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Friday, April 25, 2008


New Dart progress pictures: Cold side intercooler plumbing

More progress with the turbo EFI slant six. I've been making a little bit of progress in bits and pieces. Last week Jerry gave me a bit of a hand filling in some of the holes I'd drilled for the older intercooler brackets as we're rethinking the intercooler location a bit. I'll need to grind down the filler metal, but I probably would have done a lot worse. I definitely don't like leaving excess holes in the bodywork.

This week I routed and mocked up the cold side of the intercooler piping. You can see the welded elbow I mentioned earlier atop the intake manifold. The pipes and couplings are a weird mix of Spectre, CX Racing, and RacePartsSolutions plumbing components. I'd originally thought about routing the pipe under the alternator, but this route has a lot fewer twists and turns. There's a total of four 90 degree bends in this one, including the bend welded to the intercooler exit itself. Not ideal, but in most engine compartments you really have to work to get fewer bends than this. And I'd have needed two extra bends - either 45 or 90 degrees - to make the pipe go under the alternator and come out in a good spot for mounting the intercooler.

I may need to trim the alternator bracket to keep it from spearing my charge pipe. This may take an extra-short length of belt to make this work but it looks like I've got a decent amount of room to bring the alternator close to the engine while having enough room to pull the alternator back to tighten the belt. Maybe I'll secure the pipe that runs past the engine to the fenderwell too, although I'll need to see the engine running to make the final decision.

It'll be interesting to see how this charge pipe holds up under serious boost. It'll do better than what I had in there before - anything has to be better than my temporarily rigged piping made of pool hose - but the Spectre bits have completely smooth ends, and I had to cut the rolled lip off the CX Racing elbow on one end using a chop saw to get it to the right length. And the Spectre couplers are rubber while the RacePartsSolutions hump coupler and the CX racing couplers (blue) are silicone. So I may need to have the Spectre sections welded together and maybe put some tie bars into the plumbing or use some other tricks to make it hold together.

Both the CX Racing and the Spectre piping are polished aluminum, but as you can see in this picture, not all polished aluminum is created equal. The camera flash makes the difference even more glaring, if you'll pardon the pun. However, I've been thinking that once I get around to rebuilding the engine, I may have all the charge pipe powdercoated red and paint or powdercoat the engine to match. The couplers would be all black that time around. Kind of a rebellion against the excessive use of chrome on show cars.

Next step will be to make the brackets for the intercooler. Again.


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