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$11 super-awesome DIY smoke machine vacuum leak detector
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veloandy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject: $11 super-awesome DIY smoke machine vacuum leak detector Reply with quote

I just got my 81 Westy running and have been in total vacuum-leak-finding purgatory.

I ended up throwing up my hands and taking it to Rocky Mountain Westy here in Fort Collins...after burning through 2.5 hours of labor they found a few more vacuum leaks...but I still had too many vacuum leaks for it to idle reliably.

So, I finally found a cheap and totally thorough way to find all the remaining vacuum leaks thanks to http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/081547.html

All I did was get a quart paint can, sloppily solder a hose barb and an air compressor quick disconnect fitting to the lid:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Then I pulled the AFM, plugged the S-boot with a beer bottle, and hooked some cheap aquarium tubing from the hose barb on my can to the vacuum advance barb:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Then I fired up my air compressor, set the hose pressure to 5 PSI (verified the pressure was low enough that I could stop the flow with my finger), and hooked the air compressor hose to the barb on the lid, and set the can on the ground ('cause it was going to get hot!). Finally I got an old greasy rag (that used to be a cotton T-shirt), soaked it with denatured alcohol, set it on fire, and threw it in the can! When it started burning and smoking well I hammered the lid on the can with a rubber mallet:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

And...low and behold, smoke squirted out of my two remaining vacuum leaks! From where the metal flange to the crankcase breather wasn't pushed all the way into the S-boot, and from the Vacuum T-fitting between the brake booster and the decel valve!

I patched those up, tested it again, and NO MORE VACUUM LEAKS! It finally runs and idles well enough that I think I'm going to try finally get it emissions tested on Monday. Wish me luck!

I only wish I had rigged this up earlier! Hopefully this post will help some sambanista in the future!

Yes...it's a good idea to have a fire extinguisher handy when doing this...
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sanchius
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: $11 super-awesome DIY smoke machine vacuum leak detector Reply with quote

veloandy wrote:

So, I finally found a cheap and totally thorough way to find all the remaining vacuum leaks thanks to http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum1/HTML/081547.html

I love it, awesome....
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mackaymanx
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of a tshirt you could use an old hessian or heap bag, light it up then blow out the flame and it will smoulder for ages. That's what my dad used to use for his bee smoker.
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jrobewesty
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use to have something like that but we sucked the smoke out on the tubes. Never thought to use an air compressor, must of been on dope.
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Tom Powell
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: $11 super-awesome DIY smoke machine vacuum leak detector Reply with quote

veloandy wrote:


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The veolandy bong
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about the "AndyCan". wait that kinda sounds like a portable bathroom, doesn't it?

DougM
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about the "AndyCan". wait that kinda sounds like a portable bathroom, doesn't it?

DougM
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love it too!!

That reminds me my buddy's bang,made with a coconut and some fittings like yours:hilarious Laughing Laughing

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akyrie
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alika,

How do you introduce smoke to the coconut bong?

A.
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buspor63
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great home made tool! A thread in schrader valve and bike pump would also be a good alternative to pressurise the can....or like the mentioned bee smoker.
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indytriple
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: Re: $11 super-awesome DIY smoke machine vacuum leak detector Reply with quote

veloandy wrote:
Then I pulled the AFM, plugged the S-boot with a beer bottle, and hooked some cheap aquarium tubing from the hose barb on my can to the vacuum advance barb:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Great idea! Apparently, necessity is the Mothership of invention.
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: $11 super-awesome DIY smoke machine vacuum leak detector Reply with quote

indytriple wrote:
veloandy wrote:
Then I pulled the AFM, plugged the S-boot with a beer bottle, and hooked some cheap aquarium tubing from the hose barb on my can to the vacuum advance barb:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Great idea! Apparently, necessity is the Mothership of invention.



HaHa. I just caught that, but it's still early and my first cup of coffee hasn't kicked in yet.

Hey andy, I'm here in FC and I have an '80 westy. I haven't seen you around. We should get together and compare notes.
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climberjohn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant, I love it, great post!

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kshbaja
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long does the burning rag produce smoke for?
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veloandy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys crack me up!

Come to think of it...when the can was billowing smoke from the tube I was strangely reminded of the over-the-top props of a Cheech and Chong movie...

Sanchius: I actually started looking through bee keeping sites as I was thinking about this! Apparently cardboard egg crates throw off a lot of smoke too (and might be more common in a modern/suburban/urban house like mine than rotted burlap sacks)

FNGRUVN: I'd love to get together! I was just lamenting my lack of local gear head friends! I'm not too surprised that you haven't seen me driving around -- I've only put a grand total of around ~100 miles on my Westy since I got it on the road a few weeks ago. Just brace yourself for how beat/ugly/tired my Westy is when you see it in person. I'll send you a PM.

kshbaja: I used a piece of T shirt that was ~4"X10". I let it burn for maybe a minute or two before closing the lid on the can. I let it smoke for maybe another 4 minutes before I had found the leaks. It might have burned longer, but I popped the lid and filled the can with my garden hose to put everything out.
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kshbaja
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was it hard to seal the compressor and barb fittings into the cap? Did you just use regular old solder?

I am actually in the middle of trying to find an EVAP leak on another car and was just about to give up and take it to a shop with a smoke machine.
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veloandy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi kshbaja...it was pretty easy to seal...and as you can tell from the pics, I'm a pretty crappy solderer.

I just drilled a couple of holes to fit the barbs using my Harbor Freight stepped drill bit, stuck the barbs in, and spread flux paste on the base of the fittings.

I heated the can and fittings with a MAPP gas torch (but a propane torch would have been fine too) and soldered it using plumbing solder. The molten solder flows toward the heat of the torch anywhere you put flux. Don't use electrical (rosin-core) solder...that won't really work well.

If you don't have a propane or MAPP gas torch...you could also just JB-weld them on. They only have to hold 5 PSI so you don't have to do a stellar job.

This would totally work on a different kind of car...and hopefully save the massive $$$ vs. going to a shop with a smoke machine. HOWEVER...you might want to remove the airflow sensor from your other car...Some cars have mass-airflow-sensors which draw the intake air over a heated honeycomb and measure the air density by how fast the honecomb is cooled...I imagine that getting a thin layer of smoky residue on the honeycomb could be bad...but a few minutes worth of smoke probably wouldn't be the end of the world.

Good luck!
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DAIZEE
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy's Bong it shall be! How inventive. Now was the beer bottle serviced before or after the test. A second one would be indicated none the less for the success. Hm Andy's Bong, Libby's Bong; highly marketable and/or home made!!!! GREAT THINKING!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am so building one of these! Nice thing is I always look for ways to make it better, but I don't see that as a problem here! Great find, thanks for sharing!

**edit**

I have found something to use rather than a paint can. Same family line however. I have an old siphon feed spray gun that I broke the pick up tube on. I am gonna see if I can make it work in the same capacity. The benifit being I don't need to solder any parts in place. The tank has a place for ingoing air and the vent tube will be used for outgoing smoke. Plus the size of the vent allows me to connect it to normal vacuum line tubes. (This was a $10 Buffalo tools sprayer)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veloandy wrote:
You guys crack me up!

Sanchius: I actually started looking through bee keeping sites as I was thinking about this! Apparently cardboard egg crates throw off a lot of smoke too (and might be more common in a modern/suburban/urban house like mine than rotted burlap sacks)



Actually, it was mackaymanx who brought up the bee smoker.

Not to hijack the thread, but it's funny, we happen to keep a couple bee hives at various altitudes here along the Front Range. The most incredible honey I've ever experienced comes from a high altitude hive we keep in an abandoned log cabin on some friends property, armored against bears, that sits right next to a massive wild flower field at 9000'. We call it "Hi Honey".

One night after dinner (and several bottles of wine), the "Hi Honey" name led us to consider contacting some of the medical herb growers in the area to site a hive in one of their grow operations to make "High Honey". But, we were told they don't actually want that stuff pollinated. Hummm, I guess this brings this post back in line with the "Andy's bong" theme of this thread.
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