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Driven Daily Hillclimb 2016 Build


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#41 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 01:03 PM

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.

19038121154_5bc67cf021_b.jpg

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.



#42 znovice84

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 08:00 AM

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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#43 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 09:49 AM

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.



#44 znovice84

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Posted 07 February 2016 - 01:13 PM

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/...ng-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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#45 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 08:30 PM

There's nothing wrong with the l-series, it's pretty much ideal for a street car. Super reliable, low-maintenance, inexpensive, torquey, and most importantly, already in the car. Sort out the chassis/rust and get new bushings in, and let me know if you need a hand with welding at all.



#46 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 05:47 PM

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.
 
25319358435_82980ff899_c.jpg
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).
24688766014_628ca6f9e2_c.jpg
 
The new engine is in place. Just to illustrate my point of how large the l-series is, here's a size comparison.
22823028216_fd1ec943b6_c.jpg
25023741380_671fc57622_c.jpg
 
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.
25201109942_4ba6f78d79_c.jpg
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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.

#47 JMortensen

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 08:48 PM

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. 


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#48 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 09:23 PM

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.



#49 Bob_H

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 05:29 PM

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, 23 March 2016 - 05:45 PM.


#50 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 08:13 PM



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.

 

25265624303_a01ef86208_b.jpg


Edited by Jesse OBrien, 24 March 2016 - 06:02 AM.


#51 Bob_H

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 06:01 PM

I wish I could remember the source - but it was a very credible one, that told me the Z32 suspension is actually one of the best ones out there - as far as geometry, etc.. I'll see if I can fish it up, Found it! 

 The guys name is Jim and he worked for Roush for a number of years on their Trans-Am cars and IMSA cars - here was the post:

http://corner-carver...65&postcount=46

 And I asked him here,(his post was at the end of the thread - he didn't give me any more info as by the time I reached back out, I had decided on the FD suspension).

http://forums.corner...2 suspension fd

 

Jim doesn't roll out his credentials very often - but he was working on suspension design well over 30 years ago.  That was the basis for my Z32 thoughts.  In the end, where the upper arm mounted wasn't much of an option for me.  You'll notice the Z33 is not a whole lot different beyond some aluminum parts.  

Sounds like you've got it worked out - I hope it works out great and you can finish before the season!


Edited by Bob_H, 25 March 2016 - 06:04 PM.


#52 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 03:37 AM

I could've been more clear and explained that the mounting points were the problem with the z32. It's a lot of work to create upper control arm mounting points, and the z32 exacerbates that work. I should have a meaningful update at the end of the weekend.

#53 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:46 PM

This weekend was a lot of math. I already knew that the g35/350z front subframe would be wider than the stock 280z subframe. I also know that the 240sx rear subframe is wider than the stock 280z rear subframe.
 
The stock front and rear subframes are designed to be the same width.
21846530656_669404b6bc_b.jpg
 
After math-ing, I came up with the following:
* Original hub-to-hub distance: 53"
* g35 hub-to-hub distance: 60.8"

That's 3.4" wider on each side


But wait! There's more!

 
The original Datsun wheels were 14x5 (15" diameter by 5" wide), and I'm bumping up to 17x8" (8" wide) for street wheels. I need to accommodate 17x10" race wheels, and my math suggests that I'll have around 6" of those wheels outside of the hub (per side). That's 5" more 'wheel' outside of the hub than stock.
 
At the end, this all means I'm going from a fender width requirement of 55" to 72", which is 17" wider, or 8.5" wider than stock, per side. This car-shaped thing is starting to show how ridiculous it really is.

My fender plugs just keep growing and growing. It's starting to get ridiculous.
25499927923_2b27c3af7c_b.jpg

#54 1969honda

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 04:07 PM

Wow, that is insanely wide. Good luck with it and can't wait to see the end result

#55 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 12:05 PM

I suppose it's time to start talking about what's going under the hood. The current engine is a test mule, something I picked up off Craigslist that may or may not run. A friend of my fabricator happened to have a 13b that had been sitting on a shelf for a little while. I made an offer on it, and just **barely** squeezed it into my budget ... but this solves my "will it run reliably?" problem pretty completely. It's a ported 2rotor running on VEMS that's already been tuned, and is ready for whatever I want to throw at it ... as long as I'm throwing lots of fuel and oil at it.
 
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According to the dyno results on this engine, it should be good for better than 350whp. Sometimes, you get lucky and the right deal comes along at the right time. This was my time.
 
It's going to take some time to get it in the car, get the harness wired in, and build the body harness for it, but I'm in full-on thrash mode now. 14 weekend-days left before the first event.

Edited by Jesse OBrien, 31 March 2016 - 12:07 PM.


#56 Bob_H

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:21 PM

...After math-ing, I came up with the following:
* Original hub-to-hub distance: 53"
* g35 hub-to-hub distance: 60.8"

That's 3.4" wider on each side


...

 
The original Datsun wheels were 14x5 (15" diameter by 5" wide), and I'm bumping up to 17x8" (8" wide) for street wheels. I need to accommodate 17x10" race wheels, and my math suggests that I'll have around 6" of those wheels outside of the hub (per side). That's 5" more 'wheel' outside of the hub than stock.
 
At the end, this all means I'm going from a fender width requirement of 55" to 72", which is 17" wider, or 8.5" wider than stock, per side. This car-shaped thing is starting to show how ridiculous it really is.

My fender plugs just keep growing and growing. It's starting to get ridiculous.
 

 

 

I think you don't need to go as wide as you are thinking.   I would throw out the stock/OEM rim side of the equation because it assumes the stock rim was the largest you could fit under a stock fender which is not the case.  You can fit a 7-8" wide rim under a stock fender on stock hubs.  As such, I would stick with a 4" width increase.  I have a 10 and 11" wide rims up front on my "Super Datsun" and it still has some room on the IMSA flares, (granted, not much).  With just ZG flares, people are approaching 9-9.5" wide rims and the "wide ZG" flares accommodate out to 10 or slightly more with perfect offset.     

 Here are some threads with those discussions:

 

http://forums.hybrid...ers#entry340575

 

http://forums.hybrid... stock fenders

 

In short - the flare size you have in that pic would likely accommodate a 12" wide rim! 

 

Here was me asking similar questions way back when...  This was me gathering the info on my FD suspension swap:

 

http://forums.hybrid...+stock +fenders

 

In it shows some good info for your purpose.  In particular, look at what Pete Paraska fit under stock fenders and with what offsets - that shows about the max under a stock fender,(I think rolled), with coil-overs. 


Edited by Bob_H, 01 April 2016 - 02:23 PM.


#57 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 02:23 PM

Really helpful. I didn't have a baseline to compare against, so I was planning for worst-case-scenario.

#58 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 04:22 PM

No real update, but I can drop this off as a reference of scale. The engine will probably end up slightly farther forward than this, but I think it can safely be called 'mid engine'
25657512383_bf9a5a66f2_b.jpg



#59 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 05:08 PM

No real update, but I can drop this off as a reference of scale. The engine will probably end up slightly farther forward than this, but I think it can safely be called 'mid engine'
25657512383_bf9a5a66f2_b.jpg


#60 Jesse OBrien

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 01:54 PM

Because the new engine is going in, I now have the 'leftovers' of stuff that isn't going into the car in my shop. That means cleaning, organizing, and storing needs to happen (before the car shows up). This is unacceptable:
26167986422_c4ea50c059_b.jpg
 
 
I started by shuffling some parts around, and making room in the 'engine room'. Because I know I won't using OEM EFI on this car, I decided to tear all the extras off of the assembled-spare 13b.
 
I started with this and a beer:
26218978145_b3945d14ef_b.jpg
 
And ended with less clutter, and no beer. Here's the mockup housing assembly next to the 'assembled spare' block.
26289512761_f1749582ac_b.jpg
 
The turbo goes on the 'spare turbos' shelf. If there's any kind of market for it, I'll happily sell the harness/ecu/manifold/turbo/lines off to whoever is interested enough to make it worth putting them in a box. I have no idea what it takes to convert n/a to turbo, or if any of this is worth anything.
26289506351_6b68ce1093_b.jpg
 
One interesting discovery I came up with is that these two engines apparently have different rotor housings. Otherwise, they appear to be identical.
 
One with no markings on top
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The other with licensing markings on top.
26289515661_ddee18d06e_b.jpg
 
As for accessories, here's one of the spare transmissions (I now have three turbo2 transmissions), and two of the intake manifolds (again, I have a total of three right now).
26082877710_8e6e5108cd_b.jpg
 
That emissions block-off kit is really disappointing. It's so thin that I can't use the stock studs. I can either draw up a DXF (just put these on a flat-bed scanner and scan them 1:1) and have Big Blue Saw cut out some proper plates, or pull those studs and use bolts instead. Generally speaking, I find that steel studs in aluminum don't come out as easily as I'd like. I'm leaning toward slightly girthier blockoff plates.





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