So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

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Byron510
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by Byron510 »

BrandonS wrote: 02 May 2020 09:13 Byron, by chance what size are the through bolts in your brackets. The ones the arms are mounted too? I went ahead and ordered 14mm ID misalignment spacers for my spherical bearings.
If we are referencing my adjustable rear camber/toe brackets - I’ll confirm the exact size shortly...
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by BrandonS »

Thanks Byron
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by Byron510 »

It's a good thing you bumped me on this.
I'd meant to do this for ya yesterday while out in the workshop and ... squirrel... lost my way at some point.
The vertical slot which the bolt that passes through the bushing will use is 14.5mm wide, so your good to go.

You'l have to post a photo of what your working on there.

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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

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Thanks Byron. I'll put some pics up when I get to the backend. I think that'll be next after these pedals are in.

So decisions were made today; I decided to replace the portion of the firewall where the stock cutouts were with a new patch panel that has the cutouts for the 3 master cylidners (2 brake / 1 clutch). This part had to be done to make it work, but I decided I'll get weld it in vs bolted it on. I think it'll make for a much cleaner finish in the end. I also ended up going lower on the pedals. As I sat in the car, it just felt like I was pushing everything with my toes. Since the pedals were already at their lowest setting, I bit the bullet and lowered the whole pedal box and made up another patch panel (I'm now on the 3rd one :roll:).

(This was the second one)
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It was nerve wracking to say the least, actually, it was terrifying to me. Mostly because this is all new to me and If I mess it up I don't have anyone who can fix it. So I just took my time cutting, sizing it up, cutting, sizing it up, cutting some more. In the end, I think I'll be pretty well off when I get to the welding part. I don't really have any sizable gaps to speak of that will need filled; so that's a plus and should make that task a lot easier.

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So as I mentioned earlier, I was already hitting the fill panel that goes around the steering column with the bottom bolts of the pedal box. Since I lowered the pedal box, I am now into the area that was occupied by the top portion of the steering column's fill panel. Before going to town cutting out the gaping hole, I cut out the top part of the firewall's filler plate mount where it's doubled up sheet metal and has the welded nuts. I'm just going to move this section down below the pedal box and then cut out the middle section and reweld it together to make it match width wise; since it's a triangle this should work out fairly easily I'd think. Then I'll cut the top of the filler plate of the column and drill new mounting holes. I think this approach will forgo any huge reworks and also not really trigger so much as a second look at it since it'll maintain the factory shape, mounting style and rolled out lip; it'll just be a smaller hole.

Here's a quick idea of what I was thinking....

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So the day started out slow as I messed around with everything trying to avoid the inevitable of cutting a gaping whole in my firewall. At the end of the day, I think it's all going to work out.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by BrandonS »

Byron510 wrote: 02 May 2020 04:52 Good progress.
I have installed these types of pedal boxes with roll cage fabrication, But often wondered if the installation could be done without a dash bar.
With the pedal box in, how will you now secure the steering column as the stock pedal box takes care of this as well... following.
Thanks for the COVID updates :-)

Byron
I was looking at the throttle linkage a bit today. Did you get rid of the rod setup and go to a throttle cable with your pedal box installs? Without some funky bent rod and a heim joint at the pedal I can't see a feasible way to run the OE rod setup.
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Byron510
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by Byron510 »

Yes and yes.
Most cars getting a racing pedal set up are generally not running stock type induction (stock carb or SU’s). They seem to be either twin choke side drafts or EFI - both of which generally go cable throttle.
Lots of options for cable throttle - I fact nearly endless. It comes down to what you have access to locally in most cases.

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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by Byron510 »

I might suggest you try your hand at some metal work and finish the lip on the piece of steel plate that your already making.
Here’s a link, check out what he’s doing at the 12 minute mark in this build - it’s quite a popular build here on the realm, mostly because there are keen eyes here :-)
https://youtu.be/7v59dDxCk9w
Actually a better shot of the tool and process of forming a lip is here, at the 4:30 mark;
https://youtu.be/KsuYQoqCZeY
But spending some more time on the part initially, may save a lot of finishing work later. Just a thought.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

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Byron510 wrote: 05 May 2020 23:22 I might suggest you try your hand at some metal work and finish the lip on the piece of steel plate that your already making.
Here’s a link, check out what he’s doing at the 12 minute mark in this build - it’s quite a popular build here on the realm, mostly because there are keen eyes here :-)
https://youtu.be/7v59dDxCk9w
Actually a better shot of the tool and process of forming a lip is here, at the 4:30 mark;
https://youtu.be/KsuYQoqCZeY
But spending some more time on the part initially, may save a lot of finishing work later. Just a thought.
Byron
Thanks for the suggestion. That's pretty slick with that slotted bar. That would have been a lot easier than widdling away at it all little by little :-/
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

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If you guys follow me on IG, I’ll stop you now because you’ve already seen these pictures. I have no idea how this happens, but another year down and still stuff to do with 0 km put on her. I spent the last year accumulating some more parts as plans were reevaluated, but mostly it just sat taking a backseat to the daily grind and a bit of not being able to drag myself to the garage. I’m finally back at it again though. I WANT TO DRIVE MY CAR!!!!!

So I sorted out most if not all the problems I was having before for the rear of the car. For the trailing arms, I was fortunate enough to have a friend find me another set through one of his friends and get them mailed to me here in Germany. This way I’ll have my original, untouched trailing arms if everything goes south and I hate the bags.

I started off with making a simple jig to keep everything the same lengths. I cut the rubber bushings off and replaced them with some spherical bearings I sourced from a chassis company here in the Netherlands (also bought another set for when/if these wear out). I cut the spring perch out and welded in the new seats for the air bags to sit in as the stock spring seat isn’t large enough.

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For the crossmember, I ended up biting the bullet and buying the Datsport kit. I kept looking and searching and trying to figure something out, but in the end this is already sorted. Overall it seems to be a really nice kit and installation wasn’t too terribly difficult; the de-installation of the old brackets though, holy cow, was that a PITA. Hopefully it’ll work out well with the spherical bearings. With the spherical bearing spacers against the tabs and the bolt tight it should keep the bolt straight, but in the back of my head I’m afraid the bolt will slip to be angled since the bearing allows for a range of angularity. I think it’ll work though; I give it a 98% chance haha. Oh also, while it’s out I enlarged the exhaust hole to 4” to fit a 3” exhaust through. I know it’s common, but I worry about rigidity so I used 3.6mm wall thickness tubing to hopefully help a bit. For bushings I bought some poly ones from Zcardepotfor both the crossmember and mustache bar.

I’m still planning to run the Subi R180 Andy Driveshaft Shop axles just showed up this week after an ~6 week wait.

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And for the rear brakes my buddy with a lathe turned the hub flange down to fit inside the rotor for me. I still need to look at the old bearings and get numbers off of them so order new. One day I’m going to own a lathe.

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I also cut the firewall patch I made back out. I wasn’t happy with how it was turning out at all. I ordered the correct thickness sheet metal and a bead roller and made new patch panel with it. I like how the recess looks around the master cylinders and also it stiffens the panel up quite a bit. I was also able to move the pedals to a position closer to OE and in doing so am now able to retain the steering column mounting plates so I won’t need to mod that any longer. I also looked at the interior brackets and I think those will be relatively easy to make with some square tube to mount to the OE boxes mounting points. Everything just about lines up on the inside so it should be a relatively simple task.

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So that’s where I’m at now. Slowly getting there. I’m not glad it’s taking so long, but the added time has allowed me to rethink a lot of things and I believe the outcome will be a lot better than the original plan.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by Stu »

Very cool. Are you going to be able to lubricate the spherical bearings? In projects I have used them in, they tend to get grit in them and don't last long if I did not get the greasable style.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

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Stu wrote: 04 May 2021 08:43 Very cool. Are you going to be able to lubricate the spherical bearings? In projects I have used them in, they tend to get grit in them and don't last long if I did not get the greasable style.
No, they are sealed with no zerk fittings. I know you can buy boots for heim joints, but I haven’t looked at similar for spherical bearings. Do you have any experience with short lifespans of spherical bearings? I’m not sure what to expect for that to be honest.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by Doraemon »

Beautiful car you have there Brandon! Amazing story as well! But yikes! Seems you are stationed near the Dutch border seeing your German license plates? You don't have to go to the German TÜV? These inspections are really strict and parts which are not TÜV approved are forbidden (almost every aftermarket part, letalone modifying stuff).

How long are you staying in Germany? Otherwise would be great to meet up! Especially when I got mine on the road again.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by bertvorgon »

At the time we built my car for SERIOUS competition, in 1984, we installed spherical bearings in all sorts of places on my car. They are not sealed, and at the time, and still are, larger than what was used at the time. We basically used the same stuff NASCAR used on a 3,800 Lb race car. I have NEVER had to replace any of my spherical bearings.

I give them a wipe a few times in a season and have used TRIFLOW as my lubricant.

That has been my experience.
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BrandonS
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by BrandonS »

Doraemon wrote: 05 May 2021 13:36 Beautiful car you have there Brandon! Amazing story as well! But yikes! Seems you are stationed near the Dutch border seeing your German license plates? You don't have to go to the German TÜV? These inspections are really strict and parts which are not TÜV approved are forbidden (almost every aftermarket part, letalone modifying stuff).

How long are you staying in Germany? Otherwise would be great to meet up! Especially when I got mine on the road again.
I do go through TUV, but the process is a bit different with my car not being 100% in the German system. Being an old car not from Germany nothing on it is technically TUV approved nor can I acquire TUV approved items for it. This is what I’ve seen with as the American spec vehicles with mods being inspected.

Also, I’d be 100% down for a meet up/cruise (once mine is on the road too)
Last edited by BrandonS on 07 May 2021 02:05, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: So I drove around Japan looking for a Bluebird...

Post by BrandonS »

bertvorgon wrote: 05 May 2021 13:46 At the time we built my car for SERIOUS competition, in 1984, we installed spherical bearings in all sorts of places on my car. They are not sealed, and at the time, and still are, larger than what was used at the time. We basically used the same stuff NASCAR used on a 3,800 Lb race car. I have NEVER had to replace any of my spherical bearings.

I give them a wipe a few times in a season and have used TRIFLOW as my lubricant.

That has been my experience.
Thank you; although not NASCAR quality I’m sure, these are substantially oversized compared to the OE rubber bushings and what is available via Datsun aftermarket. I hope im fortunate enough to have the same experience as you.
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