Beard or Bearding refers to anything mechanical. Being a bit of a serial modifier I just can't help myself! 

So here's where I get 'down and dirty'!

When I bought my current car it was basically always going to be used to re-shell the lurvely Yummy. Having had a fair degree of mechanical and technical experience plus a long-suffering boyfriend in the form of Mark Nias who is also partial to the odd bit of 'Bearding' we decided that it'd be more fun to do all the work ourselves! 

Erm this is what we had to work with!
As you can see the work has begun! DJ can be seen lurking in the distance!

This is Mark and what he looks like now 'post bearding' in one of his saner moments!

Supercharger Conversion

After getting Yummy low-loaded over to Mark's parents house in Macclesfield our first task was to remove the complete engine and gearbox from Yummy. It was decided to remove as few components as possible and try to get the engine and gearbox out complete. 

Yummy with engine lid and bootlid removed for access. ECU and intercooling pipework can be clearly seen.

Intercooler an pipework removed. AE92 type Distributorless ignition components can be clearly seen.

What lovely wiring! Basically this is something of a mess due to the original NA loom being spliced in between the GZE ECU and the GZE engine. This was a hangover from the original turn-key conversion. It worked faultlessly though!

As you can see for practically the whole time it rained constantly!

We managed to break a 2ft breaker bar trying to undo this hub nut! So we elected to remove the entire rear suspension with the engine and gearbox + driveshafts intact!

Finally here is the complete engine and gearbox with driveshafts, hubs and lower suspension and track control arms out of the car.

To get all this out in one go it is necessary to lift the car to quite a height! You also need to lift the front as well to get those extra few inches of clearance. It doesn't feel particularly safe in this position and is made even worse when you need to get under the car to undo that last pipe/union/earthing strap!

Next job was to make a start on DJ. Basically the same again and this time we were a fair bit quicker. It looks so clean and well, empty in that engine bay. But not for much longer.

Mark in action. 

Getting the engine crane in position to lift the rear of the car. Keeping the crane away from your rear bumper is tricky once you get the car up to height

And the 4A-GE engine and box is out!

Meanwhile in the garage, with the supercharger engine we elected to change the cambelt and all the drive belts plus the water pump as the bearing had gone. Trouble was we had no way of undoing the crank pulley bolt! After temporarily developing Tourette's, Mark's Dad, Peter came up with this lurvely device to enable us to stop the crank turning while we undid the bolt. 

We had to change the waterpump too as the bearing had gone. The cambelt was not put back on until we had finished with the waterpump. Oil and filter were of course renewed too.

As if by magic the 4A-GZE Supercharger engine and gearbox complete with suspension is in. It took us nearly three hours to align everything. Particularly problematic was the gearbox mount under the battery tray and the the dreaded 'Three prongs" mount on the cambelt cover side of the engine. They are a real PITA basically. Still perserverance... :o/

All in complete with intercooler in place. At this point we had actually had the engine running but it was missing pretty badly. We subsequently found the spark plugs to be submerged in 3" of water due to all the heavy rain we endured. The leads can be seen drying out in the pic. 

The engine started after around 40 seconds which was perfect as it allowed enough time for the oil pressure to get up a bit (engine hadn't run for 6 months) before the fuel got through whereupon the engine started and ran fine. 

Test Drive

The initial test drive was basically okay apart from not being able to select 1st, 3rd or 5th gear! This is due to the SC gearbox having a shorter selector cable than on the NA gearbox. A good look at how Yummy's was modified allowed us to shorten the linkage by around 10-15mm which pretty much cured it. There is though still a problem with 3rd gear selection particularly on medium throttle downchanges as it tends to kick out. The may be a result of the accident as the car was in 3rd gear when it hit the lampost.

The fan under the intercooler was installed a week later and the car ran like this with no reliability issues. The car ran at least as well as Yummy did and with the weight saving of a coupe is around 40kgs lighter and doesn't drip water all over you in heavy rain like Yummy did! 

I ran the car at Cadwell Park on my birthday 7 July 2003 and it ran well although i was getting terrible heatsoak problems after a couple of laps, so I really needed to address this problem. 

In action going over the Mountain at Cadwell on my Birthday!

Last but not least Yummy had to go to the big scrap yard in the sky...

Absolutely nothing was left in the shell apart from bits of wiring loom and some front lower suspension parts

Seen clearly here is the absence of engine, gearbox, petrol tank

Bye, bye Yummy

See Beard pt 2

About me
MK1a Restoration
Beard Index (mech/tuning)
Spa 2003
Spa  2002
Yummy history
Current Track Car
Copyright 2003 Lauren