I actually had that feeling of accomplishment today. I got a bunch of stuff done and the engine bay looks great (well almost).

First thing I did was install the headers. And, yeah it was a pain in the ass. The passenger side went in OK. Except, like a moron, I forgot to cover the strut tower and scratched the paint up. The high temp coating feels like sandpaper and will mess up a paint job pretty fast. It also messes up skin too. And because I couldnt wear gloves because of the tight spaces and working with the 12-point ARP header bolts my hands now look like I took a grinder to them.

Next I was able to line up the turbo to the headers and mark where to drill the holes in the sheet metal of the engine bay. Each turbo needs 3 holes: 1 for the compressor intake (big enough to attach an air filter), 1 for the oil drain hose (big enough not to let the hose contact the metal and wear a hole), and 1 for the turbo compressor discharge (big enough to connect the turbo to intercooler piping with silicone coupler and CT clamps). And of course — like a moron, I drilled the first and biggest hole incorrectly and scratched the paint up (Hey – it just wouldn’t be authentic Kenny if something wasnt messed up). I also wiped up the metal shavings after drilling and didnt realize I was scratching the paint as I wiped.

Anyway, below is a pic of the driver side header and turbo installed (everything is wet because it had just started to rain). You will also notice the intercooler in place but not lined up or bolted yet:

The driver side header was another sad story. Before I could even get close to lining up the bolts I had clearance issues between the front of the disc brake proportioning valve and the number 7 cylinder piping. It’s very tight back there because of the steering shaft, master brake cylinder, proportioning valve, and header runners. Of course now it needs room for a downpipe, which complicates things. So I drilled new holes for the prop valve which would push it back about 2 inches from its original mounting. I didnt want to remove the brake lines which would certainly speed things up and simplify things but made it difficult in that I had to bend all 5 hard lines at once into the new position. So after that was taken care of, I was able to bolt in the driver side header. Below is a pic of the driver side header and turbo installed:

Just as a side note: One thing that annoys me ever since buying the Cartech turbo headers is the piping width near the bolt holes. Whoever bent and welded the piping either didnt think or forgot that someone would have to put bolts in the holes. The problem I’m talking about causes the bolt heads to scrape the side of the piping when inserting them into the holes or trying to tighten them down. Well because of this problem, coupled with the 12-point bolts they sent, it is impossible (on some of the bolts) to get a wrench around the entire bolt head. Therefore I can’t tighten down the bolt, I can only get it finger tight. With the exception of removing the headers and rewelding them, the only other solution I see is to replace them with 6-point ARP bolts, because at least then I’ll be able to get an open-end wrench on one side of the head. I have 3 on the passengar side and 2 on the driver side which I CAN’T tighten. Im gonna have to handle this soon since I’m getting close to the first startup.

Next I was able to route the piping which was OK and test fit the intercooler. In order to get the intercooler to fit I had to remove the front bumper support. That wasnt enough so I had to cut off the metal mounts which held the front bumper support (theres no going back now). This kind of pissed me off because now if I want to use my fog lights I will have to fab up a bracket since they USED to be attached to the bumper support. Below is a side shot of the intercooler mounted:

I also had to trim the back of the air scoop at the bottom of the front bumper. It was so long that it was hitting the face of the intercooler and I didnt was to risk bending the fins while mounting it back up or driving. The moron thing happened again here too when I scratched the paint on the scoop while cutting with my not so trusty sawzall. Its not noticeable though unless your up close. I had to useshims on both sides of the intercooler mounts to push it out from the radiator support. In a way this is better because the bumper now rests on the top of the intercooler where it used to sit on the bumper support. The only drawback to the whole thing is how low it hangs from beneath the bumper. If I wanted, I could have cut out portions of the bumper cover behind the headlights, which would have allowed me to raise the intercooler another inch or so, but I didn’t want to ruin the structural integrity of the bumper since there isnt a support anymore. I will just have to be careful when driving near bumps or steep inclines. Below are a few pics of the bumper cover installed over the intercooler:

Anyway – Im very happy with the progress Im making. Hopefully next weekend I’ll have the exhaust mocked up so I can take it to Tim Takash for welding.

NOTE: The next day I realized I didnt get all the metal shavings from drilling the holes and had nice little rust spots all over the fender and bumper, along with the ones I missed in the engine bay —- this made me VERY angry.