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Making your own Water Distribution Tube


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Implementing a PCV system in place of the original draft tube setup into your flathead might be a better use of your resources and prove more beneficial to engine operation than re-engineering a part that is readily available from several vendors.  When that old WDT comes out and all the coolant passages are flushed of scaly oxidation and crud, the new WDT needs to fit snugly so its not rattling around in that passage.  If the coolant system is properly maintained, then that replacement WDT may not need replacing for decades, if at all...the original WDTs need replacing because poor maintenance has accelerated failure or high mileage has worn the WDT to failure.  Even the zinc plated steel replacements appear more robust than the original WDTs as zinc plating has come a long way since these flatheads were manufactured.  I did a partial PCV setup and noticed the results right away at the first stop light I idled at...whenever my schedule allows it, I'll plumb the rest of the PCV, which I look forward to as figuring out how to make the PCV system from the original Mopar PCV designs was quite rewarding :cool:

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any pressure on the cooling system is more likely to be a result of the heat put into it expanding the coolant than anything the water pump might be doing.  Not sure how that guy who tested the pump rigged his setup to measure things.

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WDT arrived from VPW. Not super impressed with how it looks quality wise but I've attached all my measurements. The top measurement that got cut off was 23.125". In my opinion after looking how crude the new one is, anything in the ballpark is going to be good enough. . I'm not going to get too crazy with this side project. Trickiest part from a remanufacturing position is going to be the width of the ports/top section. A good challenge ahead. My brass supplier is closed until the 27th so onto other projects while I wait....

WDT.jpg.c87a5da53a30486de763b7d7ccfb0ff4.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

So tracking down brass took forever and to get something with 0.040 wall thickness was darn near impossible. Local supplier couldn't get it and everywhere else I looked their price was well above 100$ for 4ft (an extra length so i can make 2 in case my first one ends in disaster). Ended up finding a 1.5" OD with 0.050" wall thickness railing supplied by none other than Home Depot. 77$ shipped to my door was better than anywhere else. Took me a minute to track down the supplier and get the grade info on it and found it to be C2680. 65% Cu 35% Zn. which is ideal. Avoiding any lead content. Poorly rated hot workability but excellent cold workability. Trick is to constantly anneal it by heating it up and quenching it to keep it soft. It will work harden when you hammer on it so the heat quench cycle must be repeated often. Got sidetracked the last week and a half with all the political shenanigans going on and had to do some prep work in case the crap hit the fan. 

Brass for Water Distribution tube.pdf

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  • 3 months later...

Well, I got my template made based off an original brass one I pulled out of my 218. Ended just using some scrap steel and cutting and grinding down to size until the original tube slid over it snug. Lots of grinding, was not very fun, but a steel template can withstand more abuse than a hardwood one can. My first trial and error attempt using the brass tubing I got is ongoing. Lots of trial, mostly errors but hey its all for fun anyways. The brass is picky about the heat range so you have to keep an eye on it the whole time. Quench then hammer. Can't get too hot or it'll burn off the zinc and that's bad for your lungs and easy to make a hole in the tube, which I did. I am having a bit of trouble actually shrinking the material as everytime I hit the end, the sides billow out so I am going to make a quick die to try and prevent this. I think it would be much easier to use flat sheet folded over and I'm going to try that for the next time.

 

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