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Making your own Water Distribution Tube


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Hey all, has anyone made their own water distribution tube based off the original? I'd like to try an alternative to dropping 70-80 bucks on a new one. I was thinking that I could pick up some brass tubing and since I have a forge, make my own. Partially as cost saving, partially as a neat project. Anyone here done something similar?

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In my opinion, yes. Its just a tube with holes. And its not like they can't run without coolant for a few minutes as well. Keeping a close eye on the temperature and replicating the original as close as I can should give me a functional product. I am confident in my skills.  unless they have some other special attribute I'm not aware of. I would like to get a picture of one to see if its got anything else in it other than hollow space.  and worse case scenario I damage the engine in which case I have 3 others on standby.

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So if it does not work thenyou have to take the water pump off again and then purchase the correct WD tube. So is your time worth anything and the potential aggrevation of R&R everything.  With the correct unit you know that the water willbe evenly distributed.

 

Compare this to what ever you have already spend onother things for the car or truck.

 

 

Just my 25cents worth of input

 

Rich Hartung

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sometimes it is not just a money thing as it is to rise to a challenge and make a  part yourself, as the man says, it is not anywhere near rocket science...just an application of elbow grease to metal...I say go for it and I have all faith you will succeed in your endeavor...many folks here do not have a well equipped shop and little experience in fabricating items....they buy from the shelf, while there is nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with making your own either.

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8 minutes ago, Sniper said:

Just as an additional consideration, Vintage Power Wagons sells a stainless one for $55.  But as like you I prefer to do it myself for the joy of doing so.

I'll pick one up anyways in case this doesn't work. Price wise that's not too bad. Is brass preferable to stainless? I imagine the brass is more corrosion resistant. I'm not really concerned about cost too much but to me this seemed like a simple manufacture plus the opportunity to learn and make something better. 

 

Edit: Probably should've looked into VPW I usually dismiss them as I can get stuff cheaper 9 times out of 10 for the same product if I don't already have it lying around so thanks for bringing that to my attetntion.

Edited by maddmaxx1949
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2 minutes ago, Sniper said:

I don't know that anyone makes a brass version.  As a sailor I approve of brass, as long as I don't have to polish it, lol.  Bernbaum's list a tube for $47, but no mention of materials used. 

Sniper I do have a brass 25 inch long water tube and several galvanized WD tubes.  Not sure who made the brass WD. If AB has one for $47 i doubt if its brass. 

 

Rich Hartung

desoto1939@aol.com

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I put a VPW stainless version in my 25 inch engine. I'll tell you the sucker is never coming out because I had to hammer it in!

I believe the originals were brass. The AB one I put in a 23 inch engine was mild steel.

I do not believe you can improve on the design but you surely could make one if you had a new one to copy.

 

Which brings up the question we all face, how much of your time do you want to expend on a project no one will ever see?

For the average price of $75 I'd spend the money and work on something that's less of a commodity.

I used to argue with my Dad all the time about bolts, screws and nuts.

He'd spend hours searching through buckets of bolts trying to find something close to what he wanted.

I went to the hardware store and got exactly what I needed in brand new condition. I've gotten to the point of replacing all the bolts, nuts and screws for a project just because it is so nice to work with good hardware. Besides Tractor Supply sells that stuff by the pound!

I have way too many projects to mess around with commodities. That's my humble opinion.

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4 minutes ago, Loren said:

I put a VPW stainless version in my 25 inch engine. I'll tell you the sucker is never coming out because I had to hammer it in!

I believe the originals were brass. The AB one I put in a 23 inch engine was mild steel.

I do not believe you can improve on the design but you surely could make one if you had a new one to copy.

 

Which brings up the question we all face, how much of your time do you want to expend on a project no one will ever see?

For the average price of $75 I'd spend the money and work on something that's less of a commodity.

I used to argue with my Dad all the time about bolts, screws and nuts.

He'd spend hours searching through buckets of bolts trying to find something close to what he wanted.

I went to the hardware store and got exactly what I needed in brand new condition. I've gotten to the point of replacing all the bolts, nuts and screws for a project just because it is so nice to work with good hardware. Besides Tractor Supply sells that stuff by the pound!

I have way too many projects to mess around with commodities. That's my humble opinion.

Thats kind of why I want to use a brass one. I've heard alot of the steel ones are subject to corrosion and end up rusted in or pulled out in pieces whereas the brass ones are still and good enough shape to reuse, even after 50 years. If the quality of material is that much better, then I'd like to try and get something that won't cause a headache when I do it again or the next guy does it. Definitely don't want to be the one to pull out a tube that was hammered in. I'm ordering a stainless one once I get an email back from AB on the composition and I'll make a duplicate using brass tubing sourced locally. Non leaded grade C260 brass can be used for heat exchange operation and is forgeable. Plan is to get an aftermarket stainless one, get some bar stock and grind/forge to fit the ID. Afterwhich I can forge and shape the tube around the mold I made off the original. There are some tricks to forging brass but if nothing else it's a good learning experience and If it does work, I only have to make a mold once.

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Go for it,,,,,It's always been my plan to make my own as well as the removal tool.  Currently my laser temp gun shows constant temps all along the length of the head, so "if it aint broke, don' fix it".  Part of my reasoning is that I'm in Canada.  Waiting period can be a long time if US Customs are having a grumpy day.  Plus one of those tubes is pretty fragile when it comes to shipping.  Any time I can work on my car is free time and I'm loving every minute on it.  Especially if I'm fabricating something.

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Remember its real reason is not to distribute coolant, pressure from the pump takes care of that.  It's function is to create a partial restriction to flow in order to direct coolant up through the slots toward the block casting where valve seats are.  As fluid left to its own will take the route of least resistance which would leave those areas bypassed in eddys.  The size of the holes and the taper of the tube are engineered to put similar quantity and flow rate from the valves for cylinders 1 and 2 all the way to the rear for 5 and 6.  Lotta laws of thermodynamics and flow going on here.  If you can duplicate that in brass no reason for it not to work as long as the template is faithfully followed.

 

Guess you could build a hard wood buck undersized by the thickness oy your brass, hammer form the sheet over the buck, solder or river up a seam on the bottom, place and form the holes and call it done.

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47 minutes ago, greg g said:

Remember its real reason is not to distribute coolant, pressure from the pump takes care of that.  It's function is to create a partial restriction to flow in order to direct coolant up through the slots toward the block casting where valve seats are.  As fluid left to its own will take the route of least resistance which would leave those areas bypassed in eddys.  The size of the holes and the taper of the tube are engineered to put similar quantity and flow rate from the valves for cylinders 1 and 2 all the way to the rear for 5 and 6.  Lotta laws of thermodynamics and flow going on here.  If you can duplicate that in brass no reason for it not to work as long as the template is faithfully followed.

 

Guess you could build a hard wood buck undersized by the thickness oy your brass, hammer form the sheet over the buck, solder or river up a seam on the bottom, place and form the holes and call it done.

That's good to know. I have little experience with the cooling system so I will start doing some digging while I'm waiting on parts to arrive. Any idea what kind of pump pressure the water pump puts out? If I know that I could rig up something to test the tube and get a visual and volume distribution from each slot. Nothing super scientific but enough to know if it fails spectacularly. 

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5 hours ago, maddmaxx1949 said:

Any idea what kind of pump pressure the water pump puts out?

Over on www.dodgepowerwagon.com, I once read a guy's post, which said he stuck a pressure gage on his cooling system and found the system pressure to be about 10 psi with the engine (and water pump) running at an engine speed of around 3000 rpm.  At idle, it was 1 or 2 psi.

Edited by Matt Wilson
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I am thinking of galvanic corrosion with a brass tube in a cast iron engine block ... 

 

I used the AB tube with out problems in installation...

With the periodical coolant change and the right mixture ratio of coolant and water, the problem of corrosion on the steel tube is minimized or zero.

The most coolant brands and car manufactures request a periodical change not only to sell coolant or the change service...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, etzmolch said:

I am thinking of galvanic corrosion with a brass tube in a cast iron engine block ... 

 

I used the AB tube with out problems in installation...

With the periodical coolant change and the right mixture ratio of coolant and water, the problem of corrosion on the steel tube is minimized or zero.

The most coolant brands and car manufactures request a periodical change not only to sell coolant or the change service...

 

 

 

Galvanic is not a problem whatsoever , almost all 25 inch blocks came with brass tubes when manufactured in Canada, and they slide out slicker than a whistle with little or no problem.

Edited by Frank Elder
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I sent an email to Robert's and AB and they said theirs are both steel. I'm going to order one from VPW since they are stainless. If the fit is extremely tight as Loren said I can modify my template accordingly. So now just waiting for parts. I'll keep everyone updated.

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Brass is ideal. Shown here is the one pulled from a ‘53 Canadian 25” engine. I suspect I pulled it out for the very first time in 2020. The new aftermarket steel one would not fit in there. Too wide. My brass one went back in. 
 

I had ordered up a new steel one in advance. I was expecting the worst.  I did not expect to find a nice non-corroded brass tube in there. 
 

Pic 2 shows the steel aftermarket width. Its too wide.  I’m sending it off to a member here who has more skills and patience than I do!
 

211BA83E-FC69-4785-9DF1-810E39DDF582.jpeg
 

0C23F8EA-8A5A-4CC1-AFE8-01C631A4726F.jpeg

Edited by keithb7
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On 12/20/2020 at 9:42 PM, maddmaxx1949 said:

That's good to know. I have little experience with the cooling system so I will start doing some digging while I'm waiting on parts to arrive. Any idea what kind of pump pressure the water pump puts out? If I know that I could rig up something to test the tube and get a visual and volume distribution from each slot. Nothing super scientific but enough to know if it fails spectacularly. 

Water pumps on cars are low pressure high flow pumps. As was mentioned earlier, someone saw 10 PSI when they checked (as an engineer, that seems high to me).  The pressure is not really expected to be very high as the system only has to overcome the flow resistance in the cooling system. Cooling an engine needs flow not pressure. I would suspect that the pump would be in the range of 6-10 gpm and a couple of feet of head at normal running speed.

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On 12/21/2020 at 9:56 PM, derbydad276 said:

spend a day making a part.... or spend a day driving the car ....

Ive put Ten Thousand miles on my car in the last 2 summers ... guess what way I would do it 

Well to be fair. This car ain't going anywhere anytime soon.... got a 2x3 section of floor cut out at the pedal area, no brakes, no driveshaft, no fenders and rust everywhere you can imagine. Just tried to pull another tube out of a block I had and it was a nigtmare (blocked off on the inside from cylinder 4-6...). If brass relieves this for anyone coming after me or for me in the future I'm doing that for sure. 


Rally, I'll look into that once I get the tube from VPW. With the pressure and volumetric flow rate I should be close to simulating whats actually running through it. at least enough to ballpark. I'd be okay with that until I could set up something a little more scientific if I can reproduce these, thats job security as far as I'm concerned if I can make it. I appreciate the information.

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