Exocet Part 11 – Tunnel Bulkhead & Engine Installation

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Racing

As the chassis is now connected to the front and rear subframes (I had the engine out so they were two separate parts) it was a perfect time to start plumbing new brake lines. Please note this will be in a separate post when finished (still have some rears to plumb). But the engine bay is done and the engine installed.

A buddy of mine is in town for a couple weeks and volunteered to help. His name is Dave Riley and he has probably forgotten more about building a car than I know. So the experience from him helping a home / shade-tree / low experience mechanic like myself is invaluable. He’s also our NASA CR Chief of Tech.

Transmission Tunnel Bulkhead Installation: I noticed how much access you have to the engine bay even with the tunnel bulkhead installed and went ahead and did that rather than wait til after the engine was installed. The bulkhead comes with a small hole almost where the shifter will poke through. Not exactly lined up but I was able to use a body saw to cut out a whole ever increasing in diameter to fit the shifter housing through it. I took some photos with measuring tape to help guide you. The transmission is from a ’91 Miata and I had a ’99 in the garage and noticed the difference in design of the shifter housing area so makes sense to not make a bulkhead specific for each car – also allows them to keep costs down and make this kit so affordable.


Exocet Pallet Wood Engine Hoist & Engine Installation: I was dreading running to the parts store to rent an engine hoist and haul it back in my WK Grand Cherokee. It is not a big truck but fits my needs with best in class mpg (diesel engine), awesome torque, a 7,400 lb tow rating, and being about the size of a midsized US sedan it takes up little footprint (versus our humongous obsession with gargantuan pickup trucks). So I thought about the time and effort of getting a hoist and then noticed I had a hand crank geared winch that can lift ~ 1,000 lbs and had all that leftover pallet wood that came with the chassis. So I decided to use my opportunity cost time to make a hoist out of it and then can break it down into pieces and reuse it later.


The access you get to the engine is just phenomenal especially coming from a sedan type vehicle that you can’t see and or reach. This is going to be one of the easiest cars to work on.


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