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dgsaz Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:10 am

mikelars wrote: Here is the restored license plate in place…

I think I am gravitating toward some new Panchito heads and 1.25 rockers to better take advantage of the dual Weber 40 IDF carbs, performance 1 1/2 heater boxes, 218 cam and SuperFlow exhaust. I think I bottlenecked my engine by selecting the wrong heads (I didn’t know the difference between L3s and regular Dual Port AA 500s.

Oh well, $700+ mistake…

Maybe not. I think the ACN L-3 heads are based off the new AA 500s castings.

Go over to the Performance forum and ask about having your new AA heads ported to the level you need for the cam.

There's a guy in there from Denmark his name is Alstrup, read some of the threads on heads that he is involved in. He knows a lot about heads, porting, flow rates, etc.

Another guy is Mofoco, he actually cast his own heads and preps them from stock, super stock, race to OH SHIT. You could have him your port and polish on your existing heads.

You can call John at ACN. He is vendor I got my L-3s from.

Head over to the performance forum, ask a few questions, read up on heads and porting. BTW the 1.25 rockers along with better flowing heads is a good idea.


mikelars Sun Sep 05, 2021 11:55 am

Thanks dgsaz

I posted my question here

Just wondering if dropping the $900 on Panchito 40/35 and 1.25 rockers will get me up to that 112HP that the Dyno App was suggesting…

Also I have no idea what the delivery time would be since everything seems to be out of stock at the moment…

David Raistrick Sun Sep 05, 2021 2:31 pm

mikelars wrote: Also, does anyone have the “stock lookalike” version from Vintage Speed? It says good up to 90hp, which is likely about what I have got. I would consider switching to this if I thought it were quieter with same or similar power

I happened across these notes a week or so ago by chance (and now I dont know where they are), but I took some sound measurements from the drivers seat, sitting still, with my stock german steel exhaust and my VS "sport" exhaust on my 1600. At idle, the VS increased by 4-5db. At 2500rpm, the stock exhaust and the VS exhaust were exactly the same. (same above that as well)

With wind noise and the exhaust outlet facing away from the driver, at any kind of speed, I'd expect the cabin noise is mostly the fan, vibration, harmonics, and the un-jacketed cam/lifter/valve/combustion noise (since we don't have water in there to dampen it like some cars)

mikelars Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:01 am

Did a somewhat questionable job on my rear latch - the little indented metal where the latch attaches had several cracks or rust thru spots. The reality is I need metal work on the rear sheet metal that holds the rubber seal for the rear hatch, but it is not quite bad enough to take on yet…

For now it is Bondo with primer and Lotus White L282:

BarryL Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:40 pm

Looks like you made it solid for many more hatch closes.

BarryL Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:42 pm

LAGrunthaner wrote: Wow mikelars, you did an outstanding job. Looking forward to seeing it on your bus.
Did you have any flooding from the big storm?

mikelars Mon Sep 06, 2021 6:46 pm

No flooding here (yet) - Henri went to the north (NY) and Ida went to the south and west of us…. Fingers crossed for the rest of the hurricane season. The bus is in the garage - so no issues there, though I have been out in some gnarly weather in the bus. It is quite waterproof until the major storms, and then there is a bit of dribble from the safaris…

Daddybus Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:40 am

Rejetted the 42DCNF Berg Specials after a COVID hibernation. The Daddybus is Runin's smooth

BarryL Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:36 pm

mikelars wrote: Restored a 1966 license plate for my ‘66 Split Bus:

1. Stripped it down to bare metal
2. Fixed minor bends
3. Cleaned with mineral spirits
4. Primed with etch primer
5. Sprayed 3 coats of black automotive gloss (allowed to dry hard)
6. Sprayed 3 coats of “caterpillar yellow” over the black (allowed to dry medium)
7. Used wet sandpaper and rubbing compound to “reveal” black lettering
8. Performed a final scrub with rubbing compound

Before and After

So perfect. Is the "reveal" method how the DMV did it? I've always wondered how they got the perfect top color.

mandraks Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:57 am

Metal blanks are inserted into presses and stamped with rounded edging and a series of characters, usually including both numbers and letters.
The whole plate is painted in its main color, and the raised characters (and sometimes decorations) are painted in a contrasting color with an automated roller that is set to the correct height to only paint the raised elements.
The two-color plate is then treated with reflective coating. This is a paint-like substance made of extremely fine glass beads that refract (bend) light and bounce it back at many times the brightness of the paint alone. Plates made by this method are usually considered partially reflective because the application of the reflective coating over the dual levels of the plate is not uniform.

Read more:

mikelars Fri Sep 10, 2021 5:05 pm

I am pretty sure the DMV has rubber rollers to apply paint to the raised letters. But at home in your own garage this is extremely difficult to reproduce.

If you try to hand paint the letters they always look amateur, unless you are really skilled. But with the reveal method and rubbing compound, it is a pretty “safe” way to only reveal the color on the raised letters.

Truth be told, this was my second attempt - the first attempt was an utter failure of wet sanding too much thru the black, and clear coat wrinkling up and I had to re-strip the entire plate.

Anyway, I thought I would share this method which yields a pretty decent result…

BarryL Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:31 pm

I had a place called Darryl's License Plate Restoration do two sets for me. They came back flawless but he refused to relinquish any secrets.

cdennisg Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:27 pm

Not sure if this applies to any other states, but in Idaho, in order to register a Year of Manufacture license plate, it must be original. According to the verbiage on the DMV form, your plate must be "in serviceable condition as manufactured".

Now, I know of folks that have repainted, and gotten by. This is simply a caveat.

Look real close under "Year of Manufacture".

Also, if you use real old plates, you have to sign a release form acknowledging the fact it isn't reflective at night. Glad they can help me to be safe in my antique car.

BarryL Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:13 pm

Hand arcing didn't work very good. Empi parts are total junk.

Post from myself a few pages back.
BarryL wrote: '65's rear brakes were needing attention. Cleanup and new EMPI Brazil


Drums were ok to scuff.

New shoes come smaller than 250mm diameter (9.84") so arcing is necessary to get full

shoe contact.

No one local does arcing any more so I do them myself by placing 1/2 diameter of drum

with sandpaper.

Hand sanding.

Shoes all done ready to finish assembly. My drums are both turned oversize.

Here is the fit after hand arcing.

All back together with the lining a little thinner in the centers.

Because my drums are turned extreme far the e-brake adjustment follows suit.

New hoses too today with bleed tomorrow.

BarryL wrote: Hand arced front shoes.

Close enough.

Scuffed drums all ready to reinstall.

Hand arcing and Empi parts are a complete bust.

Many years and many miles ago I bought two full sets of complete German
ATE/FTE brake parts: slaves, shoes, hoses, masters and shoes. I installed
one full set of all including the final turn and arc of my original drums.
I stored the other set away from weather. At that time I had the spare
shoes and a spare set of all four drums turned and arced, also put in safe

Now was time to redo the brakes and that is how this all started. I needed
my bus and didn’t want to wait for delivered parts; big mistake. Multiple
places from TheSamba to shops and parts houses told me not to use my NOS
ATE/FTE (wrapped in original cosmoline paper) parts as they would not be
any good after all this time. So….I bought off-the-shelf all Empi slaves,
hoses and shoes from my local parts house, Vee Parts. The rear slaves were
Brazil and the front slaves were China with all hoses and shoes China. I
asked the salesman if I should open and inspect the slaves as people here
have said the China stuff was crap. He laughed at me and said, “Bolt it all
up and go”.

Regarding arcing the shoes, I read up on some Jalopy forums how to do it by
hand. That is how I ended up doing the shoes by hand. Now I did not like
how well the brakes stopped so I decided to open the rear drums and see
what could be improved. Right away I found the rear Brazil slaves leaking.
I had mixed sets of right and left rear shoes stored already arced to size
and decided to try them knowing I needed to get back into the slaves before
the shoes were wrecked by fluid.

The front brakes were not making me happy at all so I decided to open them
up and see how much contact area I had with the hand arced front shoes. All
four of the front Empi China slaves were leaking. Only about a third of each
shoe were contacting the drums. I decided to sand them more, clean the fluid
and buy a little time until I could get German slaves and hoses from
Wolfsburg West. Theoretically with the sandpaper in-between the shoe and
drum you can never get a perfect arc since there will always be the width
of the paper preventing it. I think that you people with drums close to
original size would benefit from hand arcing but my drums were so large
that so much shoe has to be removed it is impractical so I’m calling the
hand arcing a bust. It took me the better part of a day just to sand one
shoe close to all the way. I ended up with two tennis elbows, two sore
shoulders, gritty eyes, sore throat, raw fingers and a stiff neck so I
nixed the whole idea and went to plan B.

Plan B: use stored front drums, add new bearings and seals with matched shoes to be used with new German FTE front and rear slaves from Wolfsburg West with new German hoses.

$300 of Empi China/Brazil junk into the trash.

$600 of German quality FTE parts onto the bus.

For the rears I put previously brake-shop arced shoes with new German rear
slaves on same drums.

For the fronts I put matched brake-shop turned (251mm “first turn”) drums and matched brake-shop arced shoes with new bearings and seals with all four new German front slaves and German front hoses.

All is like new, tested and leak checked. Stopping is back to factory fresh.

Hand arcing can be done but should use 60, 80, 100, then finally maybe 120 grit so the paper thickness is minimal for the final fit.

Hand arcing would be best for close to virgin drums unless you want to sand a lot off the shoes.

EMPI China and Brazil slaves are junk and a burn in my experience.

cdennisg Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:45 pm

Not that we should be required to do so, but I always take apart wheel cylinders for inspection and cleaning before install. Especially those from our friends to the West, no matter what make of automobile I am servicing.

ToolBox Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:10 am

cdennisg wrote: Not that we should be required to do so, but I always take apart wheel cylinders for inspection and cleaning before install. Especially those from our friends to the West, no matter what make of automobile I am servicing.

No matter where the parts come from I always pull them apart and check.

I am also going to send the hydrulic parts on my truck out for sleeving and rebuilding the next time it is down for service.

BarryL Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:07 pm

So you guys open and inspect the FTE ones? I trusted them and no whiff of leaks anywhere. But I've always trusted FTE and ATE.

The front slaves were pairs on the left and right but different Chinese makes.
One side fronts were fairly good quality and could have been left in...maybe. The other side front pair actually had chips of sharp metal from taps as well as porous casting so bad that any honing was a joke. I did open them and cleaned them and greased them with brake lube hoping the rubber would somehow seal when pressurized.

cdennisg Wed Sep 15, 2021 6:23 pm

BarryL wrote: So you guys open and inspect the FTE ones?

Yes. An Aisin on my Japanese vehicles. And Delco or FOMOCO or MOPAR on my US origin vehicles.

BarryL Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:04 pm

On a Big Nut rear drums when you pull the drums off if you place a 4" X 1 1/4" pipe nipple (plastic or steel) onto the spline and snug the axle nut down there won't be gear oil weep. I forgot to get a photo.

Who.Me? Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:43 am

BarryL wrote: On a Big Nut rear drums when you pull the drums off if you place a 4" X 1 1/4" pipe nipple (plastic or steel) onto the spline and snug the axle nut down there won't be gear oil weep. I forgot to get a photo.

Nice tip.

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