Tag Archives: patina

  • Running Board Fabrication, A Front Bumper, and an Engine

    In one of our last small updates we hinted at the running board project I had started on Project Pilehouse. Fast forward a little and we have just about completed the passenger side running board, complete with the outer skin we formed with the Eastwood Bead Roller, Electric Metal Cutting Shears, and the MIG 175.

    In other news, I hit a junkyard that is about an hour from Eastwood headquarters in search of a new front bumper for the truck. Sadly the original front bumper had been stolen from our property and we needed a replacement that matched the front end of the truck. After walking the classic car section of the yard, I stumbled across a 60's Corvair Van that had close measurements and shape to what I was looking for. After a few minutes with a battery powered reciprocating saw, we had it removed and were on our way home. Below is an initial photo of how it looks mocked up to the truck, I think with a little sectioning, chopping, and tweaking, this thing could look better than the original!

    Lastly we have a 400 SBC lined up for the truck from the Hudson Performance Speed Shop here locally. It's a good runner and it should be easy to clean up, detail, and mate to a transmission to get the truck moving for cheap!

    Watch this space for the full DIY video on how I fabricated the new running boards from scratch and all of the other exciting updates here soon!

    -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • 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!

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Parking Lot Gems- Classic Dodge Car Hauler

    Now that the weather is getting nicer we're out cruising in our cars just about every weekend. While some of us go to the regular cruise-ins and shows in the area, I like to get off the beaten path and take the scenic route. My lady and I have a pretty good system worked out now where she surveys the scenery for interesting cars, trucks, and motorcycles, while I try to get us lost on back country roads. We've found some pretty neat classics, and met some interesting characters this way, but it's always an adventure. Here's to another season of back road cruising!

    This one we spotted when stopping at a yard sale at a restored old farm house. The owner had some interesting things in the driveway, so we decided to stop in and take a look around. Up close to their barn we found this gem, a 60's Dodge dually car hauler. Legend goes that this truck was used to haul race cars around for a local racer. He even had the truck repainted to match the car at one point, but obviously the bodywork and paint have seen better days!

    The current owner bought it from the "racer" and used it for his electrical business running up and down the Eastern coast of the U.S. for many years. The big block V8 with the giant Edelbrock carb was averaging around 6-8 MPG and sometimes even less when they were fully loaded up! Imagine trying to do that with the gas prices today! This truck was put out of service when a shop diagnosed a miss as the engine needing a full rebuild. One look under the hood for anyone "in the know" and you can instantly spot the missing valve spring retainer circlip and the decompressed valve spring.. that just might cause a miss!

    Otherwise the truck looks to be in pretty good shape for its age and pretty much everything you would need to put it back in service is on or in the truck (minus the ramps for the back). At minimum I'd clean off the surface rust on the truck, seal it with some Rust Encapsulator and Chassis Black, then take care of the fuel system with a Gas Tank Sealer Kit and Aerosol Injection. The owner indicated he would sell it for the price of scrap and we think it would be a tragedy to see it go as the latter! This would be perfect to compliment a classic car at a show, or even a killer car hauler for a repair or restoration shop! We just wish we had the space to give it a home!

    Stay tuned for more field, driveway, and parking lot gems as we photograph and share their stories with you! -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Rebuilding the front suspension with a custom twist Part 1- Front air ride on a Chevy S10

    After I got the custom rear air suspension built for Project Pile House, I could now move on to the front suspension. The rear was relatively easy since there was a ton of room under the bed, but the front isn't so easy. After some research on mini truck websites and the S10 forums, I found that most guys suggested upgrading to the larger 2600 series air bags in the front when you are planning a V8 drivetrain (as I am). The 2500's apparently require much more air to get the truck up to an acceptable ride height and driving the truck at those high pressures makes the ride very harsh. Ideally for the best of both worlds you want the vehicle to ride at a mid-range pressure that will give you a nice ride, but still handle well. The downside is that the bag is obviously larger and requires a bit more modification to the spring pocket to fit.

    I began by disassembling the front suspension, you can see above it was definitely time to address the front steering and suspension components on this chassis! I started the job by removing the tie rods out of the steering knuckle. Many struggle dropping the ball joints and popping the tie rod out of the knuckle when doing this job. I was taught a trick long ago that makes the job really easy.

    What you want to do is remove the nut from the tie rod (or ball joint) and clean off the outside of the pocket where the tie rod is seated. Look for a casting mark where the knuckle was formed. Some vehicles (like this one) it's a flat area, while others it's just a rough raised line. You then take a large hammer (I like to use my 5 pound sledge), and take one REALLY good swing at the pocket; aiming directly for that casting mark you previously found. If you have good aim and swing hard enough, this will shock the conjoined parts loose and the tie rod or ball joint will be free enough that you can pull them out by hand. Sometimes the tie rod will even just fall right out. This is a great trick to show off to your friends and has saved me loads of time over the years.

    After knocking the tie rod out, I moved on to removing the bolts holding the shock in place. I then used a jack to compress the coil spring and slowly dropped the jack down relieving the pressure off of the spring. With the spring pressure relieved, I could remove the spindle, control arms, and other steering and suspension parts. This procedure was a good test for the new Eastwood 1/2" Composite Impact Gun. Even with the extra long air hose we have running to this side of the shop (can cause a pressure drop), it performed flawlessly removing bolts that probably haven't been touched since the chassis was newly assembled!

    With the old suspension out, I now could start on the front air ride fabrication. The nice thing about these larger bags is that they give a ton of lift when aired up, but when fully compressed they are probably a 1/3 of the size of the stock coil spring. For fun I sat the two next to each other before I began the job. Talk about a huge difference in height!

    That's it for the first part of this tech series, stay tuned for our next entry where I will show you how we mated the air bags to the stock suspension and chassis. Then we clean and detailed it all with some help from some Eastwood chassis coatings!

    -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Rear Air Ride Suspension Fabrication- Project Pile House

    Recently I began to tackle suspension on the truck. Even though I'm using a vehicle that is pretty common to install air bags on, it still requires some extra thought to make everything work correctly when there is a classic truck body on top of the S10 chassis. I couldn't mount the bags or any brackets for them higher than the frame work in the bed that I already built, so I decided to buy some universal bag mounts and use some bar stock to make my own bag-on-bar air ride kit in the rear end of the truck.

    I started by test fitting the bags and brackets and setting them at a height that I utilized the full travel of the bags. Once I set the height of the brackets on top of the rear, I tack welded them in place and began work on the cross member bar that the bags will lift on. I mounted the bar snugly between the frame rails giving some additional lateral strength to the chassis, while also giving a firm location for the bags to lift on. This also allowed me to set the bar just below the level of the bed floor. Once I test fit everything together, I welded it all using the Eastwood MIG 175. This is where the extra power of the 175 was needed over the MIG 135 that I like to use on lighter fabrication and sheet metal jobs.

    After everything was welded in place I put a quick test line together with a schrader valve to test the movement of the truck by just adding air from the shop compresser to fill the bags. I will be deciding on an air ride management system later on in the build once some other parts of the project are completed first.

    Next up we will be refreshing the front suspension with our fancy new performance suspension parts from ProForged. They make some great severe-duty suspension parts that will handle most anything you could throw at them. At the same time we'll be installing the front air ride parts and be gearing up to build some new running boards from scratch to replace the rusty old ones. Lots of cool custom work to come, so check back often!

    -Matt/EW

      Click Here To Read Full Post...