29 July 2015

Lizard Skin

Sound and heat insulation on car panels is a learning process.
I've found out the hard way 
to not use the aluminized lint filled rolls,
like dynamat,
if your car has no windows and ya leave it in the rain.
No bueno.
Ken's been talking about this spray on insulation,
Lizard Skin,
for at least a year now.
I'm usually a little hesitant on nicknamed coatings.
What actually is the chemical your hiding?
In this case,
it's a latex based paint with micro-balloon filler,
sprayed on with an undercoat gun.
 Didn't sound too promising,
no wonder they use the catchy nickname.
Well I may be a convert.
This is basically a bedliner type material,
goes on thick and goopy.
The backside of certain panels weren't as pretty,
and this lizard skin camouflaged any cosmetic issues.
More importantly,
it muffled the sound from tapping on the sheetmetal.
Not only will the truck be quieter and cooler,
the undersides should be better protected, 
from small rocks that could cause dents 
in the now perfect fenders.
The original plan was to use this sparingly on select panels,
but with Ken as the taper/prepper,
I sprayed this chit on everything.
Now the pieces can be finally be assembled.
Time will tell how long the Lizard Skin will last.
I'll definitely use a variation of this in the future,
probably making my own concoction!
Amazing what Hau (painter) could do without a spray booth.
The reflection is so smooth,
and not even polished yet.
Yes the doors are finally mounted.
This wire hider made it a really fun project.
The Hurtlocker Truck is coming together!

22 July 2015

How to - stainless brake lines

Crossing over into the street rod world
usually involves stainless steel brake lines.
Whether or not you go with a double flare sae end,
or the 37 degree AN fitting route,
stainless tube bending is much more precise then a  traditional steel tube.
The sharper bends needed 
have no leeway for bad measurements.
The easiest way is to do it twice,
basically bending up a cheaper steel line,
and copying the angles to the SS line. 
That's after you straighten the coiled length of tubing.
What a pain in the but.
There may be special tools for this,
but the easiest way is slowly by hand.
Now for the flare.
It's important to knock it out the first time.
Cracking the surface or forgetting to slip the nut on,
will shorten the length by 1/4" or so,
making all that bend work look funky.
This time I used my Uncle Steve's Ridgid flare tool,
I think the 377 ratcheting model.
Fortunately it came with his detailed instructions,
on how to use this borderline inferior tool.
Maybe it's not the tools fault,
geared toward mild steel not stainless steel.
First off the cut must be square.
A normal tube cutter wears out quick on SS,
I uses a hack saw,
then filed the end flat.
A rotary file deburrs the inside,
lessening the chances of cracking.
Dab some light oil like wd-40 to smooth the compression spot.
The screw clamp is questionable,
the tube may push through.
Actually the ratchet will give way before the clamp fails,
so using a vice helps,
along with about 1.5 turns with a wrench.
The sealing surface is a very thin ring,
the flare is mainly to keep it from pulling out.
Yes I forgot to put a nut or sleeve on at least once.
Here's the mocked up cheap steel lines.
A sharpie definitely helps here.
I reused the same steel tube as much as possible,
straightening it back out for each section.
Without the mounting clamps it's a little rough,
but don't worry it'll look sharp when it's done.

20 July 2015

Hot Rod Evolution

The "king of clubs" car show and drags were last week.
It's a perfect deadline for local hot rodders
to finish up their projects.
This coincided with the dire need for rubber on the wife's ride.
A definite "holey chit" moment 
when I noticed the rear tires treadless surface!
Maybe part conscious procrastination,
but really needed to make sure the daily passed smog first.
At the tire shop,
a slew of east county hot rods were getting tuned up.
Always good to see a coupe 
making passes down an open industrial street.
The rear tucks down,
the suspension twists as it loads up...
It got me to thinking.
Were these traditional hot rods?
Nah, not by a long shot.
These were more like power rods,
they would definitely kick my ass off the line.
Each car had a little funkiness going on,
a result of mishmashing old and new parts.
Still ya gotta appreciate a good runner.

16 July 2015


Yesterday was a great day.
Our Nana reached 99 years old!
It's been a long haul this year,
but she was strutting around like an 80 year old.
We're lucky she's hanging in there.
Maybe I'll take her for a spin in the old hot rod!
This is her seeing me off in Chief,
one of the first drives to the Fathers Day Roadster show.
Dang time flies...

10 July 2015

Grateful Dead 50 - prep

When the Grateful Dead remains
decided to play in Santa Clara,
the reality seemed a bit out of reach.
A missed ticket lottery meant scalper tickets,
prices went crazy those first weeks.
Face value tickets of $60-200,
shot up to $150-750+.
Without Jerry Garcia in the mix,
I wasn't too enthusiastic early on.
When school ended and summer officially started,
Jaxon hinted at going.
He had predicted the 50 yr anniversary show
months prior to their announcement.
I didn't believe him!
Well as soon as I asked if he was interested,
it was like tapping that first domino.
We had maybe 8 days to prepare.
It was all dependent on ticket prices.
Sure I've found tickets at shows before,
but that's a long haul on a crap shoot.
Amazingly enough,
the bottom fell out on eBay ticket prices.
Out of staters were scrambling to unload,
and I became a little obsessed watching auctions.
We missed a ton of what seemed like deals,
but patience and cheapness won out.
Thanks to fedex express and usps overnight,
we scored incredibly cheap tickets at the last minute,
as in they arrived the day we left.
It was on.
Since we had the shipping day to prepare,
why not make some shirts to sell!?
Jakob has become a spray stencil master.
The wife laid out some lettering,
and his fingers blistered up with the cutting.
The kids busted butt getting the shirts ready.
It added to the excitement,
and as a result Jake and his friend decided they wanted to go too!
Now we were on a mission.
Jaxon slaved away cleaning the van,
it looked like a yard sale so much stuff.
He even changed the oil.
Dang these kids are good!
I may have well taken a nap...
Unlike screen printing,
no shirt was the same.
They challenged their color choices each time,
super fun to watch them work.
They sprayed almost 4 dozen!
The van was christened 
with a faded "steal your face" dead sticker,
and by midnight we were off!
Part Two later...

09 July 2015

The Motherlode

Last year we missed July 4th festivities.
I was trying to remember why and what we did.
The bricks.
That brick work is from another time.
It's a "what was I thinking?" project
that seems like it's been there forever.
I couldn't imagine doing it now.
This July 4th a turning point had arrived,
and this hidden roadster project found it's time.
Three years stashed it had digressed from yard art,
to "what's back there?" status.
Now there was breathing room in the back.
That lasted about 4 days,
replaced by something even more heavy and massive.
In two gigantic loads and one small one,
the kids scooped up close to 2000 bricks,
from a really cool couple only a short drive away.
The craigslist ad was only up for 9 minutes!
We dropped everything to get them.
With the drought,
bricks are a hot commodity.
The poor van creaked from the weight.
The kids never complained once,
or maybe I wasn't listening.
Check out the tail on the rear bumper,
it's actually touching the ground :/
May need a junkyard run for e350 springs in the future!
Now we have a summertime project!
Thanks Mark and Carlene!