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Author Archive for EMC – Page 2

Paint Removal Techniques

As our El Camino Resto Mod Project finishes up on the pre-final paint processes of, “apply stuff and sand it off” over and over again;  A common query is, “ What is under all the stuff and how did you get it to that point?”

Before we begin our paint removal techniques session, let’s have a point of understanding. Do we really need to take this baby down to bare metal to refinish it? Look, it is your car. You do what you think is best. In my opinion, you have to go to bare metal to do the job right. Why? Call me if you really don’t know.

As you may recall in the last issue, we tackled the rust paint removal on the frame. As for the body sheet metal, the process is the same – but it isn’t. The thickness of the frame metal is much more forgiving than the body sheet metal. Older pre 50’s cars had a standard 12 to 14 gauge metal which handled more aggressive grinding and blasting. The 16 to 19 gauge modern sheet metal bodies are not as forgiving.

Improperly prepped sheet metal will eventually start to rear its ugly head and begin to show signs in the final paint. It may take months or years to show up, but it will show up and there will be no question of why you are seeing blemishes under the final paint. Blemishes in the paint are another issue.

Forget all of the “possible” approaches to get down to bare metal. As far as I am concerned, you only have two options. Only one if you are going to do it yourself.

1st option, or the only DIY option: Blasting with sand or broken reconstituted glass. These are the only media that will cut the rust down to bare metal properly. Both methods can cause metal distortion. Glass generates less heat. Keep the blast nozzle at a low angle to the work piece. Coming at the metal with the nozzle at 90 degrees or sightly less is going to create problems. Try to finish the body blasting in as little time as possible. Then coat the bare metal ASAP with Epoxy Primer ONLY.  Remember primer is not the same as Epoxy Primmer. If you can’t finish all the body parts in one day and coat them, do one part today and another tomorrow. This is more time consuming due to paint clean up, but you will be happier with the results.

2nd method – Dip Bath, with dip neutralize bath and sealed with E Coating. E coating is that black paint stuff you get on factory new parts.

There are three (3) important elements of this approach. Don’t take short cuts even if the guy who might do it says,  “it ain’t necessary.”

Body and parts get submerged in a bath that removes everything but the metal. (It will remove the metal if you leave it in for too long). Body and parts are submerged in a second bath. I said submerged, not sprayed or rinsed. The 2nd bath neutralizes the chemical in the 1st bath.

If you don’t neutralize the 1st bath, it will work out of crevices over time and attack your paint – I speak from knowledge.  Finally, have the body and parts E Coated for ultimate rust prevention. As an acceptable alternative rather that E Coat, an Epoxy Primer coat immediately after stripping is OK. You can’t wait until you get it home to do the Epoxy Primer.

That’s it! A good solid base for the re-birth of your classic!

Got a question? Give us a shout or send an email sales@eastonmuscleandcustom.com
443-266-8321

The Rusty Frame Problem

During the planning stages of every properly done restoration project, what to do with the underbody or frame, demands consideration.
The 1970 El Camino resto mod is no exception. You guys and gals didn’t think we were going to bolt on a lot of cool stuff and not properly detail the frame did you?
Over the years, we at Easton Muscle and Custom have explored, and even tried some approaches, to what are we going to do with the rusty frame. Some things work. Some things work really well, and some things don’t work at all.
The real honest approach to the “rusty frame” problem is very simple: You only want to do it once – and you want it to last.
The car frame, or underbelly, takes the most wear but needs to look great on an outstanding car. It is the foundation for your project.
I am not going to discuss all the possibilities we have considered, like soda blasting, rust converters, or Por15. If you want to discuss these options with me, send me an email: sales@eastonmuscleandcustom.com

What works for us:
The rust and scale must be removed down to bare metal. The best, less time consuming and least expensive way to do this, is by blasting the frame with sand or glass. Easton Muscle and Custom started with very inexpensive equipment which has evolved over the years.

1. A common inexpensive approach is with a gravity feed blasting unit. The media hopper is filled while gravity allows it to flow into a mixing valve where air pressure forces out of the hose and nozzle onto the work piece. This approach gives good results, but is more labor intensive than the upcoming equipment choices. Pluses for this method are; low equipment costs for the blasting and air compressor units.
2. Small Pressurized blasting units and a higher CMF Compressor. Similar to the above, but the hopper is pressurized which forces the sand or glass down to the mixing valve in greater volume. This type of equipment provides a greater flow and higher nozzle pressure, which cuts to bare metal faster.
3. Commercial grade Pressurized Equipment with a large CMF compressor.
Strictly a volume upgrade to the unit in #2. High volume at high pressure reduces completion time.

The choice of sand or broken glass for frame blasting. Which ever one you choose will work well. Why? Unlike other media choices, blasting sand or reconstituted glass is sharp edged and durable to cut through the rust to bare metal. Both can be used more than once, if properly screened to remove all debris. Sand is a little more dirty and causes an elevation of heat friction. It is also hazardous to the operator and environment. Broken glass product has all of the pluses of sand, but is less hazardous and causes less heat. Note: blasting heat is not a concern on the thick frame material. Thin sheet metal is a different story. We use “Fastblast 40-70” reconstituted Glass. Check with several material suppliers to see what they recommend for the equipment you are using. I say “several” suppliers, because they may recommend what they have in stock, not what is best for your equipment. You can always bounce it off us at Easton Muscle and Custom.

Please make sure you use the proper safety and protection gear when blasting. This stuff can hurt you or a bystander.

Finally, get the bare metal covered with epoxy primer or powder coating as quickly as possible, especially in high humidity areas. Bare metal will start the rust phase in a matter of hours. There are very few options that prevent rust on bare metal. For cost and the ability to do it yourself, nothing in my opinion, is better that Epoxy Primer. Other things can be better or cheaper, but not both.
Epoxy Primer, not to be confused with regular primer, look alike but are not the same. Epoxy Primer seals the bare metal from the elements. Regular primer does not.
Next best is powder coating. Not only does it prevent rust, you can also choose colors for a real custom look. Powder coaters often prefer and will do the blasting part as well. If you are leaning towards this approach, check pricing with your Powder Coater.
Best option, in our pinion, is E Coat, a specialized approach to preventing rust on your frame for a long time.

Got a question? Give us a shout or send an email sales@eastonmuscleandcustom.com
443-266-8321

In the next issue we will discuss paint removal on the sheet metal body and preparing for metalwork.

Beers and Gears 2018

Come join us at the 2018 Beers and Gears Event.  Saturday October 27, 2018.

Easton Muscle and Custom will be a vendor at the 2018 Beers and Gears event at Delaware Park. Our display will include examples of our workmanship and creativity so please stop by and meet the crew.

Beers and Gears Event

EMC at the October 2018 Beers And Gears in Delaware

1970 El Camino Resto Mod

1970 El Camino Resto-Mod

1970 Chevrolet El Camino Resto-Mod
Our shop was recently selected to undertake a project that was started but was discontinued after some disassembly. After consulting with out new client regarding his vision for the car,  we recommended a variety of options to enhance the overall project.
We are very excited that out client agreed with some of our suggestions to advance this project to a new level. This new direction will include a big block engine, 4-speed transmission, after market suspension, 4-wheel disk brake conversion, Vintage air conditioning and SS badging,  as a few of the long list of items planned for this project.
The following photos show the very early stage of this El Camino before its arrival to our shop. Stay tuned for updates as our staff begins the process to Rejuvenate-Restore-Transform.

1970 El Camino Resto-Mod
1970 El Camino Resto-Mod
1970 El Camino Resto-Mod
1970 El Camino Resto-Mod

 

1974 Datsun 260Z Stage 2

To view the beginning of this project see 1974 Datsun 260Z LS-1

After a complete disassembly the Z uni-body was carefully media blasted especially in confined areas of factory overlapping metal. As is typical with any uni-body design, the passage of time and the invasive power of moisture, can cause serious levels of metal degradation.

In picture #1 and #2 the floor pans clearly are prime candidates for replacement. Some portions of the floor pans were so rusted that the metal flaked-off under minimal pressure. Fortunately, the transmission tunnel was in very good condition which will be helpful when modifying it for the LS-1 engine and new transmission.

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 1: The floor plans are prime candidates for replacement

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 2

Before the new floor pans are fabricated, custom made frame support bars were designed and installed to reinforce the existing frame from twisting under acceleration from the potent LS-1 torque levels. Pictures #3 and #4 illustrate the placement of the frame support bars running parallel under each side of where the new floor pans will be installed.

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 3: Custom made frame support bars were designed and installed to reinforce the existing frame.

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 4

With the supports in place our metal shop crew measured, designed and fabricated floor pans with a heavier grade of steel than those available from after market panel manufacturers. When a project has multiple phases in the metal shop we will consult with our client with options that are OEM designed versus those that take it to a more serious level of restoration; hand skilled custom fabrication. Picture #5 displays the custom made passenger side panel ready for installation.

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 5: Our metal shop crew measured, designed and fabricated floor pans

The combination of thicker floor pans and frame supports adds a stronger dimension to the structural integrity of the Z uni-body. In picture #6 driver side and picture #7 passenger side, the metal work is near completion.

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 6

1974 Datsun 260Z

Photo 7

 

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod Stage 4

We begin this installment of the C-10 resto-mod with focus on the cab and replacing the rusted floor pans. Depending on the condition of the floor pan and the desired level of restoration, multiple options are available for any budget consideration. After discussing some options, our client selected a full floor pan replacement which will compliment the detailed fabrication already completed and other areas targeted for replacement in the cab.

Picture 1: shows the original floor pan and its deteriorating condition especially around the perimeter where the metal overlapped the lower walls of the cab.

1969 Chevy Resto-Mod rusty floor pan

Pic 1: Rusty Floor Pan

Picture 2: new painted/coated heavy 16 gauge steel preformed one piece floor pan ready for installation.
Preparing for the floor pan install, structural bracing was fabricated in our metal shop to align the C-10 cab to fit precisely to the new floor pan. This step is critical and not to be underestimated.

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod's new pan

Pic 2: New Pan

Picture 3 : bracing attached to the cab and ready for the next phase of the install.

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod's cab with braces attached to it

Pic 3: cab with braces attached to it

Picture 4: new floor pan pictured behind the cab and ready to be attached to it.

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod's new pan seated behind car

Pic 4: new pan seated behind car

Picture 5: C-10 cab on lift with braced floor pan positioned underneath on rolling dolly to ease placement of both components.

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod's cab on lift, new pan on dolly underneath

Pic 5: cab on lift, new pan on dolly underneath

Picture 6: the new floor pan was perfectly aligned to the cab and then attached to it with ease. Use of the bracing was instrumental and guarantees a better than factory fit.

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod's new pan attached

Pic 6: new pan attached

Stay tuned for the next stage!

To follow along with the previous Stages, see Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3.

1974 Datsun 260Z LS-1

1974 Datsun 260Z  LS-1 Resto Mod/Truck Car
This particular project has all the characteristics of a customized car where the owner envisions a contemporary classic with various body and chassis modifications utilizing after-market components that incorporate the latest technology for high performance applications.

The classic profile of this Japanese designed early model Z-class sports car coupled with Detroit horsepower and innovative, race proven products puts this car in a unique class of automobile performance.

As this project begins the creative talents of our metal fabrication crew will focus their efforts on fuel tank design, fender flairs, roll bar, transmission tunnel, engine/transmission mounts and other areas of metal customization.

The previously published photographs on EMC’s web site offered a quick glimpse of the disassembly stage and some smaller details of metal restoration. In the months ahead, we will post updates which will include greater detail of the metal fabrication process. Stay tuned!
Read More→

1957 Ford Thunderbird

Price Reduced! $28,000!

1957 Ford Thunderbird.  This 1957 Ford Thunderbird is part of an estate sale for a collector of vintage American classics.  Equipped with the optional 312 V8 with 4 barrel carburetor and engine dress-up kit, Ford-O-Matic 2-speed automatic transmission and factory hardtop. Previously restored with new and rebuilt OEM parts. A prime example of a classic early American sports car. Offers are highly encouraged  $36,500. Reduced to $28,000!
Call Rob at 443-266-8321 for more info! Read More→

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod Stage 3

At this new phase of the 1968 Chevy Resto-Mod project, the process begins with prepping the cab and bed to identify metal fatigue and rust on all surfaces. Rigorous attention is especially required for those areas of over lapping metal, tight access channels between the fire wall and the dash and rocker panels are prime examples. The cab was completely disassembled down to the bare mental, and then media blasted which revealed areas that will require new metal replacement parts and some levels of custom fabrication.

Cab before media blasting

Photo #1: Cab before media blasting

Cab after media blasting

Photo #2: Cab after media blasting

At this juncture, the value of media blasting is note worthy for it reveals significant rust and deteriorated metal within the area between the firewall and dash(see photo #3). Considering the age of this vehicle and the known problems of early C10 manufacturing techniques, it is not uncommon to have these rust issues. The photograph below, highlights the rusted sections that will require detailed metal fabrication. Our metal shop technicians will outline a course of action which will utilize a combination of available replacement panels and custom fabrication. For any project that requires metal replacement, after market components and kits are available. The cost factor can be reasonable and most producers are accurate by using OEM dimensions to replicate parts.

Rusted section behind firewall

Photo #3: Rusted section behind firewall

The interior of this cab was in good condition; however,  small spaces of rust along the perimeter of the floor pans and foot boards required attention(see photo #4). Two methods could be employed at this point; fabricate various sized panels or purchase a new complete one-piece floor pan which includes foot boards. After reviewing his options and a very candid discussion with our technicians, our client decided to replace the entire floor pan of his C10.

Interior of cab

Photo #4: Interior of cab

To see the previous Stages of the Chevy C10 , see Stage 1 and Stage 2

1969 Chevy C10 Resto-Mod Stage 2

The crew at Easton Muscle and Custom began the disassembly stage by removing the pick-up bed, cab, fenders and hood. Next the engine, transmission, differential, suspension, gas tank, brakes and exhaust system are removed. Once disassembled, the inspection process begins with an overall assessment of the chassis and suspension components. For this particular project, it was predetermined the chassis would be powder coated and the front and rear suspension replaced with a high performance kit from Classic Performance Products (CPP). This kit contains everything necessary to completely replace stock components.

Upon closer inspection of the chassis, it was evident the C10 had sustained some damage to the front end portion of its frame. After careful consideration, our body/frame technician recommended a course of action which would realign the frame to factory specifications. Use of a hydraulic adjustment tool and multiple measurements easily straightened the right side of the affected front rail of the frame.  

As previously mentioned above this frame received our upgraded powder coating option. All frame subcomponents are reassembled with new coated/treated hardware and torqued to factory specifications.

Next, the optional high performance suspension kit from CPP is installed on the front and rear portions of the frame. Also, the factory brake system was upgraded to disc brakes on all four wheels with new lines and hardware. Notice the tubular control arms, heavy duty tie rods, springs, sway bars, trailing arms and cross member supports. The ride will be amazing! 

Finally our client opted for relocating the gas tank. This is a modification which has become popular with C10 resto/mod owners. Over time owners complained about gas odor and fumes inside the cab especially as the truck aged. Also, side impacts from accidents were known to cause fires and additional injuries to occupants. This fuel cell is well constructed with aircraft grade aluminum and fits snuggly between the rear rails of the frame. Also, it has increased fuel capacity and can accommodate an electric fuel pump for those who opt for fuel injected or heavily modified performance engines.

The next C10 installment will focus on the cab as it begins the next stage in our metal fabrication shop. A combination of replacement panels and custom sheet metal work is next-up for this special C10 project. Stay tuned!