Detroit, MI -- Watching John Marcella of ET Performance fabricate a one-off intake manifold makes you pretty envious of the man's skill and knowledge. In fact, John makes it look so effortless and easy that anybody should be able to do it. But don't be fooled, he didn't get this good overnight. This guy has spent ten years honing his craft at some of the nation's top fabrication and cylinder head shops.
Very carefully, John begins tacking the plenum box into position, checking and re-checking several key dimensions along the way.
He'll do this repeatedly as he moves around the manifold welding only a few spots at a time in a specific order. This assures all that aluminum sheet metal doesn't twist itself into a wadded up beer can as he begins to pour the heat to it. When, not if, but when the manifold does start to move out of John's acceptable dimensional range, he has a few 'guarded trade secrets' he can use to get things back in spec.
The amount of filler rod that is consumed in the building process is amazing. This step takes hours and John feeds the rod to the torch about as fast as your Grandmother throws handfuls of spaghetti noodles into a boiling pot. After burning through several pounds of aluminum filler rod, the main body of the manifold is done. How this guy can lay down a perfect weld in confines as tight as these is way beyond me!
With the plenum now complete, one of the more tedious jobs begins. John has to cut and blend openings through the plenum runner face that transition smoothly into the eight runners.
Next week, 'Episode IV' will show some of the vast quantities of detail work that lead up to the final product. Be sure to tune in then!
In the mean time, to look back at the steps John has taken to arrive at this point in the project, be sure to visit our News Archive section.
Thanks for stopping by!
Ted & Tim Pelech
Pelech Bros. Racing