Inspired by Datman's IPRA S15 build thread, I thought it was about time I put up a thread on my S14 build for 2B Prodsports.
The build came about after my old 2B 240Z has an altercation with the fence at Lakeside during the 50th Anniversary Sports Car meeting in 2011.
This is how it looked in the mid to late 90's when I lived in Sydney.
And how it looked after it's last freshen up in 2010/11
I owned the car for around 15 years, before I bought it, it was originally built for 3J Street Sedans and then built to run in 2b Marque Sports, as it was called then in the early 90's by John Hepher. I bought it in 96 and ran it in Sydney in '97 and '98 before I took a break from racing with life getting in the way. In '97 I won the NSW Marque Sports Driver's Championship with consistent finishes in the top five and got some trophies for a couple of years.
Between 2000 and around 2005 it sat in the Z16 workshop in Sydney, I bought it up to Brisbane in 2005 and it did the odd the hillclimb and track day up here, running at Noosa and Mt Cotton a couple of times at HRCC events. In 2010 it received a freshen up with repaint and engine rebuild and I had a play at the Cue one hour enduro at Morgan Pak that year and then 2011 played in the Qld Prodsports Championship.
Prior to racing the 240, I had a year running a 260Z ex rally car in Division 2 of Marque Sports, the fore runner to today's 2F rules, and previous to that a 180B SSS in IPRA and before that 3J Street Sedans. The 180B was believed to be the only factory fuel injected 180B to race in Australia, with good reason, it was too slow and too heavy. You could much better power out of twin webers, but not much could be done about the weight penalty. The 180B was great as a rally car as it was fairly strong and it took a large rock or tree to kill it on a rally stage, but this went against it for circuit racing.
Back to the 240, this is how it ended up after taking on the fence at Lakeside......
Basically munted, the left front chassis rail was pushed back about 12 inches and down about 6 inches, the left A pillar was pushed back about 3mm and once opened the left door wasn't going to close ever again. The welds in the firewall and floor in the left footwell were popped and the floor tweaked on both sides and the transmission tunnel. As a car it was never going to run again, a 40 year old shel with that much damage is something I didn't want to drive again.
After a few weeks to think about options, it was decided to sell off the bits from the car and build something new. As I had always raced dirty Datsuns on the cheap, and S14's were cheap and eligible for Prosports I decided to build one.
Main reasons were the relative low cost and range of off the shelf bits for S14's, the SR20 is relatively easy motor to get power out of, and the restrictions for turbo cars meant it would be relatively unstressed as the big limitation was the T25 turbo and standard manifolds. I also wanted something different to race compared to all the MX5's in my budget and couldn't afford to jump up to play with the big boys in Datsun copies or Loti.
So in November 2011, this was found on Ebay in Brisbane......
An absolute bare shell.
Trawling Ebay saw me pick up various parts for cheap like rear bars, tail and headlights, and brakes, Z32 alloy 4 pot calipers and rotors for the front and R33 GTR twin spots for the rears, a couple of doors and a couple of cheap motors.
First step was to finish off stripping the interior of sound deadening and put a cage in it. A spanner was put in the works and I was made redundant, so the car went on hold until more work was found. Luckily it only took 6 months to get a contract with a Lockyer Valley Council, a 3 month contract that went for 18 months in the end.
A rear cradle was purchased, along with a couple of gearboxes that I found cheap to keep the build ticking over, albeit very slowly.
So 2 years after buying the shell, and with money coming in, it was shipped off for a cage to be fabricated in October 2013. Also with the dollar at it's highest for many years I also purchased a complete window kit from Performance Plastics in the UK, rear screen and opera windows in 2mm and side windows with alloys stiffeners in 3mm landed for just under $1k.
The cage took until the new year of 2014 to be fabricated as it was a fill in job, but a great job done and I also got the front towers and chassis rails seam welded as well as the first seam in the floor. The cage ties into the rear suspension points in the parcel shelf and is also tagged into the A and B pillars and the rear mounts as close to the cradle mount points as possible. The chassis is now super stiff and it can be easily balanced on two jack stands diagonally opposite each other.
Next step was to prepare the underside of the car by removing the sound deadener and also tidy up the wheel wells, so a cheap china rotisserie was bought and the car could be spun around.
With help from Muz some KBR was sourced to paint the underside, wheel wells and engine bay. Before that could be done I made myself really popular with the neighbours.....
After a couple of weekends and a few afternoons/evenings after the work with the grinder and countless paint stripping wheels and coming out of the garage looking like an old school coal miner with the dust we ended up with this....
Ready for the KBR to be brushed on.
The car sat on the rotisserie for a few months as the fun tickets had run out, and so was my work contract, but I had squirrelled away some money for the rear cradle and then the scope blew out a touch as things do to end up with:
The cradle getting a brace kit and welded where required for strengthening
R32 alloy uprights fitted for the rear
Front and rear standard suspension arm replaced with rose jointed adjustable arms
Standard VLSD replaced with 4.3 and new KAAZ 2 way LSD centre
The R33 GTR rear brakes fitted up to make life easier, and
Solid bushes and mounts to bolt back onto the shell
I threw a set of standard struts in the car so it could be put on the ground at some stage, whilst I waited on the dollars to get the coilovers built.
At the same time I bought another S14 off the forum to get all the fiddly bits I would need plus the panels I needed. So to make my nopics at the time really happy, this turned up unannounced....
At the same time I got word on my next contract, and was to start commuting between Indonesia and Brisbane for work, so again that put delays on the build, but before I left the cradle was finished....
Once I got back from Indonesia I was able to spend some time on the car, so the donor was stripped, with the interior sold, the drivetrain put in the shed and shell then sold off as well.
And to make the nopics happy this is where the shell lived for a couple of months until it was sold....
At around this time the guards, bonnet and bootlid from the spare car were sent down to Adelaide to a bloke to make molds to produce the hanging panels in plastic. The plastic is the same type as used in the stackable green and white garden chairs and will give me a big weight saving for the car, plus the advantage of plenty of bend before they break, and if they do split can be glued back together with acetone. Another advantage is the base colour is white, and as the car will be white, no need to paint.
Nearly 12 months after it went up on the rotisserie, it was time to bolt everything back in to get the car back on the ground. Fuel tank and hard lines were installed first.
Then the fun job of installing the rear cradle complete with diff by myself. Using the engine crane made the job reasonably easy, but took a bit of figuring out to get the straps right to get the angles needed to have the cradle drop nicely onto the pins in the body.
And all installed with dodgy beer o'clock photo....
Front suspension was an easy bolt up to get the car on the ground again.
And finally on the ground again after 12 months......
So at December 2014 the car was back on the ground and pushed to the back of the garage where it has sat for 12 months or so.
With work seeing me back in Indonesia for most of 2015 if I had money for the car I was away, and when I was home I didn't really have the money to play with it but here was some progress.
In September 2015 when I was on holidays, Achilles had a sale on tyres and also did a run out on wheels, so I bought a set of Achilles slicks in 270/650/18 and two sets of Advanti Samurai wheels in 18x9 for a very good price. These are tucked away in the garage under wraps ready for the car shakedown.
In December 2015, my coilovers turned up and were sent away to be rebuilt to suit the car.
And then the next road block for me, December 2015 saw me jag a 12 month contract in the Philippines, so that meant no work on the car for another year.....
So I had had an eventful time in 2016, with starting a 12 month stint in Manila in January, that ended up being a 3 month stint over 4 months as I was put back on the Indonesian project I worked on in 2014/15 that became an absolute shitfight. Luckily that sorted itself out with no apparent fall out on me. I ended up getting a month off in June/July to finish uni off and buy Skiddy's merc, and then back to Indonesia with another two week break in September and then back to Indonesia for another project that saw me return to Brisbane late December.
Just before Christmas I got the steering rack checked and purchased a electric powersteering pump for the car. The rack was installed so i could steer the car on the ground and the powersteering pump will be mounted up once the engine goes in and I can work out where it will best be located in the engine bay. At this stage I am thinking of the battery tray in the front.
Which now brings me basically up to date with the car at the workshop at the moment to have the coilovers installed and a rough set up done to get the wheels pointing in roughly the correct direction and the seat mount fabricated.
During the year on my breaks home I was able to get my motors to the builder so they could be pulled down and the best bits used for the new build, so I now have the head, a new set of cams and rocker stoppers on my desk in the study, the block is at the machinist waiting to be finished so it can be screwed back together. The motor won't be anything too special, just some good rods and pistons, 20 thou over bore, the head has been given a little tickle but nothing real flash as the rules stipulate I have to use the standard manifolds and turbo. So we are looking at running a maximum of 14 pounds to produce a torquey motor with a nice broad spread of power to get better drive out of corners.
TurbostyleR was kind enough to give me a heap of old SR bits he had which will come in handy the other day, so they have gone into the stockpile.
I have also contacted the guy in Adelaide making my panels and I will be doing a quick road trip early February to pick these up before I head back to Indonesia late February or early March. Hopefully with the breaks I get this year the plan is to get the car painted inside and out, the motor in the hole and the wiring sorted. If I can afford it, the computer and dash will also be done and if the planets align and your deity of choice smiles benevolently upon me I might be able to fire the car up and take for a test late in 2017.