Eastwood Chatter

  • Hands on Cars Episode 11- How to lay filler and set body panel gaps

    In this episode of Hands on Cars, Kevin calls up a bunch of his buddies to help finish the body work on the 1978 Chevy Camaro Z28 Zed Sled. Unlike your knucklehead friends, Kevin’s friends just happen to be a who’s who of show car paint, body, engine and fabrication guys from around the country. With all of them pitching in together, they get weeks work worth of body work done in just a day. Once the body panels are all straight, and the panel gaps are perfect Kevin shoots the whole car in Eastwood Contour high build polyester primer/surfacer. Kevin also visits Wheels in Motion, a restoration shop shop in a converted car dealership from the 1930s. There he takes a ride in a low mile, unrestored, 1959 Chevy Impala that was originally bought at the site new by the original owner.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • 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

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  • Properly Store Your Air Hoses So They Don't Kink - Quick Tip

    Air hoses can be a pain especially if you don't have a retractable hose reel, but its important to take care of them if you want them to last.


    If you're not ready to invest in a Retractable Air Hose, here is a quick tip to increase the longevity of your hose so it wont kink or crack.



    The key to storing air hoses is twisting the hose and allow it to wrap itself.  This will create a coiling effect that won't put any extra strain on the hose.  When you forcefully wrap an air hose it stretches the rubber and can create cracks over time.


    Once its all coiled up you cant just leave it on the floor you need a way to mount it.

    bike hook

    A bicycle wall hook like this works great to hang the hose, because there is more than one point of contact on the hose which allows it to keep an evenly coiled shape.  You can find these very cheap at your local home or hardware store.



    If you want a unique look, mount an old car rim to the wall.  Its a creative way to give your garage some character while keeping your air hose protected and off the floor.



    While these are all great ways of keeping your air hose safe, the best way to keep your air hose safe is with an Eastwood Retractable Air Hose.  After you are done with the hose, give it a slight pull and it will retract back onto the reel.  If you are ready to make the investment for a Retractable Air Hose, don't hesitate, you will never have to worry about  your air hose again.


    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

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Vinyl Wrapping Old Interior Trim

    As vehicles age interior trim pieces can become faded, scratched and sometimes if they are coated, start to peel.  Over the past couple years a trend has been growing and a new way to transform that old interior has emerged.

    It utilizes a form of adhesive backed vinyl that becomes flexible when heated.  Major companies such as 3M have developed their own vinyl that is now known to be the go to product.  That being said there are other brands that offer a similar quality product at a cheaper price.  There are tons of color and texture options ranging from a simple matte black to purple carbon fiber.  If done correctly its hard to tell if the vinyl was even added, it looks that good.


    P1020574 copy



    This 2000 BMW E39 M5 came from the factory with silver brushed aluminum trim pieces but as youll see it needs an update.   After 15 years of use the trim has started to fade, become scratched, and in some spots peel up.


    P1020572 copy



    The vinyl I chose looks very similar to the original, it even has a texture which mimics the real thing.  If you didn't know already, which one is the original trim?


    Photo Oct 01, 10 58 10 AM

    To start the process I removed all of the trim pieces, it is possible to apply the wrap in the car but for an ideal finish they should be completely removed.  BMW M5 trim is very easy to remove but it will not be like this in every vehicle.  Before you start go online and look up the proper way to remove the trim for your specific car, it will save time and reduce the risk of something breaking.


    All of the pieces follow the same steps so I'll walk through the vinyl application on the center dash piece which surrounds the radio controls and center display.



    1. Clean the trim first using 400-600 Grit Sandpaper.  This will remove any dirt trapped on the surface.  Then spray a rag with PRE Painting Prep to remove any remaining contaminants.  Make sure to clean the edges and the under side of the piece because this is where the edge of the vinyl will stick.



    2. Lay the piece face down and cut out a piece of vinyl with about 1/2"-1" extra on all sides.  If the if the piece is rounded leave some extra material so it can wrap around the edges.

    3. Lay the vinyl on a clean table with the adhesive side up and carefully remove the backing.  Set your piece down on top of the vinyl on the flattest side.  Make sure the grain is going the correct direction and is square.



    4. After the flat side is pressed on lift the piece up and hold it in the air while trying to keep off of the adhesive side.  Use a Heat Gun on one edge at a time, get the edge hot and set the heat gun down, pull on the outer edge and form the vinyl around the outer curves.  Even after removing the heat the vinyl will stay soft for a few seconds, allowing you to pull it into place.



    To speed up the process I utilized the Eastwood Heat Gun's flat back plate with allows you to set it upright on a table while it is still on.  I could then use both of my hands to hold and form the vinyl.



    5.  After the the vinyl is formed around the outer edge, trim off the excess and repeat the same process on the back side.  Wrap the vinyl around the back, sticking it to the under side of the piece, doing this will prevent the vinyl from peeling up.



    6. To deal with the openings, run the Heat Gun along the edges of each while pressing downward.  Doing so will create a slight recess along the outside of the opening.



    7. Next cut an "X" in the center of each opening with a sharp razor blade leaving about 1/2" from each corner.  Heat and pull the center of each flap to form around the inner edges.  Trim and wrap around the back side like the earlier step.



    8. Repeat this with the other openings to create your finished product.



    With the rest of the trim completed it looks brand new and refreshed.  All this was done for about $20 worth of materials and the results pay for them self.

    Combine this with Eastwood Plastic Resurfacer and your interior will look as if it just rolled out of the factory.


    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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  • Quick Tip- Dull Sharpie Tips

    There's a few items that most every car guy or gal have in arms reach at all times when working in their shop. For me one of those is Sharpie marker. They work great to write notes on things as I work or to mark out measurements, trace lines for bead rolling, etc, etc. These work great when sharp, but they tend to wear out and get dull quickly. The more dull they get the wider the mark will be that it leaves.   Click Here To Read Full Post...