280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

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Fred_L-P
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Re: Double or Nothing - 280z GT cruiser

Post by Fred_L-P »

DADZSUN wrote: 13 Jan 2019 11:44 One thing is for sure, the mass will move more from the front to the centre of the car, becoming a mid-front engine.
That's what I love about the VQ swap!
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DADZSUN
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Project 280z gets revived and a new name

Post by DADZSUN »

Wow, close to a year since the last update. As some on this forum know, a LOT has happened in the past year and that's unfortunately taken my spare time away from really getting this wrapped up in the expected timeline.

However, behind the scenes I've managed to keep slowly chipping away: the fuel tank has since been cleaned and close to getting treated with a POR15 kit, the dash removed and cracks got filled, and the driver's side rocker panel is close to complete.

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The original project name was 'Double of Nothing GT cruiser'. The idea was to build a nice daily and flip to double my investment. Since DatsunRestomods came to be, selling my only S30 'jig' no longer makes sense and so I've renamed to something that is more applicable.

Also pushing this to the top of the project pile To-Do is that my oldest son will likely be moving away this coming fall, and my younger son is turning 15. A rule in our household is that both boys have to spend a year with me in autocross pre-licence, and the following season driving themselves post-licence. IMO autocross is one of THE best driver training you can get and an awesome way to spend time with my kids so I'm looking forward to fun summer all together. So with that, I've decided to get the Z ready for Solo2 this season in a package that's a little more competitive than my 510.

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The idea is to put something together quick, forgoing much of the aesthetics to speed things up and keep costs low (and less painful financially should something happen on the track). I picked up a set of Gecko dampers for a reasonable $800USD shipped (camber plates NOT included, nor offered from Gecko I reluctantly discovered afterwards). Andrew is running a similar set on his 510 last year and is impressed.

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I also procured is a set of XXR 531 16x8 ET0 rims for cheap ($450USD shipped). The plan is to start with some reasonably sticky and streetable 245/45R16 Yokohama Advan A052 until everything gets sorted out then add R compounds once ready.

XXR_Weight.jpg
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Finally, you might have noticed a VQ35de, driveshaft, and manual tranny in the pic (CD009). I opted for a simpler and cheaper VQ35de rather than the VQ37VHR to keep costs lower (~ $1300Cdn to swap a JDM example) in case I pop an engine at Calabogie track or something. :lol: As for what powers the VQ electronically, I'll leave that blank for now - but there's potentially exciting news on that front that further aligns with this project's re-name. 8)

I'll be punching out some fairly quick updates over the winter including a reasonably detailed summary of the VQ fitment so stay tuned.
Last edited by DADZSUN on 18 Dec 2019 09:40, edited 2 times in total.
'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
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icehouse
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by icehouse »

I'm almost done with my buddies 260z. We did an SR swap. Wow the kit he bought was pure junk. I had to redo all of it. A VQ would be pretty rad in one!! Lucky boys!!!!!
"People don't like it when shit doesn't match their rule of thumb." Sam
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DADZSUN
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by DADZSUN »

icehouse wrote: 17 Dec 2019 09:38 I'm almost done with my buddies 260z. We did an SR swap. Wow the kit he bought was pure junk. I had to redo all of it. A VQ would be pretty rad in one!! Lucky boys!!!!!
Unbelievable the crap people sell and somehow get away with it.

Yes, they are friggin' lucky kids. I would love if my dad was into cars and taking it to the track.
'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
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280z - Addressing the curb weight

Post by DADZSUN »

So, while the 280z is near-gutted I figured I'd take some time to weigh various bits.

The 280z claimed curb weight is 2700lbs. Ideally I'd like to knock ~200lbs off for a 2500lbs setup.

Starting with the heaviest bits we've got the stock L28e coming in 384lbs. Pic of complete engine, no flywheel.

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Replacing it will be the VQ35de. In this pic there's no flywheel or alternator (+15lbs), so let's say 350lbs total. I'll be running a lightweight 18lbs flywheel so the dual mass OEM unit won't kill the 30lbs weight savings.

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Where weight will be added is with the CD009 6 speed transmission, a porty 122lbs (drained of oil). That extra weight will easily offset any engine savings. At best it nets out as a wash, which is perfectly fine given the extra power, tranny strength, and centering of the weight between the axles.

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Next, the heavy bumpers are getting tossed. Say ~100lbs savings for the front & rear.

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A lighter hood has potential but is a lot of work to build a replacement.

Weight_hood.jpg
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I had looked at the Camaro LS1 fuel tank swap to save weight and in-tank pump savings, but the stock 280z tank is pretty light and in the interest of saving fab time I'll stick with OEM.

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The dash has some opportunity for savings as I likely won't be using any of the gauges.

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Probably the next best opportunity for savings is in those doors. 64lbs each?!?! I know there's some side impact beams but DAMN! that's heavy. Not sure if I can even get to the door inners but I'll definitely investigate. Maybe 15lbs/door savings w/o beams?

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Finally the stock seats will be swapped with some kind of racing buckets. In reality with the replacement rails there's negligible savings there.

Weight_seat.jpg
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So my 200lbs savings is feasible especially when larger brakes and wheels/tires are added to the equation. I'd love to get another 100lbs savings but I fear it would start compromising streetability.

Up next I'm taking a build pause and mounting the stock L28e/tranny for steering kit measurements. As soon as that's done we dive into the VQ35de fitment. There's some documentation out there, I anticipate removing the stock tranny mount and bracing and having to cut the rear of the steering cross member.
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Weight_CD009.jpg
Weight_CD009.jpg (288.98 KiB) Viewed 2977 times
'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
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icehouse
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by icehouse »

The motor seems like less then I would have guessed. I'll have to measure my daughters L26 when it goes back in and see if it says the same thing. Since it's 50% more engine then an L18 and has EFI I would expect a little more.


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"People don't like it when shit doesn't match their rule of thumb." Sam
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DADZSUN
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by DADZSUN »

Wow, that is quite a gap - and your L24 weight includes the clutch & pressure plate.

In your awesome weight thread (http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.ph ... ilit=weigh) my VQ would be much closer to yours if I included the clutch & flywheel. My VQ is also drained of oil ~10lbs. You also seem to have a HR version whereas mine is potentially a slightly lighter single cam timing setup.

I will re-weigh once my VQ is buttoned up and ready for duty.
'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
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Byron510
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by Byron510 »

Fritz, since your comparing various weights, and thanks for posting the CD009 as I’ve always been interested.
It what was the weight of the 280Z 71B 5-speed?

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icehouse
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by icehouse »

Byron510 wrote: 23 Dec 2019 07:41 Fritz, since your comparing various weights, and thanks for posting the CD009 as I’ve always been interested.
It what was the weight of the 280Z 71B 5-speed?

Byron


Just machine the 71C bell and run that behind your L. No chance it will every break. The 6 speed is so over kill. Also if you aren't daily driving it on the freeway not having a 6th gear isn't a big deal.
"People don't like it when shit doesn't match their rule of thumb." Sam
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by DADZSUN »

Byron510 wrote: 23 Dec 2019 07:41 It what was the weight of the 280Z 71B 5-speed?
Hi Byron,

My 280z came with an auto tranny which has long since been sent to the recycling bin.

However, I do still have that near-new 71B off of that 200sx powertrain I salvaged a few years ago. I believe the bellhousing orientation is different but the overall size is damn close to the S30.

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Netted out the 71B seems to be about 50lbs lighter (added 4 quarts of tranny oil @2lbs/ea to the CD009 to make the weights comparable ~ 130lbs).

While I was in the garage and seemingly trying to find a way to throw my back out before the holidays I also weighed the R200 off my 280z.
First pic is with oil and the stubs (to keep the oil in place). Gross is 75.4lbs, net w/o stubs and oil (2lbs) is about 73.5lbs.

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I don't have a free STI R180 lying around right now but will have a couple in a few weeks that I'll weigh it up. I've moved quite a few already and they feel about 15lbs lighter - per internet consensus.

More parts ordered for the 280z, I should have a decent update early January. In the meantime, Happy Holidays!
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'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
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Byron510
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by Byron510 »

Thanks Fritz - basically 80 lbs, that’s what I was looking to confirm. It seemed that the information online was all over the map. Interestingly the CD09 is lighter that what I found online.
Thanks for the use of your scale and posting this up here for us.

I too need to get back on my 280ZXT. I look forward to driving it as is one day. And I have had the diff out of it many times while working on a design for adjustable camber/toe brackets. It doesn’t surprise me at all that it weighs as much as a 71B trans - sure feels that way. Speaking of trans, though - this being the T version, it came with a T-5 and I’d be curious what it weighs as well - certainly more that the 71B, but possibly less than the CD09. If the trans ever came out, I’d post the results.

Thanks again Fritz, good luck with your project.

Byron
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DADZSUN
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280z update - Happy New Year

Post by DADZSUN »

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With a bit of a break over the holidays I've continued to push hard on this project. At this point she's pretty much completely gutted and each end of the shell can easily be lifted by one person.

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I managed to get the right rear fender quarter panel mounted fairly quickly. Rear park lights were shaved in favor of future flush-mount LED units.

280z_PassengerRearFender.jpg
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I also seam-welded the front shock towers, removed any unnecessary brackets within the engine bay, and completed a few required VQ35DE-swap requirements:
  • Remove the hood latch mount off the firewall
  • Removed the OEM transmission mount and bracing from the tunnel (to make room for the CD009)
  • Removed the OEM motor mounts off the cross member - stopped short of cutting the rear to make room for the VQ oil pan until the VQ is first test fitted
280z_RightFront.jpg
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We decided to remove the heater box. It's not a street-friendly move but none of the changes will be permanent (so it can easily be reinstalled), it makes for less clutter under the dash when rebuilding, and saves approx 23lbs. I will likely install a more modern solution down the road.

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The dash has been cleared of OEM gauges and wiring, knocking another 12.5lbs off, for now. A lighter and more efficient solution is being planned.

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Stock strut bodies were cut, leaving just 40mm for the Gecko dampers to slide over and eventually weld.

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My goal before the next update is to clean the rear. The Zed's trunk drops are toast, the corners to the rear valence are missing, the underframe needs cleaning and repairing, and the driver-side quarterpanel/fender will be replaced as well. Once complete the inner rear arch for both sides will then be installed.

After that we'll reassemble the suspension and rest the car on it's wheels for the first time in almost 2 years. We'll test fit the doors and fenders, install Aerocatch for the hood, and sample a couple front lower valence ideas before taking apart again for repaint - hopefully mid to late February.
'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
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icehouse
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by icehouse »

You have to thin out the Crossmember to fit the front sump pan? I did that on the SR install. Make sure and beef it up big time. I did and it still has a little flex using it as a jacking point.
"People don't like it when shit doesn't match their rule of thumb." Sam
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DADZSUN
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Re: 280z - Datsun Restomods testbed

Post by DADZSUN »

icehouse wrote: 05 Jan 2020 18:21 You have to thin out the Crossmember to fit the front sump pan? I did that on the SR install. Make sure and beef it up big time. I did and it still has a little flex using it as a jacking point.
Apparently quite a bit has to get hogged out - I should see in the next week or two once the engine/tranny assembly begins the fitment process.
'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
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January update

Post by DADZSUN »

Progress continues on 'TAZ' my 280z. A long way to go still but I'm still confident that she'll be read for season-opening Autocross mid-May.

As many of you know when building a car, the more you know/see, the more you realise you didn't know (read: order parts in advance). And even if you do a good anticipate correctly, sometimes the wrong damn part arrives. :evil: Here we have a VQ35DE HR thermostat missing a coolant bung that is required for a VQ35DE motor... The vendor failed to mention the difference on their site but frankly it was my bad for being too lazy to look up the proper Nissan part number in the first place.

Wrong_Thermostat.jpg
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Other times, the right parts arrive and bring a smile. First up is Apex Engineered quick-steering knuckles. They're machined steel and offer 10% & 30% quicker steering ratio, all for a very competitive price. This will naturally add more steering effort which Datsun Restomods' upcoming electric power steering rack will handle with ease. The next issue will be tire/wheel interference with the TC rods. I'll wait until everything is mounted before deciding on a course of action.

TAZ_QuickSteeringKnuckles.jpg
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A nice OEM-size lightened pulley also arrived. Well priced and good for ~2lbs savings.

LightenedPulley.jpg
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Before the chassis goes to paint (nothing fancy as she'll be seeing a hard life), I wanted to procure weld-in camber plates for the front & rear as Gecko inexplicably doesn't offer any for their S30 setup. I didn't find what I was looking for so I drafted a quick solution on Fusion 360 CAD software, then 3D printed a sample on my Prusa MK3s.

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Within an hour I was done and able to test fit on the coilover and within the shock tower. With the file done I can send it to my machinist for laser cutting. Gotta love the tools are our disposal in this day & age!

Weld-In_CamberPlate.jpg
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Since the last update I also drilled out new Lower Control Arm (LCA) pivot locations (9/16ths holes placed 3/4" up and 1/4" out) to offset some of the bump-steering and roll center changes that occur when lowering an S30. An efficient alternative to bump-steer spacers if the cross member is accessible. Original holes will be welded shut once I source replacement washers to tack inside.

TAZ_CrossMember.jpg
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Finally, their was some remaining rot to clear at the back of the chassis.

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It can be a little scary to be aggressive enough to cut all of it away, but once you try to weld onto shit steel you realise that there's no choice but to keep cutting until you find good metal. I've been through this before on the front and it's just a matter of being patient and slowly rebuild a small piece at a time. :wink:

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This weekend I hope to finish assembling my VQ35DE, mate it to the flywheel/clutch and tranny and by next week place it in the engine bay.
'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
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