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Jesse OBrien

Driven Daily Hillclimb 2016 Build

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jeffer949    13

the l28et is sold, I got a reasonable offer. It's most likely leaving the garage on Sunday, then I can have some shop space back.

 

 

 

I'm glad you got it sold.  I really wasn't trying to be a dick. I'm sorry if it came across that way.  I just hate seeing people throw parts away because they don't get what the deem they are worth.  Something is better than nothing is how I see it i guess.   

 

I like the stickers. I would buy some if I had seen them 6 years ago when My 260z was my DD :D

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Jesse OBrien    12

I'm glad you got it sold.  I really wasn't trying to be a dick. I'm sorry if it came across that way.  I just hate seeing people throw parts away because they don't get what the deem they are worth.  Something is better than nothing is how I see it i guess.   

 

I like the stickers. I would buy some if I had seen them 6 years ago when My 260z was my DD :D

 

I hear you, some sellers are elitists. That's not me, I just needed selling it to make more sense than scrapping it. I still haven't made it up to actually see my s30. As soon as I finish getting my new daily driver assembled, I'll be able to take that trip.

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Jesse OBrien    12

Slow and steady is ready for the first race.

Up in Vermont, Joey added a little bit more material to keep the trees and rocks outside of the car. The interesting design point here is that each tube in the door bar is continuous, which is more consistent/predictable in failure (CRASH!) than a more traditional single-continuous door bar would be.

Most older-style door bars have one continuous tube that runs from the driver's shoulder to the driver's shin-area. That's excellent, but the reinforcement bar isn't continuous, it's two halves of a tube coped to fit the single continuous bar. They tend to break at the welds (rather than bending and deforming) and the sharp edges make their way through the passenger cabin. It's a great deal better than nothing, but the tests (and in-person crashes) I've seen overwhelmingly support double continuous bars. I'll still want a vertical reinforcement bar that connects the driver's knee-area to the top-of-the-windshield area for some rollover protection.
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A little suspension reinforcement in the front always helps too.
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I'm also focused on logistics for this season. The new trailer design is in the works, but I'm going to wait to update on that 'till I have something physical to show. I'm pretty sure the HANS is getting replaced with a different restraint system. HANS is fine for most forms of racing where a head-on collision is likely, but hillclimbs are just as likely to put you on your roof ... backwards ... 8 feet in the air in a tree (I've seen that happen twice in one season). I really want to get something that secures the head/helmet in side-on impacts as well, and I'm considering a containment seat if I can find something I like at a decent price. The sides need to be removable for daily driving, which is a bit of a problem.
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If I build this turbo motor the way I've been planning to, it looks like I'll be in SP2 for 2016, then SP4 for 2017 (with water/meth injection). I still need to source the wheel/tire combination I'll be racing with, but that's definitely something I can put off for awhile. More updates to come as soon as I have my CRX back together and can take a drive up to Vermont to see the car in person.

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Jesse OBrien    12

That makes much more sense. The concern is getting the seat far enough back so there's sufficient legroom. My plan is to place the seat on fixed mounts, and have moveable pedals. It seems much simpler to just have moving pedals (which are not a safety component during a crash) than to have a moving seat (which I'd rather have as secure as possible than adjustable). Also, the firewall can be moved quite a ways forward with no discernible disadvantage that I can see.

Edited by Jesse OBrien

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Jesse OBrien    12
Sorry for the downtime, I got a little distracted with our rules/awards banquet coming up this weekend. I just put together a video from the 2015 race season, just a series of slow-motion startline launches of the various cars that were racing during that run. I got most of them, along with a couple Miatas. I was surprised to see that my launch was pretty much perfect (car 365, right around 55 seconds). What you're looking for is a ratcheting movement, where the tires are right on the verge of losing grip, but aren't free-spinning. I also found it really interesting to see how the different Subarus are front-bias or rear-bias, even those with identical gearboxes and differentials.

 

Also, Sean showed up with his Datsun for this event! Serious inspiration for me to get mine wrapped up.


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Jesse OBrien    12

That one's more original than most British cars (that run). The MG Midget is actually powered by a DCOE-driven 4age (which is why it's the toy-let ... Toyota ... then a random L ... then Midget). That one's one of my favorites, if only because it's driven by a pair of 70+year-old-brothers and they tow it behind a Fit. This is the entire 'race support package' including a hatchback-sun-awning and a fit-without-rear-seats-camper.

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There are a lot of people to admire at hillclimbs, and that's just a sliver of one of their stories. Hopefully I'll have a little time to do a few "Hillclimb Heroes" video features during the 2016 season, where some of those stories can be shared with everybody.

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znovice84    0

just wanted to take a min and say awesome build thread! i live in dracut ma and accidentally clicked on this link. i feel like its impossible to find anyone around that has a running and driving S30 around here. I just bought a 260z i have been working on for a little over a year now. not taking it anywhere as far as you are, but loved seeing the time spent documenting the process. 

Good luck with the build and hope to see it around

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Jesse OBrien    12

I hear the same story all the time. You are not alone, sir!

 

A good starting point on meeting some more zcar folks is with ZCCNE. Our annual club meeting is right around the corner!

 

Where: Courtyard Marriott Billerica, 270 Concord Road, Billerica, MA 01821
When: Saturday, February 27th
Time: 11am to 2pm

 

Otherwise, you'll generally find an s30 owner in my garage on the weekends. Just in Manchester, we have me (crazy-person build), Dylan (who has a running 240z), and Ryan (running 280z), and John is right down in Nashua/Windham (Bad Dog Motorsports). 20 minutes North, we have Dave (futofab) who focuses on the 510, but has a few zcars as well. MA is even better populated, you just need to be introduced to the right people.

 

Since you're in the area, want some parts? I have parts that are never going back into this car. Some are worth a bit of money, others aren't worth the time to post them for sale (280z radiator, for instance). If you're willing to come up and clean out all my s30 stuff, I'll give you a monumental deal. I really just need to clear out some space in the garage, and hopefully fill in a little bit of my budget for this crazy-person build. For what it's worth, I strongly recommend trying to work with what the car already has. The geometry problems are largely solved for the stock setup, and it's been proven to work.

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znovice84    0

gotta love the Z community, i have yet to find someone who hasn't been helpful! thanks for the info, I'm def gonna have to check that out. also ill for sure take you up on your offer to see what parts you have and make a deal. i severely broke my leg first week of december and have been laid up for a couple months but ill hit you up in a few weeks when i start to walk again lol.

 

check out my build thread so far 

http://www.zcar.com/forum/10-70-83-tech-discussion-forum/374553-260z-build-just-getting-started.html

 

kind of figuring out what i need as i go at this point. i plan on keeping the N/A l28 engine for now and getting the rest of the car up and operational and rust free first. 

 

thanks again!

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Jesse OBrien    12

Time to update for the end of Feb!

 

Today, I joined up with my friends Dave (click for his hillclimb build thread) and Ian (hillclimbs an NB Miata) and stopped at a local salvage yard on the way up to Vermont. I searched for a long time to try to find a decent front suspension setup, since the s30 fronts leave so much to be desired for my needs. I wanted the following:

  • Match the rear suspension track width as closely as possible
  • Get a double-wishbone setup, rather than the macpherson that I have now
  • Keep myself open to common aftermarket options
  • Retain maximum suspension travel
  • Upgrade to vented brake rotors
The 350z/g35 (non-awd) front suspension solves all of these problems admirably. I get 12" vented rotors, floating piston calipers, a great front-steer steering rack, 5x114.3 hubs, and gorgeous double-wishbone suspension. Total cost: $1100. Roughly the same as a set of techno toy tuning coilovers (which are pretty much the best replacement available). I'm pretty happy with how things are looking.

 

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Installation will be 'straightforward' for a custom fabrication job. That is to say that subframe pickup points need to be added to the s30 chassis such that the wheels are placed in the right locations and aligned with the body, and the upper mounts (damper hats and upper control arms) are mounted in the appropriate locations to retain stock-ish geometry. I decided that the conversion from front-steer to rear-steer would be a bit of a nightmare to cobble together, so I took the g35 steering column as well. That should ease the transition quite a bit, but it might require adding an extension to the steering shaft (the 350z/g35 really can't compare to the s30 in terms of firewall-to-crossmember-distance).

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The new engine is in place. Just to illustrate my point of how large the l-series is, here's a size comparison.

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Cage work is progressing nicely, as Joey ties in more suspension pickup points and triangulates the whole car. It's mostly 1.75" .095 DOM tube, but there's a fair amount of 1" or 1.25" for rigidity reinforcement. I want to ensure that everything outside of the crossmember points works as 'crumple zone' and that everything in the cockpit is treated as structural squishy-human-protection.

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I'm really relieved with the seating position, for the most part. It's going to end up a few inches taller than it is to clear the floor and be above the sill bars, but I have gobs of head/leg room. I don't really expect anyone else to want to drive this beast, so that's even better than expected. The shifter location is perfect for that, and I found that I could even move the engine back a few inches to centralize the weight even more.

 

The problem with this setup, I found, is getting in and out. Especially after adding the FIA bars (semi-vertical bars that connect the bottom-front of the door to the top-rear of the windshield), the halo containment on the seat means my head has no way to comfortably get in/out of the car. Because it's a daily driver, I'm going to have to do some brainstorming to figure out how I'll solve that.

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Jesse OBrien    12

FYI, I looked at doing an FIA bar and a couple people told me to check steering wheel clearance. There was very little, so I ended up not doing it. 

Because the seating position is so cramped (really, I have legroom because I got lucky, not because it was planned for), I'm going to end up placing the steering wheel and driver's seat a bit closer to the transmission tunnel to ensure that I have ample room. The pedals can go pretty much anywhere, so I can pretty much place myself anywhere I like. The windshield angle is pretty good on these (from a safety perspective) so the FIA bar might be a bit overkill, but I'm pretty sure it'll be a necessity for Mt Washington and Pike's Peak.

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Bob_H    0

I'm curious since you have a FC rotary in there, did you look at or consider the 93-95 RX-7 front suspension setup?  Same requirements, meets the same objectives and is a smaller package to an extent.  I ask because already have a front and rear setup from a FD model RX-7 that I'll swap under my Z when I finish my current Z project.  I've had that suspension for 10 years toting around with me on move to move! 

I'm going to be interested in how you tie that in up front. 

 On edit - see it was a Turbo II.   Corrected above.  Also, some other questions/thoughts.

 And for the seating - if you plan to drive this more than just at the races, you are almost 100% going to have to figure out a different seat.  That just isn't enough room once you put in a steering wheel.  Even with a removable one, just looks iffy on space.  I think you will find very quickly that won't be ok for a daily driver.  I'd invest in a good HANS type setup and go from there. 

 Second thought/question: the G35 steering column - I don't think that will matter at all.  The front steer/rear steer is just rack location.  You can easily tie your Z rack into that.  You might find all that "extra" junk on the G35 column is a lot of dead weight and space its taking up.  I'd say sell that and just adjust the Z rack to work.   In my assessment/opinion, fitting the G35 column up in the car,(dash/etc..), will outweigh any fab work required to mate the Z column to the G35 rack.

Edited by Bob_H

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Jesse OBrien    12

I'm curious since you have a FC rotary in there, did you look at or consider the 93-95 RX-7 front suspension setup?  Same requirements, meets the same objectives and is a smaller package to an extent.  I ask because already have a front and rear setup from a FD model RX-7 that I'll swap under my Z when I finish my current Z project.  I've had that suspension for 10 years toting around with me on move to move! 

I'm going to be interested in how you tie that in up front. 

 On edit - see it was a Turbo II.   Corrected above.  Also, some other questions/thoughts.

 And for the seating - if you plan to drive this more than just at the races, you are almost 100% going to have to figure out a different seat.  That just isn't enough room once you put in a steering wheel.  Even with a removable one, just looks iffy on space.  I think you will find very quickly that won't be ok for a daily driver.  I'd invest in a good HANS type setup and go from there. 

 Second thought/question: the G35 steering column - I don't think that will matter at all.  The front steer/rear steer is just rack location.  You can easily tie your Z rack into that.  You might find all that "extra" junk on the G35 column is a lot of dead weight and space its taking up.  I'd say sell that and just adjust the Z rack to work.   In my assessment/opinion, fitting the G35 column up in the car,(dash/etc..), will outweigh any fab work required to mate the Z column to the G35 rack.

Engine

The turboII and rew aren't all that different, they're both still just 13b's. I like the accessory packaging and sensors on the turboII more, otherwise they're pretty much equals. 

 

Front Suspension

I considered FD briefly, but it seems like prices on everything related to them is obscenely expensive. This is a car that I need to be prepared to repair if/when I throw it off a cliff, so replacement part costs are a strong consideration. These are the front suspensions I considered:

  1. Corvette - Still a great option, but they aren't designed with nearly as much travel as the z33 design. Bigger brakes require bigger wheels than the z33 as well. Consumables are more expensive.
  2. Miata - If not for the massive, spidery front subframe design that makes servicing difficult, would've been a great option. The 5lug Miata would've simplified a lot of things for this, but I couldn't find a good enough price on one locally.
  3. Z32 - I looked at it, and it's definitely a "touring car" design. It's a very compromised system, and not one I want to try to work with.

Steering

Both options are a compromise. The z33 stalks are considerably nicer than the s30 stalks, and aren't 40 years old. I'm going to have to relocate whatever rack I use no matter what, so I might as well just take the more modern (safer, less worn). The same goes for whatever dash I make. Finally, I have to tie the steering column in to the dash bar no matter what.

 

In short, I'm fabricating it all either way. 

 

Seat

It's a big problem, and I haven't come up with a solution that incorporates this seat. I have a HANS and NECKSGEN (HANS really disappointed me, there's absolutely no side-to-side neck protection), but I'll always take as much safety as I can cram into the car. I have four other fixed-back seats I can use, but I'd still like to find a way to use this seat. Otherwise, it can go into the CRX or RX7.

 

I have some big news in the works, but I'm keeping it under wraps for the time being. I have 58 days until the first event of the season, and the pressure is really on to get this thing wrapped up.

 

In the meantime, this is all wrapped up now.

 

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Edited by Jesse OBrien

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