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Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
6/11/18 9:27 p.m.

Damn, that's a lot of tin work. Great job.

AxeHealey GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/12/18 8:00 a.m.

but it felt like so much more work than just saying that

Boy do I know how that feels! I'll come home after hours and hours working on one of the cars and have a list of all of two completed things to tell my wife when she asks. It doesn't end up sounding very impressive.

Awesome work!

eastsideTim UltraDork
6/12/18 8:11 a.m.

I’m impressed!  Want to stop by my garage to work on the Beetle?  

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/18 11:40 a.m.

Budget update. Sold a few big things like the stereo/CD changer on ebay, netting about $93 after shipping and ebay/paypal fees, tail lights for $60, and a surprising amount of little $20 parts from the Datsun like brake MC and wheels. I still have a few "big-money" G35 parts, like front fenders, trunk lid, and power seat switches that will just take time.

When you're not in a hurry, and do your research on which parts are worth saving, and have decent storage space, you can do pretty well on a part-out. I have scrapped about $75 so far between the two cars, making more by separating the aluminum and steel parts. Scrap prices have come back up this year.

Total Spent                 $ 937.43 
Total Recouped          $ 730.64 
Total Purchases          $ 1,668.07 
Budget Remaining    $ 1,080.57 

As for remaining parts, this is what I'm budgeting for. Anything left on the table becomes N2O, probably installed in the parking lot per GRM tradition.

Exhaust                              $ 50.00 
Driveshaft shortening     $ 200.00 
Fuel                                     $ 100.00 
LSD Rear Diff, 350Z          $ 250.00 
Paint                                   $ 150.00 

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/14/18 12:16 p.m.

Fuel isn't a Challenge budget cost.  You might be able to do better on the diff. We got ours for $175 in a pinch but we keep waiting for one to show in the you pick it years where I can get it for $80. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/18 12:44 p.m.

I went off ebay prices for the diff, since I really want a manual trans LSD which gives me a better ratio and those don't show up in yards.

Fuel is actually fuel system. I need lines, surge tank, fittings, clamps, etc. Hoping to use the Datsun tank with an electric lift pump into a homemade surge tank, with the G35 pump from there. 

AWSX1686 GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/18 12:55 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Looking forward to watch how you make your own surge tank!

badwaytolive Reader
6/14/18 12:58 p.m.

Just dropping in to give an e-thumbs up! Thanks for taking the time to share-


Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/14/18 12:58 p.m.

 I bought the cheapest surge tank I can find on eBay and the cheapest e2000 fuel pump. Worked fine for my El Camino and I think I was in less than 50 box

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/14/18 1:21 p.m.

What about the low pressure pump to the surge tank? Any old eBay cheapie will work?

Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/14/18 1:28 p.m.

Exactly. Use the cheapest one I could find on eBay and it worked well for 40,000 miles until the thing was totaled

camaroz1985 HalfDork
6/15/18 8:59 a.m.

Probably could shop around on the driveshaft modification.  When we had ours done for our Lemons car we found a local place that did it for $75, shortened, balanced, and installed the u-joints and flanges we supplied.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/19/18 8:27 p.m.

This update is kinda all over the place. I got a lot of random things done, but the big one is the engine is back in and looks perfectly at home.

I cut 1/2 coil out of the front lowering springs. It's still not enough. I think another 1/2 coil will do it. I'm getting good at 350Z/G35 suspension.

I also relocated the O2 sensors. Involuntarily. Because the manifold flange was completely rusted so during build party weekend it got sawzall'd off along with the sensor bung. I welded this turn-down flange thing from the exhaust scrap pile, and added a new bung. You can buy new ones on Rockauto universal parts section for just a couple bucks.

With those things taken care of, I put the engine back in. Which also means bolting the front suspension back together. 

You may also notice the front end parts are on! If you remember, this was a parts car for a different year car. These "boxy" front parts never actually bolted to this car, so I had to make my own mounting points.

These are weld nuts, 1/4-20 thread. Just brush the paint off, drill a hole, and tack it in. Perfect for mounting little stuff like plastic grills, head lights, and brake and fuel lines.

And then for no reason I started mounting the transmission. The G35 trans mount will work, but needs material built to it from the Datsun floor and some mounting studs or bolts.

Single-cardan driveshafts (the cheapest and simplest kind) need parallel mounting faces. My trans and rear end should always stay parallel, since the rear is IRS. My plan here is to fab the mounts a little long, bolt them to the G35 trans mount, jack up the trans mount until the metal contacts the floor, check the angles, and grind metal from there until both faces are parallel. Then measure joint-to-joint and send the G35 driveshaft ends off to get a tube welded between them and balanced.


Right now my prototypes are pretty darn close within 0.4 deg, but I need to weld bolts in first to make studs.

Ram50Ron GRM+ Memberand New Reader
6/20/18 10:29 a.m.

Been following this build for awhile now. I love how you joined the front g35 suspension to the Datsun.  I have to clean out the bed of my truck but I think I still have a 350z strut tower brace and a VQ35 carbon fiber engine cover laying around somewhere that I think you need to have.

Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/18 11:34 a.m.

If someone makes a wall poster or t-shirt with you on it, I want one.

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/24/18 5:55 p.m.

Trans is mounted, the mounts are welded in, and the ends of the driveshaft are perfectly parallel.  

Ready to get shortened!

I also started mounting the Datsun front bumper to the Infiniti frame rails.

Also mounted the sway bar after cleaning up and re-painting the brackets and replacing the bushings. 

Then I primered the most-finished fender just for fun, and it looks much better all the same color. Some bondo in the top corner will cover the weld and create a nice fillet. 

That's all I did today. Not much project work this weekend because I went to a car show yesterday to look for inspiration and Friday I fixed the minivan's A/C. Its condenser was leaking in obvious way, so I went ahead and replaced it, the compressor, and the receiver/drier since the van is getting up there in miles.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
6/24/18 9:52 p.m.

Look what showed up in the mail yesterday.

Congrats on the recognition. Oh, and leave the hood ornament. 


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/25/18 6:49 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

Got the old bushing outer ring off using a hack saw and chisel. Alright how am I gonna do this. The clamp in the rent-a-tool kit isn't long enough to get this bushing.

Think about it

Think about it some more

I am the smartest man in the world. The garage only made a few unsettling noises and the stud was bowing pretty badly. MaschinenBride was less than impressed, but I was gleaming with self-satisfaction.

This is perhaps the greatest series of photos I've seen on GRM this year. I salute your dedication to problem solving. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/25/18 9:39 a.m.

Thanks guys! Yeah this is my second incomplete project in a row to get into the magazine. Now I need to actually FINISH one of these things before I end up with yet another long-term, incomplete project in the build thread section...

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/18 10:12 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

Thanks guys! Yeah this is my second incomplete project in a row to get into the magazine. Now I need to actually FINISH one of these things before I end up with yet another long-term, incomplete project in the build thread section...

Oh no worries, in reality this is more of an inspiration for most of us!

Ben_Modified HalfDork
6/25/18 10:58 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

Thanks guys! Yeah this is my second incomplete project in a row to get into the magazine. Now I need to actually FINISH one of these things before I end up with yet another long-term, incomplete project in the build thread section...

I don't understand....is that some sort of an issue?? Seems perfectly normal to me!

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/1/18 6:51 p.m.

Got my driveshaft back from the shop, and it fits! Here's the front, which is a slip-yoke into the back of the trans.

The rear is a 4-bolt flange with a guide nose. I had to make sure the shaft was about 1/2" short of the splined end being fully seated. That's because to install it, you fully seat spline end, which allows just enough clearance to lift the flange end onto the diff, then slip it rear-ward to seat the guide nose in the diff flange. 

The theme of this post is shafts, so here the steering shaft, shorted by almost a foot.

I welded a sleeve over the joint just for extra strength.

This u-joint used to connect to the G35 steering column.

You have to be careful welding near u-joints. If it gets too hot, the grease will boil out and you might seize the joint. I went very slow, about 3/4" at a time, then dipping the u-joint into water and leaving it front of a fan for a while before continuing. 

From left to right: G35 steering rack, u-joint, shorted G35 shaft, u-joint with Datsun flange, Datsun column.

It all bolts up!

I designed the flange to work with a rag joint, but it makes the steering feel terrible by flexing way too much, so for now I'm leaving it out. My gut tells me I need something to slide or flex due to the non-parallel pair of u-joints. Or maybe I'm overthinking it.

With steering mostly sorted, that brings us to the brakes. I need to adapt the G35 master cylinder to the Datsun firewall. No room for a booster as you can see. 

Arts and crafts to transfer the bolt pattern.

I'll need some sort of shaft to adapt the Datsun brake pedal to the G35 MC. 

That's it for this weekend. Can't wait to drive...

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/19/18 8:34 a.m.

Long time since last update. I was on vacation last week and I just took a new job 500 miles away, so I am super busy the next few weeks with the move. Luckily our new place will have a 2 car garage, but first I have to get the cars there. 

I don't trust a carrier to pick up the Datsun in its current state of wierdness, so I will be dolly towing it down. I trust the rear subframe and rolling stock but the rear needs shocks. So I made shock mounts. These are used Koni 30 series oval track shocks. They have 4 adjustment settings and are pretty beefy. I got 'em $10 a pop from facebook marketplace.

The top beam bolts off the car, allowing me to remove the shock with it from inside the wagon.  The vertical pillars stay welded to the chassis.

One of the pillars is also welded to the vertical wall for extra stability. The sheetmetal on the bottom surface is very thick because that's near where the Datsun shocks originally mounted.

The bumper bouncing test proves the shock mounts are a success. The rear end feels much more stable for the open road this weekend. 

eastsideTim UltraDork
7/19/18 8:43 a.m.

Good luck and be safe on the drive down!  I’m a little bummed it’s not going to be a quick two hour drive to your place to check it out again, so I’m really pulling for you to have it at the challenge so I can see it there.  smiley

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
7/20/18 10:04 p.m.

Safe travels my friend. I'm confident the El Camino will do just fine.


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