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S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240

Posted by Dexter 
Dexter
Dexter Clark
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Location: Hemlock, MI
Join Date: 12/28/2014
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 26

Rally Car:
Rally all of the things


S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240
March 25, 2016 04:08AM
I feel compelled to share my build here. I'll probably share it elsewhere too, but I figured this is a good place to start.

About a year ago (maybe more) I decided to turn my 95 (S14) 240sx into a rally car. This wasn't my first choice in building a car as I had previously wanted to build a 92 Plymouth Colt and before that a DSM. Well, life happened a lot over the last 10 years and the Mitsubishi stuff just didn't work out. That's fine because RWD. I did some co-driving for Ian Seppanen in his S13 240sx and that had a really significant influence on my desires for building a rally car.

If you're interested in knowing the history of this car since I've owned it, you can go get up to speed on the Nissan Infiniti Car Owners Club website. The title of the thread is funnier now as I hadn't intended to turn it into a rally car when I started that thread...

If you dig around on NICO you can see that I've been tinkering with Nissans and 240's in particular for quite a while now. It's gotten to the point where the S-chassis and SR20 engine are what I'm most familiar with as a hobbyist mechanic. So, it makes sense to build something that I'm really familiar with. It also helps that I have LOTS of spare parts that I've collected over the years.

As it currently sits, the car shows no signs whatsoever of being a rally car project. In fact, I can go start it up right now and drive it across the country to a racetrack, beat on it for the day, and drive it home. I have that kind of confidence in the setup right now. Most of the interior is intact and the suspension is setup for paved performance. The engine is a stock longblock with bolt-on's and supporting mods to run 18psi all day.

Since I decided to make the S14 rally capable I've been gathering a lot of parts and doing a lot of homework and planning. I also made friendly with as many people as I could find in North America and Australia that all ready rally race S-chassis platforms and I have pestered them about all kinds of stuff. A few of them have been very willing to help. However, almost all of them are racing the older S13 chassis. Most of it is similar enough though.

The one thing that is really holding me back at the moment is the suspension. I have a set of custom Bilstein shocks currently in development courtesy of TRF. I had contemplated a few other options but ultimately decided to go that route for two reasons. Since TRF will be doing the cage and other chassis prep, I figured it made sense to let them build the shocks as well. Also because TRF is geographically close to me, service and rebuilds should be quick and easy.

Once the shocks are ready (any day now) I'll be removing the drivetrain and taking the car up to them for Stage 1 of 2 for the build. The current plan is to do suspension, skid plates, and pin jacks all together. The shock setup that we've decided on necessitates modification of the strut towers - which is why the drivetrain is coming out. From there I will complete the rest of the planned exterior work and paint the car. I'll put the drivetrain back in and drive the car around to get a feel for the new setup and hopefully do some rally cross events and maybe some shake downs in the woods when no one is around.

Stage 2 will be removing the drivetrain again, gutting the car and taking it back up for roll cage and seam welding. Then the interior will get painted and the remainder of rally prep will commence.

I've all ready got most of this build planned out; but if you've got any questions, comments, or recommendations on my setup, feel free to chime in. I'll post an update when time allows regarding the suspension pre-work I did. As other side projects get completed, I'll bring those in as well.

If you want to be kept up to speed with this project or any of the other things I've got going on, you can follow me on Facebook (dexter.clark.5 - mostly car stuff, no drama, no kids, minimal politics, minimal food) and Instagram (dexters_autolab - all car stuff, seriously).

Thanks for checking it out. Hopefully this will be informative and entertaining.
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tdrrally
edward mucklow
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ford mustang LX 5.0, 1973 VW Beetle



Re: S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240
March 25, 2016 09:39AM
post some pix i want to see your build!



I would rather drive a slow car fast as a fast car slow!
first rule of cars: get what makes you happy, your the one paying for it!
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Dexter
Dexter Clark
Mod Moderator
Location: Hemlock, MI
Join Date: 12/28/2014
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 26

Rally Car:
Rally all of the things


Re: S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240
March 25, 2016 07:04PM
There's a lot of pics in the link back to NICO. Up until recently, it's really just been a street car build; so I don't think a lot of the pictures I have now are relevant. If you just like seeing pictures of parts laying around, I have some of those I can post...

It's taken me so long to get to this point that I want it to be decent looking for at least the first rally until I smack a tree or something. I'm not constrained by a minimalist budget. It's just as important to me to build a good looking car as it is to build a safe, reliable, and sustainable car.

Here's a couple current(ish) pictures of the car.






Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2016 07:23PM by Dexter.
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RollyRally
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Join Date: 02/01/2016
Posts: 9


Re: S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240
March 28, 2016 01:01AM
nice car. hope you can tell us about your mod plans
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Dexter
Dexter Clark
Mod Moderator
Location: Hemlock, MI
Join Date: 12/28/2014
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 26

Rally Car:
Rally all of the things


Re: S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240
April 07, 2016 03:56PM
Before winter fully set into the Great Lakes Region, I pulled the S14 in to do some preliminary measurements for the custom suspension.









Anyone keen on Nissans will likely notice the aluminum knuckle. I'm switching over to Z32 rear knuckles to utilize the double shear lower connection for the strut. I'm also utilizing the 4-pot front and 2-pot rear Sumitomo brakes from a Z32 as well. I was hoping the 15" wheels from a Q45 would clear this setup since they have similar-ish brakes, but there wasn't enough backspacing. I tried both styles (BBS and whatever the others are).


So I picked up some Enkei RC-G4's instead. I picked up a set of 6 second hand, so I got a smoking deal on wheels and tires (medium compound BFG).


I've been collecting a lot of parts for advancing the rally build - roof vent, hydraulic handbrake, spare turbo, custom downpipe for added clearance, Nismo engine mounts, and all kinds of other things here and there. I'm planning on taking a trip up to visit TRF with the car in a couple weeks to get a more concrete plan moving forward as well as finishing up some of the final touches on my custom Bilsteins. I've got a few other projects occupying my time at the moment that are a higher priority than the S14 right now. Hopefully I can get them knocked out and start focusing on making this car rally ready.
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Dexter
Dexter Clark
Mod Moderator
Location: Hemlock, MI
Join Date: 12/28/2014
Age: Settling Down
Posts: 26

Rally Car:
Rally all of the things


Re: S14 Rally Build - the more rounder 240
April 27, 2016 02:57PM
I drove the car up to TRF last week to finalize some of the planning moving forward. We decided to back load the second stage of this build due to needing to cut holes in the roof for cage construction (seamless roof skin, not a panel). I originally wanted to do the pin jacks and paint in stage one, but now we're just going to do the suspension and the skid plates for now.

Another take away from the meeting was that the strut tower work can be completed with the engine in the car. That will save me a lot of time and energy removing the drivetrain and putting it back in. However, that will further back load the second stage of the build. I might as well ditch the whole staged build thing now. It's essentially getting some fancy rally-spec bolt-on's in the near future and then later will go in for full-blown rally prep.

I've been ordering more parts too. A couple of the recent purchases have me pretty excited. TRF wanted more clearance where my front tension rod braces attach to the front frame of the car. So I ordered a low-profile tension rod bracket and brace from Parts Shop Max. This is a relatively new part that has been developed by PSM. PSM is a company that specializes in suspension components for drift and VIP cars with locations in Japan, California, and New Zealand. I've sourced a few other parts from them in this build including the high-mount intercooler, the hydraulic hand brake setup, and the down pipe. It's all been high quality gear. The people I've been in contact with there seem happy to have me using their parts on this project.

PSM was also excited to hear that I've decided to not switch back to factory multilink suspension arms. Most Nissans of this vintage have a lower control arm, an upper control arm, a front traction arm, and a rear toe arm. With the way my suspension is laid out and the design we've chosen for the rear shocks, the clearances around the upper control arm are going to be really tight. The tubular arms I have on the car now provide a lot more clearance than the stamped factory pieces. They also provide a lot more adjustability and strength. I had wanted to leave factory arms on in order to fuse the load to the chassis and subframe from impacts. Hopefully leaving the factory lower control arm will still provide enough fuse if I stick with the tubular arms everywhere else.

The other part that gives me warm fuzzies is an Exedy Hyper Single clutch setup. Without getting into a lot of detail, I was cued to a blowout sale on some discontinued stuff that Exedy was liquidating. I ended up getting the whole kit for about a 1/3 of normally advertised prices. I had aspirations of putting that clutch kit between my engine and trans as it provides more than sufficient capacity and incorporates a chromoly flywheel to lighten the rotating assembly. However, I didn't think the cost to benefit ratio was favorable; but the deal I got was impossible to pass. I'll stash that part away for later in the build when I do the rest of my drivetrain maintenance and upgrades.

A couple of things that I'd like to address before the car's next trip up to TRF include swapping out the remainder of the rubber bushings that I have not yet replaced with poly: control arms mounts at the knuckles, differential mounts, and subframe mounts. I ordered an extra set of Z32 rear knuckles as I left one at TRF for them to use to finish the shocks. I also will put new ball joints in each corner. Lastly, I'd like to swap the current transmission out as it has a bad 4-5 synchro and take it to my teammate's transmission shop for a rebuild. While I'm there, I'll have them help me install my Kaaz 1.5-way SuperQ LSD with the 4.64 R&P I scavenged from an old Xterra.

The plan is to get the car back up to TRF shortly after Headwaters rally. Hopefully when that happens, I'll have a real update of actual progress to post and some good pictures to share.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2016 03:03PM by Dexter.
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