Slosh Tubz Install

Slosh Tubs

slosh_tubz_logo


Cover Your Tread Man!

 

History of Slosh Tubz

One of the trickier aspects of customizing an older vehicle is the need for innovation. Sure, the factory original part worked great when they were engineered decades ago, but time changes things, and new opportunities hit the scene every year. Case in point is the current trend of fitting a larger diameter wheel onto an older series truck. To accomplish this feat, numerous modifications must be made. Some of the modifications need to be made so that the larger wheel diameter can work properly, like suspension, brakes and steering. Others complement the required modifications, such as trimming sheet metal or reconfiguring the inner sheet metal of the bed.

Although form should follow function, most custom truck builders usually work with a vision in mind and worry about complementary components later. One particular standout component is removing the factory inner fender wells that restrict the larger diameter wheels from traveling up and down through the factory sheet metal. Back when the big wheel craze started, most of the guys with trucks running a larger wheel didn’t really care about inner fender wells, mainly because the haulers didn’t see many miles and were never driven in bad weather. As time went on, truck builders thought of a few different ways to fit some type of inner fender well in the engine bay because they were sick of cleaning the engine after even just a short cruise. Trailer fenders were the answer for most, and generally, they did a fairly good job of keeping the engine bay free of dirt and dust. The downside was that no matter how wide the trailer fender was, it was still a flat fender that only offered minimal protection, resulting in a less dirty, but still dirty engine bay.

So in the spirit of the old saying, necessity is the mother of invention, along came a true truck enthusiast by the name of Mike Losh, who saw an opportunity to build a custom inner fender wells that looked and worked just as well as the factory versions and maintained proper wheel travel clearance. Mike sought out a master fiberglass technician, who has more than 30 years of experience building the front ends of big rig trucks, to create an inner fender well system that offered the best of both worlds. The result of their labor is Slosh Tubz.

If you’re thinking that fiberglass is flimsy, then you’ve never seen Slosh Tubz in person. They spare no expense nor do they cut any corners when manufacturing these items one set at a time. Manufactured from high quality fiberglass materials, each set is shipped out in high gloss black gel coat that needs little to no body work to make them show ready. As a matter of fact, the finish is so clean that they can be installed right out of the box looking as if they were just painted by a professional. Precautions were taken when building these tubs, and extra layers of Star Guard fiberglass mat is layered in between the coats of fiberglass, adding bonus protection from road debris.

The 1967-72 fenders were the first on Mike’s short list of vehicles. He knew he had to share his idea with other truck enthusiasts, so Mike provided these fender wells to the public during the construction of his C-10 pickup nicknamed Cloud-9. Since then, Mike backed up his product line with a new line of fender wells for 1973-87 GM trucks and Blazers like the ’87 Jimmy he build for last year’s SEMA Show called Square Peg. We hear he has a few more models in mind for future development

Preperation is key

Some of the inside of the fenders were trimmed and the tubs were mocked-up in place. We set the tub on butcher paper and traced the tub’s curve to use as a template on the inside of the fender.

Custom Fitting

After we measured the center-line of the fender, we used masking tape to hold the paper in place, which allowed us to mark a line where we’ll need to cut the inner structure of the fender to allow the tub to sit in place.

To cut the fender we used Miller Electrics Spectrum 375 plasma cutter, which gave us more control cutting out the arch than using a cut-off wheel tool or reciprocating saw.

Miller’s Spectrum 375 made our work easy. Then we cleaned up the cut-line with an Ingersoll-Rand angle grinder.

 

 

After cutting the top of the fender, we notched the front of the fender towards the bottom, creating clearance for the Slosh Tub to travel during installation. Using a pinch seam clamp, we opened the factory mounting tabs on the inside of the fender, which will allow us to easily fit the Slosh Tub into the fender.

Now it was time to test fit the Slosh Tub into the fender opening. During our first test fit, we noticed that the outer edge of the notch was too thick. We ran a 4-inch grinder from Ingersoll-Rand over the edge to knock it down until we had a great fit.

 

To add some flair to the tubs we bought them over to Coast Airbrush in Anaheim, CA, where Kustoms, Inc. artist extraordinaire Tom Mc Weeney pinstriped an amazing design right over the black gel coat. Next he clear-coated the tubs before color-sanding them down to 2,000 grit to remove any dirt or foreign matter and rid the Tubz of any orange peel.

 

Using 3M’s Perfect-It three-part system, Tom dove right in to polishing the Tubz, beginning with the number 1 rubbing compound and a wool pad. After the first pass, Tom used a sponge polishing pad with Perfect-It’s number 2 machine polish. Finally, he switched over to the final step in the three-part process where he used a softer sponge polishing pad and 3M’s number 3 Ultra Fine Polishing liquid. After a quick wipe we got a sneak peek of the end product.

When we got the Slosh Tubz out into the sun, we were amazed by the shine achieved by the guys at Coast Airbrush and Kustoms, Inc. We were so nervous that we didn’t want to scratch them during the installation, so we covered with 3M blue painter’s tape to prevent any unfortunate events.

 

 

 

To add some flair to the tubs we bought them over to Coast Airbrush in Anaheim, CA, where Kustoms, Inc. artist extraordinaire Tom Mc Weeney pinstriped an amazing design right over the black gel coat. Next he clear-coated the tubs before color-sanding them down to 2,000 grit to remove any dirt or foreign matter and rid the Tubz of any orange peel.

 

When we got the Slosh Tubz out into the sun, we were amazed by the shine achieved by the guys at Coast Airbrush and Kustoms, Inc. We were so nervous that we didn’t want to scratch them during the installation, so we covered with 3M blue painter’s tape to prevent any unfortunate events.

The Tubz are held in place just like the factory-style fender wells, so we stopped by Hillco Fasteners while we were out picking up the tubs from Coast Airbrush. These extruded U-nuts clip over the pre-drilled flange on the outer edge of the Tubz. Paired with the 5/16-inch bolts with the factory-style built -n washers will make this a breeze to install.

With the truck up in the air on jack stands, we pulled the wheels off for maximum clearance to slide the Tubz under the wheel opening. We lifted the Tubz in place one at a time. The front flange under the radiator core support was the first place where we ran in the fasteners. Once those were in place, we fastened the remaining bolts through the fender tabs to the U-nuts.

The last step was to carefully pull off the painter’s tape to expose greatness. After a quick wipe down to remove any of the leftover glue, we sat back in awe. The Slosh Tubz looked as good as the worked, for sure.

Slosh Tubz
Sloshtubz.net

Miller Electric
Millerwelds.com

Ingersoll-Rand
Ingersollrandtools.com

Coast Airbrush
Coastairbrush.com

Kustoms, Inc.
Instagram@kustomsinc

3M Products
3mcollision.com

Hillco Fastener Warehouse
Hillcofasteners.com

Text by Marcel Venable and Photos by Marcel Venable and Jason Mulligan