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Old 08-30-2006, 07:02 PM   #1
chopolds
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Default Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Yeah, I always seem to miss tech week with my how-to's, but what the hell!
Here's a project I just finished for the 61 Dodge I've been fooling with. It has a 2 bbl carb, and the chrome air filter that it had was lost, or is still in the owner's garage somewhere. While I wait to find a nice 3 x 2 manifold, or an aluminum 4 bbl one, I have to live with the Stromberg WW carb. So I wanted to make a nice cover for it. At first I planned on making something very "Jetsons" for it. Wild...incorporating the different colors I have on the car. But as I worked on it, it soon transformed into a more conservative, classy even, simple design. So subtle, I even opted to paint it gloss black, with just a bit of paint highlite on it.
I started with a foreign car oval shaped air filter I found at AutoZone. I traced the outline of it onto MDF (medium density fiberboard) to make a hammer form. I made 2 pieces, so I could sandwich the sheet metal (16 or 18 ga) between them, and hammer out the edges.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:08 PM   #2
chopolds
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Next, I clamped the metal in between them, with a hole drilled through all 3 layers ( and nut and bolted) to keep it from shifting around. I also clamped the assembly in my vise to make it easier to hammer on. I used a flat hammer, as there were all outside curves. Work slowly and over a wide area, so you don't put too much upset in the metal. Working carefully, you can produce a flange without any wrinkles at all! As you hammer out the metal, it is shrinking in this instance. Don't worry about the wrinkles, as they will gradually 'stack' into themselves, shrinking the metal as you hammer it. This works quickly as you are using a hard hammer on a soft backup surface. If you were hitting steel against steel, as hammer on dolly, you would be stretching the metal.
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Last edited by chopolds; 08-31-2006 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:12 PM   #3
chopolds
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

When finished making the edge, unclamp it, and carefully pry out the metal. It should be difficult to do, if you got the metal nice and tight against the sides.
At this point, I noticed some not so great edges, shrinking tucks that weren't fully shrunk, still wrinkly. So I used an appropriately shaped dolly to finish hammering them smooth. I work carefully here, so as not to stretch the steel. Light multiple hits, instead of direct hard hammering.
Now I have a nice oval with a flange! Next step, make the opening for the carb.
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Last edited by chopolds; 08-30-2006 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:19 PM   #4
chopolds
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Of course I have to make it more difficult than it has to be!
I want to drop the air filter over the carb, to hide it better, and have enough underhood space for the air filter. So I need to put a 2" drop into the base of the filter. My jigsaw has an adjustable foot, so I can make a cut at 45*. I trace the inside of the paper filter, and then go in another 1/2", and cut out an oval, angling it toward the inside. Cut an oval in the sheet metal, enough for a 2" lip, and clamp it onto the wood agian. No sandwich this time, I just use clamps and hammer the inside metal into the 45* cut. Not as easy as you think, lots of metal stretching here!
When finished, I cut out a piece for the center, which has the appropriate sized hole for the carb throat..
This will be welded onto our base.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Oh...to strengthen the part of the base that goes around the carb throat, I hammer in a small lip, so it doesn't bend when tightening.

Actually, in the beginning I made 2 ovals with the flanges, one for the base, one for the top.
Here's an idea I originally played with. Making a shrunken Cadillac styled air filter for the Dodge. I was just going to weld the oval top onto a 2" 180* exhaust pipe (the mandrel bent ones you can buy pretty cheap). Open it up with a cut-off tool, shape the scooped openings nice, and perhaps put on an expanded metal front piece to finish it off. Would have looked nice, but too old a look for my Dodge, and I wanted something more unique!
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
chopolds
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Here is where I went way off target with my design. I couldn't find anything I really like to put something "spacely" together, so I went with something I had cooking in my head for another project.
I DID use the 2 inch 180* Ubend, in fact I used two!
I cut them so the oval I made would sit on top of the two welded together, with the flanges I hammer in, sitting right in the center of the tubing.
Then I used a 1 in. hole saw, and drilled in 2 holes, 1 1/2" apart. I did this in 8 locations, evenly spaced around the oval of tubing.
Using a cut off tool, I connected the 2 hole saw cuts into an oval.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Now to finish up.
I cut out the excess tubing on the inside, so the top would fit over the base and paper element. This wasn't as easy as I thought, I should have marked out the tubing and cut it before I welded the oval hammerformed top onto it!
I welded the oval top from the inside, so I could keep the seam on the outside, as a paint break, if I decided to paint it more than one color.
Some grinding, a little bit of body filler, and then primer!
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Then off to paint!
I couldn't decide on which of the "wild" colors to use on the filter. None seemed appropriate. So I did it in gloss black. But then to jazz it up a bit, I used the engine color for a scallop on the oval top, VW bright green with a bit of candy green mixed in, with a white pinstripe around it.
To finish off the oval openings I drilled in it, and give it more class, with a racy feel, I drilled and countersunk a hole in each end of the oval. I cut up a spaghetti strainer and used the mesh to go on the backside of the openings, with an oval head #4 phillips screw securing it from the outside. To be 100% safe I even put a few dabs of silicone sealer on the inside to secure it.
Here it is!
And installed on the engine!
i figure I've got about 12-14 hours in it, and very little money.
C'mon guys, let's see you build some more variations on this theme!!
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Last edited by chopolds; 08-31-2006 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:40 PM   #9
RodLand
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Very nice work. I have toyed with a like idea for a while, so it's time for me to do some work. Thanks for building a fire under my dead A##.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

very nice work, inspiring for sure
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Awsome tech, very cool.
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

that's really pretty darn cool
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

very fuckin cool!!!! NICE!!!
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

That's pretty cool, I like it a lot. I need to make a custom air cleaner for my T-bucket, but I was thinking fiberglass, since I work with it all day anyway. With the 'glass I can do all kinds of funky compound curves a lot easier than with metal. Very inspiring for sure, nice job.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:03 PM   #15
Haunted Ken
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Awesome! I was gonna make one of my own this wekend anyways... Thanks for the info and the inspiration..... if mine comes out half as cool as that one I'll be happy!!!!!
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

That's so freakin cool . . . I would have had a pile of steel and half aborted attempts . . . kind of like my brake pedal adapter I've been working on. Great tech peice!
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

impresive
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Now this is what I like about the HAMB creative tech, you guys rock.
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Got my attention!!! Very nice...going thru the pics one can see where they can take off in many directions. Very informative on how to do so with real world how and why not Thanks!!!
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Old 08-30-2006, 08:28 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tech day! Kustom made air filter

Very nice work...looks awesome and very different!

Dig the colors!
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