An alternator bracket, a little window, and some hoses

Hi guys!

I’ve made an alternator bracket:

See the lowest hole on the block that’s almost in line with the lower hole on the alternator? A turnbuckle will go between those so that the assembly can serve as a belt tensioner. As it so happens, the spacing is perfect for that.

The alternator is supported both in the front and in the back on all axes. Once the long bolt is tightened down, the thing doesn’t move…at all.

A new alternator bracket was necessary for a couple of reasons. First of all, I replaced the GTO crank pulley with a shorter Corvette/CTS-V/G8 crank pulley for more swaybar clearance. That meant that the alternator needed to be moved closer to the block so that the belt would line up properly. Some people mill down the stock alternator bracket to bring the alternator in further. I chose not to do that since I wanted the alternator so pivot as to serve as a belt tensioner. I removed the stock tensioner and the associated mounting tabs to make clearance for a coolant expansion tank that I bolted to the passenger side head. By making an adjustable alternator bracket, I killed two birds with one stone. All I have to do now for the accessory drive belt is fabricate a mount for an idler pulley so that the water pump is driven. Fortunately, that should be a simple task.

This doesn’t look a whole lot like progress however the drivetrain no longer needed to be in for mockup purposes. Now I can finalize a few things in the bay, and before long, I’ll be able to begin prepping it for paint. The next time the drivetrain goes in, it should be going in to stay.

Now for the weird bit. I’ve put a window in the upper frame rail. You know, so the frame rail gnomes can get some light and fresh air.

But no, the window is actually there for the fuel line and accusump oil line to be fed through.

The lines go through the frame rails, beneath the floor, such that they’re protected from heat and impact, and I’m protected from them.

Most people put the lines in the transmission tunnel or under the car next to the frame rail. I don’t like the tunnel route because it places the lines above a hot exhaust system. In addition to prolonged exposure to heat, a driveshaft failure could potentially split a line and almost certainly cause a fire since gravity, which tends to be pretty reliable, will cause the fuel to end up on the hot exhaust pipes beneath. That would be quite lousy. I don’t think along the frame rail is a good place either since running a nylon braided line inches off the ground seems a poor choice due to the potential for bottoming out, road debris, and slow abrasion from particulates.

It’s beginning to come alive!

Yeah, that’s right, progress. I had some opportunities to work on this car over spring break….so I did. The outcome was a fair amount of electrical work and the first hint of life that the car has shown in many months.

For those not familiar with the early stages of this project, I removed nearly all of the factory wiring during disassembly. The process was not delicate–I marked what I intended to reuse and tore out the rest with cable cutters. I was left with a few wires in the car and a full trash bag of wires sitting on the ground, adjacent. Wanton destruction? No, not at all. The great wire massacre of 2012 paved the way for me to make a much lighter and simpler wiring harness. Who doesn’t love lightness and simplicity? This all-business harness has custom routing, was laid out with an emphasis on serviceability(fuses and connections are easily accessible), is clear of things that may wish it harm(tires and excessive heat), and will have some antitheft measures built in.

Note that this has not been finalized. This is a progress photo. A few more wires need to be added before I can finish it off with loom and a vast quantity of zip ties.

The fuse/relay panel is mounted to the dash bar, beneath the airbag cutout in the dash. This keeps everything protected and out of the way while still easily accessible from inside the car. A stuffed turtle will be set on top of this panel as seen on the site banner.

At this point, all of the lighting works. The low beams, high beams, turn signals, tail lights, and brake lights are fully functional. Integration with the already prepared engine harness comes next.

Stay tuned for a more thorough post once the wiring is finalized.