Tuesday, 10 September 2013

An update to say I've not forgotten about the project, I've been doing little bits and mostly pricing up the parts I'll need to get it road worthy again as well as trying to work out what parts I'll need. Currently the cost of parts is well over £7000, and considering what I've spent to get to this point I could have probably bought an early second hand R35 GTR for that sort of money.. still at least I've learnt a lot from doing this.

I've cut out the arches on the black shell partially, and slotted the inner arches ready for bending up once the rear arches are fixed in place. (I've got some photos that I'll update this post with asap)

I've also picked up a set of wheel dollys to move the shell around inside the garage so I can get down both sides of it without needing to roll the car out of the garage every time I need to work on the passenger side. Plus with winter coming it'll help me be able to do stuff on it while the weather is bad.

Think I've finally worked out what dashboard I need to use with the Megasquirt 3 via the CAN Bus, its the AIM MXL Strada Road Version however as its not the cheapest thing to invest in then I'll need to double check when buying the Megasquirt that it's definitely going to the work with the AIM MXL.

And in a final piece of news I'm starting my TIG welding course tonight, so by the end of January I should (hopefully) be competent enough to do any welding on the car that needs doing (or at least.. most of what I'll need.. but practice will make perfect)

Monday, 1 July 2013

A short update to explain my lack of recent progress on the car.

Much as I have wanted to get the car sorted out this year and back on the road so that I can finally drive it, I've suffered a recent personal tragic loss that has set me back. My father suffered a heart attack in May that unfortunately took his life, he was only 55. My father has someone that has always supported me in whatever project I'm working on, regardless of how absurd or extravagant it is.

He was a welder when he was about my age, and eventually went on to learn all about micro electronics. These are things that I was going to be relying on him heavily for with this build, while I know a little about both, his knowledge far eclipsed mine, so the progress of this build won't be as smooth as I'd originally planned. However, because he didn't raise me to be a quitter, this project will eventually get finished, and I know he'll be very proud of me when it is done.

I also have a set of doors coming for the car, and my heated windscreen is due delivery very soon, so at least I'll start to have something that resembles a car again soon.

Thank you everyone that's following this blog, and reading these updates for your understanding in what has been a very difficult time for me and my family.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Finally onto the fun stuff.. actual cutting of metal to make things fit!

My aim with this is to cut up the original (white) shell to find out just what I need to do in order to:

a) Get the fibreglass wide arches to fit properly and have a proper inner arch that'll keep mud & crap out of the car and out of the inner arch bit
b) Fit the 12 Gallon Fuel Cell that I'm going to order as low down and sturdily as possible.

So, firstly the arch, I started by working out where roughly the inner arch would come to if it were extended out another 4 inches or so from where it starts to curve down to meet the current bodywork. I then cut the original inner arch itself so there were slots in it to make it easier to bend up, the idea is to flare the original inner arch up as much as possible to give me something to work to. This is what I was left with afterwards:

So, as it goes not too bad, should be enough to work with. What I think I'll do on the new (black) shell is a similar thing (obviously neater now I know how things attach and where I need to cut to). Then create either a metal insert and weld it up to the original arch liner tabs that I've created, or I'll end up creating a liner out of the tonnes of fibreglass that I've got laying around. It should bond pretty well to the metal itself then to the fibreglass arch that I'm putting on. That'll make sure that mud etc keeps out of the way and the rear arch is pretty study plus we won't loose too much weight from the back end by cutting out excessive amounts of metal (as the car is inherently front end heavy.. so removing it from the rear isn't the best idea).

Now, onto the fuel cell mounting, the original idea was to cut out the massive lump in the middle of the floor pan that the original fuel tank sat up into, however after doing a little bit of investigative cutting.. I discovered something that I really should have noticed before.

Now those last 3 photos show the discovery, there's basically a large box section that runs from one side of the car to the other and up to the top of the mound. This isn't good news because I can't completely remove the lump, I could completely remove it if I wanted to as there's enough depth in it to box it off again after adding extra strength inside it and create a completely flush floor pan in the boot. However that's probably not a great idea as the originally Nissan engineers probably calculated the tensile strength of that beam to be a particular number.. and if I start messing with it then it'll cause all sorts of unknown things to go wrong. So against the original plan, the idea is now to cut up-to the beam from the front of the car. Then the fuel cell will sit on a flush piece of metal in front of the beam and everything will work out nicely. The fuel cell I'm looking at is one of the Pro Sport II's by Jaz, and their 12 Gallon one is roughly 54 litres which should be more than enough for a little hatchback. It measures 18 inches by 16.5 and is 10.5 inches deep. So I've laid out the tape measure to see just where that comes to:

That should be more than fine, it doesn't intrude too much onto where the driver/passenger are and is a completely self contained unit with metal boxing etc so should adequately perform to SVA regulations if it turns out I need to go down that route once the re-shelling is finally completed.

Well I got around to cutting a hole in the drivers floor pan of the white shell to see what I could take away to make space for a set of runners so that the pedals were adjustable (as I'm quite tall and James, who will no doubt want to drive the car at some point as he's helped me a lot with it, is considerably shorter than me). However, after an initial inspection, it appears that plan might be scuppered before it's even begun:

That right there is a small hole 4 inches or so in width by 3 (ish). And what you're looking at is the bolt hole in the centre of the photo under the bent metal. That's for the front lower suspension arm to bolt onto the shell with... so a pretty integral part of the whole front suspension set-up really. I was hoping that the angled piece in the foot well would just be a piece of metal there to give the standard pedals something to go-to. As you can tell, that's not the case. So I've placed the bride brix bucket seat in the black shell as far back as the roll cage will allow it to go, and placed the pedal box as far towards the bulkhead as I can physically get it, while my legs are bent using the pedals, it's comfortable enough I think for long track sessions / journeys. It's also close enough for James to be comfortable using it, generally a win-win. So I've bolted the pedal box into place and just had to do away with the idea of having it adjustable which I'm a bit gutted about because I was looking forward to working out the kinks with that idea.

And finally a quick shot of the old shell living in its new home at the side of the garage:

Well as typical I've been useless at keeping this updated even though I've been making slow progress (Hey.. at least it's progress right?).

As a professional geek, certain things interest me about this site, this may or may not interest you, if it doesn't skip down a paragraph and I'll carry on talking about the car progress! Turns out I'm higher ranked on Google for the keyword RNN14 (The chassis code start of the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R) than Wikipedia is, and I've been looking at other statistics / incoming keywords to see what people were searching for when they came here. I figure its probably a good idea to start coming up with some kind of knowledge base about the original cars and some more helpful links to point people in the right direction. If anyone thinks this is a good/bad idea feel free to comment on this post and let me know your thoughts of what you'd like to see more/less of!

Now back to the car's progress, I've got 2-3 posts to do as I'm a bit behind. This one relates to getting the dolly finally all put together so that the white shell can be moved away around the side of the garage and I can finally pull the new black shell out to work on it easier! So here's a couple of photos of the dolly now it's built up and on the shell.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Also another quick update to say I recently bought myself a Tamiya 1:10 RC chassis, and have bought this for it.. which I'm going to copy using a home made vacuum former and plaster of paris to take a buck of the original shell, into the wide arch one that I'm building on this blog. That way I'll have a 1:10 scale version of the car to mess around with when I can't get the real one out to play!

Long time no update, and equally no progress for a while. My boundary fence with the local supermarket came down (their fence) leaving my garage exposed to everyone parking in their car park so I've not been able to do much as the front end stuff involved having the garage doors open showing everyone what was there. However the fence has now been fixed and we're back in business. I've ordered & received a rally pedal-box with remote adjustable brake bias from front to rear, and also my white line front anti roll bars. The rear is adjustable, the front is just a much thicker version of what was there originally. I've managed to get the front end put together and the steering rack temporarily on (I'll need to take parts of it off to clean them up / get new track rod ends etc) but for the moment (and the first time since I've owned the shell) it's got 4 wheels on it! Also made a start on modifying the dolly's that came with the black shell so they can be put onto the white shell so it can be moved onto the grass and out of the way (fitting much bigger casters onto it) so I've ground the old ones off and will be fitting new ones when my welder arrives in the next few days. Anyway.. some photos:

Firstly the pedal box:

And now the front suspension fitted!

And now the dolly modifications: