LS2 Install - Engine Bay Cleanup
After a project Hiatus I was excited to get back to work on Matt's car, and I'm sure he was excited too! A year is too long for a beautiful Z like this to sit without making progress, all settled into Asheville I started making sparks and turning wrenches again.
With a beautiful V8 going in the engine bay we wanted the engine bay to look just as good. The car was given a bath to knock the dust off and it was put up on stands to analyze the work needed. Over the years and through different rounds of modifications the Z's engine bay had been through a lot. There were many holes drilled in the fender wells, frame rails, and firewall. One hole was found under a plate on the firewall that cut into the cowl area and the cabin allowing water to leak into the cabin! Some rust was also found in the strut tower panels which was sure to brea kthrough soon and ruin fresh paint. All these spots needed to be fixed and the engine bay given a fresh coat of paint, for now it will be Satin black until the engine install is complete and tested out. The brake lines needed to be remade as they were not installed very well by the previous owner so these were removed as well at this time.
Below are a few pictures of the original condition:
With everything identified work was started, patches were made for large holes and smaller ones were filled using the MIG welder and a copper spoon. The work was a little tedious and messy but the result came out nice. With a little filler and paint the engine bay will look like new! We will give it a coat of stain black paint once the engine mounts are built and the engine test fit. The L series engine mounts were removed from the cross member as well.
You'll notice the frame rail reinforcements, these were initially installed for the Hawk's engine mount setup. I initially wanted to design my own mounts for this project but crunched with time we decided to give the Hawk's mounts a try. We ran into several fitment issues and were dissapointed with the overall quality. Given that I had already taken the them time and expense to scan the engine it was just the push I needed to go to the drawing board. While designing mounts adds time to the project I felt it would be worth it, and soemthing that could be offered to the Z community. Since the new design locates the engine on the suspension crossmember the rails had to be patched back like new!
For more details on the engine mount design please check out the product development page. We will pick back up here with engine test fit after the brake and fuel lines are installed.
And here is the 'finished' engine bay at least for now. I am really happy with the way it turned out. Fixing all the holes gives us a solid and clean slate for any other changes we want to make and gives a nice home to match the new LS2. The engine bay is likely to get painted along with the body later but for now the satin black allows for easy touch up or changes as we go (welded in brackets, camber plates, etc). Next up is custom brake lines and fuel lines!