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neil_se

Neil's FD3S Sprint Car

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Not much happening at the moment due to long hours at work but I did get in a custom 3" aluminium driveshaft. Just 6 days turnaround from Shaftmasters.

 

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That prop shaft is a very tidy bit of kit. What kind of torque can that handle? I know that aluminium has a lot of torsional strength, but I would have thought that it would tear at the joint much more easily than steel, and your rig should really load it up with slicks.

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Shaftmasters calculated a critical rpm of 15495 and torsional yield of 3633 ft.lbs for the tube. That'd be 1350hp in first gear. It'd enquired about a 3.5" shaft but was assured 3" would be plenty for circuit racing with slicks due to the short length, and I was happy to save the extra rotational mass.

 

The axles will be the weakest link, I'll probably need to look at chromoly replacements.

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Loving the FD! was an unexpected surprise when I was working through the last few years worth of posts. keen to see more updates!

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Cheers. At the moment in on holidays in the US but it should be having the exhaust done while I'm away then my first priority when I'm back is a custom fuel cell.

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I've been on a US holiday for a while and now back into it, really pushing to have it running by the end of the year. I've found a good mechanic who can take the car in the next week or 2 and should be able to carry on with everything I can't. I had another fabricator organised to do the exhaust while I was away and I had to give him a kick up the arse to get going on it this week.

 

Side pipes!

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Spent the weekend machining some aluminium items

 

Custom fuel cell with baffles and trapdoors, ready to drop off for welding

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Brackets to bolt remote oil filter & thermostat to front of heads

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Racepak dash mount

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Brake & clutch reservoir mount

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Cheers, it was time consuming but I'm fortunate to have the equipment to muck around with!

 

My exhaust and gearbox mount were finished today.

 

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Have been working long hours again but I did have a chance to make some AN hoses over the weekend and a pedal box heel plate.

 

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Trying to get a few more fiddly bits done before Christmas and my wedding.

 

Radiator shroud

 

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Alternator bracket. Haven't decided on style yet, will either get a turnbuckle tension rod to use the first bracket or spacer tubes to position the second bracket up front.

 

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Pushlock oil and water lines (Fragola fittings with Aeroquip hose)

 

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Yeah, I remember researching them a while back but forgot about them when I was creating this. I picked up some 75x1.5mm rubber today so I'll cut in some vent holes something like this

 

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I had Kristian from Goleby's Parts spend a few hours on the car over Christmas/New Years.

 

Radiator mounted, top radiator hose sorted

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Enough space up front for the filter and intake over the top

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Fuel cell welded and mounted

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Tonight I sorted out more of the alternator mount, tensioner & belt

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Last week I had a Kaaz 1.5way LSD and Driveshaft Shop chromoly axles installed, then I dropped it off to my auto elec yesterday for engine and body wiring.

 

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Pretty much finished the fuel system. I couldn't find a fuel cell at a reasonable budget that I felt prevented slosh and kept the fuel around the pickup. I don't want to worry about foam breaking down and having had pumps fail, before I wanted to keep things as simple, reliable and lightweight as possible, so no surge tank and second pump.

 

As posted earlier I designed and cut my own tank from 2mm ally which I then had welded. It incorporates baffles, return tube to the bottom of the cell and fuel level sender (ended up slightly different to this image, with the horizontal baffle on the other side of the fuel return).

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Sender & lid are attached with closed end rivnuts and I laser cut some gaskets to suit

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Magnafuel 74 micron bulkhead pre-filter, Protuner 525 external pump, 25 micron post-filter and regulator.

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Returnless system runs a single AN8 through the cabin with bulkhead fittings under the rear seat and front firewall using Fragola pushlock hoses.

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And done!

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The car has been at Classic Auto Electrical for the past few weeks and I picked it up yesterday. It was free of all stock wiring except for brake light plugs so he created a basic body loom (pressure activated brake lights, front bumper lights, wipers), installed my Elite 2500, modified the Elite LS1 loom to suit and bent up a tray for my little Lithium battery. I had a Deutsch kit from a PF group buy and various other switches, Bussman boxes, DTP plugs, plug mounts, etc that I'd bought for my previous S14, but there was still another few hundred in parts required. I'd probably just like to remake the switch panel in my own style, otherwise everything is very nicely done with twisted wires, thoughtfully routed, easy to access and disassemble.

 

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I had grand plans of fitting lots of parts over the weekend and this week but unfortunately as I was finishing unloading it off the trailer I herniated a disc in my back which dropped me to the ground and at the moment I'm basically an invalid. Once I can get moving again the next few steps for the car are to have an intake pipe made and a bit of a steering column relocation, then remove the engine again to have someone partially disassemble and check over it as I don't have confidence in the original builder who shafted me. The first event for my series that was meant to be in March has been cancelled due to the resurfacing of Morgan Park running well behind, so that has given me an extra 2 months or so.

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My back isn't 100% but a hoist and crane make it easy enough to remove the engine by myself which I did last weekend. I struggled to access suitable lifting points on the back of the engine because it's right up against the firewall, so today I cut some lifting loops that can probably stay on the engine permanently.

 

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I finished my alternator bracket with a rose joint tensioner

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Cut up a bit of heat wrap for the starter

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Installed front and rear FEED tow hooks

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Some firewall fittings & blanks that I finished off this morning & short video from yesterday.

 

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I dropped the engine off early this week so have been getting into a bit of suspension work.

 

The Samberg conversion kit comes with tie rod ends and steering rack spacers to reduce bump steer from the new subframe position. I couldn't space up the rack with the 1/2" spacers due to sump clearance so I bought some tie-rod adaptors to space the rack ends down further and adjust bumpsteer. I had to trim off about 6mm and they sit very close the barrel of my 18s.

 

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I'd done some work on the suspension about a year ago but it all got a bit messed up by the shell blasting & spraying so I pulled it down again for a clean up. All the bushes are Superpro urethane and I fitted offset bushes in the upper arm to try and get the tyre to tuck under the guard a little more. I cleaned the overspray off the aluminium arms and resprayed the wheel wells satin black.

 

I've had a set of MCA Reds since late 2015 so it was nice to finally fit those too. I've chosen 14/10kg F/R spring rates.

 

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I'm interested to see what knuckles & arms Parts Shop Max release soon for FDs.

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Progress has slowed while I've had a big work project on. The engine shop has disassembled the LS and found that it didn't have everything I'd paid the original builder for. Not much I can do about that now but I purchased a few things and dropped them off on Friday, now it just needs pushrod lengths measured and ordered. Final build will be

 

Mahle Powerpak pistons

Scat Pro Sport H-beam rods

SRE Cam 237/250@0.050" .613/.613 113LC

Rollmaster double-row timing chain

Powerbond balancer & ARP bolts

ARP head bolts

Lunati tie-bar lifters

Smith Bros trunnion bushing upgrade

Manley dual valve springs

Moroso electric water pump

LS3 injectors

LS3 coilpacks

Improved Racing crank scraper & windage tray

New bearings, balanced, reground & polished crank, etc

 

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For a while I've been trying to sort the throttle cable. The OBP pedal box has the attachment point below the pivot down near the floor, which is nice because it just straight pulls on the throttle cable. Problem is that there's not enough room for the stainless sheath to mount & turn 90 degrees in that space, so I sourced a wire sheave from a boating shop and my auto elec made up a mount.

 

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All seemed good and we hooked it up while the engine was in the car. The problem I didn't foresee is that the pedal at 100% only pulled the throttle open about 50% :knock: The attachment point couldn't be moved any further away from the pivot as it's almost against the floor already, and even removing the pedal stops I couldn't move my ankle far enough to get full throttle body opening.

 

So many hours and ideas later I came up with a new solution using a bell crank, ball joint linkage, and a hole drilled in the back of the pedal.I can't test it out until I get the engine back in but fingers crossed it works out.

 

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My fabricator accidentally earthed through my original throttle cable while working on the exhaust and fried it, so I cut off the melted section and re-purposed it as the external battery cut-off pull

 

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FDs front wheel wells don't swallow the wide wheels and tyres too well, with full contact at the front on turn in and very little clearance at the rear on turn out.

 

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I pulled out the grinder today to make some room.

 

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I picked up the re-assembled engine and it's now been reinstalled.

 

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Even though I spaced the tie-rod ends down as much as possible, I still need to lift the steering rack around 10mm to remove bump-steer. This meant notching the oil pan and machining down the Samberg kit spacers by 5mm.

 

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The throttle linkage that I made worked perfectly so that the throttle pedal and throttle body both get to 100% at the same time.

 

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While the engine was out I had the headers ceramic coated to reduce engine bay and cabin temps.

 

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Loving this build. So much cool fabrication and attention to detail.

Keep the updates coming!

You must be close to completion now? Do you have an ETA?

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Cheers man. The whole process is 2 steps forward then 1 step back. When connecting wiring on the weekend I found it had the wrong crank sensor fitted so tonight I removed the starter to fit the correct one. I also found that the LS3 coil packs don't fit where the breather outlet has been welded to the rocker cover so I test cut a dummy bracket to move the coil packs a bit.

 

Next step is to get a 4" intake pipe fabricated but both the previous guys I've used are booked out for weeks which is really frustrating. Then it just needs a few sensors and minor lines connected and it's ready to try and start. After that there's only 99 things left on my list to get it driveable.

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I was told the LS1 coilpacks I had are crap compared to the newer ones so I bought a set. Next problem is that they don't nearly clear the breather fitting, where as the LS1 bracket just needed a little trimming.

 

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So I made some from 3mm ally that rotates them 10 degrees and positions them down a bit. The original harness still attaches the same as the factory and I've used inverted rivnuts as spacers and fixings, whereas the originals are bent and tapped.

 

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The LHS is much the same but with 2 different bolt holes. They're nice and rigid but a bit chunkier than I'd like. Now that I know all the bolt positions and clearances are ok I might do a slightly trimmed back version next time I'm cutting aluminium.

 

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I'm jealous of your CNC Neil, and impressed by your dedication to design as much as you can in CAD; the lack of half-assing in this build is incredible. I'd probably have just welded captive nuts and flat bar to the oem coilpack bracket in the rotated position, trimmed them with a grinder, run a tap through the nuts and have called it a day lol. What you've made is certainly a big step up from that with regard to appearance and weight.

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Thanks, it's nice that people notice the effort! Like you said most parts aren't anything that couldn't just be done with basic tools like a grinder, jigsaw, etc but this is the tool I've got and it's clean, neat and repeatable.

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I had the car at Goleby's this week for a bit more fabrication.

 

Lifting the steering rack pushed the header pipe into the steering knuckle, again, so needed to be modified, again.

 

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4" intake pipe with K&N carbon oval filter

 

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Catch can with AN10 push lock lines

 

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Starting to look very complete

 

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