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Vtec Mini Conversion - Part 2 - Engine fitment

This weekend was to be the engine fitment but the poor weather delayed progress somewhat and on the first day of the two available days all I got done was cut a big hole in the firwall and demolish the dash/wiring loom.

The firewall needed a large chunk moved back but this couldn’t be done with the cd player in place so I had to strip the dash completely, didn’t want any un-seen fires behind there !! Not knowing where to cut I used pictures of other vtec conversions along with measurements of the engine/car to determine where to cut. It was easily cut and before long I had a huge gaping hole as can be seen from the pictures.

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The cutting of the hole is the easy part, its the cutting of metal to shape  and welding it back in that’s the hard bit. Whilst its not technically difficult it is very time consuming. It took a couple of hours or so to create a nice angled box to replace the missing section with some degree of strength.

Once the hole was patched the whole area was well undersealed, freshly welded steel rusts at an alarming rate! Then it was time to think about fitting the engine. In theory it was just a case of removing the side panels with the engine mounts on from the subframe, lowering the engine into position and then bolting them back on again.

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This was it then, time to see if the engine fitted or not ......

I removed the side pieces of the subframe with engine mounts on and moved the engine as close to the front of the subframe as I could, its quite heavy and makes the engine hoist struggle so the least it has to move the better. Attached with some webbing I jiggled it about until the engine was hanging level, this would make lowering into position much easier. Then it was a case of lowering into position and re-attaching the side pieces, the first engine mount went in dead easy, the second however wouldn’t go in as something was hitting at the rear of the subframe. This turned out to be a mounting bracket supporting the inlet manifold. A little surgery from the angle grinder and a chunk of the bracket was removed, shouldn’t hurt, the bracket was seriously strong. The next lowering of the engine went dead smoothly and both engine mount bolts slotted straight in. The overall position of the engine is ‘adjusted’ with washers although it is somewhat unclear at this stage where it needs to be without the other engine mounts fitted. The engine fits perfectly and was very easy to slot in, it tilts forwards and backwards a lot so a variety of different positions can be tried.

The next job is to fabricate more engine mounts and knock up the driveshafts, not a 5 minute job.....

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Nearly There

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