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Tag Archives: Restoration

  • How to Select the Right Tip for Your Paint Gun

    When spraying paint with a compressed air spray gun, whether gravity feed or siphon feed, conventional or High Volume Low Pressure (HVLP), it’s important to have the gun set up properly for the job. What you are painting is important to a certain extent, but more import is what you are painting with.

    painting

    For example, if you are painting a small panel, or a motorcycle gas tank you can use a gun with a smaller spray pattern than if you are painting the side of a van.  You can still use the big gun for a small project, but it is going to be more wasteful and messy. You can use the small gun for a big job but it’s going to take a lot longer to do it.

    IMG_0180

    Moe important to the quality of the job you are doing is using a gun with the right size fluid tip and needle for the paint, primer or whatever else you are spraying. Most guns have the option of several different sized spray tip openings, with a matching needle for each one. Eastwood carries a selection of popular sizes for the guns they sell. As a general rule of thumb, thicker material, like high build primers use a bigger opening, while thinner liquids use a smaller tip.

    Often times the paint or primer will come with recommendations as to how to spray it. Usually the instructions that come with the gun will have a handy chart too. Here’s what Kevin Tetz and Eastwood recommends for the Concourse HVLP gun.

    spray gun tips

    For spraying clear coats on small parts and projects, a 1.2mm tip. For spraying a whole car a 1.3mm tip is recommended. The 1.4mm tip is perfect for base coats and metallic as the droplet size allows the particles to self-orient to eliminate streaking and mottling. The 1.8mm is at the upper end of sizes for urethane primer surfacers, and the minimum size you want to use for a poly-urethane primer surfacer, which can use up to a 2.2mm.

    Here are some common tip sizes and recommended usages:

    5 tip

    0.5-1.0mm – These are very common in detail spray guns because they provide a much smaller pattern compared to a larger tip on a full size gun. Also used for thin dyes and stains.

     

    1.2mm, 1.3mm – Good for clear coat and thinner base coats. Spraying clear with a 1.2mm will take longer because the tiny hole doesn’t flow much fluid through it but will give you a very fine finish. The 1.3mm is a great general clear coat tip, also thinner base coats, waterborne and single stage paints. Too thick of a paint won’t flow well through this size though.

    1.4mm – Great all-purpose size. Works well with most base coats, and even thicker clears. This size is the closes to a universal tip as it comes. When in doubt it’s a good place to start.

    1.5mm, 1.6mm – Versatile tip for base coats and single stage paints. Thinner paints run the risk of orange peel though because they will not atomize correctly. Also a good choice for lacquer paints.

    1.7mm, 1.8mm  –1.7mm is the smallest size you should use for most types of primer, not a very common size but currently offered on the Eastwood Concours LT Gun.  Typically 1.8mm is recommended for most primer surfacers. Also the smallest size if you are shooting latex paint, not that you would do that with your good HVLP gun.

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    2.0-2.3mm – High build primers and other thick materials. Avoid spraying and base, single stage or through these size tips, it will not atomize correctly and give a poor result.

     

    pro set

    If you still are unsure what sizes you will need, Eastwood makes it easy by offering our Original Concours and Concours Pro HVLP paint guns in sets that come with multiple sizes.  Purchasing a set like these will allow you to spray all types of paints from the same gun, making it easier while saving you money.

    There you have a rundown of the common sizes of fluid tips for the HVLP spray gun and what they are for, with the most common in red. If you just remember thinner smaller, thicker bigger, it’s pretty intuitive. With fancy paints like pearls and metal flakes, you may have to go smaller and larger respectively for them to come out really well, but the only real way to find out is with practice, lots of practice.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and How-To Center for more Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

  • Sound Deadening Paint Sprays and Mats - Benefits & Application Tips

    Cars have come a long way since WWII, but they haven’t really gotten any more enjoyable, which is why we all still like to play with our old cars. Plenty of people will argue about whether a new Honda Accord could beat a first generation Mustang in a race (it probably would, no matter whether a drag strip or a road course), but no one is going to argue about how much quieter it is inside the modern car. Sure that’s both good and bad; we want to hear the 289 roar, but that freeway drone gets old after an hour or two.
  • Can You Powder Coat Glass?

    We all know you can powder coat metal but what about other materials such as glass?  In order to powder coat an item there is really only one determining factor, it must be able to withstand 400ºF. Metal is one of the best materials to powder coat because it conducts electricity, allowing the charged powder to be drawn to the part thus completing the circuit.  That leaves out all other non conductive items, can they be powder coated too?  Hot flocking is the most common way of powder coating non conductive objects by heating them up to temperature, pulling them out of the oven and then applying the powder without needing to connect the grounding cable or plug in the gun.  The part is already hot so the powder melts on contact.  Once there is full coverage you put it back into the oven to finish curing.  This method is proven and utilized by many manufacturing companies but there are some other little known tricks to coat materials like glass without having to heat them up before.
  • Generator Buyers Guide

    Things to Consider When Shopping for a Generator

    We all like to get away from it all once in a while. Whether that is to a cabin, a remote off-road campsite, the racetrack, or just the parking lot of your favorite team’s stadium chances are there aren’t any electrical outlets handy. Having a portable generator means getting away from it all while still taking a lot of the modern conveniences with you.

    Portable generators are also great in any emergency where the power might go out. Even if you just use it to keep the refrigerator running for a few days, a generator can pay for itself after the first storm in food that didn’t go bad. Plus you’ll be able to keep your cell phones charged, and listen to the radio, or watch the TV news for important updates.

    If you live in a rural or suburban area on a big spread of land, having a generator to take out to a far corner of your homestead is easier than running hundreds of feet of extension cords just to get some work lights or run a portable compressor. The bigger units will even allow you to run a MIG welder and do portable repairs in the field, without having to haul everything back to the shop for welding.

    So, we’ve established you need a generator, so what should you consider before buying?

    (Warning: There will be math, but we won’t quiz you on it)

    1. Wattage – Generators are rated in the amount of watts they can put out, usually with a peak number and a lower continuous number. This makes it easy to figure out how many light bulbs you could run off of it, but not much else is typically rated at watts. A 3000 watt portable generator rated at 2800 continuous can light 46 lightbulbs with a 60 watt rating. For tools and appliances with an electric motor the starting wattage can be a lot higher (2 to 3 times higher) than the continuous draw, that’s why they are rated that way. Most appliances have an amperage listed in their documentation, as do most tools. The formula to convert is an easy straightforward one: Watts = Volts x Amps. So multiply the rated amperage by 120v or 240v and you get the needed wattage to run it. Our MIG 135 welder rated at 20A 120V maximum input would need 2400 watts running at full power.
      Gennie Chart
    2. Voltage– The MIG 135 welder brings up a good point, if you plan on running any tools or appliances that require 220V power you had better buy a generator that puts out 220V. Of course, you already know what sort of power your tools require, but if you plan on using it for emergency backup it is important to check things like furnace and hot water heater requirements. Who cares if you can watch TV and the food is still cold when you can’t heat the house or take a hot shower?
    3. Noise – This isn’t much of an issue with emergency backup usage, as it is at campsites and the race track. If you buy a cheap generator with a loud engine that runs all night you will not have any friends in the pits or campground. Be sure to look at the Db rating of the lower cost generator before you commit because you may have to be the one listening to it all night.
    4. Pull or Electric Start?– Usually the higher wattage rated generators come with electric start, instead of just a pull cord. A pull cord is fine, and when in good order, any generator will start up with a few pulls, but the 12th time you have to start it on a week-long trip you may regret not getting the pushbutton start.
    5. Run Time – If you plan on using your generator to run lights on a job site all night, or keep the fridge cold in an emergency, you are going to want an 8hr or more run time on a tank of fuel, or you are literally going to lose sleep over it. Remember running time is usually calculated at half load, and do the math again with the formula above.
    6. Portability – This will always be a compromise, the more wattage a generator can put out the bigger it usually is. If you plan on needing power somewhere really remote and rough, and having backup for your whole house, you may need to buy 2 generators. A 7500 watt generator typically weighs close to 200lbs, which is going to require a lot of muscle to carry over an unpaved trail, even with wheels on it.
    7. Fuel – Most small to medium sized generators run on regular gasoline. But for RV usage and rural backup use diesel power is the way to go because the motors are more rugged, and diesel fuel is stable in the tank for a lot longer than modern gasoline. Some generators are configured to run on propane or LPG as well, which doesn’t produce much carbon monoxide, so can be used in tighter quarters where the fumes from a diesel or gasoline generator would make people sick.

     

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    Eastwood’s 3000 watt generator is rated for 2800 watts of continuous usage. That will easily run most refrigerators, and a few of other appliances, as long as they don’t all start at once. Remember, anything with an electric heating element is going to be a wattage hog, a hot plate or electric griddle can use 1500 watts. We already talked about the MIG 175, but air compressor motors can suck up even more juice, especially when they first start. For example a 1hp motor can need 4500 watts to get going, so check what the motor on your portable compressor says before buying the generator.

     

     

  • How to Port and Polish Cylinder Heads

    Porting cylinder heads for better performance is as much an art as it is a science. Strange as it may seem, just making the intake and exhaust passages bigger will not always improve performance, and may actually hurt it. The expert port polishers are still guys with a lifetime of experience and the ability to visualize the invisible gas flow at high speed in 3D. They are like wizards. But there are certain easily done basic techniques that even a beginner can learn and that work on all engines. Doing just the basic gasket matching, port smoothing and bowl blending it is not unusual to see 10% power increases across the board.

    Safety First

    First things first, you need the proper safety gear. Porting and polishing involves grinding away metal and as such there will be grit, grindings and dust flying once you spin up the tools. Safety googles and a dust mask are a minimum; you may want a full face shield. Gloves are also a good idea, not only to keep your hands clean, but to keep from grinding off any fingerprints. Be extra careful around loose fitting clothing, jewelry and long hair; tuck it in, remove it, or tie it back before you start.

    Porting KitThe Tools

    There are not a lot of tools needed to do your first porting and polishing job. You will need an electric or air powered high speed die grinder, some abrasive rolls and the mandrels they mount to, all of which are included in the Eastwood Engine Porting Kit with Die Grinder. Also available in a mini die grinder kit, or with just the rolls and mandrels. You may also want some carbide burrs, which are especially helpful if you are working with cast iron. If you are working with aluminum or other soft metals you may want a tube of Eastwood Grinder’s Grease too, to help keep the tools from loading up with metal.

    The Three Basics

    Gasket Matching – Gasket matching is the process of matching the size of the port to the size of the intake gasket. Often times there is an overlap where the intake manifold runner is slightly bigger than the opening it mates to in the cylinder head. By tracing the opening of the gasket on the mating surface of both head and manifold you can be certain the flowing gas has a smooth transition between the two. It is not important to open them up bigger, the important thing is that there is no step that disrupts the flow.

    Port Smoothing – Here in the 21st century cylinder heads come direct from the foundry with ports much smooth then was imaginable back in the 1950s when most classic power plants were being cast. On top of improved casting techniques, the design of the ports is much better too. But most old school cylinder heads have rough cast ports that can be much improved with a little work. Firstly, you want to grind out any shark, jagged, left over casting flash in the ports. Secondly, you want to smooth any sharp transitions or obstructions in the port. And lastly, you want to generally smooth the port walls. Be careful on the intake as a slightly rougher wall helps fuel atomization. Above all remove as little metal as possible.

    Bowl Blending – Blending the surfaces of the combustion chamber, or bowl, has 2 benefits. One, eliminating sharp edges helps stop pre-ignition from localized hot spots. Two, unshrouding the valve lets the mixture flow better into and out of the combustion chamber. It’s a good idea when working in this area to insert an old set of valves so you can avoid grinding too close to the seats. Remember, making the chambers bigger will decrease the static compression ratio, so again, take out just as much metal as you need too. Never use a carbide burr in the combustion chamber, they are much too aggressive and will remove too much metal.

    How To

      1. Take a good new intake gasket and attach it to the head loosely with a couple of bolts.
      2. Scribe a line around the ports, using the gasket as a template. A carbide scribe of finishing nail works great, you can also use a Sharpie but you will quickly rub off the ink.
        porting 1
      3. Depending on how much material you need to remove, start grinding away with the carbide burr or an abrasive roll. Don’t grind in any one area too much. Instead work around and around the port removing a little bit at a time until you have opened it up to your scribed line. Later you can use the same technique on the intake manifold ports too.
        porting 2
      4. Once the ports are opened up properly, continue to grind and smooth your way toward the valve seat. For the sake of durability and good sealing try to stop your grinding 1/2 inch before the actual valve seat.
      5. Feel and look inside the port to find any flash and rough jagged edges left from the casting process. You may want to attack these with a carbide burr first to speed things along. Grind these smooth.
      6. Then work the cylindrical and tapered drums around and in and out of the port until it is a uniform smoothness throughout.
        porting 3
      7. Flip the heads over and work the area under the valve seat. There is usually a sharp ridge in the port in this area that should be smoothed into a more gradual transition. Again, be extra careful not to cut into the valve seat itself, or weaken that area.
        porting 4
      8. A particularly important area of the intake port to smooth is the short side radius. This is the sharp turn the port has to take as it changes direction just before the valve seat. In this picture it is below and just ahead of the tapered abrasive roller.
        porting 8
      9. It’s a good idea to work all the intake ports, then the exhausts, then the chambers. That way you are more likely to get more uniform results. It will also take less time this way, as you will be able to work faster as you practice on each port.
      10. There is no need to gasket match the exhaust ports to the header or manifold. In fact popular wisdom holds that having a smaller port and a step will help scavenging and limit reversion. Reversion is the exhaust being sucked back into the cylinder during the brief period when the valve is opened and the piston is on its way back down for the intake stroke.
      11. Smooth the same sorts of casting issues and sharp edges you addressed in the intake as you work the exhaust ports. Unlike the intake, which prefers a rougher finish to promote fuel atomization, the exhaust can be polished to a mirror finish if you want. The smoother the finish inside the exhaust the less likely you are to get carbon build up over time. Eastwood offers abrasive drums in 240 and 320 grit specifically for this.
        porting 5
      12. Next on to the combustion chambers. The very first thing to do on the chambers is knock off the sharp edge all the way around left from milling the heads. Just take an abrasive roll and make one lap all the way around the edge of the combustion chamber.
        porting 6
      13. It’s a good idea while blending the combustion chambers to put an old set of valves in to protect the seats from your abrasive tools.
      14. Smooth and grind and rough casting areas within the combustion chambers. Remember, every added CC of metal you grind away will lessen the compression ratio, so grind away as little as possible (unless a lower CR is one of your goals).
        porting 7
      15. Depending on what motor you are working with, there may be problem areas in its design that are known to shroud the valves and affect flow. Consult the internet for more specific information about your project.
      16. After working the combustion chambers it is a good idea to CC them and make sure they are all equal. This is done by putting the valves in and covering each chamber with a flat piece of Plexiglas with a hole in it, sealed to the surface with a little grease. Use a graduated cylinder to measure how much fluid it takes to fill it entirely.
      17. How-to-CCRepeat porting process on the intake manifold runners and exhaust manifolds (if running OEM style cast iron). Headers do not need any extra attention; tubular headers are typically already smooth inside.
      18. Clean everything thoroughly inside and out to remove all the metal shavings and abrasive grit before starting to reassemble the motor.

    That is all there is to porting cylinder heads. At least, that is all there is to the technique of porting heads. All you need to learn now is the art of exactly what and where to grind away in order to reshape the ports for best flow. That is going to be different for every motor, and even every different cylinder head casting for each motor. For more of the art behind optimal porting Eastwood offers a 160 page book by David Vizard called “How to Port & Flow Test Cylinder Heads”. This book delves deep into flow characteristics and how to improve them. It also shows you how to build a flow bench to test your work in the shop, before the motor goes together.

     

    Check out the Eastwood Blog and How-To Center for more Tips and Tricks to help you with all your automotive projects.  If you have a recommendation for future articles or have a project you want explained don't hesitate to leave a comment.

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