First a small update about whats happened in the last few weeks.

I ordered a few things from Summit: the MSD crank trigger assembly, some 15 guage 3″ exhaust pipe pieces (2 straight 4′ lengths and 2 U-shape bends, the exhaust ball flange collectors, the K&N air filters (P/N#: Xtreme RX-4990) for the turbos, and some weatherpack connectors to cleanup the EFI wiring harness. I also picked up a few things off ebay: some plate aluminum for fabbing up an alternator mount, and some 3″ silicone hose and CT clamps to finish the intercooler piping.

Once the clamps and hose came in, I tried to install them (cause I figured it would be easy) but I ran into a problem making them work. As it turns out, thanks to the additional height of the Box-R series intake opening, there is a misalignment of the two pipes that connect throttle body to intercooler output. As if that wasn’t enough, when I finally got everything to fit, I tried closing the hood for the evening and found out the hood was resting on the piping, to the point I couldnt close it! Well, I knew I was going to have issues with the hood but I didnt think it would be this bad. So, I decided I would just mill down the Trick Flow adapter plate that sits between the upper and lower intake. I dropped it off at Takash Racecraft Monday and asked them to remove 3/8″ off the top. We’ll see what happens when it comes back. More on that later.

Moving on! I also tried mocking up the MSD crank trigger. For some reason the bolts that come with it are too short, so I had to go out and buy some new ones (with washers just in case I need to shim). I decided I will make the trigger mount also part of the alternator mount. As Imay or may not have mentioned before, I have to mount the alternator down low out of the way of the Tial wastegates and related exhaust tubing to get it to fit. No one makes a kit for a setup like mine so hence the need to fab something up. All this will have to wait though since the new PA-Performance alternator is on backorder. I purchased it because of its small case size and high amp, 1 wire output. Again, more on this later, as for now here is a pic of the crank trigger finally mounted up (I’ll most likely take it apart once I know the engine is working, so I can have it reanodized to a nice black finish). FYI – I also ordered up a race crank pulley set from UPR, which you can see is bolted to the dampner. The reason for this is to make sure I don’t over spin the alternator past its 17,000 RPM limit:

Now, for the main point of the update: I decided to try my hand at welding. A few months back my dad was cleaning out his tractor barn and decided he didnt need his welder anymore. Its a MIG from Tractor Supply Co. that will do steel/iron or aluminum and has the Argon/CO2 regulator included. Luckily the wire he was using doesnt require any shielding gas, as this wire has a flux core. Anyway, I needed to weld the ball flange collectors to the turbo downpipes so I could start mocking up the exhaust piping. So, I ground down the edges of the aluminized pipe, made a few alignment checks, and then started welding. All in all, I think a one-handed blind man could weld better than me. Granted this was my first time ever, but as long as the welds hold I dont care what it looks like. Especially since they are hidden under the maze of exhaust tubing anyway.

I was told by a few friends that the flux core weld wire is not the best for finished welds and that I should have it redone. Thier thinking is that the flux weld wire is good for tacking things up temporarily. My thinking is, as long as it doesnt fall apart driving down I-4 I dont give a crap. At this point I just want to make sure the engine is running properly, and maybe after the first 500 miles I’ll go back and take it all apart and have it rewelded by a professional. But for now, its good enough for me (I just know these words will come back to haunt me).

After the downpipes were welded I installed them on the turbos. The passenger side downpipe refuses to fit with the new ball flange addition which means Im going to have to remove the headers (uuughhhh!!!!) to get the downpipe in. Regardless of that slowdown, I started measuring and cutting pieces for the driver side exhaust. Its a very tedious job to constantly get under the car, lines things up, mark them, cut them, check again, cut if need be, and finally weld. It took me all day Sunday just to get something that went back far enough to where the mufflers should be and then I ran out of weld wire. I will try to get some more soon and start in again sometime this week.

Below are some photos of the one side I finished. Because I took my sweet time taking pictures of the welds (these pics were taken one month after I finished) and because I forgot to coat them with my ceramic spray, now they’re all rusty. Go ahead and laugh. I know I did:

I also included a pic of the passenger side downpipe bolted up to the turbo: