I got my Pfadt Engine Mounts last week and put the car up on jackstands in the garage over the weekend to install them. I used the instructions provided by Pfadt which are available as a PDF from their website (http://www.pfadtracing.com/blog/wp-c...stallation.pdf
) and being that this isn't exactly a very "sexy" mod install I didn't go crazy with the pictures but here are the Pfadt's next to the stock;
And a gratuitous post install shot... like I said, not a "sexy" install, they're just engine mounts after all right... (and yes my rotors have a nice film on them, the car had been in the garage for two weeks because of the snow here in Jersey and I had washed the car right before closing the garage door on it)
The first time I installed the mounts (yes, there was a second time, that part of the story is later on) it took me about 1hr 15min from wheels up to wheels down using jack-stands in my garage. Being that I was on stands I had to remove both front wheels to gain access to the engine mount pedestals on both sides of the engine. After unbolting the top and bottom engine mount nuts I jacked the engine up by first removing the engine cover and then using a jack with about a 2"X10"X10" square of wood on top of it to get as much contact surface with the front part of the oil pan. I jacked the engine up until the back mounting bracket for the engine cover started touching the firewall.
The four passenger side pedestal bolts were pretty easy to get to and were a straight shot with a ratchet extension, the driver's side bolts were a little more of a bitch because the two front bolts are obscured a bit by some plumbing and the rear two needed a universal joint on the end of the ratchet extension. Once the pedestal mounts were free from the engine, it took a little bit of patience and creative twisting and turning to get them out of the way so the stock engine mounts could have enough room to come up off the frame. The passenger side was pretty easy but the driver's side has a bit more plumbing to deal with as well as the steering linkage.
Once everything was in place, bolted up, and torqued back up to spec as per the Pfadt document I threw the wheels back on, dropped her down and fired her up and that is when I went
When she first fired up and got that first surge of fuel before settling into idle, the car vibrated like I had never felt before and I thought "what the hell did I F up", did I miss a nut, a bolt, what. She settled down into idle and had a noticeable vibration, you could really feel the engine inside the car now. I backed her out of the garage to take stock of what I had just done and came back with mixed emotions. The car ABSOLUTELY feels more solid and responsive to the throttle, you blip the throttle and she jumps, a definite plus for the arse-dyno, on the flip side, the vibration in the car was not what I expected and is particularly punishing if you lug the engine (which I know you're not supposed to do, but at times my right foot doesn't keep pace with my left when taking off from a dead stop).
This first drive was enough for me swap the Pfadt mounts out for the stock ones, even though the car felt great from a throttle response perspective and the arse-dyno, I just didn't think the vibration in the car was worth it and was prepared to put them up int he classified section or on Ebay. I reached out to Aaron at Pfadt Racing and described to him what I had just gone through and he quickly responded and explained that right out of the box the mounts will be very harsh but will settle over a short period of time and once the poly does it will absorb more of the vibration. He did say there will be more of the engine felt inside the car as opposed to the stock mounts but nothing like those first few miles.
Taking Aaron at his word as well as having discussed it with Brandon over at IPS Motorsports, I decided to re-install the Pfadt Mounts last night and being that this is the third time in 72 hours I have swapped out motor mounts it took me 45 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. I drove the car last night as well as for an hour or so this morning and do have to admit that the vibration has noticeably settled down. The one thing I did notice upon reinstalling them is that the mount would articulate around its bushing a little easier than when I originally took them out of the box so they had apparently started to "settle" a bit even after having them installed for a day and being under the weight and strain of the engine.
Despite my initial "panic" with the vibration, I think conversing with both Aaron and Brandon definitely helped me understand what was transpiring. Being a performance car noob I did not know what to expect when I installed the mounts but knew I wanted to do something to firm up the engine because I could rock that thing all over the place by hand and with forced induction somewhere in my future I knew the stock mounts would eventually suffer.
Like I said earlier, these mounts have definitely added to the "seat-of-the-pants" feel of the car, now I just have to tune out the LS3 torque management below 3000 rpms to get back the power that is hiding under the curve.
Incrementally I am getting the car to a place I will be totally satisfied with. I have the Pfadt front and rear sways installed which has really help the car "sit down" during hard cornering, the engine mounts that have added to the arse-dyno and I'll be following these up with Pfadt Springs which are en-route, I had coilovers on pre-order but our fridge just died so I had to free up some cash to replace that and just go with Springs for now, it doesn't go over to well to tell the wife you can't get a new fridge but hey, look at these new coilovers that just showed up
. I also have some 1 7/8" Kooks sitting in the garage. That short list and a tune should keep me happy for a while, until of course I am not happy any more.... easily solved by a new cam, then when that isn't enough... easily solved by a supercharger