"So I bought this thing because I took my carb to a buddies house the first time I was taking it apart and we used his. My carb had gunk all over and was generally dirty from being used. This ultrasonic gizzmo cleaned my carb to the point where it looked fresh out of a hot tank, inside and out. I was very impressed."
When he took it home, he tried different cleaners with it. One different work. Another was so sotrong, it would tarnish. Finally, he found the perfect "solution":
"I went back to Harbor Freight and bought a gallon of this business they use in their regular parts washers for only $9.99. I run a 50/50 mix with water and it cleans fantastically. Straight out of the jug is pretty concentrated stuff. I really recommend diluting it some."
And once he figured out the formula, he threw everything he could find into the cleaner.
"Since, I've used it on all kinds of things. Most useful to me has been on fasteners but greasy nuts, bolts, washers, brackets, spacers, sprockets, clutch and brake perches, cleaning up my tools, my carburetor components, suspension components and even a whole chain. Yes, the whole chain."
Besides motorcycle and automotive parts, the 2.5 Ultrasonic Cleaner is great for cleaning gun parts and brass, jewelry, coins, brasswind parts, pinball machine parts, e-cigarette tanks, medals, eyeglasses, tattoo tubes, grips and tips, bionic parts, coffee ground cups, and so much more! It works with our without heat, and is programmed for five cleaning cycles. At only $74.99, it's a great machine at a great price.
Now, back to Master_E:
"So I thought I'd share a couple before and afters. I actually struggled to find things that needed cleaning, but I did find a couple things. These parts were never prep'd or polished after coming out of the cleaner. They went straight in, ran a cycle then brought out and dried off. Thats it. No scrubbing, no brushing, no scraping, no wiping down with a rag at all."
(Click on the pics to enlarge)
You can't argue with the evidence. The Chicago Electric 2.5 Liter Ultrasonic Cleaner is a perfect addition to any workshop or home where parts and pieces get dirty. Go get yours now-- and don't forget to take a 20% Off coupon!
To quote Master_E's parting remark:
"Cheers! Now go clean some stuff!"
Billy Kulakowski was a mean griller, everybody in the cul-de-sac agreed. Every block party weekend, Billy was given a wide berth as he worked his magic on his meats and wood chips and butt rubs. When he was in the zone, Billy was like a wild-eyed chainsaw juggler jacked up on Pepsi Max. Head down in the smoke and sizzle, flipping tongs, spatulas, sauces, spices... his little water spray bottle keeping the furious flames at bay... no one dared approach him, not even to offer him a cold one. Story's told, one time somebody did, and there was an incident. Something about a misheard word, a scuffle and-- things getting out of hand like they oft times do-- an airborne super-duty wiener fork took out a bounce house. Three kids were never found. It took a while (a couple of months, I suspect), but the cul-de-sac moved on, and so did Billy's grilling.
Yeah, Billy Kulakowski was a mean griller. A man's man. Word had it, Kenny Rogers was even writing a song about him.
Then one day, a family of five bought the old Johnson split-level-- the Kleeburgs from Huntsville, Alabama. When the father, Joe Kleeburg, heard about the block party coming up, he peeled out of his driveway and some time later returned with three 55-gallon drums, some angle iron, mesh metal and a Chicago Electric 5" Double Cut Saw from Harbor Freight Tools. Ducking into his garage, he wasn't seen again for the rest of the week.
Nine o'clock the morning of the block party, everybody was setting up their usual station. Billy took his designated double-wide spot; 10 aluminum charcoal starters filled to the brim with cooking coals lined up on the sidewalk in front of him. No sign of the new neighbors. But then at 9:22, the Kleeburgs' 3-car garage came to life and the doors slowly rose...
Billy didn't have a chance. And, after considerable effort, Kenny Rogers managed to fit "Joe Kleeburg" into "Billy Kulakowski"... but, that's another story.
The Chicago Electric 5" Double Cut Saw cuts through plywood, sheet metal, galvanized pipe, flooring, plastic, paneling, Formica, and so much more, without burning, chipping or melting. Its portability makes it great for tight spots and on-the-fly work, and it'll save you hours from having to cut steel with a grinder. Packing a powerful 7.5 amp motor, this saw cuts forward or backward with the same power and precision-- with no kickback! And for just $59.99-- even less with your 20% off coupon!-- it'll be a lifesaver around the house and garage over and over, again.
Bare Bones Method of Building a Grill Out of a 55-Gallon Drum
Things You Will Need:
- 55-Gallon Drum
- Masking Tape
- Chicago Electric 5" Double Cut Saw
- Angle Iron
- Chicago Electric 170 Amp MIG/Flux Wire Welder
- Mesh Metal
- Metal Rod
- 1/2" Steel Box Tube
- Two Heavy-Duty Hinges
- Steel reinforcement plates
- 2x1" steel ro
- Find a 55 gallon drum. Sometimes you can avoid buying a new one by checking out Craigslist or other local classifieds, pet shops or weed n' feeds. Try to avoid one that housed toxic chemicals, but just to be sure, when you cut off the lid, build a large fire inside of it to thoroughly burn out any lingering harmful substances. Then, once cool, dump the ashes and give it one last thorough hosing.
- Next, you're going to want to divide the drum into quarters. Use the masking tape along the sides and ends of the barrel, make sure all the quarters are even. Lay the drum on its side and, using the double cut saw, carefully cut one of the quarters about 3 to 3/12" from the barrel's edges-- this is going to be the lid for the grill.
- Build a large fire inside of it to thoroughly burn out any lingering harmful substances. Then, once cool, dump the ashes and give it one last thorough hosing.
- Next, take some angle iron and weld a rectangular shape out of it. Then weld it into place in the middle of the drum. This will provide as a rest for the grill.
- Find a good mesh that can be used as the grill surface, preferably a heavier gauge metal, and one where the edges are flattened so there are no sharp points sticking up. This will also make it easier to scrub after grilling. Weld metal rod along all the edges, and add cross bars so the mesh will retain its strength and shape. Cut out a piece 1/8" smaller than the opening of
- Take two lengths of 1/2" box tube and make relief cuts every two inches so you can bend them to the shape of the barrel. Once you've got the shape you desire, weld the cuts smooth. This creates a sturdy cradle on which you'll be attaching the legs. Then weld the half moon shapes to the barrel.
- Attach hinges to the barrel and lid, and reinforce it with steel plates on the inside.
- Determine how high you want your grill to be (3-ft. is good) and accordingly cut the 2x1 into legs. Cut relief marks throughout the legs, too, to allow the grill to have a little bit of give. This will make the legs bend outward and, ultimately. give it more stability in the long run. Attach the legs and you have your very own, cheap and efficient 55-gal. drum grill.
Of course, you'll probably want to add handles, a couple of vents, a hole on the bottom for dripping. If you came this far, though, I trust you can take it from here.
Painting the Car
One of the most time-consuming and important projects you'll perform in the auto restoration process is to paint the sucker. Painting a classic car is more of an art than a mechanical procedure, and doing a good job means summoning patience and a bit of perfectionism from your normally "that's good enough"-self. That new, glossy paint job will make the slightest blemish look pronounced and no matter how awesome the ride's going to look, believe me, you'll be staring at that blotch like my teenage daughter obsesses over a zit.
First, choosing the paint: Most likely you'll be compromising between the quality and budget. Most paints nowadays do a pretty good job of protecting the underlying metal, but cheaper paints can be less tolerant to sun, and will fade quickly if the car sits outside for any length of time. Regardless of the type of paint you choose, remember you get what you pay for. More expensive paints will last longer and retain their pigment better than the "bargain" paints.
Just a couple more things to cover before we move on to the equipment: proper preparation. Especially if it's assembled, the car first needs be taped off, using masking tape and paper. You might be thinking, heck, I'll just use newspaper. But newspaper is porous and can let paints-- especially clear coat-- bleed through onto the glass and trim, leaving a time-consuming mess. It costs a little more, but using a less porous paper-- making paper better still--will make the job a lot easier. Plastic can be used to bag the engine bay and other areas that won't be painted, and wheel covers or trash bags can be used to cover the wheels and tires. Once taped, the car is prepared by wiping it down with a cleaner (Naphtha is usually the main ingredient) to eliminate any oils or foreign materials from the surface that could cause fish-eyes or other blemishes. Finally, the car is wiped down with a tack-cloth to remove any dust or debris that could affect the paint job.
If you don't have a lot of experience painting cars, following the instructions on the MSDS will help you apply a good paint job. If done properly, your paint job should protect your car and look great for many years.
Now on to the equipment. The primer is already on, so our designated restoration artisan turns to the...
The HVLP spray gun's material transfer gives you better, more consistent coverage than conventional spray guns, and with minimal messy over-spray. It comes with a 20 oz. gravity feed gun that operates at 30-35 PSI and detail gun that performs 25-30 PSI, and comes with stainless steel needles and tips on both guns. Our technician used this, along with a 33 Oz. Gravity Feed Paint Cup to spray two coats of red paint and three coats of clear. After which, he color-sanded the body with dish soap & water, 1200 Grit Sandpaper, using a 4-7/8" Soft Rubber Sanding Block to knock off the "orange peel." How does our spray gun kit compare to the competition's?
- Sears - US Freight Neiko Pro 2.0mm HVLP Gravity Speed Spray Gun w/Gauge #9924G - $59.99
- Northern Tool - Wagner Double-Duty HVLP Sprayer #0518050 - $94.99
- Home Depot - Husky HVLP & Conventional Spray Gun Kit #HDK00600AV - $79.99
- Lowe's - Kobalt Large Gravity Feed Spray Gun #SGY-AIR88 - $54.96
- Grainger - BINKS HVLP Gravity Spray Gun Kit #98-3170 - $204.25
Following the pain job, Jeff buffed, using this polisher/sander and then, with the waxing, delivered the classic car to an incredible mirror gloss finish!
The polisher gives you all the power and control you need for a wide variety of applications. It generates between 1000-3500 RPM for a pretty nice polish. The LCD display shows the speed and the textured grip side handle provides comfortable handling. The polisher comes with foam and polishing bonnets as well as an 80 grip sanding disc. It's also great for boats, travel trailers, stairs, etc-- all at a great price. Now here's the competition:
- Sears - Wen Variable Speed 7" Polisher/Sander #946 - $59.99
- Northern Tool - Makita 7" Sander & Polisher 3000 RPM #9227CX3 - $239.99
- Home Depot - Wen 7" Pro Sander/Polisher #946 - $59.99
- Lowes - Porter Cable 4.5 Amp Ros Power Sander/Polisher # 7346SP - $119.00
- Grainger - Makita 7" Variable Speed Sander/Polisher #9227CY - $284.75
I'll admit, Harbor Freight forced me to adjust my philosophy on buying. For the longest time, I (and I'm sure I'm not alone) hung onto the credo, "You get what you pay for." That's why we lay down the heavy dinero for bigger name brand clothes, shoes, watches, mayonnaise, dining experiences, hotel rooms, guns and tools. Heaven forbid you cave to the temptation of saving some bread and end up with a dog of a purchase. More than a root canal, I hate when that happens. But, like I said, Harbor Freight Tools readjusted my mental state. I still look for the better guns and mayonnaise, but now when I look for a tool, I first go to the HFT website, check out my options, prices, ALWAYS the reviews, and more often than not I come away sold on something-- and I have yet to be disappointed with this formula.
Which brings me to the Chicago Electric 5.2 Amp 3-In-1 1" SDS Plus Rotary Hammer. A friend recently bought a house and considered renting a rotary hammer to rip up his concrete patio. The best price he could find locally was $48/day. As luck would have it, he mentioned the plan to me before he took the plunge, and I told him about Harbor Freight's SDS rotary hammer, priced $99.99 (even less with a coupon!). The beast will pound 2920 blows per minute through concrete, masonry, stone or pretty much any other hard, brittle material. Whether it's for drilling holes, chiseling or chipping, it won't let you down. Plus, the stop-hammer feature on this powerful SDS rotary hammer lets you drill precision holes in wood, too. I told him to check reviews on Google and on the HFT website to get an idea of what other owners of the rotary hammer thought. It was an easy sell:
"As a heavy/civil engineering construction inspector, I was on a job 3-4 years ago when the contractor showed up on site with a HF SDS unit (this was on a project with a contract north of $6 million). I made some sort of wise ass comment about the quality of his tools and he said, these things are great and if you drop them, so what? He drilled hundreds of holes 1/4-5/8" with that thing and it was still going. I went out and bought one as my roto-hammer was an old Milwaukee hex shaft with dull/broken obsolete bits. Damn thing has been great!" OldWino, GarageJournal.com
"I was apprehensive about buying this tool because of the low, low price compared to similar tools of different name brands prices. I called the rental store and they wanted $50.00 a day for rental, plus buying the bits. I drove to the store and bought this tool including all the bits for just a little more than the rental store was willing to rent for their tool for 1 day. I have used this tool for drilling, tearing out brick columns, taking up ceramic tile, spudding built-up rocks off the roof for flat roof repairs, and it has not let me down yet. I did purchase the 2-year warranty for just in case but have not had to use it yet. This tool has easily paid for itself." Valdosta Repair Man, HFT customer review
"My wife and I own an HVAC company . I have had one of these for at least 5 years and use it pretty regularly going through brick to run flue pipes and line sets for HVAC systems... I have a plumber buddy who has had to have his Bosch rebuilt twice in the time I have owned my HF and mine still works like it did the day I got it ." rickairmedic, GarageJournal.com
"This drill does it all. It is more like a home demolition hammer drill. It drills, it hammer/ drills, or it just hammers depending on how you set it up. Other posts talk about it being metric bits. I don't see the issue. Just like all drills there are thousands of bits. You can buy a any size standard "SDS Plus" (Shank Size) bit at any big box chain home improvement store or industrial supply store. You can by masonry chisels, dirt digging spades, bull nose chisels, along with any size drill bit you can think of. I have used mine around the house for many extreme projects. It has a built in grease cup which must be filled ever so often as part of maintenance. I service mine before ever use and it has not let me down. I also bought the extended warranty but have not used it yet. It could be broken if it was just thrown down, but they all can. I take care of my tools and they take care of me." Rider7767, HFT customer review
"Harbor Freight's SDS Rotary Hammer - I am handyman/audio video guy. I have used this to bust thru concrete walls to run cable, etc. It comes with bits and a chisel. Has already paid for itself in savings over the Bosch units I would rent. For my occasional use it is great. There is nothing quite like a hammer drill to make short work of drilling thru concrete, if you have ever tried even small holes (like ones for tapcons) with a regular drill, they are a major bear! This tool makes very short work out of it!" OKnewguy, TractorByte.com
Of course, my buddy bought the Chicago Electric rotary hammer with absolutely no regrets. He made short order of the old patio, and has since moved on to creating his dream backyard... well, his and his wife's dream backyard...
Believe it or not, for the meatiest phase of the Firebird restoration project-- the engine rebuild-- the star of the show was the Pittsburgh Professional 1/2" Drive Click Stop Torque Wrench, a multipurpose tool utilized throughout the video (check out the great details and tips employed in this installment). A heavy-duty cam and pawl mechanism, this reversible 1/2" drive click type torque wrench is THE go-to tool when precise torque is needed. The click-type wrench design provides a torque range from 20 to 150 ft. lbs and is accurate to within +/- 4% ! Harbor Freight price: $19.99.
Judging by the reviews, we already know it's an awesome automotive hand tool. But how does it measure up cost-wise to the competition? Let's check it out:
- Sears - Performance Mechanics 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench #M200DB - $47.02
- Northern Tool - Northern Industrial 1/2" Torque Wrench #558266 - $29.99
- Home Depot - Husky 1/2" Drive Torque Wrench #39104T - $79.97
- Lowe's - Kobalt 1/2" Drive Click Torque Wrench #85601 - $94.97
- Grainger - Proto 1/2" Torque Wrench #J6016CX - $281.50
Next time we'll look at the tools used for painting the car and, as always, compare them to the competition's stuff. By now the pattern should be clear: Harbor Freight Tools offers, without a doubt, the best value on quality auto restoration tools. Don't forget to check out their weekly flyer and keep checking HarborFreight.com for sales, coupons and the best deals around!
See you next time!
I hope everyone had as nice and relaxing holiday as I did. Besides getting lots of badly needed downtime, we managed to see old friends, family and haunts, and accumulated new memories to add to the ol' mental scrapbook.
Over the last few days, as I was dreading the end of my vacation and return to the real world, I pondered resolutions for 2013-- both the realistic ones and the "not-a-snowball's-chance-in-hell-but-I-should-probably-make-them-anyway" ones. Typically, these goals are exercises in futility. This time, though, it occurred to me that it isn't so much what you resolve to do as much as how you plan to make it happen. As I'm sure many of you are, I'm a big fan of The Shawshank Redemption. That whole "get busy living, or get busy dying" rant impressed me like, "yeah... that's it. That's how it is." In the movie, Andy Dufresne determined his "get busy living" was finding a way out of Shawshank and escaping to a little Mexican village called Zihuatanejo. It's the perfect metaphor for anything we truly want.
So you need to first ask yourself, what more than anything would you like to do. It could be turning the garage into a man cave or craft studio, fixing all the broken things around the house, restoring your dad's dead Olds 442 or finally overhauling the backyard. But, before getting lost in your fantasy and dreaming of neat that would be...
...immediately follow up with, okay... how do I make it happen? In other words, you can't just think about what you need to start doing-- do it. Do it now. Even if you just devote 10 minutes a day, moving boxes or trimming hedges or removing engine parts, the very act of doing something motivates you to get moving, add more time and effort. and get it done. This year for me, it's not just about losing weight (yeah, I'm original), it's about walking, power-walking, doing stairs or hiking every day. NOT jumping into a gym membership-- that's just setting myself up for disaster (not to mention thwarting my budgetary resolutions). Also, choosing the types of food I eat by imagining what kind of hell my body goes through processing what I feed it (reality check: sweet potato fries is NOT a healthy alternative to regular potato fries). Again, not what you do, but how you do it.
On a sort-of related note, but not really, I have a brother-in-law who's a total Tim Taylor (Home Improvement), grunts and all, and whose name I had for Christmas. I gave him a Harbor Freight gift card (of course), but, for me, just giving a gift card's a cop out; it has to at least be accompanied by something that requires personal thought and consideration. So, I gave him a copy of Sequoia Publishing's Pocket Ref.
Super handy info for tool hounds, craftsmen, landscapers, mechanics, technicians, cooks, stagehands, maintenance workers, carpenters, installers, fabricators, testers, designers, rodeo clowns-- anyone who works with tools or does general troubleshooting-- this comprehensive, pocket-sized reference book is for anyone who does anything. It's perfect for when you use a math formula infrequently enough to forget it-- and it's better than the Internet 'cause it goes places where you get no bars! The little book is 768 pages of charts, tables, conversions, constants, facts and figures on everything you’d want to know. Covers air and gasses, automotive, carpentry and construction, chemistry and physics, computers, general science, geology, electrical circuits, electronics, drilling, cutting, adhesives, bolts, fasteners, pipes, ropes, tools, weather, welding, time zones, bunches of tables. and tons more-- AND it fits in a pocket, glove box or tool box! Excluding Taco Bell, I can't think of a better way to spend $9.99.
My brother-in-law flipped after he scanned through it for the first time. "Hell," he said, "I can see myself just sitting and reading this for fun." I recommended the bathroom.
Not for nothing, but an interesting aside, Jamie and Adam on MythBusters whip this book out from time to time and use formulas from it. Well... I was impressed.
Well, it's been a long road, but we've finally come to the end of our journey. Behold the final video installment of the '67 Firebird Restoration Project, executed exclusively with Harbor Freight Tools.
As I shared last week, the fully-restored '67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? (love that show!) This car would have summoned a pretty penny on their auction block. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circled around it, transfixed, muttering "wows" and "oh yeahs" under our breaths. The original interior was pristine-- black bucket seats and carpet looking like new. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the 'bird's engine was better now than when it was new.
Imagine the same kind of results with your favorite Mopar or Mustang... maybe an old Apache pickup or Landcruiser. Whatever your poison, Harbor Freight Tools has got the power, air and hand tools you need for a lot less moolah than the other guys-- and they've got the fans to prove it! Get their catalog, shop their deals, clip their coupons... you won't be able to help grinning with all the cool stuff you'll be taking home for so little.
So, what's to become of the Firebird? The rumors abound. A Saudi now sheikh has it. It's in the next Bourne movie. Elvis was seen in it at a drive-through in Lubbock, Texas. No one can say for sure... I only know I offered to take it off their hands, but haven't heard back yet.
If it's going to be done right, every phase of restoring a vehicle is important. I mean, you wouldn't just rebuild or replace the carb, throw on some new paint and upholstery, and call it done (although, that's exactly what a lot of guys do). That thinking will bite you in the butt down the road-- literally. That's why the underbody gets the same attention as everything else. So... let's talk tools:
Last month I started a series illustrating how much more bang for the buck a wrencher can get from Harbor Freight Tools than they could the competition. Using the '67 Firebird Restoration project as my example, I've been breaking it down phase by phase, comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competition advertises. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe's and Grainger. Exact matches weren't always found, so I substituted the closest product available. As I've said before, I don't think this compromises the test because we're only talking about differences in size and shape, not power or function.
In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight's tools used in the vehicle's disassembly video. In the second, we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we featured the tools employed in the stripping and priming process. This time we're only featuring two tools for the underbody:
Using a heavy-duty industrial de-greaser, this powerful 2000 PSI gas pressure washer is unstoppable against old, caked-on grease, oil and dirt that's accumulated on your vehicle's underbelly. Pumping out 1.6 gallons a minute, the machine is EPA-certified and easily portable on two rubber wheels. It's got a mighty four-stroke 4 HP gas engine with a cast-iron cylinder for maximum durability, pump-overheat protection, overload protection and low-oil shutdown for extra safety.
- Sears - Craftsman 2200 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer - $249.99
- Northern Tool - Wel-bilt 2500 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer - $249.99
- Home Depot - Simpson MegaShot 2200 PSI Gas-Powered Pressure Washer - $269.99
- Lowe's - Simpson MegaShot 2200 PSI Gas Pressure Washer - $269.99
- Grainger - Generac #5987 2500 PSI Cold Water Gas Pressure Washer - $499.25
You can't beat the quality and value of this great, little blaster! In the video they used it for blasting rust from the undercarriage, but that's just one of a zillion things you can use this tool on. Car restoration, firearm parts, tool cabinets, barbecues, metal beams, aluminum wheels, tools, to name a few. Use slag media, silica, walnut or pecan shells, sand, glass bead, steel grit and more. The portable abrasive blaster kit comes with a blast gun, 15-ft. material hose and a hopper than can hold up to 50 lbs. of abrasive media. Just hook it up to a 1 HP or larger compressor and easily remove paint, rust, graffiti, corrosion and scale.
- Sears - Sears Portable Sand Blaster - $119
- Northern Tool - ALC Suction Abrasive Blaster - $49.99
- Home Depot - Powermate Air Sand Blaster - $55.99
- Lowe's - N/A
- Grainger - ALC Siphon Blaster - $171
Check out The Video to see the tools in action during the underbody stripping procedure.
In the next installment, we'll take a look at the tools used for the Engine Rebuild, and compare them to the competition's. Until then!
After all the hours, all the painstaking labor, all the fine details-- not to mention the social hari kari-- it does the heart good to see the fruits of the labor coming together. So, like Beethoven with an impact wrench, one man has labored to produce a pretty bitchin' set of wheels.
And we've finally come to the eighth installment of the Harbor Freight Tools 1967 Firebird Restoration Project: Putting the car back together.
Recapping -- HFT invited former Rod & Custom editor, Jeff Tann, to restore a First Generation Firebird using only products from Harbor Freight Tools. The car is all original with a 400/325-hp V8 engine, so he's approaching the project from scratch.
- In Part 1, we were given a tour of the original vehicle, inside and out, and presented Jeff's challenge.
- In Part 2, we followed the body-dismantling process and introduced the U.S. General 700 lb. Capacity 5-Drawer Rolling Tool Cart, which housed the Pittsburgh Professional 301-Piece Mechanic's Tool Kit. Also in this segment, we saw how Jeff made quick business of the job with a Central Pneumatic 3/8" Professional Air Ratchet and 1/4" Mini Air Ratchet Wrench.
- In Part 3, Jeff lifted the engine using a 1-Ton Capacity Foldable Shop Crane and then removed the tranny from it with a Central Pneumatic 1/2" Twin Hammer Air Impact Wrench before he mounted it on the Central Machinery 1000 Lb. Engine Stand, and proceeded to take it apart.
- Part 4 took us to the exciting first step of transformation-- sanding and priming the car. For the stripping, Jeff used a Central Pneumatic 6" Dual Action Air Sander and the Jitterbug Orbital Air Sander. He then laid down the primer like a rock star, using the Central Pneumatic Professional HVLP Gravity Feed Spray Gun.
- Part 5 involves the pressure-washing, sandblasting and undercoating of the Firebird. Using a Pacific Hydrostar 4 HP 2000 PSI Gas Pressure Washer and a generous amount of heavy-duty degreaser, he heavily coated the underbody to break down over 45 years of grease, oil and dirt, and then washed it off with water using a high-pressure nozzle. Once the underbody was scrubbed clean, he sandblasted the rust spots with a Central Pneumatic Portable Abrasive Blaster Kit, using highly efficient Medium Grade Armex Soda Blast Media and, as a finishing touch, covered the surface with Rustoleum Professional Undercoating Spray.
- In Part 6, we come to the meatiest phase of the Firebird restoration to date-- the engine rebuild. The Pittsburgh Professional 1/2" Drive Click Stop Torque Wrench is pretty much the star of the show, a multipurpose tool utilized throughout the footage. That said, check out the great details and tips employed in this installment. Chances are you'll see a thing or two you'd like to adopt for your next project.
- Part 7 shows Jeff advancing to the painting stage. The primer already on, he picks up the Central Pneumatic 2-pc. Professional Automotive HVLP Spray Gun Kit, along with a 33 Oz. Gravity Feed Paint Cup to spray two coats of red paint and three coats of clear. After which, he color-sanded the body with dish soap & water, 1200 Grit Sandpaper, using a 4-7/8" Soft Rubber Sanding Block to knock off the "orange peel." Following this, Jeff buffed, using a Chicago Electric 7" Electronic Polisher/Sander With Digital Display, and then with the waxing, delivered the classic car to an incredible mirror gloss finish!
We now come to the muscle car's reassembly. For Part 8 we treat you to a slide show of all the parts coming together, until we have a beautifully restored '67 Pontiac Firebird, better than it was when it came off the assembly line.
Whatever your labor of love, if it has to do with tools, Harbor Freight Tools has got what you need-- and sends you home with extra cash in your pocket!
Next time-- the final result, inside and out!
Stripping & Priming Tools
Yesterday morning the fully-restored '67 Firebird pulled into our office parking lot, transported by trailer, and let me tell you, it was a sight to see. Ever watch the Mecum Car Auctions on the Velocity Channel? This car would have commanded a pretty penny on that show. Before it was whisked away to who-knows-where, a handful of us slowly circumnavigated around it, transfixed, muttering "wows" and "oh yeahs" under our breaths. The original interior was pristine-- black bucket seats and carpet looking like it just rolled off the assembly line. Under the hood, the same. In fact, the guy who did the restoration, Jeff Tann, said the 'bird was better now than when it was new. In a future installment, I'll provide a thorough pictorial of the final results. For now, let's talk tools:
Earlier this month I started a series illustrating how much could be saved buying products from Harbor Freight Tools-- as opposed to the competition-- for the '67 Firebird Restoration project. Breaking it down phase by phase, we're comparing the prices of tools used in the project with similar (if not exact) products that the competitors advertise. The competitors I chose were Sears, Northern Tool, Home Depot, Lowe's and Grainger. It should be noted that exact matches weren't always found, so I substituted the closest comparison available. As I've said before, I don't think this compromises the test because we're only talking about differences in size and shape, not function.
In the first segment, we looked at Harbor Freight's tools used in the vehicle's disassembly video. In the second we explored price differences on the engine removal phase. In the third installment, we'll be looking at the tools employed in the stripping and priming process:
This sander’s orbital action allows swirl-free finishes to give your auto body, metalworking or woodworking project a professional appearance! The orbital sander is constructed with sturdy, lightweight aluminum housing and features a cushion-grip vinyl handle to provide comfortable yet firm control. A great orbital sander for edging, feathering and finishing projects for both pros and hobbyists!
- Sears - Ingersoll Rand (IRT311A) Dual Action Air Sander - $69.76
- Northern Tool - Northern Industrial 6" Dual Action Air Sander - $34.99
- Home Depot - Husky 6" Pneumatic Dual Action Sander - $59.98
- Lowe's - Kobalt 6" Dual Action Sander - $59.84
- Grainger - Speedaire 3CRJ3 - $73.80
This vibration-free air sander-- at 9,400 orbits-per-minute-- is perfect for auto body work or finish work on furniture (according to one customer, it's also great on the aluminum wing surfaces of WWII aircraft). The orbital air sander features a compact palm grip that enables you to easily reach tight spots, a paddle trigger and a built-in regulator.
- Sears - Mechanics Tools M569DB - $49.42
- Northern Tool - Northern Industrial Orbital Air Sander - $39.99
- Home Depot - EMAX Jitterbug Sander - $59.97
- Lowe's - N/A
- Grainger - Ingersoll Rand 312A Orbital Air Sander - $179
The high volume and low pressure on this spray gun reduces over-spray so that more paint goes on your mural, car, motorcycle, fence and whatever else you wish to paint! Restoring furniture? The Central Pneumatic HVLP spray gun sprays wood stain, clear-coat, etc., perfectly. The gravity feed and regulator allows paint to spray evenly on your project. This HVLP spray gun is a great tool for spraying lacquer on the deck, or priming or undercoating your car!
- Sears - Tooluxe HVLP Spray Gun - $39.99
- Northern Tool - Ingersoll Rand Performance 210G Spray Gun - $79.99
- Home Depot - Husky Gravity Freed HVLP Spray Gun - $49.98
- Lowe's - Kobalt Large Gravity Spray Gun - $89.96
- Grainger - Speedaire 4XP65 Spray Gun - $139.75
Check out The Video to see the tools in action during the stripping and priming process!
In the next installment, we'll take a look at the tools used for undercoating the car, and compare them to the competition's. Until then!