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Tonyakavw's Avatar
 
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Rubber parts/ideas needed

After painting the engine bay I realize I need a few rubber parts that may not be available, and one that surely isn't.

The brake line going through the fire wall has a grommet on it. Does anyone know if this is a common style or where I might find one?

Also, the brake lines are held on to various parts of the body with bent over strips of metal and rubber sleeves. Any ideas how I might do something like this without the metal tabs? Maybe some kind of cable tie down or something?

Finally I need to make a custom grommet for a strangely shaped hole I cut in the fireall for the Subaru harness cables. I recall on 914club someone posted an image and link of some do-it-yourself rubber compound for making custom parts. Any other thoughts on this?

-Tony
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70 914 EJ25 - Body by Karmann, Engine by Fuji Heavy Industries
Old 05-15-2006, 10:00 AM
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Email me a pic of the hole and it's size. Also the length of what you think the grommet should be.
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:23 PM
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For large-ish holes, you can make a nice grommet using rubber (or silicone) tubing. Just cut a slit in it, and press it onto the edge of the hole, and butt the ends of the tube together. For a hole that's not round and esp. if there are any convex radii involved, you may have to use some adhesive to hold it in place. Simple rubber cement will do, and the bond won't be permanent. Silicone caulking also works.

The brake line hole grommet, as I recall, was a regular grommet, available at any hardware store for pennies.

Rubber/vinyl covered tube/pipe holders that are meant to be screwed/bolted into place are also generally available from most hardware stores. I have a boxful of various sizes at home. You can secure them with a self-tapping screw in a blind hole. I've also seen some mounts at electrical shops for securing things with zip-ties to a flat panel. These can be glued into place, or secured using double-stick foam tape (which works remarkably well).
Old 05-15-2006, 12:36 PM
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You can check your local hardware store, they might have a grommet close to what you need. Our Lowes has quite a few oddball automotive items.
Old 05-15-2006, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I like the idea of the silicone tubing for an edge protector, but it doesn't give me much waterproofing. I suppose I could squirt some RTV in around the cables. One issue I really need to be careful about is waterproofing because my air exhaust from the radiator is a slot that shoots air (and potentially water when it rains) over the area of the firewall where all the fun parts exit. See diagram below.

-Tony
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Old 05-15-2006, 12:52 PM
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Assuming your holes are for wiring, use the tubing to prevent things from chafing on the cut edge, and wrap your wiring bundle in foam to bulk it up enough that it forms a seal against the tubing. Wrap that in plastic wiring loom to keep water out of the foam, and seal the ends with black tape or heat shrink. Looks terrible, but should get the job done.

For round holes, I've seen some rubber plugs here and there (can't name a supplier) that you can cut a small hole in and push the wiring bundle through, which would form an adequate seal.

Molding your own rubber parts would be idea. I've got an older book on molding your own rubber parts, but it was published in the UK, and the various trade names mentioned are unknown here.
Old 05-15-2006, 01:06 PM
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Garage
http://www.mcmaster.com/

someone's nirvana no doubt.
Old 05-15-2006, 01:53 PM
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Yes Mcmaster carr is great.

I am thinking that rather than try to make a really super durable seal and protect the firewall and its cable ports, I might just make a fiberglass air splitter. This would keep any water off the cable entry points, as well as the cables themselves. This way I don't need to worry about having a super perfect seal. A continual blast of air and water would easily force water around grommets after time.


In the picture below, the curved portions below the rectangular box (the radiator) are the profile of the air splitter.

-Tony
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:19 PM
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Dosen't the air come in from the bottom and exit at the top? By putting a deflector in like you show it will block 1/2-2/3's of your air flow?
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Old 05-15-2006, 02:58 PM
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Hey Tony,


THat may have been me. A guy at my work bought something called Flexane, manufactured by Devcon. It's a two-part system, once you mix it you have (5 ?) minutes before it cures. Ends up a tough, flexible, rubber-like consistency. He mad a boot for a hydrophone/cable assembly by turning a 2-piece wooden form on a lathe. When it was cured, he removed the outer form, cut through the rubber w/ a razor blade, removed the inner form, and then re-glued the rubber. I haven't heard how it worked "in the field", but it looked pretty nice. I think that stength-wise it would be great for anything automotive, except maybe bellow-type parts that have to flex a whole lot - it might be a little stiff for that.

He bought the stuff at Grainger.com; they are kind of snooty about selling to businesses only, so be ready to deal with that or shop around. I'm sure someone else carries it.

Ayway, the guy poured the excess into a puddle, which I kept. Here's a pic :

Old 05-15-2006, 03:11 PM
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Perfect! Thats just what I was looking for.

And as far as airflow goes, my situation is reveresed from the way its normally done. I'm going with airflow from the top of the engine bay, down through the radiator and out the bottom. I realize that this splitter would create a big impedance to the air flow, but if I make it so that the exit holes are large enough (by flaring backwards towards the engine) and have the splitter be minimal size I think it will be okay. I might actually just duct the air from the radiator out through these pair of exhaust ports entirely with fiberglass. Otherwise I still have this high pressure air/water hitting my firewall, etc.

With a fiberglass duct there are no seams and nothing to rust.

Even with airflow going the other way, the issue of corrosion form a high pressure stream of air/water exists.

-Tony
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:18 PM
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A couple of tips on using Flexane or similar :

1) If you make a form or mold, be sure yo use some kind of release agent to keep the rubber from sticking. I don't recall what my co-worker used (he's gone for half a year), but I'm sure the stuff they use for fibergalss molds would work. Or Pam.

2) When mixing, be really careful not to get any bubbles mixed in or they'll all be in your final part. Probably not a functional problem, but they look sloppy.

If you go this route, definitely let us know how it turns out !
Old 05-15-2006, 03:34 PM
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