ETS Drift Ute – The tunnel is getting lighter

After spending a couple of quiet days in NZ after the Hampton Downs final i started thinking, i thought about my Hilux and how i could build one that would fit within the regulations of the D1NZ rule book. I came up with a pretty simple plan that would make for another epic build, i have to shut out those thoughts and get my arse into gear and get this one done first. Heres what i achieved this week.

Before leaving for NZ i picked up a windscreen from the local glass place, they had one in stock and $125 later i had it sitting in the cab. I needed to get a windscreen so i could make the base for it to seal the cabin. After a lot of measuring and tacking i made up a neat panel that will do the job. Thanks to Celia my girlfriend for holding it in while i marked it up.

I ended up cutting the tube console out and starting to remake a sheet one. There was no way to sheet in the console around the tube and leave enough room for the driver, passenger, gearbox, exhaust, tailshaft, harness mounts and handbrake. Its a heap more work but will be worth it in the end.

The section of tunnel covering the bell housing (which is now done) will be welded in and then the rest will bolt in as one section and stretch all the way to the rear firewall.

The 3″ exhaust will run through the tunnel (tunnel will require a big bulge to house it) and then under the tailshaft where it will come through the rear firewall, branch off into two 3″ pipes and then exit flush with the rear diffuser in the centre of the “roll pan” area.

Ive been doing some work in the engine bay aswell, my intercooler arrived and i started to work on the front end to house it all, the entire front end removes via 4 bolts so i can basically walk into the engine bay if i need too, you may ask why the rad before the intercooler? Well that was going to be the only way i could package it all neatly without having to overcomplicate things. Ill have an air temp sensor but i think things should be fine in that department. The end tanks on the intercooler will be modified next week too.

I switched my welder over to AC for the first time ever, i tried some alloy stuff at work and was never really impressed with the result, for some reason this TIG seems to be the bomb when it comes to AC Alloy welding, i removed the comp cover off the turbo and welded a 90 degree elbow to it.

While i was on AC i decided to have a go at my new plenum design, what i had planned to do was buy a plenum shell off Hypertune (same as my 180) but it wouldn’t fit with the motor further back and the bar work i had, so i came up with the idea of a duel plane plenum, i had seen these used in many forms of motorsport, the idea is to evenly distribute the air to each cylinder without having a complicated big volume plenum. It runs a 14mm air gap that spans the length of the inlet tracts. I have no idea how it will go so i guess we will see, i have to now shape some nice end caps, any one have any alloy domed halves in 100mm x3mm wall?

There is still so much work to be done but its taking shape. Thanks for reading..