|07-18-2009, 12:17 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2009
Tommy's Tips: Poor Man's Engine Dam
Yesterday I met a couple of new Baja drivers at the local Cruise-In. Some bashing went on and a killer jump with a 5T that resulted in a nose dive from about 10 feet in the air [it was spectacular!]... and survived to keep running!
So I started to ask about what these guys did to their car and lo... no one has dam'd the motor vents although they run on grass, gravel, and other such spine chilling environs where those poor fan blades are put in peril... or the dreaded disassembly to remove the bird's nest from the cylinder cooling fins.
My car came with an Outerwears pull start cover and a really nice job on adding screening on the crankcase vents ...except that the bonding medium gave up the stick on aluminum. I lost one of the 3 screens at the beach.
Since I was redoing my cylinder gasket anyway, I popped out all three dams and cleaned up the crankcase. From there I started looking for alternatives... and racked my brain for days looking for good dam material. I finally wandered upon some hook-n-loop base material at Joanne's Fabrics. Comes in a variety of colors and costs... get this... $0.49/sheet! ...and I had some zip ties on hand.
When I got home I started to see what patterns would fit. Sure enough, with some easy trimming and strategic stuffing, I came up with what would be pretty effective rock and grass protection. What I don't know and never will... is just how long it would last. I do know that is holds well on it's own... no worries about sucking these in.
One of the issues is that you do need to remove the flywheel. They are installed from the inside and the tabs are fed outside where the zip tie cinches up the install.
Please note that the material's pattern is slightly rectangular. It makes a difference in which orientation you use. If you can find this in a stiffer nylon, rather than the basic plastic of this red one, this would be better.
I am not running this setup, and you will see a more "engineered" solution in my next post. But I do urge anyone running in gravel to do s.o.m.e.t.h.i.n.g to protect the fan blades. Breaking a fan blade will cause balance problems and will prematurely mess up your crank bearings.
You can follow the image to see exactly the pattern I cut to make this work. I also suggest using these same zip tie locations. Hope this helps:
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