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Garage San Maru

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You don't even need Facebook to look at it Gareth!

 

 

It just takes twice as long to upload the photos and post them on here. You also get to see how many people are looking at the page!

 

 

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Out of interest what is it about?

 

The likes.

 

Facebook is easy for uploading pictures but it's not very good for describing previously mentioned images. On top of that if you aren't a registered facebook user viewing access is limited, in particular when viewing comments plus the various photo ownership and privacy problems about sharing on Facebook. If it was about sharing in the most efficient manner that would probably be through a dedicated blog.

 

This forum also tells you how many people are viewing as well as total views.  

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There will be a 20B build thread!

Jake just has to fix my laptop as doing it all on a ipad is a pain in the @ss.

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Because it's all about the likes...

 

Haha, and how many online "mates" youve got!!!  :o :o :o

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OK i've decided to update this again, it's mirrored on PF and FB but i guess...

 

 

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I'll be posting back in time a bit just so you know.

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Here is a sneak peak for the weekend... and here are some youtube links to it running on the engine dyno:

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vs7_89toUY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47LxRpQoh64

 

 

Here are some pics of the work I did on the zed last month. I was in New Zealand twice and went down to the Melbourne F1 GP so i only had one weekend at home really. It's pretty close to being back on the road now although i've fouled the plugs starting the engine and idling it showing off to friends haha. Check out the pics, each one has detailed captions on the work done.

 

 

Return line has been blocked off in the engine bay and is no longer used. I kept the lines there just to keep the crap out of them, but now that im looking at this photo it makes more sense to just block it off straight out of the tank. Fuel lines in the engine bay will be cut off one day and there will just be a hard line to the back of the motor.

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New alternator belt to suit the massive under-drive of the ATi balancer

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Picked up a fibreglass bonnet for $150. Fits really nicely but has been sanded with an electric sander which has gone through the gel coat. This one is going to take a lot of sanding.

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New fuel system installed. Carter 4070 rotary pump pushing 120lph, Holey fuel regulator and inline filter.

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RB30 starter motor, bolted straight up no modifications. Even the wires plugged straight on. The L Series starter didnt have enough oomph to turn the stroker over at 11:1 comp.

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Here are all the detail pics taken during the construction of my 3.4L L28 running a modified RB30 crankshaft. Block is an N42 out to 89.5mm with a heavily modified and ported P90 head. Any questions feel free to ask! All credit goes to Peter Mcdonnell and Les Collins for building it. 360Hp and just under 300ft/lbs on pump 98 fuel.

 

 

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(August 2013)1146548_556316621096640_963570112_n.jpg?oh=6c1ee36737c2e201fbd07c6f1552805d&oe=54AD42E8&__gda__=1425384835_0604abb5a5152d63aad19413922b6c8a

 

 

OK it's been a while, but work on the zed hasn't stopped. After the gearbox was making bad noises every time i drove the car i thought it might be time to check the gearbox oil, since I hadn't the whole time I have owned the car. Drained out the black old sludge no problems, but I soon discovered that the filler plug was seized in tight! As you can see by the pics I managed to break a 17mm spanner trying to leaver the plug out. This was after a liberal application of Loctite freeze spray, a session with a butane torch! Eventually I bought a little hand held pump and filled the gearbox up through the breather hole... fun and games. Much to my disgust, on my next drive the gearbox sounded worse, with counter shaft bearing noise and the general whirring associated with a dying gearbox. I made sure to avoid any undue acceleration!

 

 

As I was attending Ellaspede (http://www.ellaspede.com/ owned by a fellow zed owner - G-nose & RB30DET) servicing launch which was in Brisbane so I needed to fill the fuel tank up too. And returning to the car after paying at the register i noticed fuel running down the back of the fuel tank, which i put down to a broken tank breather hose. When i was on my way back home at the end of the night i noticed the tank was still leaking and as i pulled onto the highway the engine died. Luckily I was still on the on ramp and there was plenty of room to pull over. Upon inspection (lying in pool of fuel in the rain on the side of the road), the fuel tank outlet had completely out of the tank and fuel was pouring straight out of the tank onto the road! Luckily the metal elbow clipped back in the tank and it stayed there for the duration of the trip home. So with the knowledge the tank had to come out the car went up on stands in the garage again.

 

 

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However, this was going to happen anyway as I had already ordered a new gearbox as I always knew the stocker wasn't going to cope with the torque. I had hoped it would have lasted more than four drives in the car! The new box has been built in F5W71B casings (the original zed gearbox) but has a Kameari F5W71C (RB20DET, SR20DET gearbox) 1st, 2nd, 3rd and counter shaft with a stock 0.75 (RB20DET) overdrive gear. This box sorts out all the gaps in the stock gearbox and optimizes the shift points for the 76 high-lift cam. This is another Peter McDonnell (@peter.mcdonnell.71) / Les Collins Racing special and has custom billet short shifter with a 40% reduction in throw and still let me screw on my stock gear knob which is based on an 71C style shifter. The gearbox has now been built and is ready to be picked up by the courier. Check out the image from gear calc to see a full plotting of the ratios. The car now has a top speed of 275kph (165mph) which it should be able to pull.

 

 

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This is going to mate to my Subaru WRX STi LSD, which after removing the rear cover turned out to be a 4.4 ratio! In the pictures you can see my new Beta Motorsports billet side axles which will bolt up to the stock uni axles. I also organized a group buy for some RT style diff mounts (diagram pictured) from Techno Versions in the US (http://www.technoversions.com/DiffMountHome.html) I chose to go with the energy suspension mount so the diff now mounts from the top and eliminates the stock lower rubber mount and the crappy strap over the top. Now the bush will be under compression instead of tension when under power. Doug bought up the good point that it will now be under load on decel, but i guess we will see how it lasts. A lot of people on hybridz.org are running this setup with V8s so i'm hoping it will last.

 

 

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My new Restored flares finally turned up from Otomoto too and i'm in the process of ordering mounting hardware so I will be able to mount the flares and finally put my genuine Watanabes on the car which will be awesome. I only have 8.5" wide fronts, which are too small in my book, but after some research and measuring on the weekend i found i will be able to fit 9.5" wide wheels on the front too, which is an option.

 

 

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I also managed to win another Porsche caliper on the weekend for the princely sum of $50 which turned into $133 with shipping haha. Regardless it's still a good price for a 911 Carrera / Boxster S caliper! Flipping through one of the G-Works mags i picked up in Japan on my last trip I discovered that RS START actually make a Brembo brake kit so I have emailed them in my best google-translated Japanese to see if they will just sell me the mounts which will make life a heap easier. Now i just have to get another one so i have a matching pair.

 

 

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OK so back to the first photo again, Doug and I stripped the whole drive line out of the car yesterday, from the engine back. Gearbox to whole rear suspension! All the unis in the tail shaft and axles will be replaced and re-balanced, rear HKS coilovers fitted, bushes replaced and now that it's all out of the car sitting there i definitely want to install the adjustable lower control arms. I couldn't stand to re-bush the stock ones just to take them out again! The tank is going to be repainted and a motor-sport dash fitting put on the outlet and all the fuel system in the back (reg and pump) also converted to dash fittings. The gearbox mount will also be getting replaced as it's all swolen and stuff from being soaked in oil. For the first time since owning the car, it won't leak oil! I would love to do a rear disc conversion while it's all apart, but we will have to see how the budget is going when it's all going back together.

 

 

While we are on the subject of fuel system, we were working on the 20B project on the Saturday, I found the stock fuel pump bracket and pump setup (it's a 1975 260Z). I promptly stole this for my car (thanks Doug) so i can mount everything properly and ditch the zip ties. A few people have been up me about using the stock Z wiring with no relay to power the Carter 4070 fuel pump. Again, with Google's ever present help I found this pump draws about 1.5A MAX, which really is stuff all. I would be very surprised if a) the wires can't handle that and b) that there are factory provisions for an electric fuel pump and it's not going through some sort of factory relay already, so the wiring is going to stay as is for now. I will definitely check that figure with a multi-meter when it's all back together though.

 

 

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Had a go at fitting up my 986 Boxster calipers tonight. I have an S (red) and a regular caliper. I read that the main difference between them was the S runs larger pads (but same size pistons), thicker rotors (32mm opposed to 26mm) and larger diameter (298mm vs 319mm). After comparing the two it turns out they are the same weight at 2.7kg without pads and the S caliper is quite a bit wider, which in turn made them stick out past the hub a fair bit more. You can see the difference in the photo below. This meant that the S caliper would have to be mounted further inboard and caused it to hit the TTT T/C rod on full lock. The calipers sitting further outboard is an issue with the Watanabes as the back of the spokes is only about 5mm out from the hub mating surface of the wheel. If you were to run newer style FWD offset wheels it wouldn't be as big of a problem.

 

 

This isn't a big deal as plenty of people race with the regular calipers and don't have any issues on boxsters and they weigh 1280kg. Using the non S caliper means i can run a skinnier rotor to help on un-sprung weight too.

 

 

So now i have some measurements i am going to mock up the bracket using some 90 degree angle iron, get everything sitting where it should. Then i can hit up brembo and see if they have some forged mounts that will bolt on!

 

 

Purchases this month include, ZCCJDM adjustable lower front control arms and matching T/C rods (the TTT ones will be going on the 20B Z), poly mustache bar bushes and nutserts to mount the flares. The Rota RB-Rs also went off to a new home which I was sad to see them go

 

 

I also weighed the two R180 diffs i've got since i will be selling the stock 3.9 and needed to know for postage. The stock 3.9 diff with stub axles is 27.4kg full of oil and the 4.3 LSD with beta stub axles is 28.5 with no oil. I honestly thought there would be a bigger difference between the two.

 

 

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Sneak peak of the latest San Maru's latest purchase... and no that's not an RB!

 

 

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More updates are coming for the 240Z soon I promise. Boring things like getting new unis for the axles and balancing the tail shaft have been getting done. Suspension components will be going to the powder coaters and some big updates on suspensionand brakes will be coming in the following weeks. (October 2013)

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Scored a chrome engine bay light for $50. A little FYI these recently became NLA from Nissan, hence my willingness to pay that much for one. After a quick session on the bench grinder I had it looking pretty fresh, but that was only after jagging one of the mounting legs in the buffing wheel and flinging it into the wall and smashing the toggle off the switch.  Luckily i had my old one to swap the switch from, turning it into a 30min job all up haha. For what it's worth this is different to the 240Z light in that the mounting feet are longer and one side the hole is slotted to the edge. Close enough...

 

 

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So i have a set of 16" Watanabe R-Types to suit flares, only problem was that the fronts were only 8.5". This bothered me, but luckily i scored a complete brand new set this weekend for cheap in silver finish! it's only 1/2 an inch but i think it makes a big difference to the stance of the car. Now just to decide what colour to do the centres...

 

 

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Currently sitting in Mackay airport terminal possibly buying a new project car!

 

 

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Well on our way home with the new whip, she needs a bit if work but will be good as new after the San Maru touch!

 

 

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My modified RB26 head to fit a dry sump L28 has shown up! This head is ex Gibson Motorsport and was built to Group-A touring car spec before Peter McDonnell modified it to fit an L28 complete with a cam belt conversion. It has titanium inlet valves and retainers, custom made 78 degree cams and will be good for over 400hp at the crank naturally aspirated on a 3.4L bottom end.

 

 

You can read about it more in Peter's old build thread here: http://www.viczcar.com/forum/index.php/topic,7802.msg88415.html#msg88415

 

 

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1499496_629325493795752_1686781989_n.jpg?oh=a028b4a6bd21242302dc6b0de4bf74a6&oe=54F64AB4&__gda__=1421057693_a66d27a038862500877568dc793ff85d

 

 

1506525_753984264612928_1591377069_n.jpg?oh=fa182e5d7864656a51012b8c56332369&oe=54C170D8&__gda__=1421016815_b523462b08cb75cad02c74448eeb48ea ... until you blow up your gearbox.

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So it's been a while since we've had an update on the silver car, but that doesn't mean that nothing has been happening! Thanks to Matt and Doug taking it in turns to come down and help out, the 240Z has seen it's fair share of love. The new close ratio gearbox is installed and in place. All the cross members have been coated in Kill Rust gloss black (best spray paint ever) after being stripped with Matt's new favorite toy, the bench grinder.

 

 

The front diff mount has been swapped for an R/T style overhead mount with a top energy suspension urethane bush, so diff clunk will be a thing of the past! I just want to put a front seal in the diff and then it is ready to be installed in the car. A custom tailshaft was made up Les Collins Racing so nothing breaks in the completely revitalized drive line. It has a larger front and rear yokes from a Nissan commercial vehicle, larger diameter and thickness centre tube and the stock Subaru flange re-drilled to suit. The axles were also rebuild with new unis as 1) they were old and 2) some had the dreaded grease nipples in them. Everything in the drive line is now new so hopefully it can last more than five drives this time.

 

 

Lots of new suspension parts are going in too. There are new urethane bushes for the inner rear control arms and mustache bar and a pair of ZCCJDM adjustable front control arms with pivoting castor rods have replaced the stock front arms and TTT castor rods which went to Doug.

 

 

My HKS Performa coilovers finally made it MCA Suspension (who build top running World Time Attack cars) thanks to a mate. They are stripping them and doing a full rebuild as apparently the previous owner was running one of the front struts with no oil left in it for some time. They are getting the full re-valving treatment and custom springs so they should be a good thing when done. MCA have told me that they are a very good quality shock absorber which is good news in the face of how damaged they are. I will be getting sets of threaded tubes made up to weld onto the knuckles for all three cars for the coilover conversion. This meant we had to buy a set of spring compressors to pull the springs out and then refit the left hand side of the suspension. Then we had to take three measurements, full droop, fully compressed and race ride height which MCA advised should be with the control arms flat. By my calculation this should give me 10cm of ground clearance to the floor and maybe 8cm to the exhaust (read that is hopefully). Even the fins on the bottom of the Arizona Z Car sump hang lower than the floor. Queensland law dictates that the lowest part of you car needs to be 10cm off the ground for it to be legal, so i guess i need to see how it all sits. To get the fully compressed length we had to fit the wheels and flares (with tape) to see where everything would end up. Turns out my flares are quite large and i can comfortably run a 9.5" wheel on the front and the rear could even be spaced out a couple of centimetres. This leaves me in a bit of a conundrum with what to do with wheels and tyres, but i think the best course of action is to get all the suspension fitted properly, guards cut and flares attached and take if from there so we can see what is actually happening in the real world with it.

 

 

Matt also sourced new hand brake cables for us from Taiwan. My handbrake adjuster had 2" of nuts screwed on to account for the stretched cable which bent all the linkages. This meant swapping the cables was a two hour operation, involving the butane torch, hammer and vice to get everything right. Nothing is ever easy with these cars is it?

 

 

Last minute note:

Anyway I have spent another night looking at an adjustable camber setup for both the red and silver cars. It's doing my head in trying to find the perfect system and I find myself wondering if the whole GDB WRX coilover setup is worth doing. There are a lot of sleeves setups on the market that will do the job nicely if you take the measurements with mocked up suspension as we have done here. There are still the same advantages of being able to raise and lower the car depending on the situation (or defect) so there is always that.

 

 

Right now in my head it's a toss up between EMI camber 'biscuits' or K-Mac adjustable tops. Neither Mat or I want to cut up our strut towers for engineering, NVH in the cabin (not to mention dust) and for me originality's sake. The K-Mac things seem great and are an Aussie product, but at $480 a pair they carry a hefty price tag. The EMI style ones only seem to be sold by MSA in a complete kit with springs and perches so I dont know if i can even buy them without the springs, perches and threaded sleeves. But I guess it's basically the same price as 4 x K-Mac setups and i can use the springs on my HKS coilovers so it doesn't really matter either way. The EMI design also concerns me that they only use two of the three bolts, but i couldn't find any discussions on Hybridz.org about that subject and I did find a lot of positive comments. Another question i have about them is how easy are they to adjust at the track to give maximum camber?

 

 

If anyone has had experience with either setup, or have another no-cut solution please let me know!

 

 

Here are the links to the two systems if you are interested.

 

 

K-Mac: http://www.k-mac.com/pages/newprods/datsun/datsun.htm

 

 

MSA/EMI: http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/classic20l/23-4123

 

 

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But wait we are only at the start of 2014!

 

 

My new A-Arms arrived today! I picked these up from a guy called David Abbott (Zcar63) from viczcar.com and they are really nicely finished items, powder coated black with very neat welding and some quality looking rose joints. This design is a bit more expensive than traditional H arms like the factory or T3 ones due to extra rod ends, however the rear link allows the spindle pin to pivot as the suspension compresses. This greatly reduces suspension binding particularly on very low cars like mine will be. You can of course do the normal toe and camber adjustments with them too. You still have to run the standard urethane inner bushes with this setup though, which while reading an autocross setup thread over on hybridz are said to be much worse than factory rubber bushes for stiction, which is not what you want...

 

 

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(March 31 2014) Tackled spindle pins for the first time on the weekend and it really is as bad everyone says. Heated, frozen and bashed it didn't move a single millimeter. Doug and I were at this thing for 4 hours and that was just one side, it was rusted in good and proper! We justified buying a drill press by what I would have otherwise had to pay someone to pull them out for me and if the other side is just as hard I will be a long way in front. That tube in the middle pic is what was left of the spindle pin after the ends being ground off and the centre section in the strut was drilled from both ends and then cut with a hacksaw blade down the middle.

 

 

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I ordered a new speedo housing for my 4.3 speedo gear off a part number i found on auszcar.com and after waiting months for it to come in I doubt it will fit. So much for that superseded part number  $37 wasted. I've now been told by Gareth on AusZcar.com that you just turn the stock one around until it engages properly and cut a new slot for the tang. In other news i just ordered my new adjustable custom coilover setup. Hopefully we will see them in around a month.

 

 

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I'm feeling left out with all the new parts that Mat's posting, so i'm going to throw up my latest bargain. A brand new pair of 7" Trick-Lite LED head lights. If you have ever looked into new zed headlights and tried to find something with a clean glass and a minimal reflector, I don't need to tell you how limited your options are (then again most people probably haven't wasted this much time on headlights haha).These things don't just look awesome and provide a massive boost over my current "candle in the wind" sealed beam units either. Being LED they only draw an amazing 1.8A on low beam and 3.6A on high beam. This means there is no need to do a headlight relay upgrade and with my massively under driven ATi crank pulley, i don't need to sweat it at the lights and worry about my battery going flat. The down side is they are a little heavy but you can't have everything in life especially when I basically stole them at $200 (rrp is $600USD plus post). If you are interested more info in the link below.

ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&productId=92025

 

 

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Project 350Z Part 1

We take a cheap and unloved 350Z and return it to it's former glory and have some fun with it at the track.

 

 

The $7k special sure has come a long way from when we picked it up. It looks like is haven't really done any updates on this thing so far and rightly so because it's basically just been fixing broken things.

 

 

It's had the following installed since January when it was registered:

 

 

• New seats in black as the other ones were disgustingly smelly, dirty and cracked. Although I liked the burnt orange no one else seemed too.

• New clutch and CD009 gearbox (last revision with the best syncros from the final iteration of the VQ35DE before they switched to the VHR). The syncros on just about every gear were trashed and is picked up the CD009 with 45,000km fresh from a 2006 model from Japan.

• New A/C condenser, as the old one had a stone hole in it and wouldn't hold gas

• New 52mm alloy eBay radiator as most of the top outlet had cracked off in the top hose, which I discovered while removing it to change the condenser. Also these cars are so bad to bleed the air from the cooling system! I nearly cooked the car on the first drive and spent a good 40 min bleeding the system afterwards.

• New passenger's door trim which was ruined due to an incident with the previous owner and the Lamborghini style door hinges he had installed...

• New diff and front lower control arm bushes

• New battery, complete with having to sand and repaint the battery area due to surface rust and a blocked drain, how very Zed of it.

• New steering wheel

• New gear stick knob

• New headlights which is scored for $200 which turned out to be a steal

• New Aerial

• Both rear wheel bearings. These were so bad the wheels nearly fell off the car on the drive home and is mean that literally. The only thing holding the right rear wheel on was the brake caliper!

• New cup holder.

 

 

Everything now works bar the passenger's window. Turns out these things have woeful power window motors and it’s par for the course. Add another $170 for a refurb one from the states. Oh and also the seat heaters don't work and didn't before swapping in the new black seats, but I haven't checked the fuse so it could be something simple, fingers crossed.

 

 

Also, to get my money's worth out of this thing I've booked in for a track day at Queensland Raceway on next Friday the 13th for extra luck. This means a few things needed to be addressed urgently.

 

 

The factory air filter was pretty much black and after some forum trawling, I found you can actually get a notable gain of around 10hp at the wheels by switching to a properly located pod filter setup. With the NISMO kit costing a crazy $300 and this being San Maru Garage (notoriously tight assed), I decided to build my own setup.

 

 

5 trips to two different Auto barns later and I had procured an assortment of parts that would do the job. I found an old K&N pod from the Z32 under the bench which i recycled, but at the end of the day this thing still ran me into the $150 mark plus all the time and fuel running around. Adding to the woes they didn’t have a 350Z airflow meter adapter and ended up having to pay $25 for a heavy, chromed, steal piece of crap which the backing plate hung over the edge of the inside of the tube and the bolt holes didn’t line up (to the MAF). It's such a horrible piece of fabrication I was too ashamed to take a photo of it, even more so after I had attacked it with the angle grinder and the drill. I still need to remove the MAF adapter and grind the over hang out as that can't be good for airflow. Anyway the end result doesn't look or sound half bad and hopefully has given it a couple of extra ponies.

 

 

Next on the list was the front brakes. Not only was my girlfriend complaining about the squealing of the wear indicators on the pads, but the rotors were so warn that only one side had the slots left in the rotor face. I'm not talking front and back either. I’m talking the upper half on the front face had slots and the lower didn’t. Even worse the driver's side rotor slots had been completely warn off!

 

 

The setup I went with was RDA dimpled and slotted rotors, which were around $200 delivered a pair, clamped with Ferodo DS2500 sport pads. The calipers and wheels were filthy of course and after spending three hours on one corner to get it presentable, the other ended up being a much more rushed affair to get the car back on the road. For the record, I tried everything from BBQ cleaner to Subaru upper engine clean to try and get the black off the wheels and had to resort to a scourer pad on the drill one was so dirty! Much to my Girlfriends disgust the rear pads still squeak with the new setup. I just assure her that’s how race car brakes sound

 

 

Finally I have some semi slicks coming this week, but at this point is don’t have any spare wheels to put them on. At this point I’m conceding that I will probably have to buy another set of wheels for the car and use the OEM ones as my track wheels.

 

 

So now the $7k car is closing in on being a $14k car as it is in the panel shop getting some body and paint work done, but is will save the details of that for the next installment. (Did is mention this car was pretty unloved??) I saw it today and it looks like brand new! I was very impressed, is just hope is have some photos of the damage for the before and after!

 

 

 

 

Wheel bearing #1 and I can tell you this took a while. Even more dissapointing that while you are doing it you realise the one on the otherside is even worse and you only bought one bearing which turned out to be the last one Repco had instock. I'm pretty quick at doing these things now!

 

 

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Surface rust in teh battery bay after a wire wheel cleanup. It's all KillRust matte black in there now. San Maru's spray paint of choice.

 

 

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According the PO, this clutch had been done under 20,000km ago. As you can see this guy was hard on the gear.

 

 

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What started out as changing the rotors, quickly turned into install new headlights and pod filter setup without actually finishing the brakes. Oh dear...

 

 

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Nice, I love it when most of the radiator outlet is in the hose

 

 

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First time i had come across these curious fittings on the A/C lines. Turns out Super Cheap has quick disconnecters for like $8. Didn't have to worry about letting the gas out as there wasn't any in there... which was the problem.

 

 

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Old A/C condenser. I was talking to a guy who buys 240z parts off me who used to have one. Mentioned the same thing happened to his which is how I figured it out.

 

 

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New A/C condenser and receiver drier attached to the new alloy radiator. This unit shipped in two days and was like under $200 delivered. The A/C shop wanted $1000 to supply and fit one.

 

 

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Only thing that needed modification to fit were the mounting holes in the radiator needed to be moved over.

 

 

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Another weekend lost in the engine bay of a zed...

 

 

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Since the new radiator was 10mm thicker it just made everything that little bit harder to fit back in. The factory air box and shroud needed some cutting to get them back in. This is one of the reasons i was keen on a pod setup.

 

 

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It took a lot of scrubbing to make the caliper look like that. Even now on the left front is that clean...

 

 

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In place with the new RDA rotor. It's worth noting the rotors are directional so you need to put them on the right side.

 

 

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This is my cold air intake kit. I ended up swapping the black section of silicone hose for 2 sections of joiner and another straight aluminium pipe. As Doug pointed out when i had it nearly together, that lame excuse for a pipe would just suck itself together under throttle. Many sales reps said "Nah she'll be right mate, my mate has used it." Yeah right, has your mate checked to see if his car is any slower?

 

 

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It's going to be a long night...

 

 

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Top section of the pod setup. I used a piece of heater hose cut down one side to insulate the alloy pipe from rubbing on the radiator support. Not shiny new headlights.

 

 

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Lower section of the pod. Those mounting brackets are great. I picked up an extra one for the 240Z exhaust. Best of all they are cheap!

 

 

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Shot of the old headlights for comparison.

 

 

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So the doors have literally come off my zed. They had the typical rusty bottoms and with a panel beater just a couple of blocks away i thought it would be a good time to get them fixed up while waiting on suspension. The holes from the door mounted mirror have been welded up a long with the rust in the usual places, skin bottoms, front leading edge where the frame goes in, lower rear frame bolt hole (which was torn out of the driver's side). After they were stripped back there was some old rust repairs that weren't up to scratch which were removed and quite a decent bow in the passenger's side door. The door was straightened and the skin held rigid with some strategically placed sika flex behind the intrusion bar. All the minor rust in the edges was fixed and smoothed too.

 

 

This shows the old repair and the initial rust you could see through the paint.

 

 

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(June 2014) Subaru R180 4.44 LSD all painted up and installed finally. It was de-greased, wire wheeled and sprayed with kill rust black all over. I used a scourer style wheel on the aluminum hat and side plates which worked a treat, but not tough enough for the cast steal surfaces.

 

 

Before painting, I also ground off some ugly casting slag around the front area of the diff, just because it took five minutes and looks a lot better.

 

 

You can see in the photo that you also need to swap the Datsun mounting studs in for the Subi ones as they are very different lengths. Also, the input flange is the Subaru item custom drilled for my tail shaft which uses a Nissan commercial flange.

 

 

Another thing to remember is to fill the diff up with oil before installing it because its way harder to get to the plugs once it's in. Especially the filler plug!

 

 

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This scourer wheel was great for cleaning aluminium.

 

 

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Finished product ready to fit, complete with Beta/Wolf Creek side axles

 

 

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The Subaru stud is on the left and the Datsun one on the right.

 

 

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Painted assembly ready for the diff, complete with new poly bushings.

 

 

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These are the before door shots, thought i had lost them. These show the rust damage before. The previous owner was nice enough to not cut up the door while fitting the speakers too. As they say bitches love the pictures.

 

 

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Here is a quick update with a bit of hardware that is currently en-transit from the US. These are my new height adjustable tie rod studs, which enable me to adjust the steering arms to be at the correct angle for the lower front control arms without modifying the front roll center. These should go a way in helping to correct the bump steer problem with very low suspension settings, without compromising other suspension component optimal poistioning. Thanks to Brian at ZCCJDM for these. http://zccjdm.com/

 

 

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So I wrote this long winded post on what we had been up to but; a) I didn't save the text file and my computer rebooted itself and b) Mat posted about his 350Z so here is a short 240Z post.

 

 

On Saturday night Doug and I test fit the new rotors to see if they indeed fit inside the wheels and how the caliper went for clearance. I am happy to report that 320mm rotors do indeed fit in 16" wheels with the Brembo calipers. The rotor hat height does need to be around 60mm though as 50mm left the spokes resting on the caliper but not by much. We did some crude measuring and with 260Z hubs sitting the rotor back an additional 8mm, hopefully it will be just enough to clear the caliper setup. If not a few cheeky washers should do the trick. I included a pic of the original rotor on top of the RX-8 Sport one for comparison. Now the position of everything has been established I can start mocking up a caliper bracket to suit. All in all this could potentially be a very easy bolt on brake upgrade for others if we make some extra brackets. (September 2014)

 

 

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OK so if you are still reading this post is TODAY'S post! Looking back I think I missed the one where i drove the car 5 times and it destroyed the gearbox and the fuel tank outlet fell off, but hopefully you got the picture by this point.

 

 

This weekend I'm feeling lost, as I no longer have the feeling of needing to work on the 240Z hanging over me. Over the last couple of weeks the proverbial finger was pulled out and I spent some serious wrench time getting the car back on all fours. This has all been prompted by the Australian Datsun nationals being locked in for the Easter weekend next year and thus giving me a real world target to aim for. Until a couple of weeks ago it all had lost it's way pretty badly and I had inadvertently resided the project to never getting finished, bad times.

 

 

Having purchased another distraction had not helped either, after swearing to never buy another project car again. But more about that in another post.

 

 

As some of you will remember I purchased a set of MCA coilovers similar to Matt's and took delivery a couple of months back. Mine have red fittings to match the engine bay (opposed to Matt's blue) and I went with 350lb/in front and 280lb/in rear, putting it basically on par with the stiffest Kameari race springs. The thing that held up fitting it all, was that MCA removed the rear bearings when welding on the the new threaded strut tubes. So by the time I purchased new wheel bearings and Doug had a chance to press them in at his work an other couple of months had elapsed.

 

 

Fast forward a few more weeks and we have struts, cleaned, painted and fitted. After seeing how low Matt's car was out of the box I took pity on my panel beater and wound the strut tubes right out, so the car wasn't sitting on the floor. While pulling out the collection of parts that had accumulated in it while it was sitting on stands for so long, I decided to take a closer look at the floor. A lot of the tar pulled up by hand which had me worried, especially when the screwdriver went through a couple of places on the passenger's floor, however all in all it was mainly just surface rust. One hole is above the chassis rail, which made me think of the underside of the car and as on most cars are a little buckled in places and would let the water in which leads to thoughts of re-doing the rest of the underside of the car... rotisserie... it never ends.

 

 

So after a year and one month of sitting aloft on stands, the zed finally touched down on 14" stockers. The alignment is super whack from all the adjustable arms on it and it had so much tow in on the front you can hardly push it. Anyway after paying $70 to get towed two blocks (don't get me started) I now had a car at the panel beaters. After further inspection by Dave the beater, addressing all the areas was going to require a full respray... which I was praying that it wouldn't need. Now I have my most hated job of picking a colour for the car, whether to go G-nose or not, use the fiberglass bonnet I have or respray the metal one. Luckily it's going to be there until December so I will have some time to make up my mind.

 

 

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Hot garage tip, if you have rack style garage shelving it works as a tyre rack if you take the mesh bottoms off.

 

 

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So that new distraction I was referring to in my last proper post is my new 1997 Mazda FD3S RX-7. It's a Series 7 personal import from Japan so there are probably relatively few JDM series 7s kicking around in Australia, as they were sold locally until 1999. It's actually a different spec to the Australian model too, the biggest difference being only Japan received 2+2 models and 32 bit ECUs and on top of that its a Type-RS model. This means it got bigger front brakes, 4.3 Torsen LSD, bigger sway bars, twin oil coolers and fog lights.

 

 

It's another car that requires a fair bit of attention, especially in the body kit area, but it's not as bad as the 350Z. The biggest attraction for buying this car was that it came with a freshly built 13B with unbreakable apex seals and had been bridge ported with a mere 200kms on it at the time of test driving.

 

 

It also came with a massive swath of aftermarket JDM brand name parts.

 

 

• Tien FLEX coilovers with EDFC

• Power FC ecu with hand controller

• Defi BF Water Temp, Oil Temp and Boost gauges

• RE Amemiya / Momo steering wheel

• Blitz SBC boost controller

• Knight Sports 300Kph speedo

• Custom trimmed beige leather seats (not the best looking things currently)

• GReddy inlet piping

• Trust intercooler

• RE Amemiya AST tank

• RE Amemiya radiator brace

• Unknown alloy radiator

• Unknown engine damper

• Cusco strut brace

• HKS Twin Power CDI

• RE Amemiya vented bonnet

 

 

The engine is on a run in tune and the standard turbos are stuffed, plus they don’t even have any of the sequential controlling gear on-board anymore, so steps are being taken to convert it to a single turbo T04 style setup. I’ve been debating about even getting it registered at this stage as there is a rev limiter set to 5000rpm and it makes 7psi of boost for about 500rpm.

 

 

Anyway more to come on Hiroshima Screamer front soon!

 

 

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Parts deliveries for the RX-7 this week:

 

 

- T04 steam pipe manifold

- 4 x ID2000 Injectors

- Walbro 450lph in-tank pump

 

 

As you can see from the above parts she's going to be setup to run E85 fuel and if you haven't seen the specs of these injectors before they are impressive!

 

 

"Flowing in excess of 2000cc/min at 3 bar, the ID2000 will also provide a smooth stoichiometric idle on E85, and it will do all this while maintaining strict linearity up to 95% duty cycle at 9000rpm. With a pressure capability of 9 bar this injector can flow as much as 3700cc/min with excellent low pulsewidth linearity..."

 

 

3700cc/min!!!! with four of these bad boys, that is 250ml of fuel a second!

 

 

Just need to find a T04Z now!

 

 

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OK ZED UPDATE TIME!

 

 

Now for a long time I have had a zed identity crisis. I was spending all this time building my car to be what I think is the ultimate JDM zed I envisioned 10 years ago, as a broke no-hoper. But it seems like I have ok taste in zed modifications and quite a few zee owners on the internets seem to share my vision, including Deus Ex, aka "Copy Cat Matt". I wanted to do something "different" or at least for Australian based zeds but keep with the 70s racer theme and a somewhat authentic HS30-H styled car seemed like a good option. In my trawling, I have seen very few Z-G cars with, flares, nose, wide wats and spoiler setup. Although semi-common in Japan people seem to not do the flares with the nose here for some reason or another. There also seem to be more G-Haters than lovers, so it will be a challenge to try and pull off a look that is widely appreciate for it, which should be fun.

 

 

So I just took this over to the panel beaters, but oh boy there is going to be some work in fitting it up! Apologies about the crappy pics, the G-nose in bits is kind of hard to photograph creatively. This thing has no mounting holes or studs, so i will have to do the whole lot from scratch.

 

 

A while back I also picked up a 'Type B' chin spoiler to go with it and i do plan on making those massive brake ducts functional. After it's all together, I want to make a front splitter that sticks out the front of the chin spoiler and goes to the back of the engine bay roughly which should produce some decent front down force. I have attached a pic or three of one fitted for your viewing pleasure and just to convert the G-Haters.

 

 

There is also a box sitting in Japan, literally, with my name on it. It contains a stack of RX7 bits and pieces, but most importantly, a pair of brand new reproduction headlight covers. You simply can't have a G-Nose without headlight covers in my opinion, it just looks wrong.

 

 

The panel beater is just about to start ripping into the body soon, but from what has been ground back so far the body is very rust free. The main negative so far is a right rear 1/4 full of bog, but if that's the worst of it I will take it! More panel beating updates and colour conundrums to come!

 

 

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