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  4. Our Ultimate International Gets Into Gear With Engine & Transmission, Part 3 #UA2019

Our Ultimate International Gets Into Gear With Engine & Transmission, Part 3 #UA2019

Part 3: Sorting Out the Drivetrain & Prepping for Suspension

Trenton McGeeAuthorVerne SimonsPhotographyPiscitelli DesignIllustration

In an ideal world we would have every single thing we needed for a vehicle build before we even started. Unfortunately, much like unicorns or hardworking millennials, there's just no such thing. As a result, we had to do our best to keep moving forward on the Ultimate International as parts trickled in. The problem is that the placement of most major components doesn't happen in a vacuum. In order to place the engine, it's a good idea to know where the front axle is going to live; in order to place the axles, it's a good idea to know where the tires are going to live in the wheelwells (and the location of the wheelwells, for that matter). It's a giant jigsaw puzzle where everything interconnects, but without all the pieces, it's hard to really know where to get started.

Fortunately, we did have some major components arrive, and thanks to this build not being our first rodeo, we could cautiously proceed with some educated guesses and assumptions about where other pieces of the puzzle would fit. As a result, we have been able to make some real progress on our build—and that's a good thing because the deadline for the start of the 2019 Ultimate Adventure gets closer every day. Not showing up to our own party is not an option.

As we hinted last month, just about the time we had mocked up and built the majority of the rollcage, the engine and transmission showed up. So in this installment of the Ultimate International we're going to get those parts connected and into their new home, wrap up the rollcage, and prep for the next major project: suspension and axles.