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280Z build w/ LS3 and 2015 Mustang spindles/8.8

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I gave 1/2" of  "stand off" distance from B pillar for main hoop and A pillar forward bars, think that's enough?  Worried anything more starts intruding into cabin for rear seat clearance and left foot dead pedal to clutch pedal movement.


I have not practiced any methods for welding on back sides of tubes yet.  I like your suggestion of tig technique.  Watched a you tube video of a mig technique.  Basically turn the gas up, 15 psi is normal so thinking 25 psi, start weld a good distance from back side to get heat into the work.  As the weld proceeds toward the back there is a ton of gas shielding and the heat in the work helps the weld flow out. 


You kinda get one shot at this so will weld a bunch of practice mock ups to see what works best for me.

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First off would like to say I would never have had the knowledge nor courage to tackle this build without HybridZ and its awesome community so willing to offer advice and share ideas.  Purchased my ru

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I purchased a Ultra Shield Pro Road Race 14"  20 degree aluminum seat to replace the Cobra Suzuka.  It's not as comfy as the Suzuka "out of the box" so will either buy some high quality foam or a Creafoam Bead Insert kit to customize the fit.  With the seat centered on the steering wheel the shoulder bolster just kisses the door.


Getting the seat in desired position took a bit of time and not sure if I made this overly complicated.  This is how I installed the seat.


First, I mounted the nice Cobra aluminum seat mounts to the Ultra Shield seat.  I could not return the mounts due to all the scratches and figured I'd use them, what the hell, right?  Placed some scrap square tubing on the floor to get a good approximation the height I liked.  Shot for a bit on the low side to compensate for the custom seat foam kit.  There is also height adjustability in the Cobra mounts.  This is my first seat install complete from scratch so did a little research as to common race seat fitment.  What I came up with is fore/aft should allow pedals to be depressed completely with some bend remaining in legs with wrists able to sit on top of wheel arms extended, top of steering wheel level with tip of nose for height and rear tilt is preference but more upright is encouraged, between 10-25 degrees. 


After getting the approximate location of the seat time to patch the huge ass hole I cut in the trans tunnel for seat clearance.  Formed up a patch panel from 20 gauge.  









Drew a level line on the trans tunnel the height of the seat frame mount and carried it over to the rocker with mason line.  Then cut out cardboard template of irregular floor to transfer to 2"x2" .095 wall tubing.




I transferred the base of the Cobra mounts to cardboard to approximate the location of seat frame rails.





Cut out the seat frame shapes and welded nuts.






I choose to give myself one adjustment forward (3/4") and two rearward (1.5" total).  Here a few pic of seat installed.  Aluminum seats require a back brace which I will incorporate into the roll cage.















Thanks for looking and Happy New Year!


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While attempting to fit the Cobra Suzuka seat I took note how far back the seat rails were located.  The Ultra Shield seat is placed a fair distance more forward.  I decided to add some stub frame rails to the rear of the cross seat frame rails for added seat adjustment in case I ever want to change to a composite seat like the yet to be released Bride.  The stub rails also gives 4 more bolts to hold seat. 






Really want to get the sump tank enclosure fab'd engine mounts and trans mount welded up but waiting on some  AeroFlow Full Flow ORB to male AN fittings to dial in placement.  These particular fittings made in Australia and could find only 1 vendor here in the States who offers them in 45 degrees and of course they are not in stock.  While waiting for DHL to do their magic keeping busy with stuff...


Welded in the driver's side upper frame horn and TC to rocker supports.







Made up and welded in some 20 gauge delete plates for the front and rear side running lights.









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Bouncing around on different aspects of the build as usual.  Completed mounting the dry sump oil tank so I can weld in the outer upper frame horn support tubes (did not want to work around these when making tank box).


This a 7"x20" 2 gallon tank.  A 2 gallon tank is the recommended minimum volume so was determined to make it fit and the only possible logical place is OEM battery location.  The challenge was it's 20" height.  Hood clearance necessitates the return line at bottom of the tank to sit below the frame rail.  Luckily, the bottom of the tank is pretty darn close to level with the return fitting on the oil pan.  I minimized the amount of height the return hose would gain coming out of the tank bottom over the frame rail so to reduce the possibility of "toilet bowl/air trap" effect.  With this design the return line should only gain about 3" before sloping back down to the oil pan.  Between the oil level being higher in tank and scavenge strength of the stock oil pump I should be fine with the slight rise/bump in oil return line.  In a perfect world the tank bottom and return hose would all sit higher than the return fitting on the oil pan...


My initial plan was to mount the tank against the outer wheel well wall but that location would interfere with the strut tower to roll cage support tube so moved it over to the frame rail. 


I fabbed up a small recess in the firewall to get the tank as far back l as possible for tire clearance.  The compression strap that connects the tank top is a larger diameter than the center section. 




The nice tank strap mount that ARE sells have plates that bolt to mount hoops.  Ditched those plates too to gain 3/8" more tire clearance.  Weld nuts to fender washers and then welded those to cabin side of firewall.  Here is tank in final position.  Note the ORB 45 degree -12AN fitting.  Ordered that from AutoPlumb as they are a distributor Australian company called AeroFlow.  Surprised no US vendor makes this fitting, at least that I am aware of, and I searched...  Sure, BMRS and others have crimp versions but I don't have a $4000 crimp machine... 




Started with fitting the bottom so I could use a dimple die to flare drain hole then moved onto angling the corners, building walls and return line area.










With tank installed.








Thanks for following my progress!



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Very clean fab work there!


Good idea taking the "floor" of the dry sump mount down below the frame rail.  Mine is level with the frame rail, and simply will not take a 2 gallon tank, at least not unless I want to make a hole in the hood.  I imagine you know this and planned accordingly.


Good to see ARE is still in business.  I tried to get ahold of them to make a purchase a couple of weeks ago.  Didn't answer my call (during business hours) and didn't return my message.  So I bought it from Peterson.

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Been working a bunch so progress has slowed a bit.  A few things are starting to come together and finally got the trans mount sorted out.  Really wanted to tie into the frame rails for strength and after considering many options decided on building some stub frame rails perpendicular to the main frame rails. 


First I started with some 3x3 .125" wall square tubing by cutting out top for poly trans mount to sit inside tube and sectioned the ends for exhaust clearance.




Welded that up and installed on trans.








Made stub frame rails out of same 3x3 tubing, drilled some 3" .250" bar stock for 10mm bolts and welded nuts to back of face plate on stub frame.




Passenger side has floor that extends down below frame rail so I cut it out to allow stub frame to extend straight to the frame rail.




Welded legs on cross member





Here is finished install






The top side of driver side stub frame still needs to be boxed in with 20 gauge.  Will do that when engine gets pulled to weld up the motor mounts which are just tack welded.







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Utilizing the front spindle off the 2015 Mustang presented few options for brakes without designing one off custom caliper brackets and rotor hats that would be needed with my original thought swapping in a large OEM brake kit from Mustang or Caddy CTS.  Using 17" wheels like I originally wanted would require the custom parts too. 


After much research the choices came down to OEM and offerings from various after market brake manufactures.  Further reducing choices was rotor diameter that kits employ.  Most performance after market brakes packages for the S550 Mustang use 15" rotors which necessitates a 19" wheel, too big for the S30 chassis IMO.  OEM, Wilwood and Essex AP Racing kits fit under "most" 18" racing wheels.  18" wheels too big too???  Maybe, maybe not. Decided to take the plunge and up the wheel diameter to 18" for ease of purchasing off the shelf brake kit.  This cut out the hassle of designing hats are caliper brackets.  I am not even vaguely familiar with CAD design and at this point don't have time to experiment and learn so this saved me a ton of work.  Someday I'll mess around with CAD...


Pulled the trigger on the AP Racing kit designed by Essex Racing.  The front use 6 piston caliper with 372x34 mm rotor and rear 4 piston caliper with 340x32mm rotor.  Yup, that there are some big brakes! 


I ran brake fitment template by a few wheel manufactures with styles I liked to confirm brake fitment.  Work Wheels said no go.  Too bad because they are a good value for a three piece.  BC Forged, CCW, Volk and JongBloed confirmed fitment.  Really liked the Volk TE37V Mark II but Covid has really messed up supply with lead time 6 months or more!  Damn, that removes the beautiful one piece forged wheels from consideration...  With so many more designs to choose from I settled on the Jongbloed 557 Series.  They are made in USA about 2 hours drive from me so those are two big pluses and it's a three piece design.  Currently working with Ryan to dial in back spacing for 10" front and 11.5" rear wheels (275 and 315 tires) which hopefully we can get hammered out after my ZG style flares get mocked up on car. 


MMM.... Brakes






Edited by 280Z-LS3
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Welded up the puck style engine mounts.  Originally planned on welding engine mounts on cross member.  However, I wanted the engine as far back as reasonably possible (block/belhousing mount face 1.5" off firewall) but this would have required the engine mounts to extend some 4-5" rearward of cross member.  Was not comfortable with that much cantilever.  Also, the volume of space such a mount would require is right where the dry sump pump lines will run from pan to pump.  So the only other solution was to have the engine mounts come off frame rail.  Installed height of engine was determined by oil pan/steering rack clearance and steering shaft/alternator clearance.  Placed the engine to get 1/2" at those pinch points. 


The mounts were constructed of 0.25" plate and 3x3" 0.250" wall tubing.  The frame rail support was made from 3/16" plate which is about 12" in length to span from just in front of T/C bucket to just in front of cross member mount.

The bushing is Energy Suspension 9.4102G Universal Mount.


Here is the competed setup.  Happy with how trans and engine mounts turned out with basic tools at my disposal (drill press, band saw, angle grinder and brake press).


Extended the legs on the bracket which welds to the driver engine plate to add strength/welded area.  You can see from the weld penetration coloration in the 4th and 6th pic the bracket does not have a large overlap onto the plate so felt the legs were necessary.  It's overkill strong now...















Now time to get the engine back in and start on DIY custom SS headers!


Thanks for looking!


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Sitting here with "brake envy"...telling myself "size doesn't matter".....


But seriously, everything looks really great.  I wish I had done something similar with my engine mounts to allow for a larger scavenge pump.


I agree with you, get wheels/tires in hand ASAP.  Without them you will very quickly find yourself unable to progress with mockup.  So much hinges on the wheel/tire setup.  Also expect the wheels to take two or three times as long as Ryan "estimates".  That was my experience, and is, from what I have heard from others, the norm.

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