Eastwood Chatter

  • What are we testing and working on this week at Eastwood?

    Here at Eastwood, we are as much enthusiasts as we are a "Big Corporation". From testing products at length before releasing them, to working on our own projects, we are always busy! Below is a sneak peak at some projects we are working on currently.

    Powder coating seems to be the favorite around the office for restoring those old parts for our projects. Below you will see we were testing our dual voltage powder gun while shooting  some parts, including a Ford transmission case and some Honda motorcycle bits. With the right prep and patience, you can achieve professional results with the dual voltage gun!

    Now for some tips that may help you achieve better results when powder coating your parts. The first thing that is a good habit to get into is always wear rubber gloves when handling parts you are powder coating. This helps keep  the parts from getting any dirt or oils from your hands on the parts. The dirt and oils found in your skin can cause the parts to "out-gas" and create imperfections in the finish that you wouldn't notice until AFTER baking. Another, is to bake the parts in your oven after cleaning. This will bake out any chemicals or oil residue found in the pores of the metal from handling and cleaning. Pre-heating time can vary depending on the type of metal you are coating, but we suggest around 20-30 minutes for most items. The last good tip, that often can be overlooked is to always sift your powders before putting them in the gun. Even brand new powder can get a little "clumpy" from the condensation in the container or even from the moisture in the air. The powder below was pretty much right off the shelf and still we found some small little clumps that surely would have cause "spitting" when shooting the powder!

    You can find us constantly trying to test and improve upon our products. Below you can see we are testing some new sample wheel paints. We check for color matching, ease to spray, cure time, and durability. Every product we design and market goes through these tests before it gets to the catalog!

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  • Welcome back Impala, you have been gone so long!

    Everyone loves a good project right? But at times there is a point where some are "too far gone". Well with the technology of restoration tools/products and the wealth of information found on the Internet these days; one can rebuild most any car with the right patience and skills. In comes this 1961 Impala Convertible project that we have stumbled across on www.Impalas.net .

    According to the current owner this car spent 20+ years in a ditch before it came into his caring ownership. This car has appeared to have been quite plagued with rust and rot. Also, it  has been in a collision at some point to make things worse.  Along the way he picked up countless donor cars, including a 62 Buick convertible and two 4 door 61 Bel Air donor cars, etc. With the use of those donor cars, some pretty amazing work is being done to save a car that most would have parted out on site. Some of the interesting metal work being done includes converting the one spare Bel Air trunk to an Impala trunk, replacing the rear quarters, windshield frame, cowls, front clip, window channels, dash, and so on and so forth. Basically there isn't going to be a piece of this car that hasn't been gone over (and possibly replaced!) completely along the way. This is no simple job, and takes some dedication! So hats goes off to a dedicated enthusiast, we can't wait to see how it turns out in the end! Please see the complete thread with very informative, detailed pics of the build here: http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=686 .

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  • 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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