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Aluminum Series 1 hatch vents


bfg

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So after getting my series 1 hatch a while ago I realized the plastic chrome pieces over the vents were in horrific condition. You can see them in this pic, one of them was just riveted in the center to hold it on.

 

2012-11-23_17-37-01_48.jpg

 

I have a bunch of aluminum and I figured I would try to make my own and save money and maybe even make it look better. I'll have the first one done tomorrow hopefully and I'll get a pic of it. If it turns out well enough I might make a bunch of them if anyone else is interested.

 

I also have access to a laser cutter so I was thinking of making the gasket looking thing in this picture next to the vent cover as mine has all but disintegrated:

 

HatchGrill1_zps357b7efd.jpeg

 

If anyone is interested in me making a hatch vent restoration kit like this let me know. I would strongly consider it if anyone wants one. 

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  • 3 months later...

So machining these things isn't going to work out. I have since made a sand casting set up and am currently testing various things out. I tried the hatch vents but I think because they are so thin the aluminum cools before going through the whole mold. I also tried the "Datsun" emblem and got really close to filling the whole mold. I'll have to try getting the metal even hotter. The amount of detail is amazing though and I am very surprised at how nice they come out. Unfortunately I am limited to the few highly corroded emblems that I have. But I will keep trying and update if there is any success.

IMG_20130606_192515_089_zps73d72f40.jpg

IMG_20130606_210900_095_zps89bdcffd.jpg

IMG_20130606_211023_020_zps78fe3d9a.jpg

IMG_20130608_173829_120_zps78bf6830.jpg

20130605_0612_zps0a07ace3.jpg

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So I decided to add a piece to the back of the vents to make it thicker and essentially turning them into block off plates. They came out awesome and I think I'm going to use them for my hatch since I don't want to deal with water potentially getting in those holes (for now) 

 

20130612_0628_zps60d82b56.jpg

 

They need a bit of cleaning up but I'm very happy with them. I'm going to cast another the same way and machine the back of it until the thickness of the piece I added is gone. That way it will be a vent like it is intended to be. More updates to come.

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I have an extra set of vents somewhere in my garage.  As well as a Datsun emblem.  Let me know if you want to "borrow" them.

I'll definitely take you up on that offer. Once I get to a point where I know they will come out well I'll \ send you a PM.

 

Here are a couple photos to show how well they clean up. Since I didn't get a chance to mill the back of them off I painted those areas black. I think it came out pretty spiffy.

 

_DSC0001_zps79c14640.jpg

 

_DSC0002_zpsdc7a35e4.jpg

Edited by bfg
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I have yet to mount them on my car but I noticed something interesting and slightly problematic the other day. The parts I'm casting are ending up like a 1/8 of an inch shorter than the actual part. This of course will make the pins on the "Datsun" emblem not line up with the original and two of the three holes will have to be re drilled. The same will be true of the hatch vents if I get around to putting pins on them. I'm going to try some other emblems that are shorter in length at some point to see if the aluminum shrinkage is the same for those.

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This is awesome. Im in the process of building a casting setup like yours with a "blast furnace" (on the small scale of course) and start sand casting. I want to do those datsun emblems too!

And ive been trying to figure out how to do a valve cover.

But awesome work!!

 

Cool! let me know if you need any advice while making it. I ordered my sand online and it works great.

I think with a valve cover a bigger furnace or multiple furnaces might be needed with the larger volume of aluminum required. I'm looking into making a bigger crucible myself as the one I made is fairly small.

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Yeah, getting enough molten aluminum is the hard part. That's my issue with the valve cover now. I think I figured out how to make the hollow inside by suspending an inner mold in the middle.

But what sand did you use? I have some now but I feel that granule size is too large and leaves my castings splotchy.

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Those would work but I'm currently a poor college student haha. I'm doing the casting as part of a school project so these emblems are part of the practice/testing. If I can make similar parts of equal or greater quality than the ones above and cheaper I'd be very happy.

 

 

Yeah, getting enough molten aluminum is the hard part. That's my issue with the valve cover now. I think I figured out how to make the hollow inside by suspending an inner mold in the middle.

But what sand did you use? I have some now but I feel that granule size is too large and leaves my castings splotchy.

I got my sand from this website:

http://www.petrobondforsale.com/

It works great. No complaints whatsoever.

As for aluminum there are a lot of found objects you could use. As long as you can cut it up to fit in your crucible you're good to go. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher who was moving his shop and happened to have a lot of scrap lying around. what are you using for a crucible by the way? I'm looking to upgrade mine.

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Okay, I'll have to get some sand from them. Looks really good.

 

But I'm using a piece of box tubing with a bottom plate welded on and two little parts on the sides for the tongs to pick it up. I tend to melt down like precast stuff (like intakes and stuff) that I shave off small sections of so they'll fit in the crucible. But I'll need to build a larger one to try to get enough aluminum to cast the valve cover.

Edited by R3VO 3VOM
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Okay, I'll have to get some sand from them. Looks really good.

 

But I'm using a piece of box tubing with a bottom plate welded on and two little parts on the sides for the tongs to pick it up. I tend to melt down like precast stuff (like intakes and stuff) that I shave off small sections of so they'll fit in the crucible. But I'll need to build a larger one to try to get enough aluminum to cast the intake.

Several furnaces might work as well. 

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  • 5 months later...

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