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SilverFleet
SilverFleet UberDork
8/3/16 3:17 p.m.

The car is great looking, but guys, it's definitely a Lemons car. We've chopped, smashed, and re-welded all sorts of bits on this thing over the past couple of years. It was beyond the point of making it nice. A good chunk of the subframe has been fabricated and replaced as well.

That said, it will hopefully kick butt at the next race. It's a week from this coming Saturday!

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
8/9/16 10:37 a.m.

Thanks guys! I'm happy with how its coming along. I really like the body style of the Z and would feel bad doing some goofy theme. I think it looks way better painted up like a race car and will enjoy it for the 3-5 laps it says that way, lol.

One thing I learned is that I'm never going to paint anything with rustoleum again. Its too soft, doesn't spray too well even when thinned, doesn't hold a shine, stains, and is a pain to work with. Sure with extra work it can look ok but it's not worth it. I have around $90 into paint but I would have been better off using a cheap polyurethane for the same money and would have been done way faster. Oh well lesson learned.

Anyway since the front was smashed I've been having a hell of a time getting the hood to close. The passenger fender was too far in towards the center and the hood couldn't close. More work with the sledge hammer helped and I reshaped where the hood mount goes. Long story short, after trying to adjust everything and slot holes I welded the hood to the bracket and called it good.

I haven't had time to mess with the lower sheet metal and might leave it off. Too many other important things need to get done to actually go racing. At least the rear axles are back in, rear brakes installed, clunk from loose balljoint nut fixed, brake lines cut and flared with standard fittings, and adjustable proportioning valve installed.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
8/15/16 9:58 a.m.

I'm back from this past weekend's Lemons race. It was very hot with severe storms. Lots of people came up to us and complimented how cool the Datsun looks and joked about how it was too pretty. Even the BS inspection was tough and they had 4 people looking under the car to see how cheaty it was. Judges gave us a hard time but once we brought out our bribe they gave us class B with zero BS laps.

We got off to a late start due to transponder issues. I mounted it in the same spot at the last 2 races but this time it wasn't reading and we didn't notice for 20 minutes. We radioed to have our driver come in so we could move it but when hit pitted we saw that one of our rear brakes was locked up. Turns out we had 2 brake pads installed incorrectly on one side so after swapping them around everything was moving freely. We moved the transponder and sent the driver back out but by now we were down 25 laps. Rest of the day went smoothly and we climbed from dead last at 113th place up to 48th at one point.

Then on Saturday after noon we had to stop racing due to all the lightning and they ended the race 3.5 hours early. I was hoping the storm would pass quickly so I hung out in the car with my cool shirt on but more storms kept coming and I finally got out when things got even worse.

We parked on high ground but other teams were not as lucky.

Sunday was dry but very hot. I started off and drove for an hour but I should have pitted sooner since the heat was too much even with a cool shirt. Our next driver was out for 30 minutes and called in saying he was going to pit in 15 min due to the heat. On his last lap he took turn 4 too tight and fast and the back end kicked out. He brushed the wall with the front of the car but he was fine and the damage was minor.

Rest of the day went smoothly and I think we finished around 60th over all. With the heat and slow start we didn't put any effort into pit stops and took it easy and had fun.

Still glad I painted it because this polished turd looks awesome out on track.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
9/6/16 11:05 a.m.

Since all of our other autocross cars are broken at the moment we decided to race the Datsun 2 weeks ago. We signed up with 3 drivers so it was in both run groups. Last time we tried this it broke twice but things went smoothly this time. The car is by no means fast or stiff but its still fun tossing it around. Thanks to Krystian Macek for the photos.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
9/19/16 10:32 a.m.

Coming out of a tight corner almost everything can out accelerate us. At some point I'd like to dyno it to see how many horses have left the stable but for now we're going to swap the rear diff. I found a deal on one from a late 80's 300ZX on ebay. Seller didn't know what ratio it was so I sent him a message to get the part number off the ring gear. Turns out it was a 3.90 which is what I was looking for so I bought it. Currently we are running a 3.54. We plugged in the 5 speed ratios and the 3.90 into a spreadsheet and the gearing should work out nicely. The diff also looks brand new since it came from Arizona and will be the nicest thing on the car.

Fitzauto
Fitzauto Dork
9/19/16 4:39 p.m.

In reply to PseudoSport:

That 3.90 will really wake up the car. I have the 3.36 in my 280zx and rode in one that was identical except for the diff and it was night and day

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
9/21/16 12:27 p.m.

I hope so. There is a 280ZX that pulls away from us every time we are in a corner together. I'm thinking it's a 82-83 which got the 3.90 diff and high compression 2.8L. They've also won the whole thing on laps so the car is pretty well sorted. Ours is just... pretty.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
9/28/16 2:21 p.m.

I never expected the picture I submitted to make it into the magazine but I was pleasantly surprised to see it in the back of the current issue. Thanks David!

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
10/17/16 9:12 a.m.

Next race is this coming this weekend in NH. The car raced all weekend last time and drove on the trailer so I figured everything was fine. I'll give the car a quick one over before loading it up and I'll be good to go... Well things didn't go that smoothly.

Rear control arm bushing is gone. Oddly the car still felt pretty decent last race. I didn't have time to track down a new bushing so I grabbed another 40+ year old one off another control arm. Luckily they slide on and off.

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While I'm under there I might as well check the ujoints. That resulted in more disappointment.

76 and later Z cars have non serviceable U joints. Well you can replace them but the ujoint is special order and more annoying to replace. I have a pile a driveshafts in the basement and fortunately I found one that should work.

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So driveshaft is out and I'm already working on the control arm. Might as well over complicate this whole project and swap the diff while I'm under here.

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Diff came out easy enough. Before installing the new one I wanted to replace the axle seals but unfortunately I could only locate one and don't have time to order another. I decided to replace the one near the exhaust system because if the old one leaked I didn't want to smell burn diff fluid all weekend. I reinstalled the diff cover and swapped the 280z axles flanges into the 300zx diff. Last part was swapping the the pinion flange since 280Z and 300zx are different. After that it was ready to go in.

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On the install the drive side axle fought me for a while since I couldn't get the axle to slid over the flange studs. Other then that it went smoothly. I still need to get the driveshaft back in plus a few other small things then I can move to checking the front of the car.

golfduke
golfduke HalfDork
10/17/16 11:43 a.m.

I'll be up there as well! Maybe have a little impromptu GRM meetup Friday or saturday night?

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
10/17/16 2:01 p.m.

In reply to golfduke:

Nice, we should be getting there around 11am on Friday. Look for the Barthmoble Motorhome, Datsun, and these idiots.

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mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
10/17/16 6:48 p.m.

Looks great! Good luck this weekend!

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
10/20/16 4:13 p.m.

The car is loaded up on the trailer but not before having one last issue.

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The stock fuel rail is made up of a mix of tubing, rubber hose and 20 clamps. I've already replaced the hoses once back when I got the car running but some of them have started to crumble and crack. I remember buying decent hose at the time but maybe with the heat from the exhaust they are not holding up as well. EFI hose clamps would be nice too but all the ones I find are either too big, too small, or won't clamp well enough. Also ignore the different color injectors. Out of 2 sets these were the ones that were not locked up. Pretty sure they flow the same...

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So I bought some decent hose and more clamps and fixed all the split hoses I could see. Never got a chance to work on any of the stuff I wanted to or even test drive the car after the diff swap.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
10/25/16 4:23 p.m.

Another great weekend of racing. The new diff was a huge help but the biggest improvement to the car was the addition of googly eyes. (few pics stolen from Ben Booy)

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The Datsun survived but it did have a few minor issues. 20 laps in and Jeff had to pit because the car was running poorly. We checked all the usual electrical connectors because most of them look like this but that wasn't the problem.

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Air flow meter tube was fine so we started looking for vacuum leaks. Under the intake there is a large hose for the crank case vent. Back side of the hose near the manifold had melted causing a huge leak.

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We didn't have much for spare hoses so we stole some off our RV. We stuffed a hose inside a hose to step it down then added some zipties. Car fired up and ran awesome. We sent Jeff back out and he said the car felt like a rocket ship. I'm guessing that hose has been overlooked for a while. The trouble shooting and repair cost us 45 minutes and we dropped back to 98th place.

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We sent Pat out next and things were going great for a few laps till the car stopped taking throttle and shut off. He could fire it back up and get one good rev out of it then it would stall. Somehow he managed to limp the car back to the pits by starting and revving it. We went over everything again and broke a spark plug wire connector while looking for problems. Swapped out a new set of wires and the car ran fine again. Hmm, whatever. Back out it went.

At the end of Pats stint he came back to pit because the windows were fogging up. We never did get around to reinstall the blower motor so we had to rig up something. For some reason there was a drier duct kit in the RV so we duct taped that to the drives side windshield vent and sent Dave out.

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The rain started coming down a lot harder and visibility was extremely poor. There were lots of spins and Dave really had to fight to keep the car under control. Also our dryer duct kinda works but he only had a small clear spot to see out of. Towards the end of his stint the car shut off going around turn 3 and won't restart. After getting pushed back to the pit we started the wire wiggle test again. This time it turned out the AFM plug was loose. Few zip ties later and we were back out. I drove the rest of the day without issue and we finished in 71st place with no black flags.

Sunday was less eventful depending on how you look at it. Harkins started off and had a clean run minus a small love tap in the back. Damage was minor and our poor muffler survived.

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Jeff went to pass a car and it clipped the front end. Other car almost spun but both drivers were black flagged.

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Half way though Pat's stint he was black flagged for not having brake lights. Turns out the bulb sockets were corroded and the fuse was blown. We fixed it pretty quick and sent Pat back out. Dave's runs were quick and uneventful but on my second lap out I spun the car and got a black flag. Fortunately they let me back out but not without letting me sweat for a few minutes and hinting towards having to do a penalty.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
2/13/17 10:50 a.m.

It's going to be a while till I can get any more work done.

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In the mean time Discount Tire Direct is having another big sale so we ordered another set of wheels are tires. Instead of getting another set of Drag DR-54 in Bronze we ended up with the same wheels in gold with a polished lip because they are stupid cheap after rebates. $112 for 4 wheels and $279 for Azenis. I wanted to wait for the new RT615K+ due out next month but couldn't pass up this deal.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
4/6/17 9:27 a.m.

Next race is coming up on April 29th at Carolina Motorsports park. That's going to be quite a hike for us. We wanted race NJ but its on Mother's day this year and not enough team mates could get that weekend off. It would have been nice to get a jump on race prep but winter won't give up yet. The snow from the last storm has finally melted so I might get to work on the car this weekend.

We had a little trouble with the discount tire deal. Long story short after inventory issues, both my teammate and I trying to place orders, and substitutions, we ended up with 2 sets of wheels and tires plus another set of wheels. As a bonus they messed up and sent an extra $100 gift card which made the gold set free.

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Since the rear control arm bushings have been falling apart we also ordered a set of poly replacements. I'm not looking forward to replacing the outer ones.

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Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
4/6/17 9:40 a.m.

Cmp? Want a local guy or two to come hang out and help kill time?

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
4/6/17 11:29 a.m.

Man...retailer screw ups rarely work out in my favor...congrats! Looking forward to another fun racing season, experienced vicariously through your googley eyes!

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
4/6/17 1:18 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13:

Sure, feel free to swing by. We'll be in one of the garages.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
4/6/17 1:26 p.m.

Awsome. Me and dallas may come down if we have time and no kids.

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
4/14/17 12:17 p.m.

We'll be wrenching on the car this weekend at the shop one of our teammates works at. Think its been 11 years sine I've used a lift to work on a car. I'm not use to such luxuries. If we have time the shop also has a dyno. Any guesses on how much power the stock 2.8L will put down?

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
4/14/17 12:41 p.m.

125hp at the wheels

PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
4/17/17 10:10 a.m.

Great guess! I was expecting double digits but i'll get to the numbers further down.

So we moved some expensive stuff out of the way and dragged our turd into the shop. The Datsun is not sure how it feels about this yet.

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First thing we noticed is that the fuel hoes going from the pump to the tank were leaking again. Tank to pump uses 1/2" fuel hose which has been a pain to track down I the past. Luckily the second or 3rd store we tried had some and the leak has been fixed.

Rear bushing install was about as annoying as i though it was going to be. Drivers side spindle pin came out with some effort but the passenger side fought us and ended up getting mangled. Old bushings were pressed out and the new poly ones went right in. With a little persuasion the pins when back in but we will need to source a replacement for the mangled one before the next race.

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Next up was front camber. The car is still kinda bent after my run in with an Oldsmobile 2 seasons ago. With the slotted subframe we can get enough adjustment on the passenger side due to the top mount moving in a little. Passenger side is close but the bushing would stick out too far from the frame for our liking. We ended up extending the frame a little then reinforcing it.

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After camber was made more adjustable i worked on cleaning up all the electrical connectors. I cleaned up all the bulb sockets and EFI connectors and used dielectric grease. We even replaced #2 injectors plug which was corroded and just kinda rests in place. I replaced the other 5 a few years back but it started to get cold and dark that day and I put off #2. While we were in there we removed a small bracket that was no longer used which lead to removing a vacuum canister. Things quickly escalated from there and we created this pile.

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When we started the car back up it didn't want to idle unless you held the throttle open slightly. I'm guessing we removed a bunch of small vacuum leaks so we reset the throttle stop. The car actually run and idles much better now. no more shaky idle or slight misses every now and then.

By now its 10:30pm and we planed to stop hours ago but the car was already at the shop and this would probably be the only chance we get to dyno it. We moved some more expensive stuff out of the way and strapped down the car.

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First pull was already more power then I was expecting. 123hp / 133tq. What I was really surprised at was the AFR's were pretty good. At idle it showed 14.7-14.8, cruise was around 14.7-15, and WOT pulls were about 12.8-13.3.

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Of course now we had to see if we could squeeze any more power out of it. We grabbed a timing light and bumped timing up a couple degrees. New numbers were 127hp / 142 tq! We tried a little more timing but didn't make any more power so we backed it back down. I'm sure there are other little things we could try but over all we were pretty happy with that number.

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PseudoSport
PseudoSport Dork
4/24/17 9:08 a.m.

Few more things finished up over the weekend. While working on the front suspension the other day we removed the front sway bar and the bushings and links crumbled apart. We were able to source the links at a local parts store oddly enough but the bushings we had to order since we are running a larger front bar. Anyway that's all back together.

Next up was finishing up the rear suspension. We damaged the threads on one of the spindle pins and needed to replace it. For the dyno pulls we cross threaded a nut on but we needed to replace it before going on track. I know I had a spare kicking around somewhere but couldn't find it. Ended up having to remove one from my burnt 240z. Luckily the 240z suspension had been apart before and the pin had anti seize all over it and came out easily. Swapped the pin into the race car and retorqued all the bolts.

I'm not sure if its suppose to rain this coming weekend in SC but decided it might be a good idea to reinstall the blower motor box. Our drier duct out the window really wasn't cutting it to defog the windshield. Box went back in easy enough but since we had also removed the A/C I had to wire some blend doors opened or closed to direct airflow to the windshield only. While testing it out an old 1/2 piece of foam that seals the motor to the box blew out. In addition to that leak the heater doors at the bottom don't seal well barely any air was going to where I wanted.

Sure I could have run out and got some new weather striping but it was getting late and I came up with the solution below.

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I admit, it's not my best work but it does the job. A little trimming once its cured and maybe it will look better.

At this point I'm covered in anti seize and spray foam so I decided I'm done working on it for the day and moved onto packing. Space is going to be limited since we are towing down with a Grand Cherokee with 4 guys in it. Normally our stuff is spread out between between 2 trucks and a RV. There are a lot of tools and spare parts we can't bring so this race is going to be interesting. We need to figure out how to fit 4 spare tires and a minimum of 4 fuel jugs in the car. So far its looking doable. I should be able to fit the 4th tire on the passenger side and a 6th fuel jug in the drivers seat.

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4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury MegaDork
4/24/17 9:39 a.m.

Man, that second dyno sheet looks pretty great. Very interested to hear about the suspension feel with the new busings and end links in play.

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