MAKING YOUR OWN SMOKE EVAP TESTER
This issue was first brought up in the ETCG Forum by Joe, “So I’ve recently really been in the market for a good smoke machine… but the 1k price tag for a decent one has really been holding me back on all that. I know that the basic design is relatively simple, so I started on the process of trying to make my own.”
Is this the best method?
Is there an alternative?
How would you do it?
Check out this page for more.
Making Your Own:
Compression Tester, Cylinder Leakage Tester Kit, Pliers, Wrench, Torque wrench, Torque Wrench, Light, Block Test, Dye Kit, Infrared Temperature gun, Pressure tester, Flashlight, gasket adhesive, wire wheel, gasket scraper, emery cloth, blue RTB, clamp, channel lock, ball peen hammer, spill free funnel, coolant (Antifreeze), pliers, vise-grips
Valve, piston, spark plugs, head gasket, engine cylinder, piston rings, exhaust valve, oil cap, valve cup, cylinder head
July 7, 2014 at 3:19 am Joe
I’ve recently really been in the market for a good smoke machine… but the 1k price tag for a decent one has really been holding me back on all that.
I know that the basic design is relatively simple, so I started on the process of trying to make my own.
Here are some videos I looked up and found fairly helpful. They’re worth a watch if you’re looking to do the same thing.
and a basic run-through on how to use a smoke machine:
Here’s a parts list that I used:
24 gauge resistance wire that I got from a local vapor/tobacco shop
2 insulator binding posts
baby oil (this is what burns and makes smoke)
propane gas regulator (you want to regulate to under 1 psi pressure)
1 gallon paint can
oil lamp wicks
3/8 fuel line
insulated alligator clips
I also used a small assortment of brass fittings. I’ll try and go through them and post specific sizes and the like for them as well.
12v 8A dimmer controller (not really needed)
Overall it works fairly well so far. It stands up well to the shop units I’ve used in the past as far as the smoke production. I’m going to need to find different fittings and the like to be able to do things like plug the intake tube and fit my smoke hose into different size fittings but I’m happy with where I’m at right now.
I’d say that even if you don’t have ANY of these pieces lying around and had to buy everything from scratch you could make it for around $50 or so, which is miles better than paying 700-1000 for a professional unit.
July 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm Keith
Eric, Vacuum smoke testers are so expensive I need to build a cheap one or buy a used one can you or someone help me. Thanks Keith
July 12, 2014 at 9:31 Joe
I have a post about this in tool talk
July 13, 2014 at 8:21 am asetoftools
FYI I purchased a theatrical smoke machine / fog machine and have used it numerous times now to test for vacuum leaks. They can be had on craigslist for 30-100 dollars at the cheapest. I think it’s the specifically automotive ones that cost thousands. I simply slip a large hose up to the fog machine nozzle, and generally take the brake booster hose off and put it in there.
Works just fine and has found multiple leaks in the few years I’ve been using it.