Some progress to make up for the last two months:

Finally got the rocker panel mouldings, ignore the rust please

My brother found a set of black-painted “shallow” grilles at a local flea market for $10. You can’t really see the difference in these photos but the biggest part is that the black ones have much shorter buckets which look a whole lot better with the buckets I have. I was just toying with the idea of running black grilles but I think I like the stock style more.

Turns out that sexy 13″ Spal fan I’d bought was too big to fit in the radiator opening in the front of the car, so I traded up to this 11″ Spal pusher. I don’t care about how thick it is, because I have tons of room in front of the radiator, but this thing does 1390cfm! Overkill maybe but better safe than sorry.

$7 for a steering guibo from an aircooled VW. It’s the same part that sells for BMWs for $20.

So now it was time to start doing the 5-speed conversion finally. I arrived home from college to the car with the transmission dropped, and my dad and brother having a pretty tough time putting the Getrag 245 in the old 4-speed’s place.

Well that will never do. The new transmission has the slave cylinder at about 3 o’clock as you face the bellhousing, unlike the 4:30 position the old one had. That means the transmission tunnel spent a little bit of quality time with a sledgehammer.

Once the trans is bolted to the block there’s tons of room but that enclosure with the studs for the slave has to have some room before the input shaft will slide into the clutch.

Some new brackets for the new crossmember position as the back of the 5speed is 3.5625″ longer.

Shortened crossmember and brackets

Shortened shift platform, also by 3.5625″

Fork, new TO bearing and slave installed

Painted shift platform

Brackets in the car, with holes drilled in the tunnel for the button-head allen bolts inside the car.

Shortened selector rod, unpainted and painted. People generally like to cut these in the middle but that’s the point of maximum deflection. So this one was cut at the end, bolted for alignment, and welded together. The head of the allen bolt needs to be cut down a little bit as it interferes with the shifter but it shouldn’t be a problem as I don’t plan on pulling the bolt out ever again.

Transmission all mocked up and basically ready to go into the car. I just have to figure out what to do with the clutch hydraulics, and extend the reverse switch wires. After that, I’m just waiting on the driveshaft to come back shortened, balanced, and reflanged, and I can drive it. Once I get an automatic speedometer cable (anybody have one they’d like to sell?) I’ll be done. Then I can focus my attention on MegaSquirt.

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