$20 Smoke Machine
I built it and it works. I went down to Wal-mart and bought a little 12vdc tire pump (cost 12 dollars). The tire pump had a little stow-away compartment on the front for the hose and cord. I removed lid and discarded. I used a die grinder to remove top of tire pump body right over top compartment. I cut the hose on the pump about 1 and 1/2 in. out of pump body. I drilled a hole in top edge of side of can (metal can for tire patch glue with screw on lid). Inserted hose (tightly) and sealed with silicone. I did the same for an outlet. The rest of the hose mounts in the other side of can up high. I took a diesel glow plug (champion pn# 168 cost 8.12 w/tax) and installed in center of lid so that it points down into can. I sealed it with ac o-rings and copper drain plug washers. I mounted a crimp-eyelet between copper washers as top for a ground for glow plug. You unscrew pos. wire at top of glow plug and unplug ground wire from spade one inch away from plug, unscrew lid, re-fill, and reinstall to use. I don't plan on using this on EVAP systems and DO NOT recommend usage of this on EVAP. This is for engine vacuum leaks only (or maybe a water leak in a trunk). I tested it with trans. fluid, it works great. I tried adding UV dye to trans. fluid hoping for UV smoke, but no success. However, MotorVac sells UV sensitive smoke oil. Matco man says $80, Napa can get it too, and they have yet to get back with a price. Just a couple of suggestions for anyone thinking of building this: 1. Get a tire pump with a built-in pressure gauge.
2. Use a tall metallic can with a screw-on lid. Mount the glow plug in the side down at bottom. And the hoses high up in side (mine requires oil level be so high that air flow can spit a little oil out of it and when oil level gets low, mine requires a little jiggle to splash oil onto plug). 3. Install a check valve in the hose to insure nothing can flow backward up the hose to your glow plug. 4. A pressure reg. might be a nice touch, but shouldn't be required for vacuum-leak-only use since CFM is so low on one of those pumps. 5. A water trap after can in hose might be a nice touch too to stop any oil-spitting. 6. Power the glow plug off of the pump's built-in switch. It is easy to forget if glow plug is hot at all times when battery is hooked up. This ends up being a neat little package. Also don't forget this can be used often in pinpointing engine oil leaks too and exhaust leaks with the right tail pipe adapter.I have recently upgraded it to see the latest details check out my website. Find other automotive articles, advice and technical tips that will make your life easier at www.justautoparts.ca . You can go directly to the list of Articles at http://justautoparts.googlepages.com .