Buttoning up: Under Car Inspection

I’ve been driving the car — but I’m far from done. Since the car is so fresh out of the oven ;) I need to make sure that the work I did stays “done” — and that means I need to inspect the car over and under. Over is easy — open the hood. Under, not so easy. Fortunately, I have access to a lift and I can get under the car and look at the work closely. Every bolt that’s been turned as part of the build needs to be closely inspected.

Items I go over in the video but are worth mentioning here are:

  1. K-member bolts — 4 under the frame and 4 at the back (8 total).
  2. Exhaust bolts — the stainless exhaust system has 9 bolts per side — 18 total. There are also bolts that hold the hangers in place that need to be inspected.
  3. Fuel tank bolts — all of the hardware that holds the fuel tank in place needs to be inspected. 3 total.
  4. Fuel line — go from back to front and make sure that all of the parts are not colliding with things like the exhaust, the rear end and of course the drive shaft.
  5. Transmission — there are about 6-8 bolts that can be located and checked under the car. The ones near the top of the engine are of course hard to get to.
  6. Starter motor — while you’re there, there are a couple of bolts for the starter that should be checked. Note — there’s an un-fused power line running to the starter and you need to respect it.
  7. Alternator (under the engine) fasteners. In my case — one.
  8. Hydro-boost pump — check the four bolts that hold it in place and the two bolts that hold the bracket to the engine.
  9. Belt tension.
  10. Radiator lines.
  11. Hydroboost lines.
  12. Visible wiring.
  13. Tires (the usual stuff — tread, wear patterns, air pressure).
  14. Brakes (the usual stuff — wear, fluid leaks) and caliper mounting bolts.

Along the way, bring some soap stone (My buddy Dean uses this stuff and showed me the way — Thanks Dean Smith!). As you tighten a bolt or check for tightness, make a mark along the nut or bolt head, such that you can check the alignment of the nut later. The video illustrates how this works. Soap stone does wash off, so it won’t be there forever. It will be there for days though — enough time to get a feel for something if it’s not appropriately tight.



The first sounds of the Aluminator

I wanted the next video posted after first start to be a first drive — but there was a lot to be done (it’s evident if you watch the first start that there’s a lot of road in front of me before a first drive, but I was optimistic).

Still, the sound is pretty amazing. That motor has a wonderful sound and reminds me a bit of my Mach 1 on steroids. The coolant is now in the motor and there don’t appear to be any leaks (hallelujah). The transmission fluid is in the TR3650 and I’ve bolted the shifter into place for hopefully a few years. I have 1 gauge wired (fuel pressure) and the following remain: Water temp, trans temp, diff temp, oil pressure. I also have to wire up the vehicle speed sensor to the speed dial and to the Coyote PCM (and possibly find some way to get the stock electronics to see this output signal as well — since it runs the speedometer). The tach wire needs to be connected as well. I still need to wire the fan up, and the starter wiring is in a temporary (rigged) position. I’m still not happy with the route it takes to get to the starter, so I may end up cutting and re-splicing it. The ground situation to the motor/trans is still in limbo as well, since I don’t like the way it runs as well.

It sounds like a lot, but really we’re in the final stretch here. I’m buttoning things up and the car is quickly coming together. Here are some recent pics of the build for the curious:



First Start!

We (Matthew Overbeek and I) have been working a lot of nights to get the car running recently. The hydro-boost plumbing and fuel system are braided stainless lines (AN fittings). Matthew’s engine bay on his car is amazingly clean compared to mine (And I don’t mean just free of dirt — the motor in his car could be a Coyote show-case, as all of the lines and fittings are hidden from vie). I’ve gone for a more industrial look (cough) :) I did really dig his hydro-boost setup — so I have my hydro-boost plumbing hidden like his. I’m working on at least making the visible stuff yellow and black (or stainless/gray for minor items). It’s going to take some time to clean that up, and even after the fact there’s still going to be some warts.

Anyway, Matt came over and we were talking about what the bare minimum would be needed to get the car running. One thing led to another, and we got enough together to check the fuel system for leaks — and there were some minor leaks due mainly to running 100mph (figuratively) trying to get the car done. After closing those, we disconnected the fuel system and worked on just getting the hydro-boost lines filled with fluid. Score 2 for 2, as almost all of the hydro-boost lines were good.

At that point, Matt was in for extra innings I think — it was late, like 11 PM at night and I have to say I was running on adrenalin (and Mountain Dew) — we decided to start the car.

Stuff was half-butted everywhere. The fuel system in the back was grounded with a pair of vice grips and a temporary line. The engine in the front was grounded with a pair of vice grips (The line was there but will bolt to the engine using one of the motor mount bolts). The fan wire was not hooked up. There was no radiator fluid in the radiator. No exhaust hooked up past the shorty headers. No drive shaft in the transmission. No transmission fluid in the trans for that matter. The clutch cable is sitting in a box. The drive by wire gas petal was temporarily hooked up and sitting on the floor (still have some work to do on the adjustable bracket I fabbed). wiring for the starter was temporarily in place. The main power to the PDB was rigged with a bolt and some electrical tape.

And yet, the car started right up like a champ.

So much remains, but I have to say this was one satisfying moment, and I owe a lot of credit where it’s due. Ray Herron of FRPP helped a lot with my endless questions. My buddy Jess Dale who loaned me an engine hoist and a lot of moral support. Mike (Gold Dust) of “Coyote swaps “suck” fame, helped out early in the game as well. But the real help and amazing synchronicity was the help of Matthew Overbeek, who was there through a lot of my planning and all the way through this moment. I don’t know where my swap would be without his amazing perseverance.

Thanks everyone – I hope to have a “first drive” video out here shortly.


Engine Install Finalizing 7/7/13

Had some issues with the clearance between the k-member and the engine oil pan. A good friend helped me through this — but I should have looked more closely while the engine was on the k-member stand and I would have noticed it at that time. The bottom line is that the engine sits differently on the k-member when it’s on the car, and stuff like the steering rack clearance is extremely important for a Coyote swap.

The good news though is that the anti-sway bar does not interfere with the oil filter for the Coyote in a new edge. At least not mine :) A bunch of things have happened since last post — the fuel system is cut to length and installed. The computer mounting is almost complete. We’re down to a couple of items to mount in the engine bay (coolant overflow and windshield wiper tank and pump assembly. Minor compared to what we’ve been through.

Note that without some modification, my engine shock tower brace is not going to fit without keeping the main cover off the motor (a minor problem, but still).

The hydroboost lines are off at Pirtek being brazed for -6 and -8 AN fittings at this time, so that should be the next thing you see here.



Wiring and Fuel System 6/10/13

What a busy week. My wiring harness is coming together slowly — I’ve been busy snapping together the components that make up the new harness and whittling down the stuff that made up the old harness that I need to keep — mostly sensors and some odds and ends. I have a ton of pics to share — we’ll start with these three photo albums.

The engine is coming together, but the odds and ends of the build in the engine bay are not exactly coming cheap, time-wise. A lot of small issues prevent me from having this complete — I’m almost there though. I have some bracket work to do and some painting — it’s close!

This album shows the wiring decomposition progress (looks really ugly, but it’s honestly not all that bad once you get into it). It’s extremely important that you label everything — I have a label machine and I wish I had labeled a lot more stuff while I was pulling it apart. I’m making sure to add labels as much as possible during the build.

Fuel system pictures — basically I had to cobble together a new fuel system wiring harness using the old harness connection points and a tank harness from a 94-97. Bonus! The new harness is a good 2 feet longer than the stock one, meaning I can drop the tank all the way to the ground without having to disconnect the wiring :) Well, it was there, so I took advantage of it. Some zip ties hold the excess to the frame.

Finally, here’s some youtube video of the present state of the build:

It may not look like it, but we’re nearing the end of the build! The hard stuff is dwindling and the rest is some trivial wiring and bolting together of stuff — very exciting moment to live in.

Stay tuned, it gets faster from here :)


Final Assembly Begins 5/3/2013

With most of the body prep out of the way, the final assembly of my Coyote project is in progress. I’m starting with some basic things — getting the braking and fuel systems put back together, painting the engine bay, fitting the drive-by-wire gas pedal, and finalizing the battery-relocation wiring. You can see a lot of the video here:

The gas pedal bracket is based upon the idea of the SVE gas pedal bracket, but I want one that’s adjustable. I started out pretty basic and so far it’s been a royal pain in the butt — but I think I can get what I’m after, which is a pedal assembly that allows me to adjust the gas pedal in a couple of key ways (left and right, and up and down). More on that in some later posts.

The obvious great news is that after a year or so of work and preparation, I’m finally getting back to putting the beast back together.



Engine almost out…

I’m down to the AC and PS plumbing — just a couple of items left before I can yank the old motor out of the GT. Almost all of the items have arrived that will be required for the swap. I’m still waiting on the fuel system (but am assured it’s on its way). The last few remaining pieces — ABS delete, some trim, a cooling sender radiator hose coupling, are on their way as well.

Oh, and some serious scraping and Por15 work awaits me.

It occurs to me that after this activity, there will be very little about my 2000 GT that I will not have direct experience tearing apart and putting back together. I never had the dash completely apart — but most of it (so that kind of counts) and I’m probably never going to tear into the guts of the rear end (I hope anyway — that’s honestly stuff I don’t want to know).

I don’t have a lot of pictures of the work — here’s a shot of the new gas tank:

The fuel tank removal had only one real snag, and that was my hasty removing of the plumbing to the charcoal canister. After the tank was mostly dropped under the car, I just couldn’t seem to find an easy way to disconnect it, so I simply cut the line in an obvious location. The cannister isn’t going back into the car — there will be no need for it with the return style fuel system. Oddly enough, there’s still two lines going from the back of the car to the front — one of them appears to be a vapor line of some kind.

Here’s a shot of the fuel neck area:

And here’s the new home for the 2 optima 6-volt batteries (which will be wired in series):

I got the exhaust dropped off the car last week, the battery out of the car and the front brakes un-hooked.
This week I’ll most likely get the old motor out and mount the new batteries in there new home. I’ll probably get a good 1/3 of the bottom of the car prepped for the por15.

Steady as she goes!


About that new edge fuel system…

Sad news — in 1998, Ford decided to make the fuel-injection delivery system for the Mustang a bit cheaper. They eliminated the fuel line that returns fuel to the tank, cheapened the fuel tank baffles (eliminated them from what I can tell), and rigged the fuel delivery pump to only pump when commanded by the PCM. From what I understand, the PCM monitors the pressure at the regulator near the engine, and signals the fuel pump every couple of seconds to continue pumping.

This saved them some cash — and made a weaker fuel delivery system. Did it work? I have no real complaints with the 2000 GT (which has this system) — it’s never really left me by the side of the road. Unfortunately, everything I’ve read says that this system is not good enough to make serious horsepower, and from the perspective of quality — the fuel at the front of the car can get warm, and there’s no way to circulate it back to the tank for a cooling off.

To remedy this situation I have a new fuel system on order from High Flow Performance (You can reach them at 1-818-574-FUEL). The system pointed to by that link there is almost what I needed — sans fuel tank and neck. I ordered the fuel tank from ebay (90 bucks delivered) for a 94-97 Mustang, which has the right baffles and will accept the fuel system from High Flow. They are making this system specifically for my car (it was a special request, by me, for this build), which was really cool of them, since the system specified is mainly for a Coyote in a Fox body and the new edge Mustangs (like my 2000 GT) have a longer body than those cars.

The parts are on order as I write this, due to arrive sometime in the next couple of weeks. The fuel tank is in, and I went to a bone yard (one of those you-pull-it-yourself places) for the neck and a couple of other minor parts that won’t be included. I’ve also ordered a stant “cap-less” fuel cap for the car, which means I won’t have to worry about pulling off or putting on the fuel cap after I get this system installed!

As soon as I can get pictures of all of this I’ll get them up here. In the mean time, I’ve got a big batch of other stuff to get corralled into the garage where I will be doing this build. I’m not 100% certain that my fuel woes are over — but with the guys from HPF on board, I think I’m in good hands here.