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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Day 21 - Santa's Sleighdeer . . . (8/30/2014)

Today was a LOOOOOOOOOONG day.

Mrs. Zero and I ventured out pick up some goodies!

Think of all crapcans I can now bring home!!

Took a stroll by Hyper-Formance for the final seat and belt fitment. Brent and Shelly burned some midnight oil and got it all done for pick up today. 

The highlight of the day (other than getting a trailer and Brent & Shelly knocking the bar outta the park) was Mrs. Zero enduring a non-A/C'd sleighdeer all day!! She was awesome . . . 

We got home and my neighbor came over to help unload the car and get it in the garage. We also had a mysterious visitor to show up and help

Push . . . don't blow fire at the car . . . ah dammit . . . No flames in garage!!

Needless to say . . . this dude is WHOOPED today. Tomorrow will be short on updates as I'll be napping and resting from today's adventure!!

See you cats later!!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Day 20 - More Parts and a Fix . . . (8/29/2014)

Haha . . . I've finally caught up with the blog to match the date :-)

From my last entry, I had to resolve an issue with the TB and oil filler tube wanting to occupy the same space. I ran down to Pull-A-Part and raided the two V8 Explorers they had on the yard.

According to interwebz lore, the V8 Explorers come with 1.6 stamped rockers and the stamped steel valve covers should clear 1.6 roller rockers with some gently persuasion. I grabbed valve covers + hardware and headed back to the garage.

Fits up real nice . . . Note the oil filler tube

Upper intake installed.

Holy crap . . . look at all that space

IAC is highest point on the engine . . . Let's hope that won't be a problem

I turned the engine over by hand 5 times and didn't feel any resistance. I removed the cover and added some clay to the tops of the rocker arms, re-installed the cover, and turned it over 4 more times. There were no witness marks in the clay . . . I think I can call that one a success!!!

3.5 inches of 302 firepower!! Also got a overflow tank and some plugs.

I closed down the garage for today. There are a few things left to do once I get the car:
  1. Main harness
    1. IAC
    2. Temp gauge
    3. IAT
    4. Reverse lights
    5. Alternator
    6. Starter
    7. Fan switch
    8. Neutral switch wiring
    9. EGR jedi mind trickery
  2. Make some brackets and block off plates
    1. PS reservoir
    2. ABS pump
    3. Overflow tank
    4. EGR port block off plate
  3. Run some hoses and lines
    1. Fuel lines
    2. Coolant hoses
      1. Heater core bypass for now
    3. Vacuum lines
      1. Brake Booster
      2. Fuel pressure regulator
  4. Wrap the driver side header
  5. Paint the engine mounts
  6. Install engine and transmission
  7. Install driveshaft
  8. Run the exhaust
  9. Mount the radiator
  10. Install suspension
  11. Fill the engine and trans with fluids
  12. Prime the engine
  13. Add Gas
  14. Add Battery
  15. Turn the key!!!

I can get all this done in five days @ 6-8 hours a day. Giving me 3-4 days to test . . .

We are going to get this done!!

See you cats later . . .


Day 18 & 19 - More Parts and Less Time . . . (8/27/2014 & 8/28/2014)


I didn't do very much today. I kinda roamed around the garage searching for more space. Being a car part hoarder is good and bad . . . You always have that strange part that you will need some day down the road and you always have that strange part that you will need some day down the road. :-D

Take my advice, build a storage shed first, so you'll have plenty space in the working area to stash other goodies . . .

I also looked over my list again . . . I have this sneaking suspicion that I am and will forget something . . .


1 day before the car is ready!! So what should we do today?? Let's work on the top of our 302!!

Remember the entry I made a couple of days ago about my 302 swap being different?? Well here's another taste of it being just that . . .

The manual has great pictures and descriptions of how to put a 88-93 MUSTANG 302 in an E36. My 302?? It is mix of:

  1. 88-93 Mustang 302 (wiring harness and driveshaft)
  2. 94-95 Mustang 302 (short block,valve covers, and bellhousing)
  3. 98-99 Explorer 302 (heads, intake, FEAD, and ancillaries)
  4. 98-02 Mustang V6 (transmission)
So with all those different parts, I had to be bit more clever and daring in this build. The intake side of this build is DEFINITELY were the clever and some what obvious part of the build has taken place.

Problem 1: Explorer TB elbow + TB = Can't put oil in

Problem 2: Different TPS connectors and 
Clean hands . . .

Solution!! Solder and move to the next gotcha . . .

Let's remove the elbow . . . Looks like that may work!!

IAC Connectors = different . . . Have to get a connector and mo' solder

TB Cable has LOTS of room for travel. To bad this arrangement will NOT work on an E36

Breather hose is going to easy at this point . . . LOL!!

Well, isn't that fine pickle I've gotten myself into. If I had a Mustang TB, I would be wrapping up the top end and doing a sign off of this blog entry . . . .But NOOOOOO . . . . Add an Explorer TB they said . . . It'll add more horse ponies they said . . . It'll be fun they said . . .

I moved my attention to the alternator. 
Stripped out the alternator harness

No Mega fuse needed as this is an Explorer Alternator harness

Routing the big cable

Clever . . .


Now back to our top end dilemma. I could troll the interwebz and grab up an stock Mustang TB. I would probably get it for CHEAP!! However, since nothing on this build is ordinary, I see no need to stop the trend.

I ran down to my FAVORITE place and found two V8 Explorers. I only had time to grab the TB cable bracket and some connectors.

Solution #6934: Back to square one, but with a working TB cable!!

Lookie thar!! Another connector to solder. That is for the IAC.

Don't need to stinkin' EGR, because racecar!!
Oh look!! Dirty hands!!

So now you may be wondering . . . "Strike Zero . . . . how the hell are you going to put the oil cap (and add oil) on with the TB in the way?" And I will say . . . "Mon frère (or mon cheri for the ladies following . . . Hey, I covering all of my bases here), the V8 Explorer valve covers are the answer. Since the V8 Explorers come with 1.6 stamped rockers, a little grinding and dinging inside the valve cover will make some space for the 1.6 roller rockers I have installed. A bonus is the oil filler tub is moved down and comes with an adapter to make it go around the intake tube."

So guess where I will be tomorrow?? Back to my FAVORITE place, grabbing parts . . .

Another question surfaces . . . "If I'm grabbing parts on Friday, who is picking up the car?" Well, as of Thursday morning, it's not ready . . . The tubes are going in on Friday. So cross your fingers and tighten those belts, people of the World Wide Web!! It's about to get bumpy . . . 

See you cats later!!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Day 16 & 17 - Final Mock up and Cleanup . . . (8/25/2014 & 8/26/2014)

Yea . . . I know this post is late . . . But after having a fairly large ribeye and a cold adult beverage (or 3), I laid it down for the night :D


Now that we are on the other side of the halfway point, I revisited my list of things to do and things to buy. I was hoping my things to buy list was short, but no chance that would happen!! However, the list of things to do was falling fast. I must say . . . making and following a list is a tremendous help on this build. When I get to the point where a part is needed or more research is needed to be done, I can indicate that section as a stop and move to another section to maintain some forward momentum. I guess that's why Santa always checks his list twice . . .

I also filled out all of the registration paperwork for the event and forward the check the appropriate party. NO TURNING BACK NOW since Ted has my money!!

Moving back to the list, I made yet another one of things that I would like to change once I recover from this first part of the build. The car currently has 3.15 LSD, heater core and blower is still installed, no passenger seat and harness, skinny street tires, wiring for components that have been removed, and no tune for the mods made to the 302 . . . but that for another day and in another blog :)

I finished the day off by boxing all the components I need for this weekend when the car returns from Brent @ Hyper-Formance.


Two days before the car returns to Strike Zero's Garage . . . this guy is itchy with anticipation!! I put in for some days vacation to have an all hands and minds on deck to finish this 30 day build.

I took another opportunity do a semi full mock-up of the engine (with ancillaries and wiring, transmission, and exhaust)

All dressed up and no where to go

Exhaust crossover appears to fit really well

Laid the harness to get an idea of the wire length for transmission stuff

Installed and mocked up remote oil filter lines

How the exhaust is run . . . looks like normal E36 stuff

I ended the day where I left off on 8/25/2014. Since parts and tools have the tendency to play hide-n-seek when you need them, another garage cleaning was in order:

  • All of the tools were picked up, cleaned, and placed in the correct location
  • Parts that are needed where placed in boxes, labeled, and staged
  • Bigger parts staged to be checked tomorrow
  • The garage was swept/vacuumed
Over the next few days I plan to do some simple tasks to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

I made one final order (hopefully) to Summit Racing and it should be here Thursday . . . I probably just jinxed myself!!

Oh . . . and that sound you hear?? That's the sound of my hands rubbing together like I'm about to win millions . . .

See you cats later!!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 14 & 15 - Back to outside and Halfway . . . (8/23/2014 & 8/24/2014)


Ran by my FAVORITE place in the Columbia, Pull-A-Part!! I mean, were else can you go for $2.00 (I get in free since I'm a Veteran :D), see all types of cool cars, and get buckets of parts on the cheap.

I picked up all these goodies for $30

  • Relays
  • Alternator Wiring Harness
  • Release fork
  • Handful of weather pack connectors
  • Dipstick
  • Fuel pressure regulator

Seriously, if you live close to one and you work on your own cars, you NEED to visit this place!!

I returned home, fired up some saved V8 Supercar races, grabbed some chips + dip, and Redd's Apple Ale.


After talking it over with some guys on Grassroots Motorsports forums about the release bearing, I mulled it over and it would make more sense to run an external slave cylinder to actuate the clutch rather than a internal/concentric bearing.
  • Easily repairable
  • Easily accessible
  • Easily maintainable
  • Easily adjustable
Easy is a good thing with slamming together a race car when it comes time to troubleshoot or fix something.

I took a trip to Lowe's to picked up some steel and bolts.

Cut the steel down, drilled some holes, and added adapter for the slave cylinder

Bent it up origami style and made some slots

Drilled some holes in the bellhousing

Attached the origami bracket with some Grade 8 stuffs

Attached the external slave cylinder adapter

Added the slave cylinder

Engine + Trans . . . Soon, I shall be one with the Matrix . . .

Now . . . before the peanut galley starts about the origami bracket, it is temporary and a fully welded bracket will replace it.


We have made it to the halfway point . . .

So far, I'm exceptionally pleased with the progress that I have made on this project. No, I don't have a garage full of specialty tools or a magic money tree in the backyard, but I'm getting it done. I'm building a race car on a shoe string (relative) budget with some basic tools (a dremel + battery powered drill and sawzall), some clever thinking, and sheer will. If I can do this . . . ANYONE can do this. The best thing about this build is the people that are sharing this journey with me. The encouragement from peeps on Facebook, Google+, Grassroots Motorsports forum and this blog have made the journey pretty damn awesome . . . Thanks!! There is more to come!!

Seriously . . . visit Pull-A-Part . . .