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  • Engine Compartment Blown Glass Extensions - Badass Glass

Engine Compartment Blown Glass Extensions - Badass Glass

Art And Function Collide

John O'Neill
Oct 1, 2004
Photographers: Mike Alexander, John O'Neill
Photo 2/38   |   badass Glass engine
In the custom-truck scene, there's one thing that most people strive for: the ability to stand out at a show. That uniqueness is, without a doubt, worth its weight in trophies and recognition. While frontend conversions and taillight swaps may take care of the exterior, and fiberglass may clean up the interior, the options for engine dress-up have been relatively limited. That is, until now.
Optiflo Inc. is introducing an idea that may single-handedly revolutionize the way engine compartments will look at future shows. The concept is to remove the plain and boring rubber hoses from your engine and replace them with glass extensions, which not only conform to the original hoses, but will also allow never-before-seen visual elements. These spectacular visual elements allow you to watch radiator fluid flowing in and out of the block and through heater hoses, as well as vacuum wisps moving over the block.
Photo 3/38   |   badass Glass custom Engine
Some immediate concerns come to mind at the mention of sticking any type of glass on a hot and turbulent engine. First and foremost, what is going to keep it from shattering? According to Todd Townsend, creator of Optiflo Inc., the glass tubes the company uses have a wall thickness as big as 4mm and are made of the same material as Pyrex ovenware. To prove to us how strong the glass is, he put it head to head against a 2x4-inch wood plank, the shop wall, and a metal filing cabinet, all of which lost to the glass. He even placed the tube on the ground and stood on it to show its structural rigidity.
The second concern we had was how the glass would handle the heat from the fluid within the radiator and heater hoses as well as the overall temperature from within the engine compartment. Todd explained that the glass is heated to extreme temperatures during the manipulation stage, then set into a 1,000-degree kiln to cool off for about an hour. Considering that the temperature of your engine only sits at around the 210-degree mark on a hot day, heat is not an issue.
Follow along as we removed the intake, vacuum hoses, radiator hoses, and heater hoses on our '93 Toyota project truck, and then let the crew at Optiflo work its magic. Since the glass can be manipulated into any form and decorated with any design, the custom possibilities for this application are truly endless.
Photo 35/38   |   badass Glass radiator And Heater Hoses
Finishing the 'Flo

Here, you can see what a visual impact the glass adds. The radiator fluid can be seen flowing through the radiator and heater hoses. Considering that radiator fluid now comes in just about any color, the choice of color combinations to match your truck are endless.


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