1 2 3 4
TurnerX19 Dork
12/3/19 11:08 a.m.

These are the very best front engine live axle sports cars ever. You do need the later rear for any more power than a stock 1500. Pumpkin is aluminum.  Also the disc brake front end would be nice, but the original Dunlop type caliper is under size and ineptly engineered. You do not need a rack & pinion steering set up unless the original is worn out. I drove enough of them when new cars to know that stock they handled better than MG, Triumph or Alfa. 

akylekoz SuperDork
12/3/19 11:35 a.m.

In reply to Robbie :

The 1200's are lighter. 

Let's find me a nice Armada or QX56 from your neck of the woods this spring so I have an excuse to deliver this drivetrain.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
12/3/19 11:50 a.m.

Look around.  Somebody is usually trying to dump the 1600cc engine for a song.  

Chicago Heights?  I might have to help.  What's the ruling on donating parts? (Rims)

stafford1500 Dork
12/3/19 12:03 p.m.
jstein77 said:

Elliott and Bill Harvey have been running this same one since I started autocrossing in 1983:


Didn't they win a few national autocross championships with that car as well. They were local to the GRM guys in the 90's and were written about several times. Maybe someone you can reach out to has some build specs...

AWSX1686 UltraDork
12/3/19 12:26 p.m.
Robbie said:
AWSX1686 said:

I still want to see the X1-9 at the challenge... But this should be fun too! Carry on!

The x1/9 will make it eventually. But we are currently a bit lost considering powertrain. While the bike motor sounds like a great idea, my true dream for that car is something super reliable. And I'm worried about my chain drive being the right solution for that.

I know it's a thread jack, but if you haven't seen the Grind Hard Plumbing Co. Spitfire on YouTube, you should probably check it out. Snowmobile CVT could be an option. Belts wear, I'm sure, but if put in place nicely, shouldn't be too hard to change. 

maschinenbau SuperDork
12/3/19 1:01 p.m.

I'd just focus on getting it running and making it non-rusty enough to drive. Stock drums are plenty for the Challenge. The stock diff will probably last long enough if you keep the engine stock+. 

wheelsmithy SuperDork
12/3/19 1:42 p.m.

This, I like.


SVreX MegaDork
12/3/19 3:00 p.m.

You and I share way too many nightmares!!

Robbie MegaDork
12/3/19 3:03 p.m.

I may have a line on the later rear axle from the seller, and since the second delivery is not yet complete that might be the safe bet. Regardless, I agree with KISS.

That is also a strong argument for akylekoz's 1200. Do we have any idea how much lighter it is than the 1500? Also any idea of the power ratings of each? I think the 1500 says 85hp on the plate.

The car also came with the disk brake front hub setup in the trunk. But I also feel that drums in good working order will be fine for the challenge, so it might come down to which ball joints are in the best condition, lol.

Robbie MegaDork
12/3/19 3:08 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:

Look around.  Somebody is usually trying to dump the 1600cc engine for a song.  

Chicago Heights?  I might have to help.  What's the ruling on donating parts? (Rims)

No longer Chicago heights, but still really close in flossmoor. I was actually going to ping you (mostly because of your screen name). I could absolutely use a hand with this and if you know datsuns then bonus!

Donated parts are added to budget at FMV, but still are awesome!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
12/3/19 3:13 p.m.

It should be pretty easy to yoink the engine out of there, right?  Maybe do that and line up the 1.6 and GSXR engine just for a look?

Is the transmission related to anything that carried into the Nissan years?  There are plenty of VG series engines out there inside of rusty donors.

Robbie MegaDork
12/3/19 3:43 p.m.

Also, documenting some rough measurements I made last night:


Diff flange to back of engine: 66.5 inches

Engine length: 21 inches

Back of engine to shifter hole: 26 inches

Back of engine to shift knob: 31 inches

Miata 1.6 (because I happen to have one sitting here)

Engine length: 19 inches

Transmission length: 33 inches

Driveshaft length: 38.5 inches

Back of engine to shift knob: 32 inches

Short story is that the Miata 1.6 overall is only an inch or two longer than the Datsun. May fit without modifying the driveshaft, but would probably put the engine further forward than I'd like.

Anyway, just documenting for now. Need to focus on steering and stopping before going.

Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
12/3/19 3:58 p.m.

Ball joints are pricey.  Body parts are rare to find.  I'm still a fan of these.  Little interior pieces get good money on eBay.  

Where's the windshield?  Those are a pain too.  I have some used finned drums that guys toss on roadsters although the 2 I have are worth $2 each.  

Robbie MegaDork
12/3/19 5:04 p.m.

The good body I'm getting has a windshield (and a hardtop). 

And yeah, Ive seen the price of ball joints, similar to the x1/9, ouch.

Finned drums for $2? That sounds like an excellent deal (unless you are trying to say they are not usable or something).

EvanB MegaDork
12/3/19 6:11 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

2020 - year of the tiny vintage roadsters. This Datsun, the X1/9's, the two TR4's, this is gonna be good!

And here i am trying to finally get started on my wagon class build.

Billy_Bottle_Caps SuperDork
12/3/19 7:40 p.m.

Sweet!! Following along..

Robbie MegaDork
12/3/19 11:45 p.m.

Another hour ish tonight. Just poked around, pulled valve cover and spark plugs. Actually all looks promising except spark plug #2...

I was able to easily loosen the belt and the alternator and water pump spin free. Put a wrench on the crank pulley but no beans.

So I added some marvel and let it sit. I poked around at the front suspension a bit and didn't find anything looking majorly wrong. Need to disassemble, clean, and reassemble.

preach New Reader
12/4/19 4:38 p.m.

A buddy of mine just did a 1600 and put a 300zx motor in it. Land speeds the car.

Robbie MegaDork
12/4/19 4:52 p.m.

In reply to preach :

Sweet! Any build threads or pics?

alfadriver MegaDork
12/4/19 5:15 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

Any chance you have an impact gun and a socket?  Having the pulses may help free things up.

hobiercr SuperDork
12/4/19 6:09 p.m.
Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman SuperDork
12/4/19 6:46 p.m.

Basically the same size 

Robbie MegaDork
12/4/19 7:31 p.m.

In reply to hobiercr :

That second g35 motor would be sick - looks AWD. V6, AWD, automatic, = roadster GTR?

I've also found a turbo ecotec w AWD trans out of a caddy ats for reasonable...

LS swap is also on the table. Space for an engine isn't really a problem. 3 issues:

1. First rule of this build is KISS. Any powerful engine will twist the stock roadster axle into a pretzel. If I have to re-engineer the rear suspension at the same time as an engine swap, that's not KISS.

2. I need to actually get this done for 2020. See first rule. AWD would help the life of the rear axle, but isn't helping me not re-engineer some suspension.

3. I don't happen to already have vq's or ls's already sitting in my garage...

All that said, I'm leaving my engine choices open, especially until I get the good body in my possession. The quality (or poor quality) of that body will drive a lot of my build decisions.

Robbie MegaDork
12/4/19 7:32 p.m.

Impact is a good idea. I can hammer on it a bit later tonight.

I might just pull the head however, since at this point it would be real quick.

MrJoshua UltimaDork
12/4/19 8:15 p.m.

Miata engines are not that impressive in the power output category. It seems like there are many 4 cylinders out there that have more modern power levels. Nissans are prevalent in junkyards and I'm guessing there is some mix and match that could put an altima or SpecV motor on a rwd nissan transmission. 150+hp NA would make that an amusing car.

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners