• 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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  • DIY Removable Exhaust Hangers

    Adding a new exhaust system to your ride but don't want to use the cheap parts store hangers and clamps?

    Lets face it we all know how horrible they are,  aside from just looking tacky, they almost never last.  The U-bolt clamps are just as bad, you better hope you have them exactly where you want them because chances are, once you tighten them down they are sure to be rusted shut in a few weeks.


    Here is a way to make your own custom exhaust hanger using one of those cheapo parts store hangers.  Its simple, cheap, and even allows the whole system to be easily removed.


    What You'll Need:

    - Universal Exhaust Hanger with an open, pivoting end. (It must be this style, you'll see why later)


    - 1.25 " X 1.25" piece of 1/8" steel

    - 5/16" or 3/8" Thread bolt about 1" long, lock washer, and hex nut.

    - High Temp Paint (to prevent rust)





    First you will need to cut the end of the exhaust hanger, with a Cut off Wheel, along the line drawn. This piece can be thrown out.



    After the end is cut off you will be left with a tab sticking straight down.



    Clamp the square tab to the hanger with enough room to drill a hole big enough for the bolt you are using, in my case it was a 3/8" hole.  Mark the center of where you want the hole to be and use a Center Punch to indent the metal so the drill bit doesn't wander.



    With the two pieces clamped, use a Step Bit to drill a through both pieces so the hole will remain in line.  Pass the bolt through and tighten by hand so the tab remains square. Step bits make easy work of drilling large diameter holes, an essential tool when doing any type of metal fabrication.



    Using jack stands or wire position your muffler or exhaust pipe in the location you want it to sit under the car.  It is a good idea to determine where you want to mount the hanger to the body or frame of the car first, to insure the hanger is long enough to reach the pipe. (As an example I am using a piece of exhaust tube on a work bench and the hanger suspended from a piece of metal in a vice)



    With the hanger mounted under the car, align your exhaust pipe exactly where you want it to hang.



    Tack weld the tab to the exhaust pipe or muffler.  Remove the supports holding up the exhaust and check the positioning.



    If is where you want it, finish the weld along the tab. Allow the metal to cool off before unbolting the hanger.



    Once it is cool to the touch, remove the bolt.  Creating this custom exhaust hanger will cost about the same as using those tacky U-Bolts, and it makes exhaust removal a breeze.  All that is left to do is a quick coat of High Temp Exhaust Paint and you'll have a simple rust free solution to mounting your exhaust system.


    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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  • Keep Your Hands Warm with Nitrile Gloves- Quick Tip

    Winter is just around the corner and if your up north the cold is a major speed bump in getting your project done.  By far the biggest issue when dealing with the cold is keeping your hands warm, sure you can wear thick gloves but it then becomes impossible to handle small parts.


    Here is a tip that'll help keep you working into those cold winter months.

    Wearing Nitrile Gloves as your first layer does an amazing job of keeping your hands warm.  Since nitrile gloves are non porous, they act as insulation by not letting any heat or moisture escape from your hands.



    If you usually wear Mechanics Gloves try wearing Nitrile Gloves under your other gloves, this will not only keep you hands warm, it will also act as a chemical barrier in the event of a spill.



    This trick even works under your Welding Gloves, Nitrile gloves are thin enough to fit under just about any pair of work gloves.  I even wear them under my snow gloves when shoveling and skiing, don't put yourself at risk of getting frostbite when a solution is it this easy.


    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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  • 5 Essential Items You May Be Missing in your Shop

    I've learned over the years that the better equipped and the more organized you are in your garage or workshop will reflect in your work. We decided to put together 5 items that are key in keeping your productivity and quality of work up.  Click Here To Read Full Post...