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Zetsaz

A musician's therapist (The $300 Z)

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Long day. Front lower mount of the diff wasn't bolting in. Dropped everything and realized that the passenger side bolts weren't even starting. Bought a tap and die set that I had needed anyway and chased the threads. Finally bolted up the rear, then bolted in the rear control arms and coilovers along with brakes. Only thing left is the sway bar and brake hoses which should be done tomorrow.

 

After lots of debating (which I do a lot of with pretty much every decision on this car) and using @seattlejester as a sounding board for the millionth time this month I decided to get the T3 drop mounts and dog bone to fit the finned cover. I could have run the smooth cover, or just cut the brace of the stock drop mounts and sourced the old makeshift braces a user here had made a while back, but I figured if it's something I'll be upgrading later, I might as well get it now. I was concerned that it wouldn't fit with the stock mustache bar since that's not really a weak point and I have better things to do than spend an extra $300 on bling. Wasn't fitting at first and I was feeling disappointed.... until I realized I had left the nuts on the mustache bar loose to line up the bolts up front. Serious facepalm moment. It just barely touches, tight fit, but it'll work.

 

Buttoning up the rear suspension and brake lines tomorrow, pictures to come. We're going places people! (Not literally... but places none the less)

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Major milestone today. All suspension components, all bushings, and all brake parts are now bolted in. Tested the emergency brake and it seems to be working great! All brake lines are in and new hoses on all 4 corners along with new hard lines on all 4 corners. Will double check that the ends are properly tightened and bleed the brakes this weekend. Pulling engine and transmission out tomorrow.

 

Enjoy this picture for now, it's very satisfying. I'll wipe down some of the grease from the parts I had roughly repainted next time I'm under there for fuel lines. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Post is much later than anticipated but the car is finally in Washington! I didn't get the chance to make seat rails with how long it took to strip out the electronics and interior from the other car, but I was able to at least bolt in the engine and transmission so I wouldn't be carrying them in a truck. Was very tempted to take the car on a full dolly, but the cost was on the virge of ridiculous so I settled for a dolly and disconnected the driveshaft. At least I know my rear end will hold together now that it's been put together haha. 

Some Pics of the car before and on arrival. Don't mind the mismatched silver on the fenders. I took some rustoleum and did a quick spray of them so the mismatching wouldn't drive me completely crazy. It's unforunately the only thing that didn't come with the shell along with seat rails. 

 

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In other news, my girlfriend has been looking for a roadster for a long time. The prices on some were out of budget and others were just so rusted they weren't even worth looking at. She ended up finding a very nice example from a true roadster enthusiast near Snohomish. Aside from needing to be put together (there seems to be commom theme here....) the car is in great shape and has a new remachined 1600 engine with all new parts ready to be put together. Came with tons of extra goodies, I'm almost more excited to help her put it together than I am to do the work on my own car. I'm so indecisive sometimes I don't know how to move forward with things, especially anything engine related. Anyway, until it's moving my carport was the only place for it, sadly that meant potentially losing the only working space I have for my daily unil one or the other is moving... that is until I found out I could fit the whole thing sideways and still park my car behind it. Thank goodness the last owner included the tired dollies. 

 

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That's it for now. Haven't gotten much work done since getting back due to some setup for work a long with some very long days running a high school band camp for my job. Next up is either an upgraded or just personally rebuilt brake master cylinder since I discovered mine was leaking really bad the morning I left. It messed up some of the not totally cured paint on the engine bay :( After that will be seat rails, then wiring, then engine decisions.... which I'm not particuarly good at, so it might be a while haha. 

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Edited by Zetsaz

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No huge updates just yet since the start of the school year is always excessively busy, but I've made some small progress.

 

Finished making seat rails, they're not super pretty, but I think my welds are decent considering it's the first time I've really welded anything for the car. Hoping take the seat tops off so I can test fit them and make sure that I get a reasonable angle front to back. Hopefully tomorow or thursday I'll have the rails welded into the car! Special thanks to @seattlejester for helping me figure out the best way to make something that'll work with the original seats.

 

Once that's done I'll start taping things off and maybe in a week or two I'll spray in the insulation. Very exciting stuff!

 

Pictures to come as I finish things up. 

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8 hours ago, Zetsaz said:

No huge updates just yet since the start of the school year is always excessively busy, but I've made some small progress.

 

Finished making seat rails, they're not super pretty, but I think my welds are decent considering it's the first time I've really welded anything for the car. Hoping take the seat tops off so I can test fit them and make sure that I get a reasonable angle front to back. Hopefully tomorow or thursday I'll have the rails welded into the car! Special thanks to @seattlejester for helping me figure out the best way to make something that'll work with the original seats.

 

Once that's done I'll start taping things off and maybe in a week or two I'll spray in the insulation. Very exciting stuff!

 

Pictures to come as I finish things up. 

6

nice man! You're pushing past me in the timeline ha, looking forward to the pics! I'm interested to see what you came up with. Also, aren't;t you like over 6' tall? You look pretty tall in the photos you've posted, how did you get the seats to work out on the original mounts without hitting your head?

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2 hours ago, Jboogsthethug said:

nice man! You're pushing past me in the timeline ha, looking forward to the pics! I'm interested to see what you came up with. Also, aren't;t you like over 6' tall? You look pretty tall in the photos you've posted, how did you get the seats to work out on the original mounts without hitting your head?

 

I'm actually JUST shy of 6'. I'm fairly thin, so it makes me look a bit taller than 6' sometimes. I don't have the stock mounts actually, but I fit fine in them in the old rusted shell, but even after adjustment my hair would always skim the ceiling which was annoying. In bad positioning my head would touch just a bit. I'm only trying to get an inch or two lower out of the mounts so I'm totally comfortable while driving. I actually really like the height for everything else, just my hair always touching was annoying. If I ever modify them for different seats I'll have even more room since most aftermarket mounts are lower profile and the seat bottoms often are too. 

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1 hour ago, Zetsaz said:

 

I'm actually JUST shy of 6'. I'm fairly thin, so it makes me look a bit taller than 6' sometimes. I don't have the stock mounts actually, but I fit fine in them in the old rusted shell, but even after adjustment my hair would always skim the ceiling which was annoying. In bad positioning my head would touch just a bit. I'm only trying to get an inch or two lower out of the mounts so I'm totally comfortable while driving. I actually really like the height for everything else, just my hair always touching was annoying. If I ever modify them for different seats I'll have even more room since most aftermarket mounts are lower profile and the seat bottoms often are too. 

I am 6' exactly and I've had the same problem. I am tryign to make it so I'll fit in the car and still be able to pass racing specs but I'm supposed to be able to have 2" between my helmet and a roll cage with a helmet on so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to make that happen. I worry about going too low because it becomes very hard to see what the duece I'm even doing when I'm so low ha. pain in the butt! I like the stock height too, but I know if I ever rolled it my head is hitting everything the roof hits ha.

 

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Nice progress on the project!

 

As far as room in these cars, my experience ~6' similar to Omar, is that they are quite roomy. For that era from Japan they were definitely made for a US sized market. It's one of the few cars I've owned that I don't just run the sliders all the way back. Seating is reclined but it's a sports car and should be.

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Helmet to bar clearance I can see being an issue. Setting the bar back far enough would help but the low roofline could make that tight. I haven't tracked my car and the bar is still coming so my experience is from all the years prior to teardown.

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I realized I read the SCCA's rules incorrectly. In the SCCA's Appendix C.A.2: 

Quote

The top of the roll bar shall not be below the top of the driver’s helmet when the driver is in normal driving position, and shall not be more than 6 inches behind the driver. Exception: For Modified Category Specials (Section 18.4), the bar must extend at least 2.0” (50.8 mm) above the driver’s helmet in the normal seated position and a head restraint keeping the driver’s head from going under or behind the roll bar is required. It is strongly suggested that all roll bars extend at least 3.0” (76.2 mm) above the driver’s helmet. In case of two-driver cars, both drivers must be within the roll bar height requirement, however only one (1) driver must be within 6.0” (152.4 mm) of the roll bar. In a closed car or an open car with a removable OE hardtop which is equipped with a roll bar/cage, it must be as close as possible to the interior top of the car

In the modified category specials you need it to be 2" above your helmet with something there to make sure your head doesn't go back behind the bar in a rollover, but in general application they basically want to make sure the bar is as close to the body as possible so nothing (arms, fingers, etc.) can get stuck between the bar and cage. That does make it easier ha. It clarifies this further in Appendix C.I:
 

Quote

Braces and portions of the main hoop subject to contact by the driver’s or passenger’s helmet, as seated normally and restrained by seat belt and harness, must be padded with a non-resilient material such as Ethafoam® or Ensolite® or other similar material with a minimum thickness of 1/2" (0.50", 12.7 mm).

Making it clear that you are able to have the bar low enough to contact your helmet, but if it is it needs the foam. Sorry for the earlier misinformation about needing 2" between the head and roll cage.

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My seats are floor mounted (on plates welded to tubular frame rails) and you can see out pretty easily, if Omar is close to 6' than he is taller than me so I'll let him chime in on his experience.

 

Usually they run a broom stick test, although if your car is something like certain convertibles where you are in contact with the bar, with good restraints, they seem to give you a pass if you have the absorption stuff as mentioned. My bar was no where near my head, it sat right in front of the map light, to hit it my seat would have to snap on the cross bar first. If you are using a roll bar just design it so that it angles back.

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5 minutes ago, seattlejester said:

My seats are floor mounted (on plates welded to tubular frame rails) and you can see out pretty easily, if Omar is close to 6' than he is taller than me so I'll let him chime in on his experience.

 

Usually they run a broom stick test, although if your car is something like certain convertibles where you are in contact with the bar, with good restraints, they seem to give you a pass if you have the absorption stuff as mentioned. My bar was no where near my head, it sat right in front of the map light, to hit it my seat would have to snap on the cross bar first. If you are using a roll bar just design it so that it angles back.

Do you happen to have any pictures of the setup you created? I'm leaning towards something like that probably.

 

and interesting. I've never been to an event so I'm a bit on the outs as far as knowing how it goes in real life rather than on the paper. Thanks for the input!

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1 hour ago, seattlejester said:

if Omar is close to 6' than he is taller than me so I'll let him chime in on his experience.

 

Your setup is very comfortable for me. I'm not a giant fan of the how high up the top of the doors come, but you have to make some sacrifice for the fitment. I fit in it great and see out just fine. Don't feel like there's more of a blindspot than normal.

 

57 minutes ago, Jboogsthethug said:

Also, Omar, are you a music teacher?

 

Yes sir! High school currently. Bands, jazz, marching music theory, mariachi (weirdly enough... it's way more fun than running a group guitar class which is the more standard option students would have). High School schedule is pretty exhausting. Example, we had a marching rehearsal yesterday and a football game the band is playing at tonight. Which means I haven't finished those rails like I hoped... slows things down, but hey! The car is here now, which means even a couple welds/bolts a day is more progress than I was making last year. 

Edited by Zetsaz

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8 hours ago, seattlejester said:

 

I'd prefer if it met up with the rocker and trans tunnel, but it works for now.

 

oh so you used just a flat piece of metal just as reinforcement, thats a pretty good idea! Have you had any problems with the bolts getting caught on things as you're driving?

 

7 hours ago, Zetsaz said:

 

Your setup is very comfortable for me. I'm not a giant fan of the how high up the top of the doors come, but you have to make some sacrifice for the fitment. I fit in it great and see out just fine. Don't feel like there's more of a blindspot than normal.

 

 

Yes sir! High school currently. Bands, jazz, marching music theory, mariachi (weirdly enough... it's way more fun than running a group guitar class which is the more standard option students would have). High School schedule is pretty exhausting. Example, we had a marching rehearsal yesterday and a football game the band is playing at tonight. Which means I haven't finished those rails like I hoped... slows things down, but hey! The car is here now, which means even a couple welds/bolts a day is more progress than I was making last year. 

4

 

Thanks for the input on his setup, Getting your seats to fit just right is like a jigsaw puzzle ha. And my brother in law also is a music teacher, he really likes it! He actually just moved to Abu Dhabi to teach music at a school there, about 45 minutes from Dubai. I think his schedule is a lot less rigorous out of the states but last year here in Utah he was going non stop with the after school commitments. You music teachers go hard! I just barely figured out what your thread name meant and remembered you were a teacher. Man I shouldn;t be working on my car if it took me this long to figure that out haha

 

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12 hours ago, seattlejester said:

My situation is unique in that my frame rails come into the cabin. So the frame is welded to that frame rail. I'm not sure if I would just trust welding a plate to the sheet metal on the floor. 

yeah makes sense, are those the bad dag rails or just some pieces you picked up from a metal depot? I have 1" x 2" bars I'm going to lay down instead of flat bars, so then I'm an inch off the floor. I think that will work better for my situation, as they will still be tied into the trans tunnel and the rocker for additional support.

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On 9/21/2018 at 3:16 PM, Zetsaz said:

 

Your setup is very comfortable for me. I'm not a giant fan of the how high up the top of the doors come, but you have to make some sacrifice for the fitment. I fit in it great and see out just fine. Don't feel like there's more of a blindspot than normal.

I've never really found a problem with the height of the doors. It feels like your dropping down into a "cockpit" so to speak. The car is just small and low. Other sports cars I've driven are similar, some maybe not quite as much. Just part of the character I guess. The interior door release for example is near impossible for a newcomer to find but once you are familiar with the location it's just right in the perfect place, lay your hand down and there it is.

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14 hours ago, seattlejester said:

My situation is unique in that my frame rails come into the cabin. So the frame is welded to that frame rail. I'm not sure if I would just trust welding a plate to the sheet metal on the floor. 

The plate probably isn't ideal since it's only 2 dimensional and strength to weight would be better if raised up and tied to structural members.

 

How obtrusive are the rails up into the floor? I've toyed with that idea but am concerned with it always being in the way. Strength tying everything together and totally flat bottom underneath would be nice. I'm not sure that the longitudinal rails mess with aero much but they certainly can't if they are not there. I don't want to sidetrack Omar's thread much but thought I would ask as you both have been in the car.

Edited by jpndave

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