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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
Hello everyone, long time lurker, new member here so I will introduce myself a little to the class.

A little about me

My name is Spencer, I will be 21 when next April rolls around, I make tools for Boeing and other aerospace companies, I live in a suburb of the once home for Carter Carburetors (Saint Louis, MO), and I guess I have a bit of Slant Sickness...

Here is a picture of me and my Dart that a friend took with his drone on our local "Dinosaur Run" that happens in late January, If you can't tell, I was cold!
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Onto the Swinger

The Dart is not my first project, its my third, My two C10 Chevy's came before it, while I am a big fan and love my squarebody Chevys, I just had a MoPar sized hole in me that I wanted to fill, I had looked on and off for about three years, after almost buying a 68 four door Satellite (318 auto) that the guy sold before I could look at it, this and a 72 Dart came up on Facebook marketplace:
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I got his phone number and called him up, turns out he did not actually own the cars at that moment in time, he had purchased a 71 charger (on the trailer in the background) and the darts were at the same car lot thing, he was gauging interest to possibly buy them to flip, basically as a finders fee. Sort of a strange situation, and he mentioned he was thinking price wise around $2500 to $3000. I told him thanks and about a week went by and I get another message from him:
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I thought 2500 to 3 was a little steep, but yes please at $1500 (clean title and complete), went to set a time up to meet as it was about 150 miles from me, said there was one ahead of me who was interested in both, so second in line, the day came for the other potential buyer and they flaked on the guy, I was relayed this information and arranged to go out there the next day with my boss, Greg (my MoPar mentor, he has 2 69 RoadRunners and buys and sells parts with his brother who has a Mr. Norms 70 340 6 barrel Dart). Headed out after I got home from trade school around noon that Friday and made it to central Illinois and looked it over.
Inspection showed to be wearing its original paint, everything basically complete, he threw a battery in it and some gas down the carb and it came to life, talked him down to $1400 since we were there with cash and a trailer and loaded it up with 3 locked up wheels and back home we went.
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Its New Home

Got home and worked it off the trailer in my (read: parent's) garage:
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Just over 102xxx miles
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No cracking on the dash pad and original AM radio, with a under dash 8 track barely visible, and rim blow wheel
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Somewhere under the accumulation of filth is a numbers matching 225 with a 904 behind it.
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This was actually one of 4 broadcast sheets I found in the car, one under the front bench (pictured), one under the rear seat, one under the carpet, and a partial taped around the steering column
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Floors in pretty good shape for living in dirt road farm country Illinois
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:23 pm 
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1 BBL (New)

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
For reference, to establish the timeline, That was around October 30th 2020 when I took ownership of the car.

Some History

So my Dart is what I would consider to be well documented, I received with the car the window sticker, registration from the original purchaser, warranty information, owners manual, broadcast sheets, title from the second owner. The Car was purchased by a man named Carl Bachtold in late 1970 (car has a build of September of 1970) from Jones Motor Sales in Gibson City Illinois, The window sticker price was $3587.80. The second owner and last registered owner before me was a Lady named Leota, who had purchased it from Carl in 1974 and judging from the high school parking lot sticker in the window, one of her children used the car for school at some point, Leota also had the 1972 Swinger that was for sale with this 1971 Swinger, they had bought the 72 brand new and I guess liked it and ended up buying this 71 in 74.
So where the dots connect here is that the first owner Carl, had a company called Carl Bachtold Mowers which they made and sold walk behind fence mowers and mowers that would be mounted on garden tractors. I found under the trunk mat a nametag badge from an event called the Wheatbelt Exhibitor, and the car has a trailer hitch that is stamped 1970-71 Dart, so it was installed not long after it was purchased, so I assume that Mr. Bachtold was using the car to pull some of his products around to trade shows and such. The second owner Leota according to her obituary was a clerk and then a Nationwide truck driver for Carl Bachtold Mowers for around 17 years, for me I love it that I have a pretty good idea on the history of the car.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:25 pm 
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1 BBL (New)

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
The Goal

When I got the car I knew I wasn't looking for a performance drag machine, nor a pristine one, I wanted something I could get in at any time, fire up and enjoy it, maybe reap some economy from the little 225. I wanted to do the basics to make the car safe and reliable as I can.

I started with putting 73-76 A body discs up front, I media blasted the doors, trunk lid, and dash for my boss' 2nd RoadRunner in exchange for the spindles, rebuilt upper A-arms, caliper brackets and caliper cores, and a set of big bolt 14" Ralley wheels (running spacer adapters in the rear to go to big bolt). I put all new brake lines from Inline tube on the car, appropriate master cylinder, new rubber lines. I put a new gas tank and sender, hardline and fuel pump in, rebuilt the Holley 1920, cobbled up an exhaust. I put new lower ball joints, tie rods, idler and pitman arm in as well, new shocks on all 4 corners.

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Did some cleaning all around the inside and outside to try to get the 50 years of gunk off, some stuff called D-germ works really well for dirt and crud removal.
Before and after on the arm rest:
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Removed some extra weight, still lots more attached to the car
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Did some patching to the rust in the floor, there really were no holes, rather it had been a victim of rust jacking in the lapped seams, I unfortunately am no stranger to sheet metal repair (have rebuild over 50% of the cab for my 1979 C10, and about the same on a friends 75 K5)
Putting a full floor pan in would really be the best option, but I'm trying to avoid the full blown restoration at this point as I already have one still in the works (my 79 C10)
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Took in in for an alignment and Missouri state inspection (safety only, no emissions if older than obdII) and it passed! Dad had gotten me the repop centers for the Ralley's for christmas, Thanks Dad!
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The Driving Begins

Now plated, insured and inspected I started to cruise it around on the weekends and feel things out for what needs attention and such.

Took it down to a popular spot across the river from a power plant down south a little ways from me
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Then Dad and I took it for about a 170 mile trip up and down the great river road (up to Louisiana, MO, down through Illinois to Grafton, and through Alton to North County, stopped at the building where the newspaper that my grandfather had worked for and then back home, averaged about 19 mpg on that trip.
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Then came the Dinosaur Cruise, which was another 170+ miles of driving, the day had started out sunny and cold, but the sun was present.
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By 2:30 there was a change in scenery, snow had started to fall and was sticking, which is not a big deal until you have around 200 old cars, lots that are on drag slicks or tires not ideal for snowy conditions. My friend and I left for the last stop earlier and ate and decided to start heading back east.
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I think we averaged around 30 mph for most of the way on highway 70
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This was one of atleast 3 or 4 other major wrecks on the highway, as far as I know everyone from the dinosaur cruise made it home safe in their vehicles.
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I have to say though, for the Dart being on the cheapest Chinese (Westlake branded, around $44/each) tires it held the road good and got us back home safe and sound


Last edited by Spencer Neumeier on Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:25 pm 
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1 BBL (New)

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
I Have a Problem with Tinkering

So to recap, this part of the story puts us into late February 2021, I had been driving the Dart when the weather was nice out, trying to avoid the road salt and snow to give the car the best odds of surviving and not completely turning to rust, and it was running alright, but the old Holley 1920 was starting to show its age, and the number six exhaust manifold runner had warped and separated from the head about .050" taking the stud and cleanly breaking it off too. So I started to set my sights on getting some parts to make things a little more interesting than the old one barrel. I found a new set of Hooker headers for less than half of what they are new, I knew from reading around that headers and a slant may not always be the best combination, but the price was attractive enough that I bit anyway, because I like to tinker and am just curious about things, even if it may not always be the best way, or cheapest, or efficient.
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Then I was browsing the devilish thing known as ebay, and found a listing for an old (no in manifold water provisions) Clifford 4 barrel intake manifold, I won the bid for a decent price and added that to the collection. At this point just gathering parts for some point when the time would be right to do some experimenting.

Thermoquad on top just for funnies.
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Being a GM guy as well, I have a Quadrajet on my daily driver 76 C10 (350 sbc) and have it pretty well tuned up where it runs nice, being that a lot of folks hate Quadrajets, and a lot of folks think all A-bodies should have big blocks instead of slants, I though what better than to put them together.
Having read about Frank Raso and his slant with Q-jet, and seeing an aussie with a Q-jet on a slant as well, that was good enough for me.

At this time I was in the fourth semester of the Precision Machining Technology program at Ranken Tech College in Saint Louis, so we were able to borrow a Solidworks license to use at home so I took that as an opportunity to model some parts for slants, one being the manifold batwings and I drew up an adapter to put a Spread bore carb on a Clifford manifold instead of needing an intermediate adapter plate.

With the solid model I was able to 3d print a prototype washer to make sure the design would work.
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And a picture of what I had come up with for the adapter plate.
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In the mean time I was still driving it and even drove the whole week to school and back, 60 mile round trip, performed well, then the next Monday made it to the top of the neighborhood and then the oil light started to flicker at idle. Great. Not wanting to eject the rods because of no oil pressure I turned around and parked it and got the truck and went to school. I decided to just pull it out and go through it since I do not know what lurks inside and probably would be wise to give it a good inspection and maybe a refresh too.

So I yanked it out and began to tear it down. Verified that it is the matching engine to the car (no reason that it wouldn't be, but never know)
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The insides were about what would be expected of a 50 year old engine that has never been opened up, a fair amount of sludge but nothing super awful.

Although I think the previous owner must not have had the best of luck with the dipsticks, I pulled all the partial tips out of the bottom of the pan.
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There might have been more oil on the outside than the inside...
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Last edited by Spencer Neumeier on Tue Dec 14, 2021 7:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:25 pm 
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1 BBL (New)

Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
So with the engine out and on the stand I was able to evaluate it. Really an overbore with new pistons would be the best choice, but the cylinders were still within the FSM's specs for taper and roundness, so I decided to go the route of honing and a rering.

I made a small baffle for the rear of the pan to hopefully slow the slosh of oil piling upon acceleration.
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Used a three stone hone to knock the glaze out of the cylinders and put a fresh hatch surface in.
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Followed Mr. Dutra's book and did some deburring
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I made up a heat shrink extension after work one night to get the reach I needed to chamfer the lifter bores and oil return holes
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Checked it all out and then spent a few hours with the hose and scrub brushes, bottle brushes, soap and scrubbed and rinsed the block and the oil passages and water jacket as best as I could, after that dried it and hit with solvent and then a light oil to keep the flash rust away.

Blasted the tins after work (don't fear, I spent a lot of time making sure all the media was removed before the install back on the engine)
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Went with an Oregon Cam Grinders #819 Grind, I went through inspected and resealed the original oil pump, I believe the cause for the oil light flicker (the reason I pulled the engine) was a sticking or occasionally sticking pressure relief valve, I put some synthetic assembly lube in there to hopefully help with getting a prime for fire up. Per the book put a little lapping compound and gave it a few spins to check the mesh and establish a pattern, cleaned everything very good after, also I purchased a cam bearing tool and put a new set of cam bearings in.
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Last edited by Spencer Neumeier on Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:36 pm 
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2 BBL ''SuperSix''

Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:41 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Switzerland
Car Model: '67 Plymouth Valiant Two Hundred
Hi Spencer, welcome! Very interesting, thanks for sharing this beautiful story :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:10 am 
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SL6 Racer & Moderator
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:42 am
Posts: 8435
Location: Fort Bragg, NC
Car Model: More cars than sense...
Hey Spencer! Great introduction! Welcome to the Slanted Sickness!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:08 am
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Location: Blacksburg, VA
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Welcome, Spencer. Great story and thanks for sharing about your car.

Lou

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2021 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:02 pm
Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
Matriks wrote:
Hi Spencer, welcome! Very interesting, thanks for sharing this beautiful story :D

Rob Simmons wrote:
Hey Spencer! Great introduction! Welcome to the Slanted Sickness!!!

Dart270 wrote:
Welcome, Spencer. Great story and thanks for sharing about your car.

Lou

Thank you all for the warm welcome to the forum!

Being a Machinist is Handy

So the timeframe is now around May 2021 at this point in the worlds slowest rebuild, waiting on some parts and having done some work with the car itself, and some bolt on parts, I reached the point of putting the pistons back in their holes, I could have used a spring steel ring compressor, but I decided to use a tapered style one, the problem is for the 3.4" bore they are not readily available, and the ones that are are quite costly, so I just decided to make one after work, with some scrap aluminum. (if you can't tell I have a pretty accommodating place of work with free reign of the scrap rack and all the machines if not being set up and used on a job)
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I used a friends ring compressor for their big block Chevy to get an idea of the taper that they use in there and just scaled it down to the 3.4 bore of the slant.

I had also made but did not complete the steel surround until around this time an under dash gauge cluster for the dart, It has provisions for a tach, oil pressure, vacuum gauge, and wideband O2, as well as 3 toggle switches with green indicator lamps
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Made the steel surround from some 16 gauge hot rolled, tig brazed some nuts on to give me a mounting area for the panel.
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And a quick slash of black paint on it
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For the gauges I after many months decided on the Stewart Warner green line, all full sweep gauges, I had waited for over 5 months for the vacuum gauge on back order so a bosch filled its place for mockup. The toggle switches are L to R: Panel lights, momentary for the wiper pump (converted from a foot pump to stock electric repro), and toggle for a high idle solenoid for the carb.
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So for my final project for trade school it was our choice to come up with something to make, most people made coasters with some engraving, one made a chess board, I made those manifold batwing's that I had drawn up earlier.
Here's a short video of the machining
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2021 9:12 pm 
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Posts: 8
Car Model: 1971 Dart Swinger
Now I was able to get a piston in to get the cam degreed in, I got a JP performance double roller chain for it, I installed the cam around 3 degrees advance from its ground in setting, since with the stock 2.76 rear gears I think focusing on the low end is wiser than top end and rpm.
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I had previously checked with plastigage and my clearances for the rods were .0018 to .0025 and the mains were similar at around .0020 to .0025, I think that should be fine (spoiler it is running now and has 45psi at idle cold, 20psi at full operating temp at around 5-600 rpm)
The last piston going in.
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Once I got the pistons in I bolted the oil pan on, water pump, taped the short block off and hit with a coat of paint. At this time the head was at the machine shop to be hot tanked, cut .100 and get a valve job, which due to them being very busy and short handed, ended up being much longer than I had anticipated and hoped, but they did a very nice job on the decking and valve job, so I cant complain too much.

Then I dropped the short block paired with a junk head I was using for mock up back into the car to begin getting what I could hooked back up, figuring out my wiring, hoses, and linkages.

At this point I was planning on running the headers and a Q-jet on a modified adapter (a flipped spread to square bore adapter). That changes later, which I will explain later.
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Since the Clifford manifold did not have provisions for a heat riser, nor did it have one for water, I though about it and took inspiration from my 3d printer, they use a low voltage heating element and are able to get the print bed to a temperature of 100+ Celsius with no issues, so I did some looking around and found some silicone heaters that are 12 volt that I thought would be worth it to try to give me manifold heat.
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For anyone unfamiliar with 3d printing, it is a relatively slow process, for a print of decent size it is common to have it running for 24+ hours non stop, with that heating element at 100+C the entire time. So I reasoned that running a silicone element on a car that at most may be driven for 8 hours at the extremes should be quite safe, and it should be impossible for a silicone pad with a wire element to leak coolant or exhaust gasses too. These silicone heaters come in all shapes and sizes, voltages and watt ratings, and are sold in a 110 volt variety to adhere to an oil pan to warm the oil up too.
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I used red hi-temp silicone to adhere it to the manifold after a thorough clean with iso alcohol. let it cure for a sufficient amount of time and its good and stuck on there. To control it I found a inexpensive thermostat controller that works on 12 volts and has a probe to read the temp to switch on and off. The thing I think may be an advantage of this is that you can change the temperature setting on the fly so if its hot out and the manifold heat may not be as needed, it can be lowered, and once the engine gets up to temp and the radiant heat helps keep things warm the heater will shut off, so it will be able to help regulate temps (hopefully!)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:14 am 
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Car Model: More cars than sense...
Dude! Niiiice!!! :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 5:18 am 
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Car Model: 1965 Plymouth Belvedere I
Wow, that is some very interesting stuff you've been doing. Machining and 3D printing, freaking awesome.
That electric manifold heat is genius. I would love to know how well it works.
Keep up the interesting posts.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 6:18 am 
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Location: Pauls Valley, OK
Car Model: 1975 Dodge D100
Awesome stuff, man! Thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:34 am 
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Turbo Slant 6
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I suspect the electric heater won't be able to keep up with the heat loss from Missouri winter air constantly flowing through the manifold.
If it doesn't, you might consider a weld-on water box like this from Aussiespeed --> https://www.aussiespeedshop.com/product ... er-heater/
No doubt you could make your own.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:48 am 
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Yes very cool stuff, Spencer. Glad the engine build is going well.

I have the same concern as ProCycle. 25 W is almost nothing in terms of heat. I would think something like 500-1000 W might be more like what you would like to have, and anything under 100-200 W is probably not helpful. I also agree that a water source teed from the heater hoses would be more sensible, since your engine is making/wasting 1000s of watts of heat just idling. Not trying to tell you what to do, but just suggestions...

Best wishes,

Lou

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