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Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. #3889512
10/18/15 06:17 PM
10/18/15 06:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline OP
sleddriver  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
Made a simple smoker to recently solve a very persistent, emissions-related, CEL on the sled. Then used it to smoke the intake + motor and discovered more than a few vac leaks.

The first was the oil dipstick tube o-ring. It had been in there long enough to harden and shrink. Replaced with new and now it seals well.

The second was an original rubber elbow, that had cracked on the inside of the 90° bend and being black was difficult to see. Smoke leaked out here, drawing my attention to it. I replaced it with a piece of blue silicone tubing. This metal line goes to the fuel pressure regulator, which is just above the passenger-side end of the steering rack.


The third, fourth, fifth, etc. were all at the plastic vacuum tree. The tree caps were all hard-as-a-rock & brittle, thus loose and easily removed. Unfortunately I didn't have any vinyl caps on-hand that would fit. So I used some small, black silicone hose, doubled over one end, and zip-tied it closed.

One "branch" of the tree had broken off, and in-a-pinch, used a course-thread screw to seal it off. This time I used a fine-thread #6 brass screw + some red Loctite #518 sealant.

I also discovered the square-washer that fits on the vac tree where it slips into the aluminum intake manifold was also hard and shrunk and leaking. It's only held in place by a single 10mm bolt. Unable to obtain the correct replacement 0-ring, I sub'd a rubber one + some silicone grease. Ideally, wall thickness here would be 1.5mm. 2 was too thick, though I might have been able to press it home if I had some silicone grease while at the hardware store.

When I arrived home, I used Loctite #518 here to seal the tree to the I.M. Perhaps another product would be better?


All of these leaks were downstream of the MAF sensor and therefore, un-metered. I have noticed a difference in performance under boost. Also hoping for a bit better gas mileage.

I should have built a smoker years ago.....what a time saver.


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: sleddriver] #3889546
10/18/15 06:45 PM
10/18/15 06:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,493
Staten Island, NY
michaelluscher Offline
michaelluscher  Offline

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,493
Staten Island, NY
I'm contemplating buying a clearance Halloween fog machine, and creating the hosing/adapters myself to get the same effect as a $1k Pro machine

Anyone see any flaws in this idea?


'06 Toyota Camry SE V6 3MZ-FE 100k
'01 Mercury Villager Estate VG33E 52k
'06 Ford Taurus SE Vulcan 60k
'13 Chrysler 300 3.6 Pentastar 230k
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: michaelluscher] #3889598
10/18/15 07:26 PM
10/18/15 07:26 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline OP
sleddriver  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
I was thinking the same earlier. I'll watch out for one of these on sale post Halloween.


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: sleddriver] #3889615
10/18/15 07:37 PM
10/18/15 07:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 6,976
Everett, Washington
oilboy123 Offline
oilboy123  Offline

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 6,976
Everett, Washington
How did you make your smoker?
Originally Posted By: sleddriver
Made a simple smoker to recently solve a very persistent, emissions-related, CEL on the sled. Then used it to smoke the intake + motor and discovered more than a few vac leaks.

The first was the oil dipstick tube o-ring. It had been in there long enough to harden and shrink. Replaced with new and now it seals well.

The second was an original rubber elbow, that had cracked on the inside of the 90° bend and being black was difficult to see. Smoke leaked out here, drawing my attention to it. I replaced it with a piece of blue silicone tubing. This metal line goes to the fuel pressure regulator, which is just above the passenger-side end of the steering rack.


The third, fourth, fifth, etc. were all at the plastic vacuum tree. The tree caps were all hard-as-a-rock & brittle, thus loose and easily removed. Unfortunately I didn't have any vinyl caps on-hand that would fit. So I used some small, black silicone hose, doubled over one end, and zip-tied it closed.

One "branch" of the tree had broken off, and in-a-pinch, used a course-thread screw to seal it off. This time I used a fine-thread #6 brass screw + some red Loctite #518 sealant.

I also discovered the square-washer that fits on the vac tree where it slips into the aluminum intake manifold was also hard and shrunk and leaking. It's only held in place by a single 10mm bolt. Unable to obtain the correct replacement 0-ring, I sub'd a rubber one + some silicone grease. Ideally, wall thickness here would be 1.5mm. 2 was too thick, though I might have been able to press it home if I had some silicone grease while at the hardware store.

When I arrived home, I used Loctite #518 here to seal the tree to the I.M. Perhaps another product would be better?


All of these leaks were downstream of the MAF sensor and therefore, un-metered. I have noticed a difference in performance under boost. Also hoping for a bit better gas mileage.

I should have built a smoker years ago.....what a time saver.


“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
― Mark Twain






Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: sleddriver] #3889619
10/18/15 07:40 PM
10/18/15 07:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 447
SSP mn
hansj3 Offline
hansj3  Offline

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 447
SSP mn
I hear if you have the jury rigging perk you can make one out of a pint paint can, a toaster, some scrap fittings, and a 2 psi max air regulator

If you're car has an evap port, snap on sells the female end for $50

Last edited by hansj3; 10/18/15 07:42 PM.
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: sleddriver] #3889641
10/18/15 07:57 PM
10/18/15 07:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,716
NJ
Leo99 Online content
Leo99  Online Content

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,716
NJ
There is a guy selling smokers on Ebay he makes in a 1 gallon paint can. How did you make your smoker and how did you hook it up? I could use a smoker to troubleshoot a EVAP leak.


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles (RIP)
2004 Corolla 125,000 miles
2004 Rav4 370,000 miles
2015 Camry 70,000 miles
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: Leo99] #3889727
10/18/15 09:37 PM
10/18/15 09:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline OP
sleddriver  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
I'll take some photos and post tomorrow.


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: sleddriver] #3889914
10/19/15 07:09 AM
10/19/15 07:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 589
East Coast, USA
cat843 Offline
cat843  Offline

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 589
East Coast, USA
Why not just use propane?


Cat-Man-843
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: cat843] #3890214
10/19/15 12:29 PM
10/19/15 12:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline OP
sleddriver  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
Originally Posted By: cat843
Why not just use propane?

I did try ether. No joy...


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: Leo99] #3890234
10/19/15 12:42 PM
10/19/15 12:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline OP
sleddriver  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
Originally Posted By: Leo99
There is a guy selling smokers on Ebay he makes in a 1 gallon paint can. How did you make your smoker and how did you hook it up? I could use a smoker to troubleshoot a EVAP leak.


Built a simple smoker using a new metal, gallon paint can, incense, silicone tubing, some brass fittings and an old aquarium pump.

I used a large blob of electricians putty in the bottom for weight and to hold the ends of a couple of firework "punks". Punched a hole in the side, down near where it meets the bottom for the air inlet from the pump. For the outlet, I punched a hole in the lid and affixed one of those Schraeder valves that's secured with a nut. I also removed the valve itself with a valve wrench. You could also just punch a hole and force the tubing in.

Very simple, but effective & a great time saver.


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
Re: Tracking Down Vac Leaks w/ Smoke.. [Re: sleddriver] #4811678
07/11/18 06:23 PM
07/11/18 06:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
sleddriver Offline OP
sleddriver  Offline OP

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,838
Central Texas
I have an update to my old thread...

Lo & behold, you can buy smoke pellets at WW Grainger for a very reasonable amount that will produce far more smoke than incense, cigarete, cigar, smudge stick, etc. for building a DIY Smoker.

https://www.grainger.com/category/ecatalog/N-1yzsr1u?analytics=altTerms


1998 Volvo V70 T5 228,880 mi. Original Owner.
M1 10W-30 HM
"It's never a mistake to buy tools, defined broadly. They're not a cost, they're an investment." - J.B. Peterson
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