In the last episode, we managed to make an SR20DET fit inside an E30. Now it’s time to actually make it stay there. In this installment, we will be fabricating custom motor and trans mounts.
The first step, is to forget about the cherry picker. We need to be able to manipulate the engine in every axis. To do this, we will “tripod” the engine. What I mean by that, is we use 3 Harbor Freight jacks, placing one under the transmission, and two on each side of the oil pan (with 2×4’s to prevent damage). By doing this, we can yaw, tilt and roll the engine while also moving it left, right, forward, backwards, up, down by either raising/lowering the jacks, or simply rolling them around.
Next we will set the tilt and yaw of the engine. This is step is very important, and should not be overlooked. The goal is to get the output of the transmission and input of the differential to be exactly parallel. Since driveshafts do not utilize constant velocity joints, they will cause the output speed to oscillate if the U-joint operating angles are not equal, causing driveline vibration. Watch this video for an excellent demonstration.