Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

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DADZSUN
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Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by DADZSUN » 22 Apr 2020 07:24

I've debated about delaying the posting of this build until after it was complete, just to make sure that my plan was sound. However, I'm far enough along to know that my numbers will work and with all the shitty news out there I figured a fun project to follow would be a welcome change.

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As I get older my patience for depriving myself of life's joys through our lengthy Canadian winter gets less and less. Two of those joys are cycling and driving my Datsuns. I've addressed the cycling bit with Fat Biking, but driving a Datsun in the winter has been an elusive goal.

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I picked up my '76 long bed 620 in Calgary back in the summer of 2019. It has an L20 that actually runs and the body was in reasonable shape. The cab needed a driver's floor pan, all 4 cabin mounting bolt locations to the frame had disappeared and both rocker panels need replacing. To some that's pretty major, but for me that was expected. The frame is thankfully rock solid and seemingly accident-free.

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I spent the summer acquiring everything to rebuild the truck, a new grill, lower valence, rockers, new windshield, replacement rubber etc... We even had fun using it to haul some dirt to level my property and for the hot tub foundation.

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The plan is to convert this to a year-round driver with a mix of DD duties, bike hauler, and light Overlander with an eventual bed rack with rooftop tent.

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Last edited by DADZSUN on 16 Jul 2020 14:31, edited 4 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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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by DADZSUN » 22 Apr 2020 07:31

The next step was finding a G35x to provide the powertrain, suspension, and braking duties. Ironically, finding a whole car as a donor was cheaper than procuring 620 disc brake and suspension upgrades.

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I found a 2005 G35x with a little over 100,000 km on the odometer. The car fired up and drove ok, and for the price the body seemed reasonable.

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As we dove into the G, the amount of rust that appeared was frankly shocking. Unfortunately, the goal of simply unbolting the front engine crossmember and cutting the front frame rails and shock towers to graft into the 620 quickly disappeared.

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Last edited by DADZSUN on 22 Apr 2020 08:09, edited 1 time 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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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by DADZSUN » 22 Apr 2020 07:50

Disassembly of the 40+ year old Datsun was actually easier than the 14 year old G35x.

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Once everything was apart, my measurement were proving to be pretty close and the project feasibility was still viable. I'd like to credit countless hours of watching 'Iron Resurrection', 'Texas Metal', 'Dirt Everyday', 'Diesel Brothers', and 'Faster with Finnigan' on MotorTrend App for COMPLETELY skewing my perspective of what is possible. :lol:

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The VQ35de is quite compact and thankfully will fit within the truck's engine bay, it's the the front axles that are about 4-5" forward of the 620 wheel arch that is the most concern. The plan is to move the engine foward 2" relative to the engine cross member, and then notch the 620 firewall for the balance (sourcing the G35x's if need be).

Since the G35x brakes were shot I took the opportunity to replace them with more capable Nissan 350z drilled & slotted rotors, stock 350z calipers, and stainless brake lines. For the automatic transmission I plan to add a Transgo automatic valve body upgrade. I've got the high-flow OEM Y pipe and plan a high flow cat too. Lightened pulley and plenum spacer will add a little more kick.

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Difference in track with is only about 5" which means that moderate 2" flares should cover the G35x powertrain.

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Because of the G35x rust, the engine cross member had to be cut out. That means the new 620 frame rails will have to be welded to the cross member instead of bolted on. I'll be using 3" x 2" rectangular 120 tubing.

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Also, the shock towers were not removed as a single unit (with the G35x frame rails), and so I'll have to build up new frame rails to the towers. In the 620 we managed to get 10 degrees of castor vs the G35x's 14 degrees.

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With the G35x shock towers butted up to the 620 cabin firewall (or, close enough so the cabin can still be removed), it's apparent that a remote brake booster will have to be used. I'll likely go with a hydraulic remote booster using the G35x power steering pump to power it, and implement an electric power steering assist in lieu.

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Speaking of steering, the rack is nearly straight down from the 620 firewall so the plan is to use a Toyota steering bevel to provide a sharp turn from the firewall down to the rack.

Honestly, I had goals of retaining the G35's ABS/Traction/Cruise/AC but lack of room, and interest in getting this done ASAP, means that this project, like pretty much all Datsun projects around the world, will be one with perpetual improvments.
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G35xPowertrain.jpg
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Last edited by DADZSUN on 22 Apr 2020 09:26, edited 5 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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WxMan
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by WxMan » 22 Apr 2020 08:06

Wow, ambitious project! Awesome. I can't wait to see more!
The company motto seems to be "We're not happy 'till you're not happy."

510rob
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by 510rob » 22 Apr 2020 09:10

Fantastic! Thanks for being ambitious! I look forward to seeing this unfold.

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Edm620
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by Edm620 » 24 Apr 2020 07:25

I'm looking forward to your updates as the future motivation for my truck is yet to be decided. 300HP is my goal as well and with any transplant I would prefer to stay within the family BUT I still want a manual gearbox.

Are you planning on swapping the rear end to IRS?
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by Byron510 » 24 Apr 2020 16:39

Where is the front diff on this set up?
Is it part of the oil pan, much like the GTR, or is a separate unit bolted between the block and the transmission?

I'm following...

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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by DADZSUN » 25 Apr 2020 06:12

Edm620 wrote:
24 Apr 2020 07:25
BUT I still want a manual gearbox.
Are you planning on swapping the rear end to IRS?
I hear ya on the manual and I thought about ways to incorporate. Maybe the Nissan transaxle can be riggedto a CD009? It's a fairly integrated unit so a better bet would be an external independent transaxle from another manufacturer. Regardless, with a manual 510 and VQ-powered 280z down the road, an upgraded automatic (valve body) will be ideal for my intended plans on this truck.

Yes, the rear subframe, complete with diff & suspension, will move as a unit to the back. If possible, I'll embed small helper air bags within the external rear suspension springs to assist with heavier loads.

With the wider track and slightly taller 'Overland' stance I'm hoping most of the upper suspension bits can be hidden within the OEM wheel tubs in the bed.

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This is close to the height I'll be aiming for so there's a fair bit of room to go down. Wheels will remain at 17" and G35x rolling diameter to maintain OEM speed on the gauges (hoping to swap gauge cluster and not need Speedhut).

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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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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by DADZSUN » 25 Apr 2020 06:16

Byron510 wrote:
24 Apr 2020 16:39
Where is the front diff on this set up?
Is it part of the oil pan, much like the GTR, or is a separate unit bolted between the block and the transmission?

I'm following...

Byron
Hi Byron,

It seems to be an external unit bolted to the block. Pretty crazy how they managed to tuck one up in there.

FrontDiff_1.jpg
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I'd love to remove and upgrade to limited slip down the road but pretty much EVERYTHING has snapped on the G35x so far. Crazy rust. You can even see the front inner housings are still bolted to the diff - I'm opting to instead clean the bearing carriers and just install new boots than risk trying to remove.

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Size looks to be around R160? I haven't found much on the front diff details.

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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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gooned
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by gooned » 25 Apr 2020 09:43

Holly that’s a lot of rust on there.

Very neat project, good luck!

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bertvorgon
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by bertvorgon » 25 Apr 2020 11:35

I'm curious as to where was that car, that it got so rusty?

I know you use a lot of salt back there...but.....
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

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JordanTr
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by JordanTr » 25 Apr 2020 15:54

It’s basically an F160 with the gears cut accordingly. I’ve got some F160 guts from my BNR32 still
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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by DADZSUN » 26 Apr 2020 06:50

JordanTr wrote:
25 Apr 2020 15:54
It’s basically an F160 with the gears cut accordingly. I’ve got some F160 guts from my BNR32 still
Good info! Thanks. I pulled up your old Realm thread to get up to speed.

I was hoping to pull the Torsen unit out of a cheaper R160 Surtrac but looks like reverse cut rings may not work with it?

It does look like the pricey aftermarket R32/33 LSD may be an option.
'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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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by Byron510 » 28 Apr 2020 06:36

Fritz, thanks for posting specifically to my request - much appreciated.
I’m trying to get properly oriented in the photos - it was tough at first to even get there. Still the securing of the diff to the block below the skirt is eluding me.
Interesting that the driver side CV inner bolts on, yet the pass side is a snap in/ring type (I think).
The oil pan appears to be ahead of the diff...
So where is the output shafts in relation to the block - at #2 of maybe at the #3 cylinder or so? I’m curious as to how much engine is in-front of the diff?
Thanks again for posting, and I’ll certainly be following. Cool project, and I have no idea where the hell you find the time!

Byron
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because the opposite never works.

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Edm620
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Re: Project 635x - 300HP AWD Datsun

Post by Edm620 » 30 Apr 2020 20:48

I can see how that rust keeps thwarting your plans, pretty serious stuff. When I tore down my 620 & 720 donor, the older truck was less affected by rust than the decade newer one (front fenders excluded from :lol: that observation).
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
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