I'm glad there is some interest in the other guys around here. My dad and I made some more progress on the manual rack install yesterday. We got the crossmember cut out and everything mocked into place. Because we have 3" narrower (combined) control arms the inner tie rods are going to be a tight fit but I think it will work and leave us with enough adjustment the set toe. We've been scaling everything we take off so we can get an idea of how much weight is saved.
Not much exciting photo wise from this weekend but I did sell my DRZ and put some money back in the car fund, it's going quick though. This weekend my dad and I got the steering arms fit to the spindles better, they needed a bit of clearance in a couple spots. We mocked the rotors in place and set imaginary toe so we could figure out how much we had to shorten the inner tie rods and the rod ends. I think we'll be close after removing 3/8" from the rod ends and 1-3/8" from the inner tie rods. In addition to that I did a fair bit more grinding around where the tie rod boots are between the crossmembers.
I figured I'd give a brief update on my engine build (plans).
I've got a Scat 435061LW F43 3.75 stroke, 350 main, 2.00" rod journal crank ordered. We were having a hell of a time finding a small rod crank in stock anywhere but Speedway had 3 of these. Then I had to have the crank delivered to a buddy in AZ as Speedway wouldn't ship it to CA. Someone must have checked the wrong box on the computer when they inventoried them and they wouldn't ship it because it isn't CARB approved. I tried my best to argue my point but the monkey behind the computer refused to put a shipping label on it and ship it to me. PITA but it's working out OK as my buddy is coming back to CA in a few days and the crank should be delivered today.
The local machine shop doing the work has a set of darn nice looking CP small journal rods w/ 7/16 bolts he said he'd give us a good deal on (still need to find out what that good deal is after seeing what MSRP on them was ). He's going to spend a little more time with the block and get some pistons ordered for us. I've also just ordered an ATI balancer (ATI917220) and a TCI sfi flexplate along with some howards billet main caps.
I think I'm pushing the limits of the 010 block but hopefully the aftermarket main caps and a small fill of the block will keep it together for a while.
These came in yesterday. It probably would have been fine but I'll feel better about the bottom end with aftermarket caps.
Buddy also dropped off the crank but I didn't take any pictures of it. It looks like a cosmoline covered crank. I was really pleased with the condition of the box though, it looks like it was handled politely in shipping.
My trans has also shipped so I'm waiting on a call from the shipping company to find out when it will be here.
My Global west offset control arm shafts should be here today so we'll get the delalum bushing pressed in this weekend.
This weekend consisted of some more front end work.
Got the lower control arms modified to accept the QA1 coil overs.
They started out like this:
After a lot of death wheel action they got to this:
Then after more death wheel and grinder action they look like this:
Sometime this week we'll knock the bushings out of them and get the delalum bushings pressed in as well as a fresh coat of paint. I also shortened the inner tie rods on the rack, I left them a little long so we still may need to shorten them again when we get the front suspension put back together. Lastly I cut the driver side "hip" off the firewall.
Got an email from the cam grinder and his supplier sent the wrong cam cores so I'm going to get a 4/7 swap cam instead of standard firing order. That should mess with my head a few times. I hope the spark plug wires still fit, I really don't want to make new ones. I also got a set of his lifters added to my order so the only big parts left to buy are the rocker arms and whatever pistons the machine shop comes up with.
QA1 double adjustable coilovers came in yesterday. Mocked one up real quick. This weekend we'll cut the old bump stop pads off of the subframe to try and get some more down travel, there is more left in the shock. And we'll also likely mock up the steering at an estimated ride height to see if we cut enough off of the inner tie rods.
Anyone think we need to reinforce those lower control arms for the coilovers?
It doesn't look like much but we made some pretty good progress on the car this weekend. For the first time in a while moving the steering wheel moved the tires. First I cut the old bumpstop pads off of the frame. Next we started with mocking up the suspension again and getting the tires on it along with bolting the steering rack in place. We started setting toe and found we needed to trim some more off of the inner tie rods. Once we got the tie rods to length we were able to get the steering shafts in and drill the column to bolt the Smith shafts to the column. We checked the alignment, we'll need more shims but it's going to align fine.
Then we took it all back apart and knocked the bushings out of the lower control arms. We still have to drill them for the grease zirks and press the delrin bushings in. I also might get longer upper ball joints to get a bit more travel out of the suspension, I think .5" longer joints will work well and get just a bit more travel.
Installing the driver side header should be a lot easier now.
Then at the end of the day I compared the weight of the original springs to the QA1 d/a coilovers.
For the most part the car looks exactly like it did in the last pictures but we've made a little progress. The rack crossmember is welded in, all of the delalum bushings are installed, the steering and most of the suspension is bolted in place for good. We still need to take the discs off, pack the bearings and put the springs on the coilovers. We tried using a 1/2" longer upper ball joint to make use of the last bit of down travel in the shocks but it didn't work out. The down travel was perfect but we lost about an inch or so of up travel in the process from the ball joint binding. Luckily we didn't toss the old ball joints and swapped them back in real quick. Next time the suspension is apart I'll probably grid the plates on the upper control arms to match the curve of the frame to get some more droop.
We aligned the car as best we could without being at final ride height. My dad made some aluminum shims for the control arms so we didn't have a ton of spacers to deal with. We got the camber on both sides about 0deg and the caster is about 6.5deg on each side. The car isn't perfectly level in the garage though so we'll go over it again once it's all put back together.
In other news I have tracking on the camshaft, lifters, and valve springs so hopefully they'll be here soon. Since the front end is close to buttoned up the next parts order will likely be from Calvert. Going to go with their split mono's, caltracks, and sliders. Then I'll have to see if we end up needing spacers to get the car back down in the weeds. Our front spring perches have two holes so I'd like to use the upper hole along with the sliders and see if we can't get low enough with out the spacers.
Got the rotors cleaned up and new brake pads installed (centric fleet performance), repacked the bearings and installed new wheel seals. Then I had to do what I've been avoiding for as long as I could. Putting antiseize on the shock bodies, they will never be the same. At least I don't have to work around them much and I only ended up wearing a little bit of it. We got the springs on the shocks and everything reinstalled again and now the car is sitting on it's own weight for the first time in a couple months. It seems like the 350lbs springs are going to work out but it's hard to say without the engine/trans and front clip installed.
My dad also cut a couple of pounds off of the front bumper brackets last week and got them cleaned up and painted.
At the end of the day Sat I cleaned up the cowl area behind the "hips" I removed and got some primer on them. We're planning on getting a can of body color paint to touch up the door jambs and then spray the cowl area black.
My cam, lifters, and springs came in over the weekend too so we'll drop the heads off at the machine shop this week sometime and check on the engine progress. Hopefully he's gotten some work done on it and has pistons ordered.
Last week we dropped the heads and springs off at the machine shop but it didn't look like my block had moved since the last time I was there. Hopefully he gets moving on it soon but we still have the rear end to redo before we need an engine anyways.
This weekend we worked on cleaning up the firewall. It's no show car finish but it looks a lot better than it did. We re-made our wiper motor delete panel and I popped it in the engraver at work after working up an easter egg of sorts for the car. We also cut out a filler panel to cover all the holes in the passenger side of the firewall and riveted it on after the paint was dry. Not a lot of progress this weekend but it's looking a whole lot better now. I'm really glad I took the grinder with the wire wheel to the firewall's seam. The original seam sealer was pretty ugly.
We're going to wait until we get the motor back in to mount the relay, coil, and future fuel pressure regulator. I'd hate to mount everything back up and want to move it later. I really don't want to poke any holes in my aluminum panel after I spent so much time sanding it.
Over the weekend we got the old bent home made traction bars, stock leafs, and shocks out. Then we got the new stuff installed. At first we tried tacking the sliders in place based on their droop location without the diff in place. That ended up with the slider topping out once the diff was in and about half way back at ride height. We ended up moving them 1" forward from the starting point and welding them in. That put them in about the right spot at ride height. We're going to wait a while to order rear shocks and make sure the car doesn't settle a bunch when we put the engine back in.
I really need to get under there and do some cleaning.
The car definitely sat a little lower in the back with the stock springs. As it sits now there is just under 4" of clearance at the caltracks bracket. I'd like it to sit a little lower on the tire but I'm not sure I want to give up the ground clearance. I really wanted to use the upper hole on the front spring mount but the spring eye doesn't fit up there so I'm stuck in the lower hole. Once we go to a 29" tire I may put a 1/2" block under the axle to get the wheel well closer to the lip of the rim and that should net us about the same amount of ground clearance.