Yep its in, but man it was a mission. The hardest part of the whole swap was mating the gearbox to the engine it's an awkward, back breaking ballet. Toyota engineered the E-series transmission to be a tank of a gearbox for high horsepower and torque applications, add the centre diff and the unit weighs an F-tonne. On a side note, I would hate to do a clutch with the engine in the car, I don't think it's possible being that to access one of the bolts holding the centre differential to the gearbox is conveniently hidden away in between the engine, gearbox and differential - BAH!
What's better than a track day? A free track day by Garmin!!
What's better than a free track day? Being able to invite your friends to come hang and drive with you!
First up a special thank you is in accordance to David and the Garmin gang for organising the track day. Days like this don’t come up very often, if ever. I had to read it twice when I got text from David on facebook. It was such a awesome gift to be given, and to make it even better (a real bucket list moment for me) I was allowed to invite who ever I wanted! Damn!
Garmin was out promoting their new VIRB 360 Action camera. This bad boy is a waterproof 360-degree camera shooting in 5.7k/30fps and has the ability to overlay all the essential track data. They had enough cameras on hand to make sure everyone got an on board video of their car. I can’t wait to see the final cut from my car, only because I had a couple of sick battles with Phouc’s S15 and Jerry’s K-swapped FD2
GARMIN VIRB 360 ACTION CAMERA INFO LINK
The very last request we got at the Greaser workshop before we moved out was quite the unusual and quirky one.
A topic that is frequently discussed between car guys, is the crazy unusual and stupid conversions we’ve done, heard about or thought of doing (mostly the later), so when a class mate- Richard brought up the idea of engine swapping a 3SGTE into a RAV4, I had to humour him.
“hey John, you have a workshop right?”, he asked me.
“uh huh, whhhhy?”
“I have a friend (Rhys) who wants to do an engine conversion.”
“Oh yeah?! What car and engine?” I asked him.
“Do you know what a Caldina is?”
“Yep, its got a 3SGTE in it.”
“Yep, that's the one! Well, he bought a written-off Caldina and wants to engine swap it into his RAV4!”
We both laughed out loud.
"No but seriously, he wants to do it.”
Our (Simon and myself) first day in Los Angeles was hectic. The 14hour plane ride was just that- 14hours, cooped up in the broke baller economy class. We landed in LAX early morning, 6am to be exact. After being woken up by the flight attendant, I say to Simon "oh dude, it's 6am, we have a heap of time to kill until The Chronicles meet". He looked at me, eyes half opened and said nothing, I wasn't sure if he was still half asleep or just knew what was coming and didn't want to deal it.
What I didn't know and what Simon had dreaded was the line after exiting the plane. It was a lengthy process. We had to get through 2 gates before we could get our bags. The first gate was to have our passport electronically checked, then at the second gate a custom officer checked our passports again. We were in-line for a total of 2.5 hours before collecting our bags. It was then a short bus trip to the car rental place. On the 405 heading south to Makito's workshop SevenApples in Torrance, driving in a LHD drive car on the wrong side of the road it finally felt like our USA trip had officially started.
The plan was check-in with Makito, get breakfast, organise our temporary contact number/ internet, grab snacks and then spend the rest of the day at Eibach HQ in Corona for The Chronicles 2016 summer meet . Later that evening, Makito would take us to his favourite Mexican place for dinner in Compton.
When we got the call to meet up with him, he was working on his FC RX7 at a mates workshop, he told us to meet him there before dinner. An hour later, we arrived to a quite street, pulled up into a parking lot filled with RX7s and under a half opened workshop roller door, we saw a familiar Red FC RX7, “hey guys, welcome to rotary power ”, it was Makito and we had arrived at Rotary Power USA.
It's been a long time in-between drinks, I know and I can explain.
Greaser update: The shop is no more.
So what happened? LIFE. The thing is, we are on different paths sometimes those paths cross one another and beautiful things happen. But, ultimately life calls, decisions have to be made and when it came time to renew the building lease, two of the guys couldn't invest any more time into Greaser, so we had to let it go. Everything got put on hold and I took time off to re-evaluate.
So are you guys cool? Yep, we still hang, we're still bros and we're still wrenching like aways.
And how about Greaser? The dream is still alive and I'm on a mission. My work space has been reduce from a workshop back to the home garage. I'm on the floor instead of under a hoist and everything takes three times longer. On the plus side, not having to pay rent means I get to funnel the money into developing Greaser 2.0, so it's not the end, just a bump on the road.
Onto mushroom hunting...