Sneige Factory – JZA80 Supra Build – Part 18: ARMADILLO! No wait… Ant Eater.

The internet connection on this train is driving me absolutely bonkers this morning. I really don’t know whether the connection is somehow related to the weather or whether it has something to do with the fact that I dropped my Google Nexus 6 on a damp London high street while highly inebriated following our company Christmas bash. One of these scenario’s is however is causing my blower to be super patchy, which makes uploading images more difficult than extracting a smile from a drunk emo kid on an 8 hour block party marathon.

Anyway, pictures now uploaded and I can proceed to update you on this weekends activities.

I started off with the intention of flatting and polishing the entire car before it left the booth. One rear quarter panel in, I decided that i’d just do it as and when. Totally sick of bodywork now and in reality, the gun finish is pretty good in all but the passenger door which could do with a quick flat, but that’s only because it looks like factory paint and i’m a bit of a perfectionist.

I decided to pull out the engine harness and start refitting the engine bay out ready to accept the engine. This was much nicer to do in my warm ghetto spray booth than the cold workshop.


As you can see, I cleaned up and wiped down the wiring loom and fuse box then refitted the brake master cylinder/booster plus clutch master. Everything looks pretty clean as is, but I didn’t go to the effort of repainting the booster or blasting any of the cylinders. I just don’t really have the time to be masking all that off and then painting. It also looks fine as is.

Mathew the workshop monkey was supposed to be on wifely duties this weekend but Sam (Mrs Workshop Monkey) gave him a couple hour reprieve so he could come out and play. After spending up until mid afternoon toiling away on my own, both Mat and Padawan Scott arrived at the same time to lend a hand.

padawan scott

You’ve not been introduced to Padawan Scott yet. He’s not really a Padawan anymore but he’s young, i’m an old f**ker and it’s fun to give him a name that patronises while venting my underlying jealousy of what I would give to be 25 again.

I met Scott MANY years ago when he was but a wee teenager. His father was instrumental in my competition drifting career by being my major sponsor for two seasons. I struck up a friendship with Scott and like to think I guided him a the beginning of his drifting ‘career’. In reality, he’d been karting since he was knee high to a grass hopper and picked it up pretty bloody fast. One of his first cars was an S14 which I helped him put together.

That was five years ago. He’s now older, skids an R33 GTST and struts around in a cloud of e-cigarette smoke sporting a fashionable hipster beard. Reminds me of me at that age, just without the black nail varnish.

scotty blasting

Padawan Scott paid us a visit because he was dropping us of his shot blasting cabinet so we could blast some of the dirtier parts on the car/engine.


We (I mean he) cleaned up both the flywheel and the front pulley and I then gave them a lick of paint. It doesn’t take a hugely long time but it does make things look a lot tidier.

As you can see from the above picture, I used the extra monkey/padawan muscle to finally move the car out of the booth and back onto the ramp. As you’ll remember from our previous blogs, we’d be tinkering around with the engine mounts to get the engine to sit nicely in the car.

After much cocking about, we were informed that the 2JZ engine mounts actually fit the chassis/engine combo if you mill them down. As you can see from above, Mat put the mounts in a lathe and spun them down, then made up a 20mm spacer to drop the total height of the mount by about 27mm.

engine in

We (carefully) put the engine back into the freshly painted engine bay and the mounts now lined up very nicely. We also found that we could in-fact shorten the mounts by almost another full 20mm to get the engine even lower in the chassis.

At the same time, we did a test fit of our new ‘ARMADILLO’ plenum

ARMADILLO! (only a few of you will get this)

Okay… it’s actually called the ‘Ant Eater’ plenum (hence the trunks) but for some reason I keep calling it Armadillo. Not quite sure why. Also not quite sure why i’m sharing this. Probably because it gave me the opportunity to reference a late 90’s confectionary advert staring Harry Enfield and chums..

engine bay

engine bay other side

engine bay side

Is the bonnet going to close? Hell no. Am I happy with the huge volume and runner length? Yes, absolutely. Quite what we’re going to do around the bonnet is still to be decided, probably some sort of M3 style speed bump. How i’m going to make that not look shit, i have no idea. We’ll get the engine sat right int he chassis first then see how far out we are.

Either way, it’s going to involve lots of work with the angle grinder… and yet more bodywork.



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