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Plumbing a cool can

Q: What is a "cool can"? Is it an early type of coolant-overflow container? How do I plumb it?

Also, I've done my first flipnose conversion on the AMT/Ertl '55 Chevy kit, but I couldn't find any reference material on how to do it. I'm pleased with the build, but it was frustrating redoing and remodifying a lot of my work as I went along. Is there a remote chance of an article showing how to do a flipnose conversion the right way?

- Mike Vautour
via E-mail

Ken: Research is an important part of any successful model-building project, and your question on "cool cans" illustrates a commendable desire to get the details right. In fact, we had to do a little research of our own (throwing your question out to some 1:1 racers) to confirm what we suspected about the subject.

A cool can is actually an ice-filled canister that's typically mounted on the firewall of a race car. The fuel line is coiled through the canister, and the ice prevents vapor lock by literally cooling the fuel - just as the name implies.

The canister is easily accessible, so the ice can be replenished between rounds or heats, in the case of oval track racing. They're typically about five inches in diameter by about six inches deep, and can be plumbed in model form by running one line into the can from the fuel pump and another line to the carbs.

Research and Development also came into play with your second question about building a flipnose '55 Chevy.

With the tons of different frame and body configurations on the hobby shop shelves, there's no "right" way to construct a flipnose lid. Each application will have its own problems and solutions, and require its own engineering.

The idea is to pick a spot at the front of the frame and build a hinged bracket that will attach to the front clip of the car you're building. From where we're sitting, it looks like you did just that. Trials and errors notwithstanding, you came up a workable solution to your problem - just as any ingenious hot-rodder or model builder would do!

The point of this lesson? There's really no answer to your question, because you've already solved your problem! With a willingness to research a subject, an inquisitive mind, some rudimentary mechanical skills, and the determination to try until you get it right, you pulled off a great build and expanded your modeling horizons. In fact, why don't you tell us how you did it and we'll share your technique in a future column.

Thanks for the questions, Mike, and we hope to hear from you again soon.


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