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.



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.



Beeks Wild Ride

So, the other day I was trying to figure out something air-conditioning-pump related and I stumbled upon Matthew Overbeeks’ Coyote swap. It’s a 1994 GT with a Coyote — one of the first ones done and of all of the Coyote swaps I’ve come across, the only other convertible. Even more amazing, it was within short driving distance from the garage where I’m doing my swap.

If I had to count the number of coincidences I’ve had happen since starting my swap, it would be a long list — but this one is extremely hard for me to count as anything but divine intervention. I had a few questions that I was having a hard time getting answered and Matt has the solution in almost every case. How could that be coincidence? And only 15 or so miles away?

And Matt gave me a ride in his car — check out the video:

You should also check out Matt’s blog for more details, and for sure check out the engine bay on the car.

Thanks to Matt I have a much better understanding of how the heater plumbing is going to work. I also plan on duplicating or using a very similar strategy for the hydroboost plumbing. What I wish I had time for was to make my engine bay look as clean as Matt’s — just no time for it right now and given the magnitude of changes I’m up for, just going to have to settle for an engine bay that’s somewhat presentable.

Hats off to Matt though — you will probably find both of our cars at next years Car Craft show, sitting side by side.

That is, if I get my car running by then. I’m 99% certain that will be the case, but at times, the work stretching out in front of me is formidable.