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We just recently picked up a clean 260 chassis and plan to do a V8 rally/safari inspired build. The car will primarily be used for street driving but it would be nice if the suspension was capable of spirited (within reason) offroad work.  I have been doing a bunch of research but have been unable to find any solid information regarding  lifted/increased travel setups for these cars. I was thinking replicating what was on some of the period cars would be cool. Open to any available information at this point. 

Edited by NoClassic

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On 2/14/2018 at 6:28 AM, NoClassic said:

....replicating what was on some of the period cars would be cool. Open to any available information at this point. 

 

Did you post a similar request on the classiczcars forum a little while back?

 

If so, I offered to supply some period correct data, but somehow the thread disappeared?

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Carl Beck owns a rally Z, his email is at the bottom of the page I linked to previously. He's also on Facebook and is always willing to help.

John Coffey built this one a few years ago. Unfortunately he died in a motorcycle wreck. Real loss for the Z community. I think he had some posts here about it, but my impression was that the biggest change was some custom long travel Bilstein struts. Had a pretty beefy skid plate and push bar, and the roof rack. I haven't talked to the owners of the car, but they don't seem like the secretive type and would probably answer questions you might have.  https://www.facebook.com/p2p240z/

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Well there aren't too many people that lift these as compared to those that lower them.

 

Depends on your rule set. I recall a post where John Coffey or Tony D said they shipped a lot of stock arms out because the rule set for historic rally required the use of stock arms and they tend to bend or something after a lot of abuse. I imagine your lift is limited because at a certain point you start gaining positive camber, I think the car John built last was like that as an example.

 

If you aren't following a rule set then really the world is your oyster. I would be tempted to throw the wheels almost outside the body. Longer axles and longer suspension arms, long travel shocks and softer springs with bumpstops. If you don't have the budget for custom suspension then most likely spacers for the strut tops, some quality shocks, and clearancing the body for whatever tires can fit without rubbing is about the best you might see. 

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I guess it depends on what type of rally. If it is a street rally than the "normal" route is fine. If it is a dirt rally, you still might be fine, maybe a bit more clearance and a bump stop to keep the pan off the road, dirt tires would be a plus. If it is a gravel rally, or rutted type you might want to consider lifting the car and looking into bespoke suspension.

 

When people build trucks and such they usually build around a tire. If you were serious about this, that would probably be the place to start. Once you have a tire you can find out where you want it, then figure out what to clearance. That would also dictate what type of suspension you would run.

 

I have a friend who off-roads with a lifted sports car, he lifts the car on coilovers and has offroad tires he switches to when he goes off the street, he's been stuck in some places that would have dictated him either sleeping in the car or making a long walk 20+ miles to get cell reception or help if he wasn't creative or had friend's to tow him out. 

 

So the bottomline of the discussion is if this will be used in rally, or if you are just aiming for a rally look? Rally look could be accomplished with light pods, mud flaps, livery, dirt tires, and a lift. 

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Thanks for the additional response. 

 

I think we want to fall somewhere in the middle of just looking the part and and a competition rally car. Maybe something that could be driven in the SCCA rallycross events but does not have to be competitive. I agree the tire is a great place to start. That is generally the approach we have taken with suspension on a couple other builds. I am just in the initial stages of this so keeping my mind open to options.

 

I had a short conversation with T3 and they have done a rally setup using bilstein cartridges for a client in the UK. Also stated their existing arms offered enough adjustment to account for camber with the lift. Sent Carl an email regarding info on what the factory cars may have been using. 

 

Edited by NoClassic

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Let us know what you find. 

 

Personally the sound of rocks and stuff bouncing off the undercarriage is like nails on a chalkboard to me. Never sure if it is a rock hitting the wheel well or a very important nut or bolt falling off the car, lol.

 

The safari look is pretty timeless,

b79f8a0e.jpg

and battle cars seem to be a thing that is coming into popularity.

 

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OP you did get a decent variety of response at Classic Cars so perhaps you had better clarify that. Rally prep is a specialised secret men's business, quite simply you won't find those who do this work daily for customers all over the world telling all on the internet and it's unrealistic to expect otherwise.

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9 hours ago, NoClassic said:

Sent Carl an email regarding info on what the factory cars may have been using.

 

No disprespect to Carl Beck, but what he knows about the factory works rally cars could probably be written on the back of a postage stamp. Carl's ex-BRE car was built by BRE specifically for the Baja type events and has almost nothing in common with the works rally cars. It even used Nissan rally 'Sports Option' struts, which Nissan sold to clubman rallyists and never used on their own works cars...

 

The thing about topics like this is that they are both moving targets and moveable feasts. People tend to expect the works rally cars to have been one basic spec, but in truth they were in a state of constant evolution which was event-specific. A car prepped for the East African Safari Rally would have many, many differences to a car prepped for the Monte Carlo Rallye for example. In terms of suspension, Nissan was of course forced to keep within the regulations of the time - which meant having to use the stock suspension pickup points/mounting positions, and to homologate any new suspension componentry with the FIA before it could be used. This could be quite restrictive. If you're not building to event/series regulations today you have a much freer hand.

 

As reference, here are a couple of photo examples. First photo shows extended tube strut (basically the strut tube is just longer than stock) with high - fixed - spring platform and long spring on a 1971 works car. The damper in this strut was gas-filled, and built for Nissan by Tokico. This car won the East African Safari Rally in 1971, although the struts were changed at almost every service on the event:

 

Ci2BhF.jpg

 

Second photo is from a slightly later car built for the 1973 Monte Carlo Rallye. Being an ice and snow tarmac rally the Monte cars were set with a fairly low ride height on adjustable platform struts:

 

dcAs5i.jpg

 

My advice to you would be either to use extended strut tubes with fixed platforms and longer springs, or to cut off your existing spring platforms and weld them back on higher up the strut tube. You'd need to make sure your damper travel is in the right range and pick the right spring length, but you may well find that a lift over stock of just two or three inches may be enough with the 'correct' tyre. Certainly the *look* of the works rally cars - particularly the Safari cars - was mostly due to the overall diameter of the full profile 14" tyres they were using.

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

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9 hours ago, HS30-H said:

 

No disprespect to Carl Beck, but what he knows about the factory works rally cars could probably be written on the back of a postage stamp.

           

 

Today's "nano" technology is pretty amazing...

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If you want a modern setup that works, you need to speak to AD at VA motorsport.  He did have a used set for sale a while ago.  Possibly used/period(ish) stuff also.

 

As Alan pointed out above, i'd go for a nice period setup.

 

There's a lot BC/TTT type fans on here, however I'd really question what development their stuff has done on a rally spec(or any race spec) car, along with their actual knowledge of that type setup.  Rally setups are generally the most complex and expensive suspension setups going.  Not an off the shelf Far East, Chinese type setup that people put their own stickers on, claiming that they work with every spring rate going due to having 40000000 clicks on the damper.

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On 2/16/2018 at 2:33 AM, HS30-H said:

 

No disprespect to Carl Beck, but what he knows about the factory works rally cars could probably be written on the back of a postage stamp. Carl's ex-BRE car was built by BRE specifically for the Baja type events and has almost nothing in common with the works rally cars. It even used Nissan rally 'Sports Option' struts, which Nissan sold to clubman rallyists and never used on their own works cars...

 

           

I can see how those pedantic details are germane to a discussion about a V8 rally/safari inspired build like the one the OP is building. Oh wait, no I can't.

OP, you want to see something RIDICULOUS? Take a look at the bolt in roll bar that they used in those old works cars. I was ROFL when I saw one for the first time...

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15 minutes ago, JMortensen said:

I can see how those pedantic details are germane to a discussion about a V8 rally/safari inspired build like the one the OP is building. Oh wait, no I can't.

OP, you want to see something RIDICULOUS? Take a look at the bolt in roll bar that they used in those old works cars. I was ROFL when I saw one for the first time...

 

Sometimes I wonder if you do the same thing when (if) you walk around vintage race paddocks? And how about museums? Ever visit them, or is it too much for your bladder to cope with?

 

Ironic that you should mention the sadly missed John Coffey in this thread. He had an open and inquisitive mind about such things, and I discussed the details of Nissan's works rally cars with him over quite a long period. There's always something to be learned from the way things were done in the past, even if it demonstrates how NOT to do something. John made me ROFL with a couple of anecdotes when your name came up in conversation too...           

 

 

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One nice thing about John was that he'd say those things straight to your face, and since we conversed so often I'm sure I have seen most of them. ;)

You've still derailed the conversation from being about how to take a Z off road into how little Carl Beck knows and how your superior pedantry can solve the problem of how to set up a V8 Z for light duty off roading. 




 

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46 minutes ago, JMortensen said:

You've still derailed the conversation from being about how to take a Z off road into how little Carl Beck knows and how your superior pedantry can solve the problem of how to set up a V8 Z for light duty off roading.

 

"Derailed the conversation"?

 

I've provided some real-world references, and can supply more (including what the modern historic rally cars are using) if the OP wants to pursue it. You've supplied a link to zhome... 

 

You want the usual JMort pissing contest then? I see you've already refined the OP's request to a "V8 Z", when - as far as I understood it at least - this is not set in stone and the word "Safari" was part of it. You can handle the 'V8 Z' part I'm sure, but I think you'll be way out of your depth with the 'Safari', 'factory cars' and 'period cars' parts. Except to tell us all how crap they were, of course.

 

John Coffey predicted just this. It's a HybridZ trope.

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