Enough good things have happened that it's time for an update!
I've been plugging away on this steady, mostly focusing on front suspension placement & reinforcement. I managed to get the front shock towers identical to G35 stock 13 degree castor. The control arm (ie: TC bushing placement) is also near to stock. This took quite a bit of time to locate and fab.
The VQ35de was cleaned up and some new bits added, including an alternator, starter, and lightened pulley. I have a plenum spacer that I'll wait until after start-up to install. I plan to get an UpRev tune to hit 300hp and more responsive driveability.
I managed to grab the VQ/Auto tranny and diff/transfer case weight (709lbs).
... and did a quick early test fit. The rear frame bracing obviously had to still be cut at that point but it gave us an idea on engine placement for axle operation and firewall location.
It became clear that although the VQ could fit in the 620 engine bay, either:
- The engine would have to be placed far enough back to allow for proper front axle alignment and thus the firewall would need a large portion removed to recess the block, or
- Ditch the AWD plan, move the block forward and save the firewall
In the interest of getting this done quick (driving by fall?) and simplify the install, I called and audible and decided on option #2.
It just so happened that I have a CD009 in the garage originally allocated for the 280z build that I 'borrowed' for 635. RWD will save approx 200lbs, not require any kind of auto shifter mounting and control module for operation, and permit obnoxious burnouts. I will be retaining the G35 wheelspeed sensor feeds and traction control to keep some civility when driving.
The beefy CD009 did require from relief around the tunnel, I plan to use the G35 donor car tunnel to fill this in.
End result, we've got a fit! Firewall stays intact, there's still a clear path to the steering rack, and room to run the exhaust. Honestly, this is about as good as it can get for a swap this ambitous.
The hood even closes with a couple of inches to spare - that's with the entire VQ block above the sway bar and cross member, no recessing.
Next up, I'll be working on the cab. Replace the two rocker arms, and source the G35 tunnel and floor pan to graft into the cab. My son will be pulling the G35's rear subframe and gas tank in anticipation for June work.
Even though I'll loose AWD and winter driving (not really, I plan to drive when there's no snow and rely on TC), I'm really stoked about RWD fun. The truck will still be able to haul stuff and a rack/roof top tent is still feasible.
'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