Tag Archives: swap

  • 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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  • There's More to Hershey, Pennsylvania Than Chocolate Kisses

    Yes, this is a BMW...the 1957 BMW Isetta on display at Hershey. (Photo courtesy Jil McIntosh)
    Gas pumps from the 1920s, for sale at the Hershey AACA event. (Photo courtesy Jil McIntosh)

    But as a car enthusiast, you already knew that.

    The Antique Automobile Club of America's Eastern Division has their Fall Meet each October, and the town of Hershey has hosted the event each year since 1955. It's considered one of the largest antique automobile shows and flea markets in the United States, with about 1,500 cars on display.

    But there's more than just beautiful antique cars on display. There are quite a few uniquely unusual automobiles on display, and the associated flea market has antique and not-so-antique items for sale that would be appropriate decor for your garage or shop.

    Where else could you get a 1926 Rickenbacker hood ornament, a 1927 Clear Vision gas pump, or an Omaha taxi meter?

    In case you didn't make it to Hershey for this year's show, Jil McIntosh, writer for the Sympatico.ca Autos blog, was there, camera in hand. I think you'll enjoy the nostalgic trip through the flea market and show. The slide show starts when you click here.

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