This weekend saw us hit Stage 2 of the VH45/AE86 build, AKA test fitting. We initially pulled everything in the engine bay back out of the way and said "Let's see how much room we've got!" The answer? Not a heck of alot. Lol.
The first thing we did find though was that on the only other AE86 we've ever seen with this swap, the guys cut the upper rad support out for clearance reasons perhaps? The only reason we find it necessary at this point is if you want to load the engine and tranny together into the car. We're happy with loading the trans from bottom and keeping the cleaner appearance from up top.
The engine will sit real nicely in the bay when it's all said and done. Right now, the oil pan is resting on the crossmember though and the crank pulley is sitting on the sway-bar. So we need an inch or so in clearance from the crossmember first. That will be achieved by spacing the crossmember down from the frame of the car itself. Then the crank pulley clearance issue should clear itself up because the engine is sitting on a tilt 4° forward right now. Once we get the space needed between the oil pan and crossmember, we should be able to lean the engine back to where it needs to be, gaining us space between the crank pulley and the sway bar.
We're also toying with the idea of spacing the tension rod/sway bar brackets down to match the crossmember. That could gain us some extra room and offer up a little extra protection to the oil pan from frontal assaults of the occasional rowdy orange cone.
On the sides, you can see there's a good amount of room. The factory mounting ears are going to be cut off, and we'll build our own custom pieces that will hug the block well enough to allow us plenty of room for our custom headers.
Stay tuned for Stage 3 where we start getting all cut happy!