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Thread: Triple SU set up at the Nationals

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    Registered User 240ZGL's Avatar
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    Default Triple SU set up at the Nationals

    Anyone know who owns the car or better yet, where he got this set up. It was parked on the side street, white with a carbon fiber hood. That set up is just too cool.
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    Belongs to Steve from Z-Therapy - he drove the car down from Oregon. I talked to him about it - all custom with lots of fabrication and sectioning. I didn't hear if he had any production plans - you could email and ask.

    Did you see the custom decal he had made up for the air cleaner housing - shows the three carbs!
    Last edited by Goose52; 05-01-2006 at 10:03 PM.
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    Registered User 240ZGL's Avatar
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    The work is so good I thought it was factory Japan. Wow what a set up.

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    I was talking to Steve after the show and for now it is a one of a kind setup. He has no plans to manufacture them at this time. It's very unique setup and looked very OEM. He made everything from scratch from the intake manifold to the balance tube. He did a great job putting two original air cleaners together to make one longer one. Maybe if enough people ask him about it, he might think about producing a few. But I doubt it.

    A few years (quite a few) back there was a discussion about a 3 SU setup never being able to work. I think Steve did this to prove that theory wrong. Are you reading this Mark?

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    Hi RAZ1:
    I don't think Steve has proven Mark wrong - so much as he has had fun building a conversation piece.

    Getting a 3 SU set-up to work with an in-line six isn't all that difficult, indeed it was standard on some of the earlier Jags. for a brief period. Getting it to work better than, and/or add performance to, was the real question.

    Jag dropped the 3 SU set up because it didn't work better and it did add a level of difficulty to the tuning process.

    The problem with the triple SU set-up had to do with maintaining an even flow of air/fuel mix to each cylinder, as it was needed through the intake runners. Because of the firing order and timing of intake valve opening/closings.. the two SU set up does a better job than the three SU set up.

    Because the stock two SU's will supply all the air/fuel that an L24/L28 can use - adding the third SU really adds nothing. The triple Side Drafts, give you the ability to tune each cylinder individually and feed all equal amounts of air/fuel mix... without the conflicting intake pulses present in the triple SU set up.

    Mark explained it this way:

    With the dual SU manifold the air / fuel distribution is poor because the runner lengths are different. Datsun worked their butts off to try and compensate for this and really did a pretty good job (you should see how bad some of the British stuff is). The advantage of the dual manifold is that the pulsations come in even periods. Let me try to put this visually;





    1---\

    \

    2------- 103020103020

    /

    3---/


    A "0" represents a "dead" time slice, a time when none of the cylinders fed by this manifold are in the intake phase. Any other number indicates the cylinder which is in the intake phase.





    4---\

    \

    5------- 050604050604

    /

    6---/


    As you can see the pulse pattern is very even, being one time slice on, then one time slice off.

    This means that each cylinder is pulling on a column of air/fuel (what is contained in the manifold) with about the same velocity, because each cylinder is preceded by the same length of "dead" time in the manifold. This promotes all sorts of positive effects, and keeps air speed in the manifolds fairly constant. It limits the amount of "flow reversal" that can take place by limiting the length of "dead time" in each manifold. These effects are mitigated to some degree by the differences in individual runner lengths and by the distances from the main plenum of each manifold to each intake valve. But all in all this manifold and firing order do work fairly well together.

    Now here is the pattern for a triple SU set up;





    1--\

    --- 100020100020

    2--/





    3--\

    --- 003004003004

    4--/





    5--\

    --- 050600050600

    6--/


    You can see from this that the front and rear manifolds have uneven pulsations. 3 time slices off, 1 on, 1 off, 1 on. This means that the cylinder that opens after the 3-time-slices-off "dead" period, will be pulling on a much slower column of air/fuel than the other cylinder will.

    This will cause those cylinders (#'s 2 & 5) to run a little leaner and their counterparts (#'s 1 & 6) to run a little richer. The reason for this is that air reacts to changes in velocity more quickly than the fuel does.

    Since the air/fuel mix in the manifold has 3 time slices to slow down before cylinders 2 & 5 draw on it, it will be slower for them and as it tries to speed up again, the air will respond more quickly and get to the cylinder slightly sooner that the fuel. By then the intake stroke for these cylinders will be ending, the extra fuel meant for these cylinders will stack up in the manifold and then cylinders 1 & 6 will open.

    They will be opening to a fast moving, extra rich, mixture. (On some 4 cyl motors this phenomenon is so bad that the engine idles on only two of the cylinders if the mixture is not within range).

    The center manifold is different, however, its pulsation pattern is even, with 2 off time slices followed by 1 on time slice. each cylinder will be pulling on a column of air/fuel with about the same velocity, but thatvelocity will be fairly low due to the fact that twice as much time is spent "off" as is spent "on".

    So the triple SU manifolding has three basic problems;

    First, the pulsing patterns are not the same for all manifolds and,

    Second, the outer manifolds will have distribution problems caused by uneven pulse patterns and,

    Third, the center manifold will suffer from reduced velocity.

    The third problem is the least important of the three and is true for triple Mikuni's as well (in fact they suffer from a 5:1, off to on, ratio). I would not be concerned about this except as it relates to the behavior of the outer manifolds.

    The solution for the outer manifold's distribution problems is probably going to be similar to what was done for the British 4 cyl, siamesed engines. The runners of the manifold were "aimed" at the lean running cylinders slightly. This helped to overcome the distribution bias that was created by the uneven pulsing. I am not sure how well this would work on the Z motor, but on MGB's it helped quite a bit. It didn't eliminate the problem, but it did significantly reduce it.

    The last problem, that of the manifolds not all having the samepulse patterns is not soluble except by altering the firing order. But by ameliorating the negative effects of this, we can to some degree cancel the problem out.

    If the manifolding is done well it will be equal to, or slightly better than the stock manifold for distribution, but will increase flow. If runner and plenum size is kept small enough to keep air velocities up, the drivability and throttle response should be better than a dual set up.

    Anyway, there's something for all you triple SU freaks to chew on for a while. You could solve all these problems by going to 6 of the 1.25" (32mm) SU's you know. :-)
    - - - - - end quote from Mark - - - - -



    FWIW,
    Carl

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    Registered User deadflo's Avatar
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    There was a feature article in the old Z car magazine about a guy who had done a similar set up. The article mostly focused on his short stroke hi revving setup.I remember the car was the Baby poop yellow color, and a unique rubber door guard strip. I recall the strip because years later I saw the same car on a Z club website. I beleive the car resides in the pacfic northwest somewhere. Anyone know the car I'm referring to?

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    Good explanation Carl. Kinda makes you wonder about a guy thats supposedly a SU guru, who goes forth with a tripple SU set-up!!!? Hmmmmmm!

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    Steve did it at a conversation piece and for fun. i think he had upwards of a couple hundred hours in the conversion. It was very well done to look like an original set up and it works well. Does it work better than the stock set up...well only Steve can answer that question. My understanding that higher RPM that it really goes well.

    I would not question or fault Steve for this project, he did this because he wanted to and he could make it work. And it does. He drove that car down from Oregon.

    Is he a SU guru absolutely...He is a Datsun Guru as well. 240ZX, i think you are being unfair to make such a comment. There are many people on this site that use is products and swear that they are the best you can buy.

    This is an unbiased opinion from me, because all my cars use Solex or Mikuni carbs. I know Steve and his wife Pam because we travel in the same circles. He knows his stuff....

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    Add to that the fact that Steve has no plans to sell this set up to anyone, nor is he making any claims that it is better than something else. I suspect he did it simply because he could, and wanted to have something different.
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    I think it looks cool. Steve has my recommendation as well.
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    Carl, I must say that was quite a write up! I must also admit that I didn't read it all and yet I still have a question. This information indicates that the triple SU setup is a poor idea and does not add to the performance of the car. My question is then why are there so many racers using a triple carb setup with Webbers, Solex, Mikuni, etc? If the triple setup is no better why do the racers not know this? My guess has to do with the differences in the type of carbs we are talking about...though I'm no expert and thus my curiosity.
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    Yup, type of carbs. The SU's are a single throat, the Webers and Mikunis are dual throat, so each cylinder gets its own. Which you probably would have figured out had you read Carl's post all the way through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron carter
    Steve did it at a conversation piece and for fun. i think he had upwards of a couple hundred hours in the conversion. It was very well done to look like an original set up and it works well. Does it work better than the stock set up...well only Steve can answer that question. My understanding that higher RPM that it really goes well.

    I would not question or fault Steve for this project, he did this because he wanted to and he could make it work. And it does. He drove that car down from Oregon.

    Is he a SU guru absolutely...He is a Datsun Guru as well. 240ZX, i think you are being unfair to make such a comment. There are many people on this site that use is products and swear that they are the best you can buy.

    This is an unbiased opinion from me, because all my cars use Solex or Mikuni carbs. I know Steve and his wife Pam because we travel in the same circles. He knows his stuff....
    Easy big boy! I wasn't questioning any of Steve's product or abilities. I just thought it was interesting that a SU specialist would build up a set of triple SU's for a six cylinder, when it is a known fact that there are issues with this configuration. Your comment however, implies that I was questioning his product.....re-read, I made no such statement! Ron, I don't think my comment was unfair! I always think its fair to question things....even from the best professionals, as even they get is wrong sometimes.

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    Kinda makes you wonder about a guy thats supposedly a SU guru, who goes forth with a tripple SU set-up!!!? Hmmmmmm!
    To me this reads like a backhanded comment. You are clearly questioning the competency of Steve, and his business. I didn't like it, and didn't agree with it, and said so.

    Everyone on this list with a 240Z or 260Z are potential clients of Z Therapy. They could read your comment and get the wrong idea.

    Look, I appreciate that you question things, we all do. I think I would phrase it differently. Or better still, contact Steve at Z therapy and ask Steve directly, instead of posting the comment above.

    Clearly you did not know Steve's intentions or modivations and made assumptions based off what you saw and Carls comments.

    I am not mad, i just want to clear the air.

    A better statement is: I wonder if Steve knew of the disadvantages of the tripple SU setup based off of Carls comments above? This makes it a discussion, not a nasty comment.

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    Ron, I share no hard feelings either but, please try not to read things into comments that only exist in your own mind. I can understand your defense since Steve and his wife are your personal friends. Had I know the details of the effort I would not have said a thing. Sorry to offend your feelings Ron.

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    I think Steve did it just to prove that it could be done. It puts all of this to rest with hard proof.
    Mike

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    And it looks damn good. The welding is virtually seamless! And the air cleaner decal showing all three carbs is a nice touch. Definately a conversation piece. Looks like and oem setup.
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    Bottom line, we can all get our hands on dual SU's, triple Webbers, Mikuni's and Solexes, dual 2 bbls, and 4 bbls, supercharges, turbos, and FI systems. Steve has the only 3 SU setup known. The art of custom work is to be the only one with that whatever. He has it and I salute him for it. That puts him on the short list of WOW, and leave us wondering how to get on that list.

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    Sorry guys, if I hadn't mentioned the quoted debate/discussion in my post (Carl picked up on it quickly) this might have been just nice remarks about a very good looking setup. Steve mentioned the Mark thing so he is well aware of the debate. If I were Steve I would only have this one of a kind setup since it is so unique.

    Ron, when will all your cars be finished? You're still working on one right?

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    Nice write up Carl. Very interesting. I'm left wondering how you even thought that one through. Too much time on your hands apparently.
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    Triple SU's have been discussed many times in the past.

    http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...=triple+su%27s

    is one of many discussions about this.

    I think the only difference here is that a custom aircleaner has been fabricated that looks like a OEM. Nice touch that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by =Enigma=
    Nice write up Carl. Very interesting. I'm left wondering how you even thought that one through. Too much time on your hands apparently.
    Carl attributes the write-up to Mike. I recall reading that write-up here some time ago. I agree with everyone here - nice set up and the custom air cleaner box makes all the difference. I highly recommend Steve. They correctly identified my 38mm JDM carbs and refurbished them to as-new condition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 240ZGL
    Steve has the only 3 SU setup known. .
    Well thats what i ws trying to get across in my message, that there was a fellow who had custom fabricated a triple SU setup on his 70 240-Z that was in a pretty big write up in Z car magazine, back in the 90's. I guess no one who has read this thread remembers it. I will dig through my issues to try to give you more specifics. Again i found a pic of this very same car in the last year or two on a z club website. Which one Im not sure. But the photo showed the car somewhere in British Columbia.Ring any bells?

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    Default runner lengths

    In Carls response there was comments to runner lengths on the SU manifolds. I am just curiuos about the different type castings of the intakes and is there one that flows better then another. I have searched a lot for this and n-36 comes up often but with no proof that I have seen. Is there a definitive answer to be found? Since Datsun worked so hard on this I would think improvements would have been made.
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    Must be the torque curve kmack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 240ZGL
    Steve has the only 3 SU setup known.
    I'll throw another wrench into this....
    Steve isn't the only one that has this setup.

    No, it's not me. Sorry (name with held,you know who you are), I couldn't resist!
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    Triple SU installs on 6 cylinder engines have been done since at least the 1950s. On Zs I'm sure someone tried it by 1975. Its not "better" then a dual SU setup but its not really that bad.

    If I ever get time (which I never will) I would want to fool around and build a 6 SU setup. It would probably run like crap but it would generate a lot of laughs and perplex a few folks.

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    There is a photo of tripple SU's off a Volvo on a Z in an old copy of Z car magazine.

    They were not as nicely done as what Steve did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Coffey
    Triple SU installs on 6 cylinder engines have been done since at least the 1950s. On Zs I'm sure someone tried it by 1975. Its not "better" then a dual SU setup but its not really that bad.

    If I ever get time (which I never will) I would want to fool around and build a 6 SU setup. It would probably run like crap but it would generate a lot of laughs and perplex a few folks.
    I talked to a guy who did THAT back in the 50's I think he said. They were motorcycle carbs. Said it worked great, but it was a real PITA to synch all the carbs, and making the linkage was pretty involved. He had an Austin Healey running 6 carbs. I figure Mikunis or Webers gives you the same thing, but is about 8000% easier.
    Quote Originally Posted by 240ZGL
    Steve has the only 3 SU setup known. The art of custom work is to be the only one with that whatever. He has it and I salute him for it. That puts him on the short list of WOW, and leave us wondering how to get on that list.
    If you're after "custom work" and "one of a kind", then I TRULY have the answer for you: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Repli...34614926QQrdZ1

    For some reason, that doesn't leave me "wondering how to get on that list" if you know what I'm saying. Either does the SU's, because Mikunis do it better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Coffey
    If I ever get time (which I never will) I would want to fool around and build a 6 SU setup. It would probably run like crap but it would generate a lot of laughs and perplex a few folks.
    This has been discussed before on this site. Here is one such thread on the topic: http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/s...0&highlight=su

    Quote Originally Posted by jmortensen
    If you're after "custom work" and "one of a kind", then I TRULY have the answer for you: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Repli...34614926QQrdZ1
    I'm so embarrassed that this car...errrr...ummmmm...truck...uhhhhhh....THING is even in the same state as me!!!
    Last edited by texasz; 05-03-2006 at 01:04 PM.
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    You've all obviously forgot about these.... Which I built and had on my Z for a few weeks untill I needed the carbs for something else....
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    This is an interesting article that someone wrote a while back, but I can't help but wonder...

    Why is there no talk about the effect of the air balance tube. Surely it serves a purpose, and I don't think that the article writer truely thought the issue through. Its worth noting that there is a huge and convenient disclaimer at the bottom of the original article.

    Oh well, unique enough setup and proven that it runs well!
    Last edited by 1200driver; 05-04-2006 at 09:38 PM.

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    There's a VSCDA member, Joe Ziltner, who occasionaly races in my club (Midwest Council) and has been using triple SU's for a while now. I didn't take any pictures of the engine bay unfortunately, but I'll have to next time I see it. Anyways, he built the manifold out of exhaust tubing (steel); it did look presentable. As for straight line speed, he was door to door with me at Road America...for a breif moment. I beleive he's since upgraded the cam, so I'll have to get another comparison this year if I race against him again.

    Hopefully Steve won't mind me posting this:

  33. #33
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    Default Triple SU's

    Hello, I stumbled across your site and this discussion and wanted to put my two cents worth in. I am a friend of Steve's and have driven the car in question. I was at the Nationals with him. It runs great. It pulls hard from about 1800 rpm and sets you back in the seat at about 4k (big cam, really big). We drove about 2700 miles on our trip to the nationals and the Z got right at 27 miles to the gallon. Keeping in mind that it's a .40 over L28 with a groomed head and like I said a huge cam, we were plesantly surprised at the mileage. We ran about 85-90 most of the time and it has a 3.90 rear end and a 5 speed. Steve has wanted to build this setup for quite some time and yes he was partially motivated by all the talk over the years about how it wouldn't work. I seriously dought he will ever produce any for sale, there was some talk of having manifolds cast as that is were the bulk of the fab. time is, but I wouldn't hold my breath. He has somewere in the neighborhood of 150 hrs. in the set on the white car, as he made everything you see right down to the fuel rail with the return line (triple weber/Mukuni don't use a return).

  34. #34
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    Default As Well or Any Better?????

    Hi Dimer (everyone):
    A comment just so we don't run too far afield or add confusion.

    Most of the talk over the years that I have heard, was about the triple SU's not working "any better" and/or "as well" as the Twin SU set-up. Most people know it will work, as it had been done decades ago by other manufacturers. It would appear that Steve has his set-up working fairly well, and I'm sure he has a lot of fun with it.

    If he wanted to satisfy our curiosity and/or prove/disprove the triple SU Myth... he'd throw that baby on a dyno - and make a few runs with his engine. First dial in the triple SU's and establish a base line, then switch too a proper (matched to that engine) twin SU set-up, dial it in and do a comparison run.

    At that point we'd have at least one controlled experiment as a benchmark for the L series engines. Does the Triple SU set-up work "as well" or "any better"?

    FWIW,
    Carl

    Carl Beck
    Clearwater, FL USA
    http://ZHome.com

  35. #35
    beandip beandip's Avatar
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    Default

    Absolutly , this would do it . Also the use of the 36 intake against the others. And the ''mith'' ? of the 10 HP gain . I have seen this posted so many times over the years and never seen any proof . Seat of the pants dyno dosent count. KMack I know who you are talking about . lol
    I'd rather die while I am living than live while I am dieing. CZC 1887 IZCC 12602 Member of NorthWest Z Car Club

  36. #36
    Must be the torque curve kmack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beandip
    KMack I know who you are talking about . lol
    SHHHHHHH!!!!

    Pepper will get mad at me for telling.....
    "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
    Then find someone who's life gave them Vodka and have a party!"

    KMack
    '71 240Z (Series I) - SOLD
    San Antonio, Tx
    www.geocities.com/kenshobnob
    www.geocities.com/vintagericeracing

  37. #37
    Registered User ZSaint's Avatar
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    Default

    I was with Steve during his manufacturing of his 3-SU set-up. He believes the theory of the "pulse" issue is moot with the cross-over tube in place. He wanted to see if it would work. It does! I drove his white Z just before he took it to the Nationals. I do know it really has a strong kick at 4K. It pulls all the way up. I turned it 6500 before I shifted and it was very strong.

    We have talked about the use of a dyno. He does not want to take the 3-carb unit off to do the 2-carb test. I cannot fault his logic! If Epperly says it works, trust me... It works!
    Z Saint, the vintage racer! I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

  38. #38
    of the Silver Shield Soc. dogma420's Avatar
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    Default

    <<
    Quote:
    Kinda makes you wonder about a guy thats supposedly a SU guru, who goes forth with a tripple SU set-up!!!? Hmmmmmm!

    To me this reads like a backhanded comment. You are clearly questioning the competency of Steve, and his business. I didn't like it, and didn't agree with it, and said so.

    Everyone on this list with a 240Z or 260Z are potential clients of Z Therapy. They could read your comment and get the wrong idea.
    >>

    Contrary to how Tom, aka 240ZX made it sound, I would also like to say I completely recommend Steve at Ztherapy.com for your total SU needs. Even if you just have a simple question, or be lucky enough to live within driving distance, you can actually just show up at the shop and ask some questions, and pick up a little part, like some fuel rubber hoses on the bottoms of the carbs, etc...he is an expert regarding SU carburetors and I recommend him for anyone on our forum. I think it is AWESOME he did that 3 SU setup...it just looks so good, and you can really blow somebody away by showing that setup to somebody. Yeah, its obvious the air vacuum pulse thing doesn't make it fly. The comment made it sound like something else altogether...
    --Dave aka Dogma420 My Gallery
    Early '72 red 110 / white (10/71)
    HLS30 56895

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