Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I figure when I make it to the heavenly gates they'll be workin' on my car and playin' 78s

I should have written this a week ago, but last Sunday I left for Japan. Lest this blog turn into a travel blog, I'll not go into great detail about that. It was fascinating to be sure, but I'll be brief and get it out of the way. Hang with me though, I worked on Grace, I promise.

Car culture is alive and well in Japan. To be honest, I saw a lot more of it than I expected.
Toyota AE86 Trueno
In Japan, the Mini is called the Average.
I saw a lot more 'murrica than I expected.
E30 Wagon
Diesel Landcruiser
Some classic Isuzu I'd never seen.
More 'murrica.

Suziki Jimny. I need one. Badly.

Kei truck rolling on Volks. I also need this. Badly. With a Hayabusa swap,

3rd gen legacy with STi badges

Wanna be my louver?
You can buy this exact pink Toyota Crown in Japan.
Japan's version of the hippy van.
It's just a cute little lift!
Anyway, Japan was fascinating. And I ate raw horse, whale, and chicken. Take that hippies! (for the record, I love nature and do believe in conservation, I just don't like environmentalists who hate humans and liberty)

So about a two and a half weeks ago, I finally got the front suspension all painted and put back together so that Grace was back on her feet.

I figured it was about time to get started on the motor mounts. I have a spare block I bought from Earl. Earl has an ugly orange Pinto Wagon with a 2.3 turbo in it. It's quite the sleeper. I got the extra engine block because I figured my life would be a whole lot easier with a bare engine block instead of trying to wrestle a complete engine while making motor mounts.

As you can see below, making the motor mounts is not a precision process by any stretch of the imagination, being done with cardboard templates, my handy angle grinder, and drill.

Now I needed to get the engine into the bay. I don't have an engine hoist yet, so just for kicks, I decided to make a little pulley crane in the car port. It's a little hard to see, but it's the green rope and pulley in the picture below. It was a partial success. I could lift the engine block, but barely. It needs more pulleys for a better mechanical advantage.

With that, and a little help from Vaughn...  ok the crane was a massive failure, vaughn and I could have just lifted the stupid thing into the engine bay a lot easier than by using the pulley system.  But we got the engine set in place with a little support from some 2 x 4s.

I has always been suspicious of this car's transmission tunnel because it appears to be tiny. Turns out it is. In order to get the engine positioning I want and to fit a normal transmission under this car, I realized that I'd be playing surgeon on the old girl again. I spent a long time pacing back and forth trying to decide if I really wanted to do this. I know all too well that this is one of those rabbit holes that you climb into head first. This is territory where projects go and all too often die! I've seen it a hundred times. But then I remembered I'd already been to the point of no return with this and plenty of other projects. I finish projects! My projects don't just die! I can do this! (cue Rocky montage of me cutting and welding shirtless, sparks flying, inspirational music playing, muscles glistening)

So yeah, I cut a gaping hole in the floor. She's open on the surgery table. And I hate to disappoint, but that's where she sits. But hey, here's a complete guide to men for all you ladies...

Har-har just kidding, ain't no womenkind readin' this blergh!