Nissan 3.0 Turbo sand rail

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madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Operation Total Rebuild

Picked up this little rail about a week ago, should be a fun project if I can keep the modifying momentum going. It's a bit rough, and I'm pretty new to the VW and Nissan stuff, but it's all so basic I'm pretty much teaching myself as I go along. Plus, it isn't like I'm breaking new ground here, everything I need or want to do has been done before so there are plenty of resources online.

The day me and my pops picked it up:





Once we got it home to test it out, we discovered it has a fuel supply issue, see video below:



It dies if you quickly let off after 3/4+ throttle. The Nissan guys think it's a sensor or vacuum line somewhere, so... Yayyy. :rolleyes:
 
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madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Whoever built the main frame was a real decent welder, everything is solid and square. BUT, whoever got it after him was a terrible welder, didn't give two shits about making things square or if things held together once it was running and driving. I will get more pictures of examples of this total hack work inside this otherwise well-built frame.

Last Saturday we took the rail out for our maiden voyage with it. Boosting around 10-12 PSI, she pulls like a freight train! And that turbo whistle... Mmmm!! After a short 20 min. shakedown run though, the (presumably stock from an 80's 300ZX) radiator developed a leak right in front of the intake/turbo. Not wanting to risk a catastrophic failure in the desert, we loaded it up and regrettably drug it home. We decided it was a good time to get the radiator out from in between the seats and the engine pulleys and mount it higher. Total interior tear down ensued this afternoon:



I hadn't noticed this before, but, gee... That cross bar looks a little wonky, yeah?



Sure as shit. This is the kind of hack work I'm talking about. Compare the upper cross bar (welded on later) to the lower cross bar (part of the main frame construction). Crooked as a politician. Also, note the remains of a previously chopped bar behind the existing bar... That isn't straight either! More than two inches off from each other.

I didn't get pics of the chopped up battery box that i banged off the frame with a small hammer because it wasn't even 360 welded, but it was bad. In the upper pic you can see where it was mounted, about 1.5 inches off the passenger side exhaust manifold. Fucking classy.

I'll post up more as this week goes on and more shit comes out. Hoping to get a legit Ron Davis radiator system set up within the next two weeks.
 

madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Tonight I chopped out that terrible bar going across the chassis at a nearly 45 degree angle. I removed the remnants from the old tube that was there, and cut out some random right angle that was pissing me off as well. Got all the sharp edges ground down smooth and mocked up the Corbeau seats from my truck build in there.



They are super snug in the frame, and I'll have to yank the turning brakes, but fuck those anyway. The new seats feel amazing compared to the awful fiberglass buckets that were in there.

Also, I'd just like to post this terrible shit I'm dealing with:



That single piece of strap is the ONLY thing holding the air cleaner and MAF up, besides the silicone hose going to the turbo. It isn't even fully welded on either side. This is the kind of hack shit that I'm finding all over this rail. I saw it when we were buying it, but now that I'm digging into it, FML its even worse.
 

madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Did a bit more work to this thing on Saturday. Every time I look in the frame rails, I see something I want to redo. This little rail may just literally nickle and dime me to death.

Whoever got this thing running was in a hurry and didn't give a shit how anything looked and certainly did not plan for any type of failure or accident. Here is a shot into the "engine bay", behind where the battery tray was once mounted:



If you look closely you can see the clear fuel filter hanging off the fuel pump, which is hanging off of yet another fuel filter which leads into the fuel rail. All in all I'd say there was about 8 feet too much fuel hose, and six too many hose clamps right next to the exhaust manifold shroud. I removed both old filters and replaced them with a single aluminum filter before the pump:



Anyone see anything blatantly wrong with this setup? Should I be running a pre- and post fuel filter around the fuel pump?
 

madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Almost a month later and I'm finally back at it. CBR radiator came in, it's amazing.



But I promptly fucked it up by somehow cross threading the overflow nipple.



Luckily, it is repairable as it only went in about two threads deep. I honestly don't know how I did it, but CBR sent me a replacement the next day.

Got some brake business taken care of today, removed the turning brakes and plumbed the car anew. That center mount was the turning brakes, which is now just a T-block.



So, yeah, nothing too exciting, but this is mostly so I can keep track of what I do to this car as kind of a digital progress journal. At this point, the whole car is basket-case status, its just a dirty mess of parts and rags right now.



Plan is to drop it off at the fab shop after Laughlin this coming weekend and get it in driving shape.
 

madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Thanks man, definitely have plenty of work ahead. The new pre-shakedown list includes:

Radiator/all associated components
Battery box/tie-down
Main positive wire from battery relocation
Install more new gauges
Fix whatever else hack work we find

Also discovered a major design flaw, which I will have to get a picture of later... The driver side trailing arm is about 3" of travel away from the cold side of the turbo. FML. That means I need some kind of crazy custom manifolds for this thing to really take advantage of any travel without tearing itself apart on the first real bump.
 

madmax_087

Semi-Enthusiastic
Aug 30, 2007
573
0
0
Chandler, AZ
Nearly eight short months later and next to nothing has happened until this past week. I've renamed this project "Operation Total Rebuild" because its turned into a complete rebuild...

In every sense of the term, this build was a hack job. Through and through. Besides the frame's initial construction, every weld is piss-poor bird shit. The IG Fab Police could post pictures off this car for a month and not run out of content.
All wiring in the car was crimped together by a blind man and was burnt and grounded to the frame in multiple spots. The fact that engine even started is a testament to Nissan's engineering.
So, let me get to what I've done on it in eight months time. Get ready to be astounded by a lack of motivation and funds!

I put the engine on Craigslist for sale or trade. A guy contacted me to trade for 1915cc VW, which I agreed to. I will be driving to Tucson to meet him and trade this weekend.



I pulled the stupid rear deck thing made of diamond plate because this isn't 1982. That piece of shit was cut out and bolted on with a pure and complete disdain for human hands/forearms. Also cut the cross bar that it was sitting on because it was a piece of shit as well. With all that shittiness out of the way, I pulled the VG30 out of there.





Close-up of the shit mounts made by the shit-fabber:



After all that was taken care of, I mocked up my new-to-me old-showroom-special Beard seats that I got from Chris at XTC for a steal. They are WIDE AS FUCK but super comfy so I'm putting them in no matter what.



Last night I went back in and ripped every wire, gauge, KC light and extra bolt off before I went to softball. Tonight I'll go in with the death wheel and get rid of all the tabs, mounts, and any other welded on bullshit from the previous shit-fabber. The real progress won't start until after I get the new engine going in, but I'll get a shot of the clean/bare frame I guess.
 
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