Tag Archives: 350
It's been a while since I last updated everyone on the status of Project Pile House. Unfortunately things have been stalled a little because of some major construction going on inside of the Eastwood headquarters. About a month ago we started building a new photo/video studio and also a separate "dirty work" area. This meant that Pile House has been trapped in limbo as we built the new shop. Previously we had our video and photo guys and myself sharing a space. Anyone that knows anything about expensive video and photography equipment knows that they do NOT like dirt, dust, paint, or sparks.. all of which I was producing regularly (go figure!). We've been stalled a bit working on our projects, but this new move will be great and allow us to bring you better quality and more frequent technical videos and pictures. I snapped a few pictures along the way and soon you'll notice the new surroundings in our pictures and videos!
Since I haven't been doing much work on the truck, I've been trying to gather some key parts and also figure out my goals for the truck for this summer. Anyone that remotely knows me will know that I have trouble sitting still and especially if I have an unfinished project. It's been tough not making on progress on the truck, but it's allowed me to wind back some of my plans for the truck in order to get it rolling for this summer. I want to be able to drive this thing at some point in the summer, even if it's late in the summer. I've decided to try and get the major rust, rot, and mechanical portions of the truck taken care of , finish all the current body mods I've made thus far, and get the truck in primer for the summer. Then next winter I can get the truck where I want it for paint. I recently learned that our Urethane Primers can be tinted with our Single Stage Urethane paints to get away from boring gray. This is great because I was already thinking about doing some sort of custom satin paint job using our Rat Rod Satin Clear, so it will give me an idea if I really like the look.
With trying to get the truck on the road this summer, I had to sort out what I'm doing for a drivetrain. In a previous post I had shown a small block chevy V8 I had scored from a local hot rod shop. Turns out they were less than truthful about what the engine was and its condition. Once I dug in I realized I had been bamboozled. So after some angry phone calls I got rid of the boat anchor and got my cash back. I decided I didn't have time for dealing with unknown used engines and we started making some calls to some of or friends in the industry to see if they could help. Our friends over at Pace Performance just so happened to have an engine that had been "roughed up" by a delivery driver and was returned. After some discussion, it turns out the engine was only damaged superficially and it just needed some bolt-on parts replaced and I'd be in business. We struck a deal and it arrived so quick I didn't even have time to give our warehouse workers a heads up that there was a "Big Box" coming for me. They were less than impressed to say the least (sorry guys!), but we got it moved into the shop with the truck. I ended up with a GM Performance 602 (SEALED) CIRCLE TRACK RACE ENGINE, 350CID 350HP with some light bumps and bruises. Turns out this engine was destined for Rusty Wallace racing before it was roughed up by the delivery driver. After I ordered a couple parts, I had the damaged parts replaced and the engine on the stand ready to be built up.
With the engine sorted out we called our friends over at TCI Auto and had them build us one of their "Street Rodder" TH350 Automatic Transmissions with a "Street Rodder" Torque Converter. Again these items arrived extremely quick and I was surprised how well it all was packed! This drivetrain combo should be extremely streetable with the room for improvement if I get bored with it. I plan to use the truck for a cruiser and do some light towing with it, so I should be more than ok with this combo.
In the near future I want to mount the TCI transmission to the "mockup" foam block and get my old firewall and floor cut out. From there I can fabricate new rust-free panels to replace them. Once we get the cab solid we can move on to media blasting the inside of the front sheet metal and treating and sealing it. Then I can turn my attention back to the bed. I want to have Pile House moving under it's own power for the Eastwood Summer Classic this July, so I have a lot of work to do. Expect regular updates again here soon! Thanks to all that have been following along or given suggestions, we appreciate it!
During the end of 2012 we ran a contest called "Help on the Horizon" where we asked customers that had a tough time, or a rough year to send us a story about themselves and their project car. Out of the piles of submissions we narrowed the entries down to 10 individuals/stories that touched us the most. We published them on www.eastwood.com/blog for everyone to nominate their choice for the winner of $2500 of Eastwood credit.
After the dust settled (it was a close one!), our winner was clear. Keith Paine is a NY State Trooper that had some bad luck when he was struck on the side of the highway while helping a disabled vehicle. You can read the full story and Keith's entry here. We decided to get in touch with Keith and get a little more on himself, his background in classic cars, and his '57 Chevy Truck project.
"My father is a great mechanic so we've always tinkered with cars. He does the mechanical side and I've tried to do the interior and bodywork. My first car was a 55 dodge royal 4dr when I was 15. It started as a pink and white basket case. Other than being mostly solid, it had nothing else going for it. It had the 270 red ram V8 (not the super red ram hemi) which meant I was getting 8-9 mpg and most bicycles were faster. By the time I was 16 my dad had it running nicely and we shot it with red laquer and left the white top. What more could a 16 year old kid ask for other than a cool old car that could fit you and 19 of your closest friends in?! We've had other projects over the years, nothing real fancy, but the time spent together is worth more than any car could bring."
We wanted to hear more about how Keith found his Chevy truck and where he's at with it currently. His story starts like many we've heard before.
"I found a great looking truck advertised (by a dealership) on eBay that was a solid CA truck with new paint. It had a "new crate engine" 350 with "all new front suspension". Well, we found you don't always get the truth on eBay!"
"When I got it home it was a ten footer. The paint was old laquer and had cracks in it. It looked like it was stripped to bare metal and they didn't use the correct primer since it was peeling off with the paint. The "new crate 350" was not new or a crate engine and didn't start. They had a quadrajet carb on it that looked like it was fresh from the junkyard. Changing it out with a new one got it started."
"I had registered the truck for a small local car show the day it arrived, and after a quick clean we headed to the show. We quickly found that the gauges didn't work, the gas tank was leaking, the suspension was really loose and the steering would turn right correctly, but only half a turn left. The truck ended up taking third place (out of three trucks!) and with my fathers help, we got it back home in one piece safely."
"Once home, we found that the truck had been thrown together and most of the suspension hardware (nuts and bolts) were loose and missing from the trip to the show. The steering column was stamped Toyota and jammed in place to fit between the headers. Turning left was locking it against the header. As funny as it sounds, we turned it upside down and it cleared the header! The "new" front suspension was the original 1957 suspension with lowering blocks on the FRONT leaf springs. The "new crate engine" turned out be a tired 350, but I drove the truck for three summers like this while I saved up to redo it correctly."
"The winter of 2009/2010 I had had enough money to start the restoration. I ordered an IFS kit for the front and we stripped the front of the truck to bare bones. The new suspension went in next and the firewall was shaved, then the front section of the frame was boxed in and painted with Eastwood 2K Ceramic Chassis Black."
"The engine was made into a 383 stroker and retrofitted with 92 firebird fuel injection. I used sticky mickey's and drew out a punisher skull on the intake. "
"The summer of 2010 barely existed with a newborn in the mix. All of the work so far (including the paint) was done in my two car garage. The 57 was getting a little further, but nothing like the year before. We then started on the interior. I welded in sheet metal to close off the cab where the gas tank used to be and welded in a console to hide the fuel injection harness. The dash needed a lot of work and was mostly filler. The wiring was trash with new bits and pieces tied in with old wires, burned wires, and a rats nest of wires that didn't go to anything. Lastly the top corners where the sunvisors connected looked like they were hammered in and redrilled a few dozen times."
This isn't my first paint job, but it was my first successful paint job. We decided to add some ghost flames with the help of more Sticky Mickey's. To apply the flames we used copper flake in a clear base.
"It was around this point that I was in the accident. Since then, the interior was put back together but unfinished and the truck is together and running. It needs the doors and fenders to be hung correctly, the paint needs to be buffed and touched up. Wiring needs to be finished. The exhaust is on but needs work. The windows are now electric, but need attention. A new windshield was put it in, but the wipers are not connected. Sound deadening (Thermo-Coustic??)will be one of my first steps.
With the motivation and dedication I have now for the 57 I know I will be driving it when the snow is gone this year. For a guy like me, that eats and breaths cars this is truly a dream come true. Again, Thank you Eastwood!"
We thank you for your service Keith and we hope you can put the Eastwood products to good use on the '57 or your '69 Mustang Coupe project! Congrats!
"I am a state trooper in upstate NY. I also have a 57 chevy 3100 pickup that I have restomoded from the ground up. On 3/2/11 while I was working patrol parked behind a disabled vehicle I was struck from behind at 59mph (radar on monitoring speed) by a full size nissan pickup. The accident left me with three herniated disk in my neck and nerve damage and I needed over a years worth of therapy (of which I continued to work full time) to resolve just to find out that I would need surgery on my left shoulder (fully detached labrum and damaged bursa of which I recieved 2 months ago). I should be fit for full duty and able to start my project again in another couple of months. Needless to say, my 57 chevy pickup has sat 80% completed for about 20 months now. Nothing like watching your pride and joy of a vehicle sit all summer long (for two summers!) because you can't do the small things to get it going. Because of my injuries, my wife has also worked (an ER R/N) only about 1/3 of what she used to forcing her to take a part time position just to take care of me and our son leaving us financially down as well. My truck is a 57 chev 3100 w/ a 72 corvette 350 turned into a 383 stroker fuel injected and a stage 1 th350. Mustang II front end w/ disk brakes. The metal work is done with a ton of custom fabrication. I notched and boxed the frame lowering it @6". Shaved door handles, custom interior frenched lights. Eastwood is a great company and even if I didn't get selected I'll continue to buy your quality products. thanks, Keith"
I'm ready to vote:
We're always elbow deep in projects here at Eastwood, and while tearing down an original 350 SBC (small block v8 Chevy engine) we decided to document the process. Since the engine had never been apart before, we decided it would be a great test for our Eastwood Air Tools and our new, growing line of Eastwood Hand Tools. Along the way we snapped a few shots of the process.
The engine after a good wash with the electric power washer and some Eastwood Chassis Kleen
We put the Eastwood Twin Hammer Composite Impact Gun to the test removing the original Chevrolet/GM head bolts.
With the heads removed and the cylinders cleaned, we can check the short block for any damage to the cylinder walls, cam, etc. before deciding if we want to send this off to the machine shop for a full rebuild, or just a DIY ball hone and refresh.
The disassembly took about 30 minutes with the help of these new Eastwood tools and sure put a beating on them! Now we have to decide how far we want to Hot Rod this ol' 350 engine!