Leaping Tuna air cleaner

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by silverbear, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I'm waiting for tools and parts for both my bikes so I got around to making an air cleaner for the 39 Elgin today. Especially on a vintage bike a plastic air cleaner kind of goes against the grain. I've looked at the cool ones for sale, counted my pennies and came up short. So being a tightwad and having already made juice can gas tanks, tin can headlights] tail lights, a rear fender light and tin can funnels I continued the manic theme, this time with the lowly tuna can. First I removed just part of the lid from one using a small leather punch, knife and ball peen hammer. Punch the holes and connect the dots with the knife, tapped by the hammer. Aaniimoosh the Wonder Dog got the tuna fish. Doing it this way leaves some of the lid attached to the can and gives a backing for screwing on a full sized lid later on. Clean up the ragged edge with the dremel grinder. Then I cleaned the can up with steel wool and punched holes in the full lid for the mounting holes and punched more holes in the lid for the air intake into the carburetor. The can got lots of holes punched along the sides for air intake and after rinsing it well to be sure no little bits of metal remained, a stainless steel pot scrubber got stuffed inside as the filter. It's a good fit. If you like the idea of foam better, then do that. I think the scrubber is going to work fine. I don't ride on dirt roads much and mostly need to filter out the mosquitoes. Small sheet metal screws fix the lid to the can and that's it. I think it looks better than the stock plastic one and the price is right.
    SB
     

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  2. stuartracing

    stuartracing New Member

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    Excellent idea brother.....
    Gonna try a version myself.....
     
  3. mdlee1958

    mdlee1958 Member

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    LOL..... If it comes in a can do you immediately think ....... "huh, I wonder if I can make that can work on my motorized bike ?"........ I admire your resourcefulness and creativity on your mods. It also keeps us po broke folks loaded with projects that WE can actually afford. Thanks.
     
  4. mdlee1958

    mdlee1958 Member

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    PS, did you wire back the brillo pad so it won't get sucked into the intake ? Or is it stiff enough to stay put on it's own ?
     
  5. mdlee1958

    mdlee1958 Member

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    PS-PS: Oh yeah.... is that rope your pull start for your engine ? ... LOL
     
  6. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    It's true that I enjoy grocery shopping a little more than I used to. It's my own version of recycling to make stuff out of the cans sometimes.
    I did leave the plastic backing piece from inside the old air cleaner against the carburetor, but the stainless steel scrubber would not get sucked in anyway. (Try pulling one apart!) It is pretty durable as I have been using the same one on my pots and pans for several months (not the one in the air cleaner, that's new). Not a brillo pad, that's just steel wool loaded with soap and will rust almost instantly. That would get sucked into the carb for sure as it deteriorates. Just this evening I'm making a second one for the other bike. Woohoo!
    Actually economics is a factor, but I just like making my own stuff. I make my own belts out of harness leather because then the belt is mine. My wallet is twenty years old and I made it from elk hide, cell phone case is elk hide fringed. I make my winter boots (mukluks) and moccasins not only because they fit and are comfortable, but they are mine because I've invested myself in them. I made my knife from a file and carved the handle from oak and then covered it in elk hide and made a matching fringed sheath for it. Stuff like that. So if I upholster a bike seat or stitch up leather covered foam grips the bike becomes more mine. I don't know if any of that makes sense to you guys, but it is just the way things are with me. It's why I'd rather fix up a rusty old bike than pay the same money for a Chinese scooter all done and ready to ride. Somehow money isn't enough to make something "mine" as I have to invest myself in it. These bikes sure are fun.
    SB
     
  7. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Yes, that's the pull start, but it doesn't seem to work...

    I'm in the middle of fixing my centrifugal clutch and am waiting for diamond cutter deals for the dremel to make a keyway in the clutch adapter. The rope keeps the crankshaft from moving (thanks for the tip, Elmo).
    SB
     
  8. diceman2004

    diceman2004 New Member

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    well thet worked out pretty good .
    i,m wondering , did the steel wool make any reduction on the engine noise from the intake ?
     
  9. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I haven't run it yet. Hadn't even considered the possibility of noise reduction. That would be nice. Hope it isn't any louder. Not to beat a dead horse, but the packing stuff is stainless steel which is a different critter than steel wool. You would not want to use steel wool as it will rust.
    SB
     
  10. corgi1

    corgi1 New Member

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    Well ,if the motor kicks back any fuel/oil mix ,it should improve the filter(old oil bath air filters,I've owned a few)I like the Idea and I want to try it ,I think I will incorperate a screen just as a backup between the carb and the scrubber I believe it will be quieter
     
  11. corgi1

    corgi1 New Member

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    ps:I'm sure it will work,I don't remember any mosquitoes in any of my old engines I took apart
     
  12. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    If you lived in the lake country of northern Minnesota you'd understand about the mosquitoes, but I imagine the engine would pulverize their remains pretty well and shoot them out the exhaust to be cremated in the catalytic muffler. I've inhaled a few while riding and must remember to keep me mouth shut. Or put a stainless steel pot scrubber in there while riding. It would give an interesting look to see a smiling old Indian ride by with a shiny mouth Scare the tourists and keep out the riff raff. Ha! Now you've got me wondering about a possible quieting effect. I sure hope so since I'm going to be fooling with a pocket bike expansion chamber for that bike as soon as it comes in the mail. I suppose the exhaust may be louder. Maybe not, but just different. Like BarelyAwake, I'm not too crazy about loud.
    SB
     
  13. corgi1

    corgi1 New Member

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    How do you tell if he's a happy biker.............count the bugs in his teeth lol

    I'm just kidding 'bout the mosquitoes in the engine,I was thinking more about the better filtering ability beacause the oil/gas mix kicks back on the scrubber in the air filter and acts similar to an old '50 V8 Ford oil bath air filter to catch more dirt ,bugs,etc
     
  14. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    O.O

    ZOMG!!1! Run away - RUN AWAY! [​IMG]


    3am and you made me lol, now THAT'S a challenge laff
     
  15. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Silver,
    I'm always amazed what you can do with tin cans and bicycles. Thanks for sharing. Just wondering what your filter would look like with louvers instead of holes. You could make little slices in the metal and bend them outward...:)
    Anyway, not to highjack your thread but since we're talking about cheap alternatives to aftermarket parts I thought I'd toss this hat in the ring. It's a poor man's chrome air cleaner made from a spray paint can top. Close inspection will tell what it is but from a couple of steps away it adds a bit of shine to the engine and it cost virtually nothing, unless you count the price of the rattle can chrome paint. A little work with a Dremel, a self tapping sheetmetal screw and presto, a chrome air filter. It completely covers/hides the original plastic kit supplied one and looks better, I think. The neat thing is you could use the top from whatever paint you use on the bike and have a color matched air cleaner.
    Tom
     

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  16. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Sneaky, Tom. I like sneaky and that's a good idea about the matching paint when you paint the frame. Ah, all the cheap possibilities out there! One of my favorite things as a kid was a trip to the dump. A single wagon wheel... what to do with it? I still like looking through the metal pile which is where I found the 1950 Schwinn straight bar last summer. Seeing value in what others throw away or otherwise disregard is a fun thing... even cans and lids and such. How is that chrome plastic kote, by the way? The lid sure looks good.
    SB
     
  17. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Silver B,
    The cap looks better than the dried paint...lol. It looks okay but don't be fooled; it ain't chrome.
    Tom
     
  18. CoConutXpress

    CoConutXpress New Member

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    Silverbear, This is a great idea! Good way to save money. I was wondering, I have read that the gas mix sometimes splashes back and eventually the filter needs cleaning. So, after a lot of riding, do you notice some gas mix dripping out of the bottom holes? Also, do you have any compliants with the filter?

    Thanks,
    CoConutXpress
     
  19. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I've only run the motor for ten minutes or so last evening in the process of fixing the centrifugal clutch, so I don't have an answer for you. I would think if cleaning was needed that a rinse of the scrubber in gas would do the trick. If it's real oily maybe the mix is too rich. I'm just experimenting and fooling around. I have all of about $.55 cents invested in the leaping tuna air cleaner, the price of tuna fish on sale.

    Here's a picture of the new and improved leaping tuna air cleaner #2 which sports a lid from a salmon can and reads "Alaska USA" so it is made in America, how cool is that? Kind of a hybrid tuna/salmon air cleaner. Mounted it on my American, I did.
     

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  20. stuartracing

    stuartracing New Member

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    You guys amaze me, both of you....Can and a tuna can, excellent ideas.....
    Keepum coming.....
     

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