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patgizz GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/31/16 10:25 p.m.

Can see in the last post that your main hoop is way too far forward. Guess thats one of the drawbacks of building a cage without a floor and seat for reference. If you need a pic, my hoop is in a very good location. I'm 6' tall and it's still far enough back to be safe but not too far

drivendaily New Reader
9/3/16 2:04 a.m.

I'm going to use roughly the same location for the base of the main hoop, but it'll be angled back around 15 degrees, like I did with my Miata. My girlfriend headed up to Montreal with her roller derby team for National's this weekend, so I spent the majority of my night reinforcing the chassis table. I really want it to stay put, no matter what. I'm so happy with it, I'm even considering painting it.

Chassis table

I have an OK paint gun (bottom-feed) and a good compressor, anyone have recommendations on what kind of paint to use? I don't really want to build a paint booth, so I'd probably just hang it from our gantry crane and wear a respirator.

patgizz GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/3/16 10:30 a.m.

i painted my Z with the single stage paint from paintforcars.com and liked the price, it went on well, and still looks good. it also stayed put when removing stickers from 8 months.

drivendaily New Reader
9/3/16 11:18 a.m.

Sorry I was unclear, I meant for the chassis table. I couldn't possibly care less about paint on the car.

drivendaily New Reader
9/7/16 7:33 a.m.

Last night's big project was to get the lathe motor on the lathe and put it on the pad we poured last week. Unfortunately, the motor sticks out farther than the measurements we had, so we're going to have to stitch the pad to be around 4" wider. Womp womp.

metal lathe

The second fail was unboxing and locating the tubing bender. I'm all set to set the concrete bolts, but it looks like the 1.5" dies weren't shipped at all. I only got the 1.75" dies. It isn't enough to stop me outright, but that's going to push back a lot of the reinforcement/rigidity upgrades on this.

tubing bender

drivendaily New Reader
10/6/16 2:20 p.m.

A lot of my time recently has been moving things around, getting stuff in storage for winter, and getting the tubing bender set up and tuned.   Datsun photo shoot   Stay tuned, there's more coming soon.

Lof8 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
10/6/16 2:33 p.m.

in for updates

Ryed New Reader
10/6/16 9:02 p.m.
drivendaily wrote: Stay tuned, there's more coming soon.

That picture is "Stormtrooperesque"

The winters seem long, but with projects like this, they can sure fly by quickly.

In for updates Jesse!

drivendaily New Reader
10/7/16 7:56 a.m.
Ryed wrote: That picture is "Stormtrooperesque" The winters seem long, but with projects like this, they can sure fly by quickly. In for updates Jesse!

That's my favorite description of this car yet. This winter, I have the following projects to wrap up:

  • e350 support vehicle (needs hitch, some wiring, ABS light for inspection, rear door repair, CB install, final wiring for box lights)
  • open trailer (needs paint, loom for the wiring, registration)
  • WRX (needs CEL cleared, registration, inspection, and probably some studded snow tires)
  • Datsun (needs to become a car)
  • CRX (needs wiring, fuel cell, registration, alignment)
  • GSXR (needs turn signals and a new headlight)
  • CL360 (needs a new wiring harness)
  • CB360 (needs rings and a hone)

Sometimes people wonder why I don't own a house yet. That list sums it up pretty nicely, I'd say.

drivendaily New Reader
10/26/16 8:47 p.m.


Things have been pretty busy at work lately, so I haven't had a lot of time to get into the shop. As that event coolsdown, I've been making a little time to get into the shop for a little more work. I'm averaging one major tube per night right now, which is a great pace given the lack of time and minimal measurement tools. I've been getting away with a 4' straightedge, a tape measure, a marker, and my cellphone (as an angle finder/protractor). I can really appreciate the amount of work that goes into A pillars now, I can definitely say that. tube frame datsun beginning

This was some of the most difficult math I've ever done with a sharpie, having to figure out exactly where each bend would start and end on each tube. Overall, I'm making good progress and am well ahead of schedule for the time being. rooftop math

drivendaily New Reader
10/27/16 10:31 p.m.

One more progress-unit acquired. both a pillars

drivendaily New Reader
10/28/16 8:49 p.m.

Happy Birthday to me (no really, today happens to be my birthday).

Cutting out such nice fabrication work hurts, but the project demands it. Cage removal

A little help from a few people, and I was left with most of a roll cage. If this were a single-seater, it'd be ideally set up. Datsun s30 cage

With a little reinforcement, the body is safely on the chassis table. Datsun s30 on the chassis table

I'll jig the body so it's roughly-ride-height up from the table surface, then finalize my suspension jigs to tie it all together.

drivendaily New Reader
10/30/16 8:59 p.m.

Today was a bit slower than usual. I got a bunch of stuff done on the Subaru (winter wheels on, new belts all around, fresh plugs, etc) and picked up a few new tools. Then I headed back to the Makerspace for some fender forming. There's plenty more to do, but this is some basic blocking.

fender forming s30

drivendaily New Reader
11/6/16 9:40 p.m.

My weekend was spent cutting, welding, and filming. That is all.


drivendaily New Reader
11/13/16 7:18 p.m.

More fender plug shaping happened today. It's really starting to take shape. Once I have the final profile formed the way I like, I'll cut some ribbing to make all four consistently shaped, and go to town with fiberglass.

S30 Fender Forming

If I had to pick a car as inspiration for these, it'd probably be the Turner BMW M6.

Turner m6 Turner m6

I also started forming and reinforcing the mold for the cowl. I never understood why there are louvers in the cowl, they only serve to collect pine needles and to let rain into the wiper motors. I decided to just smooth it all out, make a fiberglass mold, and reinforce that mold with 2lb urethane foam (to give it structural rigidity).

cowl mold forming

I'll need a second set of hands to get it in place, but now the jigs are ready to hold the car level on the chassis table.   s30 back on the chassis table

drivendaily New Reader
11/14/16 11:00 p.m.

Tonight I enlisted some help to get the body aligned on the chassis table. There wasn't quite enough time to finish the rear body jig, but overall it was a successful adventure. Within 0.5 degrees of being level with the chassis table.

Datsun on the chassis table from the front Datsun on the chassis table from the side

drivendaily New Reader
11/15/16 7:51 p.m.

Today, my ego grew at least 6 sizes.

Somehow, I managed to get extremely accurate measurements, and bent the main hoop and A pillars perfectly ... while the old cage was still in the car. I had planned on doing each of these three times before getting one combination that I could call acceptable. I couldn't have asked for them to come out better.

s30 cage fitment s30 cage fitment s30 cage fitment

I still need to do some coping and tack welding, but it's all coming together quite nicely.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/15/16 9:14 p.m.

Whoa. This build interests me.

Looks great so far.

drivendaily New Reader
11/20/16 3:30 p.m.
nocones wrote: Whoa. This build interests me. Looks great so far.

Thanks, I'm basically throwing everything I have at it. I love how consistent my velocity has been on this project, everything is going according to plan.

Most of the weekend was checking and double-checking all of my math. The main hoop and diagonal braces are cut, and one is welded in. I think I'm going to make some minor adjustments to my A pillar design rather than making what I have mostly-work. This is the most critical point to get fitment spot-on for everything, since everything after this will be measured against these first 'core' pieces of tubing.

main hoop diagonal

A friend had a non-running ej205 (older 2.0liter Subaru WRX engine) taking up space in his shop, and I generally like having a spare engine on-hand in case something breaks on any of my engines. I just finished pulling the intake manifold off, and decided I'd compare that engine to the engine I'm putting in the Datsun.

This is a complete valve-to-valve comparison of the two. If anyone is confused as to why I'd use a rotary in my Datsun, accept that simplicity and compactness are really the only reasons.

ej205 and rotary comparison

Horizontally opposed engines are known for keeping their mass low and short (front-to-back). As you can see, the rotary pretty much wins in every direction here. I still need to weigh both packages to get a decent reference, but I can easily carry one but the other requires two sets of hands to haul around.

ej205 and rotary comparison

drivendaily New Reader
11/26/16 7:48 p.m.


Because it's Saturday, I have an update on the build! I think I've solidified most of the fender profile at this point. I'd say it looks pretty good, and is ready for some final touches and blending to the bumper. s30 fender forming ![s30 fender forming]https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5441/30433398653_f29e22a2ed_b.jpg)

I don't really have a way to express how much math and thinking went into the cage so far, but here are the key points:

[U]1. It's friction-fit.[/U] I didn't even need to tack it into place, it's so tight against the body. s30 main hoop friction fit

[U]2. It's symmetrical.[/U] ... and level within 5mm from any point to any other point

s30 cage symmetry measurements

[U]3. There are no visibility problems.[/U] The diagonal X is 16" lower than the roofline, so it won't interfere with my rear-view mirror.

[U]4. It reclines 10 degrees.[/U] Originally I was planning on 15 degrees, as that would fit the lines of the body and rear quarter windows nicely, but FIA regulations require no more than 10 degrees. I'd like to keep my options open as to what racing I do in this car, so I'm going with the most stringent sanctioning body I know of.

s30 cage recline

golfduke HalfDork
11/30/16 11:12 a.m.

Really cool thread... saving to my posts for future updates. I'm in Manchester too if you ever need a hand.

drivendaily New Reader
12/1/16 12:14 p.m.
golfduke wrote: Really cool thread... saving to my posts for future updates. I'm in Manchester too if you ever need a hand.

My normal crew isn't available this weekend, so ... that'd be ideal. Most of what I'm doing requires two other people (one to lift the other side of whatever thing we're working on, and one to man the video equipment). If you're available, just let me know what your availability is. I'm at the Makerspace tonight and tomorrow prepping for this weekend.

In other news, I registered for the Mt Washington Hillclimb (Climb to the Clouds) this morning. While that doesn't mean I'll make it into the short list of entrants, this is the race I've wanted to do since I started racing. To say I'm excited would be like saying an atom is "relatively small."

sachilles UltraDork
12/1/16 12:41 p.m.

You need to get that thing rolling dude. You want to drive that thing as much as possible for before tackling MWAR. All stop on all other projects.

drivendaily New Reader
12/1/16 12:53 p.m.

I know, I know! New A pillars and rocker bars are going in this weekend, and the suspension jigs are finished. Still on track to be driving by March, at this point.

cmcgregor HalfDork
12/1/16 5:17 p.m.

Wow, this has really moved since I checked in last.

I'm also fairly local, though I'm busy this weekend. Definitely interested in checking out the makerspace though, how are you liking it there so far?

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