It seems like every project meets some sort of random parts wall at some point. That is to say, you end up waiting for ages for parts to arrive, things are difficult to source, or you end up with the wrong parts entirely. That has been the case for the last few weeks for me. I’ll try to tackle things in order and get everyone up to speed.
So you may remember last year I bought a beefier version of the radiator I currently had in the car. This was in an effort to keep the poor 2002 a little cooler in the hot summer months. However once we started going down the rabbit hole of shaved bay, and systems deletes, that radiator became non-viable. I also purchased a Radium Expansion Tank, that is likewise useless. The part itself is great, but for my purposes needlessly complicated.
Purchased, assembled and immediate regret. Not using this wonderful piece anymore.
The solution? Capped radiator. Since I am deleting the heater, the expansion tank loop becomes a bit redundant. Some measuring and scrolling through Summit later, and I found this unit. I couldn’t tell you what car it normally lives on, but I can tell you it fits perfectly between the frame rails of a 2002.
I also ordered an M20 header flange, because we decided to make a header from scratch. Off the shelf options for M20s simply don’t clear the 2002 steering linkage. Problem one, no one in the US seems to still make this flange. Problem two, after finding an international company who makes a flange, it took ages to arrive from Bulgaria. Problem three, it was warped to hell. I don’t want to put the company on blast, but it is frustrating to wait all that time for a fairly ruined piece.
On a more positive note, my wiring harness came back from modifications. At it’s core, it’s mostly my stock E30 wiring harness, however it’s been freshened up, reloomed, and most importantly modified for my standalone. I’ll be running an ECUmasters EMU Classic, and the plugs have been swapped out to accommodate ECUmasters sensors and ECU. I also had a few areas extended to help with the tucking plans.
Now onto the physical car itself. My fabricator has been working on the radiator support. Now that he has the right radiator in, he cut a pretty sizable chunk out of the bottom of the nose to sink the radiator into the chassis. He also finished cutting the shock towers flush and welding the seams.
You may notice a bar peaking in the edge of those photos. Progress has started on the radiator support. This will put some sort of structural piece back into the nose. For my car, this will double as the radiator mount, hood mount, oil cooler mount and so on. Additionally, and perhaps needlessly complicating things, it will be removable. I will be able to unbolt this bar from the car if necessary. The fabricator bent it to fit the nose of my car, and cut out some end plates to start the process of fitting it.
Hopefully within the next week or two the radiator support will be all welded up and ready to go. We’ll be adding ducting, and some vanity panels to help hide this all as well. I’m also now looking into just painting the whole car. I realize this is another jump in project scale, but it’s going to be so close to being perfect for me after this stage, that paint would just be the icing on the cake. I’ll have to figure out how that will work exactly, but it’s something I really want to finally tackle.