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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Day 6 - The delivery . . . (8/15/2014)

I messed around with the janky passenger windows regulator. It almost acts like the anti-pinch mechanism is causing the window to have issues (not go up or down). I tried all of the reset procedures and bolo'ed.

Eh, oh well . . . .

Loaded up the chassis and towed to Hyper Formance. We did a quick mock up of the seat. Brent (fabricator) made some great suggestions for the seat placement. He did indicate that the brackets he will build will have some extra holes for some adjustment. I'll probably pay him and car a visit over the next two weeks.

Made it home and delivered some Marco's Pizza to Mrs. Zero . . . I have to keep my sponsor happy!!


Day 5 - Getting suited . . . (8/14/2014)

So what does a race car driver need other than a reliable and fast race car? Safety gear, of course!!

For me and my car to eligible for Hillclimb and Time Trials, I needed to get some items. I visited my local safety item's expert,  Trackside Tim's.

What did I get??

  • 2-piece SFI-5 Race suit
  • Neck Collar
  • SFI-1 Gloves
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • 6-point cam lock, pull up harness
  • SFI-5 Race boots
  • Nomex Socks
  • Arm restraints
I already had a full face SA2010 helmet. 

For anyone that is seriously thinking about doing something like this, safety equipment (other than the required by the rules) is a MUST. I cannot stress how important it is to get some quality equipment. It equipment that you hope and pray to never test, but at least you have it if needed.

At least I look like a race car driver now!!

Tomorrow (8/15/2014) is the big day for the chassis! Going to fabricator for the roll bar install. I finished off the day with the removal of the engine and transmission . . .


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 4 - Starting over . . . but with LISTS!! . . . (8/13/2014)

Day 4 didn't go down as planned, but not in a bad way!!

I grabbed the list of all of the things I need to do the chassis and went to town . . .

After checking over and making sure the gotchas were taken care of, I moved to some issues surrounding this swap:

  • ABS Pump
  • Power Steering
  • FEAD
  • Exhaust routing

Due to the way the left exhaust manifold is installed (it's actually a right side manifold), the ABS Pump will need to tilted, moved or removed. The swap manual has instructions based on the Foxbody FEAD. The SN-95 FEAD is a closer to the engine, but the Explorer/Mountaineer FEAD as a tad closer. Of course, the closer the FEAD to the engine, the more room for a bigger radiator. The manual also instructed to use the E36 P/S mounted on the Foxbody FEAD.

Since I'm using the Explorer FEAD . . . some mods needed to be made:

ABS Pump tilted . . . Still won't clear the header . . .

ABS Pump moved and brake lines bent

PS & AC FEAD marked to be modified


No AC needed, because race car!

I had to test all these mods . . . so in goes the 302 and T5!!

Explorer/Mountaineer doesn't have TFI'd Distributor like a Foxbody

Part of the AC mount has been dispatched!! You can see the remote filter adapter peeking . . .

OOOOOOHHHHH  . . So close!! Will have to fab a bracket and do a bit more line bending

Top of the PS FEAD won't let the hood close. The PS reservoir was removed. It was taller than the FEAD

PS FEAD modded for the PS high pressure house

I figured it would be short as it was made for the Foxbody FEAD and E36 PS pump

Low pressure banjo from E36 cut and filed. Ready to be bolted in and attached . . .

Exhaust routing . . .

The driver side header will be wrapped as well due to close proximity of the PS shaft, brake lines, and ABS pump. I also mocked up the Alternator FEAD as it houses the ancillary belt tensioner. The crossover was, you guessed it, designed for the Foxbody FEAD. I'll unwrap it and have it modified to clear it.

I left the garage for the night . . . it felt good to wing it WITH plans. The engine and transmission will come out again tomorrow in prep for the chassis to be delivered to the fabricator for the roll bar installation. I also plan to pick up some safety items to take with the chassis for installation as well.

So tomorrow will be REALLY slow!! See you all later . . .


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 3 - Making the list and checking the sleigh . . . (8/12/2014)

. . . or should that be checking the Reindeer??

Day 3 was a fairly quiet one. Friday (8/15) is the big day for the car to be dropped off at the fabricator for the roll bar and seat install. I took the Dakota out today to verify all of the "fixes" that I've completed over the last week to make sure it is ready.

Here are some pictures of the Sleighdeer (??) doing what it does best . . .

Bringing the "LadyBug" home

Bringing the "Tank" home

Chauffeuring "Richard Petty"

Yep . . . it "Dodge" cones two!!

You guessed it . . . I'll race anything.

I also grabbed the swap manual to make a list of all of the things I need to do the chassis before the final installation of the 302 and T5. There are definitely some gotchas noted in the manual. I went out to the chassis and took a quick look to see if I made any changes when I did the first and only test fit. Surprisingly, I got nearly 75% of them . . . So I started the list as an itemized, bumper-to-bumper guide to make sure I get 100% of them.

I took some measurements of the ABS pump. I can give some of the lines a slight bend to move pump out of the way of the left exhaust manifold. If looks like it will clear it without a problem with some creative bending. I didn't want to get too involved with that since I want the car to at least have brakes while it is at the fabricator's shop.

Finally, I made some calls and sent some emails to vendors for pricing on some safety items required to take this heap up the hill in September. I have the seat and helmet covered.

  1. 6 point Camlock Harness (pull up lap belts)
  2. 2.5LB 10 BC or 1A10BC rated fire extinguisher with metal bracket
  3. Arm restraints
  4. Gloves

Day 4 will be dedicated to contacting vendors and maybe back on that janky passenger window regulator.

That's all for tonight . . . Time to kill ninjas on the Xbox . . . See ya tomorrow.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Day 2 - Plucking the ponies . . . (8/11/2014)

Day 2 completed!! It was a relatively easy day as the only task was to remove the 302 and T5 from the chassis.

Oh hi!!

FEAD removed

Going up . . .

Pony gone . . .

. . . but didn't leave the Corral.

Day 3 will be a slow day. I'm going to walk back through the Swap manual to make sure the chassis is prepped. In addition to chassis prep, Santa will be making a list and checkin' it twice to make sure nothing is missed. I may take a look at the ABS pump as it needs to be moved a bit more for header clearance.

Got the Dakota ready for some towing and will take it out tomorrow to complete the final checks. Will still need to make an order or two for some goodies!!

Vrooming noises were being made


Day 1 - Wiring . . . (8/10/2104)

So Day 1 is down in books . . . No parts flew and very few wrenches were turned. But a lot continuity testing, wiring, and soldering was accomplished.

Since I haven't seen or done anything on the 350is in YEARS, it made sense to start the wiring from scratch. The harness I had was a juicy mix of a 88-91 and 92-93 Foxbody 5.0L harness . . . that was hackered to death. AWESOME!!!

I sat down with my mulitmeter and wiring diagrams from the 88-91 and 92-93 Mustang and the E36 V8 Swap manual. Look at all the fun I had . . .

Let's actually read the instructions . . .

Starting with the Fuel Injection Harness

Green tape FTW!!

Tracing wires in the Main Harness. Much fun was not had . . .

Finished up the Fuel Injection Harness

Starting on the BMW X20 Connector for the Harness

Main Harness traced and taped

Soldering skills still there. Focus skill with the camera is absent

Main Harness taped and laid

Main Harness COMPLETED . . . or is it??

Remember that bit I spoke of my harness being a hackered two timer?? Yea, I sure didn't. The 92-93 harness comes with a fuel pump relay wired into the harness and 88-91 needs to have one added. Care to guess which part of the harness I have . . . . Nope, no shots of me adding the fuel pump relay and proceeding to smash my forehead again the garage door because I forgot to add it be before I wrapped it . . . 

I finished off the day by removing the seats and all of the items that I had stored inside and on top of the car. I threw a battery in and fooled around with the passenger window before I retired for the evening.

Day 2 = Engine + trans Removal and repairing a janky passenger window regulator. Stay tune!!


Hillclimber in 30 days? I thought they only did that on TV . . .

So this guy named Ted Theodore has been bugging me all year to do something called a Hillclimb.

They close off a section of road and proceed to send racers uphill and downhill in set intervals. Sounds dangerous . . . where do I sign up!!

Well do to this thing called life that continues to haunt me, it kept moving to the back burner and eventually off the radar. However, that guy named Ted does not give up too easily.

He sent me information on the Time Trial and Time Trial School at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway. I really wanted to attend to get licensed so I can terrorize tracks up and down the east coast.

Alas, it was not to be due to work and having no car available with the required safety items to hit the track.

But this would not deter that guy named Ted!!

Three days ago, I made an innocent post regarding a Can-AM car I would hoon to end of the earth. That damn Ted Theodore called me out . . . talked about a birdbath and put me in contact with a fabricator to get a roll bar and other safety items to run the Dragon on September 13-14.

So now . . . I have a fabricator to call and Ted Theodore calling me out. Not only that, Mrs. Zero is telling me to take one my crapcans and go . . . So which crapcan should I take?? Well the Corolla is out since that is the GRM $20xx Challenge car and I'm not putting a bar in an AutoX only car. The LS still has a tiny man with big hammer trying to get out of engine. The "LadyBug" is off-limits. Why not use the 530i??

It's a proven track crapcan with a track weekend and a HPDE weekend under its belt. But why would I take my former DD and put a bar in it? Well . . . when I retired it from DD duties, I move it back to country. I went several months later to start it and the interior looked of 6 month old bread. Thanks to a heater core that sprung a leak and the lack of ventilation (yea I forgot to crack the windows . . .), the interior has the green and white fuzzies.

So with the plan devised to get that guy named Ted off my back and scratch a racing itch I've had for the last 3 years, I started to make arrangements to get the 530i back to Strike Zero Garage. However . . . plans change . . . as always.

After speaking with the fabricator about the car and the state (stripped) he would need the car to be to complete the roll bar, I decided all the work to get the 530i ready may not be worth it. Sure it be awesome to bust the Dragon in big ole V8 powered E34, but that's a lot work to get it ready (mold abatement, strip the interior, etc). So why not use something that is already stripped . . . 350is . . . after all, it is the Track Rat!!

Armed with an old plan with a new twist, I will attempt to turn this into a hillclimber in 30 days . . . Follow along to see if we make it . . . .


It's been a while . . .

I haven't undated this thing in YEARS . . . That's what happens when life takes over.

I did pick up some more non-running and badly running crapcans! I also acquired a new daily driver!!

I'll get to those later.

I'm going to attempt turn a pile of parts and chassis into a hillclimb racer in 30 days!! Get your popcorn and beverages ready!! Wrenches will be turning and parts will be flying . . .