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Thread: Massachusetts 818C build

  1. #1
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    Massachusetts 818C build

    Hello everyone,

    I have been reading these forums for a few years now, and finally joined officially 2 years ago. I was originally planning on buying a type 65 coupe to build with the kids, but they wanted the 818 since it didn't look so 'old-fashioned'. Here is my son in an 818 at the 2017 FFR open house….that sealed the deal.

    818C at 2017 FFR Open House.jpg

    I purchased a donor in June 2017, stripped it, picked up the 818C kit in late 2017, and am now up to installing the harness and cooling. I am not planning to do anything unusual or exotic with the build. I just want to build what FFR designed.

    I have been meaning to start a build thread but never got around to it. Partly because I worry there won't be anything special in my build compared to the incredible things many of the rest of you are doing. But mainly it was because I thought that there would be long periods of time between posts. Turns out, that seems to happen on a lot of the builds. So that isn’t a good excuse. I have also started to think that just seeing someone's progress building a car, even if it is 'by the book' is fun to follow.

    I will get my build up to current with some postings over the next week or so. Looking forward to sharing what we have done so far.

    And of course, as I am not the only one doing a multi-generational build, many of you will know I use the term ‘we’ loosely. When I built a car in high school with my dad it was mostly him doing the work with me helping when I could (school, sports, music lessons all had top priority according to mom). Fast forward to 2018 and my teenage kids have even more busy schedules than I ever did. So I take every opportunity I can to get their help while trying to keep the project moving forward….slowly….

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    AZPete's Avatar
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    Bring it on. We love to see other guys' work, even if it's "by the book". I'm envious of your family project with kids. I'm sure you'll make a few improvements as you get going because I don't think there has ever been an 818 built strictly "by the book". For that matter, I doubt that there has ever been one of the 10,000 FFR roadsters built strictly by the book. That's all part of the fun.
    818S/C : Chassis #25 with 06 WRX 2.5 turbo, ABS, cruise, PS, A/C, Apple CarPlay, rear camera, power windows & locks, leather & other complexities.
    Mk3 Roadster #6228 4.6L, T45, IRS, PS, PB, ABS, Cruise, Koni's, 17" Halibrands, red w/ silver - 9K miles then sold @ Barrett-Jackson Jan 2011 (got back cash spent).

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    Welcome to teh boards, and I'm looking forward to your build as well. I'm doing a few options here and there, but I'm interested to see where you hit snags and what improvements you made. Can't wait to see what you've done!

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    Welcome. We all love seeing other peoples progress and helping out where we can.

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    Senior Member Hobby Racer's Avatar
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    Wow, first post and your jumping in with a build thread

    Welcome to the group!
    MK3.1 Roadster completed 2011
    818R built with EZ36R H6 completed 2018

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    Thanks for the encouragement guys....

    First I need the obligatory garage pictures. Oversized two car garage with two cars already in it. So I needed to ‘make space’. I refinished the floor and put a lift in one bay.

    Garage 2.jpgGarage 1.jpg

    Amazing how big it looks with nothing in it!

    Garage 3.jpg

    I bought the Pantera in 2003 at a REALLY good price. The seller was starting a new company and needed some cash to cover a few months of living. Out of his 7 cars this is the one he chose to sell….and his wife accepted my offer (much to his chagrin).

    The Corvette is a car I built with my dad while I was in high school in the 80’s, and triggered me to want to do something with my kids. Since my dad and I finished it in 1984 I have repainted it, put in a new interior, and I spiced up the motor a bit. It now has a 502 crate motor in it (I wrote a check...I'm not an engine expert). Definitely is a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. This is what it looked like sometime in 1982 or 1983 when I was thinking it would NEVER be finished.

    Corvette circa 1983.jpg

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  9. #7
    Senior Member Hobby Racer's Avatar
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    Every good project starts with a clean work space. You will never regret getting that lift, I love mine!

    Great buy on that Pantera, I have always wanted one of those.
    MK3.1 Roadster completed 2011
    818R built with EZ36R H6 completed 2018

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    Yeah...I love the lift. Sort of overkill for what I need, but I didn't like the idea of storing one car above the other on something that might fail over! It was also an excuse to move my garage door track up to the ceiling.

    The Pantera was something I had wanted for a long time too. I was in the right place at the right time.

    Pantera Interior.jpgPantera Engine.jpgPantera.jpg

    She is kind of like an 818 in that she is low to the ground, has very little leg room (I mean REALLY no leg room), and is mid engine. Of course, she is jealous of the 818 because it is getting all of the attention (plus she is a trailer queen now so she doesn't get driven a lot).

    But enough of the not-on-topic post....

    On to the donor....

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    I found a 2002 WRX wagon with only 40,000 miles on it. Damage on passenger front. Enough for the insurance company to total the car I guess. I bought it from a salvage yard in Connecticut. It had a salvage title from Maryland. Ugh. I then spent over 18 hours in 3 different Massachusetts RMVs to get a Massachusetts salvage title in my name. I am quite worried about the very likely challenges I'll face registering this thing in Massachusetts, but that’s a problem for later. Having a title in my name is an important start to the process and I will carefully document the build and keep track of all receipts and taxes paid. Hopefully it will all work out.

    Here are a few pics of the donor.

    Donor Loaded on Trailer.jpgDonor Interior.jpgDonor Front.jpg

  12. #10
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    Nothing was really too challenging during the teardown once I got the thing into the garage. Here I am with the kids acting like I really know what I am doing.

    Lining up Donor with Garage Door.jpg

    The parts were all are in pretty good shape.

    Donor Partiallyt Stripped.jpg

    Of course, loosening up some of those bolts on the front and rear suspension wasn’t easy. But I borrowed this tool from my local shop. It worked great!

    Bolt Buster.jpg

    Dropping the rear suspension out felt like such an accomplishment to me since those long bolts were REALLY stuck.

    Rear End out of Donor.jpg

    The engine/transmission had already been removed and rebuilt (very basic rebuild) when I picked up the car. The good thing is that I didn’t have to pull it myself. The bad thing is that I don’t know what gets hooked up to what now. I will definitely be asking for help on that later.

    So here is the stripped shell ready to be carted off.

    Donor Shell.jpg

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    Going to have fun with the harness later. Good grief. What jumble of spaghetti. Based on what I read in the other build threads, this is the mostest funnest part!

    Wiring Harness 1.jpgWiring Harness 2.jpg

  14. #12
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    Here is my favorite part of the whole teardown process. On the day I was going to the factory to pick up my kit, I took the shell to the metal recyclers.

    Donor Shell off to the Scrap Yard.jpg

    ...and they gave me $31 for it! Then they crushed the heck out of it. Kind of folded it up like a taco. The guy who did it saw that we videoed it and he wanted a copy to admire his handiwork. I guess he doesn’t fold up Subarus every day!

    Shell about to be picked up.jpg

    I have a video but I haven't figured out yet how to post it. My son felt like he was risking his life holding the phone out the window as bits and pieces came flying at him!

  15. #13
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    I think I have figured out how to do the video....



  16. #14
    Senior Member Hobby Racer's Avatar
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    Video doesn't work
    MK3.1 Roadster completed 2011
    818R built with EZ36R H6 completed 2018

  17. #15
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    dang it....how about now?



    ...and by the way Hobby, I like the color of your car. We were going to go McLaren orange, but now the plan is gloss black with some Ford Vista Blue highlights.

  18. #16

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    I can see - following your project will be fun. Enjoy !
    Art Quillen

  19. #17
    AZPete's Avatar
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    Again we see that the right tool makes the job easy.
    818S/C : Chassis #25 with 06 WRX 2.5 turbo, ABS, cruise, PS, A/C, Apple CarPlay, rear camera, power windows & locks, leather & other complexities.
    Mk3 Roadster #6228 4.6L, T45, IRS, PS, PB, ABS, Cruise, Koni's, 17" Halibrands, red w/ silver - 9K miles then sold @ Barrett-Jackson Jan 2011 (got back cash spent).

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    It sure does!

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    It was challenging finding a rebuild kit for the brakes. I was a bit surprised. And also surprised that some of the ‘experts’ didn’t know that the 2002 calipers aren’t the same as the 2006 calipers! Had to return a few kits that didn’t work because I didn’t know that either !

    Brakes 1.jpgBrakes 2.jpgBrakes 3.jpg

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    Although I didn’t take any pictures, I did the modifications to the CV joints and axles. Nothing too tough, but it was definitely a messy process. When I took them back out to the garage to stash them for later I decided to organize the boxes a bit to make room.

    I wonder what is in these two taped-together boxes?

    Axles.jpg

    Darn it! I bought new axles with the kit! Good grief. I guess I have some spares now.

    Since the build takes so long, and there are so many different projects to distract me all at the same time, I find one of my biggest time-demands is looking for things that I have stashed away. At least I know where the glass is. I read in someone else's posts that they stored all of it under their bed. Great idea! Took the old dog bed/pillow and a bunch of old beach towels to make a 'nest' and stashed everything under the guest bed. My wife hasn't found them yet!

  24. #21
    Sgt.Gator's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. Thanks for the info on the Bolt Buster, a tool I'd never heard of before. I see Amazon has them in 1,000 watt and 1,800 watt. And they aren't cheap. If I lived in a winter salt roads state I'd certainly get one!
    "Good Judgement comes from Experience. Experience comes from Bad Judgement"
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    818R ICSCC SPM and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park
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    Palatov DP4 - ICSCC & SCCA Sports Racer and HPDE Rental at Oregon Raceway Park

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    Yes...they are pricey. I was lucky to be able to borrow one. It makes the nut glow bright orange. Then when you hit it with an impact wrench it makes sparks like you are in the hall of the dwarf king in Lord of the Rings or something!

  26. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrett View Post
    Going to have fun with the harness later. Good grief. What jumble of spaghetti. Based on what I read in the other build threads, this is the mostest funnest part!
    I'm actually beginning to enjoy mine. I mean, it's been a long road to get here, but still....

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    After dropping off the shell to be crushed by the metal salvage yard, we continued on down to the FFR warehouse to pick up the kit. Here are my dad and son next to our 818 and the boxes.

    With our 818 at FFR.jpg

    Although I had been to the factory a couple of times and taken the tours, it is a much different feeling going there to pick up your own kit.

    It is quite the process getting everything loaded up....

    Boxes of stuff.jpgLoading up the trailer.jpg

    and everyone is an expert

    Yes it is loaded correctly.jpg

    Barely had room for all of the boxes in the truck….

    Loaded up at FFR.jpg

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    Here I am almost done backing down the driveway.

    Backing trailer with 818 down driveway.jpg

    Let’s just say I am really glad we don’t have that on video. Good grief…if my ability to back a trailer down a driveway is any indication of my ability to build a car then I am screwed.

    Got the shell onto my dolly and winched it down the ramps….and into the garage….along with all the boxes!

    Rolling kit down the trailer.jpg818 in the garage 1.jpg818 in the garage 2.jpg

    Built some overhead storage to stash all the body pieces and carbon bits. I ended up wrapping the roof in a nylon tarp and storing it outside under my screen porch. Plenty of room and it is protected by the element under there. Just need to keep the chipmunks away from it!
    Last edited by sgarrett; 01-29-2019 at 05:22 PM.

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    At long last….after 3 years of planning, prepping the garage, buying and stripping the donor, cleaning some of the parts, and getting the kit, the build officially started!

    Under frame aluminum 1.jpgUnderpanel aluminum 2.jpg

    I read on someone’s build thread (apologies for not remembering who!) that they used Herculiner on the aluminum panels. Sounded like a good idea so I got some. Worked pretty good as far as I can tell. I prepped the metal per their instructions and it is not coming off. It also deadened the panels really well. I think I will use it on the backside of the fenders and doors too.

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    Got the firewall in next. I didn’t drill the holes to get to the LCA at that point because I wanted to make sure I drilled in the right spot.

    firewall 1.jpgfirewall 2.jpgfirewall 3.jpg

    After making sure everything fit right I had the firewall powder coated in a hammertone finish.

    firewall 4.jpgfirewall 5.jpg

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    After getting all of the donor and new suspension parts powder coated, I dove into the front suspension. The most challenging part was trying to replace the bushings on the LCA. After completely destroying one of them I concluded they really weren’t meant to have the bushings replaced, so I bought new ones. Darn…I want to try and use as many donor parts as possible! I did the modifications to the steering rack, cleaned it best I could, then painted it in gloss black.

    Front Suspension 1.jpgFront Suspension 2.jpgFront Suspension 3.jpg

    Front Suspension 4.jpgFront Suspension 5.jpgFront Suspension 6.jpg

    Once I had all the parts on I just had to put on the donor wheels/tires and put it down on the ground. Yes! It finally looks like I am making a real car!
    Of course, I thought I could set ride height at this point….but there is still a lot of weight missing. Guess I need to ‘weight’ until later to do that.

    Front Suspension 7.jpg

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    Next up was the rear suspension. Nothing too tricky, except I did buy all new bushings and many new bolts/nuts since the induction torch I used to unstick so many of them ended up making them unusable. It was unbelievably easy to find exactly what part I needed and then pick it up at my local Subaru dealer. Probably not the cheapest way to go, but it certainly isn’t breaking the bank. Of course, I did buy aftermarket bushings. Subaru charges A LOT for those.

    Rear Suspension 1.jpgRear Suspension 2.jpgRear Suspension 3.jpg

    Uh oh….maybe it wasn’t so easy. Ended up with this issue on both sides.

    Rear Suspension 4.jpg

    No way could I get this to line up. I pushed, pulled, and beat it with a rubber mallet. After many cursings and a ‘sleep on it overnight’ moment I realized what an idiot I was. Got up the next morning, loosening everything back up and voila! It popped right into place. I just got too ambitious tightening things up before I was sure EVERYTHING was lined up.

    Rear Suspension 5.jpgRear Suspension 6.jpgRear Suspension 7.jpg

    I was quite proud of my progress to this point. But then I realized it was already July 2018. It took me 9 months to get here. Dang….I better pick up the pace or the car won’t be done until the kids graduate from college!

  34. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrett View Post
    Thanks for the encouragement guys....

    First I need the obligatory garage pictures. Oversized two car garage with two cars already in it. So I needed to ‘make space’. I refinished the floor and put a lift in one bay.

    Garage 2.jpgGarage 1.jpg

    Amazing how big it looks with nothing in it!

    Garage 3.jpg

    I bought the Pantera in 2003 at a REALLY good price. The seller was starting a new company and needed some cash to cover a few months of living. Out of his 7 cars this is the one he chose to sell….and his wife accepted my offer (much to his chagrin).

    The Corvette is a car I built with my dad while I was in high school in the 80’s, and triggered me to want to do something with my kids. Since my dad and I finished it in 1984 I have repainted it, put in a new interior, and I spiced up the motor a bit. It now has a 502 crate motor in it (I wrote a check...I'm not an engine expert). Definitely is a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. This is what it looked like sometime in 1982 or 1983 when I was thinking it would NEVER be finished.

    Corvette circa 1983.jpg
    Just curious.. looking to a put a 4 post in my garage... How high is your ceiling? Good luck with the build.. everything looks great so far

  35. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcarlasc View Post
    Just curious.. looking to a put a 4 post in my garage... How high is your ceiling? Good luck with the build.. everything looks great so far
    My ceiling is roughly 10' 6". I do like the lift!

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    On to the cockpit aluminum…of course, according to the manual I should’ve already installed the engine and transaxle, but it was taunting me and seemed like it was going to be really hard. So I avoided it and did the less intimidating mechanical fabrication stuff.

    Started on the driver’s side and was glad I realized there was an additional piece that covers up the coolant tube. It isn’t in the section of the manual when you are putting in the other pieces. And it was a bit tricky to fit. Of course, I can’t expect them to make compound folds in aluminum perfectly. So there was definitely some adjustments to be made to the geometry of those pieces. But in the end they all fit well. Plus I figure they will be sealed with silicone on the edges and then covered with dynamat and carpet anyway.

    Cockpit aluminum 1.jpgCockpit aluminum 2.jpgCockpit aluminum 3.jpgCockpit aluminum 4.jpg

    I also put in the pedals at this point. When I put in the pedal mount back at the very beginning I was worried that it was a bit warped. I shimmed it to make sure the mount would be planar for the pedals and it seemed to work out. The pedals went in without a hitch.

    Next came the steering column, brake cylinder and clutch cylinder, along with the accelerator cable.

    Steering column.jpgClutch and brake cylinders 1.jpgClutch and brake cylinders 2.jpg

    It is a bit frustrating that the brake cylinder doesn’t mount parallel to the ground. But I have grown accustomed to it now. The steering column was a bit awkward to get all aligned without ripping the grommet out of position. But once I figured it out it wasn’t actually that tough. In the photo it is mounted in the most outward holes. I decided to move it to the inner holes instead. I don’t like having my arms bent more than they have to when driving.

    Of course, once the pedals and steering wheel were in I had to see what it would look like with the seat sitting there.

    Seat placed in position.jpg

    …and the logical next step is to do a quick test drive! But he didn’t make the vroom-vroom noises like I did.

    Test drive.jpg

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  38. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrett View Post
    My ceiling is roughly 10' 6". I do like the lift!
    Thanks.. I might be out of luck...my ceiling is only 8' 6".... I can get the lift in not sure I can store a car underneath.. but either way I end up with a lift :-)

  39. #34
    Senior Member STiPWRD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrett View Post
    On to the cockpit aluminum…of course, according to the manual I should’ve already installed the engine and transaxle, but it was taunting me and seemed like it was going to be really hard.
    Consider the manual as more of a guide rather than a recipe, sometimes it's actually better to be out of order. For instance, riveting the floor sheet metal was one of the last things I did because it can be difficult to fit the seats with the sheet metal in the way. Also the front wheel well sheet metal is at the very end of the manual but I can tell you it's much easier to pre-drill those panels with no suspension or windshield in the way. Save the rivets for the very end.

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  41. #35
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    Good advice...thanks. I debated the floor panels and decided to go ahead and do them first since I was just going to use the stock seats. How hard can it be to just drill four mounting holes for each seat? (more on that later)

    I do try to avoid riveting anything for as long as possible. But I have already discovered it isn't the end of the world if you have to drill one out...or maybe drill out a few....or even a lot.

    I'll take a look at those pieces of aluminum for the front wheel well. Won't wait until after the windshield is in! And it would be very simple to remove bits of the front suspension now if I need to.

  42. #36
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    Next I put the pump and sending unit onto the gas tank and put it into position. I cleaned them up then painted their tops. I guess it was overkill because they won’t actually be seen, but they would’ve looked bad in all my photos if I hadn’t!

    …and then I decided I couldn’t avoid it any longer. It was time to put in the engine. So that means I started to clean up the transmission. I already know how hard/difficult/impossible it is to maintain a car that has a polished transaxle so I decided that this one would just be a ‘relatively clean’ one instead. A couple hours with a wire brush and a bunch of degreaser/cleaner fluid and I declared victory. Looked much better than when I started, and my floor was a mess so I figured I was done.

    Transmission before.jpgTransmission during.jpgTransmission done.jpg

  43. #37
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    No more putting it off….time for the engine. Although the manual says to put the engine/transmission assy into the car as one unit, I figured it would be easier for me to muscle them into place one at a time. I don’t know if it was better or not, but it ended up working out.

    Engine Install 1.jpgEngine Install 2.jpgEngine Install 3.jpg

    I only broke one thing on the engine….a plastic fitting near the air box. And it was because I was a bit lazy about taking it off. Easy to fix with some JB Weld.
    Not so easy to fix was my homemade dolly that the frame had been sitting on since I took it off the trailer.. Oops. Car is now on jackstands and I have some spare casters and cracked 2x4’s. The dolly was only temporary anyway.

    I decided to put in a new clutch (aftermarket stock…nothing exotic) since it would be easy to do now. I probably didn’t need to since there was so few miles on the car but I did it anyway. It was more frustrating than I expected and I unfortunately didn’t take pictures. I think it was frustrating because I hadn’t been the one to take it apart in the first place. I had to decipher which were the right bolts and how everything was supposed to be oriented. Plus I had never installed a clutch before.

    Transmission install 1.jpgTransmission install 2.jpg

    Once I had it in place and torqued onto the engine it was pretty straight forward to get the axles and suspension all buttoned up. But dagnabbit!!!! I tightened everything up too early again! You’d think I would’ve learned my lesson already. I had ‘EVERYTHING’ in place and tightened up except for one thing…when I was trying to put the pins into the CV housings on the axles I realized I didn’t have the splines lined up quite right to make the holes align! After much cursing and two nights of sleeping on it, I took everything back apart, lined the holes up, and put it all back together. It was faster the second time!

    Engine and transmission 1.jpgEngine and transmission 2.jpg

    So this was my progress as of October 2018

    818 as of Oct 2018.jpg

    So far, getting that engine in has felt like the biggest accomplishment!
    Last edited by sgarrett; 02-01-2019 at 11:07 AM.

  44. #38
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    This leads to a question for me to ask the forum readers….I was given a little ‘u-shaped’ hose to connect the heater tubes on the engine. But I believe my tubes are really far apart. Am I right to believe these are the two tubes I need to connect together with a hose?

    Heater tubes.jpg

  45. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcarlasc View Post
    Thanks.. I might be out of luck...my ceiling is only 8' 6".... I can get the lift in not sure I can store a car underneath.. but either way I end up with a lift :-)
    That seems like it would be too low. I'll take a look when I get home on Sunday to see where 8'6" would land.

  46. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgarrett View Post
    That seems like it would be too low. I'll take a look when I get home on Sunday to see where 8'6" would land.
    Thanks.. that would be very helpful... Luckily the 818 is short and my C3 is too.. but still don't think it will clear both

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