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  #521  
Old 09-09-2015, 09:28 AM
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MeanMike MeanMike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham08 View Post
I remember seeing that list now. It looks like mostly little, but time consuming stuff.

I get what you're saying about shop time. Most of mine happens after my kids go to bed, which means it's an hour or so a night most of the time, so I can get up to go to work the next morning. A recent issue of Hot Rod had an article about getting project cars done. The most useful tip to me was to try to do something every day. I've found that by doing that, even if it's something small, it keeps momentum going and the list starts to dwindle away. Letting things sit for a few days always seems to make it that much harder to get going again.

My $0.02, anyway. Glad to see you're in a position to start working on this again!
I do the same thing. I try to make projects into goals that I can complete in one day (couple hours) and I complete at least one every day. It still takes a while like that, but it adds up. Before you know it you're done and looking for the next project to work on.
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  #522  
Old 09-09-2015, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Graham08 View Post
I remember seeing that list now. It looks like mostly little, but time consuming stuff.
Yes, lots of little stuff. I'm currently trying to iron out a strategy and revised checklist for addressing just the essentials to get it running with a few temporary systems. For example, I may leave the AC unit off the firewall for now, use a basic cone filter instead of building a filter housing, leave off the H-pipe, slap a cheapo gauge holder under the dash, etc. That would shorten the time-to-fire by a fair amount and leave me with the fuel system (tank/pump), battery & wiring, and programming as the biggest hurdles to getting it running. The risk is that I'll be left with a hodgepodge of unfinished or half-assed subsystems that exist in perpetuity, but then again I can drive and enjoy it while I prioritize and tackle those projects individually down the road.
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  #523  
Old 09-09-2015, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
Yes, lots of little stuff. I'm currently trying to iron out a strategy and revised checklist for addressing just the essentials to get it running with a few temporary systems. For example, I may leave the AC unit off the firewall for now, use a basic cone filter instead of building a filter housing, leave off the H-pipe, slap a cheapo gauge holder under the dash, etc. That would shorten the time-to-fire by a fair amount and leave me with the fuel system (tank/pump), battery & wiring, and programming as the biggest hurdles to getting it running. The risk is that I'll be left with a hodgepodge of unfinished or half-assed subsystems that exist in perpetuity, but then again I can drive and enjoy it while I prioritize and tackle those projects individually down the road.
Push to get it a driver with just those necessary systems completed, then back off and just get one thing done every couple weeks getting to completion a bit later but keeping priorityzz; because them darn kids grow up and make you old by their doing so, then they are gone, and your standing there looking at the completed project and suddenly one them kids shows up and pitches in to help the old man do something because they understand . . . Priorityzz.

Ya, experience.

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  #524  
Old 09-10-2015, 12:19 PM
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Bolstered by a wave of enthusiasm and false sense of confidence, I got to work on my first new task since getting the car inside: mounting the MAF sensor. I felt like this would be a nice little project to knock out because it should be fairly quick and it gives me the opportunity to try out something new, which is my favorite part of any project.

I planned to mount my MAF to the intake tube using a cast aluminum mounting pad available from GM Performance Parts. I had already decided a while back on where it would be mounted, but I needed to cut a slot for the MAF sensor to slot into. Here it is marked.



I used a small ~1.5" diameter cutting wheel on my Dremel to cut the rectangle. Because the ends of the rectangle were so short, I did not cut full depth and instead made a cross slice in the center so I could bend the material back and forth to break off those ends.



Here is the finished slot and the MAF mounting pad sitting nearby.



What follows next is my first attempt at brazing aluminum. I decided to try out brazing because I do not have a TIG, but I do have a MAP torch and it seemed like a promising approach. I bought some Bernzomatic AL3 aluminum brazing rods and a stainless steel wire brush from the local Home Depot, and borrowed some isopropyl alcohol from in the house for cleaning duties. I vigorously brushed and cleaned both parts a few times. Lots of nasty came off the mounting pad; probably oils from manufacturing.



I found a suitable fastener and washers to hold things together then fired up the torch and went to work. I thought I'd focus heat on the mounting pad because it was thicker, but in hindsight this was the wrong approach. Things didn't start out too well when the mounting pad turned into a gooey marshmallow before the rod would melt against the joint. It's probably cast from something with a low melting temperature.

When I realized the aluminum had suddenly changed colors and seemed to be on the verge of melting, I quickly adjusted by re-concentrating heat onto the tube rather than the pad. That seemed to be working much better. The rod began to melt just by grazing the joint and I started to get some capillary action and fillet. I continued on merrily with brazing around the entire pad, with the joint quality continuing to improve as I adjusted the torch a little further back and pointed mostly at the tubing rather than the pad.

What is now obvious, but I did not notice in that momentary change of color with the mounting pad, is that the damn thing had become molten and was collapsing like a dry sandcastle at the beach. I was so focused on the joint that I did not even realize until I was done. Here are photos from my amateur hour:









So I think it's obvious from the photos I have screwed the pad up pretty bad. The washer made an indentation in the gasket gland area of the pad, the slot is distorted inward, and the one screw hole and boss are in bad shape. Now I'll have to decide if I want to attempt removing the pad altogether or somehow repair it.

On a positive note, I think brazing this with good results is entirely possible. There are sections of the brazed joint that look good. If I had just directed less heat at the pad, I think I could have made a very nice joint without screwing it up. What I have now seems to be very well connected, just FUBAR due to melting the pad.
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  #525  
Old 09-10-2015, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
Repairing the holes should be simple repairing the mounting/gasket surface you can easily do with some Devcon Alum putty and then Demel and file back to shape.
I am trying to gauge if it would be easier/possible to remove the whole thing by heating it up and start over with a new pad. I have a second pad that was sent to me by mistake when I bought it, so replacement part is not an issue. I'm just not sure if I'll be able to get the whole thing off without making a mess of the tube. Judging by how easily it melted, I could probably just turn the thing upside down and hold the torch on it for a while just to make it fall/drip off.

Another option for repair is to get the mill running again. I haven't wired it up yet, but that's an option. There is a 30amp 220 circuit that terminates about 30 ft away from where I have the mill sitting currently. It's on my eventual to-do list, not just for the mill but also the MIG.
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  #526  
Old 09-11-2015, 04:35 PM
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Removing the damaged mounting pad ended up being easy enough. I applied heat for a while was able to pluck it off with pliers. I was left with a lot of filler material on the surface of the tube and a couple of pitted areas.



With a little heat, I was able to get most of the old filler material off the tube, then I scuffed the surface, cleaned, wire brushed, cleaned again and threw a new mounting pad on there. This time I leveraged my experience by keeping the heat a bit further away and more focused on the tube. Things went well for the most part.



The only issue I'm left with is that the filler was wicking away in a couple areas (perhaps along remnants of the old filler) and made mounds nearby that I need to heat up and clean off somehow. I'm thinking maybe melting it and quickly taking stainless steel wool over it may help me pull the stuff off. I think this aluminum brazing thing is going to come in quite handy down the road.
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  #527  
Old 09-14-2015, 12:16 AM
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Okay I take it back. After careful inspection there appear to be several areas where the brazing filler has cracked/separated from the mounting pad. This isn't going to work. I'll have to cook this one of again and take it to be TIG welded. Dang.
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  #528  
Old 09-14-2015, 08:42 AM
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Just a thought but I wonder how well a bonding agent would work in this application? Something like the body shops use to body aluminum panels together on the newer vehicles.
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  #529  
Old 09-14-2015, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
Okay I take it back. After careful inspection there appear to be several areas where the brazing filler has cracked/separated from the mounting pad. This isn't going to work. I'll have to cook this one of again and take it to be TIG welded. Dang.
Sorry to hear that. The joint on the first go round looked pretty good in your pictures. I was keeping my mouth shut because everything I had heard about this process lined up with what E was saying in your aluminum brazing thread, but I had no personal experience to say one way or the other.

Too bad you're 3000 miles away...I would weld 'er up for you, fo' free!
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  #530  
Old 09-14-2015, 11:17 AM
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I think it's happening as the parts cool. I tried redoing it again last night; it looks great as the filler goes in and immediately afterwards, but after a minute or two it starts cracking at the mounting pad side of the joint. Perhaps the issue is dissimilar materials or cooling rates. I still have hope for the process, just not for this particular application.
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  #531  
Old 09-18-2015, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
I think it's happening as the parts cool. I tried redoing it again last night; it looks great as the filler goes in and immediately afterwards, but after a minute or two it starts cracking at the mounting pad side of the joint. Perhaps the issue is dissimilar materials or cooling rates. I still have hope for the process, just not for this particular application.
I would say you are spot on with cooling rates. Happens a lot to me with Aluminum when welding thick to thin, esp if one piece is cast. The thinner stuff cools much more rapidly than the meaty part. If you had a way to keep everything equally hot/warm then it may work a little better. Hell, go back over everything and do the same thing you did when brazing but then throw the whole thing in your BBQ pit and slowly adjust the heat down. What do you have to lose at this point, right? :-)
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  #532  
Old 09-18-2015, 11:58 AM
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This is not helping you but maybe it's time for a Tig machine?
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  #533  
Old 09-18-2015, 12:38 PM
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I dropped the part off yesterday with a local fab shop, Bones Fab. I also dropped off a new gas tank and a little prefabricated recess tray from Tanks Inc for hanging the fuel pump (link). They quoted 3 hours to do both the MAF pad and the recess tray for the fuel tank. It's all stuff I could probably eventually learn to do (given the right equipment) and I know there are dozens of people on OFN that could do this job, just no-one so nearby. Financially I'm way further into this tank than I should be. Since I started Tanks Inc has come out with a ready-made tank for this application, but the cost of that tank and the required hanger and sending unit are more than it will cost to finish this one out.
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  #534  
Old 09-25-2015, 11:28 AM
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Here is the MAF PAD removed (again). I just heated it up and it slid off easily. It left a bit of pitting around the perimeter that I didn't see the first time I took it off - I'm not sure why.



I took the parts to the local hotrod/fab shop, Bones Fab where the owner Jim TIG welded it back on. I'll have to clean up around the area a bit for cosmetic reasons, but I think the welding looks good.





I also dropped off my fuel tank and a Tanks Inc prefabricated recess tray for the fuel pump hanger. Bones did a decent job getting it in and TIG welding it. I will need to clean out the tank and leak check before I put it in the car. I've also got to shorten the fuel pump hanger so things will fit.





I gotta say, it is very odd dropping off parts for fab work and picking them up finished. I felt like I was paying another man to take my wife on a date. And for the cost of this, I could have put a decent down payment on a TIG welder. But then again, I didn't have to worry about the learning curve and I'm a step closer to getting the car running.

Fuel lines and fittings are on their way so I can plumb this to the filter-regulator. I also have some 10awg GXL wire en route. I plan to put the relay in the trunk (where the battery will be located). I think after the tank is in, I'll start looking at mounting and wiring the battery and cutout switch.
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  #535  
Old 09-25-2015, 06:13 PM
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I can see that.

I have also gotten so used to there being no skilled workers, and for sure no one that cares about the job as much as I do.

Will that "tanks" setup keep you from using a surge tank?

I have gotten fed up with my Excursion sucking air at low fuel levels I think I want to build an internal sump and bolt it to the floor of the plastic tank.
I don't care for one of the Diesel Performance sumps that hang down but I thought a internal sump, just basically a trap doored box to draw fuel from.
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  #536  
Old 09-25-2015, 07:00 PM
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I'm not sure yet how well this setup is going to perform under low fill, high-g situations. The tray it has is rather shallow compared even to contemporary OEM pump module which use a taller profile. I think part of the function relies on returning fuel back to the bottom of the tray, which should help keep it around the pump sock, but may also cause it to heat up and/or froth. It's clearly not a race-born setup, but I also don't plan on running on fumes very often. I guess we'll see.

I like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_jsSPRUTSA
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  #537  
Old 09-25-2015, 09:59 PM
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Take a look at these.

https://www.holley.com/news/articles...uel_reservoir/

There is a new way to put this mat at the bottom of the fuel cell. It will pick up fuel from anyplace on the bottom and wick it to the pick up tube. Seems like a pretty good idea, and you do not have to worry about trap doors and passages to keep fuel in a certain area.


Carl
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  #538  
Old 10-23-2015, 02:02 PM
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Happy to report the fuel pump is finally at home in the tank. I ran into a few challenges getting this done though. Despite the mounting position being pretty well centered over the deepest part of the tank, the v-shape of the bottom of the tank prevented the rectangular shaped mini-sump/tray from sitting flat against the bottom. This was especially problematic because the overall height of the tank is barely enough to fit the pump into. There was also interference with the float on the sending unit, so I modified things to offset the mini-sump/tray so that one edge and the pump itself can sit in the bottom vee of the tank and the sending unit float can move unhindered outside of the tray.

Here is the now-offset module assembled:





I applied a thin layer of Permatex #2 non-hardening sealer on both sides of the cork gasket and the screw threads before installing. Then once everything was assembled, I sprayed the welds, screws, and fittings with soapy water and pressurized the tank to look for bubbles - no leaks. I painted the raw metal with some leftover hammer-finish rustoleum and it's pretty much ready to go in now.



I need to run the vent line and cap the sending unit, then I can mount this under the car and connect it to the filter/regulator. That will complete the fuel system and I'll be ready to move to another system.

I spent some time thinking about my strategy for getting the car running. I'm now working around the following project plan and will focus on one area at a time rather than bouncing around like I have been in the past:
(1) Fuel System: tank/pump, plumbing to FPR, pigtail wiring
(2) High amp electrical: Mount battery, cutout switch, power distribution, fan relays, plug wires
(3) Low amp electrical: logic/signal level wiring, gauges
(4) Plumbing: radiator hoses, transmission cooling lines, steam, PCV, filter
(5) Programming: ECM programming/base tune
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Last edited by TheBandit; 10-23-2015 at 02:08 PM.
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  #539  
Old 10-23-2015, 02:43 PM
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Looks good!

Are you just leaving the rest of the tank bare? Or is there some sort of finish Im not seeing other than the cad or w/e it might be?

Seems like a good plan going forward. Just remember if you get bogged down with one project it doesnt hurt to mix it up a little. It all needs to be done eventually...

For the vent I recently found this gem. https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pr...asp?RecID=8453

It allows the tank to be sealed when sitting, so you dont get vapor smell (and loss), and then it opens when either drawing fuel out, or when tank pressures expand (hot day). You could run a tube up to the vent, then T it back down and mount this at tank level to serve as a roll over valve as well. Just a thought. EDIT: ok they say it cant be used for rollover, I must have read that elsewhere and they were wrong. Oh well.

Dan

Last edited by juicedz4; 10-23-2015 at 02:47 PM.
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  #540  
Old 10-23-2015, 05:38 PM
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Thanks Dan!

The tank is Ni-Terne coated so I don't 'plan to paint it.

At the moment I have a rollover valve built into the pump module with a barb fitting. I plan to run a hose from there to a filter near the back bumper area, somewhere higher than the tank, for venting. I currently have a vented gas cap too; I may want to cap one or the other depending on how things work out. I don't remember the vented gap giving me any issues before so I'm currently undecided.

That double check valve system is interesting. Perhaps I could find a pair of less expensive spring check valves and tee them together to achieve the same result.
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Last edited by TheBandit; 10-23-2015 at 06:03 PM.
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