« Archives on April 3, 2012

Snorkel 1.

7 hours.

Saturday and Sunday. The snorkel fit fine with no modifications. April Fool’s! Seriously, this thing is the biggest POS in the whole inventory. There’s no way it will fit without mods, ever. It doesn’t even fit well with the engine Van’s sells. It is a black hole of suck, no two ways about it. Firstly, I hate fiberglass. Second, I have the AFP fuel injection system. Third, this thing has to line up in at least three places before it can be said to ‘fit.’ Let’s have a look.

What you see here is an attempt to make a plug in the shape of the throttle body intake. To do this, I make a ring out of .032 aluminum, then riveted it to another ring just inside that one, with the shop heads sticking out. This slipped over the throttle body intake and the idea was that I’d tape it off, fill it with spray foam, and have a perfect foam plug from which to form all my fiberglass and use as a sanding block later. No such luck. The foam can I used had probably been sitting on the shelf for about 6 years or so, and never quite cured. Mess. And before you ask, yes, I taped up the throttle body so no goo would get down inside. Back to square 1.

I don’t have a lot of pics of the snorkel in its totally hacked up form, because I didn’t want to get fiberglass dust all over my phone. Basically, I had cut away pretty much everything near the flange of the snorkel, leaving a hole big enough to get the throttle body into. A lot of people cut the snorkel in half and re-glass it back together after fitting each half, but I didn’t want to do that, for some reason. Since I was committed to glassing a whole new flange on it, I didn’t see the need to cut it in half. So that led to the next process:

When fitting this thing, not only does it have to line up on the throttle body intake, the filter end has to line up on the left front inlet ramp, and it has to do it while clearing the #2 oil line, the governor baffle, and the front side baffle. Plus there needs to be enough meat around the edge of the air filter hole to attach the supports and meet any riveting edge distance requirements involved. The only way to get it into position is to take off the inlet ramp and try to fit it that way. surprisingly enough, this does work. I wound up suspending the snorkel in a cat’s cradle of PVC pipe tape (all hail pvc pipe tape, that sh*t rocks!) in the position it would eventually be in once everything is glassed and cut.

I also found my new best friend for fiberglass work: Contractor’s carpet guard. This stuff comes on a roll like Saran Wrap, and it’s the stuff contractors lay down on your carpet before they start trudging in with muddy boots and taking out old sewer pipes. It has a mildly adhesive backing, and it clings to itself and smooth surfaces like crazy. Think of the blue stuff that comes with Van’s kit parts, but clear. It leaves no residue behind either, although they do recommend you don’t leave it on for more than 30 days. Anyway, this stuff became the new throttle body condom, as well as a wrapper for anything else I didn’t want to get stray resin on. I took the alternator off, because it was seriously in the way, but I just wrapped a bit of this stuff around the starter and the alternator bracket. Oh and all over the throttle body. Like so:

Here’s a mostly side-on shot of the opening in the snorkel next to the throttle body. As you can see, it’s not even close. But with the TB protected, I can slap glass on this thing until the cows come home.

From the back.

Now the photos stop, because I’m not about to get resin all over my phone. I used two layups of the same stuff I had when I did the canopy. I’ve got a crap-ton of it left, wo a few pieces got me through. I was able to make a decent connection between the TB and the snorkel, the end result of which is this:

A perfectly-shaped snorkel-to-throttle-body interface. OK, not perfectly shaped, but close enough to keep going. This is after 8 hours of cure. There are some voids where the plastic wrinkled around the throttle body opening, but that’ll get fixed in the next couple of days or so. I did find a perfect facsimile for the throttle body opening though. At the hardware store, they sell this demoisturizing stuff. It’s basically little balls of salt, but what’s of interest to me is the container. The container is smooth plastic, and it’s exactly 3.25″ in diameter, same as the throttle body. Half an inch up from the bottom, I wrapped about 1/8″ thickness worth of pipe tape around it to simulate the lip of the TB, and I was able to use that as a plug for the next 3 layups of reinforcement of the opening.

The inside is a different story. I’m going to be in there with micro, shaping a smooth guide for the airflow around the parts that indent too far into the snorkel chamber and will cause turbulence rounding the corner into the throttle body. That’s when I squidge some micro between the plug and the interface there to fill the voids as well.