So, not a lot to report since getting the engine in my hands; I picked up a rather large order of random parts from JNZ Tuning (formerly the brains behind Conicelli Mitsubishi and their incredible deals on OEM parts), and have started mocking things up. With the front case, alternator, power steering pump, exhaust manifold, and turbo in place, I've started hacking up the tubing I picked up from ATP Turbo: a 120-degree and 90-degree bend for the downpipe, along with the 2.75" to 3" v-band transition piece that I got from Forced Performance. I need to swing past Harbor Freight tomorrow and pick up an exhaust expander, to open up the inner portion of the 120-degree bend a bit; once I cut it down for the first bend coming out of the turbo, I discovered that the bend narrowed just a bit too much at main radius. Whoops.
We also finally got around to painting the Cyclone intake manifold, with an "aluminum" color (yeah, I'm that creative). We still need to do the plenum and the valve cover; the painting has been kind of an "as we have time" project.
Also recently arrived: my new wheels! Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 17x9" wheels with a +27mm offset. They're hubcentric, weigh in around 24lbs each, and came over from England for the few of us who decided we wanted them. I finally decided on tires for them too, which should be arriving this week: Falken Azenis RT-615s, in a 255/40/17 size. It should be interesting seeing how the fenders will have to be mangled to make this work effectively (the inside clearance should be fine, but they're going to protrude pretty far). I also ordered up a set of bling-bling Kics Project R26 two-piece lug nuts, because dat's how I roll, yo. ;-) (Truth be told, I liked the 2-piece design better than most of the other lugs I looked at.) After gathering a few opinions, it looks like I'm going to replace the OEM lugs with the ARP Evo wheel studs instead of the Kyo-Ei/Kyokugen ones that RRE sells, since I've already found two first-hand accounts of wheels and cars getting separated due to Kyo stud failure.
Still to do: order up a few remaining parts for the engine (mostly related to timing; pullies, tensioner, belt, etc., but I also need a water pipe, the water neck, and some other weird miscellaneous stuff), and finish the assembly, then get the engine, transmission, and transfer case back in the car so I can start mocking up the line runs for the oil accumulator, relocated oil filter, and fuel feed/return. I also need to get the main hoop and tabs for the fuel cell ordered, cut, welded, and installed, then hang the pumps, filters, and check valves. After that, there's a ton of electrical work to do: pumps, fuel level sender, boost controller, gauges, and the wideband. Somewhere in all of that, I still need to figure out how I'm going to mount the oil and power steering coolers, and what cooler core sizes I can get away with. Then, the interior has to go back in. ;-)