Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Coming Together...

In a completely platonic way of course. The anchor is in the boat, as Justin would say, and I couldn't be happier. Actually yes, yes I could be happier, and that will be when the things turns over for the first time.

As for my breakdown last month, well, you have to do something like this to truly understand. Sometimes it feels like a big hand reaches in my chest and pulls all my energy and ambition straight out, throws it down, and pounds it into the ground. After wasting another entire weekend modifying this oil pan to fit with the McKinney kit, I finally sealed her back on. And it would appear that all our efforts were well worth it, because there are zero clearance issues with the pan now.

Install wasn't too bad, but since this was our 3rd try we had no excuse to fuck it up. Most of the trouble was lining up the mount bolts with the engine brackets, but the engine itself went in like a champ. We ended up having to space the driver side mount quite a bit, and instead of using a bunch of washers (as McKinney suggests) Justin helped me cut up a 1/4 inch aluminum plate, I swear he's got the best crap just laying around in that shop. Drilled a hole through it and wedged it between the mount plate and the bushing and that was that. Taking the balancer off was a huge help with install. Happy to report no major injuries or fatalities, just one smooshed wire and a late ass night.

One thing we might need to do is replace the oil line on the rear turbo. I wish I had known that this would be yet another issue with the McKinney kit. They do mention it in their worthless instruction book (for RB25 I might add), but not to the extent of "you need to physically move this line," no all they do is show a crappy picture of how close it is to the steering rack. Yes, everyone knows this, but one of the features of this mount kit is supposed to be the handling of this problem. We ended up gently persuading it with a crowbar to get the engine to sit. I want to replace it with stainless steel line, but that will be very difficult now that the engine is in. Thanks again McKinney.
We still need to properly secure the engine mounts by sending some thick bolts throught the frame. Once we get it on the lift again we'll also get the drive shaft and downpipe hooked up. I bought a used McKinney downpipe from a guy for cheap, only to find out that it is mild steel. This is some fucked up repugnant shit right here, a mild steel downpipe and they want $500 for it new?? To be fair it is a "Touge" product, so I don't know if McKinney has everything to do with that rediculous markup. Still though, that shit is re-goddamn-diculous. Hell, my brand new all stainless 3inch exhaust cost less that that crap! Here's the other thing, this kid bought this product new from them to install on his S13, and the shit didn't even fit! He had to call their asses up and they instructed him to dent it more. For fucks sake, there is a section of pipe that is restricted to less than an inch. That is not a "direct bolt on," and should not be advertised as such, I've about had it with McKinney's crap. If you are going to charge an arm and a leg for a specialty product, go ahead, but don't wait until after people buy it to tell them that "additional modifications may be needed."

I have yet to line up their driveshaft that was also incredibly overpriced. If I find one thing off with the fitment of that piece I'm going to lose my shit, and proceed to paint them black on the forums.
In any event, I'm glad I found a used downpipe, at least to get the car running it will serve it's purpose and be worth the $$.

Yesterday I took my valve covers, timing covers, and coilpack cover off to prep for powdercoating. I removed the label plate from the coilpack cover, scraped off all the nasty double stick tape (smelled like rotton ass) and used a polishing tool to grind off the raised edge. I wanted to grind it down smooth, but that well is stamped into the part, and I didn't want to chance grinding a hole through it. I'd like to get some aluminum letters made, "GT" in silver, and "R" in red. We'll see. In any case I'm dropping that stuff off this weekend, the cover color is going to be black with red and maybe some silver flake, also getting my rear intake pipe coated to match the plenum, and some pulleys done in plain black. All of my accessories will be red, BOV, AN fittings... I'm really glad I waited until now to do this because the belt cover got aluminum shavings in it from the oil pan debacle, and I was glad to get it out of there. I'm trying to unload some stuff on the forums to make some new bumper money, it's $250 shipped brand new.

Also, let me just talk about glass headlights for a second here. USA automakers-what is wrong with you? Why do you further cheapen our cars and image with plastic headlight covers? Is it really that much cheaper? Couldn't you afford to swallow the $5 profit loss by including glass as a standard feature? I'm saddened by this.

Found a glass pair for $450, and they need a slight mod for the high beams to work properly. I've also seen some plastic JDM versions with black housings for $250, damn good deal.

Wheels came in last week from Edge Racing and I'm really happy with them and the company. Shipping is $8 per wheel and I got them nicely packaged and damage free less than 1 week after purchase. I'm probably buying my tires from them as well.

And now on to the slide show...