Project JDMVette: First Steps

Our project has taken its first step in a very long journey, we got the motor and transmission situated in the car. Getting things in place is only one of many, many things required to pull off a motor swap but it was a pretty big step for our build. We weren’t completely sure the damn thing would even fit in our car. The block had been in the car previously, but we never had a complete drive train to stuff into the chassis. Luckily, the Mustang T5 transmission fit in the tunnel and nothing vital was in the way of another vital part. Sure, we had to ditch the front sway bar but that’s optional. Right?

Jockeying the motor into the proper position was not the most elegant thing ever witnessed but it was functional. We verified the orientation of our motor to insure it would operate happily for a long time to come. It’s not perfect, but the motor sits pretty close to where it should considering the tight confines of the Chevette chassis.

There isn’t a lot of wasted space after we dropped the 4G63 into the engine bay. The Mitsubishi engineers were kind enough to clearance the factory oil pan for the downpipe, which nicely clears the steering rack in our car. The intake manifold also nicely clears the stock brake master cylinder (the first time I was glad we didn’t have power brakes) and the shifter almost lines up with the stock cut out.

Motor mount fabrication was pretty simple as I cheated and used stock Eclipse mounts as a starting point. We then chopped them up to conform to the stock chassis mounts and welded on plates to tie everything together. The transmission mount wasn’t anything fancy either, just some flat stock that was bent to mate the stock cross member to the transmission.

Once everything was bolted back together, the motor was finally resting in place on its own. Now we just need to address the million other issues required to fire this thing up and it’ll be ready to move under its own power.

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