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  #181  
Old 11-16-2017, 03:35 PM
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heinke heinke is offline
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Post A/C vents

Next up was to make provision for the A/C vents in the upper dash. I had purchased these nice looking billet aluminum vents, so it should just be a matter of cutting 3 holes and plopping them in, right? Well if youíve ever done work inside a tightly packed dashboard you know itís never that easy.

I had purchased the most compact A/C unit available but given that the back part of the carís engine sits under the dash and the A/C outlet ports sit at the top of the unit, there just isnít much room for ducts.



I wanted to space the vents across the dash such that the outside ones would be near the doors and the third one would be in the middle of the dash. It turns out the outside ones were easy in that I just needed to cut an oval hole in the dash for each, install vent, and connect them with 2.5 inch flex hose.

The middle vent, now thatís where the head scratching fun started. The black Sharpie mark in the picture able is the center of the dash and I want to vent to go just above it. There was just no way a flex hose could be contorted to reach the vent without completely crushing it. To top it off, thereís no way to access that area behind the dash once the sheet metal is in place. The A/C unit completely blocks all access.

So my best idea was to fabricate an aluminum duct that would butt up to the dash with the vent getting pushed/glued into the duct. I mocked it up in cardboard and masking tape to prove out my idea.





My mock up showed that this duct could be fabricated from 3 pieces of sheet. First the top 2 pieces were welded together and test fit. I cut the plastic on the outside of the port to make for better airflow through the duct.



I made good use of my Magnabend brake for the 3rd piece. Al 3003 .050 was used for the duct so bending it was fairly easy.



I had to make bends in this piece after it was already welded in place.



Once the duct was tacked together, it was time to try a trial fit. The first couple to tries told me the duct was too wide as the dash cover wouldn't fit in place. I had to break the tacks, trim some off, and re-tack for another trial fit. I used ďplumbers puttyĒ to check for clearance on the side where I could not get a direct visual. The putty squishes easily and holds its shape so I could do a clearance check after the dash top was removed again.



Completed duct.



Dash with A/C vents installed. The last remaining part is to install the radio in the area marked with a black rectangle.

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  #182  
Old 11-16-2017, 04:30 PM
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That dash looks great. I like how you got the holes laid out.
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  #183  
Old 12-12-2017, 03:44 PM
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Post Engine covers

I decided to tackle an engine dress-up item. The C5 GTO has a late model Chevy LSx engine in it. Like a lot of modern engines, it has the ignition coils mounted on the valve covers. Needless to say, having 8 coils and associated wiring out in plain sight isnít the look I desired for a replica of a 1962 car.



The drivers side is even worse with the fuel lines, oil fill, and PCV hose snaking over it.



My plan is to make aluminum covers to put this necessary but unsightly stuff out of sight. Iíd like to emulate the original GTO cam covers so it isnít so obvious this is a modern power plant. I started with a cardboard template and decided it would be well worth making a partial cover from aluminum prior to attempting the actual parts.



Iím glad I did as it told me Iíd need some tooling I didnít have in order to make nice rounded corners. Namely, Iíd need some T dollies to form the sheet over prior to welding. Iím making the T dollies now.
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  #184  
Old 12-13-2017, 03:53 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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I'm going to do something similar and often see the aftermarket ones having vent screens. Not sure just for looks or the coil generated heat needs escape? What are your thoughts on this?
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  #185  
Old 12-13-2017, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gojeep View Post
I'm going to do something similar and often see the aftermarket ones having vent screens. Not sure just for looks or the coil generated heat needs escape? What are your thoughts on this?
Marcus: I hadn't really thought about it until you and another friend asked me this very same question. My first thought is that all the "factory" covers are made from plastic and don't have any vent screens. I think aluminum transfers heat better than plastic, so all things being equal, custom covers shouldn't make for a coil overheating issue.

I did some research today and most of the aftermarket covers don't have vent screens. Some do, but my guess is that's for aesthetics more than anything. One of the covers with perforated panels even came with LEDs which tells me in that case it's more for looks than function.

Now that I look at the factory Corvette covers I have, they don't fit very tight to the valve cover or head around the edges. So there's quite a bit of space for the heat to make it's way out. My design has the cover fitting up fairly tight and this just might trap heat inside around the coils. I already know that the new covers will need holes in them on the outward side for the spark plug wires to pass through. My inclination now that I've thought this through some more is to make these holes oversized so that they provide some ventilation. It's not like the outward side will be very visible given the 45 degree angle/orientation.

I think I'm going to make the covers so they look like a 1960's era cam/valve cover and hope for the best. If I experience a coil overheating issue, I can always remake the covers adding vents or re-locate the coils
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  #186  
Old 12-14-2017, 01:55 AM
Gojeep Gojeep is offline
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Thanks for your thoughts on it Joel. I am making mine from old Hemi covers so thought the spark plug holes and wire covers should leave enough room for heat to escape.
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  #187  
Old 12-15-2017, 03:55 AM
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Lots of manufacturers are fitting COP (Coil on Plug) and some of these get pretty darn hot. Most of those coils the circuitry is encapsulated in gel to keep them cool and covered in resin.
The Gen 3's are not COP, as they run short leads the coils, these are also resin filled.
Covering these wont be a concern, as these engines have a pretty large plastic tortoise shell with thick foam on the underside to keep the engine quite. You never really see a problem with these.
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  #188  
Old 12-15-2017, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldnek View Post
Lots of manufacturers are fitting COP (Coil on Plug) and some of these get pretty darn hot. Most of those coils the circuitry is encapsulated in gel to keep them cool and covered in resin.
The Gen 3's are not COP, as they run short leads the coils, these are also resin filled.
Covering these wont be a concern, as these engines have a pretty large plastic tortoise shell with thick foam on the underside to keep the engine quite. You never really see a problem with these.
John: thanks for sharing your knowledge. I was guessing the same, but a guess is not as good as some actual insight.
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  #189  
Old 12-15-2017, 10:57 AM
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Post Engine covers (continuedÖ)

In setting about to make some T dollies, I searched my metal scrap pile. I found a piece of 1Ē shaft in SS 304 and some ľĒ flat SS. I had acquired a metal turning lathe a couple months ago and this gave me a project to try it out. I donít have much experience running a lathe so tapering and rounding the shaft ends was a simple, but good confidence building start. I decided to make 2 T dollies, one short and one long.



Now that I have to necessary tooling, I started on the simpler passenger side cover.



Hereís what the top side of a real GTO V12 looks like. These cam covers are cast so fine detail is easier to achieve than with sheet.



I donít have a machine or tooling to replicate the 5 small fins across the top but I decided some small beads would serve as similar decoration. I had to add these while the sheet was still flat. I considered trying to emboss the Ferrari script emblem in the sheet but decided this wouldnít provide the fine detail around the letters. So I located some Ferrari script badges which should show nice on top of the wrinkle paint finish I intend to use.



Using a rubber hammer and T dollies, I started turning the sides over.



From there, I mostly bent the sides by hand over the T dollies and then smoothed up the bends with the rubber hammer. I then clamped the seam with a vice grip and tack welded to form a rectangular box.



Next step is a test fit prior to welding. More to comeÖ
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  #190  
Old 12-15-2017, 11:44 AM
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That's coming along nicely Joel.
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