We finally had a decent weather day, no wind and about 70 degrees. I took a vacation day from work and with some coaching from Dennis I was able to get the fenderwells painted. This is my first attempt at any real finish painting. I managed to get it done with only a couple runs, and they will be very hard to find ;-). I was concentrating so hard on painting that I forgot to take pictures until I was almost finished. This was one of the last major hold ups. Once the fenders have a chance to cure well, I will get them installed and then can do just a bunch of stuff like wiring, installing the radiator and fans and then it will be time to take it to the muffler shop for exhaust.
Since I could not paint the fenderwells, I moved on to other things and got a lot accomplished. I installed the painted intake manifold and drive by wire throttle body. Then painted and installed the fuel rail and injectors. (Pic 1) I installed the A/C bracket and idlers I got from Street & Performance. (Pic 2) They sure were proud of that piece so I guess I should be too! Now I need to get the clutch on my Sanden compressor changed over to serpentine, I have the new clutch. I finished plumbing my fuel line, it is now complete all the way from the in tank pump up to the fuel rail. I also plumber some vacuum hoses. It's starting to look like a complete LS1. (Pic 3).
Other things accomplished, I had my drive shaft shortened and installed it. I mentioned in a previous post that I had to remove part of a crossmember for clearance. I also had to massage the drive shaft tunnel to get some side clearance because the motor and trans are offset slightly to the passenger side. I used the spreader tool from a friends Portopower along with a piece of 2x4 to widen the tunnel and now have enough clearance, I hope! I only needed about 1/4 inch more to give myself a little room. I also hooked up the shift rod from my column shifter to the 4L60E and is seems to work well, I may need to make an adjustment to get it into low gear, hopefully the Neutral safety switch is still properly aligned.
This has been a productive week-end with some mini frustrations due to wind. My next major task is to touch up my inner fenderwells so I can put my fenders back on. Until that is done I can't run my wiring or install the radiator or fans. Because I have the car in the garage, I have to do any painting outside. I have been waiting for a warm sunny day and thought I had it, until 12-15 mph winds came up. I was able to sand down all the nicks and scratches and get some good primer filler sprayed on, but was not able to do the finishing, so had to move on to other parts of the project.
I got my manifold and dash back from the body man today. He smoothed the nylon intake and painted it to match the car. The dash originally only had the two Dolphin Gauges, I found a Sun mini tach that fits perfect in between and has a chrome bezel similar to the others. Claude Frenched it in to match the other gauges. Came out looking great! I was also able to finish up the gas tank filler pipe, so now the fuel system is complete all the way to the front of the car.
On the two steps forward and one step back scene I took a major step back this week. I discovered after raising the engine to gain clearance, that my drive shaft now hits a crossmember between the trans and rear end. I sure shoulda checked that, a rookie mistake! So now am looking at ways to relocate the crossmember and am looking at using a smaller diameter drive shaft than the 3 1/4 inch unit I have now. I am concerned about doing that because it is a long drive shaft, about 60 inches. Back to the drawing board :-(
Edit 03/15: I did some research and consulted with some other Studebaker folks. The offending crossmember was there to hold a carrier bearing for a 2 piece drive shaft and had already been trimmed some. Inspection determined that it is not any sort of load bearing or structural support, so last night I took the Sawzall to it and cut the middle section out. The side pieces I left, as they are excellent hangers for the exhaust. I fitted the drive shaft up there and it has just enough clearance Yea! :-). So this morning I took the drive shaft to the driveline shop to be shortened and balanced. Should be able to pick it up tomorow or Friday.