DAY 2 – Thursday 8/16
I woke up Thursday at 7:30 with a pounding headache feeling very much like a hangover. I took some aspirin, drank some water, and laid in bed for a while hoping it would get better. I decided to get up and try and start my day around 8:30. Poured some cereal and was immediately not enjoying the first bite. I sat it down and my head pounded on. I laid back down for a few minutes, then a wave of nausea hit and I darted for the bathroom. A good vomit later I was back in bed and back to sleep. I woke up at noon and started my day again and, luckily, this time more successfully.
All I can figure is my body was super dehydrated even though I drank about six liters of water the day prior. Maybe heatstroke. Not really sure. All I knew is I didn’t want that to happen again and I had burned the morning being sick.
Genki-ness renewed, I set about preparing for Day 2’s project – removing the rusty battery tray. This was directly and indirectly related to the engine swap. I wanted to seal up the rust, make room for intercooler piping, and do it while I had easy access. Easy access is relative to my situation but it essentially boiled down to being able to drive my car to a temporary parking area next to my apartment where I could use electricity via an extension cord strung from my kitchen. Since I would be swapping the engine, I could remove the fan, fan shroud, radiator, and intake without worry of needing to put it all back on perfectly. I only needed the bare essentials – radiator, hoses, and only water in the radiator – to drive back to my parking area.
Pulling all the parts and pieces were as straightforward as you could imagine. The nice thing about buying a well cared for car is that things generally come apart easily. No stripped or snapped bolts. The real challenge was removing the battery tray with the spot weld drill bit I bought specifically for the task. I know what spot welds look like and, on a normal surface, can spot them. However, the battery tray was really rusty so it was near impossible to see the welds. The result was a lot of guessing and blind drilling.
I saw a 6mm and 8mm spot weld drill bit (supotto kattaa in Japanese) at Meikuman but ended up buying a 6.5mm bit at Astro Tools because it was a little cheaper. I would recommend to anyone else out there doing this for the first time to get the larger size. It will help compensate for your inaccuracy in locating the spot welds and hopefully result in you needing to drill fewer holes.
You can see in the picture I was less than skilled but I was still happy to have the drill bit for the job. Using the grinder and cutting wheel would have worked as well but would have been more tedius in the end trying to clean up the area. My process was basically to drill some suspected spot weld areas and then tug on the tray to see if it was still connected. A large flat screwdriver for a prybar helped locate them as well since you can slip it between the tray and the wheel well metal.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish getting the battery tray area cleaned up before it got dark so that’s was a wrap for Day 2. Old rusty tray out, ready for Day 3.