Legacy Blog Content!
You are viewing legacy content from The Art of Diesel’s blog site. Information and links may be outdated. Referenced video might no longer exist. Embedded photos might be missing. We are keeping this content available to our readers in case there might still be some valuable information contained.
Intake components, ready for installation.
Tonight I got home after 8:00, but I knew the intake parts were dried and ready to be installed. Here they are, sitting on the workbench. It took quite a bit of trial and error to have a set of parts that I knew would work. The turbo is on the left side of the engine and its inlet points at the firewall. Thankfully, GM built a concave area into the firewall to allow additional engine clearance. It's still pretty tight back there, and this would be a good argument for moving the engine further forward -- but I've already fabricated a lot of components to make the engine fit where it is, and a few hours of monkeying around to make the intake work isn't really that big a deal -- especially now that it was only 90° in my barn (since when did that qualify as "cool?").
I tried fitting a number of options, including the stock intake tube that wraps around the back side of the engine. There wasn't enough room to fit that component, even after shortening the straight section. I couldn't simply use one of my 2 3/4" silicone boots to make that first corner, because it would run very close to the exhaust manifold. I knew that this area would have to be metal.
This past Saturday morning I made my way around some local shops looking for 2 3/4" OD tubing. I couldn't get anything without ordering it and waiting a few days. I was staring at a pile of used exhaust parts when I was talking with a guy at the local muffler shop. I pointed at a stack of components that looked familiar, and said "those look like the parts I pulled out of my Suburban." He said that this was, indeed, a GM exhaust system, and then pointed out that this stuff was all 2 3/4" OD. He also pointed out that the 2 3/4" tubing fits nicely inside the 3" tubing. I still had those parts laying in my shop, so I went home and chopped a few lengths of straight-ish tubing out of that old exhaust system. I was thinking that these parts might be kind of rotted, but quickly realized that they are all stainless and in perfect condition. Isn't it strange that I couldn't even give away these components on CraigsList? I'm glad I still had them. I put a wire brush on a cordless drill with big extension and ran it up and down the insides of these tubes to find that the soot cleaned out easily, leaving nice, clean, stainless walls that looked new.
A 90 degree 3" elbow was used to clear the exhaust manifold and deliver clean air to the turbo.
For the first bend coming out of the turbo (really, the last bend before entering the turbo), used a 3" 90° elbow. I cut it down to clear the firewall and made eight cuts in the end -- just like those found on the stock turbo inlet. Becaust the 3" OD tubing has a 2 3/4" ID, the stock polyurethane adapter piece fit perfectly inside it. The eight cuts allowed the big hose clamp to tighten the tube when fit into place.
On the other end of this elbow, I fit a short piece of 2 3/4" tubing from my stock exhaust system. I did some work with my pipe expander to make this a snug fit, and then used a 3" clamp to make some indents so that the parts wouldn't come apart again. Then, I placed a bead of JB Weld at the seam, and set the assembly out in the sun at 105° to dry. If this were a pressurized assembly, I might get it welded, but this will be fine for a simple intake.
The components were fitted carefully, before removing them to clean and paint
This got the intake to the right side of the engine back by the firewall. I used a couple silicone elbows and other pieces of pipe to put the filter on the right fender. It was amazing that the sections I cut just happened to be the right length. Some things are meant to be, I guess, but it's rare that something like that happens for me.
I pulled the system apart, cleaned the components carefully, and shot them with Krylon True Blue paint. I left them out in the sun to bake the finish and dry quickly.
Tonight I picked up the parts, looking as they did in the photo above, and popped it all together. All those hours trying different concepts and trial-fitting the components paid off. After doing some touch-up on a few firewall scrapes from my trial-fitting process, I slid the parts into place and tightened the clamps.
Where the intake meets the turbo
I didn't like the filter sitting directly on the fender, so I cut and bent a piece of stainless steel to hold up the pipe with the filter attached to it. The system looks like the pictures below.
A simple stainless bracket to support the filter. The unsightly, corroded stock filter mount needs to be removed.
Now, when the vacuum pump I've ordered arrives, I'll hook it up and take this vehicle for a drive!
I'll post a video of getting the engine started and include some footage from inside the vehicle when I drive it.
-My recipe for success: free markets, more diesel, and less government!