Our new Side Mount Vents are already showing up in customer cars — eliminating fuel odor and spillage. Mike Snyder sent along a photos of one of our new vents installed in his 69 Camaro. Mike’s car has a clean factory look, so his choice of OEM style rubber lines, fittings, and clamps don’t distract from the overall theme of the car and as much as we love seeing our logo Mike could easily remove it to have an even more stock appearance.
The shop Z06 is on the mend from recent piston surgery, and I bought some Mobil1 0W-40 motor oil to fill up the dry sump tank for its initial fire. GM recommends 5W-30 Mobil1 and every LS7 leaves the factory filled with it, and I like the 0W-40 only because it has more zinc, and it is preferred oil in my crowd at the local tracks. I mentioned all that to Dave Crume (of Crume Racing Engines), who built the short-block, and he cringed. He told me to use Joe Gibbs break-in oil for a couple of hours, then switch to a quality non-synthetic oil, and then to a synthetic oil at 500-1000 miles. He said the engine wouldn’t break in properly unless I did that.
Call me skeptical. Continue reading
More and more safety and convenience systems are making their way from late-model vehicles to our hot rods. Some high end builds are using anti-lock braking systems and traction control. Other examples are cruise control, three point seatbelts, thermostatically controlled environment controls, interior and exterior lighting, and navigation systems, to name a few.
The latest in this long list is TPMS: a tire pressure monitoring system. When we built the Tommy Camaro, the owner wanted to go without a spare, and use run-flat tires with a TPMS. After some research, and a walk-through at the PRI show, we found this amazing system from Stack. Stack specializes in data recording for race cars, and recently added a TPMS to their catalogue. Continue reading
We’re in the process of sealing up the cooling system of the Tommy Camaro with a variety of clamps — none of which are the typical hardware store worm drive type. The most obvious and interesting clamp is the Gates heat shrink product which holds the upper radiator hose together. Given the multi part nature of the upper hose, traditional clamps would have been an unattractive bristled mess of stainless steel. The Gates clamps look way cleaner and outperform the old school alternative.
We do lots of custom electrical work in the fab shop, and one job that seems to come up all the time is making custom battery cables. Trying to find ready-made cables that are exactly the right length is difficult at best, and damn near impossible for those extra-long cables when your battery has been moved to the trunk. Given the weight and cost of heavy gage copper cables we make our own, using SAE-rated battery cable, and heavy-duty cable lugs to get exactly the right length.
We’ve gotten a lot of requests for more information about the hose we used in our twin vent install on the Tommy Camaro. It uses a PTFE inner liner, which is important to reduce fuel permeation (smell), and an Aramid outer braid. Aramid is a Kevlar brand name and it is tough stuff. It is literally bullet-proof. The braid feels soft to the touch, but requires side-cutters to cut the thread — it just laughs off heavy duty scissors.
Assembly is easy: just slid the outer (silver) collar over the end of the hose, and then twist the fitting (black) into the hose with some light lubricant. The fitting twists easily into place with your hand or a short AN wrench, and the fine threads on the inner fitting support easy clocking for non-straight hose ends. The hose is rated for high-pressure applications, including power steering. You can get all of it at Pegasus Racing.
I’ve also gotten several requests for the part numbers we used in the install, so here they all are in one place:
- Vent fitting: 90 degree AN ORB fitting is an Earl’s part: AT949006ERL
- Tank fitting: 90 degree 1/4 NPT to AN 6 is also Earl’s: AT982206ERL
- Vent hose end: 90 degree AN 6 Pegasus Racing hose end: 3481-06-90 DEGREE
- Tank hose end: straight AN 6 Pegasus Racing hose end: 3481-06-STRAIGHT
- Hose: Aramid braided (Kevlar… and it will take its toll on your cutting tools) AN 6 PTFE hose from Pegasus racing. 3490-06-FOOT
Modern muscle cars like the new Camaro have performance and drivability that could scarcely be imagined in 1969, but as technology has found its way into the aftermarket our older muscle cars are accelerating, braking, and cornering so well that fuel slosh, spillage, starvation, and odor have become a bigger problem than ever. A common problem is that under acceleration fuel will leak from the vented gas cap found on many older cars. Switching to a sealed cap eliminates the leak but now a properly designed vent system is needed.
Fuel tank venting is a deceptively complex problem and when improperly executed can result in spillage, fuel pump overheating, tank deformation, “burping” during fill ups, and strong fuel odors. Many resort to running a half tank of fuel and hoping for the best. To ensure we have a steady supply of fuel at all times we equipped our Camaro project with a Rick’s Tank and Vaporworx fuel pump system. Rick’s Tank and the Vaporworx system do not address tank venting, and both Rick’s and Vaporworx recommend our Fuel and Differential vent for this. We’ll be running our vents side by side — one for the DSE built 9 inch and the other to the Rick’s Tank
We’ve already upgraded the rear suspension to a DSE Quadralink, and the beefy crossmember that’s part of the kit is the ideal place to mount our vents since they need a 2.5″ hole in a flat and level space. All plumbing runs underneath the car, and the location needs to be chosen so that any collected liquid in the vent can run back to the tank or differential via gravity.
We’ve made more progress on the 69 Camaro getting a high-end Pro-Touring upgrade here in the Fab Shop. We’ve just finished installing the DSE Quadra-Link rear suspension along with welding in the Speedtech Chicane front coil over adapter. Both systems are supposed to be installed by using the coilover shock to guide where the upper mount is supposed to go.
But we had a better idea… Continue reading