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Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Little nagging details

When working on a big project like the turbo installation, it can sound like a hard task. But the real difficulty is all the little nagging issues that you run into.

Yesterday I thought I was going to finish up the Dart's wiring. Only I had too many of those little details that you miss out on get to me. I thought I had the right nuts to secure the wires to the fuel pump. As it turns out, Ford picked a weird thread - I think it's #10-32, something you often can't find at auto parts stores - for the nuts where you attach the wires to the pump. And I didn't have them.

So I thought I'd hang up the exhaust. Only I didn't seem to have the exhaust hanger I thought I had bought a few months ago.

Original carbureted turbo slant sixThen I decided to put the air filter back on there. I had originally used the intake tube off a turbo K-car to attach the air filter to the turbo inlet, with the filter ending up on top the intake manifold, as shown in this old, grainy photo on the right. The filter is a cylindrical K&N attached to a short bit of exhaust pipe. I had originally hoped to mount it directly to the turbo, but there really isn't enough space there.

Well, now that I have fuel injection, the space where my air filter used to go is now occupied by the fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator. So I had to find a way to relocate that air filter to some place where it wouldn't get in the way of the new fuel injection system. And I really didn't feel like going out and buying new parts this evening.

So I decided to whip out an X-acto knife and cut up that rigid hose that mounts the air filter. Took a bit of effort - I was really using the wrong tool for the job. A thick utilty knife would have done better. But after running the knife around the hose three or four times, I was able to split it in two.

The shortened hose puts the filter in front of the turbo in the area between the fan, the manifolds, and the battery. It probably isn't an ideal location for the air filter as it may draw in a bit of hot air there. One of these days - after I get it all running - I will take the time to find a good location for the air inlet so that I can have it draw in cold air. At least the installation now looks pretty clean. If anything, it somehow looks less jury rigged than the way I had it when I was using a carb. Now it's pointing straight up in a location where it, well, just looks right.

Where to put the air filter on a turbo slant six?

Unfortunately, I found the PCV hose does not reach quite to the new air filter location. And I forgot to buy some new hose on yesterday's parts run. The little nagging details strike again.

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