I managed to make some progress on the car late last week and into the weekend despite having a fairly busy schedule. It’s definitely tough to get work done on the car during the daytime on Saturday and Sunday, but if nap times sync up for the girls I’m usually to sneak an hour or two in. I’m beyond fortunate to have an incredibly understanding wife that allows me to have time for this crazy hobby, even after having two kids!
I was finally able to finish the clutch pedal assembly. It took a lot of work to make brackets and support bracing for the clutch housing, but I finally got it to a point where I was happy with it. I cut the brake pedal down to a more fitting size for a manual transmission setup and I’m happy to say that even though clearances are tight and it isn’t perfect, I think it should work really well. Fitment was tight around the brake booster connectors near the clutch master cylinder, but that worked out nicely as well.
While I was at it, I installed the JZA80 throttle cable and the braided stainless steel clutch line. The engine bay had a decent amount of grimey build up in certain areas, especially on the front subframe, so I was able to clean that up a pretty good amount. I’ll probably hit that with a fresh coat of paint before dropping the engine in. I’m debating painting some areas of the firewall as well, but I know it’s going to be far from perfect under the hood for a while. For now the goal is to get the car running and clean things up when possible, but it won’t be nearly as clean as the 240’s engine bay was. Perhaps details like that will be addressed down the road, but when you start with a car requiring this much work you have to pick your battles.
With the clutch pedal assembly finally complete, I was able to install the black dashboard and carpeting. Man, what a difference it makes to see the remaining interior pieces installed! It’s really starting to come together now and seeing the tan interior replaced by the much nicer black components really gave me a boost in motivation. I’m waiting on my steering wheel to arrive from Japan and still need to order a Works Bell hub for that, so it’ll stay like this for a little while. I was missing the mounting brackets for the radio and climate control, so I’m on hold there as well right now.
The gauges are just sitting on the dash for now, but those will need to be mounted and wired up down the road. I have oil pressure, oil temp, and boost for the time being. I’m considering adding a water temp gauge and possibly a wideband O2 as well, which will be mounted somewhere hidden if I do go that route. I could probably use Broadfield’s help for some of this stuff, but we’ll see what happens.
I also picked up a Lexus IS300 emergency brake assembly to retrofit. As you probably remember, the car came stock with a foot pedal emergency brake assembly, so it needs to be converted to a hand style setup. I’ve been doing some research on Yahoo! Japan and in Hyper Rev to get an idea of how to tackle this, so hopefully I will be able to figure something out.
I got the car up on stands this weekend and cleaned things up a bit under it as well. I hadn’t seen it yet without the wheels on, so it was nice to take a peek at the brakes and other suspension stuff. I’ll need to do some work on the brakes before it’s all said and done, as well as repair a broken wheel stud. All in due time I’m sure…
Lastly, I also purchased the supplies needed to run my fuel return line from the pump assembly to the engine. The factory Lexus GS400 uses a returnless fuel system and the Aristo 2JZGTE requires a return style setup, so hopefully I can figure out how to add the line in there.
During the next week I am going to try to focus on finishing up a couple odd details in the interior, namely bolts for the rear seats and the center console, and perhaps take a crack at installing the emergency brake. From there it’s time to move on to maintenance work on the engine and transmission. I’m still really hoping to have that in the car by first or second week in May, but I’m quickly running out of time. We’ll see how it goes!
Thanks a lot for reading and checking out the project- always appreciated!