I went over to Thomas' (PDXGTP) house earlier today for some engine/transmission tuning, and ended up having a crazy evening.
First of all, this car cannot shift properly with a standard, "off the shelf" tune. We have had to explore the HP Tuners VCM Suite to figure out exactly what we need to change and the best way to go about it. The good news is that I no longer have knock at the top end of each gear, and the car is starting to have normal WOT shifting habits. It still needs some work, but we're getting there. I didn't think the car felt very strong earlier today, but I think the new 3.73 gears are deceiving. You don't feel a huge surge of power, but you get up to speed more quickly than you realize. This thing isn't a speed demon by any means, but I feel I'll be solidly in the 14s at the drag strip.
Secondly, I had a 1 month old Motormite coolant elbow fail today. We had been doing some WOT runs for tuning, and Thomas thought he saw a puff of steam come out from under the hood. We started heading back to his house, and about 2 minutes out I lost power steering. I immediately knew my serpentine belt had let go, but luck was on our side because I was able to finish the drive to Thomas' house and shut the car down right as the coolant temp started rising drastically. The elbow had been blown crooked where it connected to the LIM, and the O-ring had a large chunk missing. Coolant had been streaming out of the LIM, and from what we can tell, had caused the belt to slip off the water pump and tensioner. I was able to remove the alternator and brackets, and replace the elbow with another Motormite piece. I'm not sure if this one will fail just as quickly, but I'll be keeping a close eye on it. Also, we were able to reuse the serpentine belt despite some slight damage. I'll be watching it closely as well.
My third point is about wheel bearings. When doing my transmission swap, both bearings ended up splitting in half. They looked like this:
We thought they were junk, but after talking to a few different BC members we decided to clean them up and repack them with new grease. After reinstalling them and driving the car for nearly a month, they're still working great. I just want to make it clear to other members that "exploded" wheel bearings are definitely reusable. It may not work in every case, but it'* worth a shot if you don't have the budget to buy new bearings. I'm very happy that I was able to save money, and even if they both fail tomorrow it has been worth it to squeeze a few more miles out of them.