One day each month, we are allowed to bring our cars into work and use the shop to perform maintenance. I thought this would be a good chance to bring Grace in and do a checkup. I wanted to make sure I didn't have any loose bolts or major leaks I hadn't found yet. I also wanted to see what the ol' girl weighs, and what the weight balance was. As you can see below, she is just over 2700 lbs, with a 55/45 front/rear weight balance. It's a little heavier than I had expected, but I don't think she'll have any problems getting around at that weight. Once the interior and HVAC are installed, we'll probably see a curb weight of 3000 lbs. Eventually I would like to switch to aluminum wheels, and perhaps an aluminum cylinder head, both of which would drop weight significantly.
And just so you know that Grace isn't a spoiled child, I'm posting a pic of her doing grocery getting duty. She's a real car and will be used like one.
Since I need to get this crazy old Ranger (now with 120% more RB20!!) off my hands, I've been dedicating most my car time to it. The nice thing about a swap like this is that I'm not concerned with the aesthetic of the work, so as long as it's functional I can proceed. It speeds up the process significantly. Also, like that time in college we put $1.26 of gasoline in a Pepsi bottle and lit sidewalks on fire, we aren't taking ourselves too seriously, just chasing a good fun per dollar ratio.
While shopping for intercoolers at my favorite intercooler store, I knew I would need something a little different due to the lack of space in front of the engine and radiator. I noticed a funky little intercooler listed as a Renault 5 intercooler. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a Renault 5 in my life, and certainly not on this side of the pond but I thought what the heck, I can make this work.
I thought the driver's side wheel well would be a nice place to put the intercooler, but there was a wheel well in the way, so out came a knife and the angle grinder. In a few minutes, there was room for the intercooler. Considering the fact that the intercooler is in the wheel well, I may need to provide some sort of screen or other protection against road debris.
Another minor issue I noticed was that the inlet and outlet were 2 3/8" OD. I had counted on them being 2 1/2" OD. No matter, with a bit of leftover intercooler piping from the Falcon I made them 2 1/2" OD.
A couple hours of cutting, checking and welding later, the intercooler had inlet and outlet pipes of 2.5" mandrel bent steel.
I also noticed that when I set the height of the transmission mount, I didn't account for the weight that would be put on it by the the transmission and it was about one inch lower than I was hoping for. This of course, like bad days at work and most stress in life, is nothing that can't be remedied with a good angle grinder and welder. A few hours later, all was well again for this transmission mount.
The last item I checked off the list this weekend was the downpipe to connect the turbo to the Ranger's existing exhaust system. The minor challenge I faced in this task was that the Nissan exhaust is on the opposite side from the Ford exhaust, so the downpipe had to cross over from the one side to the other. As you see below, it turned out to be a pretty easy job.
As I've mentioned previously, somehow I got engaged. Usually projects like mine are a great way to stay foreveralone, but with a lot of squinting I guess Jen was able to see past all that. In any case, one of Jen's very best friends Tegyn shot our engagement photos and I was pretty stoked with how they turned out (well at least the 3% of them where I don't look like a total goober) so I had to share.
|I am a fortunate goober.|