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Author Topic: S13 Track Car Rebuild  (Read 15188 times)


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S13 Track Car Rebuild
« on: August 31, 2014, 09:19:22 AM »
Due to some small interest, it would probably be about time we posted something up about our new build.

Be warned it's not as fancy as the r33, and is being drip fed funds very slowly.
But with some patience and some unconditional love & attention, it should transform into something hopefully magnificent
She was in a pretty neglected state:

-Leaking Power Steering Lines
-Botched Passenger floor Skin
-Paint ripping off with sticker removals
-Over rolled front guards causing deformation
-Fuse box assembly wires not in their correct home
-Rust hole on the top of the Firewall
-Surface Rust on Rear subframe
-Inner CV boots blown out
-Rusted battery box & To Large a capacity Rad overflow bottle
-Engine loom cut
-Wrecked Passengers Side Skirt
-Inner Guard lacquer Falling Off
-Roll Cage Inner Tub Plates Not Rust Protected
-Displaced Wires In Cabin, Engine Bay & Boot
-Cut Oil Cooler Lines
-Missing Clutch Fork, Release bearing and sleeve.
-Over spray on Inside Windows
-Pool Noodles used as Roll Cage Padding
-Window Controls not working.
-Wooden door Cards
-Engine bay Paint flaking off

And plenty of other issues that could be listed.

I think you may get the point by now that, it was in pretty rough condition.
And has already cost us a fair bit to clean up, and it also didn't come with an engine either.
While I know most of you may ask, why didn't you just buy a running shell? Well friends and fellow car enthusiasts.

The truth is from the moment I saw this car I fell in love with it.
Irrespective of it's imperfections I simply just had to have it.
Yes there was many other cars just like it, if not even better than it.
But I'd had my eye on this one for a while, and it just kept popping up and bugging me.

Regardless of how much neglect it'd had or how much work it needed, I felt that in the right hands it's true potential could be realized.

Without further ado, we introduce to you our s13:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:08:07 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2014, 12:23:28 PM »

Looks like a good solid base and not to mention S13's are hella cool, going the SR route ? Orrrr.....


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2014, 01:33:08 PM »

Looks like a good solid base and not to mention S13's are hella cool, going the SR route ? Orrrr.....

Yeah bud. While it's a slightly more expensive route to go on. It'll ensure we'll keep the chassis nice and nimble, exactly how it was designed from factory.
There will be a whole series of updates popping up on this thread shortly. I'm just working through the photo archives now, so it can all be posted in categories.


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2014, 02:55:10 PM »
So we finally had the car in our possession by the new year, and I'll be honest it was a bit hard to figure out where to start first.
Staring at the engine bay: What a mess! That had to be a good place to start.

It was no easy task at all. Literally the whole front end had to come apart, just to sort out where everything should actually be running.
At least it would be a good chance to tuck body loom up above the wheel wells, that and assess how much work needed to be done.
As soon as the stripping and relocating was started, it was clear to be obvious some back yard mechanic had gone to town on this car.

After a fair bit of work all the fuse box loom was put back together properly, so a cable tie didn't have to hold it shut.
Just silly little things like the battery relocation wires running through drilled holes in the firewall.
Those needed to be relocated away from the pedals, and run through the body/cockpit loom bung.

Gave the bay a nice rub down to see what the paint was like:

A little bit faded and could do with a nice re-coat:

This stupid radiator overflow bottle is just way to big:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:14:34 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Wire Clean up Isle 10
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2014, 03:07:39 PM »
Battery relocation cables moved to their respective locations, and insulated the joiner in it's very own little black box.

Dash removed and wires grouped and cable tied to the cage, this is much better compared to what it was.
Considering there were wires hanging down close to where the passenger or drivers feet would be.

I wasn't quite game enough to waste time removing all the unnecessary cables, it was easier to just get it out of the way.

If you take a look at this one, you can see the power battery relocation power cable just chilling out down by the pedals.
Needless to say that really had to move to a safer location.

Still haven't  got around to cutting the holes to fit some gauges, but at least the mounts all made up and ready to go.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:16:54 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Side Intrusion Wire Tuck
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2014, 03:24:25 PM »
It may not seem much to others, but small stuff like this irritates me to no end.
Call me anal if you will but those cables hanging over the rail support had to go, they interfere with seat clearance when running fixed rails.

And realistically in no time at all the job could be done properly like it should have been done in the first place.
Running cables through the body loom and into the engine bay (past the wiper relay) is just common practice, instead of drilling a hole in the firewall.

While I was in there it felt like a good time to remove the foot rest brackets, and other annoying un-needed bracketry. (Good old trusty drill and grinder)

How it should have been done:

It was then onward to the boot to clean some cables up, to sleeve and tuck them up so they can't been seen.
While in there it was time to replace the wet cell battery for a dry cell unit.

That'll be tidy enough for now:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:19:01 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Suspension Components
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 09:02:51 AM »
Now with most of the wiring stuff sorted out and cleaned up, it was time to focus on the underside of the car.
It came rolling with a welded up r180 diff, which really did seem like a baby diff compared to the r200.
For now it has been swapped out with a shimmed r200 diff, which pretty much seems like a locked diff.

The plan will be to replace the guts of it with a os giken or nismo 2 way diff core, but it's a little out of our price range for now.
Once getting stuck into the underside of the car, it really did look like someone spun it in the wet straight into a huge mound of clay.
Literally the whole underside of the car was covered in it, which had caused the subframe and some  suspension parts to rust.

Anyway! I'd completely stripped the underside as a safety measure, repainted and replaced various components as well.
First on the list was to drop the rear subframe, and strip it to get ready for paint.

This is just a rough idea of the clay on the underside, I didn't get any real pictures of it but I tell ya it was all over the place.

Lets take a look at the condition of the subframe:

Lovely Missing cv boot clip, and it's guts splattered all over the subframe:

The lca's weren't to bad, but could do with a repaint:

It was probably a good idea to paint the subframe mounts, while doing the lca's:

This whole area was not only covered in grease from the cv boot, but clay as well. Kinda wish now that I'd taken a photo:

Dropped the subframe & knuckles off to a bro to have them sandblasted:

Cheers to GT Refinishers as usual for Painting up the frame & knuckles for us:

Time to fit it all back up again:

It seem a bit pointless now painting the traction & caster arms to only replace them two weeks later:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:29:45 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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5 Stud Conversion
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2014, 11:43:39 AM »
And then the upgrades started happening (Once you start you never stop).

Just simply replacing those Traction and Caster arms, was enough to set me off on yet another tangent.
I've heard rumors of the factory handbrake clamping force without extenders is pretty poor.
So my vision at first was to keep the 4 stud & do a drum handbrake conversion, but that quickly changed when I didn't want to redrill some rotors.

It's definitely a positive thing that the decision was made to convert to a 5 stud setup.
There aren't many pictures of this just due to general lack of knowledge at the time.

Parts Used:
-S14 Turbo Extended & Knotched Lca's.
-S14 Turbo Hub Knuckle's & Relocated Tie Rod Pickups
-A32 Inner rack ends & Tie rods
-GKtech Offset Rack Spacers
-Redline Caster Rods (Due to be replaced)
-R33 Rear Handbrake Baking Plates (Including Springs & shoes etc)
-R33 Gtst Rear Rotors & Calipers
-R33 5 Stud Hub Carriers
-R33 Gtst Handbrake Cables
-S13 Handbrake Eagle Adapter (Self Made)
-Advanti XT7 17x8 Wheels

With the Steering mods that car has it yields 1.5 turns to lock, while still maintaining ackerman for grip racing.
I'll work on getting some more proper pictures of this conversion, so people understand whats required to complete it.

The r33 cables have two additional brackets you don't use, so removal is necessary in order to route the cables through the subframe.
In order to mount the cables the far most mounting bracket has to be loosened up, and moved back an inch then tightened back down.
Also the cables need to cross over, as the r33 cables are much longer than the factory s13 ones.

I'll try get some better pictures of this stuff when I get a chance:

Obviously a fairly straight forward process of just bolting up the front end control arms:

And then it was just a matter of dialing in the lock stops and swapping out the tyres with a full set of Dunlop semi slicks.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:35:17 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Engine Bay Repaint
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2014, 02:01:25 PM »
We'll get into the styling of the car a little later, so for now we'll come back to the engine bay.

Once again the engine bay had a full strip down minus brake lines, because lets be honest who wants to bleed brakes if they don't have to.
Some people may not agree with the progress of how it's been done, and most would normally prep the whole bay and then hit it with primer.
Having been strapped for time during the week, I could only do sections at a time & prime it before sundown.

half the mission was just removing caked on oil from the chassis rails & rad support, it really did seem like the oil cooler was hit at one point in time.
Where it was situated was right smack bang on the right hand corner of the car, which really isn't safe considering it's easy to destroy it.
So the plan for that is to remake the oil cooler lines & fit a new Cooler, and run it just behind the rad support for protection.

After long hours of stripping, sanding, grinding & priming, it was finally ready for it's base coat.
Bare in mind the top section of the firewall could not be painted due to it still having a rust hole.
which at later point I'd had repaired by Kevin from Redline Engineering, while he was at it he fixed the passengers side floor skin as well.
I'd have given it a go myself but was a bit afraid of cocking up the welder settings, and blowing straight through the paper thin panels.

Here's the lovely hole in the firewall:

Repainted the booster, as the paint was stripped off due to an overfilled master cylinder courtesy of the previous owner:

 Making a start on the prep work:

Decided to drill out the spots and removed the old battery box, and also found some more rust holes: (How it used to look vs it removed & primed)

Almost finished Priming:

Ready to Roll:


Gearbox back in & the rust patch on the firewall fixed & painted:

Much better as apposed to how it used to look, disregard the paint on the a pillar as it needed to be repainted anyway:

How it used to look vs how it looks now:

We also finally replaced the radiator over flow bottle with the correct size unit:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:49:08 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2014, 10:27:05 PM »
Wow you've definitely been keeping busy.  Good shit man!


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2014, 12:15:08 PM »
Not long after completely stripping the underside of the car, I'd decided to scrub back the lacquer to check for rust.
All seemed well apart from discovering a hole leading through the left rear inner guard to the sil.
So because one inner guard was painted, all the others had to be painted as well.

In the process of scrubbing back and painting the inner guards, i'd also taken the time to treat the roll cage welds.
As well as pulling the sil lip back straight & rust protecting it as well, making it actually possible to remove the front guards or fit new ones.

Right Rear Inner:

Left Rear Inner:

Left Front Inner:

Right Front Inner:

« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 09:55:20 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2014, 12:15:36 PM »
Now that the underside of the car was all done, it was time to return focus to the Body & Interior.

Originally it had a standard s13 rear bumper missing quite a bit of paint, 4 stud silver excessively curbed rims.
Massive tyre bulge on all 4 wheels & not to mention the pretty much destroyed left side skirt, along with very old stickers that possibly may have been sponsors.

There looks to have been little or no thought put into the styling of the car, just purely on how none of the kit contrasted well with the wheels and body curvature.
With a little bit of research and quite a bit of waiting the kit seems to be almost done, how ever we're still waiting on our front bumper & gtr style grill.

For now simple yet necessary style changes have been made:

-BN S13 Front Fenders
-S14 LCA for Wider Track
-Advanti XT7 17x8 Fitted with Dunlop 225 Semi Slicks
-Vertex Rear Bumper
-Vertex Front Bumper
-Vertex Rear Over Fenders
-S13 GTR Style Grill
-Wheel spacers (At some later point)

Unfortunately the rear bumper had a little bit of damage, which had to be filled in with fiberglass.
Non the less a good bit of fun getting the resin to hardener ratio right, to much hardener and it would set way to quick for me to shape the edge properly.

Even though this was simple It gives way more appreciation to the guys who repair snapped in half bodykits, absolutely amazing and dirty work you fellas do. (Good stuff)  :mrgreen:

Not to bad with the materials I had at hand:

Also had a few holes on the right side to fix to:

Should hopefully do the trick:

I ran into a bit of a problem with the paint a while back, aka it pealing off due to poor prep work.
Luckily with a bit of standing & a lick with paint, it was good enough that the bumper could easily hide the imperfection.

At some point in it's near future, the car will probably get a full repaint as frankly the paint jobs crap.

These stripes just had to go:

Well that escalated quickly, even with a heat gun on the vinyl it still did this:

Yet the other side came off without any issues:

The side skirts had definitely past their expiry date:

Just a gentle reminder of how it used to look minus the vinyl:

Not to bad really, but it was definitely time for a styling upgrade.

First came the Bumper:

Then the Wheels:

Next the Fenders to clear the wheels:

Then came the side Skirts which I really took my time with. There were already holes drilled in the quarters from the previously riveted skirts.
No body and I mean no body should ever pop rivet skirts on! What happens when you want to remove them? Drill out the rivets each time you want to take them off?
I don't know about you guys, but we really don't have time to piss around with that style of fitment.
So! This is what lead me to buying a Rivet Nut gun, that and the door cards which you'll see shortly.

Enlarge the holes on the quarters (No problem). Fit the rivet nuts (Easy as). Was the test fitting a breeze with rivet nuts fitted? (You betcha)
You may get the point by now. Rivet nuts are bloody awesome, and really do add elegance to your ride being able to use flush fender washers.

MMMMmmmmm flush fender washers:

The fitments not to bad either, seems that my mate Ippie has outdone himself with the molds:

Right side all mocked up:

Forgive me for not posting up a finished picture of the right skirt, as by this stage I was through quite a few bourbons.
Having said that, I did take an over all completed picture which gives you an idea of how it'll look done.
The back end needs spacers & most definitely needs to be lowered a fair bit more.

We'll return to the body section at some point when the Grill and Bumper arrive, so for now we'll play the extremely fun waiting game.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 10:05:19 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Interior Renevation
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2014, 02:03:30 PM »
So it's about time to finally cover the inside of the car and whats been planned for it.

We'd like to go down the track of making switch panel, which will utilize the factory gear shift surround mounts.
This will give us plenty of room to mount switches and gauges, including various other gadgets.

Gadget List:
-Brake Bias Controller
-AFR Gauge
-Voltage Meter Gauge
-Boost Controller
-Ignition & Start Switch
-Headlight & Wiper Switch
-Fan 1 & 2 Switch

And probably a whole bunch of other stuff, including fitting an inline hydraulic handbrake.

Having been pretty concerned about how the passengers floor was hacked up, that was really the only major thing on the inside I'd like fixed.
The raised floor section on the passenger side had been chopped out, and re-skinned to allow for fixed low mount seat rails.
Now normally if you chop a panel out and plan to replace one, it'd be good practice once tacked into place to fully weld it up.
Obviously afterward you'd do the normal (sand it back, prime it & paint). Yeah well someone obviously didn't get the memo to do it that way.

Here's how the floor used to look:

After welding the skin in properly:

Then it was time to prime half the floor and paint it, as doing things in sections seems to work quite well for me:

I've been working away slowly on the other half of the floor, stripping and finalizing things before I hit it with primer.
A few of the unneeded brackets have been removed from the firewall, including the drivers foot rest & random studs sticking out of the firewall.
There isn't enough pictures of this particular process happening, as I've yet to finish it but should hopefully get it done this week.

Brackets to Remove:

Doesn't look like much at the moment, but in no time it should be back to it's former glory:

It's time your attention was strayed away from the floor, and focused on these cool door cards we had made.
Without a doubt this would be where the rivet nut gun came in super handy, but before I could use it the doors had to be painted.
The lovely factory glue on the doors wasn't one of the funnest things to remove, and really did seem to take for ever to get off.

This is exactly what we mean when we say "Do it once & do it right".

I'll skip all the prep process on the passengers door, no point drowning you guys out with to many useless pictures:

Now that the doors were all painted, it was time to fit up the new door cards to it.
First of all the old ones were just put on just for a pic, and for some reason on a picture they didn't look to bad.
But rest assured the door cards were wooden and had warped all over the place, including having the window controls right in the way of the cage.

Then it was a matter of moving the relay inside the door & recess the window controls into the door cards.
This is were the rivet nut gun came in handy, with every hole drilled having a rivet nut & a flush fender washer fitted

Luckily enough there's a gap between the card & the door just below the door handle, that when cut out had plenty of clearance to run the window  controls.
Mocked up & 100% sure the controls weren't going to fowl on the door, it was time to cut out the hole for the controls.

Yes of course it was a job for more rivet nuts!:

This is where I realized after I drilled the holes for rivet nuts & fit them, that the plug would fowl on two of the rivet nuts.
Initially it was just going to be 4x5mm bolts, but they would fowl on the controls unless shortened. (No point wasting bolts if you don't have to)

Having saved heaps of chopped up 5mm studs, the plan was to grind two of the nut rivets & studs down to clear the plug.
The plan worked out quite nicely, in fact probably came out better off than just fitting bolts & cutting them.

Excuse the little gap, the controls are square & that plastic bit for some reason is curved:

Much better:

And then it was time for paint:

The finished result:

That concludes the interior section for another day, with still plenty of more updates to come.
There is still some remaining work to post up once it's finished, aka Bumper & Grill fitment & the floor painted.
It'll also include installation of the race belts, and various other finalized components before the engine is put in on the 13th.

Stay Tuned for more updates

To be Continued ....................
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 10:39:02 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Floor Prep for Paint
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2014, 08:23:23 PM »
It's taken a good week to get to this point, with little time to spare each day for prep work.
But finally today the floor has been primed in prep for it to be painted tomorrow on my day off.

Also this weekend we should hopefully have the motor in, then it's just sorting out little bits and pieces to get it running.

Sanding work complete:

Time for primer:

Photos of the completed interior should be up by hopefully the end of Friday.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2017, 10:42:51 PM by SlaterRacingNZ »


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Re: S13 Track Car Rebuild
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2014, 09:37:01 PM »
Nice man, enjoying watching the progress you are making on this.
Remember seeing this a few months back when I picked that spoiler up and it looks like a totally different car now.

Keep up the good work.