Tag Archives: hot

  • Building Door Frames to Match the Chop

    It's been a while since we talked about the roof chop on Pilehouse, but I've been doing a lot of boring work on the smashed up old roof getting it satisfactory. Since then I decided to finally finish building the doors to match the roof. I took some pictures as I did the drivers side to show one way to do it, and I did the passenger side an alternative way to show another way you can tackle this project. We shot the video on the passenger side, but in the photos here you can see the other way to go about it.

    Just like chopping the roof down, we needed to take out some height from the top of the door, split it in half, and add some width to it. That's why it's extremely handy to keep original metal that you cut off of the truck. I started by splitting the top of the door in half so we could mock up the two pieces so that they sat where we wanted them to in the door jamb.

    I started with the rear portion and held it in place in the door opening and closed the door until the post met the top of the door I was holding in place. From there I made a mark on the pillar where the 2 parts overlapped. From there I could cut the excess off of the door. In the front of the door I needed to take the extra material out of the top of the door since that was the straightest part of the upper front portion of the door. If at all possibly you always want to take material out of the pillars, doors, etc where the pieces are straight and the most uniform. Cutting them on a curve makes it VERY difficult to piece things back together smoothly and get your angles correct.

    Once the pieces were cut I temporarily tack welded them to the edge of the roof to get them sitting about where I wanted. With the tack welds I could still adjust the parts without them being permanently mounted. This way I could shut the door and line everything up how I wanted.

    Once the front and rear sections of the door were about where I wanted them I grabbed the piece of the door I cut out of the front. This portion of the door was very close in size to the center and only required minor tweaking to get the backside contours to match up.

    From there I was able to tack weld and adjust everything how I wanted and I could weld the seams all together. On the drivers side I hadn't fully cut and ground the drip rail off so I went about mocking up the door pieces. Either one will work, just be sure to use paint stir sticks or similar as spacers to leave room for seals in the door jam. With the doors welded back together the full effect of chopping the roof is visible. I think this mild chop really made Pilehouse look better. My next plans are to customize the hood and build a custom tailgate, so stay tuned for more updates.

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  • A Retired 1953 Chevy Farm Truck Stops by the Eastwood Outlet

    We often have local customers cruising to the Eastwood retail outlet in their classic cars. During the winter the number of interesting cars and trucks that we see goes down considerably, but that doesn't stop everyone. Ray T. stopped by the other day to price out some tools and supplies for his newest project- a 1953 Chevy 3/4 Ton Pickup. His truck is a rare bird in that it's all original and it's farm fresh! The truck spent 99% of its life since new on a Kansas Farm and it only has some wear and tear from being "used". Overall the truck is very solid and it stil sports the original inline six that runs great (albeit a little oil smoke). The only modification currently is a rear end from a more modern 1987 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup.

    Ray's plans are a bit controversial, but he's talking about turning it into a street rod and installing an automatic v8 and some more modern modifications. The purists may turn their noses up for modifying such a nice original example, but he does have a nice solid base to start with! Whatever he decides, our guys in the Eastwood retail outlet will steer him in the right direction to do the job right. If you want to visit our retail outlet and get some advise about your next project or see our products in person, come see us here: http://www.eastwood.com/custserv-store

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  • 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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  • David Chambers- 48 Plymouth

    "In 2010, I fulfilled m y contract with the US Army, as a disabled combat soldier. I entered automotive school shortly thereafter, and graduated this past Aug.The entire time I was in school,I was doing my best to pay off debt from when I was younger and less concerned with the future, but never made much progress. I've only just found a job, as a fabricator. It not being my chosen field, I'm not left much room to work on my cars, nor save up to purchase the equipment I need to do what I love, restore and customize cars and motorcycles. I've acquired a few tools here and there, but I still lack the larger, more expensive tools, even a welder. I don't even have a garage to work out of. I've worked to be a productive person as much as I can, but keeping m y head above water is a struggle on m ost days. I do my best to maintain a positive attitude, and work as hard as my body lets me, but debt collectors seem to enjoy reminding me that no matter how hard I work, the money I earn, isn't mine. I admit things could be worse, so I don't ask for hand outs, but after a while, desperation takes over. I need a hand. I don't need a miracle. I just need a welder and a few other things. I need to start doing what I love again. I have a 48 plymouth that I love, but the floor is nearly gone, and the rockers are rotting through. I need these things, so I can make my life about fabricating, not just wishing."

    I'm ready to vote:
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  • Steve Hall- 1932 Ford

    "My father in law had owned this 1932 Ford five window street rod for the past 40 something years.About 10 years ago he started the process of doing a frame off restoration to this car when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He put the street rod project aside and devoted the next several years taking care of her. She lost her battle to cancer a few years back. He just never regained the desire to start back on the car. I feel like it was due to the fact that there was so much history with the car and his wife since she loved the car as much as he did. The car has just sat in his garage covered up since she passed away.About a year ago he contacted me to see if his daughter and I wanted the car so we could works towards completing it. I was happy as a pig in mud until I realized that I was a little in over my head and lacked the skills and the tools needed to complete this project. On top of all that I am in the floor covering business and as you can imagine the construction and remodeling business has been unbelievably slow these past few years and I am now working a third more hours for half the pay I used to get so the lack of extra tim e and m oney have m ost definitely put a dam per on this project. There is nobody anywhere that would appreciate some help with their project more than I would. My father in law is up in years and I would love to complete this car and see him take it for a drive while he is still able. Thank you for considering my project."

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