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Customizing Basics
This is the page I'm going to use for customizing tricks and tips.
On this page I'm going to try to explain some of the tools and things necessaary to do a custom diecast car or truck.

First I'm going to explain some of the tools needed to do a custom.
The most important tool necessary is a Dremel Moto-Tool(or similar tool:Black and Decker,Craftsman,etc.) While some cutting can be done with a hacksaw,this can be very difficult since these cars are so small. Electric ones are much better,and a variable spped unit is ideal. Also,pick up some cutting stones and bits. Pick up a polishing kit for the Dremel too. This is especially important if you are going to do a Spectraflame type of paint job on your car or truck.

Small files are good to have for shaping and removing casting lines in the body.

Of course things like small screwdrivers,and hobby knives are necessary.

A small vise is a nice item to have to hold the cars while doing things that make it hard to hold.

A good size tackle or tool box is also a must to hold the cars and parts to customs that you are doing,and for holding parts that may be used for a custom to do at a later date.

A standard rivet gun is also necessary to have if you are riveting the vehicle back together when finished.

The rivets I use are 3/32 in diameter and I get them online from http://www.kans.com/futrells .Fairly cheap in price too.

You will need some kind of glue or epoxy if you aren't using rivets to reassemble. I prefer JB Kwik-Weld.This is a 2 part steel type epoxy.Sets up in about 4 minutes depending on the weather conditions and the mixing ratio.

If you are going to bake your paintjob,you will need a baking oven. The easiest way to make one(can be done for 10 bucks or less)is to get a 1 pound cofee can and cut out the bottom.When the car is painted,slide the can over the vehicle,and get a metal rimmed shoplight,and put this over the top.THIS GETS VERY HOT,SO BE CAREFUL AND USE COMMON SENSE!! BE SURE TO OBSERVE ALL SAFETY RULES NECESSARY SO YOU DON"T START ANY FIRES!!

An electric drill is also nice to have.

I will add another section on some advanced supplies needed soon,so keep checking this page.

Here is how to disassemble your vehicle.
How to disassemble your vehicle will depend on how you are going to put it back together.

First you will need to get your Dremel or electric drill(whichever you prefer) I prefer the electric drill.It will drill cleaner and is also a little faster when drilling.You will need a 3/32 drill bit,if you are riveting it back together.If you are gluing it,this drill bit is not necessary.You will also need a 3/16 drill bit for removing the chassis from the body.Johnny Lightning and some other diecast have smaller posts,so you may need a few other sizes too,but this is the basic size you will use most often.

If you are riveting the car back together,carefully drill out the center of the post with the 3/32 drill bit.Be sure to drill deep enough for the rivet to fully slide into.BE CAREFUL!!DO NOT DRILL THROUGH THE BODY AND INTO YOUR HAND!!THIS CAN HURT!!BE SURE TO WEAR GLOVES OR A VISE TO HOLD THE BODY,AS IT WILL GET VERY HOT WHILE DOING THIS.

Now use your larger drill bit and drill the lip holding the body to the chassis.If the car doesn't pop apart easily,use a small screwdriver to pry them apart.Be careful not to damage the body or the chrome parts while doing this.Now is the time to double check the depth of your 3/32 hole to be sure the rivet will slide into it as deep as it needs to go.


I have been asked if I would customize cars for other people.So in response to that here will be what I charge:

For a simple one color repaint:. this will include drilling apart the car,stripping the paint,repainting with spray cans,and reassembling the car with JB weld.If you want it riveted,I will need an extra to cover the extra labor and rivets.

A wheel change will cost .

Any custom bodywork will cost extra,and custom painting will also be extra.For these rates,just email me with what you want to do,and I will respond as quickly as possible.
(Apparently,Freewebspace has eliminated the dollar figure I had typed in here. So for a price quote,just email me at bondoman2k@aol.com,or use a link from one of the pages on this site) :-)

How to make custom hinges!!

Here is a link to TerryL's customizing 101 school!! A great site with LOTS of info!!