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classicJackets HalfDork
7/7/17 2:29 p.m.

Well, dangit photobucket. Luckily, You can see more recent images still, thanks to Google Photos. I suppose I'll have to go back and re-link many of these..

Skervey HalfDork
7/7/17 2:54 p.m.

Im in the same boat I lost all of my build photos...

mck1117 Reader
8/1/17 4:51 p.m.

You wouldn't happen to still have the Merkur shell, specifically the steering rack, would you?

classicJackets HalfDork
12/7/17 6:17 p.m.

Contrary to Popular belief, this build thread isn't over yet. I have another week at home to work on this before being busy for a while, then needing to move it up to Michigan to start in the real world!

The last day or two I've been trying to work out what my transmission crossmember and mount will look like, around the cold and rain here. 

This picture shows what i have to work with: 2nd from the top is the stock transmission mount. Height and location of the mounting bolts for the center aren't right.

The top/cardboard is what the horizontal piece would need to look like now to clear the humps in the transmission. 


Now, the lower two pieces is where it gets interesting. I bought the bottom mount for $5 thinking it would be all I needed - today, I ran into the top piece. I had it tucked away somewhere, and now I'm considering the merits of trying to use it - problem is I can't remember where it came from to research what it would look like in place!

I was able to find the following picture on Google for comparison.



This person just used both. The advantage to using the more "flat" mount is that it could tuck up in the frame of the truck, the disadvantage is I think it could end up being harder to build a mount for, and I really don't know how it looked in original form.  I'll snap some pictures under the truck tomorrow when it's light out for better comparison.



classicJackets HalfDork
12/8/17 8:12 p.m.

Okay, so as it turns out - the mystery piece above is an exhaust hanger mount. Sweet. Not a good transmission mount!

I dug through some more scrap bin today and found these mounts - I think they came with the parts Merkur a while back. One of these pieces was free-floating, but the other had to be cut off a pipe it was welded on to (in the background)


The slots were cut in the pieces already, which is why I really wanted to use them. Here you can see they overlapped and needed to be trimmed down.


Next step is always CAD model, here they're already trimmed to size.



Marked the steel to size, and cut those back tabs off:


Had to go out and buy the hardware, but then mocked them up. The fit worked out pretty well even before welding.



Welded and cleaned up. This side will face the ground normally.


Here's the mounting side.


I decided I might as well use the exhaust hanger, and cut off the tab on the driver's side because it would be unusable, thanks to the parking brake cable.


SO in the next few days, if the snow/sleet stops, I can get back on the ground and try to start making the rest of the crossmember to weld to this mount.





Robbie PowerDork
12/8/17 8:57 p.m.

Yes! I'm so excited to see this build back in action. Moving to MI huh? Maybe I'll even be able to see this thing in person one day!

classicJackets HalfDork
12/9/17 10:48 a.m.

Proof that we got snow in Georgia!

classicJackets HalfDork
12/9/17 11:24 p.m.

Didn't get a ton today, and didn't take many pictures while I was working. I did, though, get the transmission positioned where it needed to be in the frame, as it was more skewed before. I did have to cut the trans tunnel some, but the floor is rusty enough in enough places that I don't feel too bad. It's all for the cause!



It's a tight fit but a little better now. Hopefully I can take all pieces of this a little further in the next few days and get this portion wrapped up!

Edit: I've been working backwards now, trying to fill in some of the pages of missing pictures. I think I've covered the last 2 or 3 pages, and will keep working back!

classicJackets HalfDork
2/19/18 8:46 p.m.

I'm back... And I've moved to Michigan! The house I'm renting has a 2-car (a little oversized) garage. I already just about filled it up. Plenty of organizing to come.  And talking to the property manager about having more electricity added, the 2 outlets in there aren't quite enough if you ask me. I finally bought an LED light to hang yesterday.


I changed my rear main seal this weekend, and I'm expecting a new flywheel, clutch kit, and clutch slave cylinder to come in this week. Once those are in, I'm hoping to be able to get the full block dropped in and begin addressing the concerns there.


In the meantime, I've been looking at the seats again. Because I know earlier pictures disappeared, here's a refresher. Out of a VW Corrado, great bolstering.


I am anticipating needing to make new mounts, both to weld on to the seat and to weld to the car, once the floors are cleaned up/patched. 


For seat mounting panels, what gauge steel would you be looking at using? Here's a picture of the CAD template, on the back side and bottom of the seat. Definitely gussets would be involved, but I'm thinking weld on the triangular portion, and drill two holes to bolt through to captive nuts in the floor. Would 16 gauge be thick enough? 14?


Dusterbd13 MegaDork
2/19/18 8:58 p.m.

Id go 1/8, but im captain overkill 

Crackers Dork
2/19/18 9:17 p.m.

Dude, I'm gonna be looking hard for a set of those seats. 

As far as mounts, I'd probably also go with 1/8" with how you're planning to attach them. 

If you can box it, 16ga would work. 

Saron81 New Reader
2/20/18 6:39 a.m.

Cool project!

I have almost the exact same truck... mines a green 73 with the stock engine and automatic. I was originally going to do a 2.3 turbo swap in it as well, but decided it was too nice to swap (until it breaks at least.) Might go 302 power at that point though. ;)

I’ll be watching!

BlueInGreen44 SuperDork
2/21/18 3:44 p.m.

Nice seats.

Welcome to Michigan! Some guys here are planning to hang out soon. Check out the   GRM get together thread if you haven’t already.

classicJackets HalfDork
2/25/18 5:42 p.m.

Nice to know there's another Courier on the forum!

BiG, thanks for the heads up - I'll plan to be there.

I didn't get much done this weekend, but I popped out today for long enough to get the freeze plug at the back of the block replaced, and the pilot bearing replaced. I used the "bread trick" on the pilot bearing, and honestly it worked really well. The new one is in and good to go. 

This week I'm hoping to get the old block pulled, a few of the remaining pieces of brackets drilled off/removed, and the real engine block dressed with clutch/flywheel and dropped in place. We'll see whether that happens or not!


classicJackets HalfDork
3/10/18 9:19 p.m.

Been a busier few weeks than the post history here would suggest. I've been working on getting the garage organized, getting the right parts here, and chipping away still a little bit at a time!

The garage looks better now..


After the engine gets put in, I'll have to find somewhere to hide the hoist - but there's almost enough space for a 2nd car in there now!


In that picture, you can see my new, too cheap for my own good, corner notcher. I got it looking like this


Cleaned it up a little bit and ended up with something that looks almost respectable! Just need to do  the handle next.

On the car itself, I did get the timing belt and tensioner changed on the ingoing engine. I changed the freeze plug on the back of the block as well. I have the clutch and flywheel here, so once I get the dummy block pulled and the engine bay cleaned up a little better I'l be ready to drop everything in!





On to the next..


classicJackets HalfDork
3/20/18 8:26 p.m.

Not huge progress, but I did get the newly O-ringed Fuel injectors mounted in the manifold thanks to some olive oil, and got that screwed in. Then I went into the garage and cut out some plugs for the firewall - since I don't have any more heater hoses I don't need the holes in the firewall to be there. Got 2 plugged tonight, and I think that I'll work on the other two tomorrow. I would like to drop the engine in place this week..

They aren't pretty, but they'll do the job for now!




classicJackets HalfDork
3/25/18 4:32 p.m.

Got new seats this week after realizing how difficult it would be to adapt the VW seats to any sort of mount. These seats also have a headrest built in so my head/the back glass will have something in between for a worst case scenario.


Out of an 04 STI. I think they'll be great. If anyone wants the VW Corrado seats, they'll be for sale!

Ram50Ron New Reader
5/21/18 4:35 p.m.

This thing is awesome!  I love the old Couriers and those Lima engines are often forgotten and underrated. I have a spare HX35 laying around from my days of hoarding DSM parts if you are ever looking to get a little crazy with the airflow on the cheap.

+1 for the college house engine rebuild, that's my kinda crazy.

AWSX1686 Dork
5/22/18 8:43 a.m.

Neat build. I kinda glanced through the whole thing. 

Not sure if you fully figured out your alternator mounting or not, but I believe the mount from a ranger 2.3 (NA) would work with little to no modification. They have the alternator on the passenger side down low in stock form. (I also have a 2.3t LIMA project, unfortunately space it too tight for me to move the alternator to there. 

classicJackets HalfDork
5/22/18 9:46 a.m.

I have looked at it and that's what I think I'll end up doing. I haven't had time to even think about going to the junkyard and grabbing a set though, and people re-selling them want stupid money ($130 for them).

I think it's just the 92-94 Ranger 2.3's. Becuase this is on Megasquirt and I have no experience tuning, I'm going to just start with the stock parts, the way i got the engine. Non-intercooled, stock upper intake, etc, so I can put the alternator in stock location for initial firing and running. Just as parts are added it will need to move.

I started reorganizing the garage last night so I can get back to working on this. Primarily gusseting the engine mounts, and setting it in.

classicJackets HalfDork
7/24/18 9:53 p.m.

Slacked. Hard. Getting a puppy and managing her around work and the 318TI has slowed this way down, but I managed to spend a few hours out there today. Spent close to an hour just getting everything cleaned back up - somehow a garage accumulates filth even when you aren't using it!

The engine had 2 dipstick tubes - one for rear sump (stock), and the spot in front for the front sump pan I attached. I got lucky the block was pre-drilled there.. So, today I made a "cap" for the rear spot that will hopefully hold.

I just cut the dipstick tube at a 45* angle, hammered it flat/over on itself, welded it shut, and then ground it down! It seems to hold liquid no problem.


Then, After much fuss and dropping the sway bar to let the front sump pan clear and the engine swing closer to level, I got the engine close to in. 


From this, the oil cooler is directly in line with the fuel lines and their hard mounting point on the frame there. I was able to get 1 of the 2 bolts off, but then I had to pull the puppy away from a young bird (barely too small to fly) that wound up in the back corner of the garage, and couldn'tget back to work tonight. Hoping for more progress  this week. Work has a car show in exactly 1 month - that's become my (overly bold) target.

Ram50Ron Reader
7/25/18 9:09 a.m.

Best of luck on the overly bold target. It doesn't have to be finished it just has to get to the show haha

classicJackets HalfDork
8/1/18 8:19 p.m.

Progress made since last update! 

After my 2nd re-alignment of the clutch, the engine and transmission are fully bolted together!

I installed my mini-starter! 


Lastly, on the advice of someone on facebook (so it's gotta be reliable), I removed the oil cooler for clearance. The oil filter I had was then only about 1-2cm better in clearance installed, and I was worried about being able to remove/replace it for oil changes. I cross-referenced and found a different oil filter that gave me essentially 4+cm of extra clearance compared to running the oil cooler, which is more than I need. Very happy about that. Lady CJ and I are going to work on getting the engine/trans in the car tomorrow evening so that I can fix whatever issues arise and get going on the wiring! 23 days to go..


classicJackets HalfDork
8/2/18 9:23 p.m.

Tonight was a pretty solid night - got the engine and transmission dropped all the way in! Transmission isn't on it's mounts yet, but that'll hopefully come tomorrow. Plenty of room in the engine bay as of now, as well.



Of course it couldn't all be smooth. We had to take the starter off to get the engine past the crossmember and steering link, and then we put the starter back on. Of course, the starter and the steering linkage interfere pretty heavily about halfway through a right turn's sweep of movement. This is already the mini-starter so I don't think I can get any smaller on that front. 


I'll definitely have to have some tea and think about how to get around this one. Anybody have similar experience? Pictures to show - it's the actual joint on the center link bar that hits, not the bar itself.


Steering on center:



Steering to the right, until contact:



I made a 12-step list today that covers everything needed to get the car drivable - I more or less partially kinda crossed off item 1 today, leaving 11 to go. 22 days left..

classicJackets HalfDork
8/2/18 9:27 p.m.

Link to all the pictures here..



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