West Coast Report 34th Edition by John Gilbert

The Hot Rod to Hell ­­— A Proverbial Aero-Spray Showcase



Welcome to the 34th edition of the West Coast Report, and the first edition I’ve written since I went on staff as a tech editor for Classic Trucks. Talk about a hectic period of time just a little prior. I was trying to get the Hot Rod to Hell ready for driving to SEMA, and wrap up articles for some of the ten different publications I was doing work for before I went on staff when the sh*# really hit the fan. Monday morning the day before the SEMA show opened one of the family had a massive heart attack. On Tuesday the day I’d planned on leaving for SEMA, repercussions from yet another family member’s catastrophic automobile accident suffered earlier in the year entered the picture, and all bets were off for making it to SEMA.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-02Nothing looks more right on a track T than 16-inch Coker Excelsior radials mounted on Rocket Racing Wheels Igniters: The Hot Rod to Hell is just a day or two short from completion if one doesn’t count the time needed to install an interior. The car is a proverbial showcase of Eastwood products note every single product used to restore, and paint the HR-H track T roadster came from Eastwood in either a gallon can, or Aero-Spray. And the car was painted  almost entirely in my garage on jack stands with the exception of the body being done in the driveway. Look for an upcoming tech on how to remove overspray from a pickup truck (5 in all) in an upcoming edition of the West Coast Report.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-03The right parts, along with a good eye for detail can turn a pretty basic any kind of vehicle into a show & go magazine ready ride. There are eight Eastwood spraycan finishes visible in this photograph, can you spot them? Here’s a hint, the body was done in 2K Aero-Spray semi-gloss black chassis spray. The firewall is Silver Argent cleared with 2K Aero-Spray matte finish clear. The used mangy appearing Holley carburetor didn’t need a thing internally, but its exterior sucked. Silver Carb Renew II handled that problem. The aluminum radiator looked cheap left in bare alloy for this application, so Eastwood Radiator Black toned it down without plugging the cooling fins. That’s five, can you guess the other three?

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-04The intake manifold is Detail Gray, and the alternator is in Carb Renew II. As covered in a previous edition of the West Coast Report the engine is Chevy Orange VHT cleared with 2K Aero-Spray high-gloss Clear. Note the wrap on the fan temp sending unit is Classic Braid from Painless.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-05Gloss Black 2K Aero-Spray chassis paint covers the drop axle and tie rod. I used Detail Gray for the brake rotors, and VHT bright universal Red on the calipers.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-06Tried and true I switched to Coker Excelsior Radials on the Chadly coupe, and wouldn’t consider anything else for making a cross-country trip. The 16-inch Igniters are new from Rocket Racing  Wheels. Behind the Speedway polished stainless steel Shotgun headers notice I used Gloss Black 2K Aero-Spray chassis paint on the frame, and Detail Gray with 2K Matte Clear on top to paint the radius rods.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-07Search back through West Coast Report archives and you’ll find the tech I did on cutting the floorboard (toe board) open, and fiberglassing a larger area to place my feet. Lokar chrome Lakester pedals make the floor look nothing, but just plain bitchin.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-08Making the underside of the T’s body all one color and undercoating changed the looks from cobbled to real, and undercoating blocks hot and cold while helping to soundproof.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-09I used PRE (notice it’s the old can. That’s because I stock up cases at a time) to strip grease, oil and grime in areas like the swatch thrown in the tunnel by the front u-joint.  Spray it on wipe crud off.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-10Blue masking tape is the kind to use for temporary protection from overspray. Anything else like yellow crepe will dry hard and be a nightmare to remove.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-11On underside areas that were concealed once the car was done I sprayed Eastwood Rubberized undercoating on extremely heavy to see how it reacted. Then I sprayed it on like conventional spray paint in even rows trying to get even results.WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-12What worked best for me was holding the can back a little further than a conventional spray can and fogging the undercoat on in rows.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-13The best rubberized undercoatings dry hard to the touch, and not squishy like tar based products. Pressing one’s fingernail into Eastwood Rubberized Undercoating confirms it dries hard to the touch.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-14Look at Peggy’s expression. Cats love the pleasant rubbery goodness the smell of Eastwood Rubberized Undercoating exudes.  Try it for your cat today.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-15Although it can be sprayed at almost any angle if the can is near full. holding the can vertical presents the best results.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-16The red circle at right of the blue tape is a no-longer needed hole.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-17I placed blue tape on the finish (visible) side as a mold to produce a smooth surface.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-18Right from the pages of the Eastwood catalog — Everglass short strand fiberglass reinforced body filler provides structural strength that conventional body fillers aren’t formulated to handle.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-19To fill larger holes 3/8-inch and above, I built up both sides of the repair. Then before the filler cured completely I sanded the finish side flush. The inside (doesn’t show) was sanded smooth while leaving enough buildup to add strength to the repair.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-20Peel the blue masking tape away as soon as the filler begins to harden ( the filler will feel warm-hot to the touch.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-21As indicated by where my fingers are pointing a quick shot of undercoating over the repair will disguise a repair was made.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-22After silicone stripping with PRE, I used soapy water and 320-grit wet-n-dry sandpaper to sand the body parts. The soap lubricates the sandpaper, and adds one more step to cleaning the surface.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-23I prefer to feel the surface as I sand it, but it’s a good way to work your fingers to the bone.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-24That’s right Eastwood has them in stock; Nitrile rubber gloves that protect your hands from abrasion, grease, or grime. Yet thin enough to transmit a respectable degree of tactile sensation.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-25Oil every time you use an air tool. I have air tools I bought 40 years ago that still work. The trick is to keep tools well oiled, and if the seals don’t rot they’ll work forever. Eastwood’s Aerosol Injected Lubricator works great for making sure the oil makes it deep to where its needed.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-26An alternative to wet-sanding is using a D-A (dual-action sander) with a good quality peel and stick precut disc. The faster sandpaper moves the finer a cut it produces. Use finer grit by hand, and coarser grit with power to achieve about the same results.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-27A good blast with a garden hose makes sure there isn’t any dirt to be found. Inside this track nose there were some healthy dirt clods that dissolved.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-28A combination of compressed-air and good old California sunshine worked great to dry the track nose inside and out thoroughly.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-29Shrinkage, it’s a word all men fear, but don’t despair 2K Aero-Spray Epoxy dries faster than an engine runs on nitrous, and shrinkage isn’t an issue. Shake the can until the ball breaks free, and then for another minute. I’m thinking about buying a paint shaker.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-30A good whack straight down pops the red button puncturing the internal catalyst cartridge. Here I’m checking to make sure the red button collapsed fully… it did.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-31Perfect for small jobs. Look at that crazy wild fan, just like a spray gun, but without the pain associated with cleaning a gun.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-32The method I like best is to lay on a good wet tack coat quickly in the same manner as spraying color. While the first coat is still tacky, I lay on heavier second coat watching it hit. The idea is to slick it without orange peel. You can shoot it dry, but that means you’ll have to sand it smooth.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-33The farther from the ground the less chance of dirt getting in the paint… or epoxy primer in this case.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-34Working at a comfortable height where the underside and the top is equally accessible is another good reason to elevate objects to be painted.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-35Here’s the body washed, blown, and dried ready for primer.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-36It took one full can to lay on three heavy coats of 2K Aero-Spray Epoxy primer on the rear deck. One more can to cover the rest of the body.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-37I’m sure a corporate liability attorney would drop a turd down his pantleg over this advice. During cold weather I use an oven to bring spray cans up to the proper temperature… Carefully of course.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-38It took four cans of Satin Black 2K Aero-Spray to cover the body, door, and nose completely.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-39Notice I broke the large areas up into sections divided by body lines.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-40While using a spray can this method makes it a lot easier to eliminate the possibility dry spots.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-41Outdoors with a slight breeze a heavy-duty particle mask works sufficiently to provide fresh air. Make it a point not to breathe the fumes, this isn’t health food.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-42Here’s the final results, not bad.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-43But that wasn’t good enough to satisfy my experimental mind. I wanted the paint on the T to look like it was aged nitro-cellulose lacquer. I color-sanded it out, and got the exact results I was after. The look is authentic down to the crows feet in the finish.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-44Silver Argent provided the look of aluminum to go with the handcrafted aluminum hood by Robert “Marion” Marianich.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-45Silver Argent provides excellent coverage. It took only three passes to cover the black and gray primer firewall.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-46To seal up any possibility of grease or oil permeating the Silver Argent I used 2K Aero-Spray Matte Finish clear.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-47Google nano ceramics and you’ll learn that not only Eastwood has it, but Mercedes-Benz is utilizing the technology to increase the hardness of paint threefold.

WCE-34-REPORT-bYjG-48I accidentally dropped a sharp fillister blade screwdriver directly into the paint while I was mounting the Cobra flip-cap. It didn’t scratch the finish, and Peggy’s claws don’t phase it. We’ll see how long it holds up in the long run as this paint wasn’t intended to be used as I did. Hey, I’m a custom painter we’re supposed to experiment.

Rustin’ Gold


WCE-34-RUSTIN-bYjG-01Usually the premise for Rustin’ Gold is a photograph of derelict vehicle that if the right person finds it, might have a chance at reincarnation. And that’s how it was going to be for this week’s edition until I spotted this ’41 Ford coupe in a movie on TCM. I’m sorry I can’t remember the movie’s title, I should have written down while it was still on. The first frame is of what was a cherry ’41 Ford getting dragged out of a swamp.

WCE-34-RUSTIN-bYjG-02Shortly after the ’41 is seen in a NYPD impound garage getting the twice over. The NYPD crew that searched the Ford for evidence the first time missed the bullet that was fired into the pretty blonde driver. It was an honest mistake they didn’t find the Ford until after a skeleton was found on the shore of the swamp.

WCE-34-RUSTIN-bYjG-03It was the coroner that found some busted ribs with traces of lead on the woman’s skeleton. Following the coroners hunch the NYPD homicide detective looked the car over again, and found a 45 automatic slug lodged in the crux of the floorboard, and the kick panel. It got me to thinking in the real world the 45 round would have most likely been a 230 grain hardball. A 45 hardball round has a full copper jacket, I’d think it would have left traces of copper. Well, I guess I’ll just have to leave it up to those picky folks that point out flaws in movies to get the scoop on that one.

WCE-34-RUSTIN-bYjG-04Later in the movie they showed the 45 and popped out a loaded clip full of hardballs.  The ’41 Ford coupe shown here was for sale at the Tulare swap meet last October. It looked to have been a car that was drag raced in the 60s.

WCE-34-RUSTIN-bYjG-05“Do these fenders make me look fat?” The ’41 model was the first wave of fat fendered Fords. It’s true 40 Ford fenders were round, but definitely not fat like these babies. This other living space is perfect for your family. Sliding glass, or French doors? If you’ve ever had to clean French doors, you’ll go for sliding glass.


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