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Tag Archives: van

  • How to form a custom airbag tub with Eastwood Tools

    Recently our friend Sean at Empire Fabrication sent us some pictures of a custom airbag tub for a bagged VW Eurovan he's building for a customer and we had to share. Follow along as he shares the Eastwood tools and process he used to build the custom bag tub.
  • Customizing a Chevy Corvair Van Bumper to Fit Project PileHouse

    PileHouse is starting to shape up and we can now envision what the truck will someday look like when it's "done". But I still felt that the front end needed "something more". After staring at it over lunch one day, I decided that the truck needed a custom bumper to "complete" the front end. My only rules were that it had to flow with the grill trim and relatively flat front end. So I took some measurements, snapped a few reference pictures with my Iphone, and headed off to one of my favorite places; the New Ringgold U-Pull-It junkyard. This place is HUGE and they're nice enough to drop all of the "classic" cars and trucks in one section where you can rummage around. It's there you'll find everything from a 40's Ford to an El Camino or even obscure European classics like a Renault LeCar. This place is a hotrodders dream! All you need is a battery powered reciprocating saw, some hand tools, a tape measure, and a good imagination to find parts for your custom project.

    So I set off with my bag filled with Eastwood Hand Tools and the portable reciprocating saw in hand. After a couple hours measuring bumpers, and scratching our heads, my buddy Matt R. and I narrowed it down to two vehicles. Eventually we chose the front bumper off a 60's Chevy Corvair van (obscure enough for you?!). The length and shape was pretty darn close to the stainless grill trim on PileHouse, and I was sure I could make it work. We quickly got down to business and cut the bumper off so I could bring it home.

    With bumper and truck meeting for the first time, I can see that although the size was "close", the bumper was still going to need a few inches chopped off, and the radius changed to match the front of the truck.

    I started by marking the corners of the bumper where I wanted them to sit and noted some measurements of the bumper and the front end while on the truck to give me some reference points throughout the project. Next I pulled out the angle grinder and cut the bumper in half in the center, and laid it back in place.

    After test fitting the bumper halves, I overlapped them in the center to give me an idea of what had to be removed to get the bumper to the correct length. Once I cut the excess off I found an additional cut had to be made to allow the bumper halves to lay back to match the curve of the front end. With this last cut made, they were sitting exactly how I wanted and I spot welded them in place until I could join them together. Finally, I welded some small strips of metal in place to join the halves temporarily.

    With the bumper now shaped to fit the front end of PileHouse, I removed the tack welds on the corners and put the bumper on the work bench to add braces to the backside and ground off the temporary front braces. Next I had to fill the opening that was created when the radius was changed. I found that the last piece I cut off was a good fit after a little sanding. With the filler metal set in place, I began welding it all together with the Eastwood MIG 175. After welding the seams up on both sides I took the angle grinder with a flap disc and blended the welds. A few minutes of grinding I had a smooth, invisible transition where I had modified the bumper.

    With a complete front bumper bar, I test fit it one more time. I'm happy to report I now have a bumper that fits perfectly and I'm only out about $30 and a few hours of work! From here I'll fabricate some simple bumper mounts to bolt it to the chassis, and then we can move on to the next step in making PileHouse road worthy!


  • A far out interior upgrade!

    You may remember last year I posted about a project one of our employees Lisa U. and her husband were building, a retro 70's inspired Van. Well, they have been busy this winter finishing up the interior in their "For Play" van. Just make sure you put your sunglasses on before you view the picture!

  • Not you're everyday restoration. Retro Van Content Inside!

    We are always happy to see what our customers are working on, and most times they are happy to share. The other day I was forwarded the story on this little gem in my email from our customer service department. Looks like Jim is doing a quality job on this 1970 Dodge A-100 van! Below is a little history directly from Jim about his pride and joy.

    It is a 1970 Dodge A-100 van. Not your typical restoration, but I like different. I’ve owned the van since 1970 and use it for hauling stuff for my woodworking and restoration projects. I am a “gearhead” liking the mechanical part of the project. I’ve built a 408 smallblock to replace the original “tired 318”. It is a mild regular gas built for torque. It dynoed at 363 HP and 442 ft lbs torque with an average torque of 416 ft lbs between 2500 to 5500). I beefed up the original 727 auto with current diesel planetaries and hemi clutches. The body was in rough shape with lots of rust to kill and battle scars to patch up. All running gear was removed and rebuilt and undercoated and painted bottom and inside out.

    All work is being done by myself including rust proofing internal areas of frame and panels, but body work and painting was done by a painter. I really like internal Eastwood internal frame coating, Rust Encapsalator, Ceramic frame coating-satin, and extreme chassis black. I am adding Air Conditioning and plan to install the Motor this spring. I will send pictures as work progresses.

    Looks like with the help of Eastwood products, this is going to be a killer van! Keep up the great work Jim!

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