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Milo (Nismo Fiesta)

New to forum. Here are some pics of my track 300zx project.

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Okay, here is the basics of the build. Bought the car with the intentions of stripping it down as far as I could go all the while staying street. The Z's plan was to become the lightest 300ZX that I could put together for weekend track usage.

 

Here is the original pics of the car bought out of Galveston, Texas.

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So after getting the Z back to San Antonio, I drove it around for a while before fully hatching my plan of total tear down. Then.....we started the fun.

 

All the interior went first. Then on to sound deadening removal.

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Tools of the trade. Dry ice, chisel and a hammer.

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Coming....

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Coming....

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Getting there.

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Finally done with that. Now onto gutting the engine out and a few other things.

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We get the NA motor out to prep the engine bay for deletion of all the following throughout the car - AC condensor, AC plumbing, all emission systems, power antenna, rear wiper, rear water tank, heater core and tubing, stereo and all speakers, non needed interior and begin to cut out all the brackets in the engine bay we will not need any longer.

 

For example, bye bye battery box tray.

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We opted to run thru panels for the battery terminals to both mount our lightweight battery inside and also to be able to move weight out from the front and more towards the rear over the wheels for better weight distribution which will lead to traction....hopefully.

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More to come.

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So from here I plan to simplify the engine bay, deleting as many brackets as I can and plugging holes for systems that are either simplified down/relocated/deleted entirely. All the while prepping for paint.

 

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Sorry for the bad pics, crappy camera.

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Finally it is stripped down and I am laying paint. Low Gloss Black from Hot Hues. Easy paint to work with and very forgiving.

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The area around the tray we cut out with the new terminals.

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Overall shots.

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Now that I had finished up with the engine bay deletes I wanted to get started on the structure foam before I shipped the car out for paint and body work.

 

I ordered the foam from Fomo (yes, they bought out ITW Foamseal for those that know something about this product) via Grainger. Grainger now stocks the foam and is a great choice to add to any Z32 for a little bit of extra rigidity at almost no weight additions to the vehicle.

 

Here are some of the prep and mid way shots.

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Here is another in the process shot. The foam has a good expansion rate of nearly 3 times it's spray rate so it rises up quickly. Not fun stuff to get in your hair, so protection is HIGHLY recommended. I'll put together a HOW-TO post on this later on.

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Finished product.

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Don't mind the pink lines, those are just the seam welding line layouts that I had in mind.

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And our quest for weight savings ventures on.

 

We got so crazy with saving weight we began to play with different parts from different year Z's to shave even more weight.

 

Here we took the cross bar (under dash) and weighed the two to see how much we actually saved by going to a NA 2+2 coupe bar.

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Here you the difference in pounds....not ounces!!! We did this with a lot of parts on the car, throughout the whole build.

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An odyssey battery will now be our work horse for the kick on duties from now on. It's lighweight and packs a punch. It also has a lightweight tray that also came with it. Picked this up from Summit Racing for a good price. Plan to lighten up that try by punching holes through it and dimply dying it. Crazy....maybe....but we gotta go there.

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Stock mirros are power and way too heavy. The plan was Craft Square but damn those mirrors are expensive. Ordered a set of Bomex mirrors, should be here soon. Lightweight and should shave us a few pounds over the stock mirrors and their heavy metallic bases.

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Here you see how heavy these truly are.

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We opted to kill the hood latch, hardware, cable, connections and even cut the bracket out under the dash to shave as much weight as possible. Aerocatch hood pins will be our hood unlock/lock system. We shaved nearly 10lbs collectively here.

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As we went through the entire car, I sent some of the brackets that I opted to keep off to powdercoat to pretty them up a bit. These were about all the only brackets that we will have left when everything is said and done other than a few others. These brackets tend to rust and I had a minute to send em off....came out good.

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At this point Charles Parks from Powertrix stepped in and offered up a Carbon Fiber Hatch that he'd been sitting on. Charles makes a lot of trick parts and is a track enthusiasts to boot so he knows what it takes to make speed. I received the hatch in a piano sized box and quickly opened up to find this amazing part.

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Fit was pretty damn good considering it's a race only part. Props again to Cparks for stepping up on helping me shed even more poundage.

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Now that we had all of our panels in, it was time to detrim and prep to send it off to body work. By prepping a lot of the car, I saved a lot of change myself.

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The body was good but in no way perfect. I wanted the body stream lined and free of all the dents and dings from years of abuse. If you look closely, you can see a lot of circled damage area. I also opted to delete both lines and things as I may try to fashion a custom side skirt/rear bumper air guide later to help stream line aerodynamics.

 

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From here I shipped the car off to paint to have it started on. Little did I know I would primarily be the one doing all the body work anyways. Anyhow, there it went.

 

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At this time ZCON in San Antonio was about 6 months away. Luis and myself, along with all the local San Antonio club guys were going out of our minds setting up ZCON and getting all the details loaded down as well as all the other BS that I don't even want to mention. Needless to say it was crazy. I turn the car in and it just sat at the paint shop till I got around to getting over there and putting in some of the wrench time to it.

 

I get around to making it out to the shop just after ZCON finished up.

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After much labor and many many hours prepping, blocking, re-blocking and long blocking the body we get an extremely straight body. It came out cleaner than I thought it would.

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From here, it was time for the last of the body panels to be fit and prepped onto the body.

 

Charles Parks at Powertrix again came through for me and hooked me up with a stock Kuruma fiberglass wing to aid in some down force. I installed it onto the CF hatch he supplied me earlier in the year. Took some massage but all in all a good fit.

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From this point we got a lot of our body panels straight and the car for the most part was layed out how I wanted it now it was time to start the last of the tear down to get ready for ..... THE ROLLCAGE.

 

From here I pulled off the doors to pull the glass assemblies. Everything from glass, scissor lift, motors wiring was all taken out to both shave weight and get the doors prepped for the NASCAR bars that were going to part of the custom cage we were going to have installed soon.

 

This for the record....sucked. I had black tar all over me by the end of the day. The wiring was complicated and stupid. I had never taken a door apart and it seemed to go on for hours.

 

Here is when we started. Just removed the trim and hadn't even started really.

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Getting there.

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Getting there.

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Getting there.

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Yahtzee!!!! Finally get the door back in with everything removed. But we will go deeper into this and take it a step further later. But good enough to get out to rollcage for now.

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From here I called for the help of my fellow Z brother, Aidenverse (Isaac) who was nice enough to come over and help me on one lazy sunday afternoon.

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A shot I like from that day. My new slicktop on the left, Aidenverse on the right.

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Okay, back to the story.

 

So we start to break out a windshield. We prep by pulling out what little interior is loosely installed in the Z still.

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Working the trim with a heat gun.

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Clean up after removal. Safety first kids.

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We get treated with a suprise. New racing seat shows up. I quickly put it to good use.

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The Kirkey Road Race seat weighs in at around 15lbs and is sturdy and comfortable. Not to mention lightweight. An amazing buy for the money. Picked it up from Jegs at a steal.

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Us mocking it up....sort of.

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From here Andris Laivins Race Cars (the same gentleman who built all the cages for the SPL race cars) was nice enough to come down and pickup my Z to take back to Austin for the rollcage work to be done. We opted for NASCAR bars, a high hoop, gussets on the A pillars (for cool points) and to have the cage tied in to as many spots in the car as possible to help aid in body rigidity. Let's see what we get........[

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Okay from here my time for the car suffers a lot.

 

In a 3 month period my mother passes away and I get a whole lot of things change in my life from moving into a new home, handling insurance settlements for my mother's estate, I had a real estate deal change on me when I was trying to buy a house, making sure I had enough money to cover the expensive rollcage and then trying to scrape some cash together for getting started on the 300HP motor with Mitch over at EPR Racing. Mitch was cool with putting off the motor since he was moving into a new location to further his business.

 

Eventually, Andris Laivins gets the cage all settled up and done to perfection. And this is what I get.

 

Kirkey seat mounted and note the A pillar gussets. I don't know how a simple piece of scrape metal welded in between the rollcage and body could be soo cool looking.

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Note the span out of the NASCAR bars in the back. Very well done. BTW, that's my pops in the background.

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Another shot of the NASCAR bars.

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Note the gutted doors now. This was the reasoning to why we gutted the doors originally. Lexan will replace this door glass in the future. The handle will be on a smooth little cable system in the future (got the idea from Steve Millen's GTR, after riding in it with him at ZCON09). Simple and sexy...you'll see.

 

We kept the stock side beam as this car will be "DRIVEN" to track events and I figure I could care less about 20lbs added to car if I can walk away from a crash. So, tough....keeping them. Sorry.

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Note the way the bar hugs the hinge pillar of the door opening. Very good attention to detail. The mark of a good cage maker.

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Another far away shot.

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Before the rollcage I estimated that we cut nearly 900lbs out of the Z before glass removal. After the cage, which I figure added close to 130lbs easy (rough guess), we are still looking good. I am currently in the process of prepping the interior for paint and all the while cutting out the last of the brackets that won't be needed.

 

Lexan will replace our quarter glass windows as well as the drivers doors to save a few pounds. I will also try to institute a clear NACA duct to the drivers quarter to draw fresh oxygen into the cockpit for the driver in case of either fire or smoke filling the cabin. (old pic, but just for reference.)

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From here I have just been up to prepping the doors and hatch for the interior paint which will be a simple Rustoleum Dark Gray that I can just touch up later if it gets scratched (which happens).

 

The rollcage is a raw metal right now so I had to opt to order a special Zinc Chromate Aviation Bond Primer that had to be shipped so I am waiting on that. But that didn't stop me from knocking out the doors.

 

This particular version of Rustoleum is great. I normally never use a spray can for painting, as I always mix my own paint but this stuff (when prepped right) goes on so damn well. I highly recommend it for these uses.

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I shot the interior of the door first. Came out amazing. Note the finish. Impressive for a single shot paint.

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From here, I finished off the rest of the door.

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This color will basically be the interior of the Z other than a few minor pieces of interior (dash, center console and half cut door panels). Other than that, there will be no other interior. The outside of the car is still a toss up between a few colors. Haven't committed to anything yet but these are my choices. A is the way I am leaning.

 

A) Professional Flat Black (a real job, thinking Hot Hues or House of Kolor, not rattle can)

 

B) The new Laguna Seca looking blue that's on the new 370Z

 

C) Military Green

 

D) The original CRP (cherry red pearl color the car was)

 

Anyways, that's all for now. More updates to come.

 

The 300HP engine will continue in this thread and start soon.

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Spent the day cutting out the last of the brackets in the car that I no longer needed in an attempt to shave more weight and clean up the interior. I ended up cutting out all the non essential brackets in the rear and cleaning up a lot of that area. Also, I began swiss cheesing/dimple dying the rear sections to save a little weight as well there.

 

Here's the starting point.

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I started labeling all the connections on the main body harness and began to remove it as well. I plan to simplify this harness as well to shave some weight here as well.

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The entire body harness removed and layed out how it goes in the vehicle for reference. I suggest labeling all the connections as you remove it from the car so you keep your sanity later when installing.

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From here I began to cut out all the brackets, studs, welded in clips and clasps as well as anything else that we wouldn't need in the future.

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This may not seem like a lot of brackets and stuff but it is. This small amount of metal etc, weighed in at 2lbs and 6 ounces. We had 3 of these piles. Total we cut out another 8lbs and 2 ounces for the day. This is even over all the deletes we did over 6 months ago. This goes to show that you can always still find ways to shave a little more here and there. But I think this was about the furthest we could without cutting section of sheet metal out completely, which has crossed my mind. Rear trunk....I'm looking at you.

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From here we began to swiss cheese a couple of panels while also being followed by a dimple die to give strength to the hole we just made in a perfectly good piece of metal. This process is very popular in cup car series race cars that are looking to shave any and every ounce possible.

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After that, I spent the rest of the day prepping the Powertrix Carbon Fiber hatch for paint on the underside to match out interior paint that is soon to come.

 

Before paint and prep.

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After scuffing, prep and final prep and paint.

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I was also cleaning out the extra parts bin and remembered that I had all my glass and assemblies from the doors. I wanted everyone to see what taken out of the doors. Keep in mind this does not even include the door catch system, wiring and gunk in those doors. Like i said in recent posts the doors were by far the worst part of this entire build for me.

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Lastly, recieved a package from Japan today that I've been expecting.

 

The stock mirrors come in at 7lbs and some changes as a full assembly (see previous posts) so I wanted to find a substitute that both lightweight, functional and cool looking. I had been looking for these Bomex mirrors for an infinity and finally found a set. Had them shipped from Japan as I finally found a set.

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While being aero dynamic and function they are above all else. SSSSuper light weight. Both mirrors came in at 5.5 ounces which is ridiculously light weight, even lighter than the CF mirrors that I thought about picking up. I was very happy to pick them up and happy to shave nearly 7lbs by dropping the stock ones over these.

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Next update will be all the interior prep for the rollcage, some sand blasting work we need to do to clean up all the hinges/assemblies to get ready for paint and lastly the rollcage and interior painted.

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Spent today cutting what last bit of weight I could out of the chassis while prepping for paint. This took a lot of time today but gave me an opportunity to really simplify the interior as I pushed on with prep. Since I am stuck waiting for my aviation primer to come in, I decided to take the whole day and dedicate it to being innovative to cut the last of the last pieces out of the car.

 

 

Examples like this bracket. It mounts up an interior body panel to the car. We will obviously never run interior in this Z again so we trimmed it. Believe it or not, I managed to cut another 4lbs out of the car just using this thought process throughout the car today.

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This is a bracket in the center of the car behind the armrest up high. Normally there would be a bracket here that would allow us to run a harness through it to the fuel pump and then onto the ABS system (located behind the passenger seat). Eventually I plan to simplify the ABS with a brake bias system after talking to Kuah at SPL and figure out how he did it for the SPL track car. For now we will simplify and ziptie it to the rollcage or fab a bracket to get us through paint/cure and the car up and running.

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Previously I mentioned that I cut out all the brackets in the rear. This is a better pic to demonstrate how it should look in the end. This is the final look before paint. Notice I started to paint the panel interiors, as it makes it easier to pass over the simplest face panels first on passes with the paint.

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Some how during the prep, I took a good cut to the hand. Just a reminder out there to wear protection at all times.

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Here is a shot of the cavity with some paint on it. The entire interior will be this color. This dark grey made sense as it's easy to refinish later. White gets way to dirty quickly. Black would have us baking in the summer days. And the regular gray was just to simple. This color looks great when done right.

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I finally wanted to clean up that whole area under and around the ABS to prep and paint it today as it's the biggest pain in the ass to paint around later. I didn't want to mask around it later and it look like crap so I simply lifted it and painted it now. Later we will mask inside the body lines to cover our old paint and new blend lines (an old body shop trick).

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With the unit raised as a whole I finally had some time to get the last bit of sound deadener out of there and clean up that whole area really well. I noticed a lot of track Z32 that still kept the ABS system never get in there fully. I wanted to take the time to get this done right.

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Working a little more at that sound deadener. After I got the sound deadener out with a chisel and a heat gun. I still needed to clean it up. Some paint thinner and a red rag work amazingly great to clean up the tar residue. Saturate the goo leftover and run over it, slowly it goes away.

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Final prep and paint done. Same area.

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Here it is done. We will give it a 48hour cure time before we get near it for anything but looks good. I am really happy with the way it came out.

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From here, I wanted to really take some time and simplify as much as I could under the dash. Even though it will all be covered by stock dash (which we will need to alter to fit of course), I wanted to take the time to cut out all the useless brackets that I missed here as well.

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I know it doesn't seem like we cut anything out but we did. Cut studs and smoothed them out, cut brackets under the dash that were no longer going to support anything and found a small amount of deadener mat hiding in the corner. For the record, an 80grit flap wheel does wonders on working down studs. I also took the time to clean up the floors with thinner to get the last of that sound deadening leftover goo off. The floors look amazing. Too bad they will probably be the first victim of an eventual need for a respray once we put some usage on this car.

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After some cutting, elbow grease and love.

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This is everything that we took out of the car today. Basically, it's the last of anything we are going to cut out of the vehicle. This was the last of the weight that I could see cutting out of the vehicle from here on. I wanted to keep going but I think I am just going too overboard at this point. I'll see if I can find a few more opportunities to shave a few more pounds here and there for you guys. But we are getting scarce at this point.

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Hopefully tomorrow, I will have the interior fully DA'd, sanded and scuffed. Some of the local Z guys will hopefully come through tomorrow to lend a hand as my shoulder if on fire at this point. More pics to come though.

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Since my shoulders are pretty much blown out now I did what I could to prep all the little holes around the interior to lay some paint in them.

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From here I didn't want to throw the towel on a full weekend without doing a bit more, so I turned my attention to mod-ing the dash and door panels. The dash and door panels will be modified to fit and eventually covered in alcantara (a form of nova-suede) along with the arm rest. These will be the only panels left in the entire car when it all said and done.

 

My first attempt at installing the dash prior to hacking it up. Not gonna work.

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The stock dash before cutting it up.

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I start by trimming off the panels that no longer will mount up to the body or stock under dash bar.

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After about 6 more test fits and alterations we finally got it to fit like a charm. I still utilizes 7 connecting bolts out of the original 11. Not bad. Fits like a glove. Also this really doesn't count as a weight reduction because everything we cut off the dash only came in at a mere 2 ounces. :)

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From this point I took the time to trim up the original stock door panels to basically just have glorified arm rests. Due to Texas sun the interior of a car on the track can get over 120 degrees. I can't see myself resting my precious arms on a hot bar or even a hot black pad so we opted to keep these. At a collective .5 of a pound with hardware, I think I can spare it.

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I am pretty much done for this weekend. I have no feeling in my arms any more and I am running on now sleep but for the most part she is almost nearly ready for paint. Next time should be primer on the rollcage and maybe paint. Till next update.

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Spent the whole weekend in Myrtle Beach/Pawley's Island in South Carolina with the family so I didn't have a lot of time on the car the last two weekends but had a little time to get on it.

 

Spent the day prepping the bars for primer. This involved sanding down all the rust converter sprayed on the bars some time back. Isaac (Aidenverse) was nice enough to come over yet again to help me with this part of the project. We hit it all with 150 grit.

 

Me prepping the bars and area under the roof for the bar primer.

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And yes, I wear a respirator for all of this. Safety first.

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The bars sanded all down and pretty. Isaac is in the car sanding down more of the roof.

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As for the primer we used. It's called Zinc Chromate and it's the BEST adhering primer for raw metal. The only note I want to stress is the safety needed here. We used a full, no joke, respirator for this operation. The primer lays on as an ugly green which makes no difference as we will lay our Rustoleum paint over it later once we do one last scuff pad session on the interior before final paint.

 

Here are a few pics of the Zinc Chromate Primer layed down.

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The primer on the A pillar gussets.

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Yes, I know there is spots missing on the bars on the underside. This makes no difference as we really just need it on the top to give the paint something to grab and prevent runs when laying down the paint later on.

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Ordered the last of the supplies this weekend. Hopefully should have it all painted by this weekend or next weekend. More updates to come. Just picked up the a Halo Reach Xbox so hopefully it won't cut into my project time too much.

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So had a free Saturday again finally. Called over Isaac (Aidenverse) yet again, but this time Mike Delashmutt (aka, motormutt) to help with the last bit of prep before we finally shot it today.

 

 

This required a lot of prep. Basically it went.....scuff...air blast the chassis.....vacuum.....scuff....air blast the chassis....vacuum some more...scuff yet again....air blast....vacuum.... now hit it the entire interior with a surface prep.....wipe off the surface prep.....one last vacuum.... and begin masking everything off for paint...then finally paint.

 

 

We start the day off with a scuffing since we already hit all the interior with all the sanding compound grits that we wanted. I want to say we finished off everything in a 320 grit before the red scuff pad were applied. I also spend an entire night grinding down all the sharp/rough edges that could catch someone's pretty little flesh when running over any part of the interior. Anywho, here we go.

 

 

Mike D scuffing it all down.

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We start getting into more of the long other prep involved here.

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I plan on cutting out the rear floor to basically make a box section in the floor for a fuel swirl pot, maybe a fuel chiller and few other items so I'll cut out the floor at a later date. But, being a perfectionist I still had to option out to prep it all even though I am just going to come in here later and either plasma cut or disc cut out a lot of this spare tire area.

 

 

Originally it was all covered in undercoating, which proved to be shoulder destroying to clean with sandpaper. So, we used out brains and used wax/grease remover with a few used red scuff pads and the stuff just fell off. After a few revolutions with this process, we came out with this. Reference the old pics to see how truly nasty it was on here.

 

 

About halfway through cleaning.

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Finished.

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We start wiping down the rest of the car to prep for final paint.

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And now finally.....we lay the paint. We went through 9 cans total taking out time and doing it all right. I recommend hitting all the tough corners that are going to be hard to get later, first. This allows you time for those spots to dry and get ready for full paint lay on later. I like to start high up first on an interior and work my way out. This way I can lay inside the car shooting upwards and then get out to not paint myself into a corner (aka, stopping point). If you are doing a project like this, take the time to plan out the route you will use for paint. By just attacking it and not playing with the paint on other items first, you will not get the chance to see how thick/thin the paint can be. With this particular paint, I recommend a distance of a 12-18 inches while moving slow and steady when allowed. After everything....this is what we got.

 

 

Outside to cure.

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So, there you go. Interior is now complete. Now to give it a few more days to self cure and I'll install some interior back into it. From here, I'll need to do a few more things like install front windshield glass and reinstall the door/hatch as well before sending it off to get the outside paint layed onto it. Still up in the air on a color. I'll have to think of something soon though.

 

 

For now, I am beat and going to bed. Night.

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Holy crap... Talk about going after it. This is great

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Spent most of weekend up in Austin visiting some friends but had a little time Sunday to put some time into the Z. Mostly today was details, lite assembly and test fits before moving to other stages of finishing up the interior.

 

Got around to painting all the hinges and plates that I previously sand blasted.

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All these things need to go in today or at least get a test fit as well as both doors and the Powertrix CF hatch.

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Here is the interior as I began the assembly.

assembly_3.jpg

 

It doesn't look like much happened but most of the prep and PITA was getting the harness to run smoothly where I needed it to go. Later on, when funds are available, I'll try to have the body harness simplified for just running the essentials with a Painless wiring harness.

assembly_4.jpg

 

Moving on to fitting the dash and few other things.

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Reassembly of the door's seals, hinges, catch and brackets.

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Test fitting the door trim panels after chopping them up. Later the dash, door trim pieces and center consoles will just get a wrap in the same material. Thinking Alcantara to keep it simple and clean.

assembly_7.jpg

 

A mocked up idea of the interior trim panels that I will use in the dash and center consoles.

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Lastly threw on the Powertrix CF hatch to finish off the day.

assembly_10.jpg

 

Lots more detail work to do and still needed some items to come in to finish up a lot of it.

 

Rollbar padding, Roll bar mating, the other Kirkey racing seat and accessories as well as a bunch of other small details. Still need to order some lexan so I can cut both the quarter glass and driver glass.

 

*sigh*

 

I'll keep you guys updated. Thanks for looking.[

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Had a bit of time between all the chaos of the Xmas holidays to put some time into the project.

 

Needed to cut and bevel in a section for the back window support braces. Used a dremel and a variation of bits to get there.

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I needed to form the alumimum to the original contours of the glass. So I used the orig glass as a template and began forming. I initially heated the aluminum bar to spread out the molecules which makes for a smoother easier bend, a good trick, especially when working with aluminum.

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After a little bit of work. Came out pretty flush. I still will punch holes in the aluminum bar to shave off a few ounces before final install of course.

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I picked up a so-so condition stock aluminum hood to start the mock-up process for the hood vent.

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After a lot of measurment and eyeballing, cut the hole out.

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I remember Kuah stating how much of a pain this way, and now I know why. The flat vent does not fit well with the slope of the hood. Positioning is dead on. But I will have to head gun and cut stress sections into the fiberglass vent before reinforcing it. It's not bad but the goal is flush.

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And I got started on painting the jams on the track car with the new color... Dupont Hothues Hot Rod Black. I ended up wanting to do the jams myself as shops never ever do it the way I want. So.....I did it myself.

 

Here is a quick time lapse.

Dis-assembly.

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Sanding, scoth padding and surface prep.

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Masking off.

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Jams shot.

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Removed masking.

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Here are a few random shots of how I masked the car off.

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And some shots of the color on the car. Again, it's a professional flat black from Dupont. A pint with a kit will get you around $175-$200. I still plan to shoot the whole car which will probably be another $700 in materials most likely. The color itself is a true flat black and looks good, rattle can doesn't even touch it.

 

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And with the jams painted up, I started install on a few things. Had a new front windshield installed into the Z to keep it street legal.

lowfatzupdate_dec_015.jpg

 

New glass installed.

lowfatzupdate_dec_016.jpg

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A "sort of" update. Got a few things back from the powdercoaters. I was going for a matching gold color that is currently on my Gram Lights. I love the color and spent about a week finding the color for a near exact match.

 

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I'll have these SPL Solid bushings pushed into them soon.

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Had all the undercarriage bracing redone in red as well (ie, Dave G's undercarriage brace and UAS front brace). Below are some pics of the diff cover that I have had for a while now. Going to have whole thing coated in a heat extractor coating to pull as much heat of off the diff as I can.

 

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The original stock unit.

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Just got my new studs in. Will install these soon as well.

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Cut a few more things off the car as well. Brake shields

newestupdate_2.jpg

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Here is the newest update I got. Haven't been up to much as I am getting Nismo Fiesta 2011 out of the way and dealing with a mold issue in my house. But anyways, enough about my problems. Here is an small update on what's going on with the project. Mostly I've just gotten a lot of oddball parts in.

 

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Got some packages in from Simtec Motorsports. Wonder what it could be.

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The new Simtec Motorsports IMSA front diffuser. This diffuser is pretty amazing. It uses half of the stock bumper and is a pretty darn good fit after a bit of trimming. This will offer good amounts of downforce and dramatically increase airflow to where I want. Craig over at Simtec spent a lot time working with me on this as we have made some customizations to the standard unit they offer for sale. Turnaround was very good considering it's all done by hand. Simtec was gracious enough to become one of my few sponsors that we are putting together to make the project come alive.

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The underbelly is seemless.

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Note the sheetmetal edges are seamless to slice through the air. Great craftsmanship.

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Now to mount up the stock bumper. Here we've cut off the lip of a stock bumper to begin to mount up the stock USDM to the Simtec lower diffuser. And yes, I will paint the cover obviously. This is just a test fit.

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Bye bye.

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Mounted.

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The backside.

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These bad little MOFO's are called Airtabs. These are little vortex creators that work amazingly. We are going to be adding them to LOWFATZ's roof line to break up the topside air turbulence. I am playing with where they will be as putting them too forward can have downsides for a rear mounted wing. These will mostly likely end up on the high part of the glass in the end.

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An image of these same tabs used on SCC's Subaru WRX some years back.

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This is a quick release for the steering wheel from 9K Racing. It's basically a copy of a Lifeline version. I picked it up off a GB from Zilvia.net. Not bad but it looks to be a Lifeline or ETB ripoff. But still, a good item either way. Very light weight as well.

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Picked this up from a TT.net member. It's a true Bomex nose that will be thrown on LOWFATZ later on. Very nice item. Well built. I have to give props to Bomex for making a solid piece. A lot better than those flimsy crappy ebay knockoffs that i've had before.

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This is a Broadway mirror. These have been around forever. For a while they were kind of expensive but have take a dive in price recently. These are amazing mirrors for the price and highly recommend them. I have one of these on every car I own. For $20 on eBay, it can't be beat. I picked mine up at a Autobacs years ago and forgot I had them. Love them and recommend them. This one will end up riding in the cockpit with me in LOWFATZ.

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And lastly, the best purchase I made all month. Bought this as it was recommended from a TT.net member...and....I love this freaking movie. Probably my favorite car film other than Dust to Glory or Gone in 60 Seconds. This actually made me want to start working on my project again. Thanks Eric Bana.

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That's it for now. More to soon come on the engine pics.

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Sorry for the lax demeanor in the build but unfortunately the personal life took over for a bit but now I have a lot more time and funds to throw towards the build. Actually we are moving very close to being complete.

 

Our main concern as of late is finalizing panel fitment, paint and starting to dive into the engine. The paint and panel fitment is being handled by yours truly. But for the engine duties we are relying on one of the best engine builders in the business in my opinion. There are very few things that Mitch @ EP Racing does not know about a VG. He has already began paving the way for the VG30DE, VG30DETT, as well VQ series motors into a place of unimaginable and previously unattempted HP ranges. Many of the top minds around the country trust in Mitch's engine building abilities. So we jumped on the bandwagon and headed up to meet Mitch at his secret shop location to go over the details for the powerplant behind Project LOWFATZ.

 

Vice President, Mike Delashmutt accompanied me on the run up to EP Racing just south of Fort Worth, Texas. Mike had a build of his own going on, so we drug up his motor as well as few other bits for LOWFATZ.

 

We arrived at the shop to find Mitch in his usual form...

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Mike and myself quickly went to town to begin breaking down Mike's VG for Mitch to inspect. Here I am tearing into Mike's motor.

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Mike looking on and imagining his block to become on of the many completed engine that are the artwork surrounding the shop.

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Some of said artwork.

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Anyone need a crank shaft?

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These are little different though. :)

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A work of art.

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Complete motors ready for customers.

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A set of race heads being ported for a Z31.

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A little shout out.

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A full Ferrea setup complete with titanium retainers ready for install.

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The man himself going to town on a fresh assembly.

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Assembled and ready for the head assembly in the "Clean Room".

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Entire head assembled in 10 minutes. Amazing.

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Me and mike shut our mouths for a few moments to go back to work on dis-assembly of Mike's engine.

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Watching Mitch work is like watching an artist paint, it's that level of concentration and assertion. My hat goes off to him as a true engine builder.

 

Here is doing one of many assemblies he did that day. Note that this is the closest Mitch would let us get in the "clean room" (aka, assembly room), which is like a surgeons table might I add.

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As well as doing assemblies, EP Racing supplies their own custom line of heat treatments typical to that of Swain Coating. The only difference is, EP Racing does them at a substantially cheaper cost. Something we liked for Project LOWFATZ.

 

Some examples of coatings that were going into customers other builds at this time.

 

Coating for the piston skirts as well as the dome.

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A set of rods done up.

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http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad342/saplating/LOWFATZ%20300ZX%20Pics/DSC_0991.jpg

 

http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad342/saplating/LOWFATZ%20300ZX%20Pics/DSC_0992.jpg

 

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Okay, okay....enough about EP Racing....what about LOWFATZ? Where is the update....well. We got around to dropping off our block sometime back and had an opportunity to check up on it. This is our block.

 

Mitch took the opportunity to clean it up and prep it for us.This block will the basis for our build.

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Another shot of the block cleaned up.

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Also, we added a suprise to the build with addition of a EP Racing first. Mitch worked with Moroso to engineer the first 9 quart capacity oil pan. Which will also find it's way into our build. We will be adding on an external oil cooler which we estimate will kick us up over 10 quarts as a whole.

 

Here are a few pics of that beast. The execution of the piece is awesome. Great job my Moroso as they truly earn their name on this one.

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While Mitch worked I tinkered a bit more with Greddy High Quart Diff Cover for LOWFATZ.

 

Dis-assembling the cover.

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Deburring it inside and out.

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Ran it through a few runs of the blasting cabinet.

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Finished and ready for a EP Racing Specialty Heat Extractor Coating.

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First round of coating the inside and then off to have it set by a nice bake with a specialty oven.

http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad342/saplating/LOWFATZ%20300ZX%20Pics/DSC_0980.jpg

 

For right now, that is the first of many updates soon to come. Me and Mike would like to thank Mitch for allowing to come up and learn more about his process. We now have every confidence in him for his abilities to make our goal with our project. For now, we will leave the man to run his business.

 

Thanks again, Mitch. Now get back to work.

http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad342/saplating/LOWFATZ%20300ZX%20Pics/DSC_0885.jpg

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So, I got around to getting a little more done on the project.

 

Finally had an opportunity to get the new subframe complete with the SPL subframe spacers installed. This was a huge fuss. My recommendations for anyone doing this is take the time to grind out the powdercoat inside the hole or have them pressed in with a huge press. It will make your life a little easier. But otherwise this came out great.

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While I was at it, I had another subframe recently finished for the daily. Came out good.

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We opted for longer 60mm Nismo studs a while back and got around to installing them along with whatever else we could loose to further cut weight.

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Note the difference in lengths. Huge difference.

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I also went through the process of removing the rear rotor dust shields as well. I did not just choose to cut these off, but instead went for the opportunity to fully remove them to get every little ounce I could of weight savings.

 

The original shield in place.

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The now assembly with the removed dust shields.

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Took the opportunity to also get a little more clearance for the new rims we plan on stuffing under the quarters, with a fender roll. By fender rolling, we can allow ourselves to get more clearance as well as remove the possibility of sheet metal rubbing our precious new rubber.

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Since are getting ever so close to paint, we thought we would finalize the instillation of the glass. After everything, we opted to go with the stock quarter glass windows and rear back glass to not allow the possibility of water leaks. The weight was negligable on the quarters but sadly added a few pounds back to the car. But, it was over the rear where we were going to need a little anyways. Hopefully this balances out as we still begin to plan out corner balancing out the vehicle. Anyways, since we were installing the glass my good friend, Anthony from Glass Tint by Anthony, helped out the project by volunteering to tint the windows on the project for us.

 

Here is Anthony prepping the tint for install on the quarter glass windows.

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Another picture of the man doing what he does.

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Here he is prepping the glass for install with a strong bead of adhesive/sealant.

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Notice how thick it needs to be to prep for install. We took great precaution to make sure we had no leaks in case we end up at a rainy track day.

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And here I am assisting in heating and getting the glass just right where I want it.

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We will have a few other updates here shortly. We will soon be prepping for final paint as we have already picked up our paint. Also, we have some new parts on order for the build at EP Racing so we will update shortly with that.

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Sorry, it's been a while. With me and my local team hosting another Nismo Fiesta, time is usually turned towards that. Now that I have some time, I am turning my time back to the project.

 

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With any large project comes some bad news. My bad news was in the form of the rear subframe. The rear subframe that we purchased from a local club member turned out to be bent. Being bent, it would have thrown off all of the precise suspension angles we were hoping for. This was the powdercoated gold subframe, by the way. I had done up another subframe for another project car, but in red. So we ended up having to swap all the subframe bushings into the red subframe assembly, which was a pain.

 

Our new subframe.

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Some SPL Version 1's that we had laying around. Later on, we will upgrade this and everything else to the V2's (aka, Version 2's from SPL Parts.

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I opted to have SPL Parts install their Monoball Bushings into our rear spindles. These bushings are the premier bushings available to the Z32 market. Although these can be on the pricey side, I feel as I always have, that you cannot beat quality and reliability like this. Note that these can translate a little more road noise to the vehicle, as well as vibration. But, for our purposes of an all out track car, this was the best option for us over any other aftermarket bushing.

 

The stock spindle with the bushings installed.

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A closer look at the SPL bushings.

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So moving on to a little more weight savings.....

 

Although the stock hood is made of aluminum for weight savings from the factory, some portion of the stock hood were obsolete thanks to the addition of the Aerocatch hood pins. Previously, we deleted the hood latch, cables and hardware. We recently also, opted to remove a few more pounds from the stock aluminum hood as well.

 

Started with removing a few sections of the hood catch. The stock hood has a steel catch inside of it, sandwiched between the underside skeleton and the outer aluminum skin. My plan was to cut away as much as possible while still keeping a little strength left in the panel. We have to do this process on two different hood. We have a vented hood and a stock hood for the car, usage depends on weather conditions, of course.

 

You can see the hood catch section we are opting to remove.

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A closer look. Notice the rivets. This made it "interesting" of a removal process.

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Another portion of the skeleton that we cut.

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And another.

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Our little pile of hood removal debris accumulated to another 3.1 lbs of saved weight per hood. We are still wondering if it was worth the extra 4 hours of cutting to get to this savings. :)

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And now, just doing a few more little trick things to make life easier on us when we are stuck out at those hot Texas track days.

 

The stock Z32 for the US market is great for what it is. But one thing that I always hated about it was that if you were going to be constantly pulling plugs to swap them for any of a dozen good reasons, you had to pull the balance tube which just seemed.....well poorly thought out. Good but could have been a little better.

 

The stock Z32 plenum.

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The J30 plenum was essentially our same plenum but evolved. It allowed for a balance tube that moved back the tube for a cleaner and easier access to the coilpacks. I always liked this idea, but one thing that sucks about the J30 is that it is riddled with brackets. From my experience with plenum polishing/porting/chroming, I had a lot of experience chopping off brackets and smoothing out plenums. So we applied that. Basically, our goal was to take the J30 plenum and use it on our project. Sadly we cannot just bolt up the balance tube, we have to use the plenum and hack away all the additional brackets and threaded bungs.

 

A shot of the J30 plenum.

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A comparison shot. Notice the balance tube and then all the "extras" on the J30 plenum.

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The J30 balance tube by itself. The X's account for everything that I have to remove.

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The stock J30 plenum. Notice all the items that will need removal.

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The stock J30 plenum after a quick bracket removal section. We still have much more to go on the plenum. We have to smooth all both the plenum and balance tubes out. Send the plenum out to Extrude Hone for it to get honed. After that we will have EP Racing put a thermal coating on both item to help battle heat soak in aluminum/silica cast plenum. More to come on this part as we continue to move on.

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And on to the fun stuff.

 

Mitch over at EP Racing has a full plate on some amazing builds right now but still managed to get a little work done for Project LOWFATZ.

 

Our pistons were a set of custom one offs to generate the power we were looking for in an naturally aspirated VG30DE format. Something that has never been done to our knowledge. So, in a sense, we are writing the playbook. Compression is squishing at 12.5 to 1.

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A few comparision shots of another AM TT pistion vs our custom NA pistons.

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A new EP Racing twin piston squirter design that is finalized as of recent. Expect production soon. The design is set to allow maximum lubricity for both low and high points, hitting the underside of the piston as well. Previously the only cure for high hp TT motors looking for lubricity at the critical piston to rod point, was to utilize an NA squirter. Now with the new design, it improves upon this concern with one squirter aimed at this point and the other in the traditional TT positon.

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I recently picked up a set of new tranny gears to have both coated by EP Racing and installed. The coating will promote lubricity and anti-friction. These are our gears after a few sandblast sessions awaiting the coating.

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Now with the coating applied and freshly run through a few heat bonding cycle, the gears are cool to the touch and ready to go.

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Recently we picked up a few different clutches, trying to find the right combination for the anticipated power. We were donated a few different clutch setups by sponsors. A vendor was nice enough to donate us an OS Giken clutch assemby. We are still unsure if this will make it into our project or not as may be overkill, but none the less it is an impressive assembly and we appreciate all donations.

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Thanks to all for the patience. More updates coming soon.

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So, pardon my pics but had to take them with my Ipad as my 18-55 Nikon lens broke on me and I have nothing that will capture close up images. Ordered one, so next update should have better pics.

 

As for the project, I continue to shave off an ounce here and an ounce there. The goal of this vehicle is to shave off as much as I possibly can while still making the car legally streetable. Apparently, I keep pushing the limits of what is "legal" in Texas.

 

Originally this bumper was intended not to run an absorber, but I still wanted to utilize it but customization would be needed. Essentially we installed it under the bumper and had to cut away the section exposing the reinforcement bar underneath to allow air to travel up and out. Although we cannot get the full effect of a stock absorber, still using the absorber allowed for a better bumper fit and a hit of stock like safety. Our rebar originally was dented so we swapped it out for another one to be able to be road worth. I had time, so I actually buffed out the rebar as well, since it is now able to be see visually. You can see it if you look closely.

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Next on the list was the new Greddy differential cover that I finally got around to installing after EP Racing had it heat coated. You can easily see the difference in this unit versus the stock one.

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Another shot.

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And after bench pressing this into place, along with a few four letter words bellowing out of my garage and through my neighborhood, I got it in. The SPL solid differential bushings made for a very tight Fit. Big thanks to Sean Farrah over at SPL for sending those over.

lowfatzproject_9.jpg

 

Since I had a little free time in between things I decided to cover the door pillar, honestly I was just tired of looking at it in black and wanted something different. Using a typical real CF lay over, this is what I can out with.

lowfatzproject_3.jpg

 

Finally ordered a seat cover for the Kirkey Intermediate Road Race seat. Kirkey supplies this tweed in a red, gray or black. We opted for the black. With this cover in, this seat rivals high dollar popular seats in the market at a fraction of the cost and a portion of the weight. Also, if you look closely I added elastic paracord, that will be hooked to the seat harness. This will allow the harness to be tensioned back towards the seat when exiting the vehicle. A little trick I picked up after sitting in the a true time attack car recently. Cheap, smart and easy.

lowfatzproject_2.jpg

 

This is a shot of a set of Enkei RPF1's on my other slicktop. Enkei is apparently going to release a black chrome in the RPF1 soon, and I think this will be what we will utilize for LOWFATZ as well. They are ridiculously light, fairly inexpensive and well made. I absolutely love mine on the daily. These should be a great addition to the project.

lowfatzproject_1.jpg

 

Previously I was looking for more ways to cut weight in the hood area. Originally we removed the hood latch, hood latch cable, hardware and the heavy steel reinforcement in the stock aluminum hood. We opted to utilize aerocatch hood pins to allow us to do this. While on that note, I figured why stop there. What you are looking at below is the inner skeleton of the stock aluminum hood, removed from the outer skin.

lowfatzproject_5.jpg

 

With the shell removed, the outer skin weighs in at a feather light 2lbs and 6 ounces. We do loose some rigidity in the hood obviously, but considering the car is primarily a track car, this would be standard.

lowfatzproject_6.jpg

 

Now that the inner reinforcement is now removed from the hood, we no longer will have the use of the stock hood hinge. This is another saving that we hoped to get rid of, to offset this area, we simply add in another set of aerocatch hood pins for the rear portion of the hood.

For the record, removing the skin is a huge PITA. But it was worth it to shave some extra poundage.

lowfatzproject_10.jpg

 

As far as updates, that is it for now. I will be receiving the engine parts back from powdercoat soon and should have brakes for the track car next update. Thanks for looking and all the support from everyone out there.

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So, got a few things back from powdercoat last weekend. Things like the modified J30 plenum, modified valve covers, etc. Here are just a few basic pics and updates on the plenum mostly.

 

 

So got the modified J30 plenum back that I altered to become a 95 Z32 plenum basically, while also allowing me to run the J30 balance tube to allow for simply spark plug removal without having to pull the balance tube every time.

Opted for a stealthy wrinkle finish. *shrug*

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Took a set of stock TB's and punched them out 58mm. Purchased a new drill press and a made a holding plate for the sole purpose of punching these out. This was a huge PITA, but well worth it. After rebuilding the springs and everything with a kit I picked up from Courtesy, I installed the butterflys. After that, I had a local shop drop a weld on the vacuum line tips at the bottom of each TB, as I wasn't going to need them anymore and wanted to eliminate any weak links. After that, I polished them out. Took me a weekend but saved a butt load of cash and I think they came out okay. Here are a few pics.

 

 

New modified stock TB (notice inner diameter)

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Versus a stock one that I bellhoused out the lip with a cone buff to gain a few extra horses and then chromed it. This was what I was going to use originally.

image-2.jpg

 

 

The new plenum with a chromed linkage and the new punched out TB's.

image-3.jpg

 

 

To make things even quicker if I have to pull the balance tube, I installed studs on the plenum versus the original half stud/half bolt. A little detail that I was wanting to do for a while.

image-4.jpg

 

 

Here is a top shot of the new plenum with the J30 balance tube installed. Note how accessable the coilpacks are now. Also, note how much has been removed on the plenum to simplify the overall plenum look.

image-5.jpg

 

 

I haven't figured out which mounts to utilize. The mount on the far left is the shortest and allows the engine to sit relatively low. The one in the middle is a powdercoated solid aluminum SGP mount from back in the day. The one on the right, is the newest Z1 mount. I currently do not have a preference, just thought I would throw this pic up.

image-6.jpg

 

 

Anyways, That is it for now.

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mother of god, wish i had the time. looks awesome!

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Welcome to ratsun.

 

I too am from twinturbo.net. I recall seeing this build over there before.

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