Tag Archives: Project Car
Since our last post we've been busy working on disassembling the car down to just a rolling shell. This meant we had to removed the entire drivetrain and start deciding if we were going to keep the original or get a replacement engine. The engine and transmission came out pretty easy when using the Folding Engine Hoist. We then separated the engine and transmission and put the engine on a Ford Small Block Rolling Engine Stand so we could easily move it around the shop.
Meanwhile, some of the other members of the team worked on sanding the fenders and doors down to bare metal using the Eastwood Stripping Discs and then sprayed them with Eastwood Fast Etch to keep them from flash rusting while they wait their turn for bodywork and shiny paint.
After looking over the engine we decided that this engine had been neglected for quite sometime and even the original waterpump was still on the engine! When Tim went to remove the bolts out of the waterpump just about every single one broke off. This is going to cause a lot more work as we now have to extract each broken bolt. This task will include removing the harmonic balancer on the crank and the timing chain cover to get to the bolts that broke. Let's hope this doesn't require some serious surgery!
Once we were tired of fighting with broken bolts we moved on to removing the front radiator support on the car. This is NOT an easy job even on the best day. First of all you have to drill out numerous spot welds and the number of spot welds on each side of the radiator support are not equal. It seems like the spot welder in the factory just did however many felt right that day.. or two guys were spot welding on each side and one did way more than the other. The other problem we had was that the car has been hit in the front and some of the metal was bent and damaged. We took turns drilling spot welds with the Eastwood Spot Weld Cutters and slowly we were able to peel the old radiator support off of the front of the car. We'll have to do some hammer and dolly work to the remaining parts on the front end, but so far the CJ Pony replacement radiator panel seems like it will fit pretty well.
Next up we will have to remove the damaged inner fender skirt panel and mock it all up to make sure the front sheet metal will sit correctly when we're done. Soon we'll be firing up the MIG 175 and the TIG 200 to weld these panels in place. Stay tuned, we're just getting warmed up!
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We have been lucky enough on the east coast to have a pretty mild winter. This meant that we could really get work done AND enjoy our customs/classics throughout the winter (now I know what you west coast folks enjoy!). This meant that there was a month where I didn't get much done on Project Pile House. As the weather gets warmer and talk our our 2012 Eastwood Summer Classic stirs, I have really gotten the motivation to make some progress on the truck. Since we've already tackled getting the cab and front sheet metal mounted and stretched the bed sides, I decided to to build a new bed frame.
The bed didn't fair nearly as well as the rest of the truck, and there wasn't much left of the bed floor. In the end I pretty much ended up cutting it all out to build new. I decided to firm the bed up by using a mix of angle iron and square box tubing. This allows me to have a nice base for the floor when it comes time to finish the bed. Since I was welding together fairly thick steel, I decided to pull out our MIG 175 and weld up the bracing on 220V. I first ground off the surface rust where I was welding the angle iron to the bedsides. I then hit up the entire perimeter of the bed where the new metal would overlap with Self Etching Weld Thru Primer to assure that the work I'm doing wouldn't rust out. Even though the truck is currently a Patina-Queen, I still want any work I do to last the life of the truck!
With any custom vehicle, you will run into unexpected snags throughout the build. One thing I wanted to avoid was the "shallow bed effect" that you see on many lowered or classic trucks (especially ones with modern chassis). I want to actually be able to put more than a lawn chair in the bed! In order to do that I needed to move the OE chassis cross member forward a few inches to get it sitting below the bed floor. By doing this it also made the driveshaft uncomfortably close to the bottom of the cross member. I decided to notch and box the cross member before welding it back into the chassis. I may also need to cut down the top of the frame a small amount over the rear axle to keep the bed floor level, but we will tackle that later.
From there I made mounts that tied the new floor frame into the S10 chassis and now it is a "bolt-on affair" to install the bed. With all of that done I began working on getting the rear of the truck sitting where I wanted when "aired out". Due to time constraints and to keep the 'budget-build" theme, I decided to ditch some of the leafs, install drop blocks, and build a cheap bag-on-bar air suspension setup in the rear. I don't plan to race the truck or build a high horsepower engine (yet!), so I went this route. Stay tuned as I continue working on the rear suspension and begin to get this old truck rolling again!
We regularly brag about the fact that we test, design, and dream up new products in-house here at Eastwood. Testing products requires a good rotation of test vehicles and we've had a number of wrecks we've used in the past. Recently the "powers-that-be" agreed that we should buy a new test vehicle that we could restore as we tested and designed new products. The ideas started flying immediately, "We could` test out a new welding attachment while we replace a rusty lower fender" or "Test a new cleaning product on weathered old vinyl", etc. So the hunt was on!
After weeks of hunting Craiglist religiously, one of our product developers Joe R. came upon a great deal on a local fox body Mustang for sale. The owner brought it by and we climbed all around it looking for the signs of a good Eastwood project vehicle. Our criteria was like the list of things most would shy away from. We wanted rust, dents, body damage, weathered interior, faded bumpers and paint, etc. Needless to say the seller was a bit confused as we commented on the imperfections the car had "Oh cool, the seats are quite worn!" or "Oh nice, it has been in a fender bender at some point", "Oh look it has some rust in the rockers!". Luckily it wasn't April Fools yet and the seller finally understood why we were acting that way. We struck a deal and the car became ours!
Fast forward a week and we are now starting to brainstorm where will start on the new addition. We plan to stay pretty conservative in this build, keeping it fairly original (or so we are telling the bosses right now!). But we are always looking for your opinions on what we should do to bring this car back from its beater status! Keep watching the Eastwood Blog as we update on the progression of this Mustang.
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