Joel’s SL-C Build Thread

Joel K

Supporter
Time for the next update. This posts focuses on mounting the condenser.

I wanted to mount the condenser in a way to integrate it with the custom radiator mount brackets and grommet assembly.

Some of the goals in mind were:
1)provide some level of vibration isolation to the condenser.
2)Easily seal off the condenser so virtually all air flows through the condenser and then through the radiator.
3)Position the condenser in order to route both the #6 & #8 U-Bend-Em lines through one of the radiator holes.

Here is a video on mounting the radiator and installing the condenser...

Here is the initial bracket design made from 1” tall and 1/16” thick aluminum angles...
6303C631-33B6-4841-AD64-0DBCA64F0658.jpeg


It mounts nicely to the radiator mount bolts and grommets. The bottom of the bracket will seal to the floor with some very thin rubber or weather stripping....
27066AC4-69B3-452C-BBDF-49CF00B303C1.jpeg


Here is a pic of the finished bracket components. The left angle needed to be modified to provide access to the hole in the radiator. The top and bottom angles needed to be trimmed so they would not cover up the top and bottom cooling rows of the condenser...
3A3C723F-953D-4449-81D3-614FD10AEEDE.jpeg


With the condenser installed you can see it will be easy to seal the top of the bracket to the radiator with some aluminum tape and seal it to the body with some weather stripping....
B76AC49C-B933-4B98-B42A-CD5E8603683E.jpeg


Because of having to move the radiator forward 3/4” it’s all a tight fit. The condenser just clears the cross bar for the splitter and the screws to assemble the condenser bracket just clears the radiator. The good news is the condenser sits a good 3/4” from the face of the radiator core which I think is what is recommended....
BD20E2F0-DFDA-43B4-94BA-0CE8F5270823.jpeg


Here is the condenser and mounting bracket secured to the radiator mounts. I may lower the bracket a smidge and also weld up the corners before final assembly of the front compartment....
BAE04BFB-6BD0-4B7E-A1DE-EC3F6801BFC3.jpeg


Next up are the cooling tubes....
 
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Beautiful Joel. I just went the easy way, yours definitely elegant and functional. Great work, Good luck bending the lines, Hope you do better than what I did, Glad to be done with that part for sure.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Time for the next update. This post focuses on the initial fabrication of the cooling tubes.

In an earlier post I mocked up the cooling tubes out of PVC to get a sense for the layout and design.
Here is a video on the process...

I decided to follow in a number of other builders footsteps and fabricate up solid stainless steel cooling tubes. The perceived advantage is they are less likely to leak since solid tubes have fewer hose couplers. The compromise being that this approach requires the work necessary to cut and fit the piping and may be more difficult to repair in the future.

Like many other aspects of building a car there are always trade offs. To address the possibility of repairing the tubes in the future, I wanted to design in the potential to remove them from the chassis without removing the body. The approach I came up with is to secure the tube mounts from the bottom of the chassis. So if worst comes to worse, I can at least detach the tubes from the chassis without removing or lifting the body.

I tried to design them so they can disassemble in a way that they can be removed out the back of the car. Not sure I’ll achieve the goal once the car is assembled, but we will see.

The pic below shows the dual p-clamp assembly with standoff plates. The p-clamps will connect to the standoff plates from the top and the plates will be secured to the chassis from below. I may use the dual p-clamp setup shown to prevent the clamps from flexing on one side and eventually weaken and break. The standoff plates are 3/8” thick aluminum which combined with the p-clamps provides 1/2” clearance for pipe insulation...
F9C0A987-2716-4589-8EA2-498F46888FC3.jpeg


The standoff plates for the front cooling tubes came in handy to accurately place the cooling tubes at the correct height. The p-clamps with the standoffs were placed so that the bottom of the p-clamp are slightly(approx 1/8”) above the bottom of the chassis. This leaves enough room for the cooling tubes to clear the lower control arms at full droop and not hang below the chassis...
95238F91-487A-4A1E-A246-B74C98EE2CFA.jpeg


In order to fit the steel tube sections in line I trimmed and fit a section of PVC and then cute the steel tubes at the same length with a pipe cutter...
D3A29B1C-EE90-43B5-831C-F51EBB65CD63.jpeg


The first section is looking good with a tight fit of the pipes. You can see the front standoffs place the front tubes 1/2” off the chassis leaving room for chassis sound and heat shielding and also tube insulation.
D5E5795F-479F-4C30-BDB6-9BC109B33A9D.jpeg


One thing that was not obvious to me until I started fabricating the tubes is that if using 45 degree elbows to connect the side and the front tubes, the tubes get very close and/or can touch the front chassis corner. I was concerned the pipes would tap against the corner of the chassis as well as as leave no room for tube insulation in that area so decided to use the combination of the 90 and 45 degree elbow setup.

The combination of using the 45 and 90 degree elbows provide plenty of clearance to the front chassis corner. It also allows for the side tubes to be placed 1/2” higher than the front tubes without having to angle the front tubes down and angled into the chassis.

Now on to the driver rear cooling tube fitment. These 45 degree elbows are challenging and leave little to no room for error. Measure 10 times and cut once!
39B6FE9B-D5D4-4B37-92D7-B18CE7DA62C0.jpeg



Pic of the driver rear cooling tube fitted and in place...
FDD4D7B9-03EC-4822-B568-151201618CF3.jpeg


Pic of the driver front cooling tube. Using 45 degree elbows where possible to reduce head pressure vs. 90 degree elbows...
F29B91FE-F045-46C1-B534-C0C74F99ECFE.jpeg


Pic of the passenger rear cooling tube. Had to be cut precisely to snake around the dry sump tank...
7A5F5E1B-2338-4665-BEA3-42B05118244B.jpeg


Pic of the passenger front cooling tube. More 45 degree elbows...
ECC0D2E8-8619-4A40-9474-7B5A71120C7C.jpeg


After thinking about the setup a bit, I modified the front tubes and added pipe sections with a bead so I’ll join them together vs. having a single welded structure. This Makes it possible to remove the front silicone couplers by the radiator without having to slice them up and replace them with new ones. It also adds a bit of forgiveness to get the pipes to align and sit flat and tight against the chassis...
245A2212-A860-4376-9302-86399ABEA248.jpeg


At this point I’ll move on to the AC lines and will have the welder come to the house to tack weld up the cooling tubes. Also, since the engine is not in. Final fabrication of the rear tubes will happen when the engine gets installed.
 
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Time for the next update. This post focuses on the initial fabrication of the cooling tubes.

In an earlier post I mocked up the cooling tubes out of PVC to get a sense for the layout and design.
Here is a video on the process...

I decided to follow in a number of other builders footsteps and fabricate up solid stainless steel cooling tubes. The perceived advantage is they are less likely to leak since solid tubes have fewer hose couplers. The compromise being that this approach requires the work necessary to cut and fit the piping and may be more difficult to repair in the future.

Like many other aspects of building a car there are always trade offs. To address the possibility of repairing the tubes in the future, I wanted to design in the potential to remove them from the chassis without removing the body. The approach I came up with is to secure the tube mounts from the bottom of the chassis. So if worst comes to worse, I can at least detach the tubes from the chassis without removing or lifting the body.

I tried to design them so they can disassemble in a way that they can be removed out the back of the car. Not sure I’ll achieve the goal once the car is assembled, but we will see.

The pic below shows the dual p-clamp assembly with standoff plates. The p-clamps will connect to the standoff plates from the top and the plates will be secured to the chassis from below. I may use the dual p-clamp setup shown to prevent the clamps from flexing on one side and eventually weaken and break. The standoff plates are 3/8” thick aluminum which combined with the p-clamps provides 1/2” clearance for pipe insulation...
View attachment 108609

The standoff plates for the front cooling tubes came in handy to accurately place the cooling tubes at the correct height. The p-clamps with the standoffs were placed so that the bottom of the p-clamp are slightly(approx 1/8”) above the bottom of the chassis. This leaves enough room for the cooling tubes to clear the lower control arms at full droop and not hang below the chassis...
View attachment 108610

In order to fit the steel tube sections in line I trimmed and fit a section of PVC and then cute the steel tubes at the same length with a pipe cutter...
View attachment 108611

The first section is looking good with a tight fit of the pipes. You can see the front standoffs place the front tubes 1/2” off the chassis leaving room for chassis sound and heat shielding and also tube insulation.
View attachment 108612

One thing that was not obvious to me until I started fabricating the tubes is that if using 45 degree elbows to connect the side and the front tubes, the tubes get very close and/or can touch the front chassis corner. I was concerned the pipes would tap against the corner of the chassis as well as as leave no room for tube insulation in that area so decided to use the combination of the 90 and 45 degree elbow setup.

The combination of using the 45 and 90 degree elbows provide plenty of clearance to the front chassis corner. It also allows for the side tubes to be placed 1/2” higher than the front tubes without having to angle the front tubes down and angled into the chassis.

Now on to the driver rear cooling tube fitment. These 45 degree elbows are challenging and leave little to no room for error. Measure 10 times and cut once!
View attachment 108613


Pic of the driver rear cooling tube fitted and in place...
View attachment 108614

Pic of the driver front cooling tube. Using 45 degree elbows where possible to reduce head pressure vs. 90 degree elbows...
View attachment 108615

Pic of the passenger rear cooling tube. Had to be cut precisely to snake around the dry sump tank...
View attachment 108616

Pic of the passenger front cooling tube. More 45 degree elbows...
View attachment 108617

After thinking about the setup a bit, I modified the front tubes and added pipe sections with a bead so I’ll join them together vs. having a single welded structure. This Makes it possible to remove the front silicone couplers by the radiator without having to slice them up and replace them with new ones. It also adds a bit of forgiveness to get the pipes to align and sit flat and tight against the chassis...
View attachment 108618

At this point I’ll move on to the AC lines and will have the welder come to the house to tack weld up the cooling tubes. Also, since the engine is not in. Final fabrication of the rear tubes will happen when the engine gets installed.
Are you going to wrap/insulate the pipes?
 

Joel K

Supporter
Time for the next update. Finally tackled the install of the heater hoses and AC lines. This post focuses on the placement of the heater hoses, the #10 AC line, and heater control valve.

Back in post #178 I mocked up the cooling tubes and laid out the initial placement of the heater hoses and AC lines.

Here is a pic of the initial layout...
F7F1DE57-B268-42B4-AB62-FC7370C93E61.jpeg


By flipping the heater core in the evaporator it left enough room to run three hoses in the gap between the top of the evaporator and the chassis...
34DA2211-94E2-4C08-8800-2FF19A97262E.jpeg


Since I really wanted all hoses entering the passenger compartment to be tucked in up high I stuck with the original plan. That is to run the heater hoses and #10 AC line into the passenger compartment and run the #8 AC line along the side of the chassis.

First step was to locate where the bulkheads would be placed. Although I’ll probably put the gas strut inside the door I still wanted the option of placing the gas strut inside the body so the heater and AC bulkhead fittings and hoses needed to clear the strut when the hinge is in the open or closed position.

This is where the bulkheads will go. The heater hoses and the #10 AC line bulkheads all require a 7/8” hole in the chassis. I used graph paper to mark where the bulkheads were to be placed and a Christmas tree bit to drill the holes...
A766E639-23EB-4832-B796-39A2FB0E59A4.jpeg


Had to leave enough room between the fittings for the nuts which secure the bulkheads. Also keeping in mind the nuts have to clear the top of the chassis and the inside of the 2x6” frame member. I always get nervous when it’s time to drill holes in the chassis. Held my breath and drilled away!
024E3CCA-7B81-4BD8-B8F6-2B9BE1D62011.jpeg


The shallow side of the bulkhead fittings will tuck the hoses nice and tight up high in the passenger compartment...
91FFAABB-6368-42C2-B2ED-10CAE713BF4E.jpeg


For heater hoses I used the following part numbers:
Side hoses - Continental Elite HY-T Black Heater Hoses 65071
90 degree Heater core to interior bulkhead fittings - Dayco Molded Heater Hoses 80408
90 degree Heater Control Valve to water pump - Gates 28470

The Dayco heater hoses fit really nice and are long enough to connect the heater core to the bulkhead fittings without any splicers...
1264DABF-2A7E-45A1-B69F-3F8AF805AE95.jpeg


The deeper side of the bulkhead fittings should place the hoses to the outside of the door strut and still clear the inside of the body. In post #172 I made a template and mocked up the door hinge, jam and body taper template to help place these in the correct position. If they wind up sticking out too much you can use a washer on the bulkhead to bring the deeper side fittings in about 3/16” which may be necessary.

With the bulkhead fittings installed the hoses are nicely spaced and drape down along the side of the chassis...
CF6F2C88-1996-492C-89C7-693F0AE349AC.jpeg


Like many builders, I picked up the Old Air products Heater Control Valve(HCV) and made a bracket to mount it at the back of the chassis. The stock steel spacers are installed in the photo below, I later swapped those spacers for shallower M6 nuts to allow the screws enough threads to secure into the backing plate. I’ll probably get longer screws and put the provided spacers back at some point...
CD0F1FFF-E6F4-43FF-B0FF-B11856C8366F.jpeg


You can see the Gates 90 degree heater hoses which wrap nicely around the dry sump and will connect the HCV to the LT4 heater inlet and outlet...
3A31B759-B9DF-4B0B-B8A1-0B2A6F91E8A7.jpeg



I’ll cut and connect the side heater hoses to the HCV once the engine is installed which will determine the exact HCV placement...
3572CB1D-8D79-44E2-85EA-54D228CFA8A9.jpeg
 

Joel K

Supporter
In my honest opinion Joel the heater control valve will most likely have a short life if installed that close to the dry sump oil tank.
Hi Ken, thanks for the advice. I did not even think that could be an issue since it has hot engine coolant running through it all the time.

Good news is It’s just clamped on for now so easy to move when the HCV location is finalized.
 

Joel K

Supporter
Next up is routing and installing the dreaded AC hoses. There are so many ways one can route all these lines it’s easy to get paralyzed and over think it. Well with that being said, below is some of the thought process which went into the layout.

Here is a video of the heater hose and AC line install...

With regard to routing the heater and AC hoses it turns out I pretty much stuck to the original plan(post #178) although went back and forth between running both the #8 and #10 AC lines through the passenger compartment or run the #8 along the side of the chassis.

Considering the #8 AC hose reaches a temperature between 90 and 100 degrees and I only have room to route 3 hoses up top in the front compartment I figured leaving that line outside the chassis would be preferable so you will see details of that layout in this post.

The other design element I focused on was to run both the #8 and #6 lines through the passenger side hole in the radiator. The other radiator hole on the driver’s side will be used for the electric harness for the headlights.

After a number of attempts I settled on the following design for the condenser lines. The #8 line is made from two tubes because it was easier to build this shape out of two lines vs. one. Also, you cannot feed a 1/2” line with a 90 degree bend through the radiator so using two pieces worked out well...
766C1532-1B85-44A7-A4BF-D32510BC8A74.jpeg


To make the bends I used a tube bender and after doing a fair job on the first #6 line attempt and destroying the #10 line I realized I needed some practice. Picked up 20 ft of 3/8” copper tubing for about $16 at Home Depot and played around making various shapes until I came up with the final design. The tube bender also worked well on the 1/2” setting with the 3/8” copper tube which has a different radius than the 3/8” setting, not perfect but good enough to get practice.

The one issue with the tube bender is that it is really good for larger radius sweeping curves, but due to the design you cannot make bends very close to the end of the tube. If you need to bend the very end of the tube I came up with the following approach.

Took two 3/8” aluminum plates and drilled a 1/2” hole between them so it could be used to hold the #8 line in place with a vise. Did the same thing for the #6 line with a 3/8” hole. Here is a pic...
DD21C8BA-61AB-4D67-94D3-2DB92C7F5E62.jpeg


Once the tube is in place, take a MAP torch and when the tube near the plates is hot enough it will bend very nicely with a little pressure/effort. Both tubes above had one end which required this type of bend.

Here is a pic of the #6 and #8 lines attached to the condenser and threading through the radiator hole...
950A8EE1-FC84-49E7-AD58-558E2A316A23.jpeg


The 90 degree #8 specialty fitting is from coldhose.com. The #8 line looks complicated, but was easily reproducible because of the full 90 degree and 180 degree bends. This was much easier than the #6 line which has a number of 45 degree bends.

You can see the #6 line feeds to the outside of the radiator hose and the #8 line feeds to the inside...
427CD01C-EC5A-4568-A58A-D63FAE774675.jpeg


Here is a pic of the #6 line connecting to the drier then into the top of the foot-box. The number #8 line connects to the bulkhead via another specialty fitting. This fitting was hard to find since it is a female to female 90 degree fitting also from coldhose.com...
033A59D5-4CE6-4A04-90B9-528B0295BFFA.jpeg


You can see the general layout of many of the AC components. I picked up some 2.5” silicone p-clamps from McMasterCarr which I like better than the ones provided in the kit...
01CCC147-837B-4C73-A3D5-1FF8B44D2430.jpeg


Here is the #8 hose entering the front compartment via a bulkhead fitting...
34A7C991-BBC9-4D4D-93E5-BDB1E02CE28D.jpeg


I mimicked the #8 layout for the 1/4” radiator bleed hose. Turns out the #6 Vintage Air fittings can work as barb fittings(Hose end removed with a Dremel to expose the barbed fitting) for the radiator bleed hose so used them to create a symmetric approach...
B9FDE62E-80C3-4CEA-8C59-8E7A7E500812.jpeg


74616F94-2EA5-4698-92B4-B8C7AAC2B5AB.jpeg


At some point I’ll attach the heater and AC lines down the side of the chassis. Just have not finalized an approach yet...
0E5EAD8B-95C9-43E4-B9AD-7AC2DFDDF748.jpeg


All in all I really like how it all came out. For some reason it took a lot of think time to come up with a workable design. Glad this is done and ready to move on.
 
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Next up is routing and installing the dreaded AC hoses. There are so many ways one can route all these lines it’s easy to get paralyzed and over think it. Well with that being said, below is some of the thought process which went into the layout.

Here is a video of the heater hose and AC line install...

With regard to routing the heater and AC hoses it turns out I pretty much stuck to the original plan(post #178) although went back and forth between running both the #8 and #10 AC lines through the passenger compartment or run the #8 along the side of the chassis.

Considering the #8 AC hose reaches a temperature between 90 and 100 degrees and I only have room to route 3 hoses up top in the front compartment I figured leaving that line outside the chassis would be preferable so you will see details of that layout in this post.

The other design element I focused on was to run both the #8 and #6 lines through the passenger side hole in the radiator. The other radiator hole on the driver’s side will be used for the electric harness for the headlights.

After a number of attempts I settled on the following design for the condenser lines. The #8 line is made from two tubes because it was easier to build this shape out of two lines vs. one. Also, you cannot feed a 1/2” line with a 90 degree bend through the radiator so using two pieces worked out well...
View attachment 109042

To make the bends I used a tube bender and after doing a fair job on the first #6 line attempt and destroying the #10 line I realized I needed some practice. Picked up 20 ft of 3/8” copper tubing for about $16 at Home Depot and played around making various shapes until I came up with the final design. The tube bender also worked well on the 1/2” setting with the 3/8” copper tube which has a different radius than the 3/8” setting, not perfect but good enough to get practice.

The one issue with the tube bender is that it is really good for larger radius sweeping curves, but due to the design you cannot make bends very close to the end of the tube. If you need to bend the very end of the tube I came up with the following approach.

Took two 3/8” aluminum plates and drilled a 1/2” hole between them so it could be used to hold the #8 line in place with a vise. Did the same thing for the #6 line with a 3/8” hole. Here is a pic...
View attachment 109043

Once the tube is in place, take a MAP torch and when the tube near the plates is hot enough it will bend very nicely with a little pressure/effort. Both tubes above had one end which required this type of bend.

Here is a pic of the #6 and #8 lines attached to the condenser and threading through the radiator hole...
View attachment 109044

The 90 degree #8 specialty fitting is from coldhose.com. The #8 line looks complicated, but was easily reproducible because of the full 90 degree and 180 degree bends. This was much easier than the #6 line which has a number of 45 degree bends.

You can see the #6 line feeds to the outside of the radiator hose and the #8 line feeds to the inside...
View attachment 109046

Here is a pic of the #6 line connecting to the drier then into the top of the foot-box. The number #8 line connects to the bulkhead via another specialty fitting. This fitting was hard to find since it is a female to female 90 degree fitting also from coldhose.com...
View attachment 109047

You can see the general layout of many of the AC components. I picked up some 2.5” silicone p-clamps from McMasterCarr which I like better than the ones provided in the kit...
View attachment 109048

Here is the #8 hose entering the front compartment via a bulkhead fitting...
View attachment 109045

I mimicked the #8 layout for the 1/4” radiator bleed hose. Turns out the #6 Vintage Air fittings can work as barb fittings(Hose end removed with a Dremel to expose the barbed fitting) for the radiator bleed hose so used them to create a symmetric approach...
View attachment 109049

View attachment 109050

At some point I’ll attach the heater and AC lines down the side of the chassis. Just have not finalized an approach yet...
View attachment 109051

All in all I really like how it all came out. For some reason it took a lot of think time to come up with a workable design. Glad this is done and ready to move on.
Good job Joel, patience and time, (neither that I have enough), end product is beautiful, did not expect anything less from your workmanship. Your car will be beautiful inside and out. Yes it definitely took much much longer than anticipated. But it always does, at least for me. Keep up the good work !!!
 

Joel K

Supporter
Good job Joel, patience and time, (neither that I have enough), end product is beautiful, did not expect anything less from your workmanship. Your car will be beautiful inside and out. Yes it definitely took much much longer than anticipated. But it always does, at least for me. Keep up the good work !!!
Thanks Hector for the nice words, how are you making out? I’m looking forward to your next update. I think my next step will be the fuel close-out panels and dry sump tank mount.
 

Joel K

Supporter
I put a lot of blood sweat and tears into my AC plumbing, and I WAS proud of it. Now I just feel inadequate. Great work, you are certainly setting a target for us amateurs.
Thanks so much Alan, I borrowed a number of the ideas from various builders and figured I share all this detail since this part of the build is pretty challenging.
 
I put a lot of blood sweat and tears into my AC plumbing, and I WAS proud of it. Now I just feel inadequate. Great work, you are certainly setting a target for us amateurs.
Amen to that Alan, lots of effort and nowhere close to being as straight and beautiful as Joel's . But I got it done .
 
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