Getting Comfy and the Wheel Fiasco.

I’m at the stage of the build where a lot of the chassis work is done. The car is on the ground under its own weight. Now all of the projects that make a car run and drive start to take place.

I quickly found it very hard to move the car around the shop without being able to steer it. I needed to get the steering sorted so I opted for a Woodward collapsible steering column and their quick release steering wheel hub. It’s pretty cool to know that this actual column came out of a NASCAR. The columns are pretty expensive so when I came across a used column for a killer deal I couldn’t pass it up. I paired the column with a suede OPM steering wheel that I practically stole off of eBay.  Check out the Wilwood pedal assembly below. It’s a small car so I really need a lot of adjustability out of the controls. IMG_3772.jpg

I wanted a comfy seat that I could trust so a Racetech seat was a no brainer. The quality of their seats are unmatched. This will most likely be a passenger seat as I want the head restrain version for the driver’s seat. I’m also playing with shifter design. It’s nice to be able to 3D print a concept before machining. I’ve spent WAY too much time sitting in the car making motor sounds…

IMG_3777.jpg

Just like the Racetech seat, some safety parts have to be FIA approved. FIA approved parts can get pricy. One of those pricey parts is a fuel cell. The only name that comes to mind for me is ATL Fuel Cells. So I fabricated a cage for the cell to tie into the chassis.IMG_3691.jpg

Once I had the car on the ground I really started to think about my wheels. Originally I had a set of rare 17×10 SSR Konig wheels. I planed to do a full rebuild on them. At that time I was still under the impression I was going to drive the car I bought. After the strip down the reality set in that I was in for a ground up build.  So I sold the wheels and even made a few bucks.

I ended up buying some extremely rare Compomotive wheels which I re-barreled (15×10 and 16×11) and refurbished. I was in love with them after I had them on the car. There were a few issues though.

  1. I needed to run a pretty large spacer to clear the huge Wilwood front calipers. Keep in mind the faces were from the 80’s.
  2. Tire selection. 16×12 (or anything over 10″ wide) is an odd ball size. I  had a single slick option and no street tire options.
  3. Availability of replacement wheels. In no way was that going to happen. What if I damaged a wheel or needed spares? IMG_3541.jpg

So I needed to look at another set of wheels. In the racing world 18″ wheels are king right now. Slick selection is a mile long. I threw my ultra rare Compomotive wheels up for sale on DPAN (Datsun Parts and Needs). It’s a Facebook page dedicated to selling/buying Datsun parts. 30 seconds after I hit the post button they sold (literally).

So the hunt began for a new (to me) set of wheels. I needed an off the shelf wheel that had good off-sets to clear big calipers, 18X9-10 front and 18X11 rear widths, readily available for spares, can take racing abuse, and most importantly they looked BAD ASS! The first brand I thought of that met those needs was Enkei (pronounced N K). So I scoured the interwebs for a set of wheels. I stumbled across a set of basically new Enkei PF01 wheels and slicks. Everything was checked off my needs list. He made a bunch of spelling errors, they were dirty, and to be honest the listing had terrible photos and was lacking a lot of information. As a deal hunter, this was great for me. Listings like these turn a lot of people off. I contacted the seller to confirm some questions I had. Starting bid was $1,099 shipped. The auction ended and I won them! I saved myself about $2,500.s-l1600.jpg

The seller packed them up and told me they shipped. Great!  Then I asked for a tracking number. He told me he shipped them freight to save money. It goes down hill for there….. They got “lost” in transit and of course he didn’t insure them. So I waited over a month hoping they would show up. A rep at the freight company told me they were probably gone for good. Now here comes the bigger issue. The seller didn’t want to refund me my money as he didn’t lose them, but he chose not to insure them (would have cost him $20). He didn’t want to play ball so I filed a paypal claim and I received a refund. I wasted about 5 weeks on these wheels. Lesson learned for that guy.

So I went back on the hunt. I couldn’t find anything. It was starting to set in that I would be buying new wheels. I wasn’t happy about that, but it had to be done. So I called up Enjuku Racing (they are local to me) and spoke with Andrew. Enjuku Racing was kind enough to show me some love. They showed interest in my build and wanted to help me out. Let just say they “hooked a brother up”. Even with the hook up these were expensive wheels.

I chose the new Enkei Racing Revolution RS05-RR wheels. I went with the deep concave 18X11 rears and the 18X9.5 medium concave fronts. I absolutely love the fitment and it’s a very different look for a Z. IMG_3817.jpg

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I also needed to pick up some slicks. I didn’t want fresh rubbers right now, since it will be a little while before she’s track worthy. I called up a local Porche race shop. It just so happenes that Porche Cup cars run the same tires I needed. $80 per tires with 75-80% tread left. You can’t beat that deal, considering these tires are $500+ per tire. I have 285 width in the front and 305 in the rear. I’ll eventually run a 315 in the rear.IMG_3810.jpg

 

In all of her glory! IMG_3851.jpg

On the next post I’m going to build a set of headers. I’ve never built any before and its tricky business. I called in the help of my good friend Chris “Yogie” to lend me a hand with some beautiful stainless Tig welding. Until then feel free to leave a comment on anything you would like to see more of or if you have any questions. As always, thanks for the read!

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