Hi everyone! So, the last post I made a while back was pretty dark. I had just experienced my first issue with a shop and it cost me financially to the point where I wasn’t sure when the project would continue… or even if it would.
Push aside the dark clouds! Due to some situations happening in my life outside the automotive realm I was able to secure some additional funds (not as much as I lost in the shop dispute, but still…) and we are back making progress!
The car is back with Sean at Top Gear Motorsports in Mesa, AZ. He has been shepherding the drivetrain portion of this project. Sean was willing to tackle the core electrical work required to get the car into running condition. This means all my fun additions such as the GPS-enabled, remote start Viper alarm and all my Dakota Digital additional goodies won’t make installation at this time but the core electrical harness (body, engine, interior) and all the wiring required for the LS engine will be there, and as will the connections to the base Dakota Digital instrument cluster to power the base set of gauges. The goal is to get her into road-legal condition so I can drive her home.
With all of that “catch up” stuff done… what’s going on right now, you ask? Sean and his team has pulled the engine and trans back out of the car so we can do some additional measurements on the exact location of the engine in the bay. The first install was good but Sean noticed the engine itself was sitting a bit low… a bit too low when we were looking at the location of the oil pan. We also had a few other small items to take a look at so Sean decided to do it right and pull the engine out.
Which gave us the perfect opportunity to fix something that I absolutely, positively WHIFFED on when I was having the body work done by Tony at Full Circle Auto Body. The firewall. Tony was rebuilding the entire thing for silly sake… why didn’t I have him fix the firewall? I’m not talking a show-car quality smoothed and filled firewall, rather just a new panel that got rid of the factory one that had been punctured and perforated so many times.
Click on the images below… 🙂
So, with a brand new panel in place Sean will have a friend of his do the final smoothing of the welds and then will shoot GM Black on the entire firewall. Now we can make brand new holes in it!
Last update for today… we replaced the stock steering column several months back with a new Ididit GM tilt column unit. Great stuff compared to the 40+ year old original! When I was down in Mesa a while back I sat down in the car and realized the new column was inches longer than the stock unit we pulled. It was to the point where I felt like a NASCAR driver, with the steering wheel in my chest. This next picture shows where we ended up after AJ (from Sean’s team) found the adjustable sleeve and pulled the column back. It’s a minor bit compared to everything else going on but I tell you it makes a big difference sitting in the driver’s seat.
So, that’s it for this episode my friends… I’m just happy to get some real progress happening once again. Next post should have the finished firewall and we might be ready to plop the engine and trans back between the fenders for it’s final resting place. Until next time remember… when you’re driving your baby, be it a Chevelle or just your funky old daily driver, drive safe and keep the shiny side up! -john