Edm620 wrote: ↑08 Feb 2021 08:04
That's hidden pretty well but based on location I'd say that's your steering box. A means of modifying the steering gear to fit within the space? How is it connected underneath?
Bang on. Aside from maybe the cab floor/rocker repairs, and front G35 shock tower alignment & fastening, mounting the steering and pedals has been the most time-intensive task on this build yet. Room is VERY limited as a result of the following new challenges:
- Electric steering column under the dash that was never there before
- Dash has been shortened 1", even less room
- Brake and clutch Master Cylinders (MC) are forced under dash due to the G35 shock towers butting up against the firewall (as a result of 620 short front overhang)
- VQ has been shifted FAR back for better weight balance
I originally posted last spring that steering was done, and it was. I had acceptable angles and assisted action was nice. The problem was that the steering shaft went straight down from the assisted column to the rack. I eventually realised that I was unable to pivot my right foot from the throttle pedal to the brake pedal w/o hitting the steering shaft.
The solution I came up with was to run the steering shaft parallel through the cab then 90 degree down after the firewall via a bevel steering box. Flaming River offers a beautiful unit but it's really pricey and basic accessories further added to the price. Instead I decided to gamble on a mid-80's Toyota van steering box. I sourced a brand new (latest version) box and was pleasantly surprised that the size was perfect and the spline pattern is identical to that of Datsun (making the Ujoints for the upcoming 510 steering kit work perfect).
It was super tight to mount on the firewall, but the end result was a direct line to the steering rack (each end circled in the pic). The box is fastened to the shock tower for maximum stiffness and will 'float' on the firewall.
This is a rough idea of the steering shaft under the dash. I've since tilted the steering column down a bit so the angle is even less. Very smooth action down the shaft and through the bevel box.
With the steering finally placed the next task was pedal placement. It was a real challenge to get the pedals high enough, and over to the right. Don't forget this is unassisted braking so brake pedal lever length will play a large role in brake feel/performance. Thankfully the Tilton hanging pedals are super adjustable so there is some ability to tweak later on.
Despite all the adjustability and care in placement, to get a comfortable distance I may eventually build recess 'pockets' into the firewall for the pedal arms to fully action w/o hitting the firewall (red marker outlines on the firewall). You can see that the steering shaft travels through where the rear brake Master Cylinder would be so I mounted the included remote feed nipple to relocate the MC reservoir further to the left (circled in red).
Here's an overhead view of the pedals to steering wheel location. The brake pedal is about 3/4" to the left of centre. This is a bit further left than initially desired but I can still comfortably reach it with my right foot, but is now also easy for my left foot (allowing me to further work my left foot braking abilities). In this pic the seat is later moved another 1" to the right. Overall I'm really pleased with how it's coming together, this standard cab 620 now has more leg room and reach than my 510, and pretty much feels like a modern full sized performance car.
The test fit of the Autosports Engineering CD009 shifter can be seen in the above pic. There are many options out there but this one is the absolute shortest I could find. Rather than connecting to the box from the shifter shaft exiting the rear (like pretty much all of the other kits out there), this shifter relocation actually connects further forward and from above. Needless to say, some permanent assembly/modifications required.
I'm getting really close to having the cab done. The firewall (including a removeable access panel for the rear of the VQ) is all that remains. Once the firewall is done I can finally mount the Vintage Air heater. After that some more bodywork and then off to paint, ETA end of March.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabes, STI R180 w/CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - 2021 Datsun Restomods R&D project
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com