|February 2, 2009 - After a bit of finagling, the transmission is in place.|
Sort of. It's sitting about 1" to 1.5" too low and pressed up against the top of the transmission tunnel. Some more surgery may be required - but the fact that I'm this close without making any modifications is astounding. There's one doodad just below the shifter (pardon the technical terminology) that will require a small hammered dent in the tunnel to allow the shifter to be centered in the hole.
However, a test fit of the hood with the engine in place tells me that I'm either going to have to modify the hood or lower the engine. I've been testing the fit with the oil pan level with the frame rails, 5" off the ground. Possibly more, actually, when I review my notes. They show the rails at 5.75" high, although I think that was with the original wheel size. Regardless, I have lots of clearance. I'm tempted to drop the whole thing by 1" to improve clearances everywhere. I'd put a crossmember in front of the pan to protect it. A quick check with a tape measure shows 4" of clearance on one of the Miatas in the garage, so 4" is certainly streetable.