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April 2006 - Stevie's Engine Swap (P11)

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    Posted: 14 Jun 2007 at 11:30pm

Engine Swap 18th March 2006

As a change from the regular Car of the Month feature, here we have a rather interesting feature on the engine swap that took place on my GTLE!!

Introduction:

On Thursday 2nd March 2006 I managed to drive my gorgeous red GTLE into a tide road flood and the car cut out, disaster!! We pushed her out of the water straight away and left it for a while to debate the situation. Big thanks to Nat at this point who jumped straight in the water to push and did her back in during the process! Unfortunately, it looked like the worst situation had happened, the car seemed to be hydrolocked. I did what anyone would do at this point, I phoned Ant-Dat, technical expert and all round vehicular genius!! An inspection later that day showed water in the bores and the engine was not turning whatsoever. This is how she looked on the day:

The same day, on getting home I logged straight into the forum and told of my plight and what I had managed to do. At this point I felt really sick, the extent of the damage was beginning to sink in and the whole 'what if' thought process started to kick in. Why did I drive through it, what if I had of turned around, what if I had of drove there later when the tide had gone etc. All I did know is that my car was now badly broken and the outlook was bleak.

The Final Verdict and the Strip Down

Our legendary technical expert Ant (Ant-Dat) jumped when he saw the extent of what had happened and offered to drive down from Scotland to my place in Kendal to give the engine a second opinion and begin the dismantling if the worst had happened. Can you believe that? Not for money, not for anything other than to come down and help a fellow club member and friend. I was blown away, lots of club members were bowled over at Ants gesture here, absolutely brilliant. A quick check over confirmed that the engine was indeed hydrolocked and there was water everywhere, bent conrod at least. The head was removed to get a look at the damage! Ant then completed the day by putting in hours of preparation work to get the car ready for an engine swap. Imagine seeing your car looking like this:

The Thread

Once I had posted up what had happened, I was amazed to see that everyone who posted was giving good ideas about what I should do next, ranging from an engine swap to a rebuild to breaking the car. As the thread progressed, an amazing thing started to happen!! Some came forward and offered me the engine from their recently written off GT for the price of £200. Suddenly, the engine swap was starting to look like a reality, well laying my hands on an engine was looking like becoming a reality!! Once this became a clear fact that I was going to have this engine, members started to actually offer their help to travel to my house and help swap the engines over and get my car running again. I couldn't really grasp what I was reading to be honest, one day my beloved motor was beyond help and in a really sorry state and the next day, I had an engine lined up and a squad of very capable club members willing to come over to fit it. The fever really heated up about the swap, it became quite a topical thing at the time, everyone was interested in the progress and more people were adding their names to the people willing to give up their time to come and pitch in, anyway they could.

Collecting The Engine

Exactly one week after the hydrolock, I set off down to South Wales to collect the engine. Things were getting exciting now, collecting this engine meant this was really going to happen. I had a great drive down and special thanks go out to Chris (L46-GTG) for already getting stuck in by removing the engine from the silver GT and having it all ready, just standing there waiting to lift into the back of the estate car. Everything is running so smoothly this far, I had collected the engine and got back home, put the engine under cover and waited for the week after! The following Saturday had been declared swap day!!

Big exciting bridge!!

The treasure!!

Swap Team

A few days before the swap, the team were all confirmed and ready to travel to make this happen. The crew were Ant-Dat, Lurch, Disco and Nabber. This turned out to be a perfect crew and a spot on amount of people to get the job done efficiently.

The Swap!

Saturday 18th March 2006 came around, swap day!! Here we go then, the story of the engine swap and photographic treats!

Here she is above, pushed into place with the front end into the workshop that we would perform the swap inside. It was nice to have cover incase it rained and it was quite cold that day too. The flat surface proved to be essential really. Below is just a wider view of where it was all taking place.

On trying to jack up the front, the angle into the workshop proved to be a problem and we soon realised that the exhaust was touching the floor so the back end needed to be jacked up and raised onto blocks to give extra clearance for the front end. Above and below shots show this.

Check out Ant above!! Not just a man for the technical side, there he is getting stuck into the menial tasks like jacking up!

Above is how the engine bay looked before any work was started. Just the block left in there and various 'complicated bits of metal'.

We needed to start by getting the old block out and hence the big strong engine crane was setup. No that's Daz, the engine crane is the red thing on his right.

There is the engine all supported and ready to be dropped in. Also shown is a can of WD40 which turned out to be like pop to Daz later on. The plan was to jack the car right up and take the engine out from underneath.

And there she goes!! Real progress now, the old engine is removed and we have a lovely space to fill!!

The old engine now clear, it can be worked on to split the box and remove the clutch, flywheel, pulleys and any other bits that needed removing.

Here is the box split from the block. Notice that the driveshafts are still fitted to the box. Brilliant piece of work from the chaps to remove everything in one piece without having to remove the driveshafts and a great idea to do this just at the point where the shafts were going to come off. Superb.

Here is a picture of Ant emptying water out of the old intake. We had thought that might have been dry but nope, it was bloody soaking!!

The trading of parts was in progress now, Daz had swapped out the first two pulleys to the Unorthadox Racing ones.

More progress, Fidanza flywheel now in place and more good work from Daz!

Poor Brembos hanging out and there is the guilty air intake pipe peeping through!

AP Racing Clutch now back in place, and yet more fantastic work from Daz! All lined up and nicely ready for the gearbox.

Last remaining UR Pulley is fitted.

It's a real team effort, everyone is pitching in and getting involved and getting filthy too!!

It's all coming together now and really starting to look like an engine again!

More hard work going on above, sorting out the fiddly bits that need to be sorted out!

We have a plenum!! Things really taking shape now, it's feeling at this point that this is really happening and the end result can be achieved in one day but there is a fair way to go yet!

Yet more vital work going on above, I'm itching at this stage to see the new engine start to go back into the engine bay, it's exciting!!

The dreaded crossmember makes an appearance!! One of the bolts was bent and removing the crossmember to get the engine out was extremely difficult. The decision was made to fit the crossmember before the engine was back in situ.

Getting ready to start the job of getting this engine into the engine bay, massive milestone reached!!

And there it is!! It's under the car and into the engine bay space!! This all sounds very simple but due to issues like jack positioning, the crossmember, plastic trays and whatever else, getting the engine to this position was not that easy really. Not a major trauma but it did take some negotiating to get it into the right space.

There she is from another angle, ready to begin the task of getting it hoisted up and mounted in place.

She's up now, just getting the engine lined up nicely and ready to bolt down into place.

Not far off now, nearly there!

Very nearly there now, we're also underneath watching for the driveshafts, guiding them making sure they are not causing any problems.

There we go! It's sorted now and ready for the hoist to come away and the whole wiring and connecting process can begin!

I'm sure those aren't the type of wheels I had before !?!?!?

Billy Brembos are going to need some some tender cleaning after all of this!

Above we have lots of wiring in place, it's really nearly there now! It sounds so simple to just say the wiring was done but when you are Ant-Dat, the connections just seem to link up nicely!

Similar shot to the one above, very little work left now!

Just a wider shot to show the car with it's filthy wheels. She's been through a lot lately, filthy wheels are just the last straw for her!

Ladies and gentlemen we have a header and an air intake!!

Just to display from a different angle again. This is the point where the job was done to the point where the engine could be tested. The key was ready to be turned!!

Gutted!

The key was turned and 'Click'!! Oh my god no, the starter was not turning!! Was this a sick joke?! Nope, it was true. The starter was not turning and therefore the car would not start. It was a crushing blow to end the day really, the team really deserved to hear the car fire up and to hear this click was soul destroying. Still, rather than look at the negative of that, we look at how much work had been done that day and the fact that the car was basically 95% complete and I was now a stone throw away from being back on the road! It had been a monumental day, everyone had worked so hard and they had achieved what they came to achieve, the engine was in place!! Absolutely brilliant! We lowered the car down, pushed it out of the workshop and parked it up for another day.

The Next Week

I was now on my own, I had the team for one day and that was last week, the car was now my responsibility to finish off!! Well, until in stepped Nats dad to help out and get the project completed. He is a time served mechanic so it was great to have him on hand to help me out.

Here is the car up on ramps to have the starter motor taken out to be checked over.

Above is another shot of the car up on ramps, just displaying the location where it was. It was nice to have so much room to move about and it made this task a lot easier. Throughout the engine swap, there were at least four cars around so having plenty of space was essential.

Can see in this picture that the radiator is all piped up and fluids are in etc.

And here it is, the offending starter motor that caused all the problems!! We tested it on a battery and although it popped out, it wasn't spinning. The copper threads were stripped aswell which was causing problems getting the connection back on.

The Starter Rebuild

When I was at work the following day, Nat's dad stripped the starter down and rebuilt it. Once it was put back together it worked fine, maybe some damage from the water?! Who knows!! He also fitted it back to the car and turned the key, click!! This was getting to be impossible!! So back off it came again and I shouted up on the forum to look for a new starter. David Evans came in again with another piece of kit and the starter was shoved in the post and the project was quickly back on track. Disaster struck though when the new starter proved to have a faulty solenoid, that one didn't work either!! Someone up above was doing a grand job of making sure that the car was not going to start!! Closer inspection of the car showed that the circuit breaker in the boot had tripped, it needed reset and that was preventing the rebuilt starter from working!! Once that was done....

Result!

The starter was back in place, all levels were topped up and the car was once again in a position to turn the key!! This time, it worked!! She blasted straight back into life on the button and ticked over beautifully!! To me this proved the quality and the extent of the work achieved by the NPOC team on Saturday 18th March. It felt such a relief to hear it running and know that everything was worthwhile. Absolutely brilliant!!

Oh yes, we have revs!! She bangs, she bangs!!

And we have oil pressure too, yes she's definately running!

Maiden Voyage

Sunday 26th was the maiden voyage for the car. Everything was sorted and all ready to hit the road. I was absolutely astounded that the car felt so good. She feels like nothing had ever happened, you'd never know she'd just endured open heart surgery! She drives absolutely lovely, so pleased to have her back! Last thing will be in April with a little trip to see Ant again to have the JWT cams fitted into the new head. One thing remained, a good wash for the car! She was horribly filthy, even though it rained quite hard I still took the soaking to get her clean!! Fantastic to see those wheels back to white!!

Quotes From The Team

None of this would have been possible without the team and it's only right they have a say in this too. So here we are, with quotes from the team including a cracking account of the day from Daz:

Disco
I must admit I felt sorry when it happened to Steve and even though I had just met him once before he came across as a nice lad, so even though my knowledge on these engines is very limited I thought good chance to help a good lad out and learn a bit myself. So me and Nabber said we would split the fuel and come across to help, I had a chance to meet the little lad [Lurch] spot on as well. The same with Ant, enjoyed the work learnt a little and helped someone out but I was really gutted when it didnt start. Now would i do it again, yes i would..

Nabber
I got involved because Steve was in a dead end situation which if it ever happened to me I would hope the guys would do the same, which I know they would and for any member in fact. I also was very interested in the swap and basically wanted to learn a few things about the mera engine setup which i did, thanks to Daz, Ant and Dave. Apart from the starter which was the biggest dampener of the day, everything went smoothly and we overcame the problem of getting the lump back into the car all built up. We all had a good bit crack on, jokes and whatever, all in all it was a very interesting day for me personally and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again for anyone else in the same situation in the npoc community, that's what a club is all about!

Lurch
I got asked a fair few times 'why'? Well good question but simply answered, friendship. You do it because it was a friend in need. No need for any more of an answer than that. I would at a drop of a hat do it for any other of my friends as well. It is what friends are for and especially NPOC.

Onto the day itself, well after hours of promising shopping trips, restaurant meals and massages on demand I managed to convince my girlfriend to give me a lift up to Kendal. I sold my GTLE the other week and no replacement as of yet! Got there after Ant who decided to leave at some ridiculous hour of the morning to get there at 8am! Waited for Nabber and Dave to turn up and wasn?t too long before the crew was together. Had a hot beverage and set off down to the farm where the car was stored. I jumped in Ants amazing talking car and followed Stevie.

Well we got there, unpacked the donor engine, unpacked Ants lift and some tools. And then ummed and arred about how to position the car, decided just to nudge the front end into the barn. Brakes were locked on so had to give the car a bit of a helping hand courtesy of an Astra estate with a tow bar! And used the same arrangement to get the car in position.

Once the car was in then it was time to sort out tools and crack on. First job, crack the wheel nuts and jack it up. Wheels off and probably the easiest job of the day. Then it was time to crack the hub nuts. Offside, bit of effort and it went and came off without hassle. Well the breaker bar then got passed to Dave to attempt the nearside and what did the brute do? Shatter the thing to smithereens! Doesn't know his own strength. Luckily Ant brought two bars with him. So with a bit of brute strength and ignorance the hub nut finally gave up. Then a simple couple of bolts to get the top links and the bottom suspension undone to pull the CV joints out. I must admit I would have been slightly more productive if I would have had my brain switched on and stopped tightening the bolts up and so the piss taking between all of us began!

CV joints finally out after a bit of wiggling, swearing, pleading, kicking and crying, and it was decided to drop the whole thing as one, gearbox and driveshafts all attached. So we just left them. Now to jack the car up even more so we could get access to the last bits attaching the engine to the car. Well because of the uneven yard outside the barn, when we jacked the front up the exhaust was close to grounding out. So we had to chock up the back end to jack the front up. Another timely delay but necessary.

Time to get underneath the car and start getting bits off. Centre section of the exhaust was one of the first things to be removed. I managed to draw the short straw and was the first to get on my back. I don't know who did them decat bolts up but whoever did needs a slap. There were some almighty groans coming from underneath the car. I swear I felt a hernia coming on at one point too, but I prevailed, eyeful of rust and all. Then a couple more bits needed doing. Including draining the power steering fluid which was so excellently directed through a narrow gap by myself. Then Dave got rid of his barn floor virginity by undoing the gear linkage and the back bolts on the bottom strut bar. He valiantly tried undoing the fronts but some muscles were needed for that one ;). Some penetrating liquid was sprayed on the captive nut sides in the front bulk head. Ant cleverly sprayed it whilst no one was sat in front of the car trying to undo a bolt. Dave on the other hand failed to realise this and it had to be me sat in front of the car, mouth wide open due to the fact I'm unfit and blowing out my bumhole while trying to undo this bloody bolt and took a dirty great squirt of the penetrating liquid. Yum!

Nabber was taking a more restrained approach to engine swapping and was content copper greasing to within an inch of their lives, any bolt he could lay his hands on.

Any last bolts or wires, cable or plumbing were disconnected and time to drop the engine. Out came the engine crane and ant strapped the engine up. The jack placed underneath it for stability. Out came the mounting bolts and down she went. We slid it out from underneath the car and started swapping over all that needed swapping. The engine Stevie got was stripped pretty bare so a lot had to be carried over.

Pulleys, oil pump brackets etc were the first easy things to sort and swap. Then it was a case of splitting the gearbox. STOP?..

Sausage and bacon butties followed by chocolate muffin and hot chocolate all with a hint of penetrating liquid (I'm not going to let this lie!) I worked through my dinner break as I am young and eager, while the old fogies needed time to sit back and relax a little.

The driveshafts were detached from the block and the gearbox was split and this was when Nabber got stuck in and got his gloves really dirty. Actually you couldn't stop him after this point! He split the gearbox like a beauty so a natural born mechanic. Flywheel and clutch were the next things to come off and be swapped over. After the teeth on the flywheel were cleaned up it was onto the new engine with that and my crap alignment skills! About 7 attempts later the flywheel on and getting torqued up. Clutch plate and pressure plate were next to go on with ant and his makeshift clutch alignment tool.

Gearbox back on and back together with a bit more wiggling cursing and bashing! Bolted up and secured. More mounting points attached, driveshafts fixed back into position. Starter motor attached, alternator on and belts and pulleys sorted. Things started to get a bit more relaxed as the harder bits had been tackled. The water hose was sorted, aligned and fixed into position. Ant went outside to get the inlet manifold to get the last bit attached to the engine to get it ready for the big lift.

After a couple of weeks of sitting about you would have thought the water would have evaporated out of the inlet, well Ant was in for a shock. He tipped it up and out came a river! A few jokes later and a propeller which was lying about made its way to the rear of the car, for any future deep sea explorations!

The inlet was now deflooded and ready for reattachment. This is the point where Ant made a couple of unrepeatable comments about the Japanese. They happened to design the oil pump/inlet manifold fixing bolts so that you can't get the inlet on with the oil pump fixed in place. Slackening the bolts off and a bit of encouragement solved that problem and then that was all bolted into place.

Then we were ready for the big lift. Then we realised we weren't actually able to get the engine under the front bumper to get it into position. We brainstormed for a bit, suggestions of the stupid nature were discussed and thrown in the bin as quick. We ended up jacking the car up on the beam out of the engine hoist between the two lower wishbone mounts. This gave us just enough clearance with the jack at absolute full lift. Push the engine in and not enough clearance because of the jack legs catching on the bottom mounting plate! So out came the engine, the jack swapped positions and we tried again. Bit of rearranging as the car came down and it was there.

Reassemble the hoist, strap up the engine and hoist it into position with support from the jack below. Bolted down it sat pretty as ever. Then it was a case of reattaching everything. Wiring, gearbox linkage, exhaust, plumbing, bottom mounting bolts. Then it was driveshafts getting popped back into position. Hub nuts tightened up to ahem well a general 220lbs lol! Ants torque wrench only went to 100! Brake line reattached, top link and bottom suspension reattached even though me and Nabber decided to put the wrong bolt in the top just for laughs! And then it was time to drop it down back onto its wheels.

Well Nabber with the touch of an obese elephant decided to let the car fall 5 feet in about a second and managed to get the jack wedged. So a bit of alternative jacking released the jack and she was on the floor.

This was where I had to leave. It was getting late and Amy wanted to come home which was fair enough. She had work the next day as well and it was so nice of her to drive me up in the first place I didn't want to take the mick even though I wanted to stay and hopefully finish off the job.

It was the most fun I've had in absolute ages. Everything that happened was done with an amazing amount of knowledge and skill and in all honesty it couldn't really have gone much better. We all had such a laugh and anything that went wrong it was all a case of shrug, get on with it and keep going. Everyone took everything that was said all in the right spirit and made just an awesome atmosphere to be in. There wasn't a minute that didn't go by where a joke wasn't cracked or someone's mistake, present or past commented on.

So glad we could get Stevie's car to where it is now, which is hopefully somewhere a lot nearer to running than it was when we got there. I hope I've shown that I might be young but I know my way around an engine bay!

I've only ever briefly met Ant once before even though I'm great friends with him off the board and talk to him all the time. I've never met Nabber or Dave but I think we've all got a brilliant tale to tell for a long while to come and all in aid of helping out a friend and forged some friendships off the board.

This is what NPOC is all about and hope it's encouragement or inspiration to anyone out there when something like this crops up again, hopefully there will be people willing to give up time, money, blood, sweat and tears to help someone else out.

Ant Dat
Why did I get involved? Well Friends are there to help other friends also the club in my eyes is a place you should be able to count on for help after all, that's why we join clubs for times in need to get help and advice. Think I should say I'm also car daft so that helps too (in case you never noticed hehe).

The first trip down I got up around 5am (had the car loaded night before) got myself ready and got into the car. Headed for the fuel station and filled up. Inputted Steve?s address into the sat nav and headed off down the motorway got there half an hour early, around 8:30 (Steve was still in the shower lol).

Once he was ready we headed over to the car. So after a few quick checks I found the engine was truly seized. Steve looked devastated and was worried he wasted my time, don't be daft though I said I can pull the head off and make a start for removing the engine (also wanted to see the damage). Steve headed off to pick Nat up and take them to her mothers when he returned the head was off and the damage was viewable to an extent all 4 cylinders full of water (I can vouch they where full of salt water yuk)! After a quick tidy up and load up my GT I followed Steve back to his so I could get a quick clean up and then I headed back to sunny Scotland got home around 5 ish.

Second trip.
Loaded up the Laurel and the trailer the night before. Got up around 4.30am this time and got ready and headed off. Got to Stevies a little after 8am (again they were still in bed lol) my plan was to start around 9. However 9 passed and somewhere still to arrive first was Daz and Amy then Nabber and Disco and after a quick drink we set of to the farm.

We got there and unloaded the engine from the Sooty and then used the Astra to get the car moving and into position. Due to the condition of the work area we had to lift the rear of the car to prevent the exhaust catching on the ground. It took quite a bit of time to find some sort of blocks (couple of bits of concrete and a H beam) that sorted we then got the front end into position.

Daz some how drew the short straw and was the first under the car removing the down pipe. We then had a quick discussion on the best way to do the swap after which we all agreed that the easiest way would be to drop it as one whole unit (the reverse of fitting at factory). Wheels off (once we found the locking wheel key) then onto hub nut are I crack the first and handed the bar to Dave to remove the near side however the bar broke (just as well I brought 2 hehe). Then a couple of bolts from the suspension and a little help the CVs where free. At this point Disco Dave suggested leaving the drive shafts in and dropping them with the engine and box, which we all agreed would be easier.

Someone at this point found a tub of copper grease and Nabber started to cover everything he could in copper grease (surprised we never got covered). At this point we put the jack under the cross member to take the weight and removed the 4 corssmember bolts, the rear with out to much effort the front however well they where less helpful, I went and got some loose oil I brought with me and sprayed the bolts and Daz started to remove them when Dave thought some more would be good maybe he never noticed Daz sitting in front of the car as he squirted some WD40 into the holes for the captive nuts and into Daz's mouth eventually they gave in and we had the bolts off.

Engine crane then set up and engine strapped to crane, one last check and we lowered the engine out of the bay unstrapped and dragged it out from under the car. Folded up the crane and then Steve arrived back with lunch thankfully I had some diet coke with me :D

After lunch we got stuck in swapping bits over to the new engine, pulleys, flywheel, clutch power steering pump, alt etc. So while some where doing that I went out and get the head out the boot of the car and started to remove the bolts for the plenum when I started to get a little water coming out when I removed some of the bolts, quick taste hmm salty water yuk! So I shouted someone to grab a camera and come hear when ready I pulled the plenum away from the head and all the water came gushing out. The piss taking really started when Nabber found a propeller and took a picture of it at the back of Steve's car, while this was going on I set about the plenum with some carb cleaner (for those who don't know, it's alcohol based cleaner) gave it a good soaking inside then let it air dry for a while before fitting it to new engine, (the ports in the head where also full of water.

So there was the new engine all bolted up with its parts ready to go back in. We had to lift the car a little so that it would clear the plenum. After a bit of hunting round looking for something to use Daz suggested using the arm from the crane so there the car was a good bit higher and under we go, damn the Jacks in the way!! Daz then suggested lifting the engine with the crane before lowering the jack I said err how we going to do that the arm for the crane is between the jack and the car!! Back down and relocate jack this time success engine in place lowered the car back on the stands strapped it to engine crane and lifted it into position and bolted up the engine mounts.

Then the cross member and started reconnecting things some of which I couldn't reach with the engine bay so high in the gods but it's not a problem when you have a Lurch :D I just told him what went where. The drive shafts where then refitted along with the suspension and wheels. At this point I said can someone drop the car back on the wheels Nabber was on the case, now when I said drop I meant with care think Nabber misunderstood that and bang the car was on it's wheels with the jack trapped under it in such away you could not reuse it to lift the car back up lol.

Unfortunately Daz had to leave but we carried on and maybe 20 or so minutes after he left it was all ready to fire up. Reconnected battery and click damn maybe battery is flat, switch on light turn key click light still on damn I think the starter is goosed, it was really rusty maybe some salt water got in there and it's stuck on the brush. So after about another hour of trying this and that we had to give up. Was really disappointing not to see it fire up but sadly these things do happen. So feeling gutted we started to clean up and pack up. I went to my car only to find the blasted door had been open all day and now the car was dead as a door nail quick jump start and it was running. All loaded up and headed up the road following Steve and Nabber we came to a duel carriage and which point I took off and disappeared into the distance :D lol getting home around 1:30am because of blasted road works (with nobody working on them) I dumper the trailer in the garage and went for a shower and bed.

Would I do it again (hopefully Steve won't drive through the sea again) but yes in a minute. I have met Daz before and chat quite often on msn but never met Nabber or Dave before and it was good to meet them, looked forward to seeing them again all in it was a great day. And as I have said before this is what a club is all about people there to help when and if they can. At one point we took a vote (Steve wasn't there) and the intake pipe was removed from the car so it won't be picking up any more water lol. I think Steve is planning on putting it back with a couple of modifications to it!

EssNchill - On Behalf of all the Club Owners
When I read the first post in the thread Stevie had made and saw the pictures of his GT doing a submarine impression, I was absolutely gutted. Gutted for Stevie and Nats, gutted for David (Shunky).. I guess I was just gutted, it was a fantastic car!!

Luckily being one of the last online that day, I had the benefit of joining the thread after several pages.

It was after reading every post to date that day, that I managed a reply along the lines of "This is one of the most emotional threads, I've ever thread".. Obviously being the big poof that I am, I was overcome with emotion. WHY?

Well, talk about rollercoaster ride.. We started with Stevie surfing his car and killing it, then page after page of comments and it became clearer. This whole saga was going to remind us all, of what the NPOC is really all about. The comments made in that thread were unbelievable!

We had new members who have never come out to a meet as yet, piping up with offers of help. We had established members and the Old Skool lot, pitching in with positive advice and more offers of help.. Overall it was a very good vibe.

Then cometh the hour cometh the man, or in this instance men.

I'm sure Stevie will put your names up in lights.. But I'm gonna as well.

Ant Dat - No pissing around from him, he is the man and he was one of the first involved. More on this one later!

Big Daz - No way was he letting this saga get forgotten.. Straight away, he initiatated a new thread to get a clear plan of action laid out.

Welsh Chris - This guy has now jumped in twice, when an NPOC member's car needed a transplant. Slightly different approach this time but he spent a couple of days and many many hours, stripping the donor engine from David's silver GT - Ready to be picked up.

Everything in place and then on the day of the engine swap, the following guys knew the score and set out to Kendal.

Big Daz (and a w00t for Amy as well) - Never a doubt here.
Ant Dat - He's spent so much time in England recently, he's even lost his accent!
Disco & Nabs - Cut them open and NPOC will be engraved on every bone.

Many many miles travelled by all (Ant border hopping!) and many many hours of their time given up. Your help and support is truly legendary.

So many people other involved, as well as the above guys.. It's the rest of NPOC who played a part in the threads that need a BIG pat on the back. Even the guys who offered help, but it wasn't needed.. Or it fell through due to other circumstances. The fact it was offered remains.

As one of the owners of NPOC, personally I've always been trying to push the community spirit forward where I can. At the end of the day it's not about who has the best or fastest car, or the best mods and biggest wheels.. It's about a group of enthusiastic Primera owners.

This event, from day one has backed up everything I hoped we would achieve as a community. We're more than just a group of keyboard Conans! When it matters, we can pull together and there's no better bunch of mates out there.

So many thanks to all of you who were involved, it's you guys that make the NPOC what it is!

Stevie
Well it's my feature so I get the final words!! I owe so much to the team for jumping in to help me sort this mess out. If it wasn't for the generosity of all of them, I'd be left with a real problem on my hands. Nobody asked me for a penny and nobody expected a penny either. The guys did all the travelling of their own backs, paid for their own fuel and gave me a full day from their lives for absolutely nothing. I also could never thank Ant enough for his involvement. Twice he came down all the way from the Glasgow area with no benefit for himself. The first time around, he insisted that he came down to check the damage and then begin the stripdown. You can imagine how delighted I was when he confirmed he could make it down for the swap day. His knowledge is phenomenal and his talent with a socket set needs to be seen to be believed http://www.datsuns.co.uk/ for a free plug! Daz was brilliant, right from the moment this all came about, he was on the ball and organising how this was all going to work. His work was vital throughout the day, his technical knowledge is also pretty amazing and I hadn't realised he knew his way around an engine as much as he does. Disco and Nabber were absolutely indispensable. They came down together and worked extremely hard all day, both more than happy to slide under the car and get filthy. Their humour helped the day become a great laugh aswell as a productive event, two superb chaps. A large apology goes out to Shunky for what I have done to the glorious car that he reluctantly handed over to me not so long ago. When he saw the pictures in the thread he must have wish he'd kept the car. Another special mention to Modsman and GJEGT who were both stopped by commitments but were also ready to come down and get filthy!!

Feature of the Month April 2006 - Stevie-Boy P11 GTLE

Written by Stevie Boy and friends!

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