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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:31 pm 
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That's good to know about the cloth hose. I replaced nearly all of it in my mazda 1300 when I re-did the heater core as I couldn't find anyone that stocked it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:41 am 
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So finally I found some of this elusive cloth hose at vintage VW parts specialist Stokers VW in northern NSW...I also got some 8mm fuel hose too, in case I decide to re-do some of the existing hoses at a later date.
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The cloth hose is a light grey colour though, which is quite nice, but black would be better.
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A little spraypaint later...and it's black! :)
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I do think that looks a lot nicer overall.
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I think the hose might actually be from vintage stock, since the cloth is a little fuzzy and aged looking...which isn't a bad thing.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:00 am 
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How do you improve on perfection? Let kev play with it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:05 am 
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After faffing around for two weeks with a ricer catchcan :) I thought I'd redeem myself with some proper mechanical stuff.
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The last time I poked my head under the front of the car, I noticed that the lower control arm bushes were a bit perished looking. They're not a conventional metalastic bush though (like the diff bushes I did not long ago). They're held in place by this plate.
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Loosen the 2 nuts on that plate, and the bigger nut in front, then unbolt the arm from the ball joint, and it swings down freely.
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And this is it. The plate is attached to a locating pin, which holds these two cone-shaped rubber bushes.
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The control arm itself has a female cone shape.
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Here are the new bushes on the left. I gave a call to Baz at Datsport, and ordered a set of oem bushes for the Kenmeri/240K Skyline. I've found that most of the time, Kenmeri parts are teh same as for Hako Skyline. And for $25 a set, there's no excuse for not renewing them on a regular basis. The old bushes are a bit dried out on the flange bit that sticks out, but the part that goes into the arm itself seems to still be quite soft, so I think at some point in the car's life, they've been changed. But as you can see, the new bushes are somewhat plumper (and softer).
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Before I fitted up the bushes, I thought I'd repaint the suspension arms. But because they had several layers of paint from various restorations over the years, I decided to get them blasted clean instead. So http://www.wheelrepairs.com.au/ were kind enough to give the parts a good soaking in their painstripper tank, then given a sandblast to clean up the surface.
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It leaves a nice, roughed-up surface which paints up really well...
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...and most importantly for those of us on the lazier end of the spectrum, gives a nice silky paint finish without any pesky sanding :) This is after a couple of coats of etch primer, and then about 6 coats of black.
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By the way, those little shields fit above the bush, and prevent oil from oil changes or leaks from soaking the bushes. This will make the rubber go soft and ensure their swift demise. So it's important that they are refitted. In refitting the suspension arm, it's important to set the arm at the same angle at which it will sit at the static ride height. This is because the rubber bush doesn't rotate on its locating pin as the suspension moves. What happens is that when you tighten that locating plate, it squashes the bushes tightly into the arm, and effectively locks everything in place. When the suspension arm moves up and down, what happens is that the rubber element itself twists. So if you tighten the locating plate while the arm is at full droop, when it's at its normal ride height, the rubber will be twisted, and will wear out more quickly.

So you can see, I've put an axle stand under the arm to hold it at the horizontal position while I do up the locating plate and front nut. And yes, now that the suspension arm is all nice and shiny, I've gone all precious about it and put a cloth on top of the axle stand :)
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When it's all tightened up, the bushes are squased up nicely...
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And the repainted parts are much better than the flaky finish from before (and yes I really should clean that greasy smudge...)
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But one other thing that I wanted to attend to while waiting for coats of paint to dry, was to sort out the splashguard. The Hako doesn't have a plastic guardliner like a modern car, instead it has a metal plate, which has a rubber flap attached to it.
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It goes here, at the back of the wheel well.
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The rubber that was on it, was more or less disintegrating anyway, and upon closer inspection, appears to be a cut up section of a floormat! I guess at some point in the car's past, it had a reasonably handy DIYer as an owner.
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Who ever it was, he riveted the section of floormat to the splashplate, so the rivets all have to be cut off...
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..which leaves your dremel cutoff wheel looking like this :D
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Then hit it with the wire wheel to remove the surface rust and old paint.
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Then hit it with some etch primer, then some epoxy satin black. As you can see from its er...charming patina, I didn't get a chance to get these pieces sandblasted too. And instead of cutting up a floormat, today you can get these nifty precut rubber flaps from any Hako restoration shop in Japan (these were from www.rubber-soul.net).
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The oem-style is for the flap to be stapled to the splashplate, but since the are these big holes in the plate now, I decided to follow the lead of the previous JDM DIYer and use rivets instead.
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Mock it up with some tape to make sure the flaps are in the right spot first!
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One of the nice things about Japanese parts is that everything just fits perfectly.
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And with that, we're done!
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I took it for a quick drive and the front end definitely feels tighter. I never felt like it was worn out feeling before, but from time to time you could feel some clunks from the front end, especially when reversing at full lock out of the garage. But now there's no more clunks and it's more solid feeling over bumps. In terms of handling, I'm finding that I'm subconciously winding on more lock than I have to in familiar corners, and then having to wind some off before the apex, so I definitely think it steers better now.

Tomorrow night...we start on rebushing the back end :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:52 pm 
JNC Enthusiast

Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:26 pm
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Nice work Kev.

It can be infectious (replacing bushes) as you think, "oh I'll just tidy up the control arms" and before you know it, everything is stripped and getting powdercoated and there is lithium grease and rubber bushes everywhere... :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Well I won't be doing that with the rear arms, since the bearings and axles will have to come out if I want to blast them clean. So they will just be a plain old replacement job :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:14 am 
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Worth going down the nolathane bush route?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:21 am 
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Yup the rears will be poly bushes from whiteline, the same black stuff as the diff bushes

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:10 am 
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One of the first things I did after the Hako was run-in, was attend a trackday at my favourite racetrack, Wakefield Park, which is 2hrs south of Sydney. This was in August 2009.

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It was really just a shakedown run for the Hako, and while we were all pleased with how she went, in truth I'd got a lot of things wrong. The spring rates were way too soft in the rear, and the front end was undertyred, so my laps were all a mess of squealy understeer. But one thing that did work very well was the freshly minted engine, which provided heaps of brute force out of each corner and down the straights. So while the brakes and handling weren't too pretty, we did come away with a half-decent 1'15.5 laptime. So as far as shakedown runs go, it went pretty well.

Since then of course there's been some pretty constant fiddling with the car, and I've always wanted to come back to Wakefield to see how much better she goes. In terms of mods since that first trackday in 2009, we've doubled the rear spring rate (and there are new GAB adjustable shocks back there too), the skinny Yokohama C-Drive front tyres have been swapped for stickier and wider Falken Azenis hoops, the brakes are shod with Endless NL97 pads and shoes all round, and there's about 30 more horses in the stable.
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So when the opportunity arose to attend another Wakefield trackday a few days ago, I jumped at the chance.
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Well I won't put you in too much suspense, but the new best laptime is 1'13.95, which was timed on my iPhone by the really rather cool Harry's Lap Timer app.
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It's a GPS-based lap timer which works out your laptimes using GPS waypoints around the circuit using google maps (or something like that...)
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I'm not sure how accurate any iPhone can be compared to say a Driftbox or something, but it does have some cool features. There are three ways you can configure the laptime display, but I chose this one, which shows your current laptime, and sector time, compared to a "reference" lap, which in my case was my best previous lap. And it flashes red or green depending on whether you are in front or ahead.
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The app also allows you to record a video and overlay some data onto the display too. Unfortunately the camera mount fell off during the 1'13.95 lap, so here's the second-best lap :)
http://youtu.be/_Lk3uTt1tG4

The day was quite well-attended, so there was a lot of traffic to contend with as you will see.
http://youtu.be/onBStj8JM6c?hd=1

But overall the Hako ran just great. The handling balance is pretty much where I want it, and the heavy understeer problems I had before are now gone. In fact, even in the fast sweepers, you can still push the tail out quite easily with the power, so the balance is great...like night and day compared to before. If you compare these vids to the previous 2009 trackday, I'm using far less steering lock to turn the car into the apex, and once at the apex, I'm actually unwinding lock now as the power feeds in....compared to before when the understeer got even stronger on corner exit. At the end of this run is my fastest lap of the day, and you can see what happens to the camera as I begin the lap! :)
http://youtu.be/fuyEg_-vsV8?hd=1

The brakes are better, but still fading badly during a 20min session. I guess in a supersprint context, where you only do 3 flying laps at a time, the heat buildup could be managed better, but after about 6 hard laps the pedal starts to get really long. One thing that did stay cool was the temps, and the ducting and upgraded rad seem to be doing their job, and the water temps didn't go over 85 degrees all day.
http://youtu.be/_f5aeB9WHUw?hd=1

But here's a cool feature of the Harry's Lap Timer. You can plot speed-vs-trackposition traces and compare laps against each other. Here's the traces for the traces for the 1'13.95 fastest lap, against the 1'15.10 hot lap above with the data readout on it.
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The 1'13.9 is the red line, and as you start from the left, we are hammering down the main straight and you can see that the braking point is the same. Then the line goes downhill as I brake, and the entry speed for the first turn is actually the same too. The exit speed is the same too, and the 2 laps are neck and neck as the Hako speed uphill towards the little esses at the top of the hill.

That's where the time is gained on the faster lap. You can probably tell from the hotlap footage (at 18secs) that I'm not really fully committed through the esses, but in the 1'13 lap I'm not lifting as much and holding much more speed through the esses and then through the 90 degree right hander (at 22secs) at the top of the hill. Going flat(ish) through the esses meant that the right hander was taken in a bit of a mess of understeer, but it's actually the fastest way, and you can see there's a lot of time gained there.

Then the line goes upwards towards the half-way mark again, and this represents the downhill right hand sweeper in the middle of the lap (at 32secs). If anything, the 1'13.9 lap is a bit slower here, and the 1'15.1 lap gets up to a faster speed on the sweeper exit just before braking. I'd put this down to the brakes being fresher at the beginning of the day when I put down that 1'15, when I did the faster lap, it was later in the day when the pedal was a bit long, so I probably backed off earlier.

At the half-way mark on the trace, the line plunges doward again and I hit the brakes heavily for the long slow double-apex left hand hairpin that we call the Bus Stop (at 41secs). As we accelerate out, the lines go upwards and it's line-ball, and that little downward dip is me backing off for the right hand sweeper (at 49secs), and on the red lap, I'm backing off later on entry and keeping my entry speed much higher, so this is the second spot where we gain a lot of time.

Then we go flat out and the traces plunge downward one more time as we brake for the hairpin coming onto the straight (at 1min), and it's line-ball between the 2 laps again. Interestingly, on the red lap the last peak before braking is a square shape...this is because the brakes were getting really long, and I had to give the pedal a couple of pumps before committing to braking, so that's why the speed is constant for a heartbeat or two (and that gives the trace that weird square shape).

It's interesting that a bit more aggression in just 2 corners of the track make such a big difference to the laptime. But I remember from events in my old MX5 that it was the same thing, and that run up the hill and blitzing those esses as fast as you could really made a huge difference, because you were maintaining speed going up the hill. Lift off more than you should and the gradient meant that heaps of speed would bleed off, and that would be reflected in the laptime.

As I said, I really don't know how accurate this is, but as a self-training tool, it's fantastic! Certainly the next time I'm at Wakefield I'll be tracing my laps against the data from the 1'13.9 lap, just to make sure I'm subconciously not being as aggressive and losing time without knowing why.

But I can't complain about how the Hako performed, and if I look back at the Aug 2009 trackday, a 1'13.9 would have put me right in the middle of a pack of Lancer Evolutions and Silvias running motorsport tyres, so Hako isn't going too bad for an old crate. You can probably hear that at a few spots on the track, there is a lot of inside wheelspin, so an LSD will improve things a little, and that should hopefully be sorted in the next couple of months. The other obvious area for improvement is the brakes, and I reckon some sort of 4 piston caliper upgrade up the front will be what the doctor ordered, so I'll start looking into it. You can also hear that the left rear tyre is touching the bodywork on corner exit sometimes, this is because I'd removed some of the packers under the bumpstop when I fitted the stiffer rear springs, I didn't think I needed them but I guess I still do.

But unfortunately, at the end of the day we also had this:
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...those water marks are leaking coolant, which means a blown head gasket. Funnily enough, it isn't using any coolant, and drove pretty normally on the way home. It was using a bit of oil though, especially on decel, where you could see some smoke (I presume that's from cylinder vacuum pulling oil into the combustion chambers). But I take heart from the fact that it wasn't overheating, so fingers crossed that the head is fine and not banana-shaped.

So at the moment, the Hako is all apart, and the head will come for the first time since 2009. But...sadly, in taking the car apart I did find something else quite interesting, but fixing it will mean that we won't be able to make the Datsun Nationals at Wakefield Park this weekend.

More of which anon, but I think Hako will be off the road for a little while until this issue is sorted.

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:13 pm 

Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Japan
Car looks great at the track. Sorry to hear about your blown head gasket. I drove my first car, (70s model golf) with a blown gasket for a long time before I got it fixed and managed not to overheat the car and the heads were fine. Hopefully you are just as lucky. Might be an excuse for you to upgrade with a stronger gasket.

Just curious, the calipers and rotors look a tad small. Are there any later model nissan brake kits that bolt straight up?


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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:35 am 
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I know Specialised Brake and Clutch or possibly Stewart Wilkins Race and Rally in penrith and Mcgraths hill respectively do brake upgrades for 1600's (510's) based on Z parts that also incorporate 180sx bits and pieces so they may be able to put something together for you.
I don't think they're too far from wherever in Sydney you are.

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:55 am 
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Sure there are brake upgrades available, and I think the easiest one would be a Toyota 4 piston caliper from a Hilux (yes really, and it bolts up to the stock strut with no mods) teamed up with a ventilated disc from a Mitsubishi Verada sedan (which can be redrilled to bolt up to the stock Datsun hub). Then I fit a bigger 7/8 master cylinder and do some sort of fiddling with the rear proportioning valve or something.

It's a common upgrade for 240Zs I think, so should work just fine for Hako, it's been on the to-do list for years.




...it's just that I'm far more excited about mods which make it go, rather than stop :lol:

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:55 am 
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kev wrote:
we won't be able to make the Datsun Nationals at Wakefield Park this weekend.

More of which anon, but I think Hako will be off the road for a little while until this issue is sorted.


Oh bugger Kev! Was looking forward to seeing it in the flesh........ :(

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:00 am 
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Go Baby Go wrote:
kev wrote:
we won't be able to make the Datsun Nationals at Wakefield Park this weekend.

More of which anon, but I think Hako will be off the road for a little while until this issue is sorted.


Oh bugger Kev! Was looking forward to seeing it in the flesh........ :(

Yeah I'm real disappointed I won't be running in the trackday, but the only way it'll get around the circuit at the moment is if I get out and push it :)

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:09 am 
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I got a better idea.... do what i did and borrow someone else's....... :wink:

The prince came to life, sounded sweet, but i noticed a leak ( a milky one) running down the side of the head and block at the front- on both sides. My water pump gasket must've shat itself (it's still a guess, but without pulling the front off it - again- dunno if it is worse), so was too late to fix it.

and the car I am competing in on the track days isn't mine either.... it feels very not taking the tool chest let me tell you.....

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:38 am 
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With the Hako out of action, I thought I'd cheer myself up by fitting some parts I had lying around.
Image

I'm amazed that you can still get this kind of stuff from Nissan as oem parts.
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This badge goes on the edge of the bootlid. In my case, in a previous restoration the badge was removed, and the holes filled up, so I'll have to redrill the bootlid to fit this. I think the car has more of a "race" look without the badge but I reckon the sheetmetal looks a little naked without it.
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The other badges go on the front fenders (the old one is at the bottom, it's not in bad shape, but some of the black paint is flaking off, and the chrome isn't as shiny as the new one)
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They seem to be made the same way as the originals...
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The red GT badges I got from the Tokyo Nostalgic Car Show in 2008 I think, I fitted them pretty much as soon as I got back home. At the time, the Skyline badges were available, but I thought mine were in good enough shape...but of course the nice new GT badges immediately made them look old once fitted...
Image

Ok, I'm feeling a little better now :)
Image

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:58 am 
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looking good kev! have you started tearing apart the L yet?

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Sure! This is the engine bay right now:
Image

The cylinder head should have arrived at Knight Engines yesterday...

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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:11 am 
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Location: Australia
Maybe a copper head gasket and O ring's are the way to go. I did this years ago to a car we used to own, worked well and never gave problems again.

Ive got some new badges for my Mazda, the metal pins look very similar to your Skyline ones. My old ones used to have a metal plug that slip over the badge pins which fit into the car panel holes. I've only ever seen really rusted plugs. I'd be interested to see how you secure the Skyline badges to see if Datsun also used metal plugs. I'd have more chance of buying a new set from Nissan than Mazda.


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 Post subject: Re: JNC Project Hakosuka Build Thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:19 am 

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Location: Dominica
That's mint, what's the upkeep like on it?

I keep telling myself i'll get a GC10 shell or 211, then I end up with something else.


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