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DATSANITI - '80 210 Wagon VQ35 Swap


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Mine didn't exactly fall apart on its own...the center sleeve was rusted to the stud on the chassis, so I was hammering the control arm with a 4lb sledge which tore the rubber! It was otherwise fine until I tried to remove the suspension. 

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I don't even know where to start with this pile of sheetmetal pictures so here you go. I joined the frame rails and patched the floors, but it felt like so much more work than just saying that.

 

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Yep I will scale it. They have corner weights at the $2,018 Challenge. The original Datsun 210 curb weight was 2,080 lbs for a wagon. An 03 350Z Automatic coupe is 3,210 lbs. I hope to be somewhere near 2,300 lbs.

 

Going by power:weight ratio, it should feel like a 350hp 350Z or a V8 Miata.

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Paint still counts in the budget, and aesthetics count in the judging part of the competition, so I saved about $150 in the plan for the paint job. It's low on the totem pole right now though. I have been spraying the engine bay and front clip with Rustoleum Harbor Blue only because the engine is out. I want to keep it a similar color to the original, but probably two-tone or some kind of race livery.

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Thanks! Here is a budget update. Sold a few big things like the stereo/CD changer on ebay, netting about $93 after shipping and ebay/paypal fees, tail lights for $60, and a surprising amount of little $20 parts from the Datsun like brake MC and wheels. I still have a few "big-money" G35 parts, like front fenders, trunk lid, and power seat switches that will just take time.

 

When you're not in a hurry, and do your research on which parts are worth saving, and have decent storage space, you can do pretty well on a part-out. I have scrapped about $75 so far between the two cars, making more by separating the aluminum and steel parts. Scrap prices have come back up this year.

 

Total Spent                 $ 937.43 
Total Recouped          $ 730.64 
Total Purchases          $ 1,668.07 
Budget Remaining      $ 1,080.57 

 

As for remaining parts, this is what I'm budgeting for. Anything left on the table becomes N2O, probably installed in the parking lot per GRM tradition.

 

Exhaust                              $ 50.00 
Driveshaft shortening         $ 200.00 
Fuel                                    $ 100.00 
LSD Rear Diff, 350Z           $ 250.00 
Paint                                   $ 150.00 

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This update is kinda all over the place. I got a lot of random things done, but the big one is the engine is back in and looks perfectly at home.


 


I cut 1/2 coil out of the front lowering springs. It's still not enough. I think another 1/2 coil will do it. I'm getting good at 350Z/G35 suspension.


 


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I also relocated the O2 sensors. Involuntarily. Because the manifold flange was completely rusted so during build party weekend it got sawzall'd off along with the sensor bung. I welded this turn-down flange thing from the exhaust scrap pile, and added a new bung. You can buy new ones on Rockauto universal parts section for just a couple bucks.


 


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With those things taken care of, I put the engine back in. Which also means bolting the front suspension back together. 


 


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You may also notice the front end parts are on! If you remember, this was a parts car for a different year car. These "boxy" front parts never actually bolted to this car, so I had to make my own mounting points.


 


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These are weld nuts, 1/4-20 thread. Just brush the paint off, drill a hole, and tack it in. Perfect for mounting little stuff like plastic grills, head lights, and brake and fuel lines.


 


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And then for no reason I started mounting the transmission. The G35 trans mount will work, but needs material built to it from the Datsun floor and some mounting studs or bolts.


 


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Single-cardan driveshafts (the cheapest and simplest kind) need parallel mounting faces. My trans and rear end should always stay parallel, since the rear is IRS. My plan here is to fab the mounts a little long, bolt them to the G35 trans mount, jack up the trans mount until the metal contacts the floor, check the angles, and grind metal from there until both faces are parallel. Then measure joint-to-joint and send the G35 driveshaft ends off to get a tube welded between them and balanced.


 


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Right now my prototypes are pretty darn close within 0.4 deg, but I need to weld bolts in first to make studs.


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With the car on it's wheels, put a couple of hundred pounds of ballast in the car to simulate the driver and check the angles. Like everything but the box 'flairs'. Sorry, but they don't help the body lines much.

  • Like 1
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Thanks! Here is a budget update. Sold a few big things like the stereo/CD changer on ebay, netting about $93 after shipping and ebay/paypal fees, tail lights for $60, and a surprising amount of little $20 parts from the Datsun like brake MC and wheels. I still have a few "big-money" G35 parts, like front fenders, trunk lid, and power seat switches that will just take time.

 

When you're not in a hurry, and do your research on which parts are worth saving, and have decent storage space, you can do pretty well on a part-out. I have scrapped about $75 so far between the two cars, making more by separating the aluminum and steel parts. Scrap prices have come back up this year.

 

Total Spent                 $ 937.43 

Total Recouped          $ 730.64 

Total Purchases          $ 1,668.07 

Budget Remaining      $ 1,080.57 

 

As for remaining parts, this is what I'm budgeting for. Anything left on the table becomes N2O, probably installed in the parking lot per GRM tradition.

 

Exhaust                              $ 50.00 

Driveshaft shortening         $ 200.00 

Fuel                                    $ 100.00 

LSD Rear Diff, 350Z           $ 250.00 

Paint                                   $ 150.00 

 

Consider gear ratio when you're buying a used LSD, there are a few different ratio's available in all of the R200 equipped cars with factory VLSD.

 

350Z / G35 (03-'06 G's)

Auto: 3.357

Manual: 3.538

 

370Z / G37

Auto: 3.357

Manual: 3.692

 

There are a few unicorn 3.9 diffs available in some odd low production # (or just plain newer) models.

 

https://www.z1motorsports.com/upload/Z1350ZG35370ZG37GearRatios.pdf

 

Different ratio ring & pinions are plentiful if you decide to make a gear change for a different course in the future, just know that you CANNOT use any of the available gears (list HERE) if you buy an automatic LSD. The ring gear offset is different, so they aren't interchangeable with manual gears. Also, do not buy a G37 automatic differential, they have a different companion flange and ring gear than the manual counterparts and won't work with your driveshaft unless you get a 3 bolt companion flange made for the shaft.

 

If you plan on just buying the VLSD carrier and not an entire spare diff, let me know. I have a few of those sitting around in the shop at work that came out of low mile builds.

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Thanks guys. I have plenty of time to shop for a diff, so I can wait for the right deal on a M/T one with the better gears. Let me know if anyone has leads!

 

Yeah the box flares are pretty nasty but I needed to cover up 3" of tire somehow. I think they'll look better with paint and more body work. I mean, they are literally filing cabinet. And there's no helping a B310 wagon's body lines anyway lol.

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Trans is mounted, the mounts are welded in, and the ends of the driveshaft are perfectly parallel.  

 

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Ready to get shortened!

 

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I also started mounting the Datsun front bumper to the Infiniti frame rails.

 

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Also mounted the sway bar after cleaning up and re-painting the brackets and replacing the bushings. 

 

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Then I primered the most-finished fender just for fun, and it looks much better all the same color. Some bondo in the top corner will cover the weld and create a nice fillet. 

 

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That's all I did today. Not much project work this weekend because I went to a car show yesterday to look for inspiration and Friday I fixed the minivan's A/C. Its condenser was leaking in obvious way, so I went ahead and replaced it, the compressor, and the receiver/drier since the van is getting up there in miles.

 

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  • Like 4
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I may have missed it, but how much wheelbase did you end up adding?

 

I’m a little jealous of your flares in the fact that you can fit a normal car sized rear end under there. I’m having trouble deciding on what I am going to do to handle any kind of power and keep it narrow enough to fit under the fenders.

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If you do a rear-end swap and narrow, might as well get a Ford 8.8 out of a junkyard Explorer. Good gear options, LSD is easy to find in a yard, disk brakes, simple "tube" design is easy to narrow and weld brackets to for a DIY'er. Lots of aftermarket off-the-shelf axle lengths for however narrow you want to go. And virtually bulletproof for the power levels any car on a Datsun forum will see.

 

I put a 3.73 LSD 8.8 in my '31 Ford hot rod (2JZ powered). It was like $80 at Pull-a-part. I welded 3-link brackets to it, along with a panhard bar and coilover mounts. The same axle was behind a 340 whp engine running 12s before I robbed that car for parts.

 

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I put a 3.73 LSD 8.8 in my '31 Ford hot rod (2JZ powered). It was like $80 at Pull-a-part. I welded 3-link brackets to it, along with a panhard bar and coilover mounts. The same axle was behind a 340 whp engine running 12s before I robbed that car for parts.

 

 

Whoa hold on backup...

 

you can't drop a bombshell like that without sharing pictures. Lets see this '31 Ford.

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Rice Rod build thread here: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/the-rice-rod-31-model-a-pickup-with-a-2jz/123261/page1/


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Got my driveshaft back from the shop, and it fits! Here's the front, which is a slip-yoke into the back of the trans.


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The rear is a 4-bolt flange with a guide nose. I had to make sure the shaft was about 1/2" short of the splined end being fully seated. That's because to install it, you fully seat spline end, which allows just enough clearance to lift the flange end onto the diff, then slip it rear-ward to seat the guide nose in the diff flange. 


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The theme of this post is shafts, so here the steering shaft, shorted by almost a foot.


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I welded a sleeve over the joint just for extra strength.


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This u-joint used to connect to the G35 steering column.


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You have to be careful welding near u-joints. If it gets too hot, the grease will boil out and you might seize the joint. I went very slow, about 3/4" at a time, then dipping the u-joint into water and leaving it front of a fan for a while before continuing. 


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From left to right: G35 steering rack, u-joint, shorted G35 shaft, u-joint with Datsun flange, Datsun column.


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It all bolts up!


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I designed the flange to work with a rag joint, but it makes the steering feel terrible by flexing way too much, so for now I'm leaving it out. My gut tells me I need something to slide or flex due to the non-parallel pair of u-joints. Or maybe I'm overthinking it.


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With steering mostly sorted, that brings us to the brakes. I need to adapt the G35 master cylinder to the Datsun firewall. No room for a booster as you can see. 


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Arts and crafts to transfer the bolt pattern.


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I'll need some sort of shaft to adapt the Datsun brake pedal to the G35 MC. 


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That's it for this weekend. Can't wait to drive...


  • Like 4
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That Model A truck is most excellent. :cool:

Very cool, must piss a few Ford guys off with the Toyota motor in there....

But for me that link didn't work, I would love to read more on that build....

 

And nice work on the datsun, you clearly have some skill and determination....

I bet everyone thought this build was gonna tank on the first page, you proved everyone wrong , nice job....

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  • 3 weeks later...

Long time since last update. I was on vacation last week and I just took a new job 500 miles away, so I am super busy the next few weeks with the move. Luckily our new place will have a 2 car garage, but first I have to get the cars there. 

I don't trust a carrier to pick up the Datsun in its current state of wierdness, so I will be dolly towing it down. I trust the rear subframe and rolling stock but the rear needs shocks. So I made shock mounts. These are used Koni 30 series oval track shocks. They have 4 adjustment settings and are pretty beefy. I got 'em $10 a pop from facebook marketplace.

 

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The top beam bolts off the car, allowing me to remove the shock with it from inside the wagon.  The vertical pillars stay welded to the chassis.

 

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One of the pillars is also welded to the vertical wall for extra stability. The sheetmetal on the bottom surface is very thick because that's near where the Datsun shocks originally mounted.

 

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The bumper bouncing test proves the shock mounts are a success. The rear end feels much more stable for the open road this weekend. 

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