Got the engine and new transmission installed today, just to see how it fits.
Not bad, but not really. There is interference with the gas tank ends–just like I thought there would be.
–then I cut almost two inches on one side and got it fit–but not well. The cam covers still touch and there is a visible gap underneath where the cam cover shows through. The spare tire carrier won’t quite cover it.
My options now are two: either rework the tank ends a bit more (i.e. cut away enough so the gaps will be visible then maybe refill those gaps), or get new transmission mounts and push the whole drivetrain forward an inch or so.
I’m leaning toward option two. There will be a tight squeeze already with the upper radiator hose (I think I’ll need to cut 2 inches or so off the outlet pipe), and I don’t yet know how well the alternator will fit behind the middle panel (assume it’s fine, just don’t know for sure yet).
But the air inlet just barely fits as is.
So if I move the engine forward, I’ll have to cut some of the back panel out of the tub. I think this is OK because I’ve already mocked up a fake side curtain box for that area. This would get me slightly more authentic looking rear tub while creating access to that snorkel and its various junk–should I end up using all that.
The overall fit of the KEP adapter is excellent. All the holes are just as they should be. But there are some problems. The heads of the lower bolts that put the plate on the engine, for example, run right into the rubber transmission mounts. I assume the fix is to notch those mounts–though that weakens the mount. The other option would be to get some kind of button-head, allen wrenched bolts for those holes. Or some kind of counter-sunk arrangement. Neither of those pleases me either.
The real fix there might be to fab up a frame tab that incorporates the Suby engine mounts. This is where welding lessons would come in real handy about now.
The other tricky thing about getting this bugger in are the studs. KEP includes four that screw into the plate, but even the short ones are too long for me to get the engine past the bell housing on the way in (actually, with another inch it could be done).
Today’s install required the removal of both lower plate-to-engine bolts, then all the studs had to come out before the engine could go down into place. It was pretty easy to thread the two upper studs in once the engine cleared (though not as easy as hanging the engine on studs that were already in!). But the bottom studs would not go in past some of the bolts and stuff on the trans mount. To get those in I’d have to put the studs in the trans holes before the engine goes down, then grab them and screw them into the aluminum adapter when it gets close.
So she’s in with just two top studs and three bolts. Good enough to test fit.
The underside looks pretty good.
I plan to route the driver’s side pipes forward and around between the engine and bell housing, run the driver’s side back to meet them and then turn on the outside toward the back, ending up crossing under the rear valance like the VW muffler does now. A small glass pack or spiral muffler should allow a tail pipe in the stock TD location.
Coolant lines would appear to have a place to go as well, with the upper one turning about 130 degrees and travelling along the top of the valve cover, then back and down just behind the axle. The lower one can take an outside route on the passenger side; there should be at least five inches or so between it and the exhaust pipe.
All-in-all, a productive weekend.