jump to example.com
Posts by: Lex Dodson

The next series of steps in rebuilding the Eaton M90 requires some new parts and careful disassembly. An arbor press is a must for this stage. Once the snout’s removed, it needs to be disassembled. There are two bearings, a seal, a spring, and the drive shaft inside, all of which need to be removed without damaging the snout. Only two snout parts carry over from the old to the rebuilt blower: the drive shaft, and the press-on, three-stud coupler.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

A commenter after a recent Toolmonger post about French curves complained about the cost of 3D software, which is a very good point. Retail copies of software like SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, or CATIA can go for ridiculous amounts. No, seriously. Their markups can make Snap-On reps run for cover.

But, as is the case with basically every rule in human history, there’s a loophole. An online retailer called JourneyEd offers software at educational prices, which are massively less than retail. SolidWorks, my graphics program of choice, sells for $140 through JourneyEd, but full retail is $2995. 95.3% off, anyone?

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

I just replaced my trusty but annoying 3AA Maglite with the incandescent bulb and twist-on lens. I’ve never been too much of a Maglite fan, but it’s hard to argue with the sheer number of them out there. They work, but now there’s a new hotness in my roll cab’s top drawer.

It’s Dorcy’s 160-lumen, 3AA K2, model number 41-4297. I’ve had it for about six hours, and I have no idea why the switch took me so bloody long. It’s a pocket rocket; I’d swear it’s brighter than a lot of car headlights. At about 5″ long, it’s pretty compact, though the flared lens housing makes it a little uncomfortable in one’s pocket. It’s a small price to pay, though, for swapping my peashooter for a tactical nuke. The switch on the rear is translucent, showing a battery status light that stays green until the battery life drops below 20%, then it switches to red.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

Once you’ve sourced an M90, the next step is rebuilding it. For better or worse, most of the motors paired with the M90 were fantastically durable, which means high miles on the blower. At the very least, the snout should be rebuilt. While there are different lengths available depending on the original application, they all use the same seals, bearings, and coupler, which are the snout parts that should be replaced. I’ll frequently reference the photo above, which comes from an ongoing project by user NVA-AV6 at V6Performance.net, and there’s a high-resolution version for easier viewing.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

I recently rebuilt an Eaton M90 supercharger for a project engine, and a reader suggested I chronicle the process. For starters, I found lots of good information online but ran into a few problems that no one seemed to mention. Sources like Rolling Performance and Thunderbird Infoway served me well for both details and parts, but I’ve since located an even better source for rebuilt kits. More on that later.

The first thing you need to do is locate the supercharger itself. Mine was a decent eBay find selected more for the $90 price tag than for apparent quality. It’s in decent shape, but 170,000 miles is hard on any component. New or freshly-rebuilt M90s cost anywhere from $300 to $600, usually with a core charge tacked on if you don’t have an old blower.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

Despite the name and looks, don’t expect the alien horde to wave these around when they come for Earth. This $310 oddball is designed to spread CV joint boots wide enough to slip the narrow end over the bearings to save time. I can’t say I’ve ever met anyone without the patience to remove the joint’s circlips to install the boot, so this is probably a production-only or very specialized tool. It seems to use an adjustable air supply to apply enough torque to spread the boot, but I can’t be sure since I’ve never used one.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

I couldn’t care less about a stiff left leg when traffic crawls; I am a religiously dedicated manual driver. I’ll stay away from the reasons – we’ve all heard them ad nauseum. Servicing a clutch can be a chore, but the same is true of torque converters, though the latter can’t really be serviced by less than a professional.

Replacing a clutch requires an alignment tool, which is usually included with aftermarket clutches, but not necessarily with OEM and stock-replacement clutches. And sometimes the guy in the packing department had a liquid lunch. When you need one, the imaginatively-named Clutch Tools has just about everything. Manufactured from pressure-molded plastic by Kingsborne, and available for everything Chevrolet to Jensen-Healey, Clutch Tools retails them for about $10 apiece with free shipping.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

When it comes to automotive work, there are two things every Toolmonger shy of Jay Leno has troubling handling in their garage: suspension alignment and anti-theft systems. Tools exist to handle both, but very few have these tools. For the latter, leave it to the dealer, but most suspension adjustments can be handled with simple gear like the Longacre Racing toe bar.

As you can see, it’s easy to make one yourself. The bar amounts to two adjustable points on an arm. Use a scribe and test stand to to put a fine circle in either tire, the same radius on either side, by putting the scribe and stand on the ground and rotating the tire. Then use this bar to measure the difference in the width between the front and rear extremes of each circle.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 

Judging by the main page, Grape Ape Racing was put together by one man. The car above is the fruit of his labors and was the testbed for many of the theories assembled in a series of superb technical articles on the site. He covers almost every aspect of the build in exhausting detail, from the conceptual to the execution stages, from calculations to crankshaft.

Several short-and-sweet articles are the site’s gems, covering connecting rods, cooling systems, engine blocks, fuel systems, induction, nitrous, turbocharging, supercharging, torsional dampers, and valvetrains. These are broad enough to show the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches, yet in-depth enough to expose the math and let the readers decide for themselves. Add a detailed blow-by-blow of the Camaro’s build, and you have some great no-cost, rainy-day reading.

High-Performance Articles [Grape Ape Racing]

Tagged with:
 

Automotive aftermarket supplier Eastwood is best known for their painting and media-blasting products, which are uniformly excellent. They also retail a simple set of pliers designed for forming hard brake lines. It’s probably harder to use and less accurate than models from Ridgid, Swagelok, or Imperial, but the $30 price tag is nice and low.

Continue reading »

Tagged with: