Tag Archives: tech
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A recent Akron Beacon Journal article showed us how automotive restoration projects can be a bridge to a more productive life for troubled youngsters.
In some ways, the 1948 Packard Victoria Convertible is a metaphor for the kids who will be restoring it: a treasure hiding beneath the visible dings and dents of a hard life.
But as with all the various “therapies” used with at-risk teens at the Packard Institute near Akron, turning the hunter green auto that’s currently missing its ragtop into a shimmering silver head-turner will teach them about the power of second chances.
Packard Institute, a Highland Square-based nonprofit that works mostly with young people struggling with substance abuse, took possession of the car with the intention of making it the “flagship” of the organization. The institute’s founder, Raynard Packard, is a distant cousin to James and William Packard, who founded Packard Automobiles in Warren, Ohio in 1899, “so it’s only fitting,” he said.
“About three years ago, we started getting these antique automobiles,” Packard said. “It’s a lot of fun, and the kids learn a skill set, but it’s really about building relationships. The car is a fun by-product of the relationships.”
Among the volunteers who have worked with the youngsters is Greg Delagrange, a Barberton, Ohio car restorer and Packard auto expert. “Greg has given $50,000 worth of hours with these kids,” Packard said.
“Some of these kids come from homes, let’s just say they aren’t the Cleavers,” Delagrange said, referencing the "Leave It to Beaver" sitcom from the ’50s and ’60s. “Sometimes I think they’re like this car: They get dumped and abandoned.” Others have attentive parents, but end up turning to drugs for a variety of reasons.
For more of the story, please read the complete article here.Click Here To Read Full Post...
I've had my hands full with my four wheeled projects lately and I haven't been giving my little "cafe" motorcycle; a DKW RT125 much attention. I recently decided to build a set of clubman style drop bars for it. My problem with off the shelf parts are that I usually end up modifying them or they just aren't quite exactly what I want for my projects. I decided rather than wasting $100 or more on a set of bars I may not like the dimensions of, I'd build my own from scratch. Below is the cliff-notes version of the build. Hopefully this can give you some guidelines to follow on your own build.
Above you can see the riding position on the bike with the original handlebars and the custom seat we made in the last tech series.
I started by taking some 1/2" round steel bar and bending two identical halves into a rough shape that I liked and welding them together in the center. I took dimensions from some other bars that I liked and tweaked them to my liking. I decided that I wanted a pretty aggressive drop and a slight sweep forward to get into a sportier riding positon. This concept is the same basic way I'd be building the real bars.
We started with 7/8" DOM tubing for the bars. DOM tubing is a seamless piece of tubing and is the strongest option for making something structural like a set of bars for your bike. DO NOT skimp and try to use thin conduit or anything like that, you're putting yourself and others at risk! We then took a piece of TIG filler wire and recreated the first bend in the tubing we needed from our round bar template. This allowed us to use the filler rod as a guide when we were making the first bend. We marked out the length of material the bend would take up and set the tubing with the starting line at the center point of the bottom roller in the Eastwood Pro Former Tubing Bender. We then pumped and bent the tubing until it was just a little further than the bend we needed on the TIG rod guide to combat the spring-back of the metal when the pressure was relieved.
Once we had our first bend we slide the tubing into the stem and checked to make sure that it had the drop I wanted. Here you can put the tubing back in the bender to tweak it a little further if need be. We then marked out the length and center of the next bend to give us the first half of the bars. Depending how close your next bend is to the first you may need to spin the tubing around and come from the opposite direction as the first bend (just remember which way you want to bend!). At this point you also need to make sure that the tubing is set so that your next bend is parallel to the first bend. If you want some slight forward or backwards rake to the bars you could make this second bend just a little off from parallel, but it's tough to replicate multiple times. Again I bent the tubing to match our guide and we test fit it again to make sure that the we had the shape we were looking for. This is where you can stand back, squint your one eye shut and get an idea of what your bars will look like. Take a break, grab a snack, crack open a drink and get ready for the tricky part of this project next.
This is where it gets tricky and I'll admit I ruined some material and had to start over a couple times. When you begin marking out your next bends they need to be perfect to allow for them to match AND you need to make sure all bends are parallel. With a good measurements, a helper to keep it all straight, and a little bit of luck, you could make a set of bars out of one piece of material. I decided after a couple attempts to make the bars out of 2 separate pieces and then sleeve, and weld them together. This also allowed me to keep my bends as close to the side of the forks as possible since I could trim them to size. I chose to shave down a piece of tubing that slipped inside the 2 pieces we bent and used the MIG 175 to join them with a plug welds, followed by butt welds with the TIG 200 DC . I left a gap so that I could get the TIG torch into the gap and melt the inner sleeve to the bars and also enough room to add filler to make it a seamless joint.
After I had the pieces welded together I test fit them on the bike and marked out where the levers, throttle, and grips would sit. With everything marked out I could cut the extra length off of the bars. For most modern bikes the throttle is all one piece and you can just slip it over the bars and fix it in place. On my bike I needed to cut a seat for the throttle slide to sit in (the little aluminum parts seen in the pics above).
With the bars welded and cut to length, I installed my throttle, grips and levers. The final look is exactly as I wanted and the riding position is how I wanted it. The bars still allow for full turning radius and fit me pretty well, so I'm pretty happy with them. Now that the bike is just about how I want it to look I can button up some mechanical repairs the bike needs and then make a small rear bobbed fender and the bike is ready for the road! Stay tuned, I'll show you how to build a simple rear fender for your bobber or cafe racer from scratch with Eastwood Tools next!
-Matt/EWClick Here To Read Full Post...
Cleaning of intake valves with walnut shell blasting tool - review
By: Mike Ngo and Eurowise
Modern engines are often direct injection, as this process allows for advantages in fuel consumption as compared to conventional fuel injection, as well as yielding more power with an engine of identical displacement. The N54 engine of the BMW 335i and 135i also are direct injection; this means in particular that the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder and not in the intake tract. As a consequence thereof, the fuel injectors are no more placed before the intake valve, but directly in the cylinder itself.
The disadvantage of this is that the regular bathing and therefor cleaning of the intake valves by way of the fuel that they are exposed to does not happen anymore. The intake valves are only in contact with air or rather blow by gases from the crankcase breathing circuit, in which substantial quantities of fuel and oil can be found. Over time, these lead to deposits of carbonized fuel and oil in the intake tract as well as on the intake valves themselves; this is also referred to as carbonizing. This is not immediately bad for the engine, but over time can have a detrimental effect on its efficiency. If the valves are heavily carbonized, they may not close properly anymore, and symptoms such as a bumpy idle, vibrations and diminished throttle response can be observed; it may also contribute to increased oil consumption.
As unfortunately this carbonizing effect is an inevitable byproduct of direct injection, it cannot be prevented. The use of additives in the fuel itself is useless, as (see above) the fuel does not come into contact with the intake tract or the valves at all; the use of water/methanol injection may slow down the carbonizing somewhat (depending on where the methanol is injected and provided it is not yet completely vaporized when it reaches the valves), but cannot prevent it either. A cleaning of the intake valves by using Sea foam or similar products which are injected directly into the charge pipe has been discussed extensively, but in my opinion this method is not very efficient as the carbonizing is usually too persistent to be removed by this method.
In principle there are a few methods to clean the intake valves and intake tracts of the BMW N54 engine (and any other direct injection engine). A very elaborate and consequently expensive method is to completely take off the cylinder head and to have the valves lie in a very aggressive cleaning solution for at least 48 hours, after which they have to be cleaned manually as well in order to remove any remaining carbonizing.
The method I chose in the end and that I'm going to describe here is the cleaning of the intake tract and valve of each cylinder with the Eastwood Small Job Media Blasting Kit. We chose to have them mix up a small batch of walnut shell granules to blast the intake tract with. These granules hit the carbon at high speed and remove it entirely, while at the same time this material is soft enough not to damage the metal of the intake tract and the valves.
Here are the basic steps to cleaning your intake ports and valves:
1. Remove intake manifold
2. Put engine valves on the cylinders being worked on at TDC so the valves are closed
3. Tape off all the cylinders not being cleaned.
4. Using a pick, break loose all the cylinders that have large chunks of carbon first and blow them out
5. Prepare the Eastwood Small Job Blasting Kit and cover the engine bay of all walnuts that may go into items you don’t want them to go acess
6. Start blasting
7. After each cylinder blow or vacuum out the material left inside and repeat if necessary
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