Eastwood Chatter

  • If it isn't broken, try making it better anyway!

    Here is another sneak peek into what we have been testing, designing and developing in our R&D department. Lately the shop has been buzzing, and I was able to snap off a few pictures and hold the guys down for a few minutes to get the scoop on what they were up to!

    Recently our first batch of new Eastwood Welders have hit our warehouse and we have been working on getting these out to all of our customers that had pre-ordered. Because of this, we decided we'd break open a welder and do some more "real world" testing. We decided to build something that one of our customers may work on themselves. Below is a few shots of one of our R&D guys Mark welding up a roll cage from local roll cage provider S&W race cars. This thing went together nicely and was a treat to weld! Mark laid out some quick beads and the pile of tubes started looking like "something" pretty quick! The production welders performed flawlessly, just as all of our test units had done. We are excited to hear some reviews on these new welders and check out some of your handy-work with one of these!

    With it getting to be show season, a big thing people are doing is polishing all the shiny bits on their ride. We have some additional/new buffing pads coming available in our catalog shortly. These are just in time for "polishing season"! Below you can see the assortment that Joe is trying out on a painted test panel. You can see how well the test piece shines with just the small portion he had done. Keep an eye out for these real soon! I know I'm excited to try them out on the lips of my new (to me) multi-piece race wheels I am refinishing!

    Here at Eastwood many of us are as much enthusiasts as our customers. Because of that we are always looking to hone our skills and learn as much as possible about any product we currently sell. Today we had a master auto body technician come in and do a tutorial on some important techniques when using our spot welder. I found this very informative, especially when it came to the correct time to use each of the accessories for the spot welder. We hope in return we can pass some of this knowledge to our customers when you may have any questions or concerns. We also filmed this stud welding class and we are planning to edit this into a comprehensive video that we will be hosting on YouTube and also on our site. We hope that you can benefit from these tips as much as we did!

    As always, thanks for reading and let us know if there is anything you'd like to read about or any topics you'd like more information about!

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  • Swap meets, the hidden fun at a car show.

    For most people when you talk about a car show they think of shiny paint, chrome bits glistening in the sun, and proud owners prepping their cars in anticipation of being judged. This is the reason you go to a "Car Show" is for the "Cars"; right? Meanwhile there is a overlooked portion of most every car event that the your average show goer forgets. This is the swap meet or auto jumble (as our British counter parts like to call them). Most every show sees trucks and trailers full of old parts brought in, sold, traded, and dug through by fellow enthusiasts. These swap meets often can be a great way to find that hard-to-find bit or bob for your project that you have been searching for. Some, like myself go to a swap meet with more of a "treasure hunter" mentality, looking for rare or obsolete collectible parts that normally would be a fortune if sold in another venue.

    Often times when unregulated (like when the wife wanders away to get lunch) we end up buying things at the swap meet we may question our thinking on later. This goes from something you already had 10 of to maybe something that is "neat" or "rare", but you have NO real need or use for. I can recall a number of times walking out of a show with piles and piles of parts, only to try and figure out how to get it all in my car! One of my most guilty of times was when I bought a vintage VW/Audi/Porsche Microfiche machine (think of that giant machine you used to blow old newspaper/magazine articles up with in the high school library) for viewing old parts diagrams. If this wasn't bad enough, I already had one I inherited from a local repair shop. But while in the moment, I couldn't turn down the "amazing" price. Next thing I knew I was lugging this thing a mile across the parking lot in 90 degree weather to my tiny little car and asking myself what the heck I was thinking!

    This past weekend our own "J.R." here at Eastwood had a similar moment and came home with a vintage GM diagnostic tool. This is one of those cases where the price offset the forethought of where to put it, or the real necessity for it. But hey, who cares when it is something this neat! Apparently this unit is from the early-mid 70's and it has all kinds of connections, from a timing light to a emissions analyzer lead! Measuring in at 4'5 in height, this is not something you can easily hide from the wife! In true swap meet fashion he even did a little "haggling" or negotiating to get the price to a comfortable spot for his wallet. If anything, this will be a cool vintage garage decoration and discussion piece, so definitely money well spent! Feel free to respond or comment with any cool treasures (or ridiculous items you regretted!) that you have turned up at the local swap meet, flea market, etc.!

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  • First the Zinc and Phosphorus, What's Next? (How to get those two back in your life)

    So lets say you just rebuilt your original "numbers matching" big block engine for your classic car project. Now that it is rebuilt, you should never have to go through that hassle and stress of dropping in a engine ever again.. right? Well, some new regulations in the contents of your favorite motor oil could be the very cause for damage to your fresh "vintage" engine. This due to the "Evil Government". The U.S. EPA has sanctioned that oil manufacturers remove substances from motor oils that could reduce the life of modern emission related components (mainly the Catalytic Converter)on your car.

    The reason this is worrying for your freshly rebuilt big block is that the one main substance that they are pressuring motor oil manufacturers to remove is ZDDP (zinc dialkyldithiophosphate). This additive is a necessity to stop premature wearing and scoring on a number of internal engine parts.  They feel ZDDP can leave traces in the exhaust gases which (depending on how much oil a vehicle burns), can cause premature catalytic converter failure and greatly raise the emissions coming out of the tail end of your exhaust. This all makes sense in the manner of "preserving mother earth". But, unfortunately for anyone with a older car the removal of ZDDP could mean excessive (and ultimately destructive) wear on the internals of the engine in your older vehicle (most of which don't even have a catalytic converter!).

    ZDDP has been a important additive in oil for many years (I've read it goes back as far as the late 30's-40's). This substance is what creates a very fine film on internal engine parts (most importantly the cam to  flat-lifter contact point) and basically sacrifices itself to keep major wear from occurring on the actual parts  themselves. Almost all current engines now use roller lifters that do not require this additive or protection. This leaves anyone with a older flat lifter engine out of luck and potentially putting oil in their vehicle that can cause extreme wear on internals.

    What we have added to our catalog is our own ZDDP additive that you can mix with today's "stripped down" oil to keep your current (or "new" fancy rebuilt) engine in your older car safe from the threat of this major wear. Simply add the bottle with each 4-6 quarts of oil you put in the engine when doing a oil change. This will bring the ZDDP level back up to a safe margin in which you can rest easy knowing your lifters and cam lobes aren't dying a quick, hot death.

    "Why Eastwood's ZDDP formula, when I can get the similar at the local parts store" you ask? Well many of the off the shelf additives you may find at your local store will not have high enough of a concentration of ZDDP in a bottle to bring the levels to a safe point in 4-6 quarts of oil. Therefore, you need to add multiple bottles which now means you are putting a abundance of a unknown oil substance (there is more than just Zinc in Phosphorous in this formula) in with your oil which can dilute the detergents and other chemicals in your oil that need to also do their job. No one likes to be counterproductive, so be very careful when shopping for this type of product at your local store.

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  • Just Cruising through

    Today's blog entry will be short and sweet. A couple neat employee related vehicles rolled through the parking lot today. First is this nearly complete restored retro Van. If this doesn't make you want to bust out your old polyester suit and a bee gees record.. I don't know what will!

    Lastly is this "barn find" Corvette that hasn't been driven in approximately 10 years or more. Car has clocked around 30-35,000 miles! The paint looks like it will come out nicely with some elbow grease!

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  • It's starting to look a lot like spring!

    Here on the east coast, this is the time of the year when many of us begin to get a little "skip in our step". For most, this is due to the first glimpses of warm weather and the hope for all things great about spring and summer. For fellow car enthusiasts it is the thought of being able to finally dig your favorite "summer ride" out of storage and begin to enjoy it again.

    Personally, I don't have a million dollar restored classic (though I have grand dreams about owning a restored Porsche 356 in Ponyantha Red someday when I hit the lottery), but I still partake in this routine with some of my "Patina Queen" Volkswagens. My trusty summer car to cruise to the local GTG's and shows is a 1977 Scirocco. This car was rescued from the "ghetto" in Brooklyn,NY of all places. Even though it had relatively low miles when I found it (only 77k!), it had lived a hard life the past 5+ years. But regardless, I still get excited at the thought of being able to cruise around with the windows down in one of my "Summer Cars".  The 0nly thing I dread a little is all of the hand polishing of the chrome and polished bits I have on the 77. I know Autosol will be my best friend one Sunday afternoon very soon!

    Another thing I've found is that with the hint of warmer weather coming up, a lot of stalled projects get a much needed jump-start from this inspirational warm weather. I personally am very guilty of letting the cold, snowy weather get me down. Instead of tinkering with projects I tend to hide inside away from the cold. Now that it is starting to get a bit warm, I find myself exceedingly excited to start getting major progress done on one of my dozens of major projects. I seem to have a vehicle at close to every stage of the restoration process these days. First I have my convertible project that is in the major rust removal and panel replacement stage. If you find that we are out of Rust Converter, Rust Encapsulator and PRE next week you know who is to blame! Not to mention my 76 rabbit that is a shiny bare shell (I'll be firing up the Powder Coating Gun and oven real soon!); to my recent Rabbit Pickup acquisition that has yet to be started (already picked out our Euro Racing Green to repaint it with). I sure know a good chunk of my paychecks this spring are going right back into Eastwood for supplies! (the horrible downfall of working in the industry of something you love!)

    The last of my favorite early spring routines is to go on the hunt for "field/barn finds". Early spring and late fall are the best for this activity. You can even kill two birds with one stone (honey I'm just going to fill the car up with gas before the cruise this weekend, be back soon!") and drive your recently-uncovered summer ride on these exploratory trips. I find that if you go very early in spring you catch many more things you wouldn't notice or see many other times of the year. The foliage hasn't begun to grow back on the trees/plants and you can clearly spot those forgotten gems tucked away in back yards, fields, or woods with ease. The other nice thing is the age old routine of "spring cleaning", people tend to have their barns and garage doors open while cleaning and you might spot that classic tucked away in a barn underneath piles of "junk". I have spotted and pulled a handful of cars out of barns/yards just from this exact method (calling some of them "gems" is a far stretch I'm afraid though).

    So whatever your favorite spring routine is, make sure you get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I know after this long, hard winter we had here on the east coast, I'm not wasting a single sunny day!

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