Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Almost a year on

Almost a year on, and no real progress made.

After some persuasion from friends I have been pushed over the precipice and decided instead of fitting the (potentially broken - head/gasket wise) 2.3L BMW back into this machine, that I will instead be fitting a falcon 4L.

So far I have spare to play with:

- T5 gearbox (need to fit a bearing kit, as it was noisy when removed. Depending on cost, I may just buy a second hand box. This one will be handy at the very least as a method of test fitting and determining what metalwork is required.)

- EF 4L engine - no manifolds (a little tired, but still a runner; think it's just down on compression.)

- AU Broadband Manifold/EA style Manifold - will have to check clearances to see which of these will be the best bet; preference is Broadband Manifold as this has torque benefits below 3800RPM.

Standard EA-AU style exhaust manifold - I will end up making custom extractors for this car though I think - space will be the biggest constraint as this side of the engine has the steering and brake setups.

Length wise the engine will drop into the bay (just barely) with no harmonic balancer, as with this removed it is the same length as the BMW motor WITH balancer. Because of this, the Radiator may have to be re-jigged; as the BMW setup already has the fan in front of the radiator due to clearance issues. At this point I forsee that we will need to modify the bumper and brackets to allow the radiator to be moved forwards to clear the balancer. I will be using the AU style serpentine belt as that intrudes less distance. I need to get myself a Mig welder as the only welder I have reliable access to is an ARC which will blow holes in some of the things I need to fabricate for this. I also need to learn HOW to weld ;)

The plan is to work out some way to make trick brackets/reinforcements that will allow the front end to retain its shape and then cut away the center of the radiator support to make removing/reinstalling the motor a much easier task. I will weld tabs onto the removed section so it can be removed/reinstalled.

I haven't measured motor heights for comparison, and am purely hoping at this point that the sump will clear without many issues. If need be the bonnet can be cut for clearance and some sort of scoop can be constructed from fiberglass, a material I am already somewhat familiar with, so I am not entirely daunted by this task. I am hoping any firewall or trans tunnel massaging can be done entirely with some percussive maintenance, although we will face that issue as we come to it.

The engine and trans will then be fitted together and test fitted into the bay & tunnel, the turret will be cut to allow the shifter through (unless by some miracle it lines up with the location of the factory extension bracket!) I will have some idea of how close it will be by sitting both engines & trans assemblies side by side. The BMW has a hydraulic clutch where the falcon box is a cable setup. I am undecided at this point which method I will keep, however the easy option will probably to retrofit a modified falcon pedalbox and clutch pedal for cable operation; at least in the beginning. A falcon accelerator pedal will also be used.

I am looking at fabricating solid mounts for the motor, or modifying parts of both the BMW and standard falcon mounts to suit; this depends on the clearances. A gearbox mount will also be needed, and I am fairly certain the factory BMW mounts are too far forwards (maybe by almost a foot) for a simple adaptor to be made. Instead I believe I may need to weld in new mount points and use the Ford mounting bracket.

A custom tailshaft will have to be made, this should be fine as a single peice shaft although again clearances will have to be taken into account; I will use an EA-D tailshaft and cut it down to length, then have a shop weld on the BMW rear yoke and balance the shaft.

I will also be looking at adapting a Falcon power steering rack for compatibility with the lines but will have to look further into any geometry changes this would incorporate, as well as what implications this would have for attaching the BMW column. Another option I have seen elsewhere which is interesting is the suggestion to use a forklift power head; I am interested in reading further into this. A falcon EFI fuel pump will need to be fitted to the BMW tank. Alternatively; and to balance the weight, I am contemplating fitting a falcon pump where the BMW spare tyre is normally fitted, and removing the factory pumps. This may also mean having a C pillar mounted filling nozzle or similar. Further test fitting will be required to determine this.

I am also going to attempt to replace the BMW factory brake booster (Which yields decidedly awful pedal feel) with an EA-D booster, which may require the lines to be re-run. I am unsure if this will cause bias issues however I feel that any potential issues would already exist due to the planned fitment of the lead tip to this arrow that is the Falcon 4L's chunk of cast iron.

Exhaust wise, the plan at this point is to fit dual pipes, probably utilising a seemingly plentiful supply of factory falcon exhausts this will mean a dual 2.25" exhaust with some press bends. I will probably avoid using mufflers though if at all possible.

I haven't got very far with the removal of the sound deadening but believe I can now call in enough favours to get this unexciting task completed in relatively short fashion, especially as we have perfected the art of "melting" the deadening with a blowtorch prior to scraping it off, on another mates car.


  1. Clinton,
    I've been looking for the BBS rear side skirts you have and want to make you an offer for them and/or the entire body kit. Could you be convinced to sell with them and/or the Alpina rear display?

  2. Lol you're desperate for the Motorsport styling kit aren't you. Not selling at this point, but I'll keep it in mind; in the back of my head I keep thinking I want to make it look like the race cars (the JPS ones) with the massive aero. If that ever happens... I'll be in touch.