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*Finally getting around to documenting my build. Will continue to update the text as I go. Happy to answer any questions. Feel free to also follow along on instagram for more frequent updates. 


I fell in love with the S30 chassis at around the age of 13 and tried to buy one or two as my first car. Unfortunately, being from the north east, anything I could afford had rust holes in structural areas you could put your hand through. After watching the price trend over the last few years, I decided I better act before I missed the boat.


-Purchased sight unseen in October, 2018 from another member here.

-The car started it's life in California, was shipped to Florida by the P.O., and then I shipped it back to California. I was living in Germany at the time, so the plan was to store it with my family and make trips to work on it whenever I found the time. 

-I purchased it as a roller since I'd always planned to do a swap anyway. It came with a lot of T3 and AZC suspension bits already in place, most of which I sold. 



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Day 1. The car arrives. A little rough around the edges and lots missing, but seemingly little rust:



A quick wash to see what we're working with.


Parked it next to my brother's expensive Volkswagon. 


In a strange coincidence, this guy who came to buy some parts off me said he had seen one being trailered recently in the area... he took a very grainy video of it and send it to me and it happened to be mine on its way home from Florida. 



Edited by artishard116
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Teardown begins:



Lots of POR15 in the floors and spare tire well, slightly concerning.



Many extra holes for weight reduction(?).



Kept a couple things and sold a ton of parts. I wanted to ditch the stub axles all together and wanted an e-brake integrated with the calipers. 



Edited by artishard116
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Fabrication/metalwork starts thanks mostly to my friend BDR Fabrication.



POR15 in the seatbelt pockets



Pockets welded shut and standoffs for the main hoop added in 1/8" steel. It was tight, but managed to keep the stock seatbelt bolt holes accessible. 



Test fitting main hoop. We used the diagram floating around on this forum and it fit great. 







I hadn't welded since college, so I practiced by filling some holes. 





Removed some plates that were welded over the original sway bar holes by a previous owner on the front frame rails.



Parts start to trickle in.







Edited by artishard116
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  • 2 weeks later...

Had some downtime while waiting for my fabricator's schedule to clear up so I kept myself busy by restoring the original tail lights and installing Dapper led boards.


Cleaned the grime off.





Pried open the lenses.



Dapper lighting boards wired up.




New sealant added.



Polished up the lenses with a buffing wheel on a power drill. 



Added some clear coat.





Painted the worn out chrome trim black.



Testing. Doesn't appear I'll have any trouble backing up at night...





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Next I tackled the headlights and installed Dapper led 7's.


40+ years of grime.



Cleaned up with a wire wheel.



Replaced all the old hardware, trim, and inserts. Used some Camaro parts or something because I couldn't find direct replacements. It required cutting the adjuster holes to squares, but otherwise went smoothly. 



Painted the buckets.




The new lamps require cutting holes in the buckets. Hoping water and dirt won't get in there, but may need to close it off somehow. 



Lights installed. Actually replacing the glass covers with a more textured version so they look less modern. 






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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/19/2020 at 9:09 AM, boosted300 said:

Looking good!


I love the work you did on the tail lights.  Can you go into a little more detail on how you buffed them?


Thanks! Sure, it was pretty simple, just used a plastic polish by McGuires I believe (meant for headlights), along with a cloth buffing wheel attachment on a power drill. Took several passes to get them shiny. You can find similar kits at most auto parts stores. Power tool is a must, unless you want your arm to fall off. Let me know if you have more questions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Signal and reverse lights cleaned up/painted and new lenses added. Will replace all the wiring later. DSCF1638.jpg.7306c45e87927ef5338730a3598972f3.jpg



Made some wheels out of swivel casters, 4x4's and U-bolts so I could push the car around. Also had to move garages which was slightly sketchy. 



In the new space with some major garage upgrades.



Finally got the cage in for good. More details to come. Strut towers also cut for weld-in plates. 





Lining up the T3 weld-in camber plates.



Welded on both sides. In retrospect, it would have been prettier if I put them on top of the towers, but it seemed like this would be stronger. They'll be covered by STB brackets anyway. 



A huge haul of parts show up, as well as seats and belts. 





Quick test fit:





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Stripped the rails down to metal in order to test fit some Bad Dog parts, only to discover that mine are unusually asymmetrical. Apparently it was a California car thing? One rail is about an inch taller than the other on one side, and runs flat against the floorpan instead of being contoured like the other side. John from Bad Dog was super helpful and offered to make me custom rails if I sent him templates. If anyone else runs into this problem, drop him a line and see if he can make you a set.




Templates made, and subframe connectors mocked up. Had to do these from scratch as they're a totally different shape than on a 240. 



Determined that the stock seat mounts would have to go unless I wanted my seats to be at a severe angle (and too high). Messy job. Kept ripping holes in the thin floors when trying to remove the spot welds. 



Sank some tubes through the frame rails and sandwiched 1/8" plates on either side to strengthen the sway bar mounting points. 



Had a little tube left over from the cage and figured it couldn't hurt to brace the front frame horns. 


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Finished products:



"I'll just do a couple stitch welds around the inside of this strut tower" (Famous last words). 



Some details of the cage and attachment points. Avoided the stock belt mounting holes so I could use them for my harness lap belt. Not sure if the angle will work out though. 



Bashed the hump in the transmission tunnel with a hammer to try and get enough seat clearance but it was a lost cause. Went full Flinstones. 



Filled the bumper holes using some Skillard pieces and warped it pretty bad in the process. Will let the body shop sort that one out. 




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On 10/22/2020 at 11:55 PM, grannyknot said:

Hey, looks good.  Don't forget the brace between the T/C rod mount and the rocker, it really stiffens up that whole area.




DSCN0858 (1024x768).jpg


Thanks for the tip, nice idea. I do have the Apex crossmember which has bars that brace the TC boxes somewhat. 

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