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Whittie

Dadson Racing: 2010 Revival

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18 July 2010

Well I got back from work last week and flew out on holiday the next day, but I arrived last night and got stuck into the car today before flying out again this week. Wow, this is getting hectic!

 

Today I took a look at making up a bug/stone guard for the radiator as I talked about last update and also had a crack at the headlight covers I bought 4 months ago. I’m not slow at things, honest….

 

Here is the radiator guard, simply some aluminium fly screen wire to keep the soft aluminium of the radiator safe. Believe me, you need something like this with the ally radiators! I folded the top underneath the rubber that seals the bonnet and down the bottom I simply used some zip-ties. A nice and simple mod that should be very effective.

 

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And then after 2 hours to fit the driver’s side, and 10 minutes to fit the passenger side, the new headlight covers in all their glory with the new bug guard making a cameo appearance:

 

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And how it should all look when the front wheels are back on the ground:

 

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Tomorrow the car gets the tie-rods fitted after being picked up from the electroplater’s and then she’ll be driving again =D =D =D

 

Keep posted for the tie-rod upgrade, I’ll shortly post plenty of pics and part numbers to replicate the mod. I can confirm now that the mod works with the standard 14” rims, even with roll centre adjusters, and doesn’t bind over the full range of motion of the standard suspension!!

 

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19 July 2010

Well, HUGE success with the tie-rods today! I made a new thread over here:

 

http://www.viczcar.com/forum/index.php/topic,7436.0.html

 

That details the whole procedure. In short, it works a treat and fits with standard suspension AND wheels, even with TTT Roll Centre Adjusters. Here are a couple pics showing the final product.

 

Old vs new:

P1010130.jpg

 

On the car:

P1020255.jpg

 

Massive thanks to Dad for following this mod through after I had given up on it and was convinced it couldn’t be done!

 

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Loving your build thread.

 

I may have missed it but your 260Z is normal road registered?

 

Also have to ask and fingers crossed, did you get your headlight covers locally by any chance?

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Hi Rayray,

 

thanks for the encouragement! Nice to see another Perth boy on the forum. I rarely drive the car on the road, mostly to and from events and the odd Sunday but it does still have normal registration, yes.

 

The headlight covers i purchased from warren at AllZparts in Sydney. They were 120 or 140 and then add probably another 20 to ship them. I'm not sure how that compares to  ordering from the states but i was at his shop and it was much easier to just pick them up than order stuff from America for the minimal difference.

 

I don't have his number on hand but if you call him he'll be able to help you out.

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31 July 2010

Well I'm offshore again and whilst this would normally mean no progress on a car build, Dad has been leading the charge!

 

Dad picked up a new battery and a 70amp 300zx alternator during the week to finally hit the stupid flattening battery on the head! Soo sick of batteries going flat on me!

 

The tacho stopped working and in typical fashion I get an email AFTER the dash has been pulled out telling me that the dash does NOT in fact have to come out to remove the alternator... I had a bit of a chuckle  ;D Turns out there was nothing wrong with the tacho tho, I suppose that is a good thing, but a bit strange.

 

While the dash was out tho Dad thought it would be a good idea to finally fit the second stage rev limiter from the MSD as a launch controller. A bit of soul later, literally shoe sole, this was rigged:

 

P1010005-1.jpg

 

The MSD takes a 12v signal, triggered from the brake light switch on the clutch pedal, and engages a second rev limiter. In this case it's 4000rpm and Launch control!!! This could save some serious times at hill climbs because it will mean that I won't have to worry about balancing revs and throttle as well as handbrake and the timing light, just have to literally sidestep the clutch at the green light and be off.

 

Just to make things sensible, it also has a kill switch mounted in an empty spot on the centre console so that it can be disabled for on the track so that it doesn't affect ability to double clutch down changes properly:

 

P1010007.jpg

 

This amazing little contraption should also mean it's possible to flat change at the drags without risk of over-revving the engine! I'll have a crack when I get home next week but I'm told that the car sounds pretty awesome banging on the limiter at 4k, imagine that, Launch Control in a 33 year old car!!

 

It was also my birthday yesterday and because I’m stuck offshore feeling sorry for myself I indulged in some retail therapy. I have these two little baby’s on the way from the states 

 

momo1.jpg

 

nismo_leather_shift_knob.jpg

 

I also ordered the Alcantara for the interior on Tuesday in solid black which is on its way from Germany as I type this so I’m hoping the suede steering wheel will tie the dash into the Alcantara trim that will be débuting in a zed for perhaps the first time in Australia! (Can anyone quantify that?!) I also got a lead on getting spray-on suede for the plastic panels in the hatch area. Still undecided on the dash, but I don’t want to over-do the whole suede thing so I’ll probably leave the dash and the centre console as they are, with maybe just a suede gear boot and gear lever cover.

 

Tomorrow is the first event since EASTER for the car, Dad is competing in the Regularity at Wanneroo Raceway in Perth. It's also the first event with the new suspension and radiator. Dad had a shakedown day yesterday at the track and the previous owner, who now has a 351 GT Falcon rekons the car is doing sub 70 second laps and given this guys experience at the track I have no reason to doubt him. Dad had nothing but amazing things to say about the new suspension setup right until he plowed it into the dirt at about 100kph…. He didn’t damage anything and I’m glad to hear that good sense and driving prevailed so he just went in in a straight line to avoid rolling the car after pushing too hard coming down the back straight into the last corner. I have heard from him that there is sand EVERYWHERE in the car tho and that it has taken most of the day just to clean it out.

 

So, I'm really hoping for good things during timed runs tomorrow at the event! Our current PB at the track is 71.7s, the same for the both of us. If we can take 2 seconds off just in suspension that would be mind blowing! I'll keep you all posted with the results, but if a little over $1500 can have a 2s reduction in lap times I would recommend the suspension mods to everyone.

 

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Good luck for your Dad today, it will be interesting to see the time improvements. With the launch control on the MSD is there a wheel sensor to pick up wheel spin?  My understanding of  traction control is the computer senses wheel spin then retards or limits the engine rpm until the wheel spin stops? Does your system just limit the rpm at 4000 until you push the clutch and change into second? Like you said it would be very, very handy at hillclimbs and the drag's, I might have to send my Motec back and get a box ticked...

 

Cheers,

 

Hodgo

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Hey Hodgo,

 

No, this is poor man's "Launch Control". It probably shouldn't really be termed that at all, I just think it sounds cool :P

 

The MSD simply engages the second stage rev limit when it receives a 12v signal on a secondary wire. In this case we have wired it up to the clutch so that when the clutch is depressed, the limit is 4000 rpm and when the clutch is released it stops the 12v signal and the MSD reverts back to the original 7000 rpm limit. It will basically just be used so that when you launch at the drags/hill climbs that you don't have to use the throttle to control the revs, you can just hold the throttle at the percentage open that you want to get the best launch and the MSD will keep the motor at whatever rpm you set it at. I find that having to 'mash' the throttle off the line can cause severe wheelspin if not done properly and is a bit hit-and-miss. The snapped moustache bar will testify to what happens without enough revs at the drags and the outcome of axle tramp, this just makes it a bit easier to get off the line consistently.

 

I'll adjust the rev limit until I get the best launches but I suspect holding the throttle at around 50% with around 3500-3700rpm limiter will give great results.

 

Unfortunatly, there is no wheel sensor to limit rpm or any fancy electronics, just simply an on-off switch.

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9 August 2010

It’s been a while, but I’m back! Back in town that is, and no mucking around here!

 

To follow up on last week’s update, Dad made it to the track on the Sunday and got some times…. In the midst of all the excitement, a few things happened. In qualifying he was caught up in traffic and posted a 72.8s lap, very good. Following the event tho, Dad thought “Hmm 7k rev limit seems high, don’t think it’s supposed to be there…” and so adjusted it down to 6500rpm. Out for the second run and he thinks to himself “Hmm, rev cut seems early, oh well, keep going”, he comes in and lo-and-behold, the rev limit has been set to 5500rpm, not 6500rpm, and yet he STILL did a 71.8s lap, equal to his PB!! Talk about good suspension upgrade. Unfortunately the day didn’t get any better and on run number 2, the second stage rev cut played up and the car wouldn’t rev at all above idle and so Dad missed the event and then on the last event of the day he hadn’t changed the tyre pressures and yet the track was 20 degrees hotter so say hello to marshmallow tyres! Following the rev cut mishap Dad circulated at 71.8’s all day. Either way, an equal PB lap with a 5500rpm rev cut instead of 7000rpm and a loss of around 30 useable horse power, bring on super quick laps when the rebuild is finished!

 

Getting in to the swing of things after returning home from work, I dropped the car off at Osborne Park Service Centre today for them to pull the motor and give it a freshen-up. I wasn’t going to touch the motor other than deglaze the bore and new rings and bearings, but Tus rekons with all the advance the car is currently running that it means some more compression HAS to be on the list, plus a few other things, he thinks a 30hp gain is not unbelievable, how can I argue with that…. So much for leaving the motor alone, but hey, who’s complaining =D

 

Also went to the panel beater today and it looks like the car will be in his workshop in 4 weeks or so. In that time I have to fully strip it, clean it and get it sand blasted. I know right, I said “clean” the car before sand blasting, well, check out ‘rust proofing’ a car in England in the 70’s:

 

P1020264.jpg

 

P1020266.jpg

 

P1020267.jpg

 

That, if you haven’t worked it out yet, is grease… It’s not pretty and it’s going to be a prick to remove, but hey, no rust! If anyone has any ideas on getting rid of the grease behind the suspension towers there we’re I can’t get in to, please fire away!!

 

To top off a few weeks hard work researching I went out today and bought a few things after working out what will and won’t fit on a zed. I started with a trip to rare spares and picked up some vents for the new guards that are coming from Alfa Fibreglass (If anyone has experience with them, please PM me, I’d like to know how much work I’m up for with new fiberglass panels, bonnet and hatch). Here is a pic of the vents on the car I salvaged them from:

 

sweet_hk_aqua_van3.jpg

 

Well I didn’t salvage them from THIS car, but they are off a HK Holden. They are 4 vents and will fit perfectly on the guard on the zed and being period correct is nice. I was thinking about getting some VE HSV vents/indicators but at $1000 a pair I was a bit reluctant! Now, just to work out how to fix a steel plate to a fiberglass panel…. Again, if you have ideas, thoughts are more than welcome!

 

While trying to nut that one out I also worked out which seats will fit in the zed without fouling on the door, the roll cage and will sit central in the cockpit! They would be the Sparco Sprint V, unfortunately, they are as uncomfortable as hell so I picked these up instead:

 

P1020268.jpg

 

They are the Sparco Ultra (Tec) and are discontinued, but I found a store with a couple in stock so picked them up. The issue with these is that you sit higher than the seat I have, about 2 inches, so a head with a helmet on won’t clear the roof and the roll cage unless it’s solid mounted, but I guess that’s the price to pay to fit a seat central to the steering wheel in a zed with a roll cage. I’m not sure on the weight of the standard seat but the Momo currently acting as the drivers seat weighs 6kg and the new seats weight 7kg each, likely around 10kg less than the standard seat, for a weight saving of about 9kg total. For reference here is a pic of the new seats next to the Momo Rookie that it is replacing.

 

P1020272.jpg

 

That is it for today. The car comes back on a truck on Wednesday and then I have the daunting task of pulling it to bits, cleaning it and sending it to the sand-blasters to get the shell of the car blasted and the remaining body panels soda blasted. Keep posted.

 

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hey mate looking good.... i was gonna get a set of the sprint v, what didn't you like about them??

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Hi Benny,

 

There are certainly plenty of reasons to get them, They are FIA approved, fire resistant material, fairly light, bottom and side mount, fairly wide in the bum room. The issue I had with them was that they are a tube frame construction. Now, it's not that it's made of steel that was a bad thing but that the seat base is sprung, not solid and so you find yourself sitting VERY low and then they have this big cushion right under your legs. That big cushion covers a steel bar and I can imagine that as the seat wears out, that cushion will expose the hard steel bar which would be very uncomfortable. I also didn't like the way my legs sat up on that cushion. Instead of having a solid base under your legs you sit on the sprung part of the seat on the back of your bum and then are unsupported until your legs are on that cushion, and considering the weight on that point load on your bum and your legs I could imagine on long trips that it would cut circulation and hurt.

 

Also, given how far away the peddles are in the zed and how close the steering wheel is, the fact that the seat forces you to have a large bend in your legs would mean sitting uncomfortably close to the steering wheel.

 

At the end of the day comfort is a personal preference and you need to find a store and just sit in a heap of seats, which is how I came to this conclusion. At the end of the day I was happy to spend another $200 a seat to get something more supportive and comfortable for when I do need to be in the car for long periods of time.

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17 August 2010

Wow, a busy few days! I can now sympathise with people who do not update their blogs for weeks and months at a time, if you’re busy working on cars it makes it hard to keep updates coming, lucky for me I’ve got tonight off so I can write up a bit of a post for you guys. I think I should start with a disclaimer: This will be one LONG post and apologies in advance for the 10,000 photos ahead.

 

After picking up seats on Monday I had a couple days off before the car returned to me on Wednesday minus 1 motor and so on Thursday I got started on striping the car. Along the way I took around 180 photos of things so that I know how it all goes back together! Even with all the photos I think it is still going to be one daunting task that I’m not particularly looking forward to going through. It will be worth it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s going to be a long way from pleasant.

 

I mentioned last update about the grease in the car, well it turns out to be even more ‘everywhere’ than I previously suspected and I’ve decided I don’t really want to do it! I did the ring around and found a guy who is willing to steam clean the car and rekons he can do it in 3-4 hours, did I launch at that offer or what. Just to show you guys what he’s up for check out the grease in the rear quarter panels again:

 

P1020450.jpg

 

P1020452.jpg

 

That is all the way through EVERY panel in the car! Don’t believe me, have a little look, a good look, at these pics and the hidden gold in the background:

 

P1020287.jpg

 

P1020294.jpg

 

P1020333.jpg

 

P1020352.jpg

 

P1020409.jpg

 

P1020419.jpg

 

I told you all that 100kg would be a walk in the park! It was pretty amazing actually watching the car transform from a low, sleek race car to ‘tank spec’ during the time I worked on it. I reckon the car has risen about 4 inches since I started just due to pulling the weight out of the car, it was awesome to watch transform! The doors, bonnet and guards had the biggest impact of course, but everything adds up for sure.

 

After a stressful day on Thursday the day was coming to an end and I had to admire what I’d done and also found some time for a little art work:

 

P1020323.jpg

 

None too shabby for just a screw and a point and shoot camera.

 

I had a couple of surprise deliveries on Friday: My 8m roll of Alcantara in black and my new Momo, Suede covered steering wheel, but by far the most exciting was 4 boxes from Otomoto in Sydney. I ordered them on Tuesday afternoon and they were in Perth, at my door, by lunch time Friday, talk about amazing service from TNT. Sorry Otomoto, but shipping anything by truck across the country in 48 hours is still more impressive than having them ready for delivery 1 hour after payment is made, if not by much. But enough suspense, the pics we’ve all been waiting for:

 

P1020341.jpg

 

P1020342.jpg

 

P1020356.jpg

 

Awesome! Of course I had to take a couple of clearance shots whilst I was at it. The fronts clear by a significant amount to the struts, which was rather surprising. Please remember that I have the commodore brakes and the rotors have more negative offset than standard brakes (out from the centre of the car, or away from the suspension to make it clear), so these pics won’t be representative of standard discs even tho I am still running standard suspension. I suspect it will JUST clear with standard brakes otherwise you would likely need a 3-5mm spacer to get things to fit.

 

P1020345.jpg

 

I did some jiggling around and measured 5 1/12th inches of backspace (12.91cm)from the mounting face of my rotors, so that would explain why the 8 inch rims fit so well (8” rims with a +4 offest = 10.56cm back space, but the outer edge of the rim sits a bit further in than the tyre mounting face), clearance is around 8-10mm to the strut and I’m not suspecting any surprises when I put some 225 tyres on the rims. The outside edge of the rim on the other hand, that will need some adjustment:

 

P1020346.jpg

 

With the suspension at full droop on a jack you’re looking at a rim that sticks out about 15mm past the guard. Even tho the rim will come inwards as the suspension slack is taken up a good roll will be required to fit these under without rubbing. The guards don’t need flaring, but I suspect more than just a normal roll and more like a ‘buff’ of the guards will be required, however, it should still keep the good looking lines of the car without spoiling anything like a flare does in my opinion. I have a suspicion that the guard in this photo has actually been pushed IN at some stage of its life because the guard on the passenger side of the car has more clearance than it even tho I haven’t rolled anything on the car.

 

Of course, nothing like so much of an issue on the rear, the struts clear by miles

 

P1020358.jpg

 

As well as not causing any issue with the suspension at all

 

P1020359.jpg

 

Although perhaps that is not really all that surprising considering I still used to run standard 14” rims on the street. With 17 wheels for the car now however, it’s time to work out what to keep and what to sell and I think the standard rims will find a new home given all the options that I have. Perhaps someone rebuilding/owning an original 260 might be interested in them to complement their otherwise complete car. Whilst not completely correct, these would also go great with an original 240z.

 

I’m just looking back now and regretting now not getting a pic of the clearance to the guards on the back, but I suspect it’ll be a better fit than the front, which is rather good, so no need to worry.

 

All in all, stripping the car was a rather rewarding experience, I finally feel like I know something about these cars that I didn’t before, especially the fact of how simple these cars are! I swear, a 10mm socket, a medium blade and Philips screw driver will have 90% of the car apart!

 

It was a trying exercise but I managed to fully strip the car in 4 days, so I was impressed with that given the amount of time I spent doing other things. My camera went flat on Sunday but I took this photo on Saturday night and you can see the progress I made in 3 days

 

P1020428.jpg

 

Of course the experience wasn’t without it’s trials, I have found more rust than I was suspecting, including some at the back of the passenger frame rails that looks like it’s been patched badly in the past and a HUGE amount of surface rust in the drivers floor due to 3 years of a leaking door I could never track down to a point source and still eludes me along with the rust in the rear hatch that I knew was there. The dash hasn’t had the carpet cover taken off in years and it has blistered and boiled in the sun, so that’ll need extra attention to. I had a great time along the way tho and ingenuity won out over common sense a few times. One in particular I couldn’t let go and so took photos. I present to you the almost longest ¼” ratchet drive extension I’ve ever seen:

 

P1020424.jpg

 

Suprisingly, this extension was fully self-supporting and didn’t actually need supporting without falling apart! And the reason for its construction, the pedal box:

 

P1020425.jpg

 

Thankfully I didn’t have to resort to including the uni joints as extra extension as things would have got REALLY interesting if I’d done that, I think I almost broke the ¼” drive as it was using the ¼” to ½” adapters that I made up from a ¼”-3/8” and then a 3/8” to ½” adapter. It was effective tho, so that is something to say about the quality of the Sidchrome products I used!

 

Before I close out I would just like to say one thing: “Thank (Insert Deity name) for zip lock bags!” These have hopefully saved my existence when I have to put the car back together. I count around 50 bags all labelled for different parts of the car, all with identical looking bolts. Am I glad or WHAT that I decided it might be worth the effort. If there is anything I can recommend to future zed builders: capture and label all bolts, screws, washers etc so you know where they go again when you are done!  The photos have also proved to be a life line in trying to work out what order those screws go in even tho I know what they belong to, just take photos of everything. If you think “Hmm, that could be interesting to put back together” take a photo, believe me I haven’t started putting the car back together yet and already I am very thankful for just a cheap point and shoot camera to keep a record of things.

 

Well, that’s it for now. This week I have to just do a few tidy up things, like scrape off all the tar from the cabin (YAY :( ) before the car gets steam cleaned next week. Then it’s fuel tank and brake lines out for sand blasting before going to the panel beater in around 4 weeks. Bring on the rebuild :)

 

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looking good and a lot of effort, will be nice an dlight when you're finished  ;D

 

Wheels look good. if you're not too fussed about the guard lips, the fronts lips can be trimmed and the guard pumped out without  spoiling the lines. I've had this done to mine to fit 18x8" rims with -2.5mm offset. The rears needed to be trimmed and a small "eyebrow" flare off a Suzuki 4wd screwed to the rears to cover the wheels. Only adds about 10-15mm to the width but covers nicely and doesn't spoil the natural lines of a Z like a ZG flare does.

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11 September 2010

Well I'm back away for work again but before I left I (Dad) dropped the wheels at Wheels World for them to put some old rubber on so I can get the panel beater to sort out the guard rolling. I got an email today with about 17 photos of the new wheels on the car and since I'm having withdrawals I figured that meant I had to post them all, so apologies, as usually, for the affront of pictures.

 

I must say, seeing new parts ON the car instead of just scattered around bedrooms in the house makes me want to get it fixed and going ASAP. 10 points to whoever can spot the most rust spots tho :( I have more pics on the camera at home but in summary it's:

- Sills – Minor

- Doors – Minor

- Battery Tray – Few pin holes, but looks like it’s lost a wheel at some stage and pressed the panel up, so that will get fixed

- Firewall on drivers side – Pin holes

- Chassis Rails (Minor on passenger side at the end of the floor rail)

- Drivers floor – Pin holes

- Rear Hatch – A fair bit, but that has been growing for about 6 years, so not too bad considering

- Rear floor – Pin holes again

 

So yeah, the steam cleaning didn’t work very well, I couldn't get all the grease out of it yet, the tar is killing me, it still rusted and I'm unlikely to make Bathurst at this rate!!!

 

But, PICS =D

 

Did I say I have some wheels to sell? Cause I get the feeling that 17 for 1 car is starting to push it a bit.....

P1010002.jpg

 

I’m not decided yet but I think I’ll pass on the black 5 spoke race rims. Stockies and 3 piece Japanese rims will stay as roadies.

 

Stacked:

P1010003.jpg

 

Rolling Radius. I love how the 225/45/16 is about the same height as the 205/55/15, no centre of gravity or rotational axis change in height!

P1010004-1.jpg

 

On car:

P1010005-2.jpg

 

P1010006.jpg

 

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P1010009.jpg

 

And yes, that is my latest work area on the dirt that used to be our front lawn :( Dad tells me I'm not allowed to damage the new driveway whilst making a mess removing all the tar.

 

Well that is about it for the next few weeks, I'm stuck away for a while and I'll be busy when I get back. Come on the second half (rebuild) of the zed! The new goal is to make the regularity series and win it next year  8)

 

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Looks very nice mate.

 

I vote for some clearance shots with the rubber on, exactly like you did with the rim before the rubber.

I've already got coilovers but still hesitant about 8" rims. Are they 16" or 17"

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Looks very nice mate.

 

Cheers :)

 

Whilst not being anything special, and very inexpensive rims, they really look the goods in my opinion!

 

I will get clearence pics on the rear when I get home in a few weeks and some shots of front suspension, but without front guards, can't get front clearence to guard shots.

 

The wheels are 16x8. I was thinking 17 but I decided that it would be too big on the car visually and along with the extra rolling radius raising the COG and rotational axis thus reducing performance, that the extra cost per tyre would be a step backwards in building a cheap competetive car.

 

I have another minor update today. There is currently the last round of the regularity season being run back home and the guy who trucked his car from Perth to Stewart Wilkins for a motor has picked up 2 seconds, down to 70s laps and a guy who I haven't seen for a while who used to run around in a 3.2L Porsche 911 seems to have bought a 240z! The first I heard was seeing his name on the time sheet today! Either way, he is lapping low 69's, 2.5s faster than my PB. Hmm, time to get the car finished and show these guys what a 67s zed looks like!

 

For anyone interested, Production Sports (Note 8 zeds in a 16 car field, all within 5 seconds. Battle of the zeds!)

 

http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?12/09/2010.BARB

 

Also, My Dad (John) is running his Supra in Modern Regularity, fighting for 1st in class for the series!

 

If there is anyone from Perth reading this thread, you really are missing out and should come along, even if just to watch the regularity. If you think you aren't up to it, Ken Lyons runs essentially a standard car and last year finished 1st in class if I remember correctly! Also look how Howard is going in regularity terms, even tho he is lapping 10s off the fastest 2 zeds. There is no such thing as a car that can't compete in regularity.

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3 October 2010

Well there were multiple requests and PM’s so here they are: Pics of the clearance of the Rota’s with the guards, with tyres on this time. PLEASE NOTE: I have extended the track on the front by about 1.5-2 inch’s over standard and have adjustable suspension all around. The car is also rolling Commodore brakes (negative offset on the front rotors compared to standard) and R31/280zx rear discs. The tie-rods for instance didn’t fit and I had to custom make new ones with all the extra track I’ve given the front of the car!

 

Here are the pics tho, Wheels to front suspension:

 

P1020558.jpg

 

Wheels to rear suspension:

 

P1020569.jpg

 

As you can see, everything fits fine with commodore fronts and skyline rear brakes. These wheels look like they’ll fit on a standard brake’d zed without any issue to suspension!

 

My issue however, is the clearance to the guards. On the rear, from above (mind the feet, couldn’t get a decent shot without them in :P )

 

P1020560.jpg

 

And to the front guards:

P1020559.jpg

 

As you can see, I’m in need of zg flares to clear the front wheels, it is simply too much space to make up with rolling guards. Otomoto, have you got some carbon fibre flares in stock? :D

 

Here is the car as it is at the moment, new wheels and guards:

 

P1020556.jpg

 

Please note that I have not yet properly fit the fiberglass fender, it needs some material cut away to sit flush at the front, so the fit is not representative of the actual product. These guards are from Alfa Fiberglass and I must say they are FANTASTIC. I haven’t yet properly tried to fit them, but with them sitting on the car, they look like they’ll be perfect. The gaps are all good and the finish on them is great, let alone the price of the pieces! I’ve had very bad experience with fiberglass stuff in the past and this has re-affirmed my love for it all over gain. I’ll post back how much work they are to fit when I get to it, but I don’t expect they will require much work, they look like they’ll fit straight on!

 

Another issue I noted with the increased track on the front:

 

P1020565.jpg

 

In case you missed it, the issue is going to be keeping stones from ruining my paint work with how far the wheels stick out past the guard. I got a quote at $1000 per litre for paint, so I don’t want to be re-spraying the doors in a couple months due to stone chips, that’s for sure! I’m going to have to get some rally style mud flaps I’m afraid. As much as I hate them I’d rather not stuff the paint in one track event  If anyone knows where to get rally style mud flaps for a zed then please shout out, I have no idea.

 

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excellent write-up ! well done..

youve answered the question thats also been bugging me for a while regarding 7 or 8" wide rota Rbs on the front....I'll definetely be going 7"s up front with the stock perches.......(its such a shame Rota dont make a 16x 7.5  :'()

I even noticed that even the Yankee mag sellers are mainly offering 7s (fronts) & 8s (rear) as package-deals for 240 & 260s..

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He has mentioned his brakes are different. You'd have more of a chance fitting 8's with factory stuff.

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Indeed, the Commodore brakes push the wheel away from the struts. With standard suspension the clearence to struts on the front would be less, about 5mm I think, which would fit by a bee's whisker, but it would fit.

 

The issue I have with clearence to the guards is all the extra track I've wound into the suspension, which pushes the bottom of the strut outwards.

 

On a standard zed, with standard suspension, I would go on a limb to say you would fit these wheels with only requiring a guard roll, which is simple and easy.

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1 Feb 2010

Wowsers, 4 months between updates!!!

 

Well, the initial target of Christmas 2010 to be finished has been well and truly past, quite entirely due to the fact that I got pushed down the order by the panel beater and the car has literally been sitting idle with almost no progress since the last update back in October.

 

Well, not entirely true: since October I have finished stripping the interior, fuel tank and brake/fuel lines and removed the last of the tar from underneath the car (Effort!!). With the car now a complete bare shell with absolutely no attached parts I was able to assess the rust. Please bear with lots of photos, but honestly, for an English car there is almost no rust!

 

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This next one is not very clear, it is the passenger side tool box, you can see there is some rust at the seam where it joins the floor. There are a couple of holes here, but nothing huge.

 

 

 

P1020489.jpg

 

 

This is also not very clear, but it is the passenger side of the boot, looking towards the side of the car, a couple of pin-holes above where the exhaust is underneath the car:

 

 

P1020490.jpg

 

The panel beater should be able to sort out most of that pretty easily. I have access to a good condition spare wheel well, depending on if the panel beater wants it and I also bought from the states a brand new replica rear hatch panel, so he can just cut out the old one and weld in a new one. $120 from MSA, an absolute steal!

 

Whilst I’ve been waiting I also ordered a few extra goodies. I always was sick of the crap headlights in the car and the shiverty method of the headlight current traveling up and down the steering column, so I bought some 8000 Kelvin Xenon headlights with all the proper relays to re-route the current away from the steering column so that I can see at night :D I also finally got around to getting some plastic windows, fully formed, shaped, holes drilled and cut to size. The windows are all the same thickness as the standard glass (well, 4.5mm versus 4mm with the glass) and are moulded to the shape of each original window. $350 got me the rear hatch, door windows and quarter windows all done in acrylic with tint! Here is a quick pic of a rear quarter window with the tint:

 

P1020705.jpg

 

So that should be winding plastic windows ticked off the list.

 

I then got a phone call from the mechanic: Engine is out of the car and what do I want to do? Well, got plenty of time, but here is a new API Racing Harmonic Balancer. 3 Piece Ally construction with a new crank adapter, good for warranty with 1200 HP :o But then came the bad news, engine builder got on to stripping the motor: Pistons are all scored (ie, air filters are f’d), couple of bent rods :o and the big end bearings about to seize. Just think, Dad set a PB at the last event before the motor was pulled. Bring on the rebuild! So, currently trying to get new pistons @ 87.5mm, new rods, new rings, bearings, stud kits, and some head work for more compression cause at 240psi the motor was still screaming for more advance with the dizzy wound off the dial.

 

The best news of all of this though: On Australia Day I got a call from the panel beater and the car is due to go in to his workshop in 10 days!! Aside from the fact that he did 2 joba ahead of me, I’m just excited that the car is finally progressing again! Now I just need to purchase the last few bits and pieces to get the car sorted. I finally got the paint code so I can purchase the paint, I ordered new Redline Filters. I wouldn’t normally think enough of filters to post pics, but I got these from the states, with 3 replacement filters for $200, where the EXACT same with K&N stamped on them would have been more like $500 locally :o. Here are the pics of these blatant knock-off, yet same quality products:

 

P1020707.jpg

 

The final thing to do was to get new nuts and bolts. About a month ago now I took my box of sorted and labelled bolts to some friends of mine who trade as the “Metric Men” who are also datto nuts and sell nuts and bolts for a living. I walked in, dropped the box on their desk and told them I need new of EVERYTHING in the box, brand new nuts, bolts, washers, grommets, the works. I’ve not been back since, but I’m sure they are working on it. This is shaping up to be one NICE build, despite the budget blowouts….

 

Well, that’s it for now. This weekend I need to remove the last tar from the wheel wells before the car is trucked to the panel beater where he will soda blast the car, replace the roof, fix the rust and repaint it. Be sure, plenty of pics will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks/months as I keep track of the panel beaters progress :D

 

PS, Oh, one last thing, first round of the local regularity series isn’t until June now, looks like that’s the new deadline to be finished and have the car complete, together, shaken down and ready to race.

 

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21 Feb 2011

Well, still waiting on the panel beater. I put that at 6 months now….

 

Well, to be on with it: I realised the other day that whilst the car is still doing nothing that it would be a convenient time to measure up the suspension to work out how much needs to be taken out of the struts when it goes back together. The car was bottoming out on the front suspension REALLY badly over big pot-holes, so I pulled the suspension out of the car and found that it had no bump stops… Well, that’ll do it!! The rear suspension had bump stops tho, so I dunno what the previous owner was doing to the car, but that seems a bit weird…

 

Either way, I purchased new urethane bump-stops from MSA as part of the rubber kit I purchased and so I have 4 of them to go on all corners. However, if I’m adding bump-stops to the front I need to allow that I have lost the thickness of the bump stop in free travel, so I need to shorten the struts to the point that the chassis hits the ground, plus the uncompressible thickness of the new bump stops. Working out that bit will be a bit of black magic, but for now, PICS :)

 

The first thing I did was jack up the rear suspension to check the clearance of the new rims to the guards:

 

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The tyre JUST hits the inner lip of the guard at what is a ridiculous suspension travel length, but not bottomed out. So, roll the guards nice and simple and the rear wheels will fit a treat, just like expected :)

 

Whilst I was taking the springs out to measure the max suspension travel, notice the difference between front and rear springs, front on the right, rear on the left:

 

P1020714.jpg

 

Rear definitely needs to be stiffened up! However, for now I’m not expecting rear binding issues, so that is good :)

 

An idea of how close the engine cross-member comes to the ground, I think this will bottom out first:

 

P1020716.jpg

 

The clearance of the front tyre to the chassis of the car with the suspension fully compressed: also notice the rusty brake disc from lack of use :(

 

P1020715.jpg

 

And a few happy snaps of the car sitting on its tits:

 

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And an idea of how small these cars are when dumped, this is a photo I took standing upright with the camera held above my head, perhaps just over 2m above the ground:

 

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So, I haven’t measured anything before I ran out of light, but I’m thinking 50mm section on the struts is required, This is a guestimate of 30mm travel till the chassis rails hit the ground and 20mm uncompressible thickness of the bump-stops. I have thin strut-tops for the rear, so that is the 20-30mm till it hits the ground and so I need to take only 20-30mm out of the rear struts. So, 50mm out of the front struts and 20-30mm out of the rear plus the proper strut inserts and I should have the suspension sorted :D I’ll put the car back together and see how the rear springs go, if the car is under-steering, then I’ll get some stiffer springs made up, but for now it was a pretty well sorted car.

 

 

 

 

 

Got camber…

 

P1020738.jpg

 

 

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26 May 2011

Another 3 months between updates… This is getting to be a habit these long breaks… Well, for my sanity’s sake I really hope it doesn’t continue!

 

On a positive, my car goes to the panel beater this Saturday 28 May!! I have booked the tow truck, mounted the rotisserie, adjusted it to find the center of gravity of the car and am all ready to go! Let me just stop you for a minute tho and say that things have actually still been moving slowly in the background and so I apologise in advance for the flood of pictures I have taken in the past 3 months. You have been warned :)

 

Rotisserie? Yep, that’s what I said. I put up a post a few months ago looking for a rotisserie to buy/borrow and a VERY generous boyblunda offered to purchase a rotisserie and let me use it! The catch? I had to fit it to the car and I’ll have to demonstrate to him how to use it… What could I say but yes! Another big thanks to boyblunda, this generosity has really made my project for me. I’ll be happy to catch up any time now the car is on the rotisserie and demonstrate how to use it.

 

The rotisserie is an Ebay unit, which from my understanding is built in Australia. You can pick them up for about $1000 delivered to your local courier depot and they are amazing value! You get a fully functional, constructed, hydraulically jacked rotisserie with almost infinite adjustment. Rated to 1000kg they are more than capable of holding on to a zed shell without a worry. The small amount of work I had to finalise on the car was made MUCH easier with the aid of the rotisserie and for such good value I couldn’t recommend them enough to anybody thinking of doing even mildly serious under-body work.

 

Here are a few pics of the rotisserie when I got it:

 

P1010259.jpg

 

And what is inside this wonderous black box:

 

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Several hours of trying to work out what goes where, why I was short on a few nuts (I wasn’t, I just lost them on the ground for a while :P ) and I present: The ultimate blue twister!

 

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A couple of days later and the ever faithful hand, I mean Dad :P , had managed to construct a set of mounts and had them plated. The front mounts bolt to the front of the chassis rail, where the horns mount and the rear mounts bolt to the rear bumper mounting points, which are attached to the chassis rails. Unfortunately, I only managed to find 1 picture of the mounts, but I will get more I promise!

 

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Unfortunately this turned out to be less than ideal on the first trial lift. Check out the deflection of the rotisserie on the front of the car in this pic!

 

P1010450.jpg

 

Indeed, that is not a normal angle!

 

So, it turns out that even tho that is frame rail there at the front, the captured nuts are actually only welded to some 1mm plate steel and this plate just bent something chronic when any load was put on it. Needless to say, some more work was required. So, it was back to the drawing board and the man that is came up with another idea: The same mount, but this time with an horizontal plate that bolts vertically to the chassis rail itself and some more bracing on the mount to minimise sheer forces on the welding holding the vertical plate. Just imagine the same mount in the pic above with a horizontal plate butting up to the radiator mount and a bolt through the chassis rail holding it against the top of the chassis rail. Unfortunately it requires drilling the chassis rail, but that’s an easy fix with a welder later compared to some of the rust on this car… I didn’t grab a pic of the new mount, but I will on the weekend after the mounts have been re-plated. Regardless, the new modified mounts work a treat and it wasn’t long before Dad and I had the rotisserie sorted and were spinning the car like a game wheel.

 

But enough ramble, time for some more pictures! (I did warn you…)

 

The underneath:

 

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The rear:

 

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Super human strength! Also about the best reason for having a sunroof :)

 

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So, the car was up in the air and everything was going great, well, until I realised that now I had much better access to the underneath of the car and all the tar that still remained on it :( Back to my favourite game of all time; Heat Gun & Spatula vs tar (no, not anywhere near as exciting as it sounds!):

 

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Bald spot!!!

 

 

I’m just gonna go and huddle in the corner now, don’t mind me….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m back! Not to worry tho, Ashley & Martin didn’t get any of my zed fund :) And the greatest achievement of last weekend: NO MORE SUNROOF!!!

 

P1020779.jpg

 

The hole is also not too bad. The roof is a little warped, which will probably require some of our best friend ‘bog’ to get perfect, but the new roof is in fantastic condition so it is certainly salvageable. I’m honestly surprised how little rust there is given how dodgy the install was considering the sunroof installer couldn’t cut more than 5cm at a time in a straight line! On a side note, I have a perfectly functional, reasonable condition LE VAN Sport T Top twin window sunroof for sale if anybody is interested, just drop me a PM and I can send through some more pics.

 

So, that brings me (and you too of course) up to date with what honestly seemed like a neglected rebuild thread. I’ll be dropping in on the panel-beater weekly to keep the pressure on so expect PLENTY of photos over the coming months as the car is transformed from a rust-bucket to what I envision to be a real show stopper. After the panel beater and paid labour, the fun starts all over again with the reconstruction of the car. I managed to bag and label every screw into small sections such as “fuel filler cap” or “pedal box” and take over 500 photos of the car as I stripped it, but somehow I still think that won’t be enough when it comes time to find where all those screws go after so long since taking them out! However, that’s a story for another day. For now, Tom out.

 

PS, to anyone who has followed this whole thread to date, Congratulations! You have just cracked 10,000 words (10,412) , or 35 pages, lovingly typed by yours truly :) Hopefully you enjoyed all of them! (10,429).

 

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