Project Money Pit

Page 10



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I finally ordered an install kit for the 1.6 16v motor I have sitting down at my work.  The plan is to put that into my Zuk, and utilize my existing transmission and t-case.  I have decided not to go with the automatic transmission for several reasons.  The biggest reason is based on what I have seen on the trails.  With the automatic you cannot tell when the drive train is getting bound up, this is usually followed by something breaking.  Above are a couple shots of the wiring harness and my dogs making sure it's ok to work on.  My goal is to strip out all the unneeded wires. 

Since my install kit isn't here yet I decided to start work on the front end.  I want to make the front tubing match the rear and tie it in so it is one big structure.  The dash will get some attention, the seats will get tied into the cage and I am going to try and eliminate the rocker panels.   

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My old front end came off easy enough (it's for sale).

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The main hoop was the toughest part since it has to tie into the existing cage at two points. 

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I was going for a different look this time.  This front end turned out kind of sinister looking.  While I am in there the winch is getting moved back two inches, this should keep the fairlead off the rocks.   Getting the front end stripped down and the basic tubing in shape took about 13 hours.

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I must  have been good this year, Santa brought me some new seats and harnesses!  I weighed my old Eclipse seats: 35lbs each, the new ones are 16lbs ea.

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Another day was spent moving the winch, getting the light brackets worked out, and getting the hood pins installed.  I played around with getting a second set of lights next to the headlights but I need to find some smaller ones.

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I dug into the rocker panels on Monday.   Here's the drivers side, you can see the footwell sits down pretty low.  For kicks I weighed my old nerf bars (4 x 4 x.25 angle iron), they weighed in at 28lbs each. I left Monday night with nothing more done.

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Tuesday the plan began to take shape.  First I needed to secure the firewall so I could cut the two outer body mounts off.  I ran a tube from the shock mount to the rear of the rig.   This tube will eventually be the nerf bar.  I left the end open so I could slide another tube inside of this one.  From past experience .120 wall tubing does not hold up well to repeated rock hits and dragging.  I also tied the upper and lower tubes together and made a panel to hide the battery and wiring.  The second picture shows the flex test, it'll be close, I think it will just barely rub on the trail.

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Here's a few more pictures I took before I left Tuesday night.  I haven't trimmed the passenger side rocker panels yet.

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