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View steve392's profile Entries: 204
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07-26-2006 05:41 AM Hemi Assembly-ceramic insulators
Once the hole was the right size for the wire, I found out that the terminal end of the insulator had to be enlarged also. It seems that although the terminal would slide in to the correct depth (there is an internal lip that the terminal seats against), there was not enough room for the terminal end to open up so that it could snap over the spark plug tip. Out came the die grinder with a solid carbide grinding tip, and I opened up the terminal end where the snap ring portion of the terminal is located. Opening it up to .375" was enough to get the spark plug to snap solidly onto the terminal. You may be able to see in the picture a mark on the carbide bit that I used as a depth reference. I didn't want to go too deep and hit the internal lip that the terminal seats against.
After all of the "machine work" was done, it was time for assembly. I used all Taylor wire products including their 8mm Spiro-Pro wire, straight terminals, and crimper.
After all terminals were finished, and I snapped one on a spark plug, I noticed that the insulator would "rattle around" on the plug. This was because of the fairly large gap between the I.D. of the insulator and the plug insulator.
I wanted a nice snug fit on these things, just like on modern plug wire boots that grip the plug insulator. I ended up making my own silicone insert. I first put some silicone grease liberally over the spark plug insulator and inserted it in the terminal, squeezed in a lot of black RTV silicone around the plug, and let cure. After curing, I removed the plug, trimmed the RTV, and now have a "modern" ceramic Hemi spark plug boot. It holds the plug nice and firm with no rattle. This was a big job, but I'm glad I did it.


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  [Entry #24]

07-26-2006 05:11 AM Hemi Assembly-ceramic insulators
I wanted to use the early Hemi ceramic spark plug wire insulators, but since they were made for some pretty skinny plug wires, the modern 8mm wires that I am using won't easily fit. I needed to enlarge the through-hole in the insulator. The stock hole in the insulator is about .295-.300", and I needed to go up to about .314".
I came up with a way to do it by chucking a piece of 1/4" steel rod in the drill press. I coated the rod with sanding disc adhesive and stuck some 80 grit silicon carbide paper to the rod. The carbide paper seems to be about the best stuff to cut the extremely hard ceramic.
Running the press at moderate speed, I rotated the insulator on the rod and also moved it up and down, kind of like an oscillating spindle sander works.
I checked my progress with a dial caliper until I had the right size hole. Towards the end of the effort, I found that it was a lot easier to just keep on grinding until a 5/16" drill bit dropped through the insulator.
This job took FOREVER! It was not the most efficient way to do it, and it took many hours to do all eight, and I went through many sheets of sandpaper to do this. If I were to do it again, I would try to find a business that worked with ceramics and have them bored out. Maybe a diamond type hone would be a lot faster.... If you want to try this, be prepared for many hours of work!


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  [Entry #23]

07-13-2006 08:47 AM Hemi Assembly-distributor & plug wires
I liked the look of a Vertex magneto, so I decided on the Vertex HEI "Mag Style" electronic distributor. Its completely self contained and ready to run, and it will clean up the engine compartment a little by not having a separate coil. Sweet....

Plug wires are Taylor 8mm Spiro-Pro silicone. I bought the bulk wire, terminal ends for the plugs and the crimping tool and "rolled my own".
I didn't want to use the stock wire covers, so when I had the valve covers re-conditioned, I had the wire cover stands removed. By using a flanged style spark plug tube and the matching tube seal, I don't need the covers.

Also seen in the photo is one of the things that I am real glad of having taken the time to modify and use. I always liked the porcelain (ceramic) spark plug insulators on the very early hemis and decided to use them instead of the aftermarket modern stuff. It took a lot of work to make them work with the heavier 8mm wire and terminals, but the work was worth it. In an upcoming journal entry, I show how I modified them.


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  [Entry #22]

07-13-2006 08:28 AM Hemi Assembly-water pump & dipstick
The front of the motor is getting finished up. The water pump is an aluminum BBC short pump from Flowkooler. When I bought the pump, it came as an unpolished cast unit, so I decided to smooth it out, polish it and leave it "natural" as a contrast to the paint on the block. After spending a huge amount of time on getting the casting smooth, and mocking up the pump, I decided to paint it block color. Looks better, and with the aluminum cover, adapters, and pump pulley, thats enough "bright stuff" for now.
The water crossover is also a Hot Heads piece (who else?) that moves the thermostat housing out of the way of the blower drive. These things come with the typical red-and-blue AN fittings, but with a little sodium-hydroxide based parts cleaner that literally floated off the anodizing, I had nice natural aluminum pieces instead. Now I'm glad I painted that water pump...

One of the things that I was not happy with was the choice of aftermarket dipsticks available for the early Hemis. Most were reproductions of the original piece with a "made in china" look to them and a lousy chrome-job to match.
I found that with a little modification, a Lokar dipstick made for the early small block Chevy works out real good. The only thing I had to do was to turn down the base of the tube that press-fits into the block. I also bent and formed the bracket to bolt up to the water block-off.Even the length of the dipstick worked out perfect with the oil pan I was using. It looks a lot better than the original unit.
The valley cover is a billet aluminum part with oil fill in back. My PCV system will be taken care of with Moon breathers in the valve covers, so no other holes in the valley cover were necessary.


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  [Entry #21]

07-13-2006 07:58 AM Hemi Assembly-filter adapter & damper
Continuing on with the assembly stuff, I will be using a remote oil filter setup, so the adapter gets bolted to the block. This one is from Hot Heads. Bottom connection is from oil pump out to filter, and top connection is back into block from filter. I'm actually using a dual filter setup..I think those hoses and dual filters look cool!

The damper on the front is a BHJ Dynamics unit (SFI approved) that I also got from Hot Heads. Its a "blower special" model made by BHJ with timing marks located to match the timing pointer on the Hot Heads timing cover. Look at where the marks are cut into the rim of the damper...The pointer, although not installed in this picture, only protrudes out as far as the inside (back) edge of the damper. The marks are on the outside (front) edge of the damper. They should have been placed on the other edge...I've been meaning to tell Hot Heads about this, if they don't already know. It went on smoothly with a little anti-seize and the install tool. Like I mentioned earlier, this has two 1/4" key-ways 180 degrees apart as recommended by BDS for their blower drive.


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  [Entry #20]

Pages (41): 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 [37] 38 39 40 41


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