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About jfbrink

  • Rank
    Hall Monitor
  • Birthday 07/25/1971

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Cars
    '66 PL411, '67 RL411, '67 PL411 Wagon, '68 PL520, '68 Toyota Corona RT52
  • Interests
    Automotive modification/restoration
  • Occupation
    Fabricator / Artist

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  1. jfbrink

    BMW Engine Swap

    Thanks, Pedro! I'm pretty obsessive. I try to do something new with each swap. For the truck, it was about converting an carburetted engine to megasquirt. For my 411 wagon, I'm building a custom A/C setup with a custom case for the components. If it weren't for the A/C aspect, I think the wagon swap would go much faster. Back on the 520, I just redid the cooling system with a bigger radiator. The Toyota Echo radiator worked fine, but was on the edge of under-capacity. I switched to an 80s VW radiator that works really well. You have to sit dead stopped for a while for the fan to kick in. Any forward motion holds the temp down just fine. Jesse.
  2. jfbrink

    Miata 1.8L --> 411 Wagon

    Today, I tried the fit again, this time with the transmission attached. Really so much smoother than I expected. It looks like I will be able to simply flip the stock 411 transmission cross member upside down, and it lines right up with the Miata mounting points. This photo shows where the Miata shifter would go right now: The position fits really well to the hand, but it's easy to move the shifter forward up to 5". Which is good, because I will probably need to move engine and trans 2" back from here to give clearance for the steering cross link. I've rolled the car out of the garage so that I can finish another project, so I won't be doing more on the engine layout for a few weeks. But, I will be working on the wire harness and fuel tank in the meantime. Jesse.
  3. jfbrink

    Miata 1.8L --> 411 Wagon

    Mike, The wiper motor was actually out because I ran out of good wiper post mounts across my three cars. I think I may be able to use the stock setup once I have the engine height finalized. If not, I'll figure something out. I don't consider an engine swap complete until I have working wipers and working heat. Best, Jesse.
  4. jfbrink

    Miata 1.8L --> 411 Wagon

    Well, my solution to my noisy rear end is to throw some more torque at it (no idea why the board is spinning the images): This is a 1.8L Mazda BP from a 1999-2000 Miata. I choose this narrow model year range because they moved the cam sensor from the rear to the front, which makes the engine much shorter, but they hadn't yet added the immobilizer key and the variable cam setup that a lot of people seem not to like. This is not going to be crazy like the Misinformation 411. I have the Blue Hands disc brake swap and bigger wheels and tires, but otherwise this will be a sleeper. Jesse.
  5. jfbrink

    Two Issues at the Back of my 411 Wagon

    I've done more checking on the whining noise from the rear: 1. Only happens on deceleration. 2. Goes away when clutch is pushed in. 3. Differential is filled to correct level. 4. Driver's side rear wheel is easily slid in and out about 1/4" when jacked up. 5. When twisting pinion back and forth to test lash, there is a crunchy/clunky feel halfway through the range of motion. Jesse.
  6. Hi, I have two unrelated issues with my '67 1.3L WPL411 wagon that I wanted to tap the braintrust on: (1) I get a terrible exhaust smell over 40mph. After taping all the seams around the back, I found that it's coming in under the bottom edge of the hatch. There is weatherstrip there, but I guess it's not sealing. Has anyone had this problem and/or replaced the weatherstrip with something currently available for sale? (2) Also above 40mph, but especially past 50mph, I'm getting a loud, high, even whine from the rear of the wagon. I can't quite tell if it's coming more from one side or the other. Is this more likely to be a wheel bearing or the center section? Thanks, Jesse.
  7. jfbrink

    BMW Engine Swap

    Well, I've been driving the truck around a bit, albeit with no exhaust system. Even with the noise from the open pipes, the driving experience is very smooth and pleasant... and, I'm sure there's room for improvement in my tune. Below are some random details from the build. This was my first serious, well-tuned, hood-on drive. I was almost out of gas, so the timing was good. These are the five mounts I made to hold the engine and transmission in. The lower engine mount brackets bolt the the sloping cross member mounts. The engine isolators (not shown) are stock from the 520. The transmission bracket (long piece at top) mounts to the front of the stock 520 transmission cross member and uses an industrial isolator with the same form factor, but a bit less height, compared to the stock BMW item. I used a radiator from a 2004 Toyota Echo because it is very, very thin. And, even so I had to trim more than 1/2" off the BMW water pump snout. These 520/411 engine bays are just too darn short. These are the upper brackets for holding the radiator. This is my wife's truck, and these are her initials. Radiator in place. The fan is a low-profile SPAL pusher, front-mounted. Again, dealing with the very shallow engine bay, I had to cast a custom rear cam cover because the BMW piece had all sorts of bulk from holding the distributor which hit the firewall. This was my first attempt at sand casting with core to create a void. It's ugly, but works perfectly. Hey, more clearance issues. I had to move the brake line junction, so I made a clutch master cover that was also a mounting bracket. Granted, I had plenty of space for the battery in the engine bay, I just hate seeing batteries, so under the bed it went. I use these relatively small "Miata" Group Size 51 batteries in all my Datsuns. When I remote mount a battery, I put a circuit breaker as close to it as possible. In this case, it's helpful for disconnecting without opening the box. I like to use an in-tank fuel pump for my EFI swaps. Specifically, I always use this '90s Honda style of pump, with some sort of hand-made sump/tray. The install is so easy: it just takes a 2-1/2" hole saw hole in the top of the tank and modification of the bracket to put the pump at the right height. I then drill five more holes around the big hole and solder in studs for the pump assembly. I'm using the stock 520 throttle cable with a wonky bracket made from stuff I had around. I dropped the steering center link to clear the oil pan. It seemed way easier than modifying the pan, especially given that the oil pump pickup was right where I needed clearance. I had to turn a custom center link bar on the lathe because I couldn't fine heim joints with the thread of the stock 520 bar. The heims take more turning effort than the stock ball joints. The bolt setup here is not ideal; I'm going to deal with that, now that I know that it all works. You can see the passenger side engine mount in the background, there. I welded three studs to the stock shift hole cover plate and the BMW 2002 gear selector bolted right up in the correct position. OK, that's all I have for now. Hope it's been interesting for you. I'm going to get an exhaust system installed in the next few days and then just drive it for a bit before I clean up the harness.
  8. jfbrink

    Is differential gasket necessary?

    Hi, I'm swapping a 3.889 into my 520, and I'm wondering if I need a gasket for correct spacing or if I can just use sealant. Jesse.
  9. jfbrink

    BMW Engine Swap

    A few months ago, I was offered a free engine and transmission from a BMW 2002. A little research showed me that it could be upgraded to modern EFI, and a bit of measuring suggested it might fit nicely in the 520's cramped engine bay. Well, earlier this week, I got it running well on a MegaSquirt EFI conversion, so today I drove the truck into the garage, pulled the old engine and did a test fit: Tomorrow, I'll fine-tune the fit, but it looks good so far. I believe that if I flip the steering center link I won't even need to modify the oil pan. If people are interested in the EFI conversion, I can post that stuff up here, but otherwise I'll just post about installing the engine in the truck. Jesse.
  10. jfbrink

    My latest engine swap

    I spent most of the Spring arranging a charity car show and finishing a large kinetic sculpture / bulletin board for a local school, so I haven't made major progress on the V6 project. The bulletin board I fabricated might be of interest to the Ratsun folks. See it in action, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z1BAY1I5Cc&list=PLMlrl But, I have made some incremental progress on the V6 swap. I've properly modeled the intake / injector tubes that will unite the Mazda K8 V6 block with the Alfa intake. The tubes are within a few percent of each other in length/volume. Drawn as one piece, I will be casting them as six pieces: three bases and three tubes. I had thought I would use lost PLA casting, but it is way too time consuming when each print takes 11 hours and the plaster mold takes days to cure. So, I'll be sand casting. The picture below shows the test fit of a partial print of the base that mounts to the K8 to make sure that all the holes and angles for the fuel rail / injectors line up. This was a complicated piece to measure and model, but I appear to have gotten it right the first time. What I realized while doing this is that the stock K8/KL intake runners are not well sized to the inlets on the block. Specifically, the inlets on the block are about 1.5mm smaller all the way around the perimeter, which I would think would create terrible turbulence as the air coming down the runner bangs into that lip. On the casting end, I bought and modified a small kiln to serve as my aluminum foundry. Craigslist is thick with decent $200 kilns, which seemed worth the price compared to building my own. It's so clean, quiet, safe and inexpensive to run. I augmented it with a temperature controller and a safety switch that kills current to the elements when the door is opened more than an inch (for when I'm banging around inside with my metal tongs). The interior is about 13" x 13" x 9". On 120V, it takes about 90 minutes to get up to temperature, after which I can melt a soda-can-sized crucible of aluminum every 15 minutes: I've been melting down all my scrap aluminum into relatively clean ingots: I've also purchased what I believe to be the correct combination of flex plate, starter and aluminum plate to join the RX-7 transmission to the V6 block. My MDF test adapter fits well enough. I won't be drilling the aluminum piece until I've really sorted out how the starter and ring gear align, with or without a spacer on the crank. That's it for now. I hope to get back into this a bit more frequently in the Fall. With me, progress is always slow, but steady. Best, Jesse.
  11. jfbrink

    1966 411 Tire Options

    I have 175/70R13 tires on my stock rims on my '66 sedan, and they fit perfectly with no modifications.
  12. jfbrink

    ignition conversion on 1.3l

    Hey, I recommend the matchbox distributor conversion linked in post #3. I have it on the J13 in my wagon, and it was quick and not very expensive. The distributor is currently about $116 on Amazon. I bought some inexpensive nylon 1/4-28 90* hose barbs off eBay to attach the rubber vacuum line from the disty to the carb vacuum port. Jesse.
  13. jfbrink

    My latest engine swap

    @Pedro - I've been creeping forward while primarily occupied by other things. The current plan is to take the Mazda K8 V6, mate it with a Mazda RX-7 transmission via a 3/8" plate and install it in my 411 wagon. I have two RX-7 transmissions: a 5-speed and an automatic. Both work for this swap because the starter comes in from the back, so I don't have to worry about clearance with the V-6 block. Other manual and automatic transmissions that I found that would work with this engine were way, way too bulky for our little cars. In stock form, the air inlet for the intake manifold would sit under the dash. I figured out that with slight modification the intake would work rotated 180*. But, then this little squiggly tube of the VRIS get all fouled up with things. Also, as much as I like the idea of VRIS, I think this thing is ugly as sin, I do not think that it works visually with the style of the car and I don't like how it hides the V6-ness: I was planning to weld up my own intake, but it seemed like such an amount of effort and time that I kept putting it off. At junkyards, I would look for other V6 intakes. Most I couldn't get around the looks. But, then I came across these Alfa Romeo intakes, which are tidy, compact and feel a little retro: I'm focusing on the second one at the moment, because designing / routing the runner tubes proved to be much easier. I'm moving forward with the idea of printing these tubes on a 3D printer with the water-soluble "support" type filament and using them as cores that I will wrap with fiber and resin. The big block in the drawing is massing clearance for the injectors and rails. I'm not yet sure how I will mate the tubes to the injectors and intake flanges: That's the news for now. Jesse.
  14. jfbrink

    1966 411 "Louise" Renovation Thread

    9. FABRICATING REPLACEMENT GLOVEBOX After years of having no glovebox in my sedan and having a half-finished metal replacement sitting in storage, about a year ago I decided to try fabricating a replacement glovebox out of the same cardboard that Nissan used. It turned out really well and has held up to daily use (yes, I actually use my glovebox a lot). This weekend I made a second one for my wagon, and took a few photos to share the process with you. I think it is more shallow than stock, but I've found I like the depth. First off, here is a template (not drawn to scale) showing the dimensions and cuts required. Dashed lines indicate folds. The material is essentially a variety of matte board that I bought from an art supply store. I neglected to note what they called it, but it is an all-black material that is just under 1/16" thick. You will need to score your folds with a bone folder or a similar object to get good results. I took this photograph when most of the cutting and marking for folds was complete. A mistake I made here is not making the sides mirror images, which only matters because the two faces of the material have slightly different textures. It is a non-issue, but I would have preferred to have uniformly matching faces. Here are the pieces with all the cuts and folds executed. The little pocket in the front of the glovebox is something that I added to provide clearance for a latching/locking mechanism. I have a rough design for such a latch, but not being sure what it will end up like, I've given it a lot of space to exist within. This added structure also dramatically stiffens the glovebox. The assembled glovebox. It is held together with simple Elmer's white glue. I glued the sides to the back, first, putting uniform pressure on the surfaces being attached with a stack of metal. Then, I glued the sides to the bottom. Finally, I glued the latch box to bottom and sides simultaneously, weighing the bottom tabs and clipping the side tabs. I located the holes by slipping the glovebox into place and tracing with a pencil. I then cut them into the heavy cardboard with a punch. Note when marking your holes that the glovebox fits snugly up against the underside of the dash. On the back, the three dash lid hinge screws hold the glovebox. On the sides, I used the original speed nuts. A flat black box inset in a black dash and shaded by a lid is a difficult thing to photograph, but this gives you the idea. I've never seen a 411 with the glovebox intact, so I imagine this project could be of interest to a lot of you. It provides a stock-looking, well-functioning replacement for about $3 and a couple hours work. Pretty good return on investment.
  15. jfbrink

    P/N and/or source for 4-speed reverse switch?

    @datzenmike: Although my transmission matches that description, that switch does not fit my '67 WPL411. I've bought several, and the threaded portion is a much larger diameter than the existing switch. I believe the correct switch may be a B5310-14600, but these appear to be non-existent. Jesse.

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