a modern 21st century size. From there all sorts of modern power, brake and chassis upgrades were applied to make it go, turn and stop as well as it looks like it should.

    SEMA 2015 1965 Chevy Corvette

    Goolsby Customs built this understated Mustang that looks like it could really take care of business on a road course, or any open road. The custom body work, topped with a gray-on-gray paint scheme that mixes matte and glossy finish paint, won them an award from Mother's for how good it looked.

    SEMA 2015 1969 Ford Mustang Goolsby Custom 2SEMA 2015 1969 Ford Mustang Goolsby Custom 1

    Finally we have this wild 1st generation Camaro. This may be as low as you can get one of these, with all the tricks applied: chopped top, lowered, the body channeled over the subframe and custom suspension. With the Toyo Proxes tires, roll cage, and huge brakes this car is ready to go head-to-head with the Mustang on any track.

    SEMA 2015 1969 Chevy Camaro

    Be sure to check back tomorrow, and check our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds to see new cars throughout the day.

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  • Cars of SEMA 2015 - Wednesday Update

    The biggest event of the year for the automotove performance and custom industry is the SEMA show in Las Vegas. No matter what sort of cars or trucks you are into you'll see them at this show, from 100 point restorations, to traditional hot rods, to resto-mods, to extreme 4x4 trucks, to race cars, to customs, to every other niche you could name. The Eastwood crew is there, with Kevin Tetz and Gene Winfield doing demonstrations, and the rest of us showing off our latest products.

    What we love to do when we aren't milling around in our booth is roam the floors and parking lots to look at all the over the top work on display everywhere. You can check out our latest finds on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, or just scroll down for this daily wrap up. And don't forget to vote for the Hands-On award “Customer Favorite”, presented by Eastwood, but picked by you.

    SEMA 2015 1952 Chevy Gene Winfield Desert Sunset

    Gene Winfield is not just demonstrating his skills with Eastwood tools, he has a brand new custom at SEMA this year, at the Eastwood booth, dubbed the "Desert Sunset". It's a 1952 Chevy with too many custom touches to list, and a Winfield fade that goes from orange on top to gold on the bottom.

    SEMA 2015 Aquarius Custom

    Another standout custom is the "Aquarius" built for James Hetfield of Metallica by Rick Dore Kustoms.

    SEMA 2015 1940 Mercury 1SEMA 2015 1940 Mercury 3SEMA 2015 1940 Mercury 2SEMA 2015 1940 Mercury 4

    This 1940 Mercury coupe looks good from any angle and is one of the cars you can vote for in the Hands-on Awards.

    SEMA 2015 1953 Ford COE Truck 1SEMA 2015 1953 Ford COE Truck 2

    If you've got a race car or hot rod that is just too extreme for long trips, why not build yourself a matching hauler with all the modern convenience features and turbo diesel power, hidden under a vintage cab over truck body?

    SEMA 2015 1957 Chevy Flatbed Truck

    Or, if not a COE, a regular cab truck in the 2-5 ton variety with a vintage-styled ramp bed body, like this 1950s Chevy.

    SEMA 2015 1955 Chevy Bel Air

    The similar vintage, patina covered 1955 Bel Air would be perfect on the back of that ramp bed too.

    SEMA 2015 1955 Ford F100 Truck 1

    SEMA 2015 1955 Ford F100 Truck 2Or just build and drive a neat pickup, like this sinister looking Ford featuring a one piece tilt nose and Eastwood Tri-Flow radiator. The beast also sports Eastwood's Dead Rat Flat Black paint, which looks awesome on the showroom floor.

    SEMA 2015 1968 Chevy Pickup

    Not certain, but this Chevy truck appears to actually be a K5 Blazer (notice how there is no break between the cab and the bed) with a pickup truck roof and rear wall grafted in. It has been lowered so much half of the depth of the bed is not taken up with wheels and suspension, but extra points for finishing the new bed floor in real wood.

    SEMA 2015 1960 Cadillac El Camino

    This truck combines the chassis, interior and greenhouse of a 1959-60 Chevy El Camino with the body of a similar vintage Cadillac. While that may seem simple to folks familiar with modern GM badge engineering, in the 50s these cars shared little more than proportions.

    SEMA 2015 1949 Cadillac

    Another traditionally-styled custom Cadillac is this 1949 convertible in an amazing metallic orange, also up for the Hands-on Award.

    SEMA 2015 1960 Oldsmobile 88

    As is this smooth and low 1960 Oldsmobile Custom.

    SEMA 2015 1950 Metro Ice Cream Truck 2SEMA 2015 1950 Metro Ice Cream Truck 1As well as this Metro step van, now converted into a custom one off ice cream truck.

    SEMA 2015 1927 Ford T-bucket

    And if you are a sucker for 1960s styled traditional hot rods you are going to want to vote for this blown T-bucket in a mile deep green with matching green and white interior.

    SEMA 2015 1970 Chevy Camaro

    But SEMA is not all about custom body work and paint, though this race ready 2nd gen Camaro has had both done to it.

    SEMA 2015 1969 Ford Mustang 1

    Of course you can't have a road race Camaro without a Mustang wanting to race it, and here is one that looks ready to go. It would be interesting to see if these street cars were quicker around a track than the genuine Trans-Am race cars from the era.

    SEMA 2015 1965 Dodge Dart

    And you can't leave Mopar out of that race either, even if the Dart doesn't look quite as sleek.

    SEMA 2015 1970 Plymouth Superbird NASCAR Petty

    If you like your Mopar's sleek, then look no further than the real 1970 Plymouth Superbird once raced in NASCAR by Richard Petty.

    SEMA 2015 1959 Cadillac CDV

    Which do you prefer for luxury cruising? This 1959 Cadillac custom...

    SEMA 2015 1956 Lincoln Mk II

    or the slightly older 1956 Lincoln Mark II custom on a much more modern versions of white wall tires?

    SEMA 2015 1961 Ford Galaxie

    This Ford Sunliner was built by Hollywood Hot rods for Street Rodder, and the shop used Eastwood tools throughout the build.

    SEMA 2015 Custom Tube Frame Car

    Not much that can be said about this tube frame masterpiece. If the builder was trying to make every other fabricator look lazy, mission accomplished.

    SEMA 2015 Von Ryan Express Trike

    And SEMA even has cars and bike for those of us who are maybe a little too young for a drivers license, like this killer show rod styled tricycle/go-kart.

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