Despite busy times at work and home, I made a lot of progress this month. The engine is the big news, but a lot of other things are going on as well.
The engine – built by Engine Factory, a New Jersey business specializing in crate engines for kit cars like mine – is based on a Ford small block 8 cylinder, a “302 stroker.” The cylinders are bored out, making it a 331 stroker, with fuel injection, Cobra dressings, and capable of generating 415 hp – more than enough for such a light vehicle. EF sent me photos of the engine during testing:
They also posted a link of a video of the engine starting, running, growling and howling on a facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/MuscleCarEngines/videos/vb.119427678989/10153304985968990/?type=2&theater
Knowing that the engine delivery was quickly approaching, I worked quickly to prep.
First, I finally sorted out the rear brakes. You may recall that I was unable to get the rear brake calipers over the rotors. They were not lining up, and despite many calls and emails with FFR and Wilwood, sending pics, etc., Nobody could figure it out. Well, it turns out it was 1/4″ of powder coating on the remanufactured rear axle that was throwing it all off. About 15 minutes of filing and the brakes were on.
Next I hustled to complete the cockpit aluminum panels and firewall. It would be impossible to get those done after the engine was in. Here they are:
The transmission arrived. It is a Tremec TKO 600 5-Speed. I requested a mid-shifter set up, moving the placement of the shifter forward.
And then the engine arrived!
The next step was to lift the engine with a hoist, and mate the transmission. Special thanks to Mark Dougherty for use of his hoist and amazing car building skills.
With the engine and transmission mated, we maneuvered the engine/trans over the chassis, under the firewall and through the transmission tunnel.
And then it was in!
The transmission in the tunnel.
I installed the drive shat between the transmission and the rear axle. Here is a pic of the tunnel cover altered. I cut a new hole for the forward shifter, patched the old hole, and cut in two cup holders. Not very pretty, but it will all be covered by black carpet.
Then I installed a power steering fluid reservoir (March) and an upgraded 2-quart radiator overflow tank (Canton).
I cut access panel holes in the rear compartment floor for access to the fuel pump, light connections, etc. I also cut holes for possible speakers in the rear side panels.
I installed a stainless steel front-mount battery tray. (FFR suggests putting the battery in the rear, over the gas tank, but it makes more sense under the hood.)
I purchased a second brake fluid reservoir and installed both side by side.
I started to mount the headers to the engine block, but I found that the mounting surface on the headers was uneven and therefore defective. FFR is sending me new ones.
I was not happy with the location of the emergency brake handle, and there are no good options, so I am planning to install an electronic e-brake, using a push button on the dash.
Looking ahead, I have a lot of plumbing to do: brake lines, fuel lines, power steering fluid lines, etc. And the electrical system, cooling system, air conditioning, etc.
In the meantime, I started to mock up the dashboard layout and center console. I am not impressed with the switches provided with the kit. They are lightweight, and don’t match. I will probably source some heavier matching switches.
That all for now.