Rear suspension done

Rear stuff is DONE.

Porn:
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Click the image to open in full size.

Added a hardened washer on each side as a shim between shock and control arm adapter, to get a couple extra mm of clearance between the shock body and the arm.
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Cables, lines and sensors all connected. Just need to fill and bleed brakes later.

Also ran meth line from the boot to the front…
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Added rubber grommets in the adjuster holes…
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Will start on the front this weekend.

Front suspension

Today’s progress: got started on the front suspension.

Dropped the front subframe. Yeah, lift and tall transmission jack come in handy. Dropped the whole thing intact in less than 10 minutes. 10 bolts + 6 nuts.
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Pulled it out and stripped everything off it. Cleaned up and treated some rust.
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Pressed out my 100k mile old Powerflex purple bushings and pressed new Powerflex black bushings into the LCA brackets.

Installed new lower control arms (wishbones), the bushings, and Hotchkis sway bar.
Decided I needed new ball joints. Didn’t find any locally, so ordered a set. Will be delayed for a few days until they get here.

Pulled off the steering rack to save as a spare. Installed my old steering rack with pump and reservoir still attached. Used new Powerflex purple rack bushing. Installed two new tie rods.
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Maneuvered the subframe back into position, raised it, and popped in 10 bolts. Done. That jack is AWESOME.
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Getting ready for the motor…

Productive day in the engine bay.

From this:
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To this:
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Installed tons of hole plugs.
Routed front body harness (both sides).
Wired headlights, re-routed cables.
Installed A-panel and bonnet plastic alignment brackets.
Installed DSC / Brake booster / Master Cylinder / Brake lines, connected brake pedal.
Installed complete wiper assembly.
Installed all firewall trim and brackets.
Installed extra heat shielding in tunnel.
Installed PS pump bracket.
Installed motor mount.
Installed fusebox.

I really like the way the underside of the bonnet is looking. Spent some time routing the wiring to make it as hidden as possible. Not running washers. Really clean.
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Here’s the extra Design Engineering heat shielding I added to the tunnel. Because that area gets pretty darn hot. The coating on the header should hopefully keep things cooler up front, but the cat will be pretty much right under the shifter, at the front of the mid-pipe. Hopefully this will help. I’ll be installing the OEM heat shield over this, might need to bend it a bit for fitment.
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Click the image to open in full size.

Getting close to being ready to hang the motor… finish line is in sight, finally!
Still lots to do before it’s done, but it’s starting to feel real now!

More details

Just played with it for a couple of hours today, between other things.

First… while retrieving my rake to do some yard work, I bumped a box of hardware and it went everywhere. After a few choice words, I picked it all back up, piece by piece. At the bottom of the pile, was this…
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This is the unobtainable clip that locks the clutch line on the bottom of the master cylinder. I’ve been looking for it for over a month, through about 10 boxes of mixed hardware, and haven’t been able to find it. Karma, my groovy babies. Recommendation: if you ever take this thing off, stick it back in the master cylinder slot for safekeeping.

Next, I decided, it was time for some really expensive vinyl. Paint has cured over 3 weeks at the recommendation of my painter.
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Click the image to open in full size.

Really completes the GPness.

And a proper paint code sticker. Arrived today from Germany, via eMINIparts.
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Painted and installed the cabrio braces that came with the new shell.
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Click the image to open in full size.

A few of you very observant folks may have noticed in some recent photos… the paint on my cage failed. I had noticed it flaking a bit. When I put the painters tape on it, and removed it, it lifted. I blame the self-etching primer, because it lifted all the way down to the steel. Bummer, but I’d rather find out now, than later.

Sooooo…. I’ve been researching and testing various things to decide on the best path to remediate that. Finally decided to use POR-15 Silver, plus POR-15 Silver Top Coat to make it UV tolerant. Wish I had done that originally, the color turns out to be really close to the Pure Silver. Oh, well. Stripping the existing paint and masking everything off will suck. But the new paint will be MUCH better when done and cured. After checking colors on pints of the POR stuff, I ordered quarts today, to ensure I have plenty. Will probably work on that next week.

Sorting parts, and more suspension and bay work

Spent a couple hours sorting parts between my two garages, organizing all the stuff I need to finish and making another pile to go do the dump.

It’s a lot of stuff…
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Hopefully everything I need is either out of, on top of, or in front of this pile…
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In the process, unearthed my strut bar, and decided it needed a repaint. So did that.
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Found the lower seal for the boot hatch, got it installed.

Started hanging front suspension parts on, replaced a broken wheel speed sensor, connected brake lines. Still waiting on new ball joints to finish the suspension.
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Pressed the mid-shaft bearing back onto the repaired right RMW axle, ready to install.

Fire sleeve came for the PS lines, got that installed tonight. Better.
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Birthday present to myself… Camber/Caster gauge arrived. Still need the adapter for it, and my toe plates. Then will be able to do my own alignment stuff…
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Brain transplant complete

So, this happened…

Yeah, pretty excited. Plugged in the GP ECU, connected the battery, and turned the key. Brain transplant complete.

Also pulled a ton of wiring through the firewall, for the Zeitronics wideband/EGT/boost/oil temp/oil pressure/RPM/Vipec connections, and Aquamist.

Rolled the motor out, to get ready for tomorrow. Will swap to the OSG clutch, and hang that puppy…

Assembling and hanging the motor

Big day today…

Finished front suspension bits (ball joints, tie rods). Still need to tighten and adjust everything, after the axles are in.

Played around with the exhaust mid pipe, confirmed that the flex joint, cat and new resonator can all fit in where the current Milltek mid pipe goes. Will need to cut the center exhaust hanger plate for clearance.
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Will take final measurements after the engine and header are installed, and have this fabbed next week.

Pulled the transmission and installed OS Giken clutch. It’s pretty.
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Installed oil pressure sensor.
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Hung the motor! I’m getting pretty good at it.
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Tomorrow, need to hook everything up, install new radiator, fill with fluids, bleed brakes and clutch, install axles, tighten up all the front suspension bits, and fire it up! Might put the bumper and wheels on it and drive it around the block…

Colin reminded me… I need to move my oil pressure sensor and connect via a hose, so the vibration doesn’t kill it. I have lots of extra AN lines and fittings, just need to get some adapters for it and I’ll move it somewhere before I wire it.

By the way, this was the easiest iteration yet in re-mating the transmission to the motor, after a clutch swap. Method I used was I sat the motor on a couple of 2×4’s laterally under the oil pan to raise it off the floor 1.5″ and hold it stable, and straddled it with the engine crane (so the crane tower was on the pulley side of the motor, and the legs and boom were coming toward me, I sat on the transmission side). Hooked a chain from the crane up to the upper outboard transmission mount hole on the transmission so it could just swing freely. Then was able to easily get the height exactly right and twist and jiggle it until the shaft slid right into the clutch plate, and the bell housing slid right onto the dowels. No drama, and no manual lifting effort. About 5x easier than the methods I had used previously.

It lives!

It’s ALIVE!!!!!

I’m a very happy camper.

Crazy loud right now. The video doesn’t do it justice. The whole house shakes on its foundation when it’s just idling. When I rev it, every dog in the neighborhood goes nuts. But it has an open RMW race header and no exhaust connected right now… so, figures.

Got everything plugged up, new radiator and surround and fan assembly put together and hung, fluids in, brakes and clutch bled (still need to do ABS bleed), and turned the key. Turned over first try, but wouldn’t start.

Checked fuel first… no fuel pressure at the rail. Unplugged the line, and cycled power a few times. I could hear the pump cycling normally, but no fuel was coming out of the line. Usually, if you disconnect it and do that, fuel GUSHES out. So something was amiss. Checked the pump install, looked fine. Checked the fuel filter, and the canister wasn’t screwed together right. Corrected that, and fixed!

My one salvaged and one eBay Xenon both work. Car has DRL’s enabled, because I’m using the BCM from the shell I just bought. Will be interesting to see what else is coded in that. I’ll get all that straightened out.

Tomorrow I’ll button up the engine bay, front wheel well liners, bumper and wheels and roll it around the block. I hope the police don’t come. 

Joy Ride, and time for beer

So, this happened.

Soooooooo happy. Lots of stuff to still work out, but this is what I’ve been working toward for 4 months. OK, actually more like 18 months. OK actually more like 9 years. 

It sounded like a tractor pull was happening in the hood, and my neighbors gave me dirty looks, because this is my exhaust.
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Before I drove it, I spent a few minutes hanging the bumper and a side skirt, just so I could see what it looked like. OMG I’m in love. Still needs tonneau and the cage needs repainted… and the ride height is all wrong… but it’s still beautiful.
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

But when I drove it around the hood, it looked like THIS….
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No seat belts, no airbags, no roll bar padding, seats not bolted to the floor, loose wiring dangling all over the cabin… but I DID NOT CARE.

Spent most of the afternoon remediating various things that drug, made noise, etc. Needed to grind the new lower ball joints (touched the DT big rotors), needed front wheel spacers (tire was touching height adjustment lock ring on the BC coils), needed to grind down some corroded spots on the rotors (dragging brakes). Now the car rolls easily and silently, as it should!

Also made an attempt to adjust ride height. My first experience adjusting coilovers, I didn’t quite understand that 1″ of coilover adjustment does NOT equal 1″ of ride hight adjustment. But now understand that, and (duh) it’s obvious why.

Anyway, need to work on that some more tomorrow, as I overshot raising the front and lowering the rear, now it’s slammed in back and too tall in the front. Quick fix tomorrow, now that I know what I’m doing. Also did several complete cooling system flushes as that was NASTY from the motor sitting on a dolly for several months. Now nice and clean, and full of nice clean new coolant.

Every time I start the car, it sounds healthier. Again, a motor sitting still on a pallet for months isn’t a great thing. But I think I’ve about gotten it rejuvenated.

Time for beer.

Even more details

Long day cranking on details.

Installed the front bumper for real. Which required as much time hunting through boxes for hardware, as actually working on installing it. First time installing a GP bumper, had to figure out how all the trim and stuff worked. But got it done.

Spent a while working on bonnet alignment. Much better, but still need to tweak it a bit.

Tested windows and lights for the first time. Worked! Installed the knobs that hold the window glass to the regulators. Replaced a couple of bad bulbs in the taillights.

Routed narrowband and wideband O2 and EGT sensor wiring. Have that all buttoned up under the car and in the engine bay. Need to wire the Zeitronix controller in the cabin tomorrow.

Drew up plans for my custom exhaust midpipe. Dropped of exhaust stuff at the good shop across town, showed everything to the dude and explained it. He said “no problem, tomorrow, worst case Wednesday”. That’s what I wanted to hear!
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Adjusted ride height on my coilovers. Much better, may need to raise the rear a little more.

Adjusted rear toe, I think I have it much closer. Need to adjust camber front and rear.

Dropped the long exhaust heat shield. Fabricated and installed a little bracket to help maintain clearance under the short shifter, since there’s no bottom on the shifter box. Made it out of a mounting plate I had bought for the kill switch, that I didn’t need.
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Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Modified the battery bracket to fit my lightweight battery. Nice, secure, race-legal metal-to-metal mount. Much better.

Disassembled my spare stereo headunit to experiment with alternate installation locations. I think I have a plan for fitting the whole thing (less the CD player) in the OEM location. That would be cool. Will work on it more tomorrow.
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***

Working on street legal odds and ends today. Installed my Longacre rear view mirror (required fabricating some brackets). Got all four corner lights working. Installed one of my Hella Supertone horns. Bolted in my seats. Installed harnesses.

The horn was one of the more challenging things, actually. my steering wheel was missing the horn wiring harness (got removed by me after the crash). After I replaced that, the horn still wouldn’t work when I pressed on the airbag. But It would if I shorted the steering wheel spring plate with a screwdriver. Finally figured out that the spring plate had gotten bent when the airbag deployed. Replaced it with a spare and all was well.

Car is just waiting on the exhaust now. And some legal mumbo jumbo to get the title.

***

Spent most of the day buttoning up stuff in the cabin, and in the boot.

Wired power to my Zeitronix controller, plugged in the wideband O2 and EGT sensors and the gauge display.
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Plugged in my boot hatch, got the plate lights and boot release working, installed trim inside the boot area, cut and drilled new floor panel for the new meth location, cut felt cabrio rear side panels to fit. The rest of the rear will be carpeted, with custom side panels, at a later date. And the whole thing will be covered with the custom tonneau.
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Experimented with the stereo headunit, determined that it would work with the CD player removed, and that the faceplate is easy to reposition, one ribbon cable.
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Cut the “ceiling” out of the mounting slot, to free up space to angle stuff upward over the roll cage crossbar.
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Click the image to open in full size.

Chopped the chassis so there would be clearance when it angles upward.
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Cabled it up and slid it into place.
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Install faceplate, and it looks totally OEM, but isn’t.
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Cockpit is pretty much done, except for trimming the bottom edge off the door pads, so they clear the door bars.
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Partially unwrapped one of the armrests and trimmed the foam and plastic, then trial fitted it. Looks good. I’ll finish both of them up tomorrow. I’ll shave the exposed bosses on the bottom of the door handle tube, so it’s smooth when you grab it, and will figure out how to affix the pad securely without the lower row of clips.
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