The swap: 8/7/2011

by Andy

With the race getting closer every day, I really wanted to take advantage of a free saturday and work on the car. I didn’t know how much I would get done, but I wanted to at least make some progress. I also wanted to work alone. Although I love having help, sometimes its nice to crank up the music and just work on the car in silence. The car doesn’t argue, and for any problems you do have, there is always an answer. It’s calming to work with my hands and see progress. I started with the intake manifolds. With a little bit of fabrication, I was able to get the intake installed on the EJ22, and wired up correctly. I am now pretty confident that everything is going to work correctly. The EGR system is disabled, but all the appropriate sensors, diaphrams and soleniods are in place. The worse that should happen is the check engine light will come on, but performance wont be affected.

Next I figured I might as well pull the motor. Because this motor has already been detached from the trans recently, seperating the two was not difficult. With a little finesse, I got the engine out of the car, and out of the way. Then, I tackled the transmission. I removed the exhaust, front axles, and center drive shaft, then dropped and removed the trans. It was a little scary to do alone, but I managed to get it out without getting crushed. And since I had the old trans out of the way, I went ahead and slide the replacement under the car so it can be ready to bolt in when the time comes. Next, I decided to go ahead and get the new engine into the car. It took a little while because I would have to lower the engine a bit, crawl under the car to check, make adjustments, lower the engine some more, crawl back under, and repeat. I did finally get it bolted into place though. With the engine in place I connected fuel lines, vacuum lines, coolant lines, and some of the wiring. Finally, I bolted the flywheel back onto the motor. With a little bit of time left, I switched out the headers to get that ready to go back in.

I am really happy to report that the list of things to do is getting quite short. Once I get a new clutch, I can install that and mount the transmission. And I have decided to replace the timing belt and spark plugs while there is still a lot of room to work. Then, the radiator, power steering, alternator, starter, and wiring can be completed. Sounds like a lot, but I’ve done that so many times now, its a breeze. It really does feel good to have learned so much about working on cars, and feel confident in working on it. I still certainly feel a lot of pressure, knowing how many people depend on my work to get this car through a 25.5 hour endurance race, at the biggest ChumpCar event of the year. But I won’t lose sleep over it.

I didn’t take any pictures while I was working, so I went back into the shop later and took a few. My garage is getting a bit cluttered, but it is still somehow organized!

The EJ18 in the foreground, and the blown EJ22, torn down on the rack.

The EJ22 in the car!

Some pieces and parts from the two cars.


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