General Rotary Tech Support Use this forum for tech questions not specific to a certain model year

Vacuum Leaks and Smoke Testers

Old 06-24-18, 11:32 AM
My Mazda Mistress
Thread Starter
ColonelFord's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Louisville
Posts: 22
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
Vacuum Leaks and Smoke Testers

Over the years I've encountered numerous instances of "mystery" idling and poor performance issues that were found to be caused by a vacuum leak. Most of the leaks were not readily visible and took an inordinate amount of time to locate. A prime example would be a soft spot on the underside of the anti-afterburn hose on my 12a. Finding this leak through visual and tactile inspections were incredibly frustrating and time consuming. The obvious solution to finding these types of leaks more easily would be the use of a smoke tester. However, most of us cannot afford such expensive equipment which can run upwards of $700+. More recently, though, I found an awesome video of a homemade smoke machine. The total cost for making this smoke machine is only $15-$20 and most of the major components can be found cheaply at Harbor Freight. The components are: A tight sealing used pickle jar, a cheap soldering iron (for heating the "wick" to produce the smoke), an old cotton sock and some mineral oil, the tube and cap from a Bic pen, some clear vinyl tubing, epoxy, and a bicycle pump. You will also need a drill and a step drill bit for boring holes in the metal pickle jar lid. The following YouTube video shows how easy it is to make this awesome smoke tester:

ColonelFord is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by ColonelFord:
Akaviri (06-01-19), eage8 (07-02-18), speedjunkie (07-03-18)
Old 07-02-18, 10:59 PM
1308ccs of awesome
iTrader: (9)
eage8's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Woodbine, MD
Posts: 6,177
Received 10 Likes on 10 Posts
That's awesome. Thanks for sharing.
eage8 is offline  
Old 07-03-18, 02:01 AM
Make an assessment...
iTrader: (2)
speedjunkie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,161
Received 7 Likes on 7 Posts
That's great! I've wanted a smoke machine for a while now and I love DIY stuff like this so it's perfect. Thanks for sharing!
speedjunkie is offline  
Old 08-24-18, 01:52 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Alberta
Posts: 17
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On my way home to make one now!
T's79SA is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
2nd Generation Specific (1986-1992)
07-27-18 01:12 PM
20B Forum
07-12-13 11:14 AM
3rd Generation Specific (1993-2002)
05-01-08 03:02 PM
Rotary Car Performance
12-10-07 06:19 PM
2nd Generation Specific (1986-1992)
05-07-03 08:33 PM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Vacuum Leaks and Smoke Testers

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: