Trans Am Scoop Upgrade

MCR hand fabricates an aluminum version of a T/A shaker.

One of the significant differences between a factory stock restoration and a custom build (on any level) is that whenever there is a departure from the original design there is always the possibility that that departure could affect other areas of the build. In other words, an update or change in one area may force changes in others to accommodate it.

The difference between having skills vs. having experience is knowing in advance that if this is done then that will also need to be changed.

This is never an issue with a project that MCR builds from start to finish both because of their 30+ years of experience (actually a lot more than that if you count the collective experience of all the employees) but also because every phase of the build is mocked up to insure that everything is working together as expected. Should the unexpected arise, catching it early in the process makes the solution much easier.

MCR recently had an opportunity to show off their custom fabrication skills to solve a compatibility issue on a 1980 Trans Am. The owner had his engine built off-site with a taller than stock intake topped with a FAST 2000 CFM throttle body. Wanting to keep his original T/A shaker scoop, the engine builder supplied an adapter to fit the scoop to the taller intake, this was not however made for extra large 7-3/6″ throttle body, nor did it have clearance for throttle linkage or sensors.

The solution was to hand fabricate a new scoop using the original as pattern. The new scoop had to accommodate three major changes where the custom engine differed from the factory version. First the scoop had to allow for the overall taller height of the throttle body. It also had to fit the much wider mouth of the FAST throttle body over that of the original carb. Then it had to have the proper amount of offset built in to keep the scoop centered in the hood opening and all this while providing a good path for air to flow into the engine.

The result is a one-off hand formed aluminum scoop that, once painted, will be indistinguishable from the factory fiberglass scoop.

This photo illustrates the issue. A significantly taller than factory intake manifold moves the throttle body too high for the factory scoop to fit under the hood. The FAST throttle body is shorter than the original carb so that tempers some of the increased height but it is not nearly enough. Also note the much wider diameter of the upper throttle body flange. Even at stock height, the factory scoop wouldn’t fit on this throttle body without an adapter of some sort.
The lower half of the scoop assembly made in two sections. The center required fabricating custom dies and was formed on a reciprocating die machine commonly know as a Pullmax. The rest was hammer formed to accommodate the angle of the versus the level plane of the intake. Note the offset required to keep the scoop centered in the hood opening.
Fixed to the underneath of the lower half are four stainless draw latches that catch pins on the top half to securely hold the two halves together and to provide easy access to the air filter.
In order to provide an offset mount/sealing surface for the air filter, MCR designed and 3D printed a circular air filter mount made from carbon fiber reinforced nylon.
This detail shows the air filter mount’s profile and rubber gasket.
This K&N air filter bolts directly to the crossbar and is now centered so that it will fit inside the scoop.
The scoop was hammer formed by hand using the original as the pattern. It was formed from three separate pieces that were then welded together. The .062-inch aluminum that was used is a bit thicker than would normally be needed but that extra thickness allows for the natural stretching and thinning that will occur during the forming process.
The bottom of the scoop shows the latch pins, tube style gasket and the flange that the lower half fits into. The outside perimeter gasket of course seals against the underside of the hood.
The lower half set on top of the throttle body.
The lower half with air filter in place.
And with the scoop latched to the lower.

Sources

FAST, Fuel Air Spark TechnologyFuel Air Spark Technology
Muscle Car Restorations, Inc.https://www.musclecarrestorations.com

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