More Brake Work, Adapter Plate Fitting

This was a very productive weekend.

The first project was to get the brakes working. My brother Matt came up for the day to give me a hand. As I mentioned before, the two brake lines running to the rear wheels needed to be replaced. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, there are plenty of resources out there that can tell you better than I. Let me just tell you that it’s an absolute pain to do.

We got the new lines installed and bled out. The brake pedal is a bit tougher than my Jetta, but the wheels lock up just as they should when you press down on the brake. The setup is identical to how it was when the ICE was in there, just without the added help of the vacuum in the power booster. This is an extremely simple and cheap solution to the brake problem. We’ll see how it really works when it get’s moving down the road, but I am very optimistic.

The next project of the day was to get the adapter plate fit to the bell housing of the transmission. Again, I can’t thank Matt enough for his help on this. I would have made this much more difficult than it needed to be.

First we mounted the plate to the motor. Then we put the shaft coupler onto the motor, jacked up the transmission (it sits a bit low when it’s in there all by itself), and then tried to put the motor on. The only problem here is that the adapter plate is perfectly round, and the bell housing is not. The CV Shaft on the Tercel is too close to the transmission shaft for the adapter plate to fit without cutting. So, we made a rough marking of where we thought it should be cut and fired up the cutting torch. You can check out the video here.

We then reattached the motor and tried to fit it to the transmission. Still a bit more needed to be cut, so we detached the motor from the adapter plate and fired up that cutting torch again. (Special thanks again to my brother Donn for letting us use the shop and all of his tools.) Next we bolted the adapter plate to the motor again and tried fitting it to the transmission. Fit on perfectly the third time. Even without any bolts holding the motor/adapter plate to the transmission, it stayed right there when we let go – stayed put when we put the car up on the lift too.

We got a couple of clamps to hold the adapter plate flush with the bell housing. To mark where the holes needed to be drilled in the adapter plate we used a metal punch and a hammer. Once all of the holes were marked, we took everything apart again and drilled the holes in the adapter plate. This was really the moment of truth. If the holes are not drilled correctly, the motor won’t mount up to the transmission correctly and the two won’t bolt together. This was kind of a one shot deal.

We just used a regular electric drill and bits to drill out the holes.

Once they were drilled, we put everything back together and slid the motor & adapter plate back onto the transmission. With a little twisting and turning, the holes lined up perfectly. We grabbed some bolts and bolted the motor onto the transmission. It was great to finally see that motor in the car.

It wasn’t ready for a test just yet, I need to have a key made to join the motor shaft and the shaft coupler. Hopefully I will get that done this week and have it ready for the weekend. The next big thing on the list is getting the motor mount fabricated and installed. Hopefully I can get that next Saturday and start getting my electric components in next Sunday.

Sunday was a pretty quick day. I took the motor and adapter plate back out of the car as I will need the motor and coupler so I can get the key made. My other brother came up and helped me take out the hydraulic cylinder that used to drive the clutch.

I was excited to get my father in the shop and show him the progress we made the day before, but sadly, his health took a turn for the worse and he’s been in the hospital since Saturday night. If you have a moment to spare, we will appreciate any thoughts and prayers for him. Thank you.