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Skipz Snail Project

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Awesome and I see you got yourself a Fairlady Z grille too!

Must be happy now


Yeah Gav.  Quite excited with the progress.  Has me out of pocket a bit, but well worth it in terms of just advancing the build and the quality of work.

The grille is the MSA reproduction.  Its a bit flimsy and of course needs tweaking to fit right.  I've still got the stock grille as an option if I eventually choose to revert (which needs a bit of straightening and tidy up).

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Haven't done much in the past year (travelling round aust instead).  But thought I'd put up a few pics up of the little that I have done.  Hope to get going again now that I'm back in the garage.


Mastercell under the centre console, replacing fuse box.  New mounts added to suit



Powercell in the rear, with wiring console done for rear lights & fuel pump.





Engine with 71C test fit



Suspension rebuild begins



Edited by skipz

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Been trying to finish "modules".  So have been focussing on the dash and suspension. My goal with the whole car is subtle modernising. So the dash gets impacted by that goal. Plodding along, the gauges and wiring is now done. Glove box is done.  Just need to put in the air ducting then the dash is done.  Pics ...

post-101384-0-80271600-1465113735_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-41492800-1465113958_thumb.jpg 


Gauges are speedhut, with led warning lights on both the tach and speedo.  Those warning lights will tie into the wiring harness or ECU .... when I get there. The hazard switch and trunk release is in place of the original hazard and cig socket. 

post-101384-0-94930400-1465113766_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-19175800-1465113902_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-00278100-1465113913_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-50591900-1465113918_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-05403800-1465113925_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-29960200-1465113908_thumb.jpg


I've moved the cig socket to the glove box, as well as a USB and 3.5mm plug to tie in with the retrosound unit I'll be putting in.  Glove box was fibreglassedv from an MDF & flow coat mould. Done in black gel coat with a final black texture spray on the inside (because I didn't get the gel coat finish to my liking).

post-101384-0-88838200-1465113935_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-58847600-1465113945_thumb.jpg


I remade the gauge bezels, because I didn't like the way the originals looked when the 'glass' is removed.  So I modified an original bezel, cast it and moulded some new ones that mate directly with the speedhut gauges.  (a little home jobby soda blast to get the right surface finish - too glossy and they reflect the gauges too much, spray paint didn't suit - and in the end they came up nice).  New bezels are talc filled PU - rigid enough in the end.

post-101384-0-39566900-1465114442_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-65979400-1465114403_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-95592900-1465114471_thumb.jpg

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Stumbled across these old pics that I don't think I've posted, but it gives you an idea of interior direction and how things are fitting.


post-101384-0-30033900-1465114873_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-30996000-1465114903_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-32146300-1465114932_thumb.jpg



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I've been working on the fuel door lately.  Since the lock is shaved, I need to get the remote open working.  Finished that today. Here's how I did it for the record.




The fuel door was separated from the hinge - a little bit of rust in there between panels, so a little touch up was needed.  I then built a frame to reinforce the fuel door given you now need to push it in place (i.e. extra loading on that panel so it gets reinforced).  This is akin to the approach modern car fuel doors have taken.  I was going to adapt another cars fuel door reinforcement, but ended up just making my own. That reinforcing member was reattached to the hinge mechanism. 




The original spring was removed because it contradicts the new function of the fuel door.  That spring aims to keep the door shut when folded against the body - whereas I needed the door to be free to be sprung open.  A spring from a Holden (?  can't remember - there's tons of different options for door springs in the junkyard) was adapted to the hinge mounting plate.  The one I used, just fit in the end in the body cavity - a tight fit. I'm sure there would be a way of making the whole spring mechanism more compact.




A Nissan catch was adapted to the body cavity. 




A Great Wall lever was adapted to the cabin, just under the seat.  Again, multiple options available from the junk yard - this one just happen to be the cleanest, without scratches etc. So a little adapter plate was welded to the floor.  Because I wanted the mechanism covered when the interior is all done, I bend up some plastic sheet to snap onto the adapter plate, which essentially just covers the lever mechanism. 




The cabling was a mash of both the Great Wall cable (because I needed the lever end to mate with the lever) and the Nissan cable (so the catch end could be used) and shortened to suit.  So one end of the cable needed to have the solder tip end put back on to work the catch.  Turned up a stainless rod on the lathe with the help of a mate, and we silver soldered that to the end of the cable.


The opening spring can be "tuned" (i.e. bend it a little) to get the appropriate fuel door opening when the lever is pulled. 




All I need to do know if make a rubber stopper to limit the travel of the fuel door and also stop it from freely swinging closed when refuelling.  So, a little mould, cast some silicone... shouldn't be too hard.


Putting it all together... seems to work well.  Happy with the result.


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Currently tackling wiring up behind the dash... preview pic:




I've gone with midi fuses to each power cell rather than mega fuses to reduce underdash bulk. They mount on plate, alongside the Haltech EMS, using mounting points previously for the original heater unit fresh/recirc air box (which is now abandoned because of the Vintage Air unit going in). I'm trying to keep this as neat as I can and hidden - trying to have it so there are only a few subtle hints in the end that the electrical system is new/upgraded.  It may well be easier to have all this in the engine bay... meh.


So now I have all the power lines into the 3x individual PowerCells of the InfinityBox system run, terminated and tied.  I'll then need to sort out the CAN cable, then the grounding, then the individual loads, then the switches, then the battery isolator ("inReserve") and so on and so on and so on.  This InfinityBox system is quite straight forward, but rather than one or two big looms, you end up with many small ones.  The trouble is having the foresight of how everything packs together - which occasionally means I'm doing things two sometimes three times over (each time being a little better, and a little more robust).  All part of the journey.

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No flares!  : I reckon in 5-10 years time everyone will want to put their cars back to original as the values increase and so many have now been cut for flares. Putting the rear back to original is very tricky as it is a double panel and getting it to look like it was never cut requires the work of a master.


People were saying that 5 - 10 years ago too.

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Ooo...wheels. Was hesitating on getting these, but quite happy with them now that they are in hand.  Nothing like seeing wheels back in place to put a smile on  ^-^  




(no idea how to rotate that pic)


So having sorted the main fuse and ECU locations, the mounts and powercell wiring, I realised I need to finalise the positioning of the evaporator and the A/C lines before I get too flat out into wiring tie down.  So I'm on to that again.  I've decided to redo the previous evaporator mount and ducting with the aim of doing it a bit cleaner and of less weight... while shifting it a bit to the passenger side for a bit more clearance with the power steering motor.  


The rough plan - evaporator/fan mount and positioning, A/C and heater lines inside the cabin, evaporator drainage hose path, wiring for evaporator, wiring path for the powercells behind the evaporator, then onto the wiring in front of the evaporator to the mastercell.  And then, and then, and then...


No pics yet... I'll eventually post an explanation of how this is all piecing together, once I actually have it done.  A bit hard to articulate without any pics. Soon...


A little video of making the custom speedhut bezels.

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A small update with one pic only sorry.  As previously mentioned, I've continued on with the evaporator mount as planned.  

Ok, some background first:

Exactly as per a few years ago (yes years... sigh), I'll be putting in a Vintage Air Gen 2 mini unit in, so that I can sit in comfy aircon. The blower motor on the unit - if you install it as intended - would be on the right hand drivers side (makes sense given its a US thang).  This would be fine and if centered that motor would sit near to the steering column.  But I'm also planning on an electric power steering unit - the motor of which would hang to the left of the steering column axis.  Which mean I either shift the evaporator unit over and make it off centre (which would effectively null the floor vent unless you ducted it across the trans tunnel), OR you flip the unit around.  I've chosen to flip the unit so the blower motor is on the left.  To me this also makes plumbing the a/c lines easier and packages nicer, but comes with its own problems.


The problem with this is that now the outlets sit close to the firewall up under the horizontal panel that houses the wiper motor.  Not that easy to get the dash and defrost hoses attached.  So I need a ducting / mounting system.  And that's what I've done...


The old one would work, but I didn't really plan its fit very well and it wasn't easy to install.  It was also a bit of overkill in steel weight.  So I decided to make a new one and fix some of the positional, attachment and weight issues.


The new one does just that and is far more compact - saving me about an inch of clearance with the trans tunnel (good for plumbing the drainage line) and probably a couple kilos.


Sorry I've no pics of the ducting / mounting unit right now - left them on the other camera that I don't have with me.


So finished that on the weekend, fit everything up, wired up the blower unit, powered it on and it works like a charm. The ducting / mounting unit does what its supposed to.  (The amount of air the unit puts out - even on low - should well cool the cabin space, I reckon).


I then fitted the dash.  Fits all nice and snug - you might be able to make out the gen 2 unit / mounting in this pic (behind the dash... trust me, its there and it fits).  On a side note the heater control valve fits nicely behind the unit on the firewall.




And ...I can connect only the right hand side ducting to the dash and defrost ducts.  DOH! : The left hand side dash outlet has a position conflict with the support bars on the back of the dash.  And the left hand defrost duct too close to the blower motor to allow the hose to connect.  In short, can't connect the left side.  So this weekend is a bit of duct re-work, then she'll be sweet.  As usual... small steps forward, some back... but we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards finishing this project.  :)


(Again, I plan to put up lots of pics and explain how it all connects / sits behind the dash when all is said and done.)

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I think I've got the connections to the Vintage Air Gen II mini sorted now - just need to put it all together to make sure it fits properly.


From last post, I've modified (a little chopping up and re-welding) the left side attachment point on the ducting mount unit to clear the dash backside support bars. The ducting mount unit now looks like this, when mounted up:

post-101384-0-26514400-1482229272_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-70214900-1482229312_thumb.jpg


The heater hoses to connect from the heater unit to the firewall needed to be a U-shape.  I found a commodore hose did the job nicely.  I still need to get the a/c hoses crimped but I'm pretty sure that will be straight forward.  This is what it looks like all mounted. Its a bit hard to see how those hoses all mate up, since the hoses wrap around the backside of the evaporator to the firewall - all nicely tucked away.



As previously mentioned, the left hand side defrost duct was too tight with the evaporator fan, so it needed modification.  I cut off the tube attachment and re-attached it 90 degrees - with a little fibreglassing.  Looks like it will fit, althought its all a tight squeeze getting the hoses in there.

post-101384-0-92326200-1482229647_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-76203000-1482229692_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-48044300-1482229717_thumb.jpg post-101384-0-65411100-1482229750_thumb.jpg


And finally, a little sheet work gets some end hoses attachments to connect the 2.5" hoses from the centre ducting/mount unit to the dash side vents (since the original hoses no longer attach correctly).



So that should be all the hoses / ducting needed in order to lock in this vintage air unit.  This weekend will be a trial fit with the dash, and test run. Will post some pics of when thats all connected up. Then I'll finalise the wiring for it.  And on we go...


A fair effort just to get this Vintage Air unit in there, but I don't think there is much more room behind the dash with the main fuse links, ECU, heater valve, wiring looms, heater and a/c hoses all tucked up in there.  So in that regard, I'm happy with the end fitting.


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