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07-17-2005 09:25 PM Casting a custom intake manifold 7
Look what I found! While packing our stuff to move I ran across these drawings I did in preparation for making the manifold.

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  [Entry #141]

06-28-2005 08:52 PM Casting a custom intake manifold 6
Here is the finished product on the engine. I polished it as you can see. When we got the engine running, it was a monster! The manifold really worked great and the engine torqued like a small V-8, cruised cool at 60 all day long and got 25 mpg.

You can see the flange and chamber I designed on the bottom to install a flat aluminum plate for preheating the manifold w/ hot water or exhaust gas but I never got around to installing that feature. It needs it, pretty cold blooded on startup.

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #140]

06-28-2005 08:50 PM Casting a custom intake manifold 5
Photos 1 & 2 show the finished manifold. Forgive the photo quality, they were taken pre-digital and scanned into my computer. If you squint you eyes just right you can see the tow sides of the split plenum under the carb adapter. I bought the 4-bbl carb adapter from Clifford Performance and used it just like he does on his performance intake manifolds. Just had to drill and tap 4 holes. The intake on these engines are held on by lugs so no precision mounting holes were needed.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #139]

06-28-2005 08:23 PM Casting a custom intake manifold 4
Oner more custom piece was needed before I went to the foundry to have the manifold cast. Photo 1 & 2 show the split plane I made form fiberglass that cut the manifold into two pieces to facilitate the casting process. The wood pattern is set into this piece (photo 2) and a wood box is set on top of it and specially formulated sticky casting sand is pounded on top of that. This box of sand is removed and turned over with the wood pattern now half embedded in it. A second wood box is set over that and more sand is pounded into that box. The two boxes are separated and a cavity representing a negative of the outside of the manifold isl left. The sand cores that were made as per the previous installment are set into the cavity exactly as the plater ones were set on the board in previous pictures. The top sand box is placed on it and the result is a cavity exactly the form of the finished manifold. Aluminum is melted and poured into this void. When cooled, the sand is knocked off and out of the aluminum and I a manifold that needs a LOT of work to finish. There are various sprues and runners that are part of the casting process and need to be sawed off. Then the carb surface and intake surface are simply sanded flat on a big belt sander.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #138]

06-28-2005 08:12 PM Casting a custom intake manifold 3
The plaster cores had to be duplicated in sand for the casting process so I molded up two-piece fiberglas molds for each plaster piece. Photos 1 & 2 show these 'glas molds. # 1 is them assembled and #2 is them taken apart. There are a couple of processes to make the final sand cores, both require special sand formulations. The first is using a sand that is coated with a special resin that sets up hard with exposure to CO2 gas. My foundry guy didn't have any of that sand so he used the second method of sand coated with a heat setting resin. He tightly packed the molds with the resin coated sand then baked them in an oven @ 250F for a short time and came out with rigid sand versions of the plaster cores shown in the previous set of pictures. The 'glas withstood the heat very well. It is important in the casting process to use sand instead of plaster for these cores since it will crush as the aluminum cools and shrinks, protecting the weak hot metal from tearing and because the sand is porous, gasses can escape instead of remaining in the aluminum causing devastating porosity.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #137]

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