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Driven Daily Hillclimb 2016 Build

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Today, I lit myself on fire.




I was removing the mounting pins (studs? bolts?) from the g35 front suspension so I could align the pickup points in the Datsun, and that meant a lot of cutting and grinding. I should really have fired up the lathe and just made some from scratch ... but I chose to do it the hard way.




In the end though, I have all 6 pins necessary to locate the front suspension. Hopefully this week I can weld the pickup points in place.



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This weekend, Mike (my co-builder/crewchief) and I attended the rules/awards banquet. Mt Washington changes everything for the season, and because so many more folks will attend our events to shake down their cars, the season schedule has already been announced. That's great for me, because it lets me solidify our schedule for the season.




Working around the "start in late May" schedule, there are two autocross events I can attend at NHMS. That should be enough shakedown to be able to trust the car, but Ascutney is known for being the car that will shake out whatever your car's weakest link is. Assuming we want to shakedown in late April, that gives us around 7 weekends left to get the car on its own wheels. It's a tall order, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility.


Once we got back from that banquet, we dove back into the front suspension. After lots of measuring, coping, measuring, adjusting, measuring, and confirming ... we finally have suspension pickups welded in place.





I'm super happy with how that upper control arm tube turned out. Now we need one more, then line up the subframe pickups on the bottom. Once that's done, we focus on the (s13 240sx) rear suspension, and the car should be able to roll around on its own after that.

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Check out how he did his pyramid style brace on the strut towers. If possible I would do that, straight tubes are much stronger, obviously. Thats how I'm doing my Z31. 

Other then that fantastic build. I watched your videos and wish you luck in getting ready for this racing season if you still can. 


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Man, that's weird. He could have welded the tube directly over the shock mount and made stronger. In fact, some people weld a short piece of tube onto a stock strut or shock mount like that to stiffen it up so that it doesn't flex under load. He was so close, then attached to the corner of the tower instead where the cage bars have less control over movement of the shock mount. I'm sure it's great as is, but was 99.9% of the way there and stopped short of what I would have done. Hard to do that on a Z because it's a strut and lots of us run camber plates, but for a shock it's easy and stronger.

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Yeah, welding to the side instead of the top seems really strange. I however, don't have struts or shock towers, so I'm free to triangulate however I want.




We have 6 weekends (including this one) before the first possible shakedown event. Assuming ECU/dyno tuning doesn't take too long, and brake/fuel lines show up reasonably quickly, it should be ready to trailer out and drive around an autocross course for a bit.

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I got this far before I had another set of hands to see where the hub ends up relative to the fenderwell.




The current wheelbase is 90" ... but I have everything set up for 94" as it turns out. Luckily, now that I've established my design, it should be quick to reproduce.

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I really must've gotten a lot of dust in my eye when I cut all that work out.


... What? No, I wasn't crying. Like I said, dust. Someone must've been sweeping before I got to the shop ... or something. Definitely not crying.




After I pulled myself back together, I got everything aligned on all the planes. Then I got to work on the first (and most important) tube: The subframe mount tube.



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I probably mentioned it somewhere way back there, but I'm using 240sx rear suspension. I have a few reasons for really liking the 240sx' rear suspension design.

  1. Parts are readily available
  2. Several limited slip differential options are affordable
  3. Multi-link suspension is very tuneable (at the expense of being more complex than other designs)
  4. It has a similar track width compared to the body and front suspension
  5. The entire subframe is modular, and can be removed as a single unit.

I went with the s13 generation because it was available locally for $100 complete. The s14 generation has some very minor improvements, but not enough to justify additional time or money.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Well, the s30 definitely won't be ready for the first hillclimb event (Ascutney) but we've been making brisk progress on it lately. This weekend we changed gears a little, and put some time into the race hauler instead of the race car.

I had made the mistake of ordering a gasoline filler neck for it a few months ago, which doesn't accept the larger diesel fillers (I didn't know this until I stopped for a fillup). It's still held up by a bungee cord, but at least I don't have to remove the filler from the tube every time I want to fill the tank any more.
Up next: The coolant system had a slow leak for awhile, but it recently became critical (which is why I parked it). We spent some time isolating the source of the leak, finding the right(ish) replacement hose, and breaking our fingers to get them to fit in place.
Then we turned our attention to the interior. Ugh. Just ... It was disgusting. This used to be a roofing truck, so there's tar everywhere on it. Seats, in the box, all over the dash, steering wheel ... everywhere. The floor had some housing carpet pad with vinyl on top, and wasn't sealed. Everything smelled of mildew and sadness, and the whole truck just felt soggy. After tearing out the flooring, we found enough dirt to plant a garden. It may have been growing, for all I know. That channel above the rockers had around 6" of packed-in mud.
After a lot of cleaning, wire wheeling, and some phosphoric acid, we threw a bit of primer & paint at it.
I haven't decided what kind of long-term coating to put on it yet. I have a bunch of POR15 left over, but I don't know how well it'll hold up to this kind of environment. I'm open to any suggestions you folks might have. Everything's reassembled right now, and the next project will be finishing up the box itself (hopefully this week).
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  • 1 month later...
This weekend, a friend was clearing out their garage while moving, and had to give away the last few things that they hadn't sold off. I wrapped up a few final projects on my box truck and made a trip down there. I came back with a bunch of tools, and (at least as exciting) storage!




I finally have a toolbox that can live in the race support box truck out of the deal too (this was the main selling point for me to head down).




After unloading it, everything was a disaster. I unloaded the truck and pretty much dumped everything wherever it could fit. I went out for dinner, then came back to tackle the first stage of cleanup.




After cleanup, it's still an unusable shop ... but all the filing cabinets are empty. Once I label them and organize stuff into them, I should end up with most of the bay back in floor space!



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  • 2 weeks later...
Prep is well underway. I picked up a spare gearbox, cleaned it up, and replaced the front and rear seals, as well as rebuilding the spare clutched limited slip differential.



I picked up some new 245-40R15 tires from Maxxis.



I put the car into what I call "service mode"



Air conditioning and power steering came out, dropping a lot of weight off the front of the car.



Then it all came back together for a bit more fender trimming and basic aero mounting.


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