Spent the first day of 2014 pondering, mostly. And I got things pretty figured out.
The transmission is much where it needs to be. The rear mount works and the bolts line up. I trimmed the front mount and climbed under and attached it, eyeballed it for my swaybar-endlink idea and it should be perfect. I’ve ordered the metal I need to make the tabs and extend the rear subframe forward, so when that gets here I can fab it up.
Looking at that, I decided to straighten out the crossmember under the running boards. This is a BCW-kit piece that goes edge-to-edge under the car and forms the low point of the undercarriage. The passenger side was bent back when I got the car. It was kind of a rakish angle, but it no longer matched side-to-side. I decided to straighten this one rather then bending the other one.
Rigged up the floor jacks in a dangerous way and got it pretty straight.
When I run the pipes forward this piece will come off for modification–probably cuts and loops for the 1.5-inch aluminized exhaust pipes (and the heater core pipes too). I plan to change it but at least not weaken it–and maybe make it stronger. I’ll hammer it a bit straighter too.
Speaking of coolant pipes, I then mapped out where they will go, front to back. The engine side should work with the outfall coming wide and high on the driver’s side before stepping down in front of the trailing arm. Three 90-degree bends should bring it to the pipe and then forward. That side is going to be tricky up front though. I’d planned to bring them both up through the floor just outboard of the tunnel and even with the front wheels (ahead of the Napolean’s Hat), hopefully with a pro bend. The driver’s side will be trouble though, because the master cylinder is in the way. Forward of that there is steering linkage.
So now I think I need to come in behind that spot, in the dead area where the brake rod is. I need to take off the access panel and have a look in that box to see if I can go that way. If I can, I might even be able to fab up a bulkead fitting just above the MC, coming out of the battery box. That would be pro.
The inlet pipe looks easier. Basically a 150-degree turn from the engine and straight back, wide on the passenger side, under the subframe and just inboard of the shock mount. Two 90s bring it to the pipe, then straight forward to a spot just ahead of the Napoleans Hat and a 90 through the floor there.
I can get flex hose to bring my 1.25-inch radiator inlets to the 1.5 pipe. Easy peasy for like $30.
The radiator fits; I knew that. So today I bit the bullet, donned a mask and cut out the fiberglass behind the grill. Thought of removing the grill to make it easier & do it with a sawzall or skill saw. Got the six bolts that seem to hold the nose in place out–but the headlight bar was still in and the grill wasn’t budging a bit. In fact, it looks like maybe Graham glassed it in after the bolts went on to give it some extra strength. Bottom line: I didn’t feel like trying to take everything apart.
So I got after it with the cutoff wheel and the dust filled my eyes and nose even with the mask. But: done.
(Mostly…still needs to be trimmed even).
Fit the radiator back in and pondered the last two feet of rad lines, the shroud shape and attachment points, brackets for the rad (these will be easy–there are bolts alread in place), and ways to maybe somehow gain back some of the trunk space I’m giving up (custom gas tank, anyone? Not just yet).
I then mapped out routes for the fuel lines (outboard passenger side in the pan channel–there are even bolt head to screw brackets to) and wires (also passenger side–maybe the CPU under passenger seat?
Then I assembled the huge airbox on the engine and started measuring that against the remaining space in the engine and transaxle bay.
I already knew it was going to be a squeeze. Doesn’t look like the stock air box will ever go–maybe a cone filter will work.
I know others have fabbed up neat and short solutions to this problem in dune buggies and such, so no worries.