Archive for January, 2006

The engine is in the car! WOOHOO!!

OK, before I get to the good news let me explain how I was able to get the K-member in the car.

After frustrating myself on Friday night, I went online and did a few quick searches to see what others have done to get thier locking lug nuts off. A few guys had great success with the Craftsman Bolt-Out Nut and Bolt remover. I decided to try it out for myself and picked up a Bolt-Out impact set (they make one set for hand tools and one for impact wrenches) that night. The next morning I tried them out and had all 4 lug locks out in under 15 minutes. I was thrilled the lug locks came out, but at the same time really annowed how easy it is to remove them (with the right tools that is…). So, given the hassle that these things caused me, in my opinion, it is almost useless to use locking lug nuts, because any thief would have no problem buying the same remover set I did and stealing your wheels. The only benefit I can see is that it would slow the theft process down. Below is a pic of the useless broken locking nuts:

Pics will go here later.

Now — On to the good news. With the wheels out of the way, I was able to get the k-member in the car on Saturday afternoon! The installation was pretty simple (with air tools) and straight forward. The only thing that really slowed me down was removing the bolts from the A-arms (they were really frozen on there) and getting the springs in. I am a little concerned about the springs because they seem to be compressed way more than before. This was confirmed when I removed the jacks, as the car is higher than before. I will look into it later after I finish the engine
install, for now here are some pics from the k-member installation:

Sunday morning with the brand new k-member in place, I finally had nothing stopping me from dropping in the motor. I had a few issues with the flywheel/pressure plate which I had to fix (I damaged a few bolt holes with too much torque) and the transmission mount was giving me problems fitting to the car (I ran over something a long time ago which slightly bent the support). My friend Mark and my brother-in-law-to-be Tony both helped me mate the engine and tranny, then we hung it from the crane and put it in. We ran into a small problem with the Energy suspension polyurethane motor mounts and had to grind the tabs off to fit the k-member mounting holes (I forgot to mock up the mounts to the k-member beforehand). Other than that it was easy ;) Below are a few pics from the install:

After the engine and tranny were bolted in, I went to work installing the fuel system. I began by installing the fuel pressure regulator on the rear facing side of the passengar strut tower and trimmed the stainless steel lines to fit. Next I put the fuel injectors and rails in place and thats when I noticed a minor snag. The coolant temp sensor protrudes so high that the fuel rail revents plugging in the wiring harness. It should work fine if I move it to the other side, but I will have to rewire the main injector harness for it to work. I also mocked up the fuel feed and it looks like I will have to trim down the lines coming from the Y-block to the back of the fuel rail.

It was really late by then and it started raining a bit, so I decided to rap it up for the night. No big deal bcause now I have plenty to do when I get home from work for the next few nights (just small things really).

K-member and wheel problems

OK, I’ll start with the good news. I scored a great deal on eBay from Autofab Race Cars on a QA1 brand tubular K-member. Its made of tubular thick wall steel which makes it far lighter than the factory stamped steel. QA1 advertizes this part as being 28 pounds lighter than stock (which is
a pretty big chunk for a single part).

It greatly improves exhaust and oil pan clearance, not to mention it improves suspension geometry with a more aggresive stance. The best part is I only paid $230 shipped (and they sent me a free t-shirt — Gotta love all these new work shirts Ive been getting). Search for user “chassis_warehouse” on eBay if your interested in picking one up.

Now for the bad news. I lost the key for my locking lug nuts. Yes I know, Im an idiot. I suspect I threw it out on accident with some old rusty bolts from the inital disassembly of the car. So I called tech support at for some help. Unfortuneatly back when I bought the locking lugs they didnt keep track of customer key sets. Plus I have the older syle and they dont sell it anymore anyway. So I bought a locking lug nut remover set off eBay for about $40 shipped. That was a waste of money. It only succeeded in rounding off the key tabs. So next I drilled the top of the lug off. Why? I have no idea. It was late, I was angry and tired, and I needed to get my aggressions out.

Anyway, because I cant take the wheels off, I cant change the k-member which means I cant put the new engine in. I was hoping to do it this weekend but until I get this lug thing figured out Im going nowhere fast.

Wiring and (re)assembly

I came home today and found the correct Cometic head gaskets had been delivered! Yeah! So I wasted no time throwing ‘em on. It was pretty late by the time I called it quits and wasnt able to finish putting the lower intake manifold on, but at least all the valves are adjusted and the covers installed (forgot to take pics after the covers were on).

This past weekend I worked a bit more on wiring, since I couldnt do anything with the engine. I finished the wiring for the AEM injector driver box and installed it (below).

Also mounted the AEM EMS and wideband UEGO along with related engine harness wiring (below).

Also finished running the wiring for the electric water pump and the radiator fans. With that I also ran everything for the battery relocation and moved all the starter wiring. That also involved wiring up the Aeromotive fuel pump. Overall — What a pain in the ass! If I had known it would take this long I would have at least waited to get the engine in the car and running before attempting it all at one time! What sucks is the dash and accessory harnesses are taking longer than expected and I ended up cutting a few wires on accident. And of course rather than fix them right when it happened I waited and now Im not sure what they are for…. Check out the pic below to see the under dash wiring nightmare.

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