First order of business was to inspect the flooring over the differential that my father finished in the previous week. I was very stunned when I saw the car and figured out he finished the flooring, it really helped a lot as we could start work on the rear shock mounts. This particular piece of flooring had to be done before we could finish with the mounts.
Friday evening we started work with the grinder. We are joking these days that whenever I arrive home on a Friday evening early, the poor car gets cut to bits. Well we got to work and started cutting the old shock towers open, these have been opened enough to allow springs with a outside diameter of 100mm to fit, move and still have clearance around it. We had to cut these open as we have no other way tan mounting the shocks on top of the uprights, the old opening was just not good enough as our shocks will be on a different angle than the old ones that mounted on the rear of the differential. We also wanted to mount the shocks higher than original to accommodate a shock with a longer stroke to enable me to use longer springs which in return would mean I can have môre body roll and the springs would still push the wheel into the ground. Fitting a limited slip differential does not solve everything.
Saturday morning started with the preparation work on all the bits and pièces of metal that would be used to finish the job, these included a combination of lazer cutted parts and bended sheet metal. Due to the fact that the flooring over the rear suspension was done, we started with the addition of another two brackets for the differential frame, these two will add support in the middel part of the frame and eliminate even môre vibrations.
During the course of the morning I started having a look at different options available to design the roll cage. It didn’t take long before I realized I will need to remove the roof lining to get a beter picture of the main bars running from the front to the rear. The roof lining was removed easier than I originally anticipated it would be. Know I will be able to draw the cage on paper and let MSA have a look at it and approve it, if not, at least tell me what is wrong or needed.
The tray between the rear pillars that houses the speakers was removed to enable us to strengthen that part of the vehicle, we formed some bended sheet metal to fit the car, luckily we managed to use the rear seat belt bolt location also in these parts, this is always considered to be a very strong part on a car. We then welded a lateral support to the main unit which in turn gets bolted to the frame. These lateral supports would also be used as a possible mounting spot for the main bars of the roll cage. These pieces would vorm the basis of the shock mounts, main roll cage bars and would need to be very strong, hence we fixed it with 10 M8 HT bolts per side and the seat belt bolt.
The shock mounting plates for the uprights was drilled and tacked in place, you would notice that I added 3 different shock mounting positions on the bottom, this would enable me to quickly adjust the ride height between 13” slicks, 14” semi slicks and 14” gravel or road tires.
We used a piece of 42 x 3mm round tubing for the bar between the main shock mounts, this unit was bolted and not welded in place, this would enable us to remove it in the future for alterations or in the case of major work on the rear end. We then proceeded with building some downwards supports, which is fixed to the differential cage middle mounting location. In this configuration the rear end of the vehicle is much stronger and stiffer than original. A added bonus is that with this design there is no need for a rear strut brace, it is already incorporated.
Sunday morning I started work on the remote reservoir bottles that will be used for the 2 brake master cylinders and clutch unit. This is in fact part of only a handful of original Datsun parts that will still be used, the main reason why I will spend so much time behind the lathe to machine the necessary parts for it. We also decided that we will replace the original Ford Sapphire rear wheel. The units in questioned is from the Volkswagen Golf MKII/III front wheel bearings, the hub carriers and hubs will be machined to accommodate these bearings as press in units and the cir clips as a lock. We also had time in the afternoon to design the rear boot box which will house the fuel cell, pumps, filters and surge tank. We finished the weekend of by completing the bend and cut layout on the 1.6mm electro galvanized sheet metal. This will be our first order of business on the next visit.
More Pictures – 17 September 2010 – Shock Mountings
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