Tag Archives: Hot Rod

  • How to Build Simple Engine Mounts for a Hot Rod

    To me building a hot rod or custom car is all about building with what you've got, using some ingenuity, and making things from scratch. Sure you can point and click with your mouse and buy a "hot rod in a box" from online vendors, but I think that those cars lose the soul that makes a hot rod so dang cool. Recently I built a chassis for a 1930 Ford Model A coupe I'm putting together and I needed to make some simple motor mounts to attach the Flathead to the chassis. I know you can buy some, but where's the fun in that?! I decided to show a simple way to make some mounts from scratch.   Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Cars of SEMA 2015 – Friday Wrap Up

    And as quick as that, another SEMA show is over. All the show cars that were the least bit drivable got fired up and took a lap of the strip, headed from the Convention Center to the SEMA Ignited public after party down the street.It was another great show and thanks to everyone who stopped into our booth to visit and see our newest products. It will take days, maybe weeks, to wrap our heads around all the neat new ideas and trends we saw at the show, but when we do we'll post them here for you. For now, here are some of the cars that jumped out at us even after 2 full days of looking at amazing cars.

    Just to prove that guys will hot rod anything, here is a souped up Allis-Chalmers Model B tractor. They started making these in the late 1930s and kept making them for a while, so no telling exactly what this is. It goes to show you that nearly the same principles can be applied to any wheeled vehicle, just make them lower and wider and they will look meaner even if they aren't really any faster. The flat head 4 must sound great as it spits fire out of the short tube exhausts.

    SEMA 2015 1938 Allis Chalmers Model B

    This may seem like a strange jump, from tractor to Porsche, but one of the first things the German car maker put their name on was a tractor. These air-cooled 911s, in candy colors, all in a row, look like what all of us adult children dream of seeing when we look under the tree at Christmas.

    SEMA 2015 Porsche 911

    If you instead dream of playing in a pile of dirt,maybe you'd prefer this Jeep Chief concept. Look close and you can see how much 4 door Wrangler is still there. But the retro front end look, and the custom hard top make it look like a completely different vehicle. Jeep sure can turn out some sweet concepts, now lets see if they can put some more interesting trucks in the showrooms.

    SEMA 2015 Jeep Chief Concept

    Wagons have a great big open space to practice custom paint on, even compacts like this Mercury Comet. The asymmetrical, flaked and striped, super glossy green, over a suede black body really pops. As you can see there is a custom stitched interior in matching colors too, and it continues all the way to the back cargo hold. SEMA 2015 1963 Mercury Comet Wagon

    It is hard to imagine this 1968 Mustang shares most of its chassis with the Comet wagon above, which never had any performance goals at all. This tricked out pro-touring/road race/track day fastback has plenty of scoops and air dams to keep the air flowing where it needs to to cool the brakes and rear end, as well as keep the car stuck tot eh pavement. It is kind of akin to the Elenore "Gone in 60 Seconds" Mustang, only more purposeful looking.

    SEMA 2015 1968 Ford Mustang

    We'll also have some more posts later detailing the cars and builders who won this year's Eastwood Hands-on Awards. For now here is a recap of some of the standouts that went on to the Customer Choice category.

    SEMA 2015 1960 Oldsmobile 88

    SEMA 2015 1940 Mercury 4


    SEMA 2015 1953 Ford COE Truck 1

    SEMA 2015 1952 Chevy Gene Winfield Desert Sunset 3

    SEMA 2015 1927 Ford T-bucket

    SEMA 2015 1949 Cadillac

    SEMA 2015 1950 Metro Ice Cream Truck 1

      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...
  • How to separate a Transverse or Buggy Spring

    If it's one thing I learned as kid from my dad was that you need to fear and respect the suspension, specifically the springs on a vehicle. They can have a lot of built up tension in them when still mounted together that can be very dangerous if released uncontrollably. There's a lot of different ways out there take apart a "buggy" spring found on older cars. Henry Ford used these through the 40's and they are common place when building a hot rod or restoring an antique car or truck.


    After building our DIY chassis table I've been gathering parts to put together a custom chassis for my 30 Model A Coupe project. I want this car to "sit right" so I HAD to hit up the spring gurus over at Posies Rod and Customs for a set of front and rear reverse-eye drop springs for the front and rear. Since this car is going to be built in a "traditional" manner keeping with an old school theme, I opted for the front spring that has their patented "Super Slide" cups hidden underneath with rolled and tapered ends to keep that "old school" look. Those cool little moly-nylon button helps reduce friction between the springs making for a smoother ride.

    I needed to take these apart for two reasons, the first being that since I asked for the reverse-eye drop springs a traditional leaf spreader won't work any longer, the other reason is that these come in bare metal and I wanted to hit them with a coat of paint to avoid rust from forming while putting the chassis together. I decided to document the process to hopefully help some of the beginners that may have never messed with this type of suspension before.

    The first and most important thing you need to remember when taking apart a transverse or buggy spring is that you can NEVER be too careful. Getting lazy, cutting corners or dropping your guard at anytime can be VERY dangerous. Below we have my front spring pack from Posies that I need to disassemble. I like to set the pack up in a vice first with it clamped down on the center of the spring pack.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 15 30 PM

    I first take two medium to large sized C-Clamps and tighten them down pretty tightly on the spring on either side of the vice jaws. I then take the spring clamps on either end off and carefully remove the center bolt from the spring pack.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 15 42 PM

    Once the bolt is out I take a piece of threaded rod that is the same diameter as the center bolt and put two nuts with washers on either side and snug them up against the top and bottom of the spring. The second jam nut on either side is for safety in case the threads on the first nut fail (never had it happen but safety is key here!).

    I then take this entire contraption out of the vice and set it on the shop floor. I then start slowly alternating between loosening the threaded rod and the C-Clamps. I always try and make sure I leave a tiny bit of tension on the c-clamps so the threaded rod isn' taking the full force of the spring all at once.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 34 06 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 34 12 PM

    As you can see below after a few rounds of loosening the spring slowly starts to separate until the it gets to the point where you can loosen the threaded rod by hand and the clamps can be removed.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 35 45 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 36 00 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 36 33 PM

    Photo Sep 03, 8 38 04 PM

    With the springs apart I can now prep and paint them with Eastwood Chassis Black Primer and Satin Chassis Black Paint. The result is a subdued, but finished looking spring I know won't rust the first time it gets humid in my shop.

    Photo Sep 03, 8 39 44 PM

    Keep an eye out for another post showing assembling the spring on the axle and the process. Thanks for reading along!


      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Step up your Hammer Game! Using Intermediate Body hammers and Dollies

    Back when cars were made of heavy metal and had lots of beautiful curves guys took the time to repair a fender rather than just replace it. Any good metal worker will tell you that you need to match the hammer and dolly as close as possible with the shape of your panel you're working on. When you're working on a curvy car like something from the late 1930's through the 1950's you will be hard pressed to find a flat panel on the vehicle. This means that you will need to use tools to match. Back in those days the selection of specialty hammers were vast, some being specifically used for one type of car or type of repair!  Click Here To Read Full Post...