Tag Archives: project

    • 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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    • Project Resolution Becomes a Shell

      We've been VERY busy since our last update. We've decided that the best way to fix the body damage in the inner fender was to remove the 5.0 engine from the Mustang. As we dug in we found all sorts of holes drilled in that side of the engine bay from someone using a slide hammer to pull the dents and never filling the holes. This will be a great time to freshen up and paint the bay while we're "in there".

      Since we made the decision to pull the drivetrain out everyone has been arguing over what we should do when we put an engine back into the car. Some ideas we've heard range from mild to wild! We've heard supercharging, turbo, refresh and bring back to stock, a new crate engine, even a wild naturally aspirated engine build (big cam, port and polish, lightened and balanced internals, etc). We're still undecided, but I admit it would be good fun to see what sort of power we could get out of a cheap custom turbo setup on the stock 302 with Eastwood tools (give that TIG 200 a workout!). So we decided to do a compression test on all eight cylinders in case we keep the engine or use it as a base. Surprisingly all cylinders were pretty close and within spec. With the high being 145PSI and the low being 130PSI, this engine has faired better than many other fox body Mustangs out there!

      Now with those numbers recorded, Nick and I tore into the bay removing everything that needed to come off to remove the drivetrain. We're a little behind schedule, so we pulled out the Eastwood Air Tools to get the job done a little faster. We didn't run into that many rusty or seized bolts, but we were surprised that few we did run into, the Composite Twin Hammer Impact Wrench broke them loose with ease. With the use of the impact wrench and the Eastwood Composite Air Ratchet we have the engine hanging by only a few bolts. We're hoping later this week to try and pluck the lump out of the bay and drop it on the engine stand.

      While Nick and I worked on the engine bay Lisa, Amanda, Kevin, and Randy worked on getting the interior taken apart. This area was as dirty and abused as we expected, but Lisa did find a few surprises when she was removing the drivers seat. It turns out that someone had ripped or destroyed some of the seat mounting locations in the floor and made some pretty unsafe repairs. Under the right rear drivers seat bracket they had stripped out the mounting hole and drove a larger sized bolt into the floor pan at about a 45 degree angle. This was a pain to get out! Then she found that in the front someone had ripped out the front left mounting point of the drivers seat. To repair the area they used some painters tape (yes you read that correctly!) and a piece of aluminum plate they shoved into the hole to drive another incorrect bolt into. We're still unsure how they got the plate into the hole. but we imagine a BFH was in the mix!

      The crew got the interior pretty well stripped, the bumpers, rear quarter windows and sunroof removed so far and the car really is in shambles. Some may think the Mustang is ready for the junkyard but we see a fresh slate to start over and give this car a new lease on life. Next we hope to get the engine out and start to tackle the body damage. Repair panels are just starting to roll in from CJ Pony Parts and we can't wait to get these quality repair panels installed!

      If you have an idea what we should do for our new engine, please drop us a comment and let us know you're thoughts! Thanks for following, now get out there and build something yourself! -Matt/EW

      Related Eastwood Products:

      • Safety Goggles

        Protect your eyes from hazards from the front or sides; elastic strap

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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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    • Straightening the Heavily Dented Roof- Eastwood MIG Stud Weld Kit

      Pilehouse didn't live a charmed life, it was used and abused as a farm truck, then sat for many years in the woods. Mother Nature has really left her mark on the truck. From the scratches and scrapes, to HUGE dents and smashed in sections, some would say I'm a masochist for taking on such a project. I've always liked a challenge and I thought straightening the roof would be just that.

      Some of the dents on the roof were fixed by metal bumping them back into shape with the Eastwood Pro Hammer and Dolly Kit, but other areas weren't so easy. I found a few pesky dents that were in areas I couldn't get to, or were simply creased and needed some pulling before I worked them with the hammer and dolly. We recently released a new MIG Stud Welding Kit that was perfect for the job. This kit allows you to turn your MIG welder into a stud welder. I've always hated using a traditional stud welder. It's bulky, heavy, and hard to get a solid weld with. It's pretty simple, just add the MIG Stud nozzle to the end of the MIG gun and slide a stud into the nozzle. Then just hit the trigger for a couple seconds and I've got a firmly attached stud for pulling dents.

      Below is the damage I was repairing. It looks like a sharp edge scraped against the roof and really did a number on this spot. After Stripping the paint and surface rust, I had bare metal to weld my studs to.

      I began welding studs into the deepest portion of the crease and using the slide hammer to pull the dent out. I like to leave the studs in place until I've got the dent roughly pulled out. This way I can come back and give a couple more pulls on the slide hammer if an area didn't quite pop out like I wanted.

      After I got the dent roughed out, I cut off the studs and used a flap disc to take the stud welds back down to the surface. I then like to check the area with the palm of my hand for low spots I missed. This crease came out after only a handful of pulls and you can see below it's MUCH better. It only took a little more hammer and dolly work to have it ready for a skim coat of filler, then primer. If you have the patience you could eventually metal finish this area perfect and only use primer. This whole project took 30 minutes, so I'd say repairing this crease was a relatively easy job (I wish all repairs were this easy!).

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