Project EJ8… Part 2

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From our last update on project EJ8, the interior painting was completed and I started to remove the suspension. After finally making a decision on the route I was willing to go where the motor swap was concerned, I needed to start collecting some swap parts. In the mix of tearing the suspension apart, I realized there were more worn components than I initially expected. This caused me to divert my k-swap efforts to the restoration of what I deemed were key components. We’ll be taking a look at some of the parts as they came in and the progress made.

 

For those who may want to view this build from the start I’ve provided the links below:

Project EJ8… Introduction

Project EJ8… Part 1

 

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While I was busy trying to source some goodies, little to no attention was paid to the EJ shell…

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Of which it clearly showed…

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It was time to break the cycle and direct some effort towards it…

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After taking a look at the painted engine bay and interior, the fender arches became an eyesore…

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And with the rear suspension removed, I couldn’t solely direct my efforts towards the front end…

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However, after taking a closer look, the rear would require significantly more time, effort and patience…

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With the work ahead, I decided to start with the front being the easier of the two with hopes that the finished product would motivate me to knock out the rear end…

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To my surprise the front end came out looking better than I thought especially with it being a simple rattle can job…

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Feeling good about the front I went on to tackle the rear…

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A bit more effort than the front but in the end I believe it was all worth it…

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Taking few steps back; it was still a long road ahead but the addition of some paint softened the blow…

 

After the teardown I came to the realization that most of the components would require refreshing. So I went ahead and placed some orders and soon enough, the packages started arriving…

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Along with the EBC front rotors I showed you guys in the previous update, I purchased a set for the rear as well…

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Upon setting a goal to attend some track days with the car, I thought it to be a necessary upgrade to convert from drums to disc. To execute this, the handbrake cables were one of the items that needed to be changed…

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I thought as I was this far I might as well change the master cylinder…

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But I didn’t stop there, I decided change the hubs and wheel bearings at the front and rear…

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Along with the rod ends, rack ends and upper and lower ball joints…

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And to close it out, I opted to pick up a set of Muteki open end lug nuts…

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While the subframe was torn apart I went ahead and gave it a quick paint refresh…

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And swapped out the OEM steering rack bushing for an Energy Suspension one…

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With that out of the way it was time to bolt it up…

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A look at the mounted DC2 Type R steering rack and subframe assembly…

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I finally made the trip to collect the front bumper and with it in my possession, I gave the EJ a wash down and fitted the front end together…

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DC2 type R front sway bar after a fresh coat of paint…

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Already in the mood for painting and with the steering column out of the car, I thought why not and applied some paint to it…

 

At the end of the last update, I had the front and rear brakes loaded up to carry them to be disassembled as I didn’t have the necessary tools available to do so at home…

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I had the drums removed and cleaned up the trailing arms…

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And much like everything else I couldn’t let these go back on the car without first hitting them with some paint…

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Upon doing some research, I found out that the only OEM route to convert from drums to disc would require changing the entire trailing arm. Determined to find another solution, I took to the forums and found a company called Scarebird that developed an alternative. They have designed a bracket which bolts directly to the factory drums spindles.

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Before I began the rebuild, I made sure to have the Energy Suspension trailing arm bushings in hand to swap out the dated OEM bushings…

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A look at how the Scarebird brackets bolt to the drum spindles…

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Test fitting the caliper after installing the wheel bearing and hub assembly to the trailing arm…

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Now that things were looking up, I went ahead and started to clean up the rear calipers…

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And in true form to this build, I thought why stop there, and gave the front calipers the same treatment…

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Uncertain as to what colour combination to go with, this was what I finally landed on…

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In all the cleaning I couldn’t forget about the Cusco coils I picked up, so I gave those some love as well…

 

At this point I not only didn’t have any wheels for the build but it wasn’t anywhere close on my radar. Well that was until I made a visit to TT AutoWorks to collect some parts and stumbled on a a set of 15″ wheels still in the boxes…

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Needless to say I couldn’t pass them up and quickly went to Automotive Art and had them wrapped them in some Kumho Ecsta KU36 rubber…

 

Unfortunately it was the last two the had in stock at the moment…

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However, I had in my possession some Kumho Ecsta C03 race compound tyres…

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So for the moment the wheels were mixed between the two compounds until the new stock landed…

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Messing around as the car still was without any suspension…

 

Even though I was a step closer with the wheels in my possession, I wasn’t completely sold on the black and machined lip finish, so I opted to go for something a bit different…

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And decided to experiment with some plasti-dip…

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The end result was a bit more subtle which was along the lines of what I was looking for…

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Sad to say after having the car sit for a few years there was some signs of decay when I dropped the fuel tank…

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Fortunately I was able to pick up a float and a fuel pump hanger locally for a reasonable price…

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Having received the front knuckles after the ball joint, hub and bearing were removed, I still had some unfinished business to be dealt with…

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The knuckles would need to look the part…

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Knuckles with a new hub, wheel bearing and ball joint fitted…

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I had one more component to be dealt with, the dated and tired rear LCAs…

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For the moment I opted against going with new rear LCAs and picked up some bushing replacements from Energy suspension…

 

Things were starting to come together, it felt like such an accomplishment to be finally done restoring the suspension components. It was time to get the parts installed on the car and set it down on the wheels after what was practically a lifetime sitting on jack stands. I was also excited to be able to test fit my wheels.

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Cusco Zero2 coilovers, knuckle with new hub and bearing along with upper and lower control arms refreshed and assembled…

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Meanwhile in the rear, I bolted up the refreshed trailing arms with Energy Suspension bushings, Blox Racing adjustable toe and camber kits along with the new hub and bearing assembly…

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I can’t forget about the Scarebird caliper bracket…

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A look at the EBC rotors temporarily mounted in place…

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With the suspension bolted up, I was able to test fit the new wheels…

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And with that, finally get rear end on the ground…

 

That’s it for today’s update on my EJ8 build; I hope you guys enjoyed and I will leave you with one final parting shot…

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Jin’s Charmant Build… Part 2

 

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In today’s post we take a look at the decision Jin has made moving forward with his Charmant. Following the previous post on this build Jin has since made some changes and has been enjoying the benefits of his hard work. However, with the changing landscape of motorsport in Barbados, Jin came to the inevitable realization that the car wouldn’t be competitive in the league in which he envisioned. This was one of many realities Jin was faced with; having a motor swap that was speciality built and nearing its peak where performance stood, it wasn’t ideal in Justin’s vision of his daily commuter. Thinking back on his initial goal in mind for the build, which was to have a well rounded reliable car, Jin accepted he would require not just a more powerful motor but one with reliability at the core. Being the purist that he is, the addition of a turbo or any form of forced induction was completely out of the question. This would then leave his options significantly limited where four cylinder motors stood.

 

For those who would like to review the previous posts in this series, I’ve provided the links below:-

Jin’s Charmant Build… Introduction

Jin’s Charmant Build… Part 1 

 

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How the car sat when it was completed with a new set of wheels fitted…

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A look at the 20v conversion with a coil on plug setup and Techno Toy Tuning velocity stacks…

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The tear down begins to prepare the shell for the new motor swap…

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The heartless engine bay as it awaits the next stage in development…

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Justin went ahead and stripped out all of the interior for the upcoming plans…

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Down to the dashboard was removed in preparation…

 

After doing the necessary research, Jin finally landed on a F20c motor swap. Already sharing many similarities with the AE86 chassis coupled with the popularity of the swap, Jin saw it to be a relatively easy conversion to execute. Originally the F20c motor comes from a Honda S2000 which will definitely cause many of the Toyota purist to cringe, however this wouldn’t move Jin nonetheless.

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Justin ordered a complete swap which included subframe, engine, gearbox, header, harness, cluster and ECU.

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The motor and gearbox assembly after it was unwrapped…

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Close up of the S2000 digital display…

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S2000 cluster, harness and factory ECU…

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One of the key components to the F20 swap into the Charmant chassis is the JSP Fab S2000 conversion mount set. The kit includes a gearbox bracket, engine mount brackets and cross member spacers. JSP Fab’s kit eliminates the need to cut the firewall for clearance however there will still be some modifications needed to the cross member and engine sump.

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Aside from the visual difference in size between the Charmant and the S2000; the major link between getting the power transferred from the gearbox to the rear axles posed an issue, making the S2000 driveshaft one of the items he wouldn’t be able to use. Even though some would opt to cut and weld a driveshaft, it really isn’t the recommended thing to do especially after hitting all the check boxes thus far Jin wouldn’t approve. The only alternative he saw was to have Driveshaft Shop custom make him a unit being able to adapt to the S2000 gearbox on one end and to the Carina differential housing on the other.

 

While waiting for some of the necessary pieces to arrive, Jin had some time on his hands, and as the valve cover had seen better days he decided to give a refresh…

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Jin immediately had a vision for the valve cover and wasting no time in applying some paint remover to get the ball rolling…

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F20c valve cover stripped to its raw finish…

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After a few coats of primer…

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This was the end result…

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Not too shabby for a rattle can job…

 

With the bulk of everything finally landed, Jin sent the car to have the bay prepped for the motor swap…

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As I mentioned earlier, some modifications would be necessary in regards to the factory subframe to execute this swap…

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The guys thought it would make life significantly easier by cutting the radiator support as the engine is taller and longer than the complete 4AGE swap…

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The plan is to lift the motor through the front rather than having to tilt it with the gearbox fitted…

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Time to get acquainted, F20c meet Charmant because it’s about to go down…

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Motor fitted with absolutely zero clearance issues…

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Already having a full sized radiator from his previous swap, Jin retained it and it was only a matter time before he found the correct radiator hoses to make it functional…

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With the motor assembly in place it look right at home within the Charmant’s bay…

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A look at the JSP Fab engine bracket which was designed to work with the factory subframe mounts…

 

On the interior things weren’t as simple in comparison to the engine bay…

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The dated OEM trans tunnel wasn’t as receptive as the engine bay and required some fabrication. In order to fit the F20 gearbox assembly it is common to make some adjustments to the tunnel to accommodate for the shifter placement based on the length of the gearbox…

 

While Justin’s fabricator worked on finalizing the location of the shifter and the surrounding area..

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Some measurements were taken and the oil pan was sent off to ReWeld to be modified in accordance with the custom plated subframe…

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The finished product, another nicely done piece by ReWeld…

 

Meanwhile a package arrived…

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From Techno Toy Tuning carrying their adjustable helm joint tie rod ends. These units are larger and more durable than factory and allow an increase in steering angle. Jin thought with the significant increase in power while driving the extra angle would be needed to get out of any troubling situations…

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A view of the Techno Toy Tuning rod ends fitted to the car…

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The car was finally back in Justin’s possession with the modifications to the trans tunnel completed…

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The interior of the car remained gutted as Jin still had a few things to complete…

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Spent gasses was where Jin paid some close attention, being in the car scene for quite some time and been through countless exhaust systems, he wanted to put some thought and time into the choices he made for this setup. The goal he wanted to achieve was to have a system which will be quiet for daily driving but on wide open throttle still be able to deliver on the performance end…

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Jin went with a OBX Forza Tuning muffler…

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Initially the plan was to use the OEM S2000 header however, given the size difference between the two chassis the OEM header would require extensive modifications to clear the Charmant’s steering column…

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With time constraints weighing heavy on the completion of this build, Jin was fortunate enough to find an aftermarket S2000 header locally and wasted no time in picking it up. He thought it would be easier to have a base to start with rather than fabricating a header completely from scratch…

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Jin enlisted the services of Stanford Industries to execute the fabrication work needed for both the header and exhaust system…

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As mentioned the header required some modification to clear the steering column and after some cutting and measuring…

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This was the final result of the header which was finished with a v-band connection for ease of removal and to eliminate the to common issue of leakage associated with the flange, donut and gasket combination…

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Some shots of the header fitted in place, if you guys pay close attention you can see where the steering column passes between the block and header…

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Completed Stanford Industries full custom exhaust system with v-band connections…

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The Forza Tuning edition OBX muffler installed complimented the period correct styling of this classic Charmant giving it a much deserving finishing touch…

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Upon finishing up the exhaust system, Jin was able to bolt up the Driveshaft Shop unit which fit perfectly in place…

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Along with that, the engine bay was well on its way to completion, the header had been installed and the radiator hoses were taken care of. This meant the bulk of the work was out of the way…

 

Lights, camera, action… The S2000 cluster is lit!!

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And on that note I’ll close out this post with a stunning shot of the S2000’s digital display in warm up mode…

 

Thanks for taking a look at another addition in Jin’s Charmant build.

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