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Dadson Racing: 2010 Revival

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Photobucket has broken all hosted photo links in this thread. I am hugely apologetic but there is little I can do at the moment other than pay their US$400 extortion fee or hope that the internet bands together for a longer term solution.


In the meantime I will look for a more reliable image hosting location and link to the photos. I will not personally be re-linking each photo but I can try and upload them in a single spot.





Dadson Racing – 2010 Rebuild
Well, originally I wasn’t going to start a histogram on this build; I wanted to keep it to myself and just appear one day with a totally new car. But (there is always a but :P) then things changed and what was once going to be a quick re-spray with fibreglass front and rear end has turned into so much more.

The History
The History: This car is an English delivered 260z that now resides in Australia. Back in the day rust-proof meant coating the entire car in grease and tar. The panels from the underneath of the car all have about 2-3mm of tar on them and the inside of the car was sprayed on the panels. 33 years has done its worst and now all that grease is pooled in nooks and crannies EVERYWHERE.

I’ve owned this car since I was 15 (2004), the day before my 16th birthday and I got my L-plates. The first time I drove it was on the race track. Since then I’ve never had enough money to do more than keep the old girl in good enough condition to enjoy her at the track. Now, a newly graduated uni student with no financial ties and a new job I want to tackle the project I have dreamed of since I first drove this car all those years ago, sideways in third =D

When I started this project my car weighed in a hefty 1180kg (2600 pounds for the slow Americans). This puts it in a territory heavier than some of the 2+2 cars I compete against. I did the sums and thought about a 3.1L motor. With 175rwhp on tap and an expected gain of 30rwhp (17%, 173.7hp/tonne) for probably not much change from 10k I thought about what else I could do to get some decent performance from the car. Keep in mind I already set the benchmark for the guys I compete with and consistently go undefeated in fastest times. Basically, I want a fun, street driveable race car without trying to totally blow away the competition. In the regularity events here in Perth, there is nobody in my class faster than the zed I could possibly catch in a zed without a turbo motor, so I want to stay in touch with the zeds without having people chapping too close at the bit.

Introduce bright thought number 2: Weight loss!
With weight loss I will not only gain straight line speed but also stop and turn faster. When 2km/h  increase in speed around the local track is worth 1s I rekon I can take more than this out of the car with weight loss.

100kg (10%, 166.7 hp/tonne) less in the car will give me almost the same extra power to weight ratio of that 3.1L too! All things equal, 10% less weight to haul around the corners should give more than a 2kph (1.7%) corner and straight line speed increase. I could do the maths, but it’s late :P

The Goal
So, the goal: Take 100+ kg out of the car, make it a show stopper and track stomper, for not much more than a cheap stroker-motor build. 1050 is the target, but lower would always be nicer.

The Parts
To get 100kg out of the car should be fairly simple. With a literal metric ton of rust proofing sprayed on the car back at its birth in the UK the car is carrying a lot of tar and grease. I want to remove all the old fashioned tech rust proofing and apply more modern stuff. So, the parts to get me to 1050 or less kg:
Fiberglass bonnet
Fiberglass Hatch
Fiberglass mud guards
Fiberglass front and rear bumper bars
Acrylic rear window
Acrylic winding side windows
Acrylic quarter windows
Replace sunroof with a new roof skin
Headlight Covers
1” master cylinder
Fiberglass driver and passenger seats
PWR Aluminium radiator
Aluminium Radiator Air box
Fiberglass Cold air intake box
Aluminium front splitter
Full ground up bare metal rebuild
Front strut brace, braced across, to firewall and to front chassis rails
Delete rust
Delete old-school grease and tar
Metallic blue paint
High-tech sound deadener and rust-proofing under body coating
Powder coated suspension
Roll centre adjusters
On car adjustable rear suspension arms
Gearbox rebuild
Central Locking
Alcantara interior trim

The Deadline
This year over Easter I competed in the regularity trials held annually at Mount Panorama Bathurst. I did a 2:55.4, 5s faster than the last time I went there in 2008 and clocked a top speed of 240kph. Next year I want the car there and I want to do a 2:4X.XX (probably a 2:49.99 :P) and 245+kph.
Initially I was going to hoard parts and then do the rebuild in one go, but things changed and I’ve decided I will do it gradually over the course of the year. December/January will be the final deadline.

This “Diary” will cover the entire build process, any changes of mind (expect many :P) and all the heartache and pain along the way.

7 April 2010
Headlight Covers, new roof and 1” master cylinder purchased. The car is in Sydney in these pics and has a 3500km truck ride to get back home before work can start






20 April 2010
Roof sent to the panel beater for storage. New PWR Aluminium radiator ordered.

30 April 2010
I ordered Roll Centre Adjusters (RCA’s) and Rear Control Arms from Techno Toy Tuning. I already have their front torsion/compression (T/C) bars and LOVE the strength and over-engineering of their parts. I had a T/C snap at 200kph on full brake into an 80kph 90o right hander and don’t need another similar scare again.
Unfortunately the box was pretty tattered when it rocked up and one of the control arms had been damaged in transit


But, Gabriel (the great man he is!) covered the cost of the repairs and so I sent them to a shop. In the mean time I got stuck into fitting the RCA’s:



This pic shows a modified arm on the right of the pic and the unmodified arm on the left of the pic. You can see how the control arm points upwards on the left and down on the right. Down is better =D. Another quality TTT part!


The close fit with standard rims. In fact I had to remove the wheel weights on the front right hand wheel because they fouled on the steering knuckle



The new look front suspension with both of the RCA’s fitted



Edited by Whittie

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8 May 2010

Well the rear suspension and the gearbox were supposed to be in the car for an event today. Unfortunately the pin that holds the strut to the rear trailing arm had seized inside the strut and was impossible to get out. The workshop blew a hydraulic hose on a 50t press trying to get it out... Hopefully it’s out by Monday so the car isn’t stuck on the hoist in the workshop


Also, the local zed mechanic who I’ve been stirring up about weight loss and aero dynamics bought a 2+2 a few months ago and has it down to 1130kg. He did a time the same as my Dad’s PB, 0.1s slower than my own. It’s time to get a move on with this build!


10 May 2010

Suspension and rebuilt gearbox are back in the car. A car is stuck underneath the hoist with my car on it so no pictures of the suspension yet.


On a brighter note, the Alcantara sample card my Aunty sourced for me showed up today. This stuff is AWESOME!!






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Awesome stuff another young zed driver named Tom it must be infectious. Will definitely be watching this build good luck.

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Haha, cheers Tom!


Atleast it will be an easy name to remember! I wouldn't mind some patience instead of luck for this build tho...

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11 May 2010

Got a call from my mate and my PWR Aluminium Radiator showed up at his shop today and is ready for me to collect. I’ll probably try and get it fitted over the weekend.


13 May 2010

Thanks to Osborne Park Service Centre the rebuilt gearbox is in the car. I’ve not yet had a chance to drive it but I’m told it’s still notchy... Better have a drive and see how it goes. A synchro and Bearing job should not be notchy changing gears even if the box has, allegedly, been run dry and had water in it. I’m still convinced the gearbox guy was having a go at me, especially when he wanted $900 for a new gear set. I could buy TWO gearboxes and a couple cartons of boutique beer for that money.


The rear suspension finally got fitted after all the trouble getting the struts off the rear trailing arms. The good guys at Wheels World also re-adjusted the suspension back to how it should be, plus a little more rear camber now that the rear allows it =D






I am very happy with the rear arms and having talked to Shane, the suspension guy, he’s convinced me to buy the TTT front arms as well. Not sure I want to spend more money on shipping though.


Dad also organised some longer Hex bolts and Nyloc nuts to replace the botls inside the CV shafts. Teach those suckers to come loose again!




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15 May 2010

Well, good day today =D I picked up my nice, new, VERY shiny PWR Aluminium Radiator. I don’t know how much a standard steel and copper radiator weighs but this thing is very light. Did I also Mention that is it HUGE? Because it is! I’ve put an order in for a couple of Davies Craig 10” thermo fans and a new Davies Craig thermo switch so I’ll have a crack at fitting the radiator when they come along, perhaps later in the week.




I even got to drive the zed to go and pick it up! The battery has finally died though and is no longer holding a charge. The little rebuilt original alternator just can’t keep up either so that new 60amp Bosch alternator looks to have catapulted up the To-Do list pretty quick. The new rear suspension was setup on Friday and feels fantastic. Combined with a rebuilt gearbox, the new diff mount PolyUrethane bushes I put in a few months ago and the CV shaft bolt mod that Dad did during the week, this car is finally a pleasure to drive with absolutely NO play in the driveline, you can drop the clutch and the drive train doesn’t make a peep. The body is so creaky though, I’ve never noticed it before.


I got some wheels from a friend probably going on a year ago now because he went up to an 8” rim width to fit even wider tyres. The rims I have on the car are only 6.5” with a 205 tyre so we did a little deal and I took these, 15x7”, rims and tyres off him. Dad finally got around to giving them a quick spruce up and I’ll get the tyres fitted during the week before the next track day and see if I go any faster with an extra 20mm of rubber on a wheel that is designed for it. Fingers crossed! Even though I did spot the word “Performance” stamped into the face of the rim they are still heavier than the 3 piece aluminium rims on the car. I suspect the extra rubber will offset the un-sprung weight and rotating mass cost but time will tell. June 5th should be the next event.


Look how fantastic the wheels turned up, Thanks Dad!







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I don’t know how much a standard steel and copper radiator weighs but this thing is very light.


Standard radiator is 9.6 Kgs, that one would weigh around 6 kgs

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Cool, Although I just realised that reads wrong as I haven't got a standard radiator in my car, it's a Holden 3-core radiator (from some Holden with a 308 in it) and is the same size as the PWR one. I can imagine that it would weight probably double the 6kg, so maybe 10-12 kg?


I'll drop it on some scales when I take it out.



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23 May 2010

Wow, 8 days between updates, that’s the shortest yet! Well, not much has happened I suppose. I tried to fit the new 1” master cylinder last weekend and in typical fashion of this Datsun (and me) I bench bled the new master cylinder, removed the old one and THEN realised that the new one doesn’t fit without some serious mods. That was a Good days work spent there =P So, I had to put the original back on and I now have a feeling that I will probably need a new booster from a 280zx to fit it easily. I also need to get some new brake lines made up to fit the new master cylinder as the front and rear ports are swapped compared to the 15/16th master cylinder. Brake lines should be sorted out by dad during the week with any luck and I’ll see what happens about fitting this thing.


Picked up the wheels I sent in earlier in the week (well, Dad did. And he delivered them... Not sure this is my build anymore... Thanks Dad!) and got them on the car today. I got a bit carried away with the photos, so I apologise in advance, but I LOVE these new rims!










So many wheels to choose from now though! I think I have a fetish for hoarding parts in three’s (3xgearbox’s, 3xdiff’s, 3xwheel sets). Too many to choose from!




I think I spot a common theme there with the wheels and something like black and silver, but it’s OH SO GOOD!


Typical of Perth, I ordered some parts from Melbourne and had them shipped with Australia Post and selected their ‘Next Day Delivery’ service. Turns out that ‘Next Day Delivery’ in the fine print means 3 days for Perth =(. The package finally arrived Friday and I then I got all happy again once I opened it: Davies Craig 10” Thermo Fans and Thermo Switch.




That is about it for this week. During the week I am looking forward to some new suspension bits from Techno Toy Tuning that should make the car faster. Then it’s new alternator and gel battery so that the car goes. Period... I’m also pondering the reason I’ve purchased so many things and have fitted so few, so I’ll have to get around to turning some spanners sometime soon and get things fitted. Keep posted.


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30 May 2010

Well, a productive weekend after a few cruisy weeks. I got home on Thursday to find these on my desk:




They are simply fantastic bits ok kit. Heavy as all hell, but just by looking at them you can tell they are simply indestructible! So, with nothing else to do this weekend (right...) I got stuck in to trying to fit them. In a typical story of a job on the Datsun supposed to take an hour or two it took me two DAYS to finish this one. Mid way through I took a moment to compare old vs new.




However, at 7:30pm on Sunday, 30 minutes before grand prix start, I got it finished. The result: Amazing!




Please excuse the oily engine; I have a leak at the rear of the tappet cover gasket and possibly a rear seal gone. Engine will be rebuilt sometime this year so at the moment it just means an oily drive way... Fine by me, but getting an ass kicking from dad!


Next event for the car is next Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing how the car goes with new suspension, new wheels and re-adjusted geometry. Also, my sister will be driving the car for the first time so probably a good thing I got the gearbox rebuilt and hopefully the new synchro’s keep it from munching itself...


Over the next week I hope to get the new radiator fitted, finally. Keep posted!


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27 June 2010

Well, I thought the last 8 day gap between updates was a long one, this one has been phenomenal. A few reasons for that, nothing less than enough setbacks to upset me enough that I couldn’t be bothered to work on the car at all for about 2 weeks. To inform you, the car has been sitting on blocks since just after the last update, about 3 weeks. I didn’t just miss the event that I was looking forward to, things REALLY hit the fan. Dad took the car to Wheels World in the morning after the front suspension was installed and in the afternoon I got the bad news, with the tie-rods wound all the way out the car has about 6 degrees of toe-in so I need new tie-rods... And standard replacement longer tie-rods don't exist... And nobody manufatures a ball joint with enough rotation that will work with standard suspensoin travel... Which means that I'm going to have to custom make something… And the front control arms don't clear the brakes properly and it's gouged a great big groove in the passenger side disc rotor.... That was brand new about 2 months ago... And then the car has had a bit of blow-by for a while and the mechanic rekons it needs a rebuild... And that the crank keyway is so badly destroyed from the harmonic balancer coming loose that I need a new crank..... Oh, and the harmonic balancer is out of round and is 'wobbling' so I need a new one of them, and the BMW solid gold super-dooper harmonic balancers are just super cheap.... And then this all means that I'm going to miss the next regularity round for the series. That I was winning... Right…. Fantastic….


Yup, good excuse for some time-off and a scotch or three in my opinion.


But then, after some time off (about 3 weeks, as I said) I finally got stuck into things last weekend. Firstly, it seems I’ve found the limit with the front tie-rods and need to find a solution. In the last week I have spent a bit of time trying to find a solution for the tie-rod and think I have something. I’ll have an answer on Monday about possibly a, VERY SIMPLE, solution to the custom tie-rod issue and I’ll let you know how it goes. If it turns out to be a winner, this could turn the whole custom tie-rod issue on its head.


Otherwise, on with other things, I got the radiator installed over the course of the last few weekends. It was a bit of a struggle trying to work out how to mount it, where to mount the fans and install all the wiring. Be prepared or an onslaught of pics, I got a bit carried away…


The old radiator:




weighing in at 11.5kg, it’s no light-weight. This is with the 16” fan mounted.




In another thread I asked about where the thermo fans should be mounted, high, low or in the middle of the radiator. I did a test fit of the radiator with the fans on the engine side of the radiator and this was the result:



Yup, don’t think that’s gonna work… I settled on installing the fans on the upstream side of the radiator. I think I fluked it and the fans miss fouling on the radiator mount by about 1cm, this was installed unmeasured, on all sides. I also forget about the mounting washers on the radiator that spread out the force of clamping the fans on. I tried to fit the second fan and the washers over-lapped. Thanks Murphy, now I get to pull the whole thing apart, modify all the mounts and try again.


The final result, AMAZING. Weighing in at 6.5kg without fans, its also a fair sight lighter than the old radiator.




The new fans weigh in at 2.5kg




Give or take the accuracy of the scales and the extra volume (water weight) of the radiator and I would say that there is no weight saving in the new radiator, but with any luck it solves the over-heating.


Side-by-side from the top, you can see the extra width and length of the ally radiator.




And from the side you can see the extra height of the radiator, the extra size gives me confidence that the new radiator will keep the car cool for a change.




All installed the radiator looks something like this:




And from the front:




So, that’s the latest for now. I head offshore again on Tuesday so the car won’t progress much for the next 3 weeks or so but hopefully I hear back about a ball joint that fits the zed without modification so I can mount the tie-rods and get the wheels pointing straight again.

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If you need a solution for the tie rods, you can use 280ZX tie rods (not sure if it was ser 1 or 2) but with the original zed left hand thread, you will have to remove from the steering rack the left hand threaded one and find another right hand thread from another rack. That means you no longer have the left/right threaded steering rack now its both right handed thread. Use the ZX tie rods which have a bit more length to them and that should solve it. Mine are on the comfortable limit but I may have to do this soon. Hope it helps!

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Cheers Zedman,


I looked into the 280zx arms, and I already have two right hand thread ball joints for a standard z for the option I'm looking in to, but unfortunatelyt the 280zx tie-rods are only about 10mm longer where as I require about 50mm or more to have 1.5X thread width of arm screwed in and the wheels correctly aligned.... I really wasn't exaggerating when I said 6 degrees of toe-in, you could actually hear the wheels grinding when the car was moving!

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How much camber are you planning on running on the front? I have some lower arms made by PowerPlay and running approx 3.5- camber and still ok with the original tie rods.. How long are your arms from center to center?

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How much camber are you planning on running on the front? I have some lower arms made by PowerPlay and running approx 3.5- camber and still ok with the original tie rods.. How long are your arms from center to center?


These are the TTT front arms, I don't know how long they are. You can see the photo in my post about 3 up with the TTT arm next to a standard arm, it's fairly long. The crossmember has also been modified to move the control arm mount up about 1 inch and outwards about the same amount. The struts are not pulled in at the top, hence the large 'kick-out' required by the control arms to get the angle on the wheels.


With the control arms wound all the way in the car has 3.5 degrees neg camber. The wheels point straight with the tie-rods screwed in about 1 turn. To be safe a thread should have 1.5x thread width to be safe. For the 14mm threads this is 21mm. Then allow that I might want some more adjustment in the future and I might as well get another 40mm of thread purchase in case I need/want more neg camber in the future.

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I used these offset bump steer spacers from ZCC (no tie rod movement required).  They bolt straight up with 2.5deg of camber, then I used offset delrin control arm bushes that can be adjusted from 0-1.5 by rotating them. All this works with standard tie rod ends  :) Guess it depends on how much adjustability you need.


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Hi Gareth,


That sounds like a great idea! Unfortunatly for me I didn't actually plan to buy lower control arms. I had the Derlin bushes and the guys at the suspension shop were telling me how great it would be to put heaps of caster into the control arms. They had a crack at it with the standard arms and when I found out what they'd done I flat out refused to drive the car. I then decided that I would just buy some lower control arms, and I've had great experience with TTT so bought theirs.


I have found a solution though! I don't have a car or model but I do have a part number of a ball joint with a threaded section instead of a rod. The ball joint has the same taper, pitch and thread length as a Zed ball joint! Instant swap! I will be using that and some chromoly tubing to make custom tie-rods that will have the extra 40mm or more of thread that I need.


I'm offshore at the moment but Dad has said he'll get in touch with Pedders to get the car the part comes off for people living internationally and when I've got that I'll post up the part number as well. Available over the shelf ball Joints from Pedders, some chromoly tube, two right threaded rack-end ball joints and some engineering. Maybe $200 total for rully customisable, EASY to make tie-rods for a zed, that don't require modifying the suspension at all, just getting a second (I think drivers side) rack end. How can you lose!

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Sound like a good solution, TTT suspension parts look to be very good quality. Would be good to see pics/part numbers when your done as I have a feeling tie rods will be harder to get soon, like most things on a zed  >:( 

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I dont know about legallity on the road, but on a race car this might be a solution? Try your local nut and bolt place for the rosejoints and long nuts, I brought some nut's the same only shorter for mine. you might need special tapered bolts between the rosejoint and the steering arm, they use them in openwheelers, clubmans, sprintcars, speedway stuff a lot. You can dial out some bumpsteer with setup as well. I've had the photo's awhile, sorry if they were yours...





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In that pic on your first page with the fan temp control sensor sitting in your radiator inlet, how do you get the hose to seal over the copper sensor wire coming out?

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I dont know about legallity on the road, but on a race car this might be a solution? Try your local nut and bolt place for the rosejoints and long nuts, I brought some nut's the same only shorter for mine. you might need special tapered bolts between the rosejoint and the steering arm, they use them in openwheelers, clubmans, sprintcars, speedway stuff a lot. You can dial out some bumpsteer with setup as well. I've had the photo's awhile, sorry if they were yours...




Cheers Hodgo,


I wanted to do exactly that mod, but I still have standard shocks and just didn't think that a rose joint would provide enough range of motion to not bind up. The engineer had the same thoughts so that's why I am persuing this other, much more difficult, route.





RB30x, the thermo switches come with a small, thin,  square of rubber with a groove for the copper wire. The rubber sits between the wire and the radiator with the wire in the groove and the radiator hose seals around that, providing the seal.


It can take a try or two to get a good seal, so if you do get a thermo switch make sure you run the motor and check for leaks before driving off.


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Ahhh, thankyou. Don't have a pic do you? Could I cut such as piece of rubber from a spare radiator hose because I have no such piece for my set up.


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The Davies Craig Thermo switch Kit i bought for the PWR rad had a really snazzy bit of rubber that came with the kit.


The bit I used with the copper wire was just a really thin (like 1-2mm) bit of some rubber tube I found lying around somewhere. Use a stanley knife to put a little groove in it for the copper wire and bob's your uncle. Just make sure the bit of rubber is really thin, otherwise you'll get leaks around the edge of the rubber square even tho it'll seal on the copper wire.

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