Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

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RONSLYCHUK
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by RONSLYCHUK »

All I can say is AMAZING!
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DADZSUN
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Location: Ottawa, ON

September vacation update #1

Post by DADZSUN »

As promised updates will be coming more frequently over the next month or two.

It's pretty exciting to be back working on the 635. I've had a nice summer break and am recharged. Also cool is my oldest son has decided to dive right into the 280z project (now that he's suddenly decided it's now magically his), so both cars are progressing at a decent clip (I'll post more Z pics when I get a chance).

WorkToDo.jpg
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Here's pretty much how it started the month. I recently reinstalled the motor/tranny and was very pleased how all the mounts beautifully lined up. It really was a 5 minute affair.

ToDo.jpg
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By not means is that a comprehensive list of things to do, more like what I'm hoping to accomplish this month.

SpeedHutGauges.jpg
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The plan is to address the interior stuff inside the house at night. Gauges are an easy item to include in that list. Yes, the stock cluster is fragile...

FuelTank.jpg
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I epoxyied the outside of the tank where I welded, the used POR Fuel Tank pain inside. There was ZERO staging for this pic...

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I wanted a little more depth to the clutch throw and realised there's enough room between the cab and grafted G35 tower.

ClutchThrow.jpg
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I tacked a bit of metal around the pedal and will double check clearance next week before closing it in.

Bushings.jpg
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This is my current task. Literally every bushing in the front & rear will be swapped out. I don't have a hydraulic press but something makes me think I will soon.

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Speaking of new equipment, after 5 or so years, and a TON of hours, my Lincoln Weld Pak 140HD crapped out. Perfectly, shitty timing of course. Hence the tank and bushing tasks while I wait for my new welder and installation of a proper 230V 40A circuit. I went with the Canaweld MIG 202. It's supporting local and the reviews have been very favorable. The welder has since arrived and despite not yet using it, it does appears to be quite a bit more professional/heavy duty setup compared to previous welder. I did seriously contemplate a multiprocessor MIG/TIG welder but the past few months I've decided that time to explore new projects/endeavors/skills is severely limited and I need to simplify.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Edm620
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Edm620 »

Speaking of your old Lincoln welder, I'm curious what settings you found favorable when welding the thin (sometimes porous) sheetmetal.
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
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DADZSUN
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by DADZSUN »

Edm620 wrote: 09 Sep 2021 12:23 Speaking of your old Lincoln welder, I'm curious what settings you found favorable when welding the thin (sometimes porous) sheetmetal.
Honestly, my welder had very little settings, 4 to be exact.

WeldPak140.jpg
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Here's my typical workflow when addressing thin Datsun metal:

1) Whenever possible that Datsun porous metal is cut out.

2) While 'A' setting on the Weldpak is actually pretty friendly for 18-21 Ga steel (0.025 wire), I'm not always convinced the weld penetration is strong enough. I typically only use that setting to tack really thin stuff, then move on to the following step.

3) Over the years I've learned that I like to weld hot and a bit quicker than some I've watched online. My goal is to add mass, then burn. Short bursts in 'B' setting with as high of wire speed as possible to lay metal around the perimeter. I focus on multiple areas to allow the heat to be evenly distributed. I then allow it to cool a bit then proceed with adding welds in the area of focus.

CopperBackPlate.jpg
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4) If required, I add my copper backing plate. This is an immensely handy tool. It helps add mass and to fill larger gaps without allowing the weld to stick to it.


Below is a recent job on my pickup bed. There were a few spots where the gap was many times thicker than the weld wire (2-3 mm).

TruckBed.jpg
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Here is the backside where my backing plate rested. You can see the weld penetration is quite good and level. It makes cleaning up quite easy.

Baskside.jpg
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'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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DADZSUN
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Location: Ottawa, ON

October update

Post by DADZSUN »

Probably par for the course on this build, I wasn't successful in getting as much done in September as hoped.

Replacing the welder was FAR more of a PITA than expected. Breakers and appropriate wire are in short supply due to COVID, and somewhat surprising but understandable, is the increase demand for high voltage/amperage circuits fed to garages for electric car.

As a result I was stuck doing mostly non-welding things which are still necessary but not as visible.

I did manage to finish the gauge cluster. I like the titanium color cluster with white trim (truck will be white) that will contract the black dash nicely. I will eventually cut out the right side for a double DIN headunit but for now I have higher priorities.

GaugeCluster.jpg
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Also finished is the baffled 720 (19GA) tank modifications. The Tanks PA-4 (250 lph) baffled setup was completed once I found a proper submersible fuel hose - after I discovered the supplied example wasn't long enough and held the pump assembly about 1" off the bottom of the baffle.

TanksIncPA4.jpg
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If you're in a similar situation, be sure to spec a 'submersible' fuel hose, SAE number is circled.

SubmersibleHose.jpg
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The recessed electronic fuel sender and pump are now sealed and fastened. I just need to reinstall and wire it up.

72019GATankDone.jpg
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Finally I was able to move onto the front suspension. It turned out that 5 of the 6 (!) front ball joints needed replacing.

MainBallJoint.jpg
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Unfortunately, I discovered the ball joints within the arms are not replaceable. So more cash had to be coughed up for something I thought was done - again, par for the course when doing a full rebuild.

NewBallJoints.jpg
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These new arms then had to get permanently altered as I proceed with my goal to replace EVERY bushing on the 635 with Whiteline.

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After the Lower Control Arm bushing was replaced I noticed that action was not as smooth as expected.

LCABushing.jpg
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Turns out there was a tab on the lower subframe to keep the washer in check. In this case it had to be removed or else the bushing would definitely be torn.

LCAMountCleaned.jpg
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I'll be starting on the rear bushings next and hopefully the experience I gained doing the front will make this a bit more efficient.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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DADZSUN
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Crossbar modification

Post by DADZSUN »

One more quick update that I decided to partition (mostly due to the 10 picture limit).

Due to the increase engine torque this frame will be facing, I've added several strong bracing along the frame rails.

Crossbar.jpg
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One bar comes close to the driveshaft. I was assured by the driveshaft vendor that flex along the 5' length would be minimal and that clearance was enough but I figured it's never going to be easier to rectify than now.

BeforeClearance.jpg
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When considering this modification one of my concerns was weakening the brace. Thankfully Curt came to the rescue with a nice .25" walled tube from an old hitch mount. There was a time in the past I'd throw this stuff out but metal is so damn expensive now...

Curt.jpg
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This also gave me a chance to try my new Canaweld welder (fabricated in Ontario I believe). I really love this thing and the original hassle to setup the circuit has proven to be totally worth it.

Pocketed.jpg
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After a quick cleanup I now have additional clearance, and more importantly, peace of mind.

AfterClearance.jpg
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Tasks like these are only taking me just under an hour to complete which is a testament to increased experience and better equipment.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Edm620
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Location: Edmonton

Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Edm620 »

Thanks for sharing about your welding setup. I have a Lincoln Mig-pak 180 which is essentially the same unit, has 5 voltage settings (A-E) with 180 amp output max and runs on 240VAC. I still am struggling to find the settings that work best for me, grew up doing stick welding on structural steel but lordy this isn't the same!
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
Ugandan Proverb
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DADZSUN
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Bushings... done!!!

Post by DADZSUN »

Here's a second update on the bushings. I can finally say the front & back are done.


For document's sake here's my master list.

WhitelineBushings.jpg
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As I worked through the back it became apparent that quite of few of the stock rubber bushings were toast.

Before:
Done.jpg
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After:
RearSpringBucket.jpg
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The suspension component that required the most work was the rear upright. 6 bushings in there!!!

RearUprightBushings.jpg
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The easiest OEM bushings to remove were ironically the bigger rear subframe and diff bushings.

SubframeBushing.jpg
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VLSDBushings.jpg
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RearSubframeBushingsDone.jpg
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While working on the subframe I upgraded the rear camber (spring bucket pivot) with a more aggressive eccentric bolt.

EccentricBolt.jpg
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Here's the difference between the stock (background) washer and the new one.

EccentricDelta.jpg
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This larger eccentric washer required a wider slot to accommodate the larger change in positioning.
WidenedSlot.jpg
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Rear suspension is now done. New sway bushing and end links also installed.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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DADZSUN
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Last cab fitment and frame strengthening

Post by DADZSUN »

I haven't spent much time covering the work I put into the frame so here's a little update.

The frame has quite a bit of additional strengthening. Most of it was torsional in focus to offset the VQ35DE's torque. In the pic below I'm pointing at the only two stock cross bracings.

StockBracing.jpg
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When working on the rear subframe bushings I noticed that when I put weight onto the rear of the frame it would flex about the jack stand point.

PivotPoint.jpg
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After quite a bit of thought I figured the cab and bed act somewhat as structured members when mounted (bushings are pretty stiff, read: Hockey pucs :lol:). So my longitudinal focus was directed to the point between the bed and cab along with the apparent weakest point on the frame. I added some tubing and 1/4 plating to the those areas. I'm not sure how much it helped... seemed to flex less when I applied weight? Either way it can't hurt and the weight location is ideal (low and not in the front half).

Reinforcement.jpg
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After galling one of the original frame bolts I installed, I decided to beef up the four main rear subframe bolts. Primary changes were a thicker grade 8 bolts, bolt head to resist being pulled out, and two layers of 1"x2" .120 wall tubing to keep everything in place. A stronger welder and deeper nuts will also help. After they were installed I fabricated proper bolt-in double shear bracing for the front & rear.

NewSubframeMountsVSOld.jpg
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NewSubframeMounts2.jpg
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Finally I reinstalled the cab for what I hope is a final fitment.

FinalCabMount.jpg
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The good news is that it slipped together quite easily which is a good sign.

CabMounted.jpg
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I took the time to double check interior fitment, it has been a few months since I properly sat in it. LOTS of room! The shifter location (hole) is perfect but I will be removing the offset in the shifter arm and going straight.

Interior.jpg
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I have a few small things to double check/weld up and then the cab will be pulled for seam seal followed by sound dampening paint.

CabMounted2.jpg
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It really does feel like the truck's progress is moving quickly. I'm putting a steady 15-20 hr/s week into it.

Next step is to disassemble, flip the frame to weld/clean/paint, then clean/paint the top. Add brake lines, then mount a painted bed and cab (not before I confirm the VQ fires up).

I have another customer build in the garage right now which will take most of my focus throughout the winter. When I have time I'll work on the electronics/interior.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
RONSLYCHUK
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by RONSLYCHUK »

Some amazing work going on there. I can’t wait to see it finished.
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DADZSUN
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Project 635 gets some drifting bits

Post by DADZSUN »

Since my last update I've been throwing a steady 15-20hrs/week at project 635. Unfortunately I haven't painted yet (nor seam sealed) because the final cab clean-up has been taking quite a bit more time than anticipated. Rest assured my To-Do list is damn near done for this phase and I literally have to look for stuff to do.

In an interest to spend more bonding time with my boys this coming summer, I recently decided to add some minor drifting tweaks to the truck. I don't want to compromise streetability, but subtle little mods to make sliding sideways that much more fun & reliable.

ChaseBaysHandbrake.jpg
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First up is the Chase Bays inline hydraulic handbrake. Reviewed by many as a quality product, and although there's still a little more lateral play in the main pivot than expected, it's a pretty nice unit. I like that I can convert it to 'independent' to power dedicated rear calipers down the road if I want to get more serious. For now it will be plumbed into the existing rear brake hydraulic line.

HydraulicHandbrakeBase.jpg
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I wasn't sure where this would be best placed. Using the optional (but affordable and highly recommended) mounting plate, I decided to mount inside the shifter and ahead of it. In the end I was super pleased with the location & natural ergonomics to reach.

HandbrakePlacement_1.jpg
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The next thing that stood out was the damn offset in the 'shortened' shifter.

HandbrakePlacement_2.jpg
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Despite being advertised as coming with a straight shift lever, it came with the offset which curiously removes most of the point of having a top-mount 'shortest possible' location. Speaking to the vendor I was told that customers requested the offset and there was no optional straight shifter, nor was he really interested in building one. For anyone who's curious, it's a M18 x 1.5. Turns out 02 sensors use the same specs so I ordered O2 sensor bung extenders and it threaded up beautifully. Now my machinist can build the upper lever and tap/thread the O2 sensor bung.

O2SensorBase.jpg
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Finally, for Black Friday I ordered two more drifty stuff - steering rack spacers and differential brace.

GKTechSteeringSpacer.jpg
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The steering spacer is a little curious because it is placed between the rack and inner tie rod - forcing you to cut the threads on the outside of the inner rod to regain proper toe alignment. Seems like one step forwards and then one step back... I can only assume these spacers change the working angle on the tie rods thereby giving an extra 19mm throw (both sides total). As FYI there are two pieces in the pic, one is a female/male spacer, and the other is a thick washer with the logic that there's enough extra tie rod thread to handle it. There are thousands of 350z/G35 being thrown around out there and I have yet to read of one tearing out the tie rod due to lack of threads, so I'll assume my lighter 635 (~2500-2600lbs) should be ok.

GKTeckDiffBrace.jpeg
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GKTeckDiffBrace_2.jpg
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Next up is the differential brace. The 350Z R200 is only fastened on the rear via a single threaded stud off the cover. It's been known to snap. This brace takes advantage of a pre-drilled hole within the aluminum subframe to provide a second mounting point. That along with my Whiteline bushings should make for a responsive and reliable setup.

I guarantee my next update will have pics & info on the application of seam sealer and 'Second Skin' Thermal/acoustic deadening paint to the cab.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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DADZSUN
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635 painting has begun

Post by DADZSUN »

This is a 3rd November update which means not only a lot of progress, but something worthy to show.

With cold weather coming, and VERY specific painting temperatures required for various paints, I rushed to get started this weekend. I burned quite a bit of wood keeping my garage at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 full days (for application and curing time).

SeamSealer.jpg
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Before paint I was applied some seam sealer. Having previously used tube dispensers, I decided to try 'Dominion Sure' can of brush-on seam sealer. I've had a lot of success with Dominion Sure brands, frequently offering quality paints for a bunch less than name brands. Overall I was pleased with how the application went.

SpectrumPaint.jpg
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Next came the 'Second Skin' / Spectrum paint. This stuff had great reviews for thermal barrier and noise deadening. I ordered the 5 gallons and proceeded to apply 5 coats to the cab (complete interior and exterior firewall/floor), the doors, and the hood.

SpectrumFinish.jpg
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Each layer was dry before applying the next one, the first layer onto the metal took approximately 3 hours, after that is was only 60-90 minutes. I used a schutz paint gun and the application went on easily enough albeit sloppy (as usual with these style of guns).

CabBeforeAfter.jpg
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Next I focused on the bed. All surface rust was treated with POR15, pricey but great stuff. After it dried I applied Raptor bed liner paint. Having used this stuff to paint my XTerra bumpers (schutz gun), I wanted to get a smoother finish. After some research I pulled out my HVLP gun with a 2.3 nozzle, set it to 30psi, added approx 10% reducer and then proceeded to experiment. I started with the front inner fenders and once I got the flow and gun distances figured out I moved onto the bed.

RaptorBed.jpg
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The application with HVLP was so much smoother (approx 2-3" distance to surface). In fact in the end I had to add texture by holding the gun back to 6-8" to get a light scruff look.

RaptorHVLP.jpg
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Next, I'll take a break from painting (and ordering some related supplies) and focusing on stripping the truck frame of parts and flipping it over to finish welding. This will be the first time ever that I have seen the underside - hoping there's no surprises. The welding, cleaning, seam seal, paint should take a week or two and then the frame will be ready for a final build. Once I'm at that point I'll apply paint to the exterior. I'm hoping to get this done by end of December so that I can focus on a customer build and chip away at small tasks on the truck when tie allows.
Last edited by DADZSUN on 03 Dec 2021 19:39, edited 1 time in total.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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Fred_L-P
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Fred_L-P »

Looking good! I remember you mentioned you want to paint the exterior with bedliner. Are you going to use the same parameters as the bed for a smoother finish?
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Edm620
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Re: Project 635 - 300HP RWD 620

Post by Edm620 »

Heaven forbid - don't paint the exterior with bedliner - I've seen that enough times on oil patch trucks and it looks awful.
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there"
Ugandan Proverb
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DADZSUN
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Project 635's frame gets stripped and flipped

Post by DADZSUN »

A quick update on 635. I've finished welding and cleaning the top of the frame. It took less than an hour to remove the suspension/brakes and fuel system. As previously mentioned, it was a PITA to originally design the various systems and how they'll fasten to the frame, but the ease of repeated assembly/disassembly has really paid that investment off.

BareFrame.jpg
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The frame has since been flipped and work on the underside has begun. If all goes well I'm hoping to get that wrapped up mid-week and the top & bottom painted by next weekend.

Speaking of paint (and in response to the two previous posts), I will be coating the frame in bedliner. I also plan to use bedliner for the engine bay, under the cab, and wheel wells.

Paint.jpg
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For the exterior panels, my goal is to have a durable finish that can handle a hard life. I want to be able to rest my beer on the hood, or lean again the bodywork and not give a shit. If contact or a mishap happens at the track I really don't want to have $5K invested in the bodywork & paint. As a result, the original plan was to use bedliner, with the HVLP it's quite easy to get a decent-looking heavy orange-peel finish (NOT the typical stucco texture).

Recently, I've decided to go with farm implement enamel paint for the exterior body panels and cabin interior instead. It's cheap, has a decent durable finish (moreso with hardener added), and does not release gasses after dried like the bedliner does (obviously NOT good for cabin interior).

ShifterLever.jpg
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Finally, I got my revised shift lever back. Using the extended O2 sensor bung has worked well and the machining cost became considerably cheaper.
'72 Datsun 510 - MS KA24e, Watanabe, STI R180 & CV axles, R&P assisted steering
'76 Datsun 620 - VQ35DE, CD009, G35 suspension & brakes.
'76 Datsun 280z - Future track toy
Creativity outlet: www.datsunrestomods.com
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