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Archive for Projects – Page 2

What do you do when the restoration of your dreams hits the skids?

Or – Why did my “restorer” finish the easy stuff and stop when it came time to the hard stuff?

Or – Why did Wes bring his 442 to Easton Muscle & Custom?

As Wes told me, he would like to drive his 442 sometime this year.

After I inventoried his boxes of new and used parts, I saw that he brought us all the pieces. I talked with the heart of my team, and we came up with a short and a long term plan to get Wes on the road in his 442 by May/June 2019. An aggressive plan – but one we feel comfortable completing.

This is what we specialize in – Finishing the Job – and getting the project back to the customer to enjoy. Picking and choosing the easy stuff, and ignoring the hard stuff, is what other shops do.

Stay tuned, as we work to get Wes and his 442 out to shows this summer.

1974 Datsun 260Z Stage 3

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

In this installment of the 260Z project we began to focus on the fenders, and especially the quarter panels where custom fender flares will be installed. When the uni-body was media blasted, it was very apparent all the panels had been replaced some point in the past. It was the methodology used to replace these panels that will be an impediment to proper fitting and finishing future metal components.
 
Gaps between the fenders and door panel were incorrect regarding width measurements and vertical alignment characteristics of the door relative to the contour of the quarter panels. Further inspection revealed the previously replaced panels were lapped-over and spot welded. Over lapped panels not properly sealed will eventually invite moisture with corrosive issues and quite possibly bubble the paint. While this method is considered acceptable by the industry, proper fit and finish is better accomplished by butt welding the seams, and smoothing the metal for a seamless appearance. See Photos 1 & 2

Photo 1

Photo 2

In Photo #3,  the passenger side new rear quarter panel is butt welded and the fuel door is also covered. We offered our client choices regarding fuel cell and fuel pumps especially given the choice of a LS engine. The fuel cell with components and its placement will be in a future article. Stay tuned.

Photo 3

In Photo #4, the driver door is attached for alignment purposes and gap measurements before we begin the process of finishing the newly attached rear quarter panel. This procedure is critical because it establishes the defining lines of the car. As the rear quarter panels and front fenders are finished and massaged for an aesthetic appearance, then the door will be hung for final adjustment.

Photo 4

In Photo #5, the driver side door was not repaired adequately as is revealed in the lower portion of the photograph. After sanding the door, locating the highs and lows of the door skin,the holes were sealed and the metal finished. In the upper portion of the photograph, the repaired door is correctly installed with even gaps and uniform alignment to the front and rear quarter panels.

Photo 5

 

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.