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Nostalgia Fuel Dragster--Blower Manifold (01/28/23)


Straightliner59
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For the past couple of months, or so, I have been giving serious consideration to bringing this project back to the bench. I really haven't touched it in nearly 25 years. I debated beginning this thread, but decided that doing so, would, perhaps, keep me honest!🙂 I have a couple of repairs to make to the chassis, before I really jump in, but, it should be fun! I was having fun with it, before, and kind of became paralyzed by the fear that I'd forgotten something, you know, brass, and all...once the paint's on it.

One of the first orders of business will be to build a new body, this time from flashing, rather than the tooling aluminum I used in the interior of the Vega. It should be relatively simple. Since the existing panels fit nicely, they can be used to make patterns for new ones.

Here are photos of the project, both old, and current (not that anything's changed, other than I haven't installed the body panels, recently. I should mention that the nose and tail will not be trifled with, in any way! They are hammered and soldered K&S tin sheet, and will work fine, with the new panels. As always, questions, comments and critiques are welcomed. Thanks for looking!

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3 hours ago, Joe Nunes said:

That is amazing!  👍👍

I look forward to seeing how this project comes along. 

Joe

Thanks so much, Joe! It looks like there will be progress to follow. I have already started removing paint from the areas of the chassis that need repaired (although one is really just an improvement over my original idea.). I guess my best plan is to make the fixes, build the new body, then start pinning everything together, so I can be sure it's all there. This is my most ambitious project, to date, but, I feel confident that now is the time that I can "get 'er done"! The question mark has now been removed from the thread's title!

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  • Straightliner59 changed the title to Nostalgia Fuel Dragster Scratchbuild--Next Project! (11/14/22)

Okay...here we go! I got the steering box mount re-soldered, and installed pins to align the heads, while engine work goes on. The timing cover I had was wrong. The one from Miss Deal looks like a Donovan unit. I cast one in acrylic nail resin, using a mold I recently made. 

I can't begin to say, how much money I have saved on parts kits over the decades, just by learning to make and use simple, open-faced molds. Most valve covers, cylinder heads, intake manifolds, and many other components only require very basic mold-making materials and skills to accomplish. The materials are much more diverse, forgiving, and readily-available than they were, back in the mid-'80s. I'd recommend looking into it, if you haven't, and you have a need for cheap, maybe not-so-common parts!

Most of my early work, here will involve replacing parts I've already made. I'm considering attempting to mill a new fuel tank and valve covers from aluminum, but, either of those would be down the road. I will look for parts that I think will be good ones to improve my machining skills. The idler pulley bracket will be an early replacement--this time, in aluminum. 

I have already made a boatload of pieces and parts for this project. I will share some of them, as the journey continues. Thanks for looking!

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When I started to remove the idler bracket, the fasteners wouldn't come loose, and the bracket broke--unfortunate, in that I was planning to use it as a pattern for the new piece. Anyway, the brads that were pinning the bracket in place had rusted, seizing themselves in place. I guess steel parts will do that, sitting for so long! 

I made a new bracket from aluminum flashing, and new standoffs from 1/32" brass tube. At some point, some years back, I found a piece of damaged copper weather stripping lying on the ground. It was soft and very thin. It looked like head gasket material, to me. I've used some of it, here. It should be a nice contrast to the aluminum colors of the block and heads. Any comments are welcome. Thanks for looking!

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  • Straightliner59 changed the title to Nostalgia Fuel Dragster Scratchbuild--New Parts (11/15/22)

Such an amazing beginning. Why did you put it away if I may ask? We all have reasons why we do this. Sometimes when we revisit them we have forgotten why. I have done it, perhaps most of us have. I recently opened a 1/4 built project and thought "Why did I stop building this?". I am glad you are back to it as it is so ambitious and is something I am struggling with myself. I have a project that is ready to go with everything I need but the gumption to press forward.

Perhaps this build will inspire me. Keep on, I will be watching and cheering you on.

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13 hours ago, Dragline said:

Such an amazing beginning. Why did you put it away if I may ask? We all have reasons why we do this. Sometimes when we revisit them we have forgotten why. I have done it, perhaps most of us have. I recently opened a 1/4 built project and thought "Why did I stop building this?". I am glad you are back to it as it is so ambitious and is something I am struggling with myself. I have a project that is ready to go with everything I need but the gumption to press forward.

Perhaps this build will inspire me. Keep on, I will be watching and cheering you on.

Hi, Bob. Thanks for checking in! I think, at the time, I didn't quite have the confidence that I could finish it. I paralyzed myself, wondering/worrying that I had forgotten something. Some projects I had put aside, just because I was bored with them. Over the last five years, though, I've finished several projects that had been languishing for many years. I always knew that, some day, I'd come back to this one. It feels like the right time. I'm sure, now, because when I started giving it a serious look, and playing around with it, it just felt good! So good, in fact, that I actually told it so! 😂

I hope that you find the inspiration to go on with your project, as well! If this dragster can be a part of that, then that makes me happy! 

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3 hours ago, Straightliner59 said:

Hi, Bob. Thanks for checking in! I think, at the time, I didn't quite have the confidence that I could finish it. I paralyzed myself, wondering/worrying that I had forgotten something. Some projects I had put aside, just because I was bored with them. Over the last five years, though, I've finished several projects that had been languishing for many years. I always knew that, some day, I'd come back to this one. It feels like the right time. I'm sure, now, because when I started giving it a serious look, and playing around with it, it just felt good! So good, in fact, that I actually told it so! 😂

I hope that you find the inspiration to go on with your project, as well! If this dragster can be a part of that, then that makes me happy! 

Thanks for letting me in on why. My reasom is similar. I didnt feel I was ready for such a momentous task. Your answeisis just the fodder I need to crack open a box or two and revisit my old nemesis.

Thanks for taking a moment to answer my rather pointed question. It makes posting here worthwhile.

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19 hours ago, Dragline said:

Thanks for letting me in on why. My reasom is similar. I didnt feel I was ready for such a momentous task. Your answeisis just the fodder I need to crack open a box or two and revisit my old nemesis.

Thanks for taking a moment to answer my rather pointed question. It makes posting here worthwhile.

No sweat! That kind of stuff is a reality, for us modelers. I wish you luck, in your pursuit! I'm trying to figure out just what all these tabs are for! I did fix the steering box support. I found a missing tab on the front axle (for a radius rod), so I will need to make a new one, and clean up that area, so it can be soldered on. I'm trying to decide the best way to sort all this stuff! Yikes! 

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19 minutes ago, Tortuga Kustomz said:

Awesome job

Thank you, Marcos! 

Here are some of the things I have fixed, so far...I reattached the steering box support. I removed the canard mounts, and made new mounting points for them. I will build new supports, better than the old ones, and, so I can mount them after the body is installed. I made a new tab to mount the radius rod, to replace the missing one.

The spindles were built and given to me by my long-time friend and mentor, Don Fahrni. I will be proud to use them on this project, in his honor, and his memory.

At some point, I must have discovered an efficient way to replicate engine-turning. There appears to be plenty of it, here!

I think my best plan of attack will be to build the steering, so I can get the car on the wheels, first. Unfortunately, it's not much, exciting, but, it's stuff that needs to be done. Comments, questions and critiques are always welcomed. Thanks for looking!

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  • Straightliner59 changed the title to Nostalgia Fuel Dragster Scratchbuild--Small Update (11/17/22)

I never had the pleasure of meeting Don bit I admired his work over the years. I remember seeing his work in the MSC ads and in SAE in the 80s when he was building Revell top fuel stuff and that was the first time I had ever seen scratchbuilt hat and port injection. He showed me what was possible and raised the bar as far as detailing was concerned.

As to that K valve. I make my own but that tan one looks like resin to me. Are they available this way or is it a copy of one of your own? I need to start casting because when I make them I am inconsistent. Ive made some really good ones, then made a really goobered up one. And the time spent is not a small thing.

I have pics of my own somewhere that I'll have to dig up and show you.

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36 minutes ago, Dragline said:

I never had the pleasure of meeting Don bit I admired his work over the years. I remember seeing his work in the MSC ads and in SAE in the 80s when he was building Revell top fuel stuff and that was the first time I had ever seen scratchbuilt hat and port injection. He showed me what was possible and raised the bar as far as detailing was concerned.

As to that K valve. I make my own but that tan one looks like resin to me. Are they available this way or is it a copy of one of your own? I need to start casting because when I make them I am inconsistent. Ive made some really good ones, then made a really goobered up one. And the time spent is not a small thing.

I have pics of my own somewhere that I'll have to dig up and show you.

I have a ton of memories of Don. I first met him, not long after I got back into modeling in 1982 (I only took a five-year hiatus for sex, drugs and rock and roll--literally!) when he was working part time, in a hobby shop. We hit it off, because our modeling philosophy was very much the same--we were both always trying something new. That exchange of thought, and having someone else to bounce our crazy notions off of was beneficial to both of us as modelers. Our friendship went far beyond modeling, however. I often hung out at his place with him, and his brother, playing cribbage, watching TV--just hanging out. His brother was acerbic and bitter, and freaking hilarious! 

The barrel valve is kind of an interesting story. It was one year, in the mid '80s, I think maybe at Salt Lake, Don had built a then-current style fuel altered. The main critique against it was just that it was "too cluttered" with detail. I said, "I don't think that's the problem. I think the barrel valve is too big." When I got home, I started messing around with one. The first one looked good, but it was still too big. I started, again. This time, I was happy with it. Next time I saw Don, I showed him the new Enderle barrel valve. He said, "How did you do that?!" I said, "I made one, as small as I could, then I threw it away, and made one even smaller!" We had a good laugh, over that. Anyway, I still have the original mold we made of that valve. 

You're right about the MSC ads. He also featured in some for Detail Master, as well as providing Gregg with a lot of content in the magazine's earlier days. He built a Thunderbird Pro Stocker that was on the cover of (then)SAE. He was always willing to share his knowledge with anyone who was interested in learning. 

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You are dead on about the sizing thing. My first attempts were always too large. As you said, I made one, then made it smaller. I use DM fittings since they are absulutely the best and can be made into any combo but they are tiny. So I use their size as a baseline for the valve. And it was instantly better. And the resin fittings from Top Studio are also nice have you seen those?

I have more examples and better ones but they are currently packed away. But this Ivo car is an earlier one, and the Polar Lights one is as basic as one can be. But I press on.

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18 hours ago, Dragline said:

You are dead on about the sizing thing. My first attempts were always too large. As you said, I made one, then made it smaller. I use DM fittings since they are absulutely the best and can be made into any combo but they are tiny. So I use their size as a baseline for the valve. And it was instantly better. And the resin fittings from Top Studio are also nice have you seen those?

I have more examples and better ones but they are currently packed away. But this Ivo car is an earlier one, and the Polar Lights one is as basic as one can be. But I press on.

Those Enderle barrel valves are tricky to build! That one looks good. The last 20 years, or so, I've been making most of my fittings. Ever since Plastruct and Evergreen released hex stock. Lately, it's been made much easier, with my lathe, and high speed carbide bits. That combination works great! I generally don't even turn the lathe on, I just use it to align the bit and the stock, and turn it by hand. The manufactured fittings are beautiful, though!  Nice work, my friend!

 

 

 

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I have been using HO scale model railroad handrail stanchions for rod ends, for many years. The tie rod on this dragster is in three sections. Therefore, it needs two joints to make it work. Two handrail stanchions wasn't going to work--it would look ridiculous! Unless! I mounted one in a pin vise, and clamped it in the mill vise, and milled half the ball off the end. That looked promising, so I tried another...

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  • Straightliner59 changed the title to Nostalgia Fuel Dragster Scratchbuild--Rod Ends (11/18/22)

Reading about the fabrication of various model parts is a fascinating learning experience. Please keep sharing your techniques and photos with us snuffies out here at the bench. The knowledge and details shown on this forum is so amazing!

Joe

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Although it is beyond my realm of modeling, I am intrigued by the craftsmanship that some put into a model.  I am simply amazed by the work you are doing with this rail.   
Although I might suggest you find another block, looks like a couple of pistons have exited that one (groan).

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You're doing a great job man, my first attempt was crazy enough, i did like 3 try outs before i get it right but at the end was extremely worth it, my was in 1?25 scale and i'm happy with the result, i can do better for the next one but for this first one i'm good

 

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17 hours ago, Joe Nunes said:

Reading about the fabrication of various model parts is a fascinating learning experience. Please keep sharing your techniques and photos with us snuffies out here at the bench. The knowledge and details shown on this forum is so amazing!

Joe

Thanks, Joe! I like to show what I'm doing, because that's how I learn(ed)--observing what others were doing, and trying it out. Before you know it, you'll be asking yourself, "I wonder if this will work?" There are some fantastic builders on this forum! Some of them make me shake my head in wonder and amazement, too! Thanks for looking in!

 

7 hours ago, TarheelRick said:

Although it is beyond my realm of modeling, I am intrigued by the craftsmanship that some put into a model.  I am simply amazed by the work you are doing with this rail.   
Although I might suggest you find another block, looks like a couple of pistons have exited that one (groan).

Thanks, Rick! This is what is fun, for me. Yes, that was one of my early blocks--things went south, when I fired it, so, I had to limit it to static display duty!😄

2 hours ago, Tortuga Kustomz said:

You're doing a great job man, my first attempt was crazy enough, i did like 3 try outs before i get it right but at the end was extremely worth it, my was in 1?25 scale and i'm happy with the result, i can do better for the next one but for this first one i'm good

 

 

That's a great first attempt, Marcos! It's taken me decades to get to the place I could finally say to myself, "It's okay. Learn from this one, and move on." That, alone, has gotten more models off the "island of neglected projects" and into my display case, than anything else! Thank you for your kind words, sir!

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More steering stuff. The milled stanchions worked out, beautifully! I also milled one pair, a few thou, on each side, for the end that mounts to the spindle. It works even better than I'd hoped! It operates very smoothly. I'm kinda happy about it!🙂 The center section needs about 1/16" in length. I can add that in the thickness of a couple of nuts. Now, I need to figure out how I am going to hold these things together! Your questions, comments and critiques are always welcome. Thanks for looking!

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  • Straightliner59 changed the title to Nostalgia Fuel Dragster--Blower Manifold (01/28/23)

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