CatDaddy
CatDaddy New Reader
2/12/21 7:53 p.m.

This makes me sad. My longer posts get deleted while they upload leaving on the first line. 

 

**edit**
 

look a few posts down for the build!

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/12/21 8:01 p.m.

They are switching to a newer format forum. Maybe that's eating posts? Contact a mod if it keeps up. 

 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/13/21 6:18 a.m.

I came in for the content which left me disappointed.   Maybe edit your post?

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) Dork
2/13/21 10:02 a.m.

I think i remember seeing your post in the New Members thread, and it was a good looking car. I like these (and I know a lot of other folks here do too), so please don't give up!

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/13/21 7:19 p.m.

In reply to CatDaddy :

I am eager to hear what year Q45.

I've had...91, 90, 94

Did you buy this one?  devil

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/13/21 7:53 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Why all the hate for the 3rd gen?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/13/21 7:59 p.m.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Ha. No 3rdGen hate. I like em.  Lately, I'm interested in rhe M56 just because I like the idea of a big truck motor of 400 hp in a descret looking sedan

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/13/21 8:28 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Oh yes that is pure sex.  Last I looked they were 10k.  Once they get to cheap SoB level I might buy one.

CatDaddy
CatDaddy New Reader
2/13/21 9:00 p.m.

Yay! Not eating posts! This is written in notes just in case Grassroots build thread 

Hello! 

 

So my last post was deleted by the aliens in the ‘net but I’m forcing myself to re write it all.

 

This is my 1994 Q45 as of last week

 It’s a beautifully rare example with only 265,000 miles! Thankfully the last owner claims that it had a JDM engine swapped into it within the last few years, no receipts, hallelujah... it actually doesn’t burn any oil and is relatively clean so it’s a possibility. 

 

this was it in October:

I got it from under a tree but it fire dup and drove home no problem. I knew I wanted a drift car that was easy. So, I topped off the oil and gave it a test drift bone stock:

 

https://youtu.be/I7wmrAK0m1I

 

My reaction is and was something like this “If I had this car 8 years ago, I’d be a pro by now! It’s that good.”

 

Now this to me is saying a lot, I’ve been drifting for about 12 years now. Sometimes daily for a period of a few years, sometimes off and on. The car felt extremely good. The chassis is obviously very stiff, the steering is very responsive and tight. It had a ton of smooth steering angle.(

It has a huge steering rack and a ton of bracing I found out later )

****

(I’ll go into more detail about the type of drifting I like and why later on. It’s not Formula D style, and I don’t think horsepower is a big factor compared to chassis composure during extreme maneuvers.)

 

****

 

So I went ahead and started the mods. I dropped the differential and put in 4.9 gears.
 


 

Welded it up too. A viscous... totes grodes

bruh

 

The stock exhaust was very rusty so I chopped it off an made some duals with my favorite exhaust tips. 

 

I cut off the lock stops on the control arms. And put on a GKTech inner tie rod spacer. This lets the rack slide a few more teeth //////>>> and reduces the outer tie rod length which helps create a bit of toe out on compression helping you not spin out at the extremes of drift. (This lengthening is canceled when you move the outer tie rod pickup points out and shorter, reducing bump steer, later) 

 

I added some stickers for fun. I had a ton of random vinyl around. 

I also cut the rear springs a little and maybe the fronts, I can’t remember.. I did add a tall bump stop in the front as well to keep the front from diving and rolling too hard during transitions. 


Here is a picture of the front suspension  with big bump stop and adjustable camber arm.

 

I also added a 30mm front spacer to get the front scrub radius up there, it helps the front end bite in and also helps the steering wheel center more aggressively.  I was also rubbing on the caster rod (tension rod) at full lock. 
 

see the cut off steering stops

Then I redrilled my spindles for more angle. (They snapped later don’t recommend!!!)

I went to the track and burned off 1.5 sets of 15” tires. Not bad! 

 

After that, I got some fancy Rimz so that I could use Kenda KR20A rear tires in a big

Size. 265/35-18 and 275/35-18.

They last so much longer in these big sizes and with the Kenda compound. They can last me a full day at the track and sometimes I can drive home on them! $212 a day in tires is not bad at all! 

Test:

https://youtu.be/Y4YiWp_5ryo

 

So the car is about $1300 deep in mods at this point and can do a LOT of good drifting maneuvers. That in comparison to the traditional “drift build” route wouldn’t get you very far! 

----------------

So then the front knuckle snapped after a little jump. So I went the route I wanted to

Anyways, I converted the front to 240SX S13 front macpherson. 

I went to the junkyard and got the spindles. Ordered 5 lug hubs on eBay. thankfully the Q45 brakes worked great on the new spindle.

I had to heat and beat the upper strut towers to make a new spot for the camber plates. Cut new holes and all that. I thought I got the measurements right but I didn't go back far enough technically. 
 

 

I got some Partsshopmax.com front only S13 Pro coilovers with a caster camber plate and adjustable included angle lower mount and 12Kg/mm springs. 

also grabbed a GKtech front knuckle adapter that increases scrub more and has 2 holes for different levels of Ackerman and steering angle/ratio. 62* of turn I think? 

I bolted it all together and it drove weird as hell! I had the strut setting to max camber to fit the tires under the fenders. shortly I corded the tires! thankfully they were 1/32 tread...

(Looking back now I only had about 3.5 to 4* caster < the more important issue. )

 

I don’t recommend canting the wheels at the strut to knuckle interface... Because it had such a big grippy front tire 265/35-18 Federal 595 RS-R. It could drift but it was more like a wheelbarrow than a sports car. It didn’t self steer and return to center. It had no grip except at full lock. So when you drifted you were just sort of rolling the car around the front end lazily. 

 

I did some tweaking and went to a thinner front spacer and barely got the tire under the fender with a tiny 215 tire. Garbage. So much understeer that it was maddening. 



A lot of people roll like this and just tug the train handle up to start a drift... that's just not how I roll. 

So I hurried up and ordered some s13 front lower control arms, hoping they were 3/4” shorter. Well they were about 1/4” shorter (better than nothing... apparently the next Gen Q45 y33 has the long control arms. My G50 uses an s14 lower control arm pretty much. Just a hair longer than s13)

The 1/4” helped, the new ball joints were nice. I went ahead and got a 20 offset wheel to replace the 12 offset wheel. I reduced the camber to about -4.5. A new front tire 265/35-18 Federal 595 RS-R again.

I adjusted the caster to as much as I could get but that's only about 5.5. Definitely usable but not perfect.
 

The downside is that it is achieved by pulling the front wheel forward a lot which increases Ackerman, and causes my wheels to eat the front bumper, and increases my wheelbase more. 
 

I then got some rear camber arms, they were for an S14, and just barely adjustable enough to get me to About -1.5 camber from the -4.5 it had out back.  This helped the tire wear a ton... but the balance was upset again! 
I didn't know this at the time, so I:
________________

I took a little time to begin redoing the cars looks at home and my wife helped with the application and design of the vinyl so far! Thanks!

__________________

So I go back to the track:

The change in camber really made the car revert to understeer again. The big front sway bar stock (1 1/4”? ) the big front spring rates, the forward weight balance, and the stock noodle sway bar out back with soft springs and 275’s meant that while it could corner quite fast it was biased pretty strongly to “unda! Unda!!” 
_______________________

oh yeah, here was the completely stock weight with 1/2 tank of gas:

I have removed a lot of heavy stuff since then. I will re weigh it again once all of my significant mods are complete! 

Removed so far:

drivers seat, back seats. Airbag computers. carpet, trunk stuff, some sound deadening, catback exhaust, some smog stuff, some under hood stuff. Hood shocks.

 

want to remove:

Excessive under dash equipment for automatic air conditioning controls. Passenger seat (85lbs), gut the trunk lid, gut the spare tire well, grind off NVH solid 1" thick steel dampers on the subframe, eliminate power rear windows, amplifier, airbags, sunroof motors and rails, Swiss cheese bumper supports, brackets, Fog light brackets, etc. automatic transmission to manual swap! 

estimated new weight after:3450 
__________________

back to the story of understeer:
 

I was at the track scrambling around to get the front to grip up. I lowered front pressures a lot and that was definitely and improvement but not a solution... 

Then I decided to loosen the front sway bar endlinks. Bingo. It could drift again! Too much front roll resistance and camber compared to the rear. 

I successfully drifted that day but I knew I had to do more to get the back to slide out more easily. I didn’t want to drop $700 for the rear Coilovers right then, so I decided to check out the rear sway bar and found a McDonalds straw back there. 

I ordered a pair of s13 “racing” sway bars from eBay SpeedDaddy one of my favorite cheap crap suppliers. I had to extend  the rear S13 bar about 5” to get it to fit in the Q45. 

I chopped the middle out of the S13 front bar and made a 5” spacer. I threaded a 7/8” bolt inside the cut in half rear bar. Put them together and welded it up.

Bolted it Up. Beautiful. 

 

I haven’t driven it yet but after seeing the stock noodle out back, and what I know about tuning 240SX’s this is definitely going to be a HUGE improvement. It’s a lot easier to tune the car in to being competitive and consistent if you can dial out front grip by raising tire pressures, stiffening shocks and adjusting the front end links. You want the car to be snappy on entry, and then to begin a dynamic understeer mid drift. You can adjust the KPI and caster to adjust the contact patch at different steering angles.

Near full lock you want way too much camber so that the throttle induces a push and keeps the line wide. 

As you dial the steering back towards straight you want the camber to flatten out, allowing you to aim the car either towards the apex, or to grip up so you can whip the car the opposite direction to transition. 

 

So this leads me to my next upgrade:

 

GKtech Caster Camber plate V3.
 

This lets me further adjust caster and camber independently of each other. This is good Because:

 

my caster is fully maxed out both on the FLCA and the top hat to get 5.5 degrees..

 

My camber is not exactly adjustable now because my tire barely fits (the plate is not independently adjustable. I would have to give up caster to gain camber at the extreme limits) 

 

The car is too low up front, and this raises the car about 3/4” and I could really use that. 

 

I also nabbed a front fender flare which I will color match. Giving me a lot of freedom to tune! My favorite thing. 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/13/21 9:07 p.m.

I do believe that's a 2nd gen.  A 10th anniversary edition donated it's rear subframe to my Model A build.

CatDaddy
CatDaddy New Reader
2/14/21 12:54 a.m.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Hey! So this is technically the first generation with a facelift. The 2nd gen starts in 1997 called FGY33. This is called a G50. They share a ton of the same architecture and running gear. The FGY33 uses a 4.1L version of this engine that is in mine and comes standard with macpherson struts. They're nice cars and handle great! I bet your model A will!

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/14/21 6:47 a.m.

In reply to CatDaddy :

You are correct.  Don't know why I was thinking 2nd gen.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/15/21 12:38 a.m.

When you say the tire barely fits, its that inboard towards the strut or outboard towards the fender? Because (assuming you aren't hung up on not cutting)  you can always cut the fender and add very inexpensive E-Bay 240Z flares.

maschinenbau (I live here)
maschinenbau (I live here) UltraDork
2/15/21 7:42 a.m.

Welcome! You should know this forum is the unofficial world headquarters of hacked-up Q45's. I can't even keep track of the Q45's from this site, including all 3 generations and one that was converted into a pickup 'ute. You will fit in perfectly here. Admittedly I don't know much about drift suspensions tuning, but I am slide-curious, and learning a lot from your posts. Thanks for dropping in.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/15/21 9:47 a.m.

In reply to CatDaddy :

Welcome.  

This was my '90 that I bought off insurance auction after hail damage.  It also need a master cylinder since the brakes went to the floor.  Bought for the princely sum of $900.  And, it only had 69k miles.  Stored in doors all its life, in Littleton, CO until that day it got caught in the hail.  

The day it arrived to me off a car carrier. 

I then took it to the GRM Challenge and took 10th overall in near bone stock form.  It was the second Q45 I had taken to The Challenge.  The other was a '91 the year before and it took 11th overall.  Also near stock and sporting the full interior and all gear.  

Same '90

I then later also bought this rough '94

The reason I bought the rough '94 was because it had this...

 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/15/21 10:03 a.m.

As for rear sway bar.  The Gen1 base models got no rear sway bar.  The touring model got a 16mm rear bar and the active suspension models got a huge 20mm rear bar.  

My '91 was a Touring model so it had the 16mm.  The '94 was also touring model with 16mm.  However, the '90 was a base model so no bar, but...  In Jacksonville, FL I found a guy trying to sell an active suspension Q45.  As you know, when the active part fails there is no fixing it since parts are no longer available.  I wrote the seller and asked him if he wanted to just sell the rear bar.  He agree to for $40 and I sent a Jacksonville based GRM'er over to go get the bar off the car for me and ship it north to me.  Killer deal for the rare and huge 20mm bar.  

CatDaddy
CatDaddy New Reader
2/24/21 2:34 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

Thanks for that info! I'd definitely recommend going with an aftermarket 1"+ after test driving mine finally!

 

enter turn at decent speed. Turn wheel more, no

understeer!  Hopefully it will be balanced enough to not be tooooo drifty. I was running a pretty high rear pressure for that small test. 80psi cold. 

The megasquirt v1 arrived but I still need to get a harness for It.  Hopefully I can get it to piggy back the fuel. The next drift day got moved to the 20th so

i have a little time to mess with it. 

Run_Away [FS]
Run_Away [FS] Dork
2/24/21 2:51 p.m.

Interesting, thanks for sharing!

I'm grafting a fwd Nissan suspension on a different chassis, so I'm taking notes on your experience with caster and fixing camber at the strut to knuckle interface vs the strut tower.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
2/24/21 4:50 p.m.

In reply to CatDaddy :

We now know where you live.  Expect random GRMers to show up wanting to sleep on your couch mid trip.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/24/21 5:01 p.m.

In reply to CatDaddy :

My white car wore a NICO ECU.  This moved the redline up to 7,400 up from the stock 6,900 and brought the vtec on quicker (I don't remember the rpm for this.)  Premium was required.  It's a wonderful sound to hear 4 cams spin at 7,400 rpm!  

I had Wes Stinson flash the ecu for me (via sending him the ecu in the mail back in 2015.  Wes no longer owns a Q45 but if you email him, he is quick to reply.  He has forgotten more about Q45s than any of us will ever know.  

You can reach him through his old site http://q45.org/.  Sadly, much is missing from this old, great site.  Here's a good article on Q45 Performance written by Wes.  

That green car on Wes' website is the same green car in my driveway.  I did not buy it off Wes but rather bought it off the guy Wes sold it to, years later.  

Funny fact, the green Q45 was bought new buy the guy who built/founded the Nico website.  It was then sold to Wes who did the manual trans conversion 

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