Tag Archives: Rust Repair

  • Eastwood Has a new Project - 1989 Mustang LX 5.0 Project Car

    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!

    1989 Mustang LX 5.0

    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!

    Mustang LX 5.0

    1989 Mustang LX 5.0

    1989 Mustang LX 5.0

    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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  • The Top Tip to Make Seamless Sheet Metal Repairs

    Replacing door skins, quarter panels, and other patch panels can take a lot of practice to get perfect. We have found that there are a few little tips to make a seamless repair much easier. My favorite is the use of a "backing strip" to connect the new and old metal. Below is a crash course on how you can use some thin backing strips from our new Patch Panel Install Kit to make a seamless repair that will last the lifetime of the vehicle.

    First make your cut just above the damaged area. Be sure to clean the work area to bare metal and smooth out any sharp edges where the cut was made.

    Next, take a one inch backing strip out of the kit, and cut it to the length you need. Then use the supplied 3/16" drill bit to make evenly spaced holes in the original metal (do not drill holes in the backing strip).

    Now that the holes are drilled, take your backing strip and slide half of it under the original metal and clamp the two pieces together. We suggest using our Plug Welding Pliers. They have a copper support pad on them that helps reduce heat into the panel and helps avoid blow-through when making spot welds. The "V" in the top of the pliers makes it easy to pinpoint where you need to plug weld with the helmet down.

    Next you can plug weld the backing strip to the original metal. You may want to practice a few times on some scrap metal to get a nice flat spot weld. You should only be holding the trigger for a few seconds when making a spot weld. The result of setting up your MIG welder properly will yield results like below. Remember, the flatter the plug welds you make, the less final grinding and filler you need to do!

    Now that you have your backing strip in place, you can begin test fitting your replacement metal. Below you can see another reason why these backing strips are necessary in panel replacement; we can't always cut a perfectly straight line. Without a backing strip here, you'd have a tough time filling the gap without adding a small piece of metal. Trying to fill the void with weld would have caused major warpage in the metal.

    Once you have confirmed your replacement panel will fit correctly, you can drill plug weld holes with the 3/16" drill bit in the replacement metal. Refit the panel and plug weld it to the backing strip. Once the panel is attached, you can now slowly spot weld the seam between the new and old metal. Remember to jump around from end to end when spot welding. This will help keep the seam from warping and causing more work to get the repair area straight.

    Once you have the seam welded up, you can grind any "proud" welds down and proceed with sealer or filler. Use Eastwood Quality Flap Discs to properly blend the welds into the seam. No matter how small of an area, using this procedure when butt welding panels together can really make the difference in the final outcome of the repair.

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  • Lower Door Skin Restoration

    We are currently working on restoring the lower inner and outer door skins on Pile House. Man; these things were bad! We will be doing a full video tech feature on it here shortly. We also will be featuring the process on our February catalog cover! Stay tuned! Here are a few pics to hold everyone over for now.

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  • Somewhere to Lay the Cab

    Now that we are back from SEMA, I've gotten a big kick in the butt to get some real progress done on Project Pile House. I saw a ton of cool rods out in Vegas, and it helped me gather some ideas and inspiration for this project.

    So this week we have dug into the truck pretty good. The big problem we've been having is trying to get both front wheel wells center over the front wheels. It seemed each time we changed one little thing, the other side was off and we were chasing our tails. So we decided to take the mounting of the body one step simpler. Instead of trying to get the cab and front end lined up at once, we decided to start at the front, center the front end over the wheels and chassis, and tack weld them into place. We used some scrap metal and tied these into the inner fenders and right onto the chassis. Now we can wiggle the cab around to fit against the fenders with out changing the spacing of everything. Perfect example of where we should have started with the K.I.S.S theory!

    After lining the cab up with the front end, we could then eyeball where exactly the cab mounts were going to sit, and how to strengthen the floor of the cab to hold the weight of the cab on the new mounts. You may remember in some of the last posts we welded some plate into the A-pillar post and the kick panel. We need to do the same in the rear as although the rear portion of the floor is fairly solid, we'd rather add some extra integrity while we are there.

    The first thing we did was trace out some patterns out of manilla office folders (don't tell the bosses thats why we needed a pack of 50 folders from Office Depot!), and cut the patterns out of 1/8th mild steel with our Versa Cut Plasma Cutter. Once cut and test fitted I needed to clean the area of the surface rust, then etch the surface clean with our Fast Etch, and lastly add some of our Self Etch Weld Thru Primer to keep the original floor sealed from rusting further.

    Once the original floor was prepped, we laid the 1/8" plates in and got them welded into the cab with our MIG 175. We tied into some of the heavier gauge metal in the floor as well as the B-pillar post where it meets the floor. This should keep the mount area sold while the cab is sitting atop of the chassis. You'll notice the bolts tack welded to the plates, more on this little trick later.

    Now that we have these parts welded in place, we can begin measuring and drilling the holes in the plates in the floor to sit the cab down on, as well as begin making some of the front floor/kick panels to replace the old rotted stuff we took out. Once the floor is solidified a little more, we can make the body mounts for the front end so it's all a bolt-on-affair from here on. More to come soon, watch this space!

    -Matt/EW

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  • Everyone Loves a Good Jeep Project, Even the Kids!

    Recently we have been running a contest for Ugly Truck Day here at Eastwood. The person that submits the "ugliest" truck, gets a $100 gift certificate. We've found that some enter their project.. not because they think it is necessarily the ugliest.. but because they could use the gift certificate for Eastwood supplies that could be used on their "ugly" truck. Craig E's Jeep was a perfect example. Nothing was overly horrible about it, but when I was viewing his submission, I was delighted to see that his 11 year old daughter "Mira" was getting heavily involved! Yes, she was disassembling, and even grinding and cutting! To think if some of us were able to start that young; how ahead of the restoration game we'd be! I decided to contact Craig and see if we could get the full story! Below are some highlights from his response. We could all take some notes from this story to use in our daily lives.

    Craig has been a long time Jeep fan, and his daughters (now age 8 & 11) have watched their dad part out, assemble, and restore 50 or more Jeeps over the years. When Craig was offered a free Cherokee from a local friend, he jumped at the chance to start another project. While planning the project, he asked his oldest daughter Mira if she wanted to help rebuild the Jeep. She was delighted to be involved, and asked "Can I weld on it?". No more persuasion was needed, and Craig and Mira started a project plan on an Excel spreadsheet; tracking costs, work that needed to be done, and even money saved from parting out other Jeeps.

    Not only was Craig delighted to have some help and bonding time with his daughter, he found a few "life lessons" that could really help Mira in the long-run.

    1.Learning about Jeeps/cars, as well as having pride in, and respect/responsibility for her vehicle. He knew after the project is done, she was going to have a vested interest in her first car.

    2. Fiscal responsibility. This will teach her about budgeting and making good financial decisions in the future.

    3.Learning how to drive a stick shift vehicle. Mira's Jeep will have a 5-speed transmission to help a little with fuel economy. Craig (I'm the same way!-Matt) is a firm believer that everyone should know how to drive a stick, it's shocking how few people do these days!

    4. Learning more about using Microsoft Excel, this will give her a jumpstart into the world of powerful business tools that she will definitely need when becoming an adult.

    So after setting up a plan for the project, Craig set off on the long journey from Michigan to Kentucky to pick up the Jeep. Once he fabricated tow brackets on-site, he was back on his way with their new water-filled, windowless Cherokee project.

    After they got the project home, they began to dig into the Jeep to see the severity of the corrosion from the truck sitting with no windows. They found it was savable, but would need rust repair in the floors.

    Craig and Mira recently began picking up cheap, local parts-donors for $3-500, and picking off the parts they needed, and selling the rest. The result is that they are into the project for only a little under $300, and they have about 95% of everything they need to finish the build! Craig did spring for some Eastwood paint and supplies, as well as some donations from local Jeep enthusiasts, and Ballistic Fabrication, have kept the project rolling forward on the "cheap".

    Right now the specs and future plans are as follows:

    1993 Jeep Cherokee Sport 2-Door
    4.0L HO engine with 157K miles...runs well
    AX-15 5-speed transmission
    NP-231 transfer case
    Dana 30 front/Dana 44 rear axles (3.73 gearing with limited-slip in the rear)
    4-wheel disc brakes
    OEM Jeep Ravine wheels
    31" BF Goodrich KM2 Mud-Terrain tires
    JCR Offroad rear bumper
    (planned) Iceland Offroad high-clearance flares (no suspension lift planned for vehicle)
    (planned) Custom-built front bumper (built by Mira and dad)
    (planned) Rock sliders (JCR Offroad, or custom-built)
    (planned) JCR Offroad transmission skid plate
    (planned) Later-model seats
    (planned) Synergy Green exterior paint (OEM color on the new Camaros)

    Along the way a number of products from us here at Eastwood have been used:

    Sheet Metal Gauge
    Poly-X, Paint & Rust Removal Disc 4.5in Cup Style
    EW Rust Converter New formula Aerosol
    Eastwood's Gel Rust Dissolver Quart
    Pre Painting Prep Aerosol 11 oz
    Extreme Chassis Black Primer 14 oz Aerosol
    Extreme Chassis BlackSatin 14 oz Aerosol
    Underhood Black Semi Gloss Aerosol 11 oz
    Diamond Clear Satin/Metal Surfaces Aerosol 11 oz.
    Aluma Blast Paint Aerosol 12 oz
    Rust Encapsulator Black aerosol
    Underhood Black Semi Gloss Aerosol 11 oz

    Their next plans are going to entail tackling the engine paint and starting on the bodywork. They definitely have a lot of work ahead of them, but at the rate they are progressing, I'm sure it will all happen pretty fast! We hope we can help with more products along the way, and are eager to see the finished product.

    Thanks for the inspiration Craig, and most of all Mira! Check out the rest of the pictures in the gallery below, and for the full saga check their build thread on the Great Lakes 4x4 Forums

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