The Engine's Where?

You don't have to be a mechanic to realize that something's not right with this picture. The pipe coming out of the engine that is within a 1/4" of an inch of t-boning the chassis is the outlet for the water pump. It's a LS7-based engine and like most engines it expects to be in the front of the car with the radiator directly in front of it. In the case of a mid-engine car, the driver sits between the engine and radiator.

There isn't much room and many builders just notch the pipe and weld it into a into a sharp 90-degree angle. Beyond not looking nice, this approach can lead to cooling problems because there will no doubt be turbulence and turbulence creates air bubbles. Consider that 2% air in the system results in 8% less heat transfer, but 4% air results in a whopping 38% less! 

Fortunately the existing tube is press fitted into the water pump and not hard to remove. After much research I just did what my friend Will did. I had John at Design Enterprises build me a custom part. He machined one end of a stainless steel 90-degree elbow so that it can be press fitted into the water pump. He then machined an adapter from a solid block of stainless steel and TIG welded it to the other end. The adapter serves two purposes: it provides a pronounced bead so that the silicone coolant tube won't slip off and it smoothly transitions from the pump's 1.25" diameter to stainless cooling tube's 1.5" diameter.

This is what the part looked like when I recieved it. 

Some of the weld created a ridge on the inside edge which I filed smooth to reduce turbulence. I also decided to sand the raw tube with 220 and a refinishing pad to give a satin patina and use polishing compound to remove the heat marks from weld. This is what it looks like now. It's ready to install, but I'll have to pull the engine to do that.

To put even a simple thing like this in perspective, I spent a little time here and there over a couple of months thinking about what I might do. I then ordered the part which took about a month to get at which point I spent several hours cleaning it up... and it's still not installed yet!