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Ya we want more of this inspiring build. I was actually getting a little deja vu with the side skirts and rear spats. I have so many hours into them coupled with aftermarket bumper , I lost count .
you sir are gonna have one sick ride when she is done !

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
with so many other truly magnificent parts and details yet to be shown here.
Everybody loves a good tease every now and then

An EPIC, EPIC build!! I've been waiting for this, Alan. Thank you for this!
I feel that I can blame you and Blackie for this as seeing your car in a car magazine long ago is what even got me into Supras.

though I was fully expecting you to have painted it titanium blue for some odd reason
Don't worry, there will be plenty of random things painted titanium blue randomly throughout the car. It'll be like an Easter egg hunt.

A few things I picked up on your build that I might apply to my car, the battery box rubber (didn't think/know about that)
It always seemed to make sense to me that a metal battery box should have some sort of lining that is both non-conductive and acid resistant. It may very well be overkill but I prefer it that way.

and the various relay/fuse boxes you used, I saw at least 3 different ones. Where did you find those boxes?
Counting the big one in the back with the cutoff switch there are 4 different ones. They've been getting harder to find lately but Waytek is a pretty good source.
Main fused PDM with the cutoff switch: Littelfuse 880076
Smaller fuse and relay PDM in engine bay: Littelfuse HWB18
Large fuse and relay PDM in hatch for fuel pumps: GEP PDM usually more available from These Guys
Small fuse only block in engine bay: Littelfuse JCASE & MINI

Looking forward to more progress posts!
And I am looking forward to making more progress. Also a small update coming tonight.

Wow, this is already a sweet MK3...
Can't wait to see the rest.
Great documentation.
Wow @Captain this is going to take some time to digest sir. Thanks a whole bunch. Really super awesome post.
Gracias gentlemen. There will be plenty more to come

It's been a whole 2 days.... I NEED MOAR! MOAR @Captain! MOAAAAAAR!!!!!
Man are you going to be in for a rough time in this thread....

I was actually getting a little deja vu with the side skirts and rear spats. I have so many hours into them coupled with aftermarket bumper , I lost count .
I learned in my very first job in high school that an OCD attention to detail is detrimental to the automotive refinish industry. But all of those little details add up big time.

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Minor progress on a couple small things.

Paints' dried so I put the targa brace in to see if I needed to respray it to titanium blue. I may end up respraying the seat back on the Bride seat in the same metallic blue instead of metallic silver. But as previously mentioned, outside of being a shade of blue it's not even remotely related to the blue interior.

I forgot to paint the rear targa mounts when I sprayed the body so I'll have to go back and do that later so they're not bare primer. Rear bolts may end up getting swapped for stainless ARPs and I'll be talking with a machinist acquaintance on Monday about getting the front brace bolts finished to fit the targa bolts.

Also finally got around to making the brackets for the hood pins. The main hood latch is sufficient at holding the hood closed but there's a pretty decent amount of lift on the hood behind the headlights at speed and these are intended to stop that lift. The pins are Quik Latch minis.

I'll paint these brackets in super white along with the rear targa mounts when I have some other stuff to paint as I dislike mixing that small of an amount of paint.

And the engine stand will be making an appearance in my garage this weekend

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I'm saving this thread in a word document, exported to .pdf and cleaned up a bit. It's that good. Probably will have it bound like a proper how-to manual @Captain

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Wow, simply wow! Amazing! Can’t can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!!

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Been a while since an update, so I figure I'll practice my old thread resurrection here.

If you read the small print in my last post you can probably figure that an engine stand is involved here, and one certainly is. So involved that I had to "fix" it before putting the motor on, and then actually fixing it later on when the "fix" was no longer a fix.

But 3 years after blowing the last motor it feels great to be getting some motor stuff done finally. Even though there's been a pretty good amount of work and progress done it hasn't really felt like much was getting done until now. And because I am the same person that I was when I started this build, I'm doing things in wrong orders. Gotta be consistent.

As mentioned previously, the built motor that blew and started this whole money pit was pretty much done. The mains had been line honed to a point that oversized bearings were no longer available, the cylinders had been bored out and honed to the point that they were questionable for boring again (previously done to ~.020", but the machine shop messed up and overbored against the piston specs), and the deck had been resurfaced at least 4 times that I am aware of. So I dug deep and dragged the original motor to the car out. The ugly blue on this block served as a reminder for my poor decisions as a teenager, but it was fortunately un-machined and ready to be brought back into service.

For those unfamiliar with the machine shop services in the central NM area, if it's not a V8 or domestically produced 4 cylinder you're in for a rough time. Having experienced this more times than I care to think about, I packaged the engine and parts up in the only excessive way I know how to.

By spending an entire day building out an oak pallet.

After a lot of back and forth I decided to send the motor to Accelerated Performance in OH to have the machine work done. Don knows his machine work when it comes to the JZ motors and has also done some of the higher horsepower 7Ms out there, so the choice was fairly easy even when accounting for the costs of freight shipping.

Having done a few motors and finally finding something that works well, I stuck with the same basic parts "recipe." Pistons are custom Wisecos in a 10:1 compression ratio, with properly sized valve cutouts for the 1.5mm OS valves, ceramic dome coating, and dry lube skirt coating. The wrist pins are heavy duty, and roughly one step away from being a solid dowel.

I was slightly bummed that Wiseco had a forging that worked perfectly for my application. This will make a little more sense later.

The rods are Pauter billet chromoly X-beams. Beefy suckers...

I sourced a set of billet main caps from ProGram, the company that makes most the billet JZ mains for the big name companies. Sometime between order the caps and receiving them the main machinist, and as I understand it brains behind ProGram, split from the original founder and continued the business under the new name of Billet Speedworks.

The reasoning behind the minor disappointment of non-billet pistons should be starting to come to light here.

Packed all of the pertinent parts up, sent on their way to Don at AP, and I moved on to doing other work that was previously covered here. I think I sent this out in 2019, but I am not sure. Either way it's been a while.

Everything after Don did his magic:

I am going to take a moment and note that the ugly blue paint has lasted through 4 vat cleanings at this point. Clearly I did something terribly wrong with this motor in my early days of Supra ownership to have this incredibly persistent reminder of it. That or the VHT high temp paints are very resilient once cured.

The billet mains were cut to size and honed to use stock OD main bearings, cylinders bored and honed with a torque plate (this time to actual piston spec, courtesy of a machinist that does things right), and deck was milled again partially to be sure it was flat and to fit the front timing cover that wasn't original to this motor.

Back to present time: If you hadn't gathered I am not a fan of the blue, so it was the first thing to go. I found some paint and epoxy stripper that couldn't be sold in California and and proceeded to spend 2 entire days stripping that damned blue paint off. Couldn't tell you how many times I questioned my decision to strip it rather than just spray over it.

From here it got some VHT primer before getting VHT gloss black, with a coat of VHT clear.

After the paint stripping and before the repainting I pressed a couple of expansion plugs down the oil passage off of the oil feed from the pump. I didn't take very good pictures of this in progress so hopefully the after pics will make enough sense.

This is the spot where the factor oil filter and cooler bypass block is located, and also where the usual spin on adapter is installed. The center threaded hole is where the oil feed into the block is, and you can hopefully make out the plug in the hole that normally feeds oil from the pump into the oil filter/spin on adapter. If you're wondering why on earth I do this: the oil passage up to the block-off plate (usually stamped with an "M") is just a touch over 14mm ID. Just past the block off plate the oil passage reduces to roughly 12mm.

Remember me saying I made some poor decisions with this motor as a teen? Here's one. The oil pressure sender hole. The factor holes use 1/8 BSPT threads and the aftermarket sender I stuffed in there used 1/8 NPT threads. For those not familiar, 1/8 BSPT uses 28 threads per inch, where 1/8 NPT uses 27 threads per inch. It had a persistent seep but never took on a full leak fortunately. The fix here was to drill it out and put a 1/8NPT Timesert in.

Now I can just thread the pressure sender in without an adapter and not have to worry about leaks.

The crank case vent hose on the intake side of the block has been AN fitting and hose for quite a while now, so the hose nipple either needed to be swapped out with the old one, or a new one made. I didn't want to try to press the old one out of the block that was stuffed in the back of the shed, so I made a new one with a stainless weld fitting, welded to the stock hose fitting that's normally here.

All of the non-stainless part is buried in the block, so no worry of rust.

Next up would reasonably be bottom end assembly, so I skipped that part and did some other stuff on the block. Bolted the head on for a few different things, one of which was remaking the coolant bypass pipes. Out of stainless of course.

I got the heater outlet side of the pipe done but couldn't decide how I wanted to mount/run the heater valve, so that project stopped there for the time being. The AN fitting on the back of the head where the large banjo fitting normally is is part of the delay here. I have some ideas but need to figure out what will work, part of which requires putting the block in the motor for clearance checking.

If you look closely in the first picture you can see the oil line fittings previously mentioned. The lower one is a 10AN stainless weld bung welded to a piece of 1/4" stainless plate, because welding a bung to the factor mild steel block off plate is too easy. The inlet to the block is an M20x1.5 to 10AN adapter. Look even closer and you can see that all of the oil passage plugs have been replaced with stainless plugs, all in the proper BSPT threads and not NPT.

From here the block went into the car. First up on the list was the radiator fan shroud. I had measured it all out using my stock 87 as a guide, but didn't really trust the measurements. Turns out that lack of trust was a good thing as the 1/2" extra space I figured I had for the shroud didn't exist. This means the shroud has to bolt directly to the radiator and I can't add the extra 1/2" between the shroud and radiator that I wanted. The good news is PWR builds an offset into the upper and lower core caps so there is sufficient gap for air flow, also aided by the built in gap on the fan itself.

The main fan is a Spal 16" (30102803HO), that according to the measurements I was able to find will outflow the much favored Ford Taurus e-fan. It also flows as much as my 2 previous e-fans combined. The 2 side fans are 7.5" Spals (30100358). There's only 1 7.5" fan pictured because they happen to be on a nationwide back order, and I didn't feel like crawling under my 87 to get the bottom fan off for a test fit, so I just pulled the top one off.

After mounting the shroud and fan there's about an inch of clearance between the water pump pulley and fan motor. Good thing I've got solid engine mounts.....

With the shroud on I was able to finally make some rather crude looking upper radiator mounts. They work good and have enough of a rubber buffer between them and the radiator to prevent any problems with expansion and contraction of the radiator, but they're kinda ugly. I'll be going back and doing some shaping on them to make them less ugly eventually.

With the radiator mostly squared away I finally convinced myself to finish the wiring up front by putting the final fuse block in.

This block has 2 JCASE fuses, 1 for the electric power steering pump and one for the main e-fan, and 2 mini fuses. Only one of the mini fuses is currently planned for use on the 2 smaller radiator fans but I wired the 2nd one in for a possible oil cooler fan.

On the PS pump front I was unable to find a sealed single MAXI relay base so I went with a generic TE unsealed base for the time being. Not exactly a fan of having an unsealed relay base around, especially on a 50 amp circuit, but at least the relay itself is waterproof.

PWM fan controller also got wired in. The red/brown wire bundle is for the horns that I have yet to decide how and where to mount, and the other unterminated bundle is grounds. I got the grounds crimped to a ring terminal a bit later but didn't feel like taking a picture of that.

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Next up on the back and forth projects was the intake manifold. Since I drive this car a lot when it runs, driveability has a fairly high priority. That drivability is what originally led me to run ID 1050x injectors and I couldn't have been happier with the idle quality and part throttle drivability on 91 octane pump gas. The downside is limited capacity on E85, which was originally on the schedule before the oil filter had other ideas. The solution: staged fuel injectors. If this were a JZ I could just go out and buy a new manifold with a setup for 12 injectors, but it's not so it's time for the welder to come back out.

After a bunch of test fitting and measuring I settled on cramming the injectors as close as possible to the end of the runner. Below we can see the first test fit of an injector in a weld bung, and the blurryness of the picture is thanks to an excessive level of caffeination.

For simplicity's sake the staged injectors are the exact same ID 1050x injectors as the primaries.

As the picture may indicate the bung does cut into the runner flange significantly, so some work will be needed to get a smooth sealing surface.

The interior welds have been rough cut with a burr but I have yet to smooth and blend those areas into the runners.

All 6 of the bungs welded in. The 3 threaded posts welded to the runners up by the plenum are for the fuel rail mounts.

Final fit with the injectors. You can kinda see the difference in the injector angles on the primary and staged injectors, with the idea being to get the staged injectors aimed as closely to the back of the intake valves as possible.

The gap in the weld along the bottom of the bung is the unfortunate side effect of the angle and depth of the bung in the manifold. Welding around that small portion would have likely caused problems with the injector sealing surface on the bung, so I left it for the time being. I am exploring the option of having a copper rod turned to fit snug in the bung so that I can use that to help prevent distortion on the bung, but in a worse case scenario the full welding around the inside of the runner should be sufficient to hold whatever I throw at it.

Also if you've ever wondered about the plug on the ends of the factory 7M fuel rails, it's a steel plug that appears to be friction welded to the end of the rail.

Final setup of the rails. Only the 2 front injectors are in as I only had enough plugs to block off both ends of 2 injectors, and I didn't want to risk getting contaminants in the injectors.

If you're the observant type, the hole on the back of the plenum that was originally for the brake booster got plugged up somewhere along the way here. I'll be going back and putting in proper bungs and fitting for the booster fitting, as well as the MAP sensor, boost gauge sensor, and BOV vacuum reference line.

I've had the popular Infinity Q45 throttle body on this car since going FFIM long ago and while I never had an issue with it, they're kinda on the ugly side. Fortunately RMR makes a Q45 sized (82.5mm) TB that looks as good as it performs. Rather than just bolt the TB on to my existing flange I opted to get a fancy billet flange from Mazworks that's designed to mount to a 4" tube on the back side, and the popular 90mm Mustang based throttle bodies. If you noticed a discretion in the TB size and flange size here's a nifty thing about the RMR Q45 TB: it's also designed to fit on the 90mm flange and bolt spacing.

While getting rid of the original flange I also changed the angle that the TB came off the intake manifold, making the transition from the TB to the intercooler piping a more modest angle. The previous TB aimed upwards while the new flange now angles ever so slightly down from the plenum.

New TB means new throttle cable time too, and naturally it needed to look good. Lokar makes a pretty good selection of cut to fit cables and they are available in black, so the choice was pretty easy. The minor annoyance here is they're sold in 24" and 36" lengths, and the length needed was 25". That extra inch wasn't necessarily cheap either...

The LS1 cable comes with a conveniently perfect TB bell end for the RMR TB.

The pedal side however isn't so convenient, as the Toyota pedal uses a different design than everyone else. Nothing a little creativity won't fix.
The clevis that most every universal throttle cable comes with for the pedal side

Cut the clevis "wings" off, drilled the cable hole out and tapped it for a metric allen head screw. Then I took a threaded coupling nut that had the same OD as the throttle pedals ID for the cable mount, cut it short and threaded it on the backside (engine side) of the former clevis bracket. Once all that was said and done I drilled the center of the stainless bolt, which went far smoother than one would expect. The end result:

How it fits into the pedal

And with everything installed

I haven't determined how I want to route the cable from the TB to the firewall yet but there's plenty of cable and jacket to route it pretty much however I want. The picture below is how I had the previous cable ran but I am thinking more about running it along the top of the IM.

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Unrelated to the motor and back to my favorite subject of wiring, a part that I had a local machinist came back with some rather disappointing results despite having some rather excellent quality parts made by him in the past. So that poor quality distracted me into seeing if I could make a better part despite having the proper tools to do so. The part itself; a simple flange to cover the OEM engine harness hole and adapt a standard milspec bulkhead connector.

While I've used both a lathe and mill for various work in the past, I don't own either. So in the most ******* fashion I could come up with I repurposed an old woodworking drill press as a rudimentary mill. If you're unfamiliar with machine tools rigidity is key, and a woodworking drill press has nearly zero rigidity. So behold the uglyness that is the result of chucking a 1/4" endmill in a drill press, and pretending it's a mill.

Sadly this still came out better than what I received from someone with the proper tools, and it will actually work. I ended up not even taking pictures of the part I got as it wouldn't even work.

With the receptacle installed


The groove for the seal was cut with a large carbide tipped hole saw, turning the chuck by hand. This will have a rubber gasket put in to seal on the lip on the firewall.

Where it goes

This will have the wiring for the windshield wiper motor, A/C pressure switch, heater core solenoid valve, EGT, and wastegate control solenoid.

The whole thing essentially sandwiches the firewall between two plates. The back plate is a simple plate with a large hole in the middle and four tapped holes for the screws coming from the front side.

I left the connector un-booted as I may add some more wiring, potentially exhaust pressure and maybe turbo speed.

The original plan at this point was to make a new turbo manifold along with the complete exhaust but plans and circumstances changed unfortunately, so the motor came back out. The rest of the fab work will end up being done with the motor assembled and back in the car. Which means it's on to assembly.

Like, actual bottom end assembly. Not "pull the motor and work on something else" assembly like I usually do.
Starting with the basics, new piston oil squirter valves were installed.

The clearance grinding for the wide rods can be seen in the sides of the block, at the bottoms of each cylinder. While there is no interference between rod and block when installed, there tends to be some "swing" in the bottom end under load and RPM and the Pauters can end up hitting the block. With most pistons the skirt protrudes down into the area of the cylinder where the rod would hit, so if the rod hit and deformed the block you would likely be facing a catastrophic failure of the piston shortly.

New cylinder head locating dowels got pressed in. Figured after removing the old ones a couple times it was time to get some new ones in there

Stock thrust bearing on the oil pump driveshaft replaced with a proper roller bearing setup from Technico. I've lost two motors to failed stock thrust bearings here, with one of them being brand new Toyota parts (it was probably 10 or so years ago for that one.)

Also installed new shaft bearings in the block and honed them to size.

Then on to remember how much I dislike gapping piston rings.

I made the mistake of gapping the hard chromoly top rings before gapping the lower iron rings, and went at that first 2nd ring like it was hardened steel. Naturally this one ended up with an oversized gap, so I had to order a new set just to replace the one ring. Oops....

After all the rings were set to the proper gap, pistons and rods were setup based on overall weight. The heaviest pair came in at 988.1 grams while the lightest pair came in at 987.7 grams. Bearings in the far right side rod were in for clearance measurements but not the weight measurements.

For comparison purposes, my previous set of Eagle rods had a spread of 29 grams from lightest to heaviest rod, where these Pauters have a spread of .5 grams. The difference in quality between the cheap (Eagle) and expensive (Pauter) rods is very evident.

Rings and bearings installed, and pistons assembled to rods. If there was a weight spread on the wrist pins it was less than .1 grams as the scale showed no difference between the six.

It's hard to appreciate how thick the walls on these pins are without the standard off-the-shelf pins for comparison, but they're thick like 20W-50 in sub zero temperatures.

Having learned previously that every bearing journal needs to be checked for clearance I put bearings in all of the mains, torqued them to spec, and measured for ID. The crank main journals were measured, and the clearances determined via math and not via a piece of special plastic squished between bearing and journal. Not saying there's anything wrong with Plastigauge, I just prefer something more precise.

With the bearing clearances checking out the crank went in, mains and girdle installed, and torqued down. A quick rotation check had everything rotate smoothly and freely, so crank end play check was next. This came in on the tight side of spec, but in spec none the less.

While I don't really expect it to be a common question, the girdle (from Arnout all the way in the Netherlands)is 10mm thick and necessitates longer main studs. Fortunately the main studs for a 22RE are roughly 1/2" longer than the main studs for a 7M and have the same thread size, so off the shelf ARP studs make it an easy install. The bolts included with the 7M main stud kit have plenty of thread engagement to still get proper preload, so nothing special is needed for that one bolt.

Next the piston and rod assemblies were stuffed in the bores and bolted to the crank. Much like the beefy rods needed to have clearance ground into the block, the girdle needs some clearance grinding too. All six needed clearance grinding, with cylinders 2 and 3 only needing the clearance grinding on one side courtesy of the oil pump.
General idea of the grinding needed to get clearance

Now with some room to breath

Random glamor shot

Oil pump and associated piping installed.

If you're looking at the pressure bypass fitting on the top of the pump wondering why there's a bolt stuffed in the outlet of the bypass, it's because I run an external bypass. It's probably visible in one of the previous stripped down engine bay pics as the red block shaped thing attached to the right side frame rail.

While there's no real way to tell in the pics here, the pump pick up is lowered in the pan a bit. As it sits now the bottom of the screen touches the pan, but not enough to move the screen any.

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Since its been 2 months I guess there ought to be a progress update, especially since I've actually done something in the last couple months.

Returning to the heater core bypass piping I finally decided how I wanted to do it. My initial plan was to use pretty much the same OEM style banjo setup only in stainless and with AN fittings instead of hose barbs, but just the banjo bolt and banjo fitting came in at a rather lovely $140. And I still would have had to buy the stainless AN weld bungs. So I did the logical thing and made the ~$15 aluminum AN fitting idea work.

All 304L stainless tubing and tight radius elbows. Well, except for the AN fittings part. While this doesn't entirely eliminate rubber hoses on the bypass piping it does make it significantly easier to deal with as I can use any 5/8" coolant hose instead of having to use the specific molded 90° hose that normally goes here.

Welded up. The weld on the Y part of the pipe is ugly because my fit-up wasn't the greatest, and I had my purge gas flow too high and it built up pressure and made the puddle do funny things.

The remainder of the pipe from the thermostat housing to the back is rather simple.

You may have noticed that there's an oil pan on now, but it's just temporary. Once I get the turbo manifold made I'll have to pull the motor to make sure I've got a usable oil dipstick. So for the time being it's just bolted on dry. So what's the orange stuff between the block and pan then? It's high temperature, high pressure silicone rubber gasketing material.

I absolutely despise the mess that silicone (or FIPG if you prefer) makes and there is no good way to get the pan off without distorting the flange in some way. While this would still require small amounts of silicone in a few key spots it'll be far better off than a quarter of a tube of silicone. As long as it actually seals that is, and I have my doubts about that.

The orange cap on the front timing cover is protecting the flare on the 20AN fitting for the lower radiator hose, which got welded on before the cover got painted and installed.

If you haven't noticed by now, the crank isn't a stock 7M crank. And one of the many big differences is the 2JZ sized flywheel hub.

The larger hub necessitated the need for a larger rear main seal housing, and lacking the proper tools to make a perfectly round hole I took a piece of 1/2" 6061 plate to the same local machinist I've used for quite a while. The end result was the same rough machine work I had received on other recent parts.

But at least there was a round hole to work with.

Cleaned the hole up as best as I could with what I have, and added an oil drain slot at the bottom.

Next step was pressing a seal in, and using the seal to center the housing over the locating dowels in the block.

With the dowel locations marked and drilled it was a simple matter of transferring the bolt holes and outer profile from the OEM housing and cutting it to shape.

Well, drilling the bolt holes was a simple matter at least. Getting the rest of it to shape was a bit challenging, especially the bottom portion that has to seal on the oil pan.

Getting the edges straight took a little bit of creativity. If you work for OSHA, or are a safety person, you should probably skip the next picture.

This is the wood working drill press with a positioning table that I've repurposed as a ghetto mini mill of sorts. The long bars sitting on top of the table are 316L stainless that were precision milled to some ridiculous level of flat and parallel (at least before I acquired them), so they work great for squaring the part up to the chuck. The fun part is holding and maneuvering the part by hand, all next to a pretty sharp burr spinning at around 3500 rpm. I still have all original appendages and no significant skin and tissue loss.

With the rear main housing done and in the block was pretty much ready to go back in the car for a while, but I decided to take care of one last thing before dropping it in: alternator relocation. Previously the alternator had been mounted where the A/C compressor is supposed to mount and since I intend to put a functioning A/C system back on the car the alternator had to find a new home. Fortunately the MR2 electric PS pump freed up a spot where the original belt driven pump goes.

I decided it would be best to solid mount the alternator and put in a belt tensioner pulley, so a couple of relatively simple mounts were made. The lower mount:

Since I don't like load bearing threads in aluminum, a Keensert was put in the bracket.

Upper mount

Final mounting location. Alternator is a 130 amp Denso out of a Sequoia.

This puts the alternator in line with the water pump making it easier to use an off the shelf crank damper. The lower mount is a through bolt to the bracket, but the upper mount has nothing on the back side for the bolt to thread into. This would normally mean putting a nut back there but the clearance between the alternator and water pump inlet was a bit too tight for easy access, so another Keensert went in, this time in the alternator.

With the majority of the hard work done on the alternator brackets the motor went back in, along with the transmission.
Motor in clearance check of the alternator

While the mounts as is were strong enough to move the whole car by pushing and pulling on the pulley I still wanted an outside lower bracket. If for no other reason than to give me somewhere to mount a tensioner pulley to.

That's the farthest I was able to get without a pulley, and unfortunately my local machinist has stopped responding to me (even more unfortunate that he still has a few important parts, including my fuel surge tank.)

The long square portion on the bottom of the bracket will ultimately hold the tensioner assembly.

And with the motor back in this meant I could finish the heater core piping. I've had a stainless electric solenoid valve in place of the OEM vacuum operated one for quite a while, but it's always been awkwardly mounted and plumbed in. So I finally put the time and effort into a more elegant solution.

The inlet to the heater core was hardlined, again with stainless tube and AN tube nuts. The mounting bracket was made from 316 stainless sheet, and while it's currently hard mounted I built it around an isolation buffer that I haven't ordered yet.

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
If you look closely in the last picture on the previous post you can see something's up with the A/C lines. Unless you stare at the A/C lines on a MK3 on a regular basis the only thing that likely stands out here are the fancy stainless nuts. The key thing here is actually the aluminum nuts on the hard lines going to the evap core. The stock liquid line is a metric thread and not the most common, and the suction line is a standard A/C sized SAE thread but with a deeper o-ring depth than the typical R134a o-ring depth.

To simplify things I sourced a standard liquid and suction side weld fitting and welded them on in place of the OEM fittings. This allowed me to use off the shelf components in making hard lines for the A/C system. Which I am sure you can figure out means more stainless hard lines.

I don't like the A/C lines running along the frame rail, right next to the turbo and manifold, so I chose to run them through the inner fender. It also happens to look a lot cleaner going this way too.

Suction line is, again, 5/8" 304L and the liquid line is, for some reason, 316L 3/8". The stainless fittings are from Vintage Air and clean the whole hard line assembly up quite nicely. The switch port is a -3AN ORB weld bung, which rather conveniently matches up with a very common size for binary pressure switches: 3/8-24.

The connection to the inner fender lines.

The lines here changed to aluminum lines, primarily because a quality tubing bender does not appear to exist for 5/8" tubing.

The lines from the inner fender run up to where the drier mounts on the back side of the inner fender panel.

And then connect to the bulkhead fittings that take them into the engine bay.

From there the suction line runs across the lower radiator support to a fitting that will give me a connection point for the soft line from the compressor. The liquid line runs to the outlet of the condenser.

I still need to make the hard line from the condenser inlet to the spot above the suction line for the soft line to connect to.

These run through a rather small gap between the radiator and frame rail. Radiator isn't in for the pic here, but the lines sit just in front of the radiator.

And speaking of the radiator, the two small Spal fans came in off back order finally, so I finished up the mounting on those.

And put some dividers in to keep airflow going through the core and not from around the edges, or other fans.

I am still working on sourcing some weather strip in the sizes I need with a high enough temperature rating to be in direct contact with the radiator. But even if I don't find anything the dividers are close enough to the core to work just fine without it.

While I am waiting on the last of the hard line stuff needed for the compressor discharge to the condenser I figured I might as well get something else done that would need to be done eventually: cold side A/C piping.

With the new TB and TB flange putting the piping at a different angle it means it's time for a new pipe. In this case a 3" 60° pipe from Vibrant worked out quite nicely. With the piping figured out it was time for a BOV flange and AIT sensor bung. The AIT is a 1/8npt sensor, so that's easy.
At some point I gave my limited edition black HKS SSQV to my brother for his HKS intercooler equipped 7M, replacing the original early 90s model SSQV. Following the overall theme of the rest of the build it was time to upgrade the BOV, so the choice was obviously a Tial.

If you've never seen a Tial flange, this isn't it. My inner ricer clearly won out on this one, and an HKS flange was welded on for the new black edition SSQV that I ordered to replace my old one.

Overnight* from Japan, in all it's 2000s era glory

*(Technically the flight from Japan to the US was overnight, ignoring the 2 months back order, and 3 days actual transit time)

The angle of the previous TB led to some funky work to get the pipe through the firewall and into the inner bumper area to the intercooler. The new setup was significantly simpler.
The old setup for comparison

5 pie cuts essentially

And the new

Just 2 with a 1/2" gap between pipes for some coupler flex. And yeah, I know, I still need to mount and wire in the horns.
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