Fitting 10lbs of crap in a 5lb timeline (aka I have a whiteboard full of jobs to do, and only 3.5 months to get them done)

Cars are made up of thousands, or even tens of thousands, of individual pieces and this is true whether they were made last year or 50 years ago. So, when you pull one apart and start re-engineering it in an ad-hoc manner (like I have) this turns out to be a complex job that takes an age to complete.

For instance, here is the not-complete To-Do list, which needs to be completed by Christmas time (3.5 months away)

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Complicating this is when the guy handling the paint prep is doing it after-hours rather than as a full-time 9-5 job, and throw in some family issues and timelines can blow out in an utterly insane way.

Then consider the fact the car is two-hour’s drive (one-way) away from where I live and I have found myself getting worked up about finishing the car off, so I drove the hour up to Newcastle to start fitting out my engine bay. The goal is to have the motor fully assembled, radiator and thermo fan installed, and ready to be wired for the Haltech Elite 950 computer.

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I fitted the bottom pulley with the 58-tooth (60-2) trigger wheel mounted to it, in preparation for making a custom mount so I can fit the crank angle sensor. This sensor reads the missing two teeth on the trigger wheel so the ECU can see how fast the motor is spinning and it gives it a reference point to know Top-Dead Centre (TDC) on cylinder #1.

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To start, I had to pull my intake apart so it made it easier to fit, and then rip off one rocker cover so I could ensure everything lined up nicely. I have discovered the fuel rail mounts I made don’t line up nicely so I will have to remake them and get them powdercoated again.

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I fitted the alternator but forgot to bring the power steering bracket with me, as the PS bracket mounts the bottom of the alternator. I also need to extend the power wire for the alternator as it is currently too tight. 

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The FAST #304154 four-barrel throttle bodies use common General Motors sensors so if there is ever a roadside problem with one I can find a replacement easily and cheaply. These sensors include throttle position (TPS), intake air temperature (IAT), and idle air control (IACV).

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The IACV maintains engine RPM, preventing the motor from flaming out when the throttle plates snap shut. The GM LS1 IACV supplied with the FAST #304154 throttle bodies has a stepper motor actuation, which the Haltech ECU can’t control so I will use a two-wire unit from a Ford Mustang.

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From this point I need to still mount the LS1 coil packs, make some fuel lines to suit the Flex-Fuel sensor, run the computer wiring, mount the computer under the dash… then I also have to wire injectors, coils, spark plug leads, wire all the sensors on the throttle bodies, mount and wire the Idle Air Control Valve, and make a throttle linkage…

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