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Tag Archives: Chassis Black

  • An Electric Restoration- Electric Blue Restores a Chevy S10

    Wayne of Electric Blue isn't a bandwagon kind of guy. He didn't buy a Prius and fill it with stickers to shout how environmentally conscious he is. Wayne's interest in electric conversions and environmentally friendly vehicles goes back to the first oil embargo in 1974. As with anything, he began by using what he had laying around; a 1959 Morris Minor and the motor from a Clark fork lift he had sitting around at his job. He spent his nights after work completing the project. Converting the Morris Minor wasn't easy, he didn't have the help of how-to articles, discussion forums, or manuals, he just had to "made it work". Wayne then got experience on the restoration side of things while he owned a European Restoration shop. He explained he's been using Eastwood products since 1980, and they make their way onto all of his projects. After making some electric vehicles for himself, things "snowballed" and he had a small part time business going while running the restoration shop. Years passed and Wayne has decided to turn the "hobby" into a full-time business these days. He's done about 400 conversions since the Morris Minor and we decided to follow his most recent restoration and electric conversion project.

    Enter the base, a tired, well used 1983 Chevrolet S-10. The upsides are that it's pretty clean with no accident damage or heavy rust. It just needs some light rust prevention and a ton of cleaning. Wayne plans to install a custom interior, restore the body and then install an 11-inch electric motor that's capable of 550HP at 9,000 RPMs, with a whopping 1,200 lb-ft of torque. He figures even at the detuned 350 HP @9,000 RPMs and 600 lbs of torque, it should keep any speed-freak happy!

    Wasting no time, Wayne stripped the S10 down to bare bones. Not only does he like to convert the vehicle to electric, he likes to give these vehicles a nut and bolt restoration when possible. He plans to restore and detail everything as it would have come from the factory. With the bare chassis up on the lift he could get to cleaning and painting it.

    Since the frame was pretty straight and free of major rust Wayne only had to clean it and apply a few coats of Eastwood Chassis Black. From there he restored and detailed the suspension and brakes using chassis black and Detail Gray to give everything a factory-fresh appearance.

    With the suspension, steering, brakes, and chassis all built and detailed, Wayne is just about ready to pick up his electric power plant and control board. He tells us that he will be machining his own adapter plate to run the electric engine on the stock S10 transmission and rear end. He also mentioned he is playing with color schemes right now, but a silver or burgundy are in the running. We can't wait to see how well this thing moves with that monster electric engine!

    For more information about Electric Blue check out their website and watch this space for more updates about Wayne's S10 build.

  • 17 Years of Restoration Work up in Smoke- The Story of a '40 Ford Fire


    Fire destroys his restored ’40 Ford Convertible — Eastwood tools help him start over

    It sounds like a “good news, bad news” joke. The bad news: your garage just burned down. Worse news: the 1940 Ford convertible you’ve restored over 17 years was in it.

    And the good news? You’ve got the skills and tools to suck it up and start all over again.

    Here’s the remarkable story of Bob Magee, dedicated auto restorer and long-time Eastwood customer — and his rebuilt (and re-rebuilt) 1940 Ford.

    “I’ve been involved in auto restoration for almost 50 years. I owned my own collision shop for 18 years. I sold it and began teaching at Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro, New Jersey. I teach automotive engineering design, custom painting, airbrush, 3-D computer design, mechanical drawing, and more. I encourage kids into the auto repair industry.

    All from scratch

    About 18 years ago, I purchased a 1940 Ford convertible that required a lot of work. I started by buying a Fatman Fab frame and customizing it. I then rebuilt a 1973, 350 engine.

    Over 17 years, piece by piece by piece, I did it all by hand. It had air ride suspension; electric windows; Corvette fuel injectors; a 700R4 transmission, with the rear cut down to make it all fit. The only things I couldn’t make from scratch were the axles.

    99.9% done when lightning struck

    Three years ago, everything was 99.9% done. It was sitting on my lift in my garage when lighting struck and burned everything up.

    The most frustrating part was the insurance company refused to pay for anything in my garage that was automotive. I learned I had to have separate coverage on anything not covered by my homeowner insurance. ‘The big print giveth and the fine print taketh away.’ That’s what I’ve found.

    Got coverage?

    My advice for other old car restorers is to make sure whatever you’re building is insured. Insurance companies don’t always tell you everything. I asked questions and now I have an extra $20,000 covering parts for my Ford. It costs me only $67 a year. You have to ask questions to get the correct coverage. They’re not going to tell you. And your homeowner insurance isn’t going to pay what’s not insured!

    The insurance company gave me salvage value and wanted to take the vehicle. I said ‘You ain’t taking this vehicle! Where are you going to find a ’40 Ford convertible?’ For the last three years I’ve been redoing my project car. I’m pulling the whole thing apart. I’m starting over, redoing it all after 17 years.

    He’s rebuilding everything from scratch

    The Ford was burned pretty badly. I took a big 16” 60-grit grinding disk and ground all the paint off and re-primed it. The tires were even burned. I decided to put blackwalls on it with baby moons. I’m in the process of tearing the frame all apart, especially everything that’s burned. I have everything you can think of in this frame and I’m doing it all over again. All the chrome is tarnished and has to be stripped and re-chromed. I’m currently working on getting everything re-chromed. It’s all a lot of work but I’m very dedicated and I want to get it done.

    Eastwood’s a great company to do business with

    I buy a lot of stuff from Eastwood. I bought their metal bending brake, buffing wheels, you name it. I love their products, they’re great.

    Eastwood’s Buff Motor has dual buffing pads and dual speeds. It works great. I made my own stand and now I’m buffing all the parts that got burned. I was trying to do it with a little hand drill and that didn’t work. Their buffing compounds work great, too.

    I can buy auto restoration supplies at a lot of places, but Eastwood has products you don’t find elsewhere. I’m on Eastwood’s email list and they email me specials – they always have something on sale and they’re always quality products. It’s a great company with quality tools, and they’re great to do business with too!"

    — Bob Magee, New Jersey

    Do YOU have an Eastwood auto restoration story to tell? Please email us — our blog visitors want to know!

  • Removing the S10 Drivetrain and Detailing the Chassis

    With all of the S10 suspension and steering components up front replaced with new Proforged parts, we needed to make the rest of the chassis and suspension look as good as the parts we put on. We decided to remove the stock Chevy V6 drivetrain first. We got some help from one of our friendly forklift drivers in the Eastwood distribution center to lift it out. The removal went pretty smoothly, but the cleanup was another story though!

    With the engine out and the mess cleaned up, I could now check tire clearance when lifting and dropping the air suspension. It quickly became evident that the tires were contacting the front cab corners when dropped. To make room, I made notches in the cab corners with the Versa Cut Plasma Cutter. With those rough cuts made, the suspension now has its full range of motion. Later on I will be making mini-tubs in the cab corners that close up the notches I cut, but still allow the tires to tuck when dropped. More on that project a little later down the road.

    Next we rolled the truck outside so we could clean and detail the chassis. I started by removing the steering box and giving it a good clean and detail with the help from Chassis Kleen and Detail Gray.

    With all of the bolt-on parts removed from the front of the S10 chassis, I moved on to cleaning and prepping it for paint. The hero of this job was our new Rust Brushes. Once I had them hooked in the drill it only took about 15-20 minutes and 2 brushes to get all of the scaly rust and messy grease off. I also found it was handy to keep the "worn out" brushes and use the pointy ends to get into the hard-to-reach spots that a fresh brush couldn't reach.

    With the major debris cleaned off, I hit everything up with Chassis Kleen, and PRE before applying Rust Encapsulator. The Encapsulator will stop any of the light rust left on the chassis from growing, and also gives a uniform finish to build off of. I then applied some Satin Chassis Black for the final tough finish. Even though I use Chassis Black quite frequently on other projects, I'm still amazed at how well this stuff sprays out of the can and how tough it is. Only problem now is that it makes all of the dirty, original parts around it look worse! I just have to keep reminding myself this is just a driver and not a show car build!

    Now that the front clip is detailed, I can move on to test fitting the mockup block and V8S10 conversion bits. Watch this space for more on that here shortly. Thanks for following!


  • Suspension Removal Video and Custom Running Board Build

    While we haven't been updating as much as we should, we've been busy! I figured I'd give a peek into what's been going on with Pile House since our last official build update.

    We got a comprehensive series of videos coming together for the front suspension and chassis detailing. Check the first of 3 videos for that process below.

    We had a cruise-in at Eastwood headquarters last Friday and I worked hard to figure out how we were going to make new running boards for the truck for the cruise in. I got the basic form made and once we perfect this first running board, we'll have a video out shortly giving a tutorial on how to build a basic set of running boards from scratch. Here are a few teaser shots thus far.

    We've also been test fitting a mock-up chevy 350 block in the engine bay. This will help determine how much more needs to be cut on the truck along the way to get the engine fitted with all the necessary parts and drive down the road.

    We then rolled it out for display at the cruise in. It's the first time I've been able to see the truck outside of the garage in a while. It's starting to look like a truck again!

    Stay tuned for more videos and pics as we are really starting to kick this build into gear!

  • Imperial Speedster Wins the Go For the Gold Award

    Murray Pfaff recently took home one of the largest prizes in the Hot Rod community. The Starbird's Go for the Gold award! He beat out the 2010 Riddler car "Gold Digger". Eastwood was happy to donate and sponsor this build along the way with many products including Rust Encapsulator, Underhood Black, Spray Gray, and many more! Obviously we are equally as thrilled!

    Check out this video where we caught up with Murray at SEMA 2011 in Las Vegas and found out a little back story on the car.

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