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Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/20 11:13 a.m.

Even though our team ended up third in the Stampie raffle system, we ended up with the car. SVreX won the raffle, but now that we have seen his plans for the 2020 challenge, he said that he didn't have time for another project car. the deal we made was that when it comes time to pass this car along he gets first dibs.

My guys wanted to build a second car for the 2020 challenge, since the MR2 we built was a street car we brought to the races, they wanted to build something that was pure race car. During the MR2 build we made many compromises to keep the car street able, and that was the right choice for that car. It was also a valuable lesson for the boys learning how to keep a project on track. We spun two rod bearings at the 2019 challenge and plan on replacing the engine with another junkyard piece, adding an accusump and some other bits then bring the car back for 2020.  They want to see what the car can do in the daily driver class, but the changes are not enough to keep them busy for a full year so another build was in order.

When Stampie put the car up for raffle, he suspected that the engine had blown a head gasket, because of the radiator explosion. He had not done any trouble shooting other than to pull the dip stick and there was not any water in the oil. We had a small hope that maybe the radiator failed and the head gaskets were OK but that was not he case. I installed a temporary radiator yesterday and ran the car for a few minutes, lots of bubbles in the radiator. I have a tester that checks for combustion gases in the coolant, and it quickly verified the blown head gasket. So clearly engine repair or replacement is going to need to be done. Couple of ideas and looking for suggestions.

1. Try one of the Head gasket Sealer products, advantage cheap and easy, reviews seam to be if it works is a good lasting repair. Any one have any experience and or brand recommendations? I was thinking of trying this first, but no final decisions have been made.

2. Head gasket and head bolt kit is about $170. Plan head would be to pul the engine and take it apart for inspection, if heads are cracked then not much sense in replacing head gaskets. Probably need to surface the heads before reassembly so a bit of machine work cost. Overall not to bad of a hit to the budget.

3. Replace engine with another one from JY, or find a donor car that we can use the engine and work on recoup to reduce the costs.

 

The other thing we could use some help with is where to go with this project. I have asked the boys to try and think outside the box and get radical with ideas for what to do with this car. Right now the only restriction is it would still have to be challenge legal. I have some ideas but I want the boys to have a hand in the design process and they need some inspiration. So what would you do, car was free so budget is open, assume reasonable fabrication skills, car will only see trailer and race track, use of composites highly encouraged.

 

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/3/20 11:33 a.m.

Oooooh, ooooooh, ooooooh!

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/3/20 11:51 a.m.

Replace radiator, cooling system pressure test

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/3/20 12:20 p.m.

That engine should be somewhat available. I know the yard here has a couple of 2002 Q45s. I say fix/replace the engine then grab a 350z driveshaft. Cut the middle of the car to make the driveshaft the correct length. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/3/20 2:24 p.m.

The world needs a Q45 Coupe. Think of the weight savings.

edit: also, if this engine is anything like the VQ35 in other Infiniti's of this same era, it is notoriously difficult to bleed. Jack the front of the car up and use a raised funnel to keep a head of water on the radiator. Squish all them hoses with it running. I have seen "heat gasket symptoms" go away on these engines just by bleeding them properly. You'll know it's bled enough when the heat starts working again and coolant temp stabilizes. If you still have steamy exhaust at that point, yeah it's probably head gasket.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/3/20 3:21 p.m.

In reply to Fladiver64 :

Having driven the car at the 2018 Challenge autox, the one thing the car desperately needs to be way faster is shocks. And it sounds like you should have the budget left for some decent ones after you fix or replace the engine. If you also have the $$ to spend on a fresh set of Hoosiers plus good shocks, the car definitely has at least a top-3 autox finish potential. 

If you want to get creative beyond that & do it cheaply, work on aero. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
1/3/20 3:53 p.m.

Fastback, massive aero, all the rubber you can cram, lime green paint, and a 250 shot.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/20 7:38 p.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

I have a tester that you put on the radiator cap. It is a tube you fill with fluid and the other side goes to a vacuum source. This pulls the gas through the fluid looking for hydrocarbons from combustion. This is more accurate than a pressure test. The fluid turns from blue to yellow, mild leaks take a couple of minutes, this changed color in 5 seconds. So I am fairly confident of the head gasket diagnosis.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/20 9:11 p.m.

Ok here is my radical idea, Q45 roadster. Im not any good with computer drawing so old school scissors and pencil

 

Move the drivers position as far back as possible, then establish a position for a new firewall.

Move the engine and transmission as far back as possible in relation to the new firewall position.

Remove the trunk and form a new rear out of fiberglass including a rear wing. I would use the foam core with fiberglass to create strength

Create a one piece front end that includes a dash extension to enclose the front cockpit area. Extra points if we can hinge this at the new dash point for a flip front end

Install roll bar and additional structure to strengthen chassis

Need a solution for better shocks as the hubs are part of the strut and I don't think they have a separate insert.

 

Still open for more ideas or for someone to tell me there is no way this can happen.

 

 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/3/20 10:40 p.m.

You can see how the motorcycle fork oil I did works. It should be apparent with a spirited empty parking lot run. My other thought back in the day was to make it an insert type strut. If you look at the spare strut I gave you then you can see the weld on the factory one. Might be able to practice on that one too see if you can remove the shock part and put in a different one. 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/3/20 10:43 p.m.

Just thought, the other thing you could do is go with lower spring rates. IIRC it had 550 lb springs all the way around. 300 lbs springs might be more controllable. 

slowbird
slowbird Dork
1/3/20 10:49 p.m.

I love the roadster idea. Make it look like a Can-Am car. (Except not made out of wood like the previous Can-Am challenge car.)

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/20 11:16 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

I had seen some DIY coil over conversions that did just that. I was thinking cut the existing housing down, adapt for 2.5" springs and then see if we could find an insert to go in it. I think you are right with the spare strut we could make some good educated guesses.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/20 11:18 p.m.

In reply to slowbird :

That was my inspiration, my thought is a foam and fiberglass construction. My father an I built most of a composite airplane so it is a process i am familiar with.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/19/20 8:15 p.m.

So we are going to start tear down tomorrow, pulling the engine and trans, exhaust, and start pulling the wiring and dash. We are going with the roadster concept so this should be a fun ride.

My question is with the front suspension. The struts are part of the hubs so that is going to make changing things a bit difficult. Since we are planning on moving the engine back about 26" we will be changing the weight balance of the car and I think we need to change the spring rates and shocks appropriately. The rear I think is straight forward as we can replace the shock with a coil over and remove the spring, there are aftermarket kits that do just that.

The front on the other hand is more difficult so I am thinking of a more radical solution. Installing a C4 front cross member, the frame rails on the Q45 are about 1/2" wider than the C4 so I thinks we could solve that part with a couple of 1/4" doubler plates. Converting the C4 to coil overs is not hat hard you just need an adapter for the lower a arm and weld up an upper mount. I did this when I installed a C4 front end in a 57 Chevy frame.

We wont have any oil pan clearance issues since the engine will be behind the front cross member. Anything else I am missing?

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/19/20 9:12 p.m.

I wouldn't bother messing with the suspension until you've driven it. Last time it ran the Challenge, it finished very high in autocross. 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
1/19/20 9:54 p.m.

"Struts are part of the hubs" 

Do you have a picture?

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/20/20 7:13 a.m.

In reply to MrJoshua :

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/20/20 7:14 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

I wouldn't bother messing with the suspension until you've driven it. Last time it ran the Challenge, it finished very high in autocross. 

Thanks. We worked hard to make a fat pig fly. I approve of whatever they want to do. 

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/20/20 7:32 a.m.
maschinenbau said:

I wouldn't bother messing with the suspension until you've driven it. Last time it ran the Challenge, it finished very high in autocross. 

This is probably very good advice from an experienced competitor that we are not going to follow. You have my permission to tell us I told you so later when we are buried in trying to finish. To me it is more about the project that the competition. I would rather see the guys take on something bold and score lower, rather than bring back someone else success. Stampie did a great job getting this thing this far and that is part of the reason we want to move the bar higher.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/20/20 7:34 a.m.

In reply to MrJoshua :

The strut is not bolted to the hub, it is all one piece.

Fladiver64
Fladiver64 GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/20/20 6:06 p.m.

Well day one of tear down, Starting weight was 

So we started taking out dash, fenders and hood removed for access. 

Pile taken out of car

Looking more like a project.

 

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/20/20 6:25 p.m.

I'm loving this. 

MrJoshua
MrJoshua UltimaDork
1/20/20 7:16 p.m.

There has to be an insert to that strut. You can take that crimped silver top off, drop a beastlier strut in there, shorten the tube if needed, and put a new top back on (assuming you can find a beastlier strut). 

Patrick
Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/20 7:42 p.m.

In reply to MrJoshua :

On the 2nd gen q45 i have figured out how to make a gm w body strut insert work, and they make severe service police package ones for those.  

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