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Author Topic: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, UPDATE!!!  (Read 22359 times)


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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, 56k go build a bridge!!!
« Reply #105 on: December 03, 2014, 10:58:51 PM »

I like to clean up all the metal before welding using a paint stripping disc. Rust just doesn't do it for me.

So the exhaust that Nick and I were looking at on Ebay didn't happen. Item was in Australia, but he wanted to sell me a unit from Japan (where he is located). Too much in shipping from Australia to NZ - and Japan wouldn't be worse?? Decided to get stuck into it and just start fabricating what we needed instead of waiting around.

Started with a right angle bend and I cut through the centre of the bend to create 45 degree bends. Then I rotated to get the S bend I wanted to get up over the subframe.

Tack welded to test.

Idea is there, but the bend sits low for now.

Cut the tacks out and measured an extension piece to raise the exhaust above the subframe.

Tacked it up and test fitted successfully, so welded in the extension.

Added the next piece putting the exhaust over the rear driveshafts.


Nick came around to help out on the car and view some of the work completed so far. I made him ground various welded bit to his satisfaction.

Back to the engine bay, previously the hole on the passenger side was too tight for the intercooler piping. Nick opening up the hole with larger holesaw, cleaned and primed the edges and covered with edge trim (I seem to have too many things in my garage which seem to be getting used on this car..)

Air grinder used to clean up the other hole on the drivers side, primed then edge trimmed.

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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, 56k go build a bridge!!!
« Reply #106 on: December 03, 2014, 11:00:58 PM »

Dump pipe was still sitting a little too low and after discussion with Nick, the decision was made to try and lift the exhaust system as high as possible underneath the car. I traced a cut line with a flange as it was exiting on an angle down. This cut raise increased clearance by approx 10mm.

Metal clean up time. As you can see from the flange on the far left, there was a decent build up of rust on the flanges. I welded on the side with the most pitting to ensure the flange had a better mating surface with the gaskets.

I welded on another extension piece to the dump pipe to push the flexi back into the cavity on the underside of the car. Originally I was going to mount a 3 bolt flange on to the recently cut dump pipe and use it as a mounting mount for a support I was going to make to attach the dump pipe to the gearbox. But then after thinking about it, I would negate the clearance I had scavenged back due to the flange depth. A straight pipe angled slightly up would allow me to keep the clearance at a reasonable height, even with the depth of the flange and flexi included.

Prep for welding the flange onto the dump pipe. I'll have to make and weld on a mount to attache the dump pipe to the gearbox. Flexi on wastegate allows for heat expansion. Mount on dump pipe to gearbox will support weight of exhast system to the join and flexi. Flexi is located near the driveshaft connection and gearbox mounting point.

All up, the exhaust system is solid mounted to approx the rear gearbox mount point and driveshaft connection allowing the engine and box to move as one and allow the exhaust to move as required. Makes sense in my head..

flexi and muffler tacked in. Extension pieces initally welded onto the flange and muffler before being positioned with flexi in situ. Angles of piping was consider to ensure muffler is away from driveshaft and into cavity as much as possible. Rear subframe pipe in place to locate muffler in preferred position (not much room when you start adding stuff under there). Flange and muffler have approx 10-12mm clearance from underside of car. Can't see it but at the rear corners on right are a) an exhaust shield protectin the centre driveshaft bearing mount and b) the cavity tapering in. If I had moved flexi forward more, then clearance from road would have been reduced, and I don't want to weld in another flexi..

19-Aug-2014, 1.30am

ended up with this. As you can see, the extension on the flexi has an angle on it to connect to the dump pipe. Whole bunch of fun trying to position everything for best clearance and getting it all to fit under the car.

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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, 56k go build a bridge!!!
« Reply #107 on: December 03, 2014, 11:11:44 PM »
So work has slowed down a little due to a plumbing leak in the garage forcing me to move stuff around, making it impossible to work on the R30.

Thought I'd post up the most recent work before I start the finish of the car over the next couple of days.

To mount the muffler, I had to build some brackets. Previously I had seen the mounting of exhaust component on race cars which was a bit different to hanging the exhaust in various ways.
With this car, there were no factory mounting positions that I could see and Nick had said that the factory exhaust was basically solid mounted to the car, so I made do with any existing factory studs on the vehicle.

Bracket fabrication out of 1.6mm steel. Box section and gussets give the mount some strength as I was worried about potential flexing of the mount.

And with the cotton reel bushing and a hanger plate which attaches to the car. Mounting bracket was made out of some box section I had lying around and I took advantage of the box to provide strength to the body mount.

Started on the other bracket with more box section. A bit fiddly to do, but turned out well.

Mouting holes were pre-drilled before cutting

Exhaust mount sits like this on the hanger mount.

Due to width of the bushing, I had to cut the lower box section away to flat and then add more steel to create a semi box section for strength.

Added in a plate on the back to provide torsional strength

Added gussets and reinforcement to the muffler bracket

Welded hangers to the muffler

ick has decided he wanted power steering on the car. The new powerforce 90055 harmonic balancer / crank pulley only has provision for one belt, so we were initially looking at additional pulleys to be fabricated to utilise the power steering.
The alternative way while looking and thinking about the solution, was to move the PS bracket and pump backwards so the belt lines up with the crank pulley and alternator. Unfortunately there is a water outlet behind which needed to be blocked off.

Nick had previously elongated the holes to move the bracket to the next mounting point on the block.
I made a steel plate up which covered the water outlet and fit with the mounting holes then used a sealant to bond the steel plate to the block. Plate was painted with engine block paint before affixing to block (not shown)

Next part was to support the downpipe to reduce stress on the turbo flange and wastegate outlet.
Took some measurements and made up a support out of 1.6mm steel which attaches to a bolt for the gearbox to block housing.

Ensured I left 5mm on the bracket dimensions to bend over a flange for additional support. Would have liked to dimple die the support, but I don't have dimple dies and none of my bearing races fit together like a dimple die does.

Test fit on flange I had previously welded to downpipe - success. There are two holes in the support and on the DP flange for mounting.

Welded up corner of support flange to tie it altogether.

Welded in the O2 sensor mount.

Muffler to rear section of the car needed a bit of a curve to align with the back section I had previously welded. Ideally I wouldn't have created all the bends but as the muffler was already purchased and I couldn't change the outlets, I really wasn't left with much choice.

My welding is getting better with more practice.

Hot stuff!

And S bend welded on to the muffler.

Coil pack bracket used a bolt to hold both pieces together. Time to get rid of it.

Used some box section to align the brackets before welding.

And bottom and top welded up.

So that concludes this update. Time to get working on the car and get it out of my garage :)
Catch up soon, Dave
1985 R30 Skyline Coupe


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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, 56k go build a bridge!!!
« Reply #108 on: December 03, 2014, 11:16:23 PM »
So it's been a little while since I have updated, even though the work was done back in mid September. Having started a new job, my time has been consumed with acclimating to my new role and environment and I haven't had the energy to work on Nick's car.

Nick and I have an understanding about each others priorities and what takes precedence in life, and as a lot of this work is being done in our spare time, work needs to be scheduled into that little bit of spare time, which I am sure you can all appreciate.

But with some recent progress and being so close to finishing, I thought it would be a good time to do an update :) With this update, I'll be going a little more in depth with my thought processes as there are some valuable insights to be gained for others. While these may be car specific, I tend to think more generalised,


Nick got a pass out of the house to work on the car, and we decided to knock off a big step in the build - mounting the Professional Products SFI 90055 crank pulley / harmonic balancer. Some previous internet research had observed installation issues due to the tight tolerances between the crank snout and the pulley ( ... all/page-2 ). After considering sending the pulley back to the engineers to get machined out for an easier install, we proceeded to go through the installation without machining.

As noted earlier, we had moved the PS pump rearwards, created the water outlet block off plate and we ready to install the crank pulley.

With my cheap digital callipers, Crank snout = 35mm, crank pulley hole = 34.86mm, which is comparable to other people's measurements.

Decision point: Machine or not
Consideration: additional time and cost to shave 1mm internal diameter vs getting the job done now
Result: Get on with the job at hand using recommended techniques such as heating pulley for easier installation

Pulley in a pot with water, brought up to boiling and left for 20 mins to simmer (say it like a chef, it's funny :P )

So with a hot pulley, we tried the installation using a rattle gun and the bolt/washer. Initially we didn't have the key aligned with the pulley (Nick had previously glued the woodruff key into the crank key slot) so were only able to mount the pulley a certain depth before it stopped. Due to the tight fitment, it took us a little while to get the pulley back off, slowly leveraging it off the crank by tapping with a mallet an leveraging the other side with the shaft of a large screwdriver

Bad pic - sorry. Dark line internally is how far the pulley was mounted onto the crank before stopping due to the keyway mis-alignment. Picture also shows initial taper of the hole to allow fitment onto the crank snout.

After thinking about the alignment issues, we decided that we should set the crank key at 12 o'clock to ensure we had better alignment from the start. Previously the key was set at around 10 o'clock, causing us to try to mount the pulley off centre - small things to consider when doing these things.

So after heating up the pulley again, aligning the pulley and keyway, we started the installation again. The use of a rattle gun is definitely required as there is no way we could have done this manually with a power bar or ratchet spanner. And it took a decent amount of time slowly edge the pulley onto the crank with the rattle gun. Heating the pulley didn't seem to make much of a difference and the pulley only went on with the rattle gun torque. I don't even want to think about getting the pulley off after mounting this thing!

Before we completed the pulley mounting, we encountered another issue - the crank bolt was too long! The bolt was made for a 2 rib pulley, not for a single rib. The crank pulley bolt would have to be shortened to suit.

Some measurements were taken with the bolt insitu and removed to calculate how much the bolt had to be shortened by. Around 10mm was taken off the end.

Before cutting the bolt, Nick put on a thread die onto the shaft, Then placed the guide tape after measuring. Note: Nick uses my tools better than I do haha. By putting on the die before cutting, the thread can be cleaned up easily moving from the bottom up the thread, instead of trying to start new threads from the top and not aligning properly. Clever bugger.. :P

Hacksaw used to ensure that no excessive heat is introduced into the bolt causing potential metal fatigue. So tempting to use the angle grinder with a cutoff disc, but not worth the hassle later on if something did go wrong.

Top of shaft cleaned up with a file

Die wound up the shaft to cut new threads with cutting fluid used as lubrication. Seriously Nick uses all of the stuff in my garage better than I do :( I'd normally file the shaft end, use a thread file to start the threads, cut with the die and not use cutting fluid - just the little things to learn as part of the work flow.

After crank bolt cut, we continued to push the pulley on with the rattle gun, eyeballing and measuring the belt channel to the other engine components. And finished!

Overall the pulley installation took us a couple of hours and was relatively straight forward using a rattle gun, aligning the keyway/pulley and cutting down the crank bolt. It just takes a hell of a lot of torque to press the pulley on to the crank. If we had machined the pulley hole, it may have made it slightly easier while still maintaining the press fitment, but it can be done without machining. We also didn't observe any gouging of either the crank or the pulley in the form of metal shavings during the installation, which I believe is attributed to a nice crank snout profile ie no damage or weathering.

And just to make it more interesting, Nick mounted the trigger wheel to see how it would look :)

1985 R30 Skyline Coupe


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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, 56k go build a bridge!!!
« Reply #109 on: December 03, 2014, 11:22:50 PM »

A month drifted past and Nick came over to push the car (and me) along.
Time to finish the radiator mounting. Nick had slightly changed how the radiator mounted at it's base since it had been at my place and the next step was to finish up the mounts at the top. Nick cut up some 3mm aluminium strips, took some measurements, cut, drilled and filed and ended up with these mounting tabs. Originally we were trying to mount the tabs to existing holes instead of creating holes in the paint job, but that was proving too complicated for the application.

Nick drilled the holes but I asked the question: if we use a bolt to hold the tab, how will we access the nut from the underside if it is inaccessible? (from this angle, you can see the radiator support cross member is enclosed from the front and the radiator covers if from the rear)
Answer - install nut rivets :) of which I then had to buy the tool.. (yay more tools which Nick will use better than I can..)

While Nick was playing with the radiator mounting, I was working on finishing up the exhaust. The exhaust was sitting over the subframe, but I had not finished the mount to hold this section of the pipe as I had become a little stuck in how to fabricate the mount. Anyway, I decided on making something relatively simple and if it didn't support the weight, then I'd make something else later down the line. I had to keep moving forward in fabricating the rest of the pipe work.

This tab was mounted on to the exhaust pipe as it goes over the subframe. Sorry, no other pics at the mo, I was concentrating on getting this exhaust finished. More pics later :)

Nick was still busy in the engine bay, this time mounting the coil pack bracket. Again, Nick's eye for detail comes in as he shaped the tab to the shape of the opening on the rocker cover.

He also gave the front reinforcement bar a coat of zinc protection

Slowly but surely the car is progressing. Radiator tabs finished up and they hold the radiator nicely. Some rubber bushings will be added later to reduce the vibration.

Coil packs mounted

You can see why Nick chose to shape that mounting tab as he did :)

As the coil pack bracket mounts had changed and the PS pump moved rearwards, Nick cut shortened the length of the bracket. I did ask whether he wanted to do this to his rare R30 parts, but he said it was a standard RB coil pack bracket so it wasn't an issue. And here I was thinking that the car had parts that were rare and irreplaceable.. bloody RB stuff..

Nick also measured up some intercooler piping brackets for me to weld on.

To push the exhaust fabrication along, I had to get Nick to drop the subframe down to allow me to test fit the subframe pipe in and out while finalising the mount. Also with the subframe dropped down, I could weld the flange onto the pipe and start the rear section of the exhaust.

While I mucked about mounting the subframe pipe, Nick inspected the rear end. He removed the rear brakes and hoses, bumper and bumper supports. Brake hoses were cracked and will need to be replaced, even though they were custom made and never used. Nick also reviewed the spacers he was using and the decision has to be made to replace them or not use them. More to come on that later.

With the subframe mid pipe mounted, I could start on the final section of the exhaust. Just to give a little background, Nick had wanted to use a dual 3" tip muffler/resonator at the rear of the car for a desired look. Unfortunately we couldn't find a unit that suited his needs and budget, and for the units we could find, they were either not in stock, or low quality.

In the end, Nick settled on an Apexi N1 Evolution-R universal 3" muffler as it is a quality built unit, was well priced and because I forced him to make a decision :P

Once we got the muffler, Nick positioned the unit on some axle stands to get the desired angle and position. But alas, working under the car on the rear pipe section, I moved it / bumped it countless times until I marked out the axle stand orientation, and muffler position with some tape so I could reset the position everytime I moved it ;)

***Photos on the phone, but I'll update this post later***
These are a sample of the photos I took for Nick to get the positioning correct. I'd take a photo, send it off and then he'd let me know the position to move the exhaust to.

This section of the exahust goes over the drive axle and will angle the exhaust up and to the side

I welded up the right angle and made continual adjustments until I got the position mostly correct. I then aligned the exhaust into it's final position, ensuring I kept the engraved logo on the tip straight and then marked up for welding to the 45 degree pipe. I then set up the exhaust for welding the 45 degree on to the muffler.

After some more test fitting, I had to add an additional 19mm spacer to get the fitment and angle just right.

Then it was the challenge to weld the rear section together. This was set up to get some spot welds in place.
img resize stagefumer_200.jpg /img

I then stuck the pipe into the vice to finish up the welding. When welding, you have to get used to welding in funny positions. This position had me leaning backwards. Thick leather gardening glove is used to protect against heat.

From this angle, you get a sense of what the final back section will look like. Tilt your head so that the exhaust tip points up and that is what the final result is :)

Welding stainless to mild steel is done with stainless rod. For a while I had to scratch start the tig and I couldn't figure out why. The next day (when it wasn't late at night and I wasn't tired) I noticed I had flipped the switch to stick welding... duh! Job got finished anyway

Overall it took around 4 nights to measure / cut / test the rear section. Next step are the hanger brackets and then the exhaust will be finished :)
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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, 56k go build a bridge!!!
« Reply #110 on: December 03, 2014, 11:26:09 PM »

Back to the engine bay, the rivnut tool had arrived. After figuring out how to use it, I opened up the radiator mounting holes to fit the rivet nuts using a step drill bit, de-burred the hole, then covered the fresh metal edge with some zinc paint. I also covered the other little holes along the top support just as some extra protection.

And rivnut sitting nicely in the hole as a test fit.

This tool is very cool! It means you can install additional mounting points on the panel work without having to weld something in or using existing mounting points. The tool is large, but I will most likely get a smaller rivet tool for tighter areas.

On to some more mounts, this time exhaust hanger mounts and trigger wheel sensor mount. For the exhaust hanger mounts, I had some 5mm steel strips sitting around, so cut those up to create some plates. While some of you may question having such thick steel, it's just stuff I have lying around the garage to use for these little jobs. And the more weight I add to Nick's car, the greater my performance advantage against him ;) The box section was used for the trigger wheel sensor mount.

I like to pre-drill various holes before cutting the metal as it is generally easier to position the metal when it isn't a cut and mis- shappened mess after I have finished with it.

While I was doing more metal work, I welded those mounting tabs onto the intercooler pipe

The box section turned into this. A vertical piece for attaching to factory mount points (assuming an AC pump resided there previously) and a horizontal piece. Took a little while to tap the threads clean on all 4x mounting points, even though I'm only using 2x. Never know if I have to use them later..

Holesaw cut through the horizontal piece pretty well with some cutting fluid

 tapped a M6 thread into the attachment hole. I will use a nut as well as the thread in the mount to hold the sensor in place.

So that is most of the progress thus far. Just some final things to finish up before I push Nick's car out of my garage and onto the road for him to collect ;)

- finish up the exhaust mounts
- finish the trigger wheel sensor mount
- re-align the rear bumper supports to sit bumper up 25mm more
- drop gearbox to fix up some bolts and determine starter engagement.
1985 R30 Skyline Coupe


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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, UPDATE!!!
« Reply #111 on: December 07, 2014, 09:33:41 PM »
New Seats to go in soon, Acquired some RECARO Fishnets. oldshool goodness
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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, UPDATE!!!
« Reply #112 on: December 08, 2014, 09:11:53 AM »
sweet updates Nick. can't wait to see this thing in the flesh its been so long.
god is just an imaginery friend for grown ups


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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, UPDATE!!!
« Reply #113 on: December 08, 2014, 11:38:49 AM »
sheesh how about that for an update!! good to see you still going strong :D

have to appreciate the hands on work your actually doing... nice on e bro!!
Red line it.

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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, UPDATE!!!
« Reply #114 on: December 08, 2014, 04:24:14 PM »
niiice man looking good!

- Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car
- Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car
- Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall
- Torque is how far you take the wall with you.


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Re: Stagefumer11's R30 coupe, UPDATE!!!
« Reply #115 on: July 29, 2016, 11:04:53 AM »
Great work and photo's!