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Bought a fully built engine over the weekend.  Was going to build another stroker, but it's Summer and I want this thing back on the road ASAP... besides, rushing a serious engine build is probably not the best of ideas, so the stroker can wait... for now.  

I'll be switching to a well built L28 with flat top pistons and a ported N42 head, running about 9.5:1 compression with a 1.5mm thick Kameari head gasket.  It currently has a pretty mild Crane camshaft in it.  I am planning to run it as-is for now, but since I do have my E31 sitting here I am tempted to slap a more aggressive Isky cam into that, switch to a 1mm head gasket, and shoot for 10:1 compression with some valve reliefs cut into the pistons.  Could work well, and the quench from the flat pistons and E31 head should keep detonation from happening.  

Anyway, that's all speculative since I don't pick up the engine for another week or two.  For now my attention has turned to having the engine bay sitting perfect and ready for that new engine.  The paint on the body of the car looks pretty great still, and the underside is solid, but the engine bay is looking pretty sorry.  Quite sure this is still the original paint, and I have a little bit of battery area rust going - now is the perfect time to take care of this.  

Stripping everything out of the engine bay now, but still have to do the area by the master cylinder.  I'm shopping the repaint out to a local shop, I know my limits and want this done properly.  It will be getting painted white to match the rest of the car.  







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Done all I can, so it's off to the body shop for paint.


The frame rails are rock solid, which is good. Thankfully the rust by the battery tray doesn't seem to go too deep either, just surface stuff.


Excited to see how it turns out. Big re-wire job is next up. Did a re-wire last year, learned a lot in the process too, but I think I can do a much better job this time - especially with no engine in there!




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Checking over things from the old engine, killing time in limbo...  

My E31 head:

18284274089_6ede182d74_z.jpgDSC04427 by ryant67, on Flickr

At the very least, those old aluminum valve retainers will be needing replaced.  

18472225481_ac84bbfb5d_z.jpgDSC04432 by ryant67, on Flickr


The camshaft has obviously been reground, but there is no stamping on it besides the factory "K".  Mystery cam!  The car was pulling very hard from around 4k rpm up to red line at 7k rpm.  I set the rev limiter to 7k rpm due to the unknown internals, but this thing wanted to keep going at 7k...  

Measuring the lift with vernier calipers:

Find the smallest lobe measurement

18472231981_021ac762e7_z.jpgDSC04430 by ryant67, on Flickr

Then the largest lobe measurement


17847801804_1b29b2263f_z.jpgDSC04429 by ryant67, on Flickr

So 1.5" - 1.15" = 0.350"

Rocker arm ratio on these cars is typically 1.5 I believe, so 0.350 * 1.5 = 0.520 lift.  

So that helps explain the powerband a little.  Skinny looking lobes though.  


Checking on the Centerforce clutch and Fidanza flywheel, all looks pretty good to me, aside from all the oil from my rear crankshaft seal leak - still though, I guess my shifting isn't THAT bad...

18284325449_b11701e64f_z.jpgDSC04412 by ryant67, on Flickr

18448215886_0e2059dda1_z.jpgDSC04411 by ryant67, on Flickr


18444076286_09fbc1e03a_z.jpgDSC04413 by ryant67, on Flickr



Cleaned up my Mikuni intake manifold.  

18466228722_6708608821_z.jpgDSC04408 by ryant67, on Flickr

18284350669_2a20446782_z.jpgDSC04407 by ryant67, on Flickr

17847866894_9696a24a31_z.jpgDSC04410 by ryant67, on Flickr

18287341230_4f4e6a8c9b_z.jpgDSC04407 by ryant67, on Flickr

Who is Jack?   :P

I measured up the manifold:
Carb side: 44mm
Intake side: 35mm

So the ports all match (for better or worse..)

Probably going to soda blast my Mikuni 44's  this weekend in an effort to clean up the outside of the casting.  I have a damaged body to test on first, but this method looks simple enough, and the results look spectacular!  

Link:  http://www.aircooledtech.com/tools-on-the-cheap/soda_blaster/


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Looks like you have too many options and it will be hard to choose-not a bad problem I guess.  I would think the e31 with 1mm gasket on a stroker will be at the edge of the CR limits. Sounds like you have full spark control so that will be an advantage to control detonation. 

Mikuni manifold looks familiar!

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Not a whole lot of major progress to report.  The car is 100% going in for the engine bay repaint on Monday, and I picked up the new engine last weekend.  

Right now I am just stuck in decision mode as the new engine had a lot of nice parts that are duplicates of aftermarket goodies my old stroker motor had. 

New:  Kameari-style cast aluminum oil pan 5.5qt
Old:  Custom high capacity baffled oil pan 9qt  [x]

New:  123 Ignition programmable distributor
Old:  Electromotive HPV-1 crankfired ignition 

New:  Clifford Research 6-2-1 header w/ 1.5" primaries into 2" exhaust line
Old:  MSA 6-1 header with 1.5" primaries into 3" exhaust line  

New:  SK Racing 40's on a cannon-style manifold
Old:  Mikuni 44's on a Mikuni manifold  

New:  Crane .450 lift 262/272 duration camshaft
Old: Unknown .520ish lift with unknown duration  

And duplicates of the same 83 ZX gearboxes, centerforce clutches, and fidanza flywheels - reckon I will just inspect, pick the best condition ones, and sell the spares.  

It's a nice problem to have so many good choices when it comes to parts though, and once I sell off the spares I will just about break even on the new engine I bought, huzzah!!! 

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Some pics...  

Took it upon myself to improve the aesthetics of my Mikunis.  Tried the old sodablast technique and it didn't really do enough for me, so I got ballsy and bead blasted the carb bodies.  Following the blasting, I blew them out with compressed air, rinsed the insides out with carb cleaner, then blasted the hell out of them with the high powered water gun at a coin-op car wash before once again blowing them out with compressed air.  Pretty sure there are no beads left in these suckers now.  Finished them off with some of POR-15's "Glisten PC" to keep the clean finish protected - I wish I was a little less heavy handed with the coatings though, got a couple of minor runs, but on the whole I am pretty satisfied.  

18849947699_e5afa60ddd_z.jpgDSC04460 by ryant67, on Flickr

19039254361_b0963d10dc_z.jpgDSC04461 by ryant67, on Flickr

18848447688_300ffdc41b_z.jpgDSC04463 by ryant67, on Flickr

18848475658_9b0db011c4_z.jpgDSC04459 by ryant67, on Flickr

Tore down the old stroker engine and now I have 2 V07 cranks in my living room.  

18413547824_94ba7a306d_z.jpgDSC04466 by ryant67, on Flickr

Pulled these L24 rods and unknown pistons from the engine too.  Dual valve reliefs, hmm...

19030604942_cb0d3702ce_z.jpgDSC04470 by ryant67, on Flickr

19009929856_3f534fba11_z.jpgDSC04469 by ryant67, on Flickr

Some pics of the custom 9qt oil pan from the stroker motor.  Quite like it actually, and it's bottom sits perfectly level with the crossmember.  

19036051045_76dd444ec0_z.jpgDSC04473 by ryant67, on Flickr

19009810456_d158deda97_z.jpgDSC04475 by ryant67, on Flickr

19039188291_ce60088a86_z.jpgDSC04471 by ryant67, on Flickr


18849866059_d5edd111c9_z.jpgDSC04472 by ryant67, on Flickr

My little hoard of rods and pistons.  

19036085755_91b952c742_z.jpgDSC04467 by ryant67, on Flickr

Spent a couple of hours trying to straighten up the fins on my Griffin radiator, not a fun job.  Tweezers and lots of patience.  

18849909759_ecfc775b38_z.jpgDSC04465 by ryant67, on Flickr

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Back from the paint shop, boy did they ever do a great job matching the paint!


So good a job that I'm now getting them to repair the cracks in my fiberglass front air dam and repaint it as well.


23 unused holes were welded up. Battery tray was removed, and I'll be putting a battery box behind the passenger seat.




Now to get the harness sorted out and install it in a couple of days time, then the engine.



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Reworked my engine bay harness today.  

Modifications done:
- Removed stock alternator wiring as I am running an internally regulated Ford 3G alternator.
- Removed distributor wiring as I am running crank fired ignition.  
- Added fused power wire for fan controller.
- Added wires for ignition and accessory relay triggers.
- Added lines for Electromotive HPV-1, cd player, and fuel pump.  
- Sleeved wiring in braided nylon (techflex F6) and heat shrinked ends.  

All in all, pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I just need to sleeve the relayed headlight harness and water temperature gauge line now.  




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Getting close now, just a couple of small odds and ends to finish up, then the engine can be dropped in.  

I'll need to fab up a bracket for the bussmann fuse/relay box, mount the bus bar for power connections, and run the wiring for the power and ground wires to the battery behind the passenger seat.  

Chomping at the bit to drive this thing again!  



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Egads, how time flies!  

Engine is in, and running.  Just a few odds and ends to zip tie and secure, and some clutch adjustments to be done.  Looking pretty good though!  

I was pretty bummed out that my AN fitting fuel lines sit too high for the Cusco strut bar, and the T3 triangulation rods to clear.  Reckon I can solve that be adding an extra 90 (or 45) degree bend so they angle down again.  I'll also be switching to a throttle cable for the carbs, as there really isn't sufficient clearance for the rod by the firewall.  Lokar seems to be the way most people do this, so I just need to DIY up a bracket.  


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Some finishing touches:
- Added some 45 degree AN fittings to my fuel lines for the carbs, which lowered things just enough for the Cusco strut brace to clear.  
- Installed T3 triangulation bar. 
- Hacked off one of the clips on my ITG air filter for clearance.  
- Converted to Lokar throttle cable.  Made a basic bracket for it that attaches to one of the heatshield support arms at the side of a Mikuni.  MUCH improved throttle response now, loving it.  
- Re-routed the brake vacuum line to avoid any clearance problems with the throttle linkage.  To form the shape I rammed 3/8 copper tubing inside 3/8 rubber line, wasn't easy, but it went.  Then I carefully bend the tubing to shape.  Brakes still work perfectly, easy job.  
- Rerouted the braided fuel line slightly to be more direct.

Not much left to do at this point, just some fine tuning to the carb jetting.  Very happy with how things are looking under the hood, and how well the car seems to be running.  








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The local track had a test and tune event last night, so I took the opportunity to head to it and do a few drag runs and work on my carb tuning.  Had a blast, but I'm really not impressed with the times I was laying down.  My 60' times need some work, so that explains my slow ET a little, but the car *should* be capable of much better.  I'll be checking my timing this week to confirm it's where it says it is, and double checking some carb things.  My wideband was around low 11's to mid 12's during the run on the timeslip, which is a bit rich.  

The previous owner of this engine laid down 188whp on the dyno with SU carbs, stock distributor, and a 2" exhaust system.  Surely my Mikunis, Electromotive ignition, and 3" exhaust should support better numbers.  The answer is probably in the tuning somewhere, dyno time in Spring I guess...  

I'll also be thinking about refreshing my old E31 head and throwing an aggressive Isky cam in it.  Worst case scenario being if I am unhappy with the power, I can just swap heads and maybe wake things up a little.

But hey, the car *is* back on the road and I am enjoying driving it, so it ain't all bad  :) 


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Well, the car has been out of Winter storage for a few weeks now and I've managed a little work on it, so here is an update.  

Decided to ditch the Mikuni intake manifold as I didn't like the bend it has in it, and there were some clearance issues with how it raised the carbs up higher in the engine bay.  I picked up a Harada manifold for about $400.  

26876763381_a343bb89ae_c.jpgharada by ryant67, on Flickr

The casting on the Harada is quite rough, and I didn't like the look of the intake runners as they were.  

26876761241_d05d605756_c.jpgharadarunner by ryant67, on Flickr

I cut a slot into a piece of 3/8 steel rod, folded some emery cloth into it, then set to work with the power drill.  

26339353504_d4720f19cb_c.jpgflapper by ryant67, on Flickr

A couple of hours of work later, and things were looking a little better.  

26944973285_b0bb6656a1_c.jpgrunner by ryant67, on Flickr

Off with the old manifold.  

26671488850_c3e3a10e86_c.jpgIMG_20160507_161953 by ryant67, on Flickr

And on with the new one!  

26944984105_722b3397c1_c.jpgbay3 by ryant67, on Flickr

Looks rather excellent, I think.  The car seems to pull a little harder too, but that could just be my imagination.  I did take a little extra care to make sure all of the ports lined up well though, and the new manifold runs a lot straighter and is about an inch longer.  

26850552432_48ca12a7c8_c.jpgbay1 by ryant67, on Flickr

I also added a few little finishing touches to the engine bay while I was at it.  Picked up a pair of fresh air ducts off ebay, which will be nice to have when driving on the highway, and added the little black caps to the strut towers.  

26339362334_712ccd1774_c.jpgbay2 by ryant67, on Flickr


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A few notes on the swap to the Harada manifold, as a FYI to anyone reading this and contemplating doing the same.  

I ran into a couple of minor headaches when fitting it:

1] There was a bolt in my thermostat housing that had clearance problems.  I swapped it out for a 1/4" allen plug, easy fix.  
26911332586_eee3f7bbc6_c.jpgIMG_20160507_174040 by ryant67, on Flickr

2] The studs in my head for the intake manifold weren't long enough for the Harada.  The Mikuni intake has something along the lines of a half inch flange, whereas the Harada is more like 3/4".  I went to the hardware shop and grabbed some M8x1.25 40mm bolts and that did the trick.  

3] The throttle rod that runs to the firewall was too long and made contact with the firewall.  I shortened it to work, easy.  

Other than that, it was all very straightforward.  Quite like the linkage the Harada came with too, and the insulators and great!  

Next up, I'm going to be swapping out the mild Crane camshaft that is in the engine right now for a more aggressive Isky one.  Should hopefully wake things up a little more.  I'm thinking something about the lines of 290-300 duration, and 490-535 lift.  I already have the Schneider retainers, valve springs, and viton valve seals ready.  The cam in my old head was about .520 lift or so, I'll need to check what lash caps it has on it.  

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A few finishing touches to the engine bay, just minor stuff though.  

Painted the starter and the brake booster, as they both had a little surface rust on them.  Just scrubbed them well with a scuff pad until the rust was off, then masked and sprayed with good old Rustoleum matte black.  Re-arranged the ignition leads due to some sloppy routing and contact points.  Ground down the bracket for my magnetic sensor so it better aligns to the trigger wheel, it was a touch too long before.

Painted by fire extinguisher matte black while I was at it, so it no longer sticks out like a sore thumb.  It's there, and I'm thankful, but it looked a little too "hardcore" for my taste when it was bright red.  

I've placed the order for the new camshaft now, so waiting for that to come in, then I'll go ahead and do the swap.  I already have schneider springs and retainers, as well as a clean set of used rockers sitting ready.  





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Had someone back into the car a few weeks ago and the front of the hood got damaged.  Thankfully I was in the car at the time, and the guy was very apologetic and things got settled easily.  Unfortunately my body shop of choice didn't do their best work though...  

Looked good at a glance:

28699457060_ee25b2eb8d_c.jpgIMG_20160805_193950~2 by ryant67, on Flickr

Mismatched paint and no blending:

28880287022_70829b0a72_c.jpgIMG_20160801_064218 by ryant67, on Flickr

28366247524_effa88eaaa_c.jpgIMG_20160731_175515 by ryant67, on Flickr

Primer overspray on the cowl:

28880289702_c7a8f17955_c.jpgIMG_20160731_175929 by ryant67, on Flickr

I had them do some rust repair while they were doing the hood work.  I bought some tabco lower fender panels in an effort to make the job easier.  Here is what I wound up getting back from the shop...

28699456140_13fec7f4cc_c.jpgIMG_20160808_144704 by ryant67, on Flickr

28880288812_01b7529915_c.jpgIMG_20160731_180026 by ryant67, on Flickr

28699468300_d6ec0104a5_c.jpgIMG_20160731_181335 by ryant67, on Flickr

28985367015_2bcc8d4dae_c.jpgIMG_20160808_144650 by ryant67, on Flickr

28699462680_5b12a508e9_c.jpgIMG_20160808_144655 by ryant67, on Flickr

28368449543_c17ba68f1b_c.jpgIMG_20160808_144700 by ryant67, on Flickr

Terrible alignment, and a real lack of attention to detail.  They guy also build up the lower part of the door in an effort to get the fender to align, so should I every install a different fender, the door will now not align with it.  What the hell?  I went back in and complained, and they are redoing the work right now.  Very anxious about this, and really hoping they get it right this time - I paid good money to improve the car here, and the sloppy work has effectively hurt the value of the car.  I wonder if the shop thinks these are still cheap little cars, so they aren't trying too hard?  I should get it back this week, so we will see.  Worst comes to worst?  I'll keep an eye out for some good condition used fenders and have another shop paint them, more money though, sigh...  

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The body shop redid some of the work, and the car looks a lot better off for it.  I'm still not entirely happy with what they did to my car, but I am willing to cut my losses and walk away at this point.  Just an accumulation of little things, such as:
- Repainting the headlight buckets and cowl to match the incorrect paint code they used on the fenders and hood.  The paint is close to the original colour though, and it blends well enough through the doors that the difference isn't noticeable going back to the rear of the car.  So it's annoying, but not the end of the world...
- They clearcoated over some dirty areas of the inner fender by where the hood meets them.  So yeah, now I have a small area that's impossible to clean.  At least it only shows when the hood is open and it's a subtle thing - few will ever notice it I suspect, but f###ing sloppy on their part.  
- They got paint on a bunch of rubber pieces and they didn't remove the cowl for painting, something that would have required 2 minutes and the removal of 4 screws.  Those 4 screws, which were new fasteners, are now painted over.  
- There is a touch of primer overspray on the rocker on the drivers side.  How that passed their inspection is beyond me...  

But anyway, the panel alignment is better, and I did get a lot more paint work done than what I paid for, which is a good thing provided they did the paint work properly and it lasts.  I'll likely strip the entire car down for a proper full paint job in 10 years or so anyway, so this is very serviceable in the meantime.    

While they were doing all of this, I also bought some 6 louver inspection lids from ebay and had them paint them as well.  Quite pleased with them!


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Attended a local car show last week and one of the professional photographers snapped this pic, love it!  

No other Datsuns were at the show, lonely place to own these cars, but I guess it does make my car stand out a little more at least, haha...


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New toys for the car. Isky L6 grind cam, and an Electromotive Xdi, which popped up on ebay for a price I couldn't resist. Shouldn't be too much of a hassle to swap out the old HPV-1 system for it. It will be interesting to see if the new, updated system makes any difference over my very old looking one. Not sure if I'll swap the cam now, or wait until spring, we'll see.


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