Thursday, August 25, 2011

mounted like a rockstar

On the 280z, I used the stock motor-set side mounts for the engine and trans (and isolators for that matter) and cut the car side mounts to fit. Regardless of quality of mount or picture, these are the best views I have of it here. Even being Skyline parts, the isolators are still OEM rubber and I felt the need to replace them this time with a stiffer option, not to mention there was no way I was taking an angle grinder to the stock mounts in the 240z.

As some of you may know, a shop called McKinney sells rb/z swap parts. Currently the engine/trans mount set is 475$. Pictures of the build process of these mounts can be found in their projects section of the website. For almost 5oo$ I'm willing to consider other options, but it was still within the realm of consideration vs effort/pain. I called McKinney about their mounts and they told me that the engine position was conservative in order to fit different setups (turbos/intakes/exhausts). The mounts look good and are even powder coated fancy colors.  Over the phone I asked a few people in their shop and nobody would confirm with any accuracy the length of the driveshaft required with their setup. This isn't an odd question, as they sell a pre-made driveshaft for swaps that use their mounts which fit the stock rear end, or even popular swapped rear end positions.

Regardless of the motor-set position, I would probably still need to shorten/lengthen my driveshaft to fit in the new shell with a new mounting position, not specifically driving me closer to a pre-designed/built mount decision. Nothing I'm doing is conservative, and just as cosmetic concerns promote customer perception more than engineering accuracy at my work, regardless of correctness, I was turned off by this thought as well. I wanted the motor as low and far back in the car as possible. Period. Barring materials/time expense, the only other option is to make my own engine/trans side mounts and isolators to mate the motor-set to the car in the position I want it.

I then checked price and time estimates to design and build my own. As it turns out my estimating skills need work, but I spent 3 evenings in the shop machining, 3 evenings test fitting and measuring weld locations for longitudinal, transverse, rotational and elevation positions at the engine AND transmission mount points, 2 evenings welding, 2 evenings mixing chemicals in my kitchen, and a full day doing the final install and trimming. This time was extended a bit due to as installed modifications and conflicting schedules, but the result speaks for itself. In just over a week and a half of actual time, not to be confused with working time, and with a cost including about 8o$ of metal (1/4" plate and 1" tube), 6o$ of welding, 9o$ of Flexane, and 5o$ of hardware, I had mounts.

I won't go as far to say that it's now a mid engine car, but I humbly believe you can't mount this engine any lower or further back without cutting the steering rack, oil pan, firewall, or all 3. In the 280z, the turbo didn't clear the hood by about 1/2", but as a side bonus to great weight distribution, it seems like the 240z hood should clear without massaging. This claim is pending test.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Has it really been exactly 2 months since my last blog?! This is uncalled for, I know, but I have been busy. Since I don't want to get into another tirade about iPhoto and Picasa (the program, not the web album) not liking each other, I won't. But when I say "not liking each other" I really mean "completely hating one's very soul." It's outright stupid how these 2 programs interact, or not, as the case may be.

I burned a week of vacation to stay home and do. Being full of awesome for a week in 100* weather is actually hard to do, not to mention requires many loads of laundry. I would say on any given day I sweated through 4 shirts and one pair of jeans. Motivation is difficult to come by, especially when the lights in the garage seem to be on an uncontrollable timer (or in reality overheat and need to rest) when you need them most. There were several setbacks and modifications to the plan which I will get into later, but here's the final result.

I didn't build a car in 5 days like they do on TV with an unlimited budget, manpower, and the extra day when they still don't finish on time. I got countless cuts, bruises, spider bites, and completely missed the target date of the TDC summer opening dyno, but learned a lot about mock-up dimensioning, that I want to convert my MIG welder to a stick welder, and that Summit should be used for all business case models in classes concerning order processing and delivery speed.

Look for many upcoming entries as I recover from the blitz.