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Holiday Update #1

Posted: 26 Dec 2020 07:42
by DADZSUN
When it comes to Datsuns, I love the Christmas holidays. Not only do new parts arrive, but I get the time off to actually install them.

This is the first of what I'm hope will be 2 or 3 updates going into early January.

This build is a little different in that I'm splurging a bit more than usual to assemble MY perfect build. Typically I manage to let logic take over and start to cheapen out the build (ie: repurposing OEM parts etc...). However, I'm at a point in my life where I can buy that Porsche/GTR, or spend on my 635 build AND save tonnes of coin. How's that for logic? :lol:

BC_1.jpg
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First up, my BC Racing coilover appeared. This set is the 'extreme low' for the '03-'06 G35x (AWD) and non- 'true coilover'. I went this route for a couple of reasons. By keeping the AWD front uprights (see 3rd pic below), and therefore the specific coilover 'stub' lowers, I maintain the option for future 4WD. Down the road I'd like to potentially experiment with electric FWD, and this layout keeps that option open.

BC_2.jpg
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Secondly, I chose the non-true coilovers for the rear, which essentially means the rear spring and damper are divorced, identical to OEM. I kept this option for 2 reasons: 1) I'll be able to add an inner 'helper' air spring within the rear springs whenever my gear/tent is in the bed (stay tuned for THAT thread!!!), and 2) I'll have to build a damper tower that will fasten to the side of the frame's rails. By having just the damper there, instead of damper and spring, I put far less stress on the tower.

BC_3.jpg
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With the BC Racing suspension installed and the ride height set, I started on the rear flares. These flares are only 2" and reasonably well made - purchased from an eBayer from Thailand I beleive. They're a little pricey but I figured the time saved buying instead of building would be worth it - I was right.

Flare1.jpg
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Wow, these turned out perfect! Once the panhead bolts were installed and tightened down, that flare is SOLID and did a great job conforming to the OEM bed lines.

Flare2.jpg
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Best of all, the rear tires still tuck as I cycled through the travel. Without rear dampers, the back can be bounced pretty good.

Flare3.jpg
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That's it for this first update. I'll be working on the front flares and hopefully get them done before the tent shows up.

Tilton.jpg
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There are more goodies to install and quick fitment check shows that my calculations/estimates are good.

Vintage.jpg
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Posted: 26 Dec 2020 11:07
by RONSLYCHUK
The flares look awesome. Good job.

Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Posted: 28 Dec 2020 17:06
by DADZSUN
RONSLYCHUK wrote:
26 Dec 2020 11:07
The flares look awesome. Good job.
Thanks!

Holiday update #2

Posted: 28 Dec 2020 17:27
by DADZSUN
Continuing with the front flares, I wanted to create an illusion of the truck being lower than it is. So rather than lower the front (and compromise the suspension travel and geometry), I decided to lower the front flare.

FrontFenderCut.jpg
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Unfortunately, the 620 front fenders has a recessed 'character' line. This will be covered either way, but the recess meant the flare couldn't be lowered for a smooth fit with the fender. The easiest solution was to cut the recess out, hammer it flat, then reweld (and add material as required).

FrontFenderWeld.jpg
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It turned out pretty good IMO. There's more hammer/dolly and bondo required but overall it was quick and the flare fit is good.

FrontFlare.jpg
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FrontFlare_2.jpg
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Moving to the driver's side I noticed the front wheel was not centered in the wheel arch. I'm not sure how I got my numbers mixed up, but it turned out that the Radius Rod alignment bolt was positioned approximately 3/4" too fare forward. It can be moved, but will be a real PITA and take a full day.


Here's the Lower Control Arm (LCA) exiting the engine subframe almost perfectly perpendicular. Caster was measured at a perfect OEM 7 degrees.

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Here's the driver's side, not so square. Caster was 9 degrees.

DriverLCA.jpg
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Here's the locating stud which will have to be moved back. Will tackle this when the cab is off later. I did manage to finish the driver fender modification.

RadiusArmStud.jpg
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Next, I decided to finish the exhaust. I'm running a modest 2.5", OEM 'high flow' Y pipe, twin high-flow cats, 24" resonator, Flowmaster muffler, DC Racing 4" black chrome tailpipe.

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Tailpipe poke is good IMO.

TailPipePoke.jpg
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Finally, while I was back & under there, I decides to migrate the 'hidden hitch' from my 510 to under the pickup. Poor 510, it's been hauling that surprisingly heavy 30lbs for close to 10 years... I trimmed the endplates and managed to the whole unit down to 18lbs before fixing it to the frame rails. I also installed the pivoting rear license plate.

HiddenHitch.jpg
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Tomorrow I tackle some small bits up front (upper rad bracket and modified front bumper brackets). Wednesday I start in the cab and that will keep me busy for awhile!

Holiday Update #3 - Roof top tent has arrived

Posted: 02 Jan 2021 06:46
by DADZSUN
I've been looking forward to this part of the project for a long time.

I've already established that my 635 build will be a daily driver and bicycle hauler, but I was looking for more, a way to spend recreational time with my wife and son this coming travel-restricted summer. I also wanted a setup where I can visit friends & family at their cottages/camps without inconveniencing them with bedding etc... Finally, I wanted a platform that I can use to explore new and more distance gravel and mountain biking options.

RTT_Package.jpg
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Despite not being much of a camper, I figured I'd dive into the world of camping. I originally wanted a hard shell pop-up for ease of setup/breakdown. Eventually I settled for the soft 'fold-open' version due to price ($1550 Cdn shipped with tax), larger sleeping size, and the ability to recess the tent down and out of the wind. After reading many reviews, I opted for the Smitty Bilt Overland Gen2 tent.

RTT_Closed.jpg
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I modified my rack to fit lower and further back in the bed. This will allow rom for my bike to be mounted transversely behind the cab and allow room for the tent's window awning to clear the cab. I'm running 3"x2" .120 wall tubing, single gusseted rib spanning the two hoops. I've reinforced the bed contact points with .120 plating and each corner is fastened with M14 bolt and embedded nut. The tent weighs approximately 120lbs and the rack 75lbs.

Next, I plan to add a pull-out drawer that is fastened to the bed rack. This drawer will pull out from the tailgate and contain propane grill/cooler/water/clothes. The idea is that the drawer/tent/rack will be a single unit which can be removed via a beamed-mounted pulley in my garage.

RTT_Open_1.jpg
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Without any practice, my son and I can open the tent in around 6 minutes. I'm sure we will get it down to under 5 with experience.

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I'm really impressed with the quality of the tent. The 2" foam mattress is comfy, lots of space inside with pockets. There's even two screened skylights to sleep under the stars. Despite not camping much before, I can see this getting used lots - especially since the vehicle itself will be so damn fun to drive.

RTT_Side.jpg
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That's it for updates for a little while. There will be lots of work done in the cab but won't be too picture-friendly until it's closer to being done.

Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Posted: 03 Jan 2021 21:03
by Heinrich
nice going

Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Posted: 13 Jan 2021 15:35
by DADZSUN
Heinrich wrote:
03 Jan 2021 21:03
nice going
Thanks!

January Update - shaved seat, Nardi, bike mount

Posted: 13 Jan 2021 15:54
by DADZSUN
More updates on smaller stuff.

Bike Mount:

Besides being a daily driver, the secondary purpose of this project is to have a fun bike hauler. The scope of trips will be both day/short outings, and overnight longer excursions.

BikeMount.jpg
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After some consideration I decided on a longitudinal mount for the gravel/road bike and likely a hitch mount for the larger mountain bike.

BikeMount2.jpg
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This gravel bike fork mount is welded to the bed so I can run a lock on both the frame and wheel (separate mount on the front of the bed). I'm pleased with how it is tucked out of the airflow yet still easy to access with the tent open or closed.


Nardi:

I've always wanted one of these, and being this is a special build I went ahead and splurged.

Nardi.jpg
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You can see how the steering wheel is offset from the center gauge within the cluster... I never understood why OEM's did that, I guess it's to create the illusion of cabin space? Either way I'll be fixing that by relocating the steering 3/4" to the left this weekend.

Nardi2.jpg
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Shaved Miata seat:

In an effort to maximize cabin space I decided to get the foam on the back of Miata seat shaved. This will allow the set to be mounted further back.

ShavedFoam.jpg
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I managed to get 1.5" removed from the rear, and the back restitched to OEM quality. Here's the difference to the stock passenger seat.

SeatDifference.jpg
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I decided to hard mount the seat (no rails). This is my truck and therefore shall be custom tailored to my body. 8) W/O rails the seat is fairly light, 22lbs.

MiataSeatWeight.jpg
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End result - my seat to steering wheel and firewall measurement are identical to my 510, which is very reasonable for my 5'9" height and FAR better than stock 620 fitment.

CabinPic.jpg
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That seat tucks in nicely. Quite comfy too.

CabinPic_2.jpg
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Firewall/pedal/steering modifications have already started and with luck should be done by end of week. My To-do list is getting shorter.