I've had a bit of a readjustment on project 635 mindset.
Even though I've been throwing a steady 20-30hrs/week at the truck, it's been feeling like a bit of a grind lately. Part of it is me self-imposing a deadline (early June), and the other part is my rigid mindset to completely finish an area before moving onto the next.
The thing I'm realising is that the small stuff, like fender fitment, takes up a huge amount of time making it so damn hard to stick to a rigid deadline. I'm also find that I'm continuously 'refining' my design in a quest to ever-strengthen, which of course ADDS time, not saves it.
Take the engine bay for example. I recently decided that I would prefer to use the cab/firewall as a bit of a structured member for the floating shock towers. Stiff is good, stiffer is better! Right? Never a better time to get it done than now IMO. Circled are the two strut bracings I fabbed with a pocketed rubber chassis bushing underneath.
This pic also gives a better view of the complete steering setup. I added new bushings, inner and outer tie rods. Works super smooth with the electric steering fired up.
Speaking of which, don't think I've shown the following angle yet. Vintage Air heater is a nice compact unit, and reasonable price for what's included.
With my recent rethink, I've decided to change things up a bit, bounce around the To-Do list rather than be so damn methodical. If I don't feel like working more on the fender fitment (again), then I'll move to something else. I've also pushed the schedule back to mid-September finish, which somewhat fittingly is my 50th BDay, exactly 10 years after I acquired my 510. I can't think of a better 50th bday to myself than have the truck running.
A couple of weekends ago I took on the task of finishing up the engine. The VQ received new oil O rings, oil plate sandwich, new knock sensor, a good cleaning, and the upper intake manifolds with new gaskets and torquing. She's finally ready for oil and wiring now. Despite the fenders not being fitted (seeing a trend here?) it was fun to bounce over to a different To-Do list that needed to get done anyways.
Last weekend my son and I both tackled the bodywork. There was a steady breeze outside so we rolled the truck out and went at it with our dear friend Mr. Bondo. We got a ton done and by end of day I was ready to jack up the truck and start thinking about the rear... Before going on, I do want to pat myself on the back for getting the passenger fender finally
This week I decided to tackle the rear damper tower. I'll be using the OEM setup of divorced spring and damper both leveraging the stock mounting points on Nissan's most-cool aluminum rear subframe. I already shimmed the rear spring upper contact point (directly onto the frame) so I focused on the rear tower. As a reminder I'm using BC Racing G35 'extreme low' coilovers, rear dampers were swapped to a shorter cartridge which saves 25mm overall length at the expense of 1" less travel (approximately 5" vs 6").
My plan was to pocket the damper in a 3-sided 3"x3" square .120 tube. In my over-strengthening obsession, I even ribbed the inside of the damper tower.
Everything mounted nice and there's just enough room for the damper's 5" travel. No cutting of the bed.
As usual, I went hard on the bracing. Please don't judge the welds, they're arguably excessive and due to limited room in the wheel well they're not pretty. Once the bed is removed everything will be cleaned up and then seam sealed.
There will be a little hole on top of the rear wheel arch for a 2mm key to adjust damper settings as required. Also, I plan to have a couple of recessed holes on the bed-side wheel arch (vertical wall) to bolt to the tower, effectively making the bed a structured member. All holes will be well hidden with rubber plugs.
I plan to finish the driver's side damper tower this week and also finish the gas tank piping. Next week I want to focus on bracing the 4 rear subframe mounting bolts in a double-shear manner to ensure longevity and perhaps give me the confidence to try some drifting down the road.
'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