Another big fabrication effort was due to the fact that the water pump on the Perkins sat about 2¾” higher than the previous IVECO pump. Luckily, both were on the crank centerline so all that needed to be done was raise the radiator cowling to match the new fan location.
With the process of getting the new engine connected, I discovered one item that had been previously overlooked. The stock thermostat housing exited straight up and would have caused the upper radiator hose to interfere with the turbocharger air inlet hose. Obviously a solution was needed, and that solution turned out to be a custom thermostat housing that exited to the side.
The new engine is ready for installation, and the backhoe engine bay is ready to receive it. Both of the new front motor mounts are welded in, the old motor mounts have been removed, and new hose managers installed.
While waiting on the weather to cooperate so I can install the engine, I got started on the new exhaust system. On a car, this would be called the turbo “down”pipe . Here, it exits straight up and a 5” cherry-bomb muffler will slip over the end. Everything is tacked for the moment until I can verify the position once the engine is installed in the backhoe.
In addition to the bellhousing, quite a number of other parts needed to be fabricated before the engine was ready to be installed. The Perkins came without electrics, and the old Iveco starter would not fit the new engine. A new starter was purchased, but I was able to use the old alternator by fabricating a new mount.
With the bellhousing finished, it was time to move on to the flywheel. This 76lb chunk of cast iron needed to be modified to maintain the same setback (bellhousing flange to flywheel face) dimension as the Iveco setup. The pilot bore needed to be changed to fit the transmission torque converter, and new mounting holes for the flex plate needed to be drilled and counterbored.
I thought I’d introduce the latest time sink at casa Blough. I bought a used New Holland backhoe to use around the house while clearing trees and digging stumps. I new it was going to need some work, but it turned into a larger project than I initially thought. What’s that saying – confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation.
My ’99 Miata didn’t include an integral garage door opener but there were aftermarket modification kits available that inspired me to add one, with a few modifications, of course! Here is the write up that I created back then:
Tom Madracki, of Yorba Linda Miata, has an interesting garage door opener modification on his website. His opener modification activates the garage door opener whenever the high-beam headlights are turned on.