As much fun it was to work with Kydex, and as nice as the shield looked, I really started to question whether this was the proper application for Kydex material. When building the shield up to that point, I got concerned just how easy it was to heat it up to the point the it was moldable. Too easy, I thought. Then I started reading more about Kydex, and I could not really find a whole a lot of its usage in under the hood automotive application. Then one day, we had a really hot day. I took some scrap pieces that I had and took them to work with me. As I parked the car, I laid them out on the dash and left it for the day. Granted it was a very hot sunny day, but when I came back in the afternoon, some of the pieces must of heated up enough in the sun that they sagged in some places sitting on non-flat parts of the dash. It wasn't a lot, but it was enough for me. I decided that it could not take the high temperatures of sitting on the dash for a day, it probably would not do real well sitting under the hood next to turbo. That's probably why you don't see it used more in the automotive applications.
So I ended up scrapping the Kydex idea, and decided to build the shield out of aluminum. I went with 16 gauge (0.050 inch) sheet of 3003 aluminum. Since I had a template, it was just repeating the work, but with aluminum. I had another reason to buy some more tools from Harbor Freight. I went out and got these metal shears .
I followed one of the tips provided in the instructions that came with it, and went over the edges with super glue. Just laid a tiny bead of it. Because otherwise it wanted to start fraying. Then fitted the round opening with a reinforced plastic edge trip.
Next just like often happens with me, I start to think wonder and second guess. I started thinking if the floor and tunnel insulation would be appropriate for outside of the cabin. As you can see in this picture the part of the insulation under the foil looking thing is something spongy, and when I dipped it in water, it soaked up some of it and held it there. So with having potential of being exposed to elements under the hood, I wasn't sure if maybe I would want to put it on the inside of the sheild.
I am still thinking about it but for now I did not put in on the air box. So for this this is what its goning to look like.
So with the air filter shield finished (for now), I turned my attention to another long overdue thing that I have been meaning to "aquire". Its the intercooler air splitter. I never bothered to get anything when I did my original swap, but it sure would be nice to get something for there. Finding the intercooler splitter to fit GC8 hood scoop is hard enough, finding one that fits GC8 scoop and has large enough opening for a Ver 7 TMIC is nearly impossible. You'd have to get really lucky or pay crapload of money and even then I don't think I had seen any that have large enough opening to send air to the whole Ver 7 TMIC.
So I decided to make one myself, why the hell not. I went with 0.063 inch 3003 aluminum. But before I would get to the actual aluminum, I spend a good amount of time building a template. So I got some more cardboard and went at it.
So after figuring out a rough shape, I figured that this looks to be presice job and I better get something that I would be able to make more accurate template out of. I got one of those news board from AC Moore, pencils, and bunch rulers and right angles.
Measuring location of the IC.
Making some modifications to the template
Working on the scooping action
The plan is to add the second smaller splitter plate in front of the main scoop similar to some of the ZeroSport splitters. But I'll get to it when time comes.
So I made some actual progress on building the IC splitter.
Often times people bitch about how much companies charge for some aftermarket parts, especially smaller runs items, or how much custom shops charge for work. Sometimes I too find myself doing that. You think - it cost that much??? But it’s just piece of metal. However, every time I build something or do some work myself that professional shops offers, I quickly understand why. It either takes a long time and a lot of effort, using some non-industrial tools, or it costs a ton for the tools that would make the job quicker.
This IC splitter is a prime example. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been kind of interesting making it, but its taking me a bit of time.
Like I said before I am using .063 inch 3003 aluminums, so it would be sturdy enough, easily bendable, weldable.
Here – transferring my measurements from the template to the aluminum sheet.
This tool came in really handy. Reading the ruler with half millimeter notches. I understand that the finished product is not going to have laser precision but where I can help it I wanted to be accurate so that the inaccuracies did not added up.
Next came cutting out sections and bending. I am pretty sure that there are much better tools out there for all of that, but I had to use what I had. And I pretty much used all and everything that I had.
There is a small section in the middle that is discarded all together, between scoop section that is raised up and the lip in the front that would be bent down. So I started by cutting it out, leaving some extra material. I used combination of the Dremmel rotary tool and jigsaw tool. Dremmel to cut through the sheet, and then jigsaw to cut on the line. Even with using guide jigsaw turned out to not be a very precise tool, so I erred on the side of caution and left a little bit extra material and then cleaned up the edge with the electric shears.
Then the cuts where I didn’t have any extra material to have an inaccurate cut to clean up later, I just did by hand.
Then the bending part.
16 gauge aluminum turned out to be surprisingly difficult to bend. Probably mostly because it was not the outside edges that I was bending, so it was hard to get to and clamp on the edges.
That thing, I read later, was for 18 gauge metal. It was crying, but it did came through, mostly.
Testing the hood scoop. The splitter height is perfect overall. Because the metal scoop is not at dead center of the plastic scoop, you see that one side does not sit all the way. The plastic scoop begins to curve down at the sides, and the top of the splitter touches it. So I will just have to build in some downward slope on the sides.
That is all the progress to this point.
Next I need to add the smaller front splitter plate, add the sides to the scoop and also probably cut out some slots on the passenger side above the turbo, like all IC splitters seem to have. Then deal with all of the foam and rubber seals.
I was planning on welding the smaller plate and the side pieces to the main piece. I know ideally it would have been nice to have a nice quality TIG welder, but I just can’t spend ~ $1000 to get one now (some day). But I do have a Hobart 190 MIG, which was spool gun ready. I found a good deal on a gun. I figured if I can get my welds to look acceptable enough I’ll weld splitter myself. If not, I’ll just take it to the guy who welded fittings to AC aluminum hoses for me. I have enough left over aluminum to practice.
This was the first practice with it. Just getting used to the gun, trying out different settings.
This was actually before I even started on the splitter. This was a combination of 0.063 and 0.050 inch pieces. I’ll definitely be practicing some more
Just a quick update. I am obviously moving at a snail’s pace right now. But I did learned couple of lessons.
Lesson 1. Welding 0.063 aluminum with MIG welder is possible… as in, it is possible to join two pieces of metal together. But it is almost impossible to make it look remotely acceptable. Especially for an unexperienced welder like me. Especially when it comes to a corner joints. So I am just going to take it to get welded to my “guy”. I am planning to go take TIG welding weekend class at Eastwood, then maybe get my own machine, for future projects.
Lesson 2. Working in 2 dimensions is hell of a lot easier that working in 3 dimensions.
It took me a while to figure out how I wanted to make the sides of the scoop. This looked like would have been the easiest way
But the problem was that the driver’s side plastic scoop curves down there and touches that aluminum piece. So the solution could have been to bend the metal scoop down thorough he whole length, making it lower, or somehow bend just the drive’s side edge.
Well because I am so greedy and want all the air that I can get go through the intercooler, and also because of my OCD, I decided to keep the overall height and make sloped sides on both ends. This is sort of what I came up with.