I did a little traveling this month. I got a call from Tony Passwater, the director of the Indiana Autobody Association, who organizes the bi-annual Convention and Technology Exhibition which was held in Indianapolis Feb. 22–23 at the Lincoln College of Technology. See Janet Chaney’s piece on the event, p. 26 this issue.
Last September while I was in Eastern Canada working on the 2004 H2 Hummer build for the filming of the pilot for “World Wide Car Building,” we were also challenged by a local Nova Scotia resident to do another build at the same time.
In this month’s column, I want to share some new and cool tools that have saved me time. As I always say, time is money, especially in this industry.
I’ve been very busy the past three months working on a new project for Dan Weaver of the Bakersfield area and his 11-year-old son Brandon Weaver, a junior race car driver who is number #1 in California and #3 in the nation for his class, Bandalero Bandit Division.
I was out at Barrett-Jackson in Phoenix last month with a good buddy of mine, Alan Taylor, from Entertainment Radio. I wrote about Alan in last month’s column (autobodynews.com/columnists/rich-evans.html in case you missed it) but that was about SEMA 2011. In Phoenix at the Barrett-Jackson auctions Alan put together something called A World of DIY (as in ‘Do it Yourself’).
Alan Taylor from Motor Trend Radio called me last fall to say he had partnered up with eBay Motors to ‘personalize’ a 2012 5.0L Mustang donated by Galpin Ford, and auction it during SEMA 2011. He wanted to put a team together to take the car from “stock to extreme,” but still street legal. I was in.
I’ve missed you guys the last couple of months because I’ve been really slammed with great projects and getting ready for SEMA, but I’m back with a lot of great news and some great projects.
This month I’m working on a project that I call re-do, nobody likes to do re-dos. About 6 to 8 months ago I did a ‘57 Thunderbird and I repaired the front end. I wrote a story for Autobody News (April 2010, Working On a ‘57 Thunderbird With Old School Tools & Techniques, which you can easily find in my column section at autobodynews.com) about it, but what I want to talk about this month is making choices and taking the extra time to take it all the way back. What I mean is why I made decisions to do it one way and not another and why they came back to bite me: 1) costing me my labor and 2) material, and 3) an inconvenience for the customer. All of the above are red flags for future repairs.
Challenges—they seem like they’re always coming up. Since I did the Car Warriors TV show, where we were always fighting the clock with only 72 hours to build a complete car, it seems like everybody wants to hit me with a time challenge. My buddy, Diggity Dave, you might know him from the Pimp My Ride TV show, called me up to throw out a challenge.
This month is a current project I’m working on which is a 1941 Chevrolet Deluxe STD two-door sedan. This is for some of you fabricators out there and other body men who know that sometimes you can’t just replace parts or parts aren’t available. This 1941 Chevy was rear-ended and the impact damaged the deck lid, the left quarter panel, the bumper filler and the floor.
A lot of times when I’m taking parts off the car and putting them back on, from mock up position I’ll go into the doors and the hinges and drill two 1/8th inch holes. That way I can stick two 1/8th inch dowels through, tighten up the parts and then they’re right back to where I was before so I don’t have to take the time to re-line everything up. That way when I do my graphics, they’re going to line up. So I do the same with the hood, deck lid; I really don’t have to worry about the fenders—on some projects you do, but on this one I don’t.
We unveiled our made over 2010 RT Challenger at the Mopar booth at SEMA in November, 2010 (see cover photo). This is one of the coolest and most interesting projects I have ever had the pleasure to work on. Collaborating with the Mopar team has been a blast. A hard part was going through Mopar catalogs and deciding which parts and accessories to use.
We left off with sanding with the Soft-Sanders™ blocks. I continue to use the same blocks, with my color sand system. I’m going to cut it down with 800, then cut with 1000 followed by 1200, then 1500, 2000, and finally 2500 sand paper. I come over it with the 6 inch DA on the areas I can reach with 3000. That just makes my buffing system a lot easier. So after 3000 (with the help of the 3M five step system that they call Perfect Finish. The 3000 grit sand paper is usually on a hook back, so I’m using a foam disk with the p3000, (PN02085, without the foam backing is PN02075).