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About Ironhead

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    Nor Cal
  1. Thanks, The worst part....I was just starting to set up the new diff housing today....and it is going to require completely different shims than the prior one. Starting completely over, but I guess that should not be a surprise.
  2. I got pretty lucky for sure on the lack of rust. I gave the car a very thorough inspection prior to buying, after looking at several cars in which the floorboards consisted of hardware store galvanized sheet metal held in with rivets or duct tape. But I bought the car in Palm Springs, and I think it spent its entire life there. I would imagine most Southern California cars have little or no rust. As far as the diff, I am planning to use the TTT rear end conversion kit, which is designed around Nissan components, so I was not really thinking Ford. Also, the short nose came with a 4.08 on the 300ZX....all the other R200 diffs had ratios in the 3.XX range. Turns out I am using a 4.6 gearset from the front of a Pathfinder, which if I understand Nissan diff interchangeability at all would not work in a longnose R200. I just hope the diff is beefy enough for a 525 HP LS3...as it did not come on any Nissans with anywhere near that output. But all the advice I got from people who claim to know this stuff said that it should be fine. Besides my only stronger Nissan option was the R230....which comes with something like 3.5 gearing....not good for my purposes. And AFAIK there are no other R230 gearsets available.
  3. You ever have the feeling with these car projects, that you are working your ass off but getting nowhere....or even going backwards? I got tired of stitch welding the body shell(mind numbing PITA of a job, far worse than I expected), and I got the rest of my diff parts from Japan, so I was hoping to finish setting up all the diff parameters and buttoning it up...you know....so something was "done". As anyone who has done this knows, it involves a ton of assembly and disassembly checking bearing tension, backlash, and gear contact pattern. Well, the last time I was taking it apart, one of the carrier bearing cap bolts decided to gall/seize in the threads in the casting. Not sure why...I had the bolts lubed...but it did. I managed to get the bolt out, but it took massive force and took all the female threads in the diff case out with it. I figured, minor setback. Timeserts have saved my ass many times in the past, and they are nearly idiot proof....so I plunked down almost $100 on a M12/1.50 Timesert thread repair kit. Timesert went in like always, I was feeling good about myself, and all that. But when I went to thread in the bearing cap bolt, it became apparent that somehow I managed to drill out/tap the damaged diff threads crooked. So, of course, the Timersert went in crooked. You can't tell from the pictures, but the Timesert is roughly 5-10 degrees "off" from perpendicular to the rear diff cover sealing surface. So far off, that the bolt contacts the casting and will not thread in. So basically, my carefully prepped and painted diff case was toast. As I said, Timeserts are pretty much idiot proof, and I managed to f*** it up. It was a proud moment. Fortunately, I managed to find another 300ZX diff online for a decent price (sort of), got it dismantled today.....and ready to begin round two. I sure have an embarrassing pile of smelly/nasty diff internals lying around the shop. Can't get rid of them yet....don't know what else I might manage to f*** up. This time...I'm not going to bother painting it until I have everything set up and ready for final assembly.
  4. Shims for R200V Differential Build

    Good to hear....I am not clear how the 4.6 ring and pinion was used in its OEM application, because it needs more shimming than would be met by any of the Nissan shims I can find part numbers for...if that makes sense. I think most of these 4.636, 51/11 R/Ps came from the front of Nissan Pathfinders....but the parts diagrams don't list any particularly thick shims, so I assume the front diff case was just different in terms of spacing. By my calculations....I am going to use 5.32mm ...total...shims as a starting point. Thanks for the input....good to know we came to the same conclusion.
  5. Shims for R200V Differential Build

    I'm going with the T56 with a .64 ratio 6th gear, which brings top speed (6500 redline) down to 166 or thereabouts with the 4.636 final drive. Otherwise the chart I used gave about the same results as yours. This will be strictly a track-day type car....very little street driving....and my goal was simply to gear it for most flexibility within the speed range I am likely to use on track (roughly 40-140 MPH). My current track car has a 5-speed and a very peaky engine, but with its current gearing I never use 5th gear at all on track, while I would benefit from more gears as it only makes good power from 5000-7500 RPM. While I know an LS3 will have a much wider power band, I am just trying to make use of all the gears and have no need for a OD gear to stuff it into for freeway cruising at 2000 RPM. More good advice on shims...I am ordering an assortment of these https://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-shims/=1a2k2tb in 35mm ID just to stack to figure out the correct pinion height, then see if I can find a "proper" Nissan shim once I know the size I need....although I cannot think of any good reason why I shouldn't just leave the McMaster-Carr shims in there permanently. Thanks again.
  6. Sorry, I didn't word that too clearly. This is the crate engine I am referring to: http://www.chevrolet.com/performance/crate-engines/ls376-525 I was wondering about whether the exhaust manifold it comes with would clear the stock steering shaft, Hoke motor mounts, etc.....or if I would likely need to go with some sort of header. I wasn't asking about the intake manifold.
  7. Shims for R200V Differential Build

    Sorry if my question/wording/presence here somehow fails to live up to your expectations. Not sure what else to say about that. As far as sharing my solution, all I did was to bribe a hoarder buddy with beer, dig through his leftover shims, and through pure luck found a pinion pre-load shim that will work for me. I didn't think posting that would add much to the forum, frankly. Agreed. I have been pondering the ratio choice also, Jester. It is going behind a T56 on an LS3 powered track car. According to my calculations with the T56 gearing and the tires I will be using the car should redline in 6th at 166 MPH....and 3000 RPM in 6th gear should give me 77 MPH. It definitely is not gearing that will promote relaxed freeway cruising, but that isn't really my goal for the car. I would welcome any experience/input for sure though. I have a 4.375 R/P also...as well as the stock 4.08 that came in the diff. As far as availability, I perused the internet and the shim sizes I needed showed up "NLA" on the big Nissan parts websites. In fact all the pinion pre-load and pinion height shims showed "NLA". It does look like the carrier bearing shims are still available, however. My current challenge is setting up the pinion gear height....as the 4.636 pinion is much smaller (shorter) than the 4.08 that came with the diff. So much shorter in fact, that if the "original" pinion gear height shim from the diff is used, the driveshaft flange will bottom out on the pinion shaft while the bearings are still loose. To sort that out, I'm certain your other shim source suggestions will come in very handy. Thanks much for the input.
  8. Shims for R200V Differential Build

    I just re-read what I wrote in the first post Zed....and I honestly don't see how I could make it any more clear what I was asking for..... You absolutely need certain shims to set up the bearing tension and ring/pinion interface in a differential. How was that not clear? Since these parts are "NLA"....and since people on this forum (probably thousands) must have confronted this as they worked on Nissan differentials...I just hoped someone here had a workaround. I realize now I was "wrong"....but I must say the request still seems clear to me. Softopz....thank you for the suggestion...that is one of the approaches I am going to use.
  9. Everything is looking great. Do you have any idea if any of the various stock LS engine manifolds tend to work on "Z" conversions? I am looking at using the crate 525 HP LS3, and since I don't really want/need any more power...figured I would just use the stock manifold....if it fits the conversion.
  10. Shims for R200V Differential Build

    Thanks to all who offered advice...LOL...but nevermind I think I have it figured out.
  11. If it helps you, I used a Recaro Profi SPG XL to test fit into the car....that is the "fat guy" model that is both wider and taller than the standard seat. It fit into my car fine. I moved it as close as possible to the trans tunnel (almost touching) so I would have room for door bars on the other side, and it looks like there will be plenty of room. I have read other people's posts about problems fitting racing seats into first gen Z cars, and I am not sure what they were referring to. Even the SPG XL seems to fit fine in my car.
  12. I am waiting on parts from Japan to finish setting up the differential, so I have gone back to body work. Despite my rosy predictions, I did come across a small patch of rust under the rear corner of the passenger side door. I am certainly not complaining...considering the state of rot of cars that other much braver souls are tackling....but it is what it is and it had to be dealt with. The outer rocker panel had some small pinholes where it had rusted through (that was the only way I found the issue) but after wire brushing the rust off I found the inner panel was only pitted. I treated the area with SEM "Rust Mort", then epoxy primed all the bare metal before patching the outer rocker with new metal. I also found that no matter how I modified them, the stock seat mounts would not allow me to mount seats low enough to fit in the car with a helmet on (I am 6'-3"). So, I wound up removing them and making mounting rails out of 1" .120" wall square tube. I welded M8 plate nuts inside the tubes so I would not have to fiddle about with nuts when bolting in the seats. With the side mounts I am using, this allows the lowest possible mounting of the racing shells....the lowest part of the seat is only 1/4" or so from touching the floor of the car....just enough clearance to allow for a coat of Lizard Skin and bedliner down the road. Being a noob welder, I found it a bit tricky welding the .120" tube to the ultra thin sheet metal on the floor of the car without constantly burning through...but gradually figured it out. With these rails I have approximately 4" clearance between the top of my head and the roof of the car, which should be more than enough to allow adequate helmet clearance. I have also started stitch welding the car structure....a tedious mind-numbing process that I seriously question will bring significant benefits. I know stitch welding is controversial....and I agree with some that it may not help a thing...but since the car is completely stripped I figured it was now or never and decided I would do it. Thanks for looking.
  13. I am currently building an R200V from a 300zx with a lot of changes, including OSG limited slip with Skyline GTR 6-bolt axle stubs and a 4.636 ring/pinion. So far everything is going swimmingly, except that with all the swapped out parts there is no way the original shims are going to work. At a minimum, I am going to need new pinion height shims and new pinion bearing pre-load shims. No sure yet about the side bearing shims. The problem is that all my inquiries into these parts have been returned "no longer available". How are people handling this? Is there a source I am missing? Or is it just a matter of junkyard scrounging and tearing apart a lot of diffs hoping to get lucky? Has anyone used generic machine shims from the general industrial hardware market (McMaster-Carr)? Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
  14. "Life" has sort of taken over lately, and I haven't had a lot of time to work on the "Z". In the intervals I have had, I decided to tackle the differential build rather than get into body work. I picked a R200V differential from an NA 300ZX as the basis for the build, even though I initially thought with an LS3 build I should go R230. The problem with the R230 is that the final drive is much too tall for my intended gearing and tires....redline in 6th gear (T56) would have been somewhere around 220 MPH (yes I know it would not go nearly that fast) and I could not find any available ring and pinions to change it. Knowledgeable people told me that the R200V is quite strong and should handle the V8 swap just fine. It comes stock with a 4.08 final drive, but via Ebay I also bought ring and pinions in 4.375 and 4.636 that were available from some sort of nameless "Japan only" applications. I am in sort of a quandary as to which I should use. The 4.636 would redline in sixth gear at 166 MPH, the 4.375 at 177, and the 4.08 at 189. At 3000 RPM in sixth gear speeds would be 77, 82, and 87 respectively. This is a track car build, that will be street driven primarily to and from track days only, so I am not hugely concerned about highway cruising comfort. I am leaning toward the 4.375 final drive but would hugely appreciate some input from those of you who have done this. My diff casing as received was chipped and rusty. Can't have that can we? So I wire brushed all the crap off, epoxy primed it, and painted it gloss black. I was looking for a proper 2K single stage (no clear coat) paint for drive train components that would be durable and solvent resistant, didn't want to spend $600 for a gallon of Imron, and settled on Delfleet Essential by PPG. It is a reasonably priced product, designed for commercial applications on trucks and buses that will not be clear-coated, and so far seems like it meets my needs well. Easy to spray, good gloss, and dries very hard and (apparently) durable. Thanks for looking.
  15. Looking great... I wish I was even CLOSE to that point with mine...