June 14, 2009

Making Sparks -- that's what progress looks like

When man first figured out that banging some rocks together made sparks, something clicked. Things are no different today. I love sparks. They mean you're doing something. In this case Greg is grinding five years of corrosion off a Holley fuel pump. Close-ups of the side and top really show what the salt does to metal. We run two of these on a piece of angle-iron mounted behind the differential and under the trunk, which houses the fuel cell. It's cheap insurance in case one of them fails. Take a look at that top view again and note the rust on the angle iron. Yow!

The pumps were pretty corroded and only one of them worked so Greg took them apart and cleaned them up inside and out. The results are remarkable: A view of the pair of pumps mounted back on the angle-iron shows that everything looks good as new. A detail view of one of the pumps shows how nice they look now.

Greg cleaned an painted the upper net mount. It's a little piece of engineering that he's particularly proud of and it looks more like a machine gun component than anything. The job is pretty much the same no matter what the part -- get it out of the car, wire brush it off, and paint it. That's what we did with the air dam and a piece of under-hood sheet metal Studebaker afficianados will recognize as the part that locates the hood latch.

Another recent project that got some attention was the water pump. Like many racers, we use an electric water pump. It eliminates parasitic drag, belts that can come off, and frees up the front of the engine for other things. Salt2Salt endorses the CentraPuppy line of live-well pumps. Here, Greg removes the end plate so he can add a little JB Weld to more securely locate the magnets. This was actually a lot harder than it looks because JB Weld contains a lot of metal. Ferrous metal. So it got all "I want to line up with the magnetic field" on him and made the job rather difficult.

Some bits take the brunt of the salt worse than others. The air scoop under the bumper is a perfect example. It only looks moderately rusty from the front. Once you get it off and get a look inside. Well, THAT'S some rust, baby! The whole backside of the piece catches and holds the salt resulting in a whole lot of damage. It's pretty big so we'll probably collect a few of the larger items and send them off to a commercial sand blaster.

A final word on the quality of some tools. As Ralph Kramden would say, "It pays to buy the best." This is what I get for purchasing a cheap set of screwdrivers. A rusty phillip's head screw took out this screwdriver AND a phillip's bit from the same set. That'll learn me.