Mysterious Contraptions

Mysterious Contraptions

We’ve been busy working on a couple things for the Mysterious Build…without giving too much away, let’s show you what we’ve been up to.

Doing a secret (for now) build can be both fun and difficult from your humble narrator’s side of things. On one side, it’s important to keep the big components secret, leaving out a lot of fun pictures. On the other hand, it’s fun because we have to work a little harder to make sure pictures are taken in such a way that we can use them again. Parts not being near the car, extreme close-ups, things like that; it makes the job harder but ultimately more satisfying. Either way, we’re back to being shrouded in mystery. Last time we looked at the build, we were making an exhaust for it…or were we?! Yes, yes, it was an exhaust; that part is too hard to cover up. Since we checked in on it, we finished up the main mount on the front side, and also completed the piping past the center brace, which had to be changed in shape slightly to clear the brace while still maintaining the correct amount of volume.


After the welding was complete up to that point, and with the first mount finished, we drilled holes for the oxygen sensor bungs. Yes, there’s a clue for you — this car requires the use of oxygen sensors. Since we’re still deliberating the final design of the exhaust past the center brace, we’ve left this part of the exhaust as-is for now.


With that out of the way, we moved from steel to aluminum as our metal of choice for this next piece. It’s…a box of some sort. Featuring A/N male fittings on the sides at different points and a filler cap on top, we’re not too sure what it does just yet, but we know that it plays some important role somewhere in the construction of this setup that we can’t tell you about just yet. How secretive…it’s like we’re all part of some spy movie.


If you’re wondering where the welds are to hold the filler cap and A/N male fittings in place, all you have to do is look behind. That is to say, we welded the parts on the inside, rather than the outside, so that it looked cleaner. Since it will be displayed in a prominent spot in the engine bay, we wanted it looking as slick as possible, and this should help.


We’re also working on a trick little mounting system that we haven’t really utilized in the past. The first step in making these mounts are welding the mount bases to the box itself. As we’ll be welding them from the inside again, we had to cut holes in the box and bezel the ends of the mount bases to fit in there.


Oh, and while that was taking place, we also welded the box together at the same time as the rest of the pieces. No, the box isn’t dented on one side; instead of making a standard rectangular prism, we wanted to maximize the available volume of the box while still fitting to the constraints of the engine bay. This was the shape that did exactly that. Although, once it’s done, you won’t be able to tell, as this side will be up against the shock tower.


With the mount bases welded to the mystery box, we set about making the “corncob pipe” portion of the mount. This is comprised of two steel parts — it’s basically a thin rod that gets press-fit into the side of the “bowl” of the pipe. From there, a quick weld inside the bowl holds the pieces together. Welding on the inside is a bit of a theme with this box.


Now if you’re wondering how this works, we’ll tell you. The bowl of the pipe is bolted to the existing OEM mount on the body of the car. From there, the edge of the thin rod goes through a hole on the box’s mount base, and it’s held in place via the set screws at the top. It’s a little more custom than usual, but we thought it was interesting enough of a mounting method to put up here on the blog.


If you’re like us, you’re thinking, “Oh crap, there was an A/N fitting on the bottom of the box, and now it’s pointing into the fender! How will you run anything from there?” No need to worry, as there’s actually a convenient escape for the fitting and its corresponding hose just beneath the box itself. That will run….actually, no, we’ll wait to tell you this. Can’t give away all the secrets, after all.


We keep coming up with new pieces of this secret build every day, so we’ll have some more mysterious parts to show you soon. In the meantime, though, it’s back to the tools and back to work. Have a great Tuesday!


  • Patrick
    Posted at 10:21h, 17 October

    Air to water IC setup for a turbo (3″ single outlet exhaust) E36?

  • fluidmotorunion
    Posted at 10:24h, 17 October

    It *is* a water tank, that much we’ll say. And you have the piping diameter correct. But the rest is a little murky.

    Even if you were right, we still wouldn’t give it away. It’s the owner’s wishes, so we’re staying mum on the specifics until the project is done and running at 110%.

  • Tim
    Posted at 20:59h, 18 October

    In lieu of 2nd fan? Great welds and creative shape! Looks like a complicated 3D puzzle.

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