Tag Archives: chassis

  • How Do I Prepare a Chassis for Painting?

    When you decide to paint your vehicle's chassis, you must know how to properly prepare the area for painting. To prepare your chassis, the first thing to do is gather your materials, which include: a PRE paint solution, electric sander, stripper or blaster, lint-free hand towels, and some epoxy primer. Using an epoxy primer will yield the best results when painting your chassis. Once you acquire all the tools you need, the preparation process is straightforward.  Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Building Bumper Brackets To Take Abuse

    I must admit that when it comes to my projects I have A.D.D, especially one as large as Pile House. Sometimes life gets in the way or we have other projects going at Eastwood (like our Project Resolution Mustang), that I can only devote small amounts of time or maybe a day here and there on the truck. When that's the case, it's tough to start or finish projects that take a big chunk of time to accomplish. One of MY resolutions for this year is to finish all the half-done and partially finished projects on Pile House.

    One project I had started a while ago was the custom front bumper build for the truck. I did what many hotrodders have done throughout the years, and hit the junkyard to find a suitable part to modify and retrofit to my truck. The result was a bumper bar that looked close to original.

    front bumper

    Since then I've done a lot to the truck and the bumper has sat under a layer of dust in the bed. The other day I had a spare afternoon to tackle the rest of the bumper project. The biggest task left was how I was going to mount the bumper to the truck. With it being winter here I decided to opt out of another junkyard trip (removing rusty bumper brackets in the snow is NOT my idea of fun). Instead, I took some flat steel and made up a set of mounts. These mounts needed to be strong enough to help support the weight of the front end of the truck when I lowered the airbags down. I didn't want the sheet metal taking the weight every time I aired the truck out, especially if someday the truck will have nice paint on it!

    So I started by cutting some 5/16" steel plate to length. I planned to make a triangulated mount that would help hold the weight when transferred across the front bumper.

    The first piece we needed to make was an "L" shape out of the flat bar stock. In order to get a nice bend in this I used the oxy-acetylene torch to heat up where I wanted the bend, then I used some leverage with some pipe to make the 90 degree bend I needed in the bar. The key is to get the metal "cherry red" hot where you want the metal to bend. With the bends made in the bars, I cut some more 5/16" plate and triangulated and braced the pieces I bent. This will add rigidity to the bracket. In order to get a better fit-up of the cross brace, I sanded an angle into the ends of the brace with the Belt/Disc Sander and finally tack welded it together with the MIG 175 welder.

    With the bracket starting to take the basic shape I wanted, I cut another piece of 5/16" flat bar that I could weld to the backside of the bumper and the bracket. In the end I want to shave the bumper and have no visible mounting holes, so the bracket must be welded to the bumper bar itself.

    Finally, I test fit the bumper and drilled my mounting holes to attach the bumper to the S10 chassis under the body. Once I was happy with the fitment of the bumper, I took it off and finished welding all of the seams on the brackets and the bumper bar with the MIG 175. I then decided to add some additional bracing to the bracket to help combat any bending or flexing of the bracket when the bumper is laid on the ground.

    This left me with a bumper bracket that resembled a jungle gym and I wanted to box it all in so it looked a little more "finished". I decided to take some 18 gauge steel and cut pieces to the shape of the sides of the brackets. Since I was covering the inside of the bracket, I decided to seal up the soon-to-be-hidden areas with some Gray Self Etching Primer. From there I used the Eastwood TIG 200 DC to weld the panels on. Once all of the seams were welded I blended them all together with a flap disc

    Now that the bumper is mounted it really makes the front end look more complete AND I'm not lowering the truck down on the front sheet metal anymore. When it comes time to disassemble for paint I'll blast the inside of the bumper with some rust encapsulator and chassis black to keep them corrosion-free for the life of the truck. With that old project finished, I can now move on to all the other loose ends I have on the truck!

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  • Meet Keith Paine our Help on the Horizon Contest Winner

    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!

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  • Chopping the top on a 1950 Dodge Pick-up – Eastwood’s Project Pile House- Part 1

    One of the next big projects planned for Project Pile House is performing a mild chop and smooth job on the cab and roof. We started the process in a previous post where we showed you How to Shave and Smooth Unneeded Holes in the bed and cab. Today we decided to really dig into this next part of the project.

    Since the roof will need to be worked and modified in a number of spots, I decided to use our 7 Inch Cleaning and Stripping Disc Kit on an Electric Angle Grinder to quickly strip the top half of the cab and doors down to bare metal. This will allow us to easily mark, cut, and weld the roof as we get it situated in it's new, lower position.

    Next I decided to remove the drip rails. This modification isn't a new one in the Hot Rod, Street Rod and custom world, but it's definitely one that's always debated. The original drip rails were in pretty sad shape, and I prefer smooth customs; so I decided to remove them with the angle grinder. I'll come back with a Flap Disc and bring the rough-cut edge flush with the roof. The drip rail is composed of 2 pieces of metal pinched and folded over, so I will have to weld the two pieces together and blend them before the truck is "done", but we'll wait until the chopped roof is back in place to finish that portion of the job.

    While we were on a roll, Mark R. (of Eastwood R&D Corner fame) helped me measure out the lines for where the chop would take place. After a little head scratching, and test fitting me (the driver) in the truck, we decided on a 3" chop that would take place below the rear windows and bring the lower "reveal" or contour of the rear window openings down to match the height of the lower door window sill. This would also bring the roof seam down to match with the top of the door, and make the size of the side door glass close to the that of the rear and cab-corner windows (I really like symmetry in custom cars!). With the lines laid out with painters tape, I'll be gearing up to make the cuts in the next week or two. Stay tuned, we'll be filming and posting a DIY video showing how we chop the roof. We're excited to see how Pile House looks with a fresh chop and shave!

    -Matt/EW

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  • 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!

    -Matt/EW

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