• 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...
  • How to Convert Late Ford Banjo Rear End to Spring Over Axle

    When you're building old cars you sometimes have to work with "what you've got", especially when you're on a tight budget. If you're building a hot rod using period correct parts you may need to mix and match parts to get something that works for your particular vehicle.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Cleaning Drill Chuck Will Stop Bits From Slipping - Quick Tip

     

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    Any of your drill bits look like this?  If so, you'll want to keep reading.

     

    Circular wear marks on the bottom of drill bits are a key indication of the drill bit slipping inside the drill chuck.  The main reason for this problem is cutting fluid or lubricants used come in contact with the chuck,  when this happens tightening the chuck will only go so far.  When this happens the bit stops cutting the metal and starts spinning within the drill itself.  if this happens often the drill bits strength is reduced and could cause it to prematurely break.  In some cases this can be very dangerous because the bit may become lodged in the metal, if this happens and the chuck regains grip on the bit the metal you are drilling could be sent spinning or the drill could be ripped from your hands.

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    Keeping your drill chuck clean is the best way to ensure you will never have problems with your bits slipping.  This is a very simple process and will only take a couple minutes.

     

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    First adjust your chuck so it is about half way open so the jaws are exposed but there still some room between them.

     

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    Spray the edge of a rag with PRE Painting Prep and go over each of the jaws to remove any dirt, grease or lubricants that may be on them.  If you have cotton swabs they also work great.  Spray pre on the end of a swab to clean each of the jaws.

    Do not spray the chuck directly because it may remove the bearing grease further inside the chuck, causing it to lock up.

    Routinely cleaning your drill chuck will help prevent bit slippage and increase the life of your drill bits.

     

    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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  • Fitment Issues with Stamped Patch Panels

    In the past finding replacement body panels for a classic or antique car was very challenging, usually they would have to be taken off of a broken down or wrecked car.  If you could find one it was great because its sure to fit as long as its not damaged.  Present day those old cars are becoming harder and harder to find and the junk yards are filling with late model imports.

     

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    Companies like Auto Metal Direct (AMD) and Classic Industries have opened up a new market by offering brand new stamped panels for hundreds of cars all the way back into the 1930's.  These two are by far the leaders in the business because their parts have been fine tuned to have the best fitment and their higher prices reflect the quality.

     

    Are There Other Options?

    Budget builders have found some relief because there are a few companies that offer the same parts but at a much lower cost, the only issue with these is that they have a reputation of not fitting the way they should.

    If you're on a budget and have some metal fab and bodywork experience, the cheaper route may be the way to go. You are still getting brand new metal that is meant for your vehicle.  These panels will  be very close but may not have the exact body lines, missing mounting holes, and sometimes be slightly too long or too short.

    Camaro Freak, on the Hotrodders.com forum, had these same issues with a new driver side door for his 69' Camaro.

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    After aligning the body lines with the front fender and rear quarter, the fitment was completely off.

     

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    Along the front fender the door gap was tight at the top and grew wider as it got closer to the center body line.  Towards the bottom the door sits slightly inside the rocker and fender.  If you look closely the peak of the center body line is also a slightly different shape.

     

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    There were similar problems where the door met the rear quarter panel.  The door edge above the handle mount looks like it is a different shape causing a larger gap along the top edge.

     

    Whats the Best Solution?

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    Deciding which route to go can be difficult because there will be a trade off with both options.  It really depends on how much body work you want to put into the car, and how much you are looking to spend on the project.

    Depending on the part and how complex it is, the more expensive parts will be worth it in the long run. For example, if you need an entire fender or door skin the big name brands are the way to go because they will be the closest match to your car.  But if you just need a patch panel for a smaller area that does not intersect any body lines, the cheaper metal will save you a lot of money because you will need to do some fabrication anyways.

    If you run into any of these issues Eastwood has everything you need to fabricate and modify those patch panels to have the perfect fit.

     

    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...
  • How To Install a Tri-Flow Radiator

    How To Install a Tri-Flow Radiator

    The new Eastwood Maxx-Power Tri-Flow aluminum radiators have been proven to keep a car 24 degrees cooler than a regular OEM brass and copper radiator. Their 3 pass design cools better than typical single pass aluminum radiators too. Getting this added cooling is easy though, thanks to their well thought out design features and easy installation.

    Maxx-Power Tri-Flow radiators come in 3 sizes, one of which will fit most American cars. Sturdy 11 inch by 2 inch mounting tabs TIG welded to the side tanks allow you to drill mounting holes to match your existing radiator support, or anywhere you prefer. Aluminum shrouds are specially made to mount an electric fan to each one, for a clean, simple all in one cooling system. A universal add on automatic transmission cooler is also offered, which works better than the old OEM internal cooler, for longer transmission life.

    Here’s how to find the right Tri-Flow Maxx-Power radiator:

    If the car has been running, be careful taking measurements as parts may be hot, and remember even once the engine is off the radiator can boil over and spray hot coolant.

     

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    Measure the existing radiator from edge to edge on the outside of the tanks.  This one is about 29 inches.

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    Then measure the overall height of the core, this one is 19 inches.  You also want to take into consideration the size of the opening where air gets to the core. The tanks are typically about the same size, but the core and tank dimensions are on the Eastwood site, if you click the “Download Full Specs” button.

     

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    Amazingly enough, just 3 sizes are enough to supply the majority of  American cars from the 50s through the 80s. Eastwood item #20152 is almost an exact match size wise for this Firebird.

    While ordering you should also consider getting the matching shroud and electric fan at the same time, though these radiators can be made to work with the factory fan and shroud as well.

    Besides a cooling system that isn’t cutting it, the 2 biggest causes of an engine running hot are too lean a fuel mixture, and retarded ignition timing. If those 2 things are not right the biggest radiator in the world is just a temporary fix to hide the problem. Make sure the mechanical and vacuum advance are functioning properly at the distributor. Make sure the engine doesn’t have an air leak from a disconnected vacuum line, or a leaking gasket. Look at the spark plugs for a lean mixture indicated by a light colored electrode.

     

    Now let’s put in the new radiator:

    For the sake of safety, you should be absolutely sure the engine and coolant is cold before you start messing with the cooling system. This is the sort of job that is best done in the morning, after the car has sat overnight.

     

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    Start by draining the coolant into a bucket, and disconnecting the hoses. Use a clean bucket because there is no reason not to reuse the coolant if it is clean.

     

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    Make things easier for yourself by removing anything that may get in the way: The battery, any core support braces, filler panels, the fan and the fan shroud. Disconnect and plug the line from the automatic transmission cooler, if you have one.

     

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    Now you can just unbolt the 4 to 6 bolts and remove the radiator. Sometime there is nothing more than 2 clips holding the top of it. Every car is different, but it’s pretty obvious how it comes out.

     

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    Test fit the new radiator and mark off anywhere that the mounting tabs will interfere with other parts or bumps in the radiator support.

     

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    An easy trick to cut out rectangular shapes is to drill holes in the corners first with a bit about the size of your jigsaw blade. Then you just cut straight lines, and turn at the holes. Now you should be able to get the new radiator in close enough to mark off where your mounting bolt holes should be. You can also just put 4 new holes in the mounting tab and radiator support if you have to.

     

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    To make drilling the holes in the right spot easier, start with a small hole, then make it bigger.

     

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    Deburr the holes and edges with a file, the smooth them all off with a Sanding Disc on an Angle Grinder.

     

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    If you need to drill new holes in the radiator support sticking a strip of masking tape on it first will make it much easier to mark where to drill. You can use the hole you already drilled in the radiator mounting tabs as a template.

     

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    Installing the electric fan to the shroud is so simple it really doesn’t need explaining. The holes are already there, and the hardware is included.

     

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    Place the radiator in the bottom groove of the shroud, then just pop the top groove over the top of the radiator, and it clips into place. A line of RTV sealer along the top and bottom groove will keep it even tighter, and quiet any metal on metal rattles.

     

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    Put another line of RTV along the sides as well by gently prying it away from the tank.

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    If you are replacing a mechanical fan with the electric one you will need to replace the bolts that hold the fun/pulley to the motor with much shorter ones.

     

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    Use a dab of thread lock to keep them from loosening up, and snug it all back in.

     

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    Now you can bolt the radiator/shroud/fan unit into the car, and start reassembling anything else you took apart. Of course if you didn’t have an electric fan before you will need to wire it up, and likely with a temperature switch and relay.

     

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    Don’t forget to fill the car full of coolant!

    After swapping out the old single pass aluminum radiator, and mechanical fan for the Maxx-Power Tri-Pass set up and electric fan the car hit the streets and was cruising at 25 degrees cooler than before. Instead of a temp gauge in the 230 degree danger zone, it was now safely in the 210 to 215 range. 

     

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    The specially designed, divided tanks send the coolant through the core 3 times before it goes back into the motor to pick up more heat. It is no wonder that it cools so much better than old style one pass systems.

     

    Adding a Tri-Flow Radiator to your ride will ensure your engine is running cool no matter how hot it is outside.

     

     

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