Stop Press! - Here's Latest News!
The new car finally arrives. (8/10/02)
It has been a long time coming, but finally the new car has been picked up and is now taking pride of place in the garage. The car is only 50% finished (and that's being kind), so we still have a mountain of work to be completed prior to the starter button being pushed.
The car is a 1979 four door, Datsun Sunny. Driveline is the trusty FJ20 Turbo, with a VL Commodore gearbox and Gazelle diff. A full list of specs will be listed very soon, and updated as the car is built and developed over the next couple of years. It is our goal at the moment to have the car on track by January for some testing and development prior to the 2003 race season.
To keep up to date with the build progress, I have started a diary page. This page will have pictures and stories associated with the build up over the next few months. As always, I am happy to answer any questions, if I can - just drop me an email.
The car has been Sold! (15/7/02)
Just prior to the Eastern Creek round, I had been making some enquiries into the possibilities in building a new car for next season. As it turned out, a car which has been "under construction" for some time was advertised and I went to have a look at it.
After a lot of talking and a few beers, it was decided that this new car would suit the direction in which I wanted to go with my racing, and the trusty 1600 was put up for sale. After just 5 days the car was sold, and now resides in South Australia.
So what is the new car! For that you will have to wait and see. I hope to have the car in my garage by the middle of September - all things going well. What I can say is that we hope to have the new car weighing in at around 900-910kg (some 70kg's lighter than the 1600) and it already has an engine pumping out 275bhp at the crank. This should be a potent combination.
A full pictorial digest will appear here once the car arrives, and will be updated as the car is being built.
Gearbox repaired (4/6/02)
The new extended bolts worked really well on the engine crossmember. They allowed us to drop the engine low enough to get the gearbox out, without too much trouble. This certainly makes the job a lot easier than removing the whole engine and gearbox together.
The gearbox has now been repaired and re-fitted to the car. Somehow a washer got caught on the 5th gear cog and destroyed a locating ball (as described by the gearbox guy - Paul). This in turn allowed the nut on the amin shaft to loosen and hence all the horrible noises.
With just the exhaust to be re-fitted and new wheel bearings to be installed in the rear, we are looking good for the next round at Eastern Creek on the 22/23rd June. Hope to see you there.
Test Day - Oran Park (22/5/02)
After spending many hours putting the car back together, we finally got the car back on track. The first session was all about bedding a new set of brake pads, and while doing this the car felt great. The engine was pulling strong down the straights and up over the bridge. Also the new suspension settings were working very well - we now have 4.5 degrees of camber on both sides with 5.5 degrees of castor. Unfortunatley after only four laps, something broke in the gearbox again, this time we think it may simply be a shim, which limits the amount of movement of the cluster shaft. This brought a very early and dissapointing end to our day.
This latest problem has forced a re-think on how the gearbox and engine are mounted in the car. We will try using extra long bolts on the engine crossmember to allow us to drop the engine down about 60mm. This will hopefully give us enough room to pull the gearbox from the car, without removing the engine. We should know if this idea will work in the next week or so.
Front Struts are back! (23/4/02)
Now that we have the front struts back from Noltec, we can set about getting the car back together. The new strut tops look great, and should allow for some really serious Camber and also a bit more castor. See Suspension page for close up shots of the struts and new strut tops.
Brake Calliper seal kits received (19/4/02)
Now that I have received the seal kits for the brake callipers, we can rebuild them and get them back into the car (once the struts are ready). This task was made more difficult due to the fact that a seal kit could not be purchased "off the shelf". All the seals had to matched, and Race Brakes Australia in Smithfield looked after this aspect for me.
Engine and Gearbox back in the car (2/4/02)
With the gearbox repaired and the new flywheel fitted, both engine and gearbox are back in the car. At this stage both are only bolted to there respective mounts, and all bolt on parts (exhaust, carbs and electricals) still need to be fitted. Although the engine is for sale at this time, it will be used for our next race meeting in May if it is not sold before hand.
New Engine now for sale! (27/3/02)
Although the new engine has performed perfectly so far, it was obvious at the last race meeting that more power is necassary if we want to compete at the front of the field - therefore a big horsepower engine is needed. Due to the broken gearbox at round one, and missing round 2 due to work committments and therefore not scoring any points, we have decided to change our approach for this season. We will now focus on devlopment of the car (mainly focusing on the engine) to be ready to compete for the outright title in 2003. As a result, the engine which has just been built is now for sale. If you would like any information, details can be found on the
Engine Details page or email me at
and I will be happy to discuss options with you.
Darn Work Commitments! (20/3/02)
Due to heavy work commitments at the moment, we have had to pull out from
round 2 at Wakefield park. This is very dissapointing, but we hope to be back on track soon. This will give us more time though to get the car back together without the usual stress - which is certainly welcomed.
Gearbox problem solved (20/3/02)
The report on the gearbox is back. The selection problem occurred because we lost half of the dog teeth from 5th gear. While the gearbox is apart, we are also having all bearings replaced and a new selector fork installed.
In Pieces Again (15/3/02)
After a dissapointing weekend of racing (see race report) the car is once again in pieces. To remove the gearbox it is necassary to remove the engine again, so both the engine and gearbox are out of the car. The gearbox has been delivered to the repair shop and should be ready in about 10 days time. Also, I am taking the opportunity to fit a new light weight steel flywheel while the engine is out, this will hopefully help our corner exit speeds.
Also missing from the car at the moment are the front struts, they are back with Noltec suspension systems having the strut tops modified further for more negative camber. We should be able to achieve 4.5 - 5 degrees negative camber when we get them back into the car.
While the struts are out, I am also rebuilding the brake callipers and replacing the current brake pads. As the callipers are an imported item, I need to find out what seals are being used in them, so that a spare set of seals can be purchased as spares for at the track in case of an emergency.
Guards Painted (4/3/02)
The guards have now been re-painted, and have come up OK. Due to the front of the car being a Pearl finish, we were unable to match the colour, so for now, we are making do with plain white. The car is due for a complete respray, which will most likely occur later this year or over Christmas, 2002. Until then we will just have to put up with the colour mis-match.
Big field expected for first round, 2002 (1/3/02)
After chatting with some of the guys in our class, it appears that a number of competitors who did not run last year are making a comeback. On top of this, we also expect to see some new people to our category also. From all reports, this will be one very tough season, but one we are very much looking forward to.
With the first round only one week away, we still have a few minor things to finish off on the car. New stickers have to be picked up, our number has also changed for this year to #55, so this needs to corrected. The re-painting of the new guards has begun and should be completed in the next couple of days and then finally the car will be back on the PKW Dyno on Friday 8th March for a final tune prior to the race meeting.
Up and Running!
The new engine has been fitted (late night), and then Dyno Tuned. Running only 3/4 throttle, and limiting the revs we achieved 139.8bhp at the rear wheels with 650 pounds of tourque. Previous best was 127bhp. From there we went out to the race track and ran a number of sessions, slowly increasing the revs through each session. The engine kept getting better through each session, and was pulling 7,000 rpm by the end of the day, quite easily. We now will take the car back to PKW for a final tune prior to the first round of the year. Over all the engine felt much stronger than last year, and showed no signs of trouble during the day.
Engine Assembly Complete! (20/02/02)
Finally the new engine is assembled and ready to go into the car. It looks like it will be a late night tonight, as the car has to be on the dyno tomorrow afternoon. Photo's coming soon.