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Discussion Starter · #102 · (Edited)
I really can't win with this build 🤬. So it turns out that I cracked the crank ladder when I was torquing it up, presumably because the crud on the crank was preventing it from going fully down which also explains why the sealant hadn't really spread out. So annoying but not the end of the world as I have a spare block, then getting the liners out, 3 came out nice and easy as they should but the last one simply would not budge to the point I ended up bending the bottom rim so yet more annoyance but I can get a brand new liner for £30 so not a massive deal. Then I went to get my spare block in to start building that only to realise that because it's from an S1 Elise it doesn't have the casting for the oil drain so I actually can't use it so now I'm having to find another engine, probably another 1.4 because they seem to be the cheapest to strip for the block and I'll end up with a 3rd 1.4 bottom end lying around collecting dust and I'll have lost at least another week. Very big angery.

The problem:


The solution (after I smacked it a lot with a hammer to show my displeasure 🤣)


Whilst writing this I have managed to find a guy giving away a 1.8 120 from a ZS for free in Bristol which my mate says is about £30-40 in diesel in his Bora so maybe I won't be too far setback. I'll have to wait til monday to go pick it up though as I'm in Manchester tomorrow but definitely better than I expected lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #103 ·
Well I finally got back to work on a proper engine after a guy asked me to rebuild his 2.0 TFSI after the oil pump seized. I pulled apart the new engine to see what was what and there was definitely a bit of water in the oil but not too too bad, the main area of concern is the liners are less than 0.002" proud except for one which is just 0.002". I've ordered some shims for it but obviously that'll push me back further as they are due to turn up on Friday-Saturday and I'm going to my parent's on Saturday so it'll be New Year's by the time I can make any more progress. I'm going to try to get the oil drain drilled and the crank in at least and maybe put the head in so I can actually make the pipe for the oil drain while I'm waiting now that the turbo side adapter has finally turned up. I'm having to redrill the holes for it as it's for a bigger turbo so the hole spacing is too big, I only got that one because it has an extension before the AN fitting screws on so it can actually clear the bolts as I'm using AN-10 so it's a big fitting on a very small flange.

Needlessly complicated German land anchor vs actually (mostly) well designed engine 😜. I'm pretty sure the bare block of the Audi engine weighs nearly as much as a fully built K bottom end.


I need to get the Audi lump gone 😅
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 · (Edited)
So I started off today by cleaning as much of the crud off the block as I could in the bath and then drilled and tapped the new oil drain hole. Then I cleaned up the mating and bearing surfaces ready to put it together, put the new main bearings in but used the thrust washers that came with the engine as well as the crank that came with it so I definitely wouldn't have a reapeat of last time. Then I oiled the bearings and put sealant on the block, put the crank in and then the bearing ladder, started tightening it up making sure to do it in small increments in the right order to make definitely definetely sure not to have a repeat of last time and then guess what.. ANOTHER CRACKED BLOCK 🤬. Same as last time cracked on the side where the middle bolt goes, I considered just torquing the rest up and jb welding the crack but decided that was probably not the best idea and the crank didn't turn anyway so I took it apart and decided to see if the crank even fitted in the bearing ladder side but I ended up just taking a video of me picking the top half of the block up by the crank and giving it a damn good shake with just the friction of the bearings holding it in which is obviously not really what's supposed to happen. I've sent that video and pictures of the bearing sizes on both blocks and both cranks and of the cracks to DMGRS in an attempt to either get a refund or a replacement because the bearings are clearly out of spec. I ended up having to give the crank some pretty hard smacks with a rubber mallet to get it to come out.

Here's the mess I made of the bath 🤣


This is probably the cleanest I've ever had one of these when putting one together, on the inside at least


I promise this isn't the same picture as before 😅


And here's a screenshot from the video of me angrily shaking my engine


I'm hopefully going to be able to pick up an actual turbo block from one of the guys I spoke to last time I was after an engine on the way to my parents' at the weekend but if not I'm sure I'll be able to get one once I'm back at new year's. Whether or not I'll be able to get a new set of bearings I'm not sure, hopefully DMGRS will be good to me, they're usually pretty good with customer service. If not I'll just have to find some money from somewhere and bite the bullet, hopefully one day the universe will allow me to have a turbo ZR 😪.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
I decided to take a look at why my wastegate and boost gauge didn't seem to be working for the brief time I was able to use them in the old car and rigged them up to a foot pump, tested the gauge first and that seemed to be working fine so moved on to piping the wastegate in with the gauge just T'd in. Even with it spiking to around 10psi there was no movement from the actuator so that explains why I was seeing nearly 15psi on the map sensor when I drove it 🤣. I took the actuator arm off and wound a load into it and managed to get it pretty much bang on 5psi on the first go which I'm pretty sure is what it's meant to be so I'm not sure why it was so high considering that's how it came. I'm running an electronic boost controller so it should be able to compensate if it's not 100% perfect but I figured that's about as good as I'll be able to get it.



I also finished off modifying the oil drain to fit and I'm definitely glad I went for the extended one because the AN-10 fitting wouldn't have been able to screw on due to the proximity to the compressor housing. After attaching that I reattached the turbo to the manifold which on required a moderate amount of jiggling and poking with a screwdriver to get the bolt into one of the holes thanks to the heat wrap. I then figured I'd make use of the cracked block seeing as I'd already drilled and tapped the hole for the drain, unfortunately the extended turbo end meant the run to the block isn't as simple as I'd have liked as when I put on the 90 degree fitting the outlet is actually slightly lower than the inlet to the block and far too close to use a fitting to straight shot it. For now I've just used the whole bit of pipe I've got wrapped around into a straight fitting into the block as I didn't want to start cutting it up seeing as I won't know exactly what I'll need until it''s all in the car. At the minute I'm thinking of using the 90 off the turbo, sending it towards the gearbox end to avoid the downpipe then into a 180 and then back into a 90 into the block.



It's at least looking like an engine even if it's got nothing in it 😅


Truly the most elegant of solutions 🤣


As for a new block, I haven't heard back off the guy with the turbo block but there was a guy who was taking a 1.8 out of a Freelander who said he should have it out before new years so I should be able to pick that up once I get back from Lincoln then I'll just need to get a new set of main bearings, whack it all together and hopefully get it all in and running at the latest by the end of January.
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
I figured I should at some point actually try to get my Fiat mot'd seeing as it ran out over a month ago so I took the rear drums off to see if I could figure out how to make the brakes work a bit better, I've already unseized the actuators and adjusted the handbrake cable so all I could really do was clean off the little lip on the drum which seems to have made no difference but hey at least I mostly fixed the exhaust the other day so I'll try to get it retested on Monday.

After that it was already getting dark because, as usual, I woke up super late so I thought I'd have a go at mocking up the start of the downpipe which meant putting the sump and oil filter housing on the empty block. I quickly realised I needed to swap the straight fitting on the oil drain going into the block for a 90 to give me any chance of getting 3" of pipe past while not going any more forwards than the front of the turbo. I then realised I'd made a bit of an error in going for a 45 degree pipe coming out of the flange as that only pointed straight down but I actually need to come back across towards the gearbox end to allow it to go around the oil filter and through the gap in the sump. I'll order a 90 degree just before I come back around new years so I can actually crack on with it. It looks like it's going to be fairly tight as you'd expect with that size of pipe but there is clearance to everything and heat wrapping it should mean the oil drain being so close shouldn't be too much of an issue. I also found that even with it tucked right up close to the sump, the pipe sits about an inch below the bottom of the sump which isn't ideal but should be ok because I'm not running crazy low (I think it's around 30mm lowered).
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
I decided to have a go at mounting all the heat exchangers today so took the front bumper off and moved the lights out of the way to see what I was working with. Firstly I figured I should see if I could even run AC with the standard piping and with a bit of finessing and yet more chopping of the bulkhead I've got everything to fit, just. Then I had to work out where to put the charge cooler rad and ended up having to push it right over to the driver's side to make room for the breather pipe which meant it was going to be difficult to mount the AC and CC off the same passenger side mount. With that in mind I decided the best course of action was to make the CC mounts first and then sort out some way of holding the AC in after either coming off the CC mount to the side or coming down from the slam panel.

I started with the passenger side mount as that has 2 bolt holes in the rad so I cable tied the AC condenser in place and then drilled and bent some 16mm box section to go over it and bolt into a captive nut I welded on the slam panel and a bolt I welded onto the front of the bottom rad support with a nyloc acting as a temporary spacer. I then drilled the holes for the CC rad to bolt to and cut some holes in the box section for the heads of the bots to sit in. It seems reasonably sturdy and should be pretty solid once the other side is in, The breather oulet is pretty tight against the engine rad and the headlight but it should be ok once I've trimmed a little more out of the light and I'll probably put a bit of sheathing over it to stop it rubbing through. Because the CC rad is off to one side I am going to have to trim the bumper slightly and probably space the crash bar forward a few mm but overall it's all fitted in surprisingly well. I'll hopefully finish it off tomorrow and get it back to being driveable again.

Very tight fit 😅


Not too bad as an overall package though


As I was moving the engine radiator around to see if I could improve the mounting situation for that there was a fair amount of sloshing so I'm pretty sure that's where my airlock is, I'll have a look at sorting that tomorrow too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 · (Edited)
I finished off mounting the charge cooler radiator today, ended up just having it mounted to the bottom radiator support rather than having a bar go all the way up to the slam panel because the headlight was in the way which means it's a bit hard to get the bonnet to shut properly due to the slam panel flexing. I'll fix that when I get round to mounting the AC condenser properly but I ran out of time today because I was trying to get the bumper to fit so I can actually drive the car tomorrow. I ended up having to take the grill and quite a bit of depth out of the bumper but overall it doesn't look too bad considering. At some point I'm going to try to make the hole up a bit taller and shroud it into the radiator a bit more and I'll definitely be putting some form of grill back on it. I also need to find a way to space the crash bar forwards about 10mm without it hitting the bumper because I'm currently having to run without it.

I forgot to take a picture of the other CC mount but here's how it looks with the trimmed bumper fitted.


Because both inlet and oulet of the CC radiator are on the same side I've had to run them up and over alongside each other but I've tried to route the bottom one along the line of the AC condenser end tank so I'm blocking as little of the engine radiator as I could and done the same on the other side with the mount where I've put the upright in line with the engine rad end tank (admittedly it's blocked by the bumper anyway). I'm definitely going to need some more 90 degree pieces to finish off the CC loop and probably another extension for the breather pipe so I can mount the reservoir where I want it. I'm going to have a bit of box section running in line with the top of the engine rad that I'll mount the AC to off a couple of tabs and then tie the bar into the other exisiting mounts and also to the other side of the slam panel to hopefully get some strength back into it plus the horizontal bar will give me something nice to cable tie the breather pipe to. The other benefit of such a short engine rad is that the top grill is completely free for if I end up running an oil cooler so there's a little bit of futureproofing 😄.
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Not much progress since the last post due to the weather and waiting on a new block but I've made a bit of progress on rebuilding my silver 1.4, it now has a drivers side driveshaft (waiting on a boot for the passenger side) after a massive fight to get the old cv joints out of the box and it's also got a pas belt tensioner and belt on which would definitely have been much easier to do while the engine was out of the car. It just needs an oil pressure sensor, engine and gearbox oil and a filter and a couple of hose clamps and it should be good to run once I've reset the immobiliser code on the ecu.
Retaking over the street with MGs again 😅


Also because I wanted to at least do something I decided to pre clamp all the hoses that aren't already on the car
 

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You've been busy. Have you a working MG-R atm? I'd be tempted to clean out that expansion tank before refitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
You've been busy. Have you a working MG-R atm? I'd be tempted to clean out that expansion tank before refitting.
Yep always busy when all your cars are project cars 🤣. I'm still driving the blue ZR around until I can get my Fiat to actually pass an mot and yeah I'll probably give everything a good clean before I put them in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
Well I was bored of waiting around to hear from the guy who's meant to be giving me the engine so I decided to see whether I could get away with just plumbing the oil drain directly into the sump seeing as I have a couple of spares now. I ground off some of the fins on the side so I had something flat to work from and originally tried roughing it up with some 80 grit and thickening it up with some aluminium putty (the very same tube I used on the deck all those years ago 😂) and left it to go off for an hour or so, drilled the hole, left it a bit longer to make sure it had definitely cured and then started tapping it which worked fine until I tried to tap into the ali underneath at which point the whole chunk of putty just broke off. Annoying but not the end of the world because now there was a hole I could actually see how thick it was at that point and it's about 5-6mm which I figured was probably fine to just tap straight into and so I did just that. Next I went to get my silicon sealant to seal it for a leak test but apparently that's all gone hard since last time I used it so I just stuck some hylomar blue on cos it's what I had to hand, put on the long pipe on which I could hold straight up, effectivey sealing that and went and filled it up in the kitchen sink. Other than a leak from the 90 degree connection which I'll fix by sealing the threads it seems to hold water and with a proper sealant and possibly some aluminium putty around the base it should be ok to go on the car. My only concern is it's probably below or at the very least level with the level of the oil in the sump so I'm not sure how well it'll actually drain but seeing as all the oil in the sump actually circulates rather than just sitting there I'm sure it'll drain well enough.

Not the prettiest but should do the job and means I'll be able to use the old style block that's sat in my back garden doing nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
So I decided I should probably actually put the drain above the oil level just because it will be more of a pain to sort once it's in the car if it does need changing so after drilling a hole in the broken block to check the thickness I drilled and tapped a hole in the other block but made it slightly lower and more towards the front of the engine so it should make it easier to plumb. The block isn't massively thick and only has about 2-3 threads in it so I figured it would be a good idea to add some of the good old aluminium putty to give a bit more for the fitting to hold on to but rather than drill and tap it having learned from last time I just put the fitting in with plenty of threads showing and crammed the putty in around it as well as I could and then built up a bit more round it to hopefully seal it to the block nicely. Certainly not the most professional looking job but seeing as it won't be under pressure really it should hold fine.

Seeing as there was nothing else to do now but build the thing I decided I should start doing just that but as it turns out the new bearing kit, while the right thickness this time, had 8 plain and 2 grooved bearings rather than the required 7/3 so now I've got to wait for them to send another grooved one before I can go any further but assuming it comes by Monday I should have the engine in by the end of next week assuming I don't run into any more unforseen issues which is almost certainly not going to happen knowing my luck 😅.
 

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Discussion Starter · #114 ·
NO CRACKED BLOCK!!! 🥳


Yes I finally got the missing grooved bearing in the mail this morning and now I have a block that actually fits together with a crank inside it and the crank is actually able to turn. With that done I stuck the liners in including the shiny new one and then fitted the rods and pistons which went without a hitch which at this point is a massive surprise 🤣. I then could finally fit the brand new still in it's packaging uprated oil rail that I bought at Christmas 2020 and this block had studs and nuts rather than the bolts so it was even easier to fit than normal. For now I've just stuck the dead VVC head and an old HG on to let the liners set overnight. I did consider doing some more on it like the oil pump, pickup and sump but figured there's no real rush as I won't be able to start putting in until next week anyway due to me needing the car to get to my booster jab appointment that I forgot about on Sunday.

Here it is with the liners in:


And here it is as it sits now


Also I finally got a reply about the first set of bearings asking if I had had it sorted with a refund or replacement so I said no I bought another set myself so I hopefully should be getting a refund from those back soon. I did actually measure them against the new ones and they were 2mm vs 1.75mm so definitely an oversized set which explains why they were cracking blocks 😅. I've boxed them up so I don't end up getting them mixed up again and labelled them appropriately 🤣.


It hopefully shouldn't take more than a day to finish getting the longblock together and then it's just a case of finalising the oil drain which I may need a 45 degree fitting for which is annoyingly the one angle I don't have 🙄 and then once it's in the car just a little bit of sorting the engine coolant piping and trim a few charge cooler pipes to fit, mount the motor and reservoir for the charge cooler, plumb the rest of the AC, finish off the AC condenser mounting, mount the fpr properly, wire the boost controller and gauge and figure out where I'm going to stick the gauge and then make a downpipe so not too too much, just the fiddly little bits. And then probably 100 other things I also forgot 🤣.
 

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Good the find the reason, although annoying ( cracked block). Glad you are getting on. Too cold to be in my garage atm 🥶
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
Good the find the reason, although annoying ( cracked block). Glad you are getting on. Too cold to be in my garage atm 🥶
Yeah it's a good thing K series blocks are plentiful and fairly cheap still 🤣. I definitey agree it's too cold to be working outside hence working in my front room with a space heater on although I'm going to have to brave the cold to put it in the car but it should be worth it.

So I got a fair bit done tonight, put the oil pickup, oil pump and rear main seal in and then cleaned up the sump that's been sat in my garden for a year and a half which actually came up nicely considering it's been out collecting rainwater 🤣.

I even took the time to clean the bottom

After that I stuck the head on and I'm trying out a new combination (to me at least) of an elastomer gasket and the shim you usually get with the MLS gasket, the hope being that it'll seal as well as an elastomer one usually does but also gives some protection against fire ring indentation and a little less compression because I'm using the head off the old engine which had been skimmed, probably by too much, and is probably soft judging by how bad the rest of the engine was but seeing as I'd already replaced all the seals in it I figured I should use it and worst comes to worst I've got 3-4 spare heads I can stick on if I need to.
The deck surface, and actually all of the block really, is in really good, clean condition so obviously the Lotus it came out of must have been looked after 🤣

Once the head was on I dug out the old basically brand new timing belt, tensioner and water pump and all the timing covers and cleaned and fitted them along with the flywheel, engine mount and crank sensor which is basically as far as I got.

I did have a quick look at the oil drain situation and the good news is I'll get away with 2 90s but the bad news is it still goes slightly uphil and I'm going to need to make a very short pipe

I decided to leave it there seeing as a grinder is a bit noisy for 2am 😅. I'll come back and probably finish off putting most of the stuff on the engine tomorrow, I'm not sure whether I'll get away with leaving the turbo on when I put it in or not because I'll be taking the rad out before it goes in so hopefully should have a bit more room to manouvre although I'll probably realise once the intake and ancilliaries are on that it definitely won't fit.
 

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Impressive work so far. Got to sort a fuel leak at the tank on ours

Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #118 ·
Impressive work so far. Got to sort a fuel leak at the tank on ours

Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
Thanks, yeah fuel leaks aren't fun lol.

The other day I actually finished off making the oil drain only to realise it sits exactly where the downpipe needs to go 🙃 but fortunately it was only a small bit of pipe so I'll just make a new one and route it around the downpipe once that's built.

I also realised that the block of aluminium putty had come loose so I've just smeared it in sealant and hopefully that'll keep it from leaking too badly and makes it look even more professional than before 🤣

I had a couple of days off mostly just because I was waiting for Euro to have oil and filters in but I finally got to work on the car properly today. Stripped the front end and found it makes life so much easier when there isn't a radiator in the way. The old engine and box came out pretty easily other than the fact that whoever put them in apparently got He-Man to do up the starter and gearbox bolts and the UJ on the gear linkage decided it didn't want to come off for literally no reason at all.

Once the old engine was out I took the opportunity to reconnect the AC pipes to the firewall as they'd been removed when the previous owner put the engine in. Then I set about putting all the ancilliaries, loom intake manifold, clutch and mounts onto the engine which I'm glad I waited to do because it was a pig to move on my own as it was without the added weight 😂. I also put the coolant rail on the back with a thermostat that I hacked the thermostat part out of because I'm going to be running one on the hot side instead and then doused the cams in oil before putting the rocker cover on. All of that meant it was dark before I could even start putting the engine in but that's ok because I have a Fiat with a very big light bar 🤣.

Putting the engine in actually went very smoothly despite the crane that didn't really like to stay up and I didn't even have to take the turbo off which was nice. Putting the gearbox on was more of a ballache as it always is though, it actually went on the first time without too too much fighting but then when I went to do the bolts up I realised there was a dowel in the engine and in the box on the back so annoyingly I had to take it all off again and pull the dowel out of the box and try again. For some reason it decided it didn't want to go on nicely this time but eventually after much fighting and swearing it finally went in and I could bolt it together, reattach and bolt in the mount and remove all the jacks. By that time it was like 9pm and I hadn't had tea and had an engine, box and a million tools to put away so I decided to call that a job done for today.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to wake up a bit later and hopefully I won't have as broken a back as I do now. The plan of action is going to be: bolt up the engine steady bars, reattach the gear and clutch linkages, put some coils on it, change the reverse switch because the wires somehow got ripped out, make the downpipe and oil drain, pre-lube the turbo through the feed hole and put the banjo on, put the remaining missing AC pipes in, mount the rad fans to the rad more securely than just with cable ties and finish off the AC and charge cooler mounting the figure out where I'm going to route the cooling pipes for the engine and CC as well as the boost pipes (one of which I still need to reclaim from my mate's Fabia) and then mount the CC pump and reservior and make a bracket for the cooler itself and then probably some other things that I'll remember along the way. OK maybe I won't get all of that done tomorrow but it should be done by the weekend at least 😁.
 

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Discussion Starter · #119 ·
A bit more progress today despite it being super cold. I got the steady bars bolted in and changed over and rewired the reverse switch, put the starter and flywheel covers on and finished connecting the loom apart from the boost controller because I wasn't sure if it needed to go to live or earth but the FB page tells me it's live so I'll do that tomorrow. I also got the PAS reconnected and pretty much all of the cooling system other than the radiator including modifying the top pipe to have the thermostat and takeoff for the turbo and then splicing it back into the return pipe. I did also find the first thing that I forgot to buy which is a blanking cap for the new thermostat because it'll basically just be working to control flow through the radiator rather than being the junction between hot and cold that it is normally.

Here's the new setup up front with the thermostat and the alloy T piece which I'm only actually using as a straight with the small takeoff for the turbo, The AC pipe which is always in the way of everything continues to do just that so I might have to fiddle around with the setup a bit but for now it seems to work and the bonnet closes so that's good enough for me.

Here's the turbo cooling setup, I may end up rerouting the back pipe to come over the turbo instead to help it flow a bit better because I'm intending for that to be the inlet and I'm hoping that the angle of the bit coming off the T piece will help push the coolant through although I may just end up swapping the 2 around and having the front as the inlet. I should probably invest in some more heat sheathing for the pipes too, I've put the bit that came off the old oil drain on the back pipe but it's not particularly long.

This is where I've T'd into the return pipe which should also hopefully help pull the coolant through the turbo although it's kinda pulling uphill which isn't ideal.

I also finally got round to starting on the downpipe which is not my finest work and is a pig to bolt on because the bolts are too close to the pipe because it's so big so you can't get a socket on and there isn't really room to get a spanner on the back bolt but hey the terrible welding will be covered by heat wrap and 2/3 tight bolts ain't bad 🤣. I've still got to finish joining it in to the rest of the exhaust and weld a bung for the lambda sensor but I was freezing so called it a day, relatively productive considering I started pretty late.

My mate is meant to be dropping off the boost pipe he borrowed tomorrow so once I've finished the downpipe I'll whip together an oil drain and then start adding boost pipes and mounting the charge cooler and pump and then finally get to the radiators. I want to leave them til last because it's just nice having all that extra access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #120 ·
It took longer than expected to get the downpipe finished off and I ended up swapping out the bolts for some with a 13mm head rather than the 17mm that the old ones were so I could actually get a spanner on them but I got it done eventually and even remembered to weld the bung in for the lambda sensor before heat wrapping it. The finised product isn't too bad but it definitely needed the wrap purely to hide the dodgy welding 😅.

As I was putting it on my mate showed up to take me to get the missing boost pipe so I fitted all of those and called it a day, I actually don't hate the green with the blue car as much as I thought I would so might not even change them.

Tomorrow I'll finally get the oil drain done and wire the boost controller which shouldn't take too long and then I'm going to try and make some kind of bracket that picks up on the old battery box holes to hold the ECU, air filter, charge cooler, pump and reservoir which may require some thinking 🤣. Depending on how long that takes I might start mounting the radiator although I won't be able to get the car finished until Saturday anyway because I still need to borrow a pry bar off my mate to get the driveshafts out of the old box.
 
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