September 17, 2017

VIDEO How To - Shrinking metal with heat and hammer

My most popular post of all time was this How-To on shrinking metal (17K views to date). It was video'd by my (then) 10-year-old son and although it was a lark (and far from rehearsed or edited!), it gained a following I guess because lots of guys doing metal (body) work on their own wanted to know how to shrink stretched metal!

If I though it was helpful to others, I'd post more video's. So, in order to gauge how much traffic I'd get for a  new video on my Blog, I wanted to share it with you here.  

Hope you enjoy it!

How to: Storing automotive paints (Top Tip!)

I learned this trick a long while back, but like many things I should have done, I didn't use it when I should have and wasted a LOT of paint over the now I keep what I need WITH my paint supplies....

We all know that paints react with air, slowly gelling the top layers, turning it into a skin and eventually hardening the paint through the remainder of the can.  

Single-stage epoxy's however, take it one step further and as the product reacts with the moisture in the air and don't just dry, they catalyze. Slowly, single stage epoxy's like POR15 and Rust Bullet will turn into a cement-like substance in the can when exposed to air. As an example, this is the container I use to transfer POR15 from the can. 

The bottom layer, exposed to the moisture in air, is hardened like cement!

The answer - for any type of paint - is to not allow ANY air to come in contact with the paint in the can. Putting the lid on won't do it either - the air  (and moisture) is already in there. But since our garages are not science labs (close maybe!), you likely don't have the ability to form a vacuum, with a high end vacuum tube.

But most of do have an inert gas that can displace air!

Butane is an inert gas, similar to Argon, which is heavier than what's in our air (mostly nitrogen) and can DISPLACE air, thus effectively SEALING the paint off and removing the interaction of air and moisture with the paint.

All you need to do is turn your Butane lighter on (no flame of course!), or discharge it directly from the refill can, into the can of paint - lid on or off  - as per below:

The Butane will sink to the bottom and settle on top of the paint, thus displacing the air. You don't need to know how much Butane is in the can, as long as there's some it will settle on the paints' surface and form a barrier to the air around and above.

Once it's in there, put the lid back in - or seal the hole - as in our case!  
Your paint will now last virtually forever, as fresh as the day it was opened.

If you've ever used POR15, you know why there's a hole in the lid....if not, well, let me tell you: POR15 cures like CEMENT in the presence of moisture, which basically means air. Any POR15 you get between the lid and the can will catalyze and cement the lid to the can - FOREVER.  To get around this, you can either use a thin sheet of plastic to form a barrier between the lid and can, or pop a hole in the lid, using tape to seal it. With the Butane trick you won't need to worry about a little air transfer past the tape - and it seems easier and less messy that the plastic method.

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1956 International S120 project: Buffing out the paint

Although most of the cab had been color-sanded a while ago, due to getting side-tracked by the 240Z and life in general, I finally got around to buffing out some of the panels today. Once the clear was sanded with 600, then 1000, 1500 and 3000, the buffing can begin, accomplished with coarse rubbing contact and a wool pad, then finished with a fine polish and a foam pad to fill in and remove the marks from the coarse compound.

The rubbing compound goes everywhere, so I covered the parts that where already painted black.

After the first round, the dullness of the  scratches from the 3000 grit where mostly gone...

And after a second round, the shine starts to come back. The finer compound will bring the shine back a final wax will make it show-ready!

September 10, 2017

1956 International Harvester S120 re-assembly

With the truck painted inside and out (and partially color sanded), it's finally time to tackle the re-assembly of all the bits and pieces. Although I'm still waiting on the rebuilt engine, re-rimmed wheels  and tires and re-upholstered seat set, I can get to all those peripheral parts in the interior, a well as the lighting, electrical, door glass and chrome. This is the reward for all those hours welding, hammering, sanding and sanding...and sanding....

Every itme going back is prepped and coated in either POR15 Semi-gloss, or Eastwood's Chassis Black which is a very Gloss Black.

The vent glass frame was painted in chassis black. Very nice stuff it is.

The heater box, motor and central mix-box was tested and installed next.

Windhshield wiper motor was installed next.

One of the last items needing paint was the gas tank. As it was originally galvanized metal, I wanted to go with a silver hue, which luckily was one of the colors of the POR15 palette...

Unfortunately, the jar I had stored the leftover product in had a bit of an air-leak and - as I've talked at length in previous posts about the incredible hardening nature of this single stage urethane paint -  you'll know that this generally means premature hardening and issues with long term usage...

Sure enough, screw drivers and ice picks would not penetrate the hardened upper most layer:

It looked like it was still liquid further down into the jar, so I drilled a 1/2" hole
 into the top 1\2" hardened layer to get to the usable part below.

After a full coat it looked fantastic and will look 'show' 
once hung in it's original location under the running board.

               Stay tuned for more re-assembly on both the '56 IH 4x4 and the '72 Datsun 240Z!

August 19, 2017

Rebuilding the twin SU carburetors for the 240Z!

This weekend I'm completing the SU carbs rebuild and shining up all the bits before refitting the carbs to the intake runners. The twin SU set up, from rebuild to reassembly can take 6-8 hours!

Also, while we're on this side of the engine, the thermostat and housing needs to be reinstalled...

As I forgot to include a new thermostat when I ordered all the parts for the rebuild, I threw the original one in some boiling water to ensure  it was still in working condition - which it is!

Before starting I collected everything I needed -including the manual,  rebuild kit and all the parts and pieces, doing one side at a time on an old cookie sheet I borrowed from the kitchen... ssssshhh! ;)

 As floats are often WAY off from the factory, adjusting the float level was first up, bending the small tyne on the backside of the float and utilizing the little ruler that comes in the rebuild kit to measure 14 millimeters of space between the bottom surface and the float....

Changing out the float nozzle was next.... The new float nozzle was a little different than the old one. Hoping that it's just new and improved.

 And after all of that was done, I reassembled the entire carb assembly with new gaskets and it was time to put it all back together on the engine.

Below the carbs you can see the warm air duct that comes off the exhaust manifold and links up to the airbox...

The entire assembly is very blingy and a defining hallmark of the twin-SU setup used in the Datsun's, as well as some Ferrari's and other interesting marquis of that era.

The original Japanese hose-clamps (known as wire-clamps) came out like new when hit with the wire wheel. Not exactly sure what metal they are made from, but the corrosion was just on the surface and a few minutes on the wire wheel revealed a like-new appearance.

Same with the screws. The one on the left was cleaned and looks painted - but wasn't...

I love restoring cars and I especially love restoring all the nuts, bolts, washers and anything else the car came with. No Gas-Station hose clamps on my rebuilds!

Stay tuned for much more!

August 13, 2017

Changing gears: 1971 Datsun 240Z restoration

Time to totally change gears and work on the 240 said that I had painted in the shop with Duplicolor paint about two years back. Everything is there to complete it, including a few thousand $$ in new parts, but other projects got in front. I told myself I'd finish it for my sons 16th birthday and he turns 14 this year so time to get cracking!

The engine has to go back together before I can get to everything else that needs to be done to renew this sweet 71 sports that's where I'm starting...

 After 2 years it's lucky that everything is labeled and in bags. This is the most important thing you can do in a restoration! Fuel pump was bolted back on after timing cover was reassembled.

 I had previously removed the cam and timing chain sprocket to change the timing chain. It's quite a bit of work to get it back on and to time everything properly by getting all the marks lined up.

 Once the timing chain and sprocket are back in their correct location it was time to affix the exhaust and intake manifolds.

 The oil pump on the 240Z has to be removed cleaned rebuilt and the distributor gear clocked property before being reinstalled. I used two different Factory manuals to get it back into the proper sequence.

 The pan bolts barely required 3 ft pounds each and at first I had them at 5 would squeeze the neoprene seal out past the edges. Easy Does It!

 Cleaning up and reinstalling the block off plate.

 After looking in both manuals and everywhere online I could not find a single source that showed the sequence to reassemble the relief valve spring and cap in the Datsuns oil pump. I finally figured out so for other people's future reference here it is:

Stay tuned as I complete the 240Z's 6 cylinder engine renewal and get it back in the car on the way to finishing another awesome restoration of a classic motorcar!