It’s true you know, undertaking a car ‘project’ does return huge feelings of personal accomplishment and pride in your undertakings. It’s also important to remember that it’s not all fancy Haltech ECU’s and aluminium V8 engines. The ‘fuck yeah!’ moments are interspersed with often prolonged periods of graft.
This is effectively why most car projects fail. People love the high’s of buying and fitting shiny parts, posting pictures of them on the internet and getting the scene points. What they don’t like so much is the reality that if you’re undertaking a project like the Supra, you’re going to have to wipe matte black paint of the shell with toxic thinners and spend extended periods of time stripping, sanding and prepping that same shell, night after night, weekend after weekend until it’s done. You don’t just ‘fit an engine conversion’. You manhandle it in, take it out, put it in again until everything fits. Then when you’re happy with it – you bolt it up – wire it up – realise you’ve forgotten something and end up having to take it out again.
If this project and my blog has in any way inspired you to do something like this yourself (and hope it has!) then heed my warning. It’s not all plain sailing. A project like this takes literally thousands of man hours and drive to complete.
Now, with that seriousness out of the way I feel very comfortable saying:
‘AWWWWWWWWWAAAAHHHHH BY FUCK WAS THIS WEEKEND BORING‘ It genuinely was the car project equivalent of having a conversation with Jennifer Lawrence wearing a berkah.
I’d ordered the seals I needed to get the sump finally attached to the engine but they ended up being on back order from Belgium. With the engine progress stalled until the UPS man turned up next week, there was nothing else for it. Shell prep time.
Do you want to know the secret to good paintwork? It’s literally all in the preparation.
I stripped out both door handles, wing mirrors and all the seals around the doors. Many people don’t do this and it’s dumb. You end up with hard mask lines on the edge of your roof and it looks terrible.
Next I stripped the accessory loom out of the engine bay which got rid of the fuse box and the lighting circuit. If you’ve never done this before on a Supra it’s not hugely challenging, just a bit fiddly. It plugs in either side of the dashboard in the cabin and attaches it’s self to the chassis on plastic push mounts. Next thing I need to do is remove the brake and clutch master cylinders and then the booster. Finally we’ll remove the firewall heat shielding. As you can see, somebody has butchered it when fitting the manual conversion. Still not sure if i’m going to get another ‘uncut’ firewall blanket or not. I’m in two minds but we’ll see how much a new one is from Toyota.
Some other interesting bits arrived
A short 6PK1610 belt, for the engine now that the aircon compressor has been removed. Also a SC400 Soarer PAS high pressure line. Bolts straight on and saves a lot of cocking around with making up custom lines for the power steering circuit.
I’d also been advised by a very cool chap I ‘virtually’ met called Ben that my plans for using the RX8 throttle pedal were somewhat misguided as… well… they’re not brilliant. So he pointed me in the direction of a Porsche Cayanne/VW Toureg unit that apparently gives a really nice linear 0-5v signal. Lovely!
Ben has also built a 1UZ Supra (which is damn handy) so has been giving me much advice on all things conversion. It’s really handy to have a sounding board to go to when doing stuff like this. His advice has been invaluable so far! It’s also handy that he’s got everything I need for my transmission conversion (massive bonus) He’s also being extremely patient with me around payment until this damn W58 kit sells. Fingers crossed it goes soon.
While i’ve been having a Burka-lawrence in the Sneige Factory, Mathew the workshop monkey has been hard at work performing some ninja grade engineering on custom fabricated performance parts. He’s been keeping me updated with his progress in a similar fashion to how J-Law kept Chris Martin from Coldplay entertained while he was away on tour.
So, as you can see – MWM has been busy building things on top of the standard lower manifold. We decided to retain the lower runners as the research we’ve done indicated that they are pretty damn good. As i’m on the hunt for torque (not outright HP) I don’t think we could rebuild something with longer runners than the standard setup.
As you can see from above, he’s CNC’d the flanges and spun up some billet ready to make the trumpets.
Above is the first prototype trumpet. We had a bit of a chat and made some adjustments to the radius.
He made a load more and positioned them in the manifold.
He then fabricated a base plate and mocked up the trumpet runners in the manifold.
Hopefully that’s enough shiny CNC pornography to keep you entertained during your lunch breaks. Massive props must to out to my brother from another mother Mathew the workshop money. I’m sure you’ll all agree it;s outstanding work so far. As usual, more as it happens.
Click for the next chapter: Part 14: Boba, Boobies and Boxes