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Member Since 05 Nov 2013
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#1535391 A Series engine length?

Posted by Tom1200 on 18 December 2017 - 10:18 PM

I measure my spare A12 (it's on a stand) and have 19 3/4" this is from the bell flange mounting surface to water pump centering boss (centers the fan) going to an electric water pump and would cut the the overall length down to 18 1/4" by virtue of removing the pump.

Also check on Nissan E15 from the Pulsar and early Sentra; I believe these are slightly shorter.

Curious as to what kind of car; I assume it's originally powered by MAE, FVA or Climax engine given the dimension and price. Lotus Twin Cams and BDAs are a few inches longer than that if I remember correctly.

Mike the A-series engines are a bonus for formula cars and sports racers, as the were widely used there are adapters for Hewland gearboxes as well as Webster/VW. It's the front engine rear drive stuff that's difficult. Ford Type 9s have been done but most,of,them were done as one offs by various competitors around the globe, probably a couple of dozen guys have done it but nothing commercially available or at least at a reasonable price. By contrast the Hewland adapters are $400-$600 depending on which one you buy.

#1528792 Where to buy sporty stuff

Posted by Tom1200 on 12 November 2017 - 05:13 PM

When I say lesser sedans I'd be referring to anything that isn't the AWD turbo missile black whole of cash things. Most notable being the unbiqitous VW Golf type cars. The key is that these type of cars of a known set up; you buy X rate spring and dampers and call it a day. My Volvo rally car was this way as well.

Our events were held on dry lake beds so suspension travel wasn't an issue but events held in rolling fields or gravel pits would quickly eat up the stock 6" inches these old cars have so if your serious, for,sure you'll be spending serious coin on suspension.

One of the guys on SpecialStage might know the "hot ticket" place to start would be the historic rally section; there are guys who've been rallying since the 70s on there.


#1527742 63a dogleg rebuilt - Gets stuck in 4th gear?

Posted by Tom1200 on 07 November 2017 - 08:35 PM

I don't remember where I saw it but I remember seeing a couple of Datsun boxes that had the shift rails machined with a small groove so they could fit a circlip to prevent the shifter from over traveling. As the syncros get worn it's not uncommon for the shift rail to over travel and rather than the bits falling out they wedge the collar on the hub. My Ultra-close 4 speed did this and it took a bit of doing to get them apart...........I feel your pain.

#1527741 Where to buy sporty stuff

Posted by Tom1200 on 07 November 2017 - 08:20 PM

OK continued........the wife rang the dinner bell.

The H190 axle is wider than the stock B210 axle, something like 3 inches so you'll likely need some FWD rims to compensate. A trick, if you can call it that, for the front lower control arms is to simply weld on bits of sheet metal to box them and or brace them. I use the ubiquitous 280ZX coil over set up because I got the entire suspension and steering cheap. We widened the 280ZX lower control arms to match the width of the H190 rear axle. The 280ZX stuff is heavy compared to the 1200/ B210 stuff, for Rally-X because you are likely going to want to keep the ride height and suspension travel I'd keep the stock struts. An alternative to the Koni dampers is to use VW Rabbit / Golf Bilsteins (check Datsun1200.com for more detail)Urethane bushing are also widely available, you may have to do some measuring to get all the bits you need.

As for the brakes; for rally-x you're using the brakes to turn the car more than that heavy threshold braking one does while road racing so I wouldn't kill myself trying to get monster brakes on the thing. Sadly I can't remember which calipers bolt on but I think the B310 or Sentra calipers will bolt on. They use larger pads and should more than do the trick. I prefer a lot of rear brake especially on a rally car. This is pretty easily achieved with larger wheel cylinders I think they vary between 11/16ths to 13/16ths. A side note here; if you fit DCOE carbs the master cylinder is the the way and you'll need to fit something like a Wilwood or Tilton pedal set. Those allow you to use a balance bar and forego playing with rear wheel cylinders. If you can find Ferodo pads for the stock front calipers go with Porterfield brakes shoes for the back. For B210 stock rear brakes you'll need to send Porterfield a set of shoes so they can fit the completion compound brake material.

So if I was going to run a B210 as 2WD modified class I'd do the following; fit a reground cam, SI Valves, port whatever head was on the car, fit a Weber 32/36 DGV carb, header, 2" exhaust, stiffer front springs (likely Z car) Bilstien or Koni dampers, some aggressive brake pads and shoes and some used rally tires or whatever the must have tire is (I think it's currently Firestone snow tire). If I found a 4.11 or 4.38 ring and pinion I'd fit that as well.

#1527552 What does it weigh?

Posted by Tom1200 on 06 November 2017 - 09:43 PM

A couple notes on V8s:

On the LS the clutch, pressure plate and flywheel are 40lbs give or take a few, so from 371 that takes you up to 411, add the accessory drive and your at 436, headers and intake are going to add another 20-30lbs voila you're at 456. I'm sure there are also some miscellaneous bits as well that add a few pounds. You could probably find a lighter flywheel and other bits to bring the weight down so possibly as light as 435-440lbs. The other factor people forget about the transmission; an LS trans is 125lbs. So the combination is very near 600lbs.

Ford 5.0 motors are very compact and with aluminum heads, manifold and other bitsI've seen actual weights at 424lbs. The T5 is around 75-80lbs. A lot of British car guys use the combo because even at 500lbs it's still 50-80lbs lighter than the stock 4 cylinder motor.

For comparison I weighed my A12 with all the accessories clutch and even oil. The headers and flat slide carbs took a bunch of weight off the motor so it came in at 183lbs. The 56 series 4 speed is 38lbs, so all up is 221lbs The A15 is 195lbs combined with the 60 series box the total package is 253lbs. This combo is making around 105-110hp and will finally out drag a stock Miata. Now as sad as that sounds remember that a stock Miata will out drag a stock 240Z.

Now for a street car the weight doesn't matter; were talking 250-300lb difference between a race prepped A-series to a V8. The difference from an L16-L20 & 5 speed combo is going to be as little as 125 and as much as 200lbs.

My fabricator pal has changed my thought process; a KA24 as the pictures above demonstrate is all of 50lbs lighter than a 5.0 and 100-150lbs of an LS motor & tranny install. This is true of most 4 cylinder motors. Add in turbos and there is no weight savings.

A standard KA is going to make around 130whp versus 250-400 for the stock V8s. Now I don't particularly like the exhaust note of American V8s but from a power standpoint they make sense.

Datsuns are light so they don't need much to make them scoot. Also once you get them up to 175whp they start to go well (read out drag a modern Camry) At 200whp you could manage some 1/4 mile times in the 13s. Datsuns are also about handling but alas they have a really narrow track (most 70s cars do) and so that driver in that shiny new 3800lb Mustang or Camaro will leave you behind in the twisty bits if they're the least bit confident. I'm driving the wheels of the 1200 but turn the same exact lap times in students 911s & Z06 Vettes while driving the whole course in 3rd gear.

So my usual short story long point is put in whatever motor makes you happy and don't worry about the weight. If the weight bothers you than stop eating Bonbons & buckets of ice cream, load on brain before you go to the drag strip and have your girlfriend drive (let's face it she looks better behind the wheel anyway)

Now with that said keep the weights coming as it makes for some interesting reading

#1522713 7th Annual Multi-State Datsun Classic -

Posted by Tom1200 on 09 October 2017 - 09:09 PM

Kelmo your car looked great; I'm especially envious, that as I mentioned at the BRE open house, you were able get fenders on the car without the signature 1200 dimple above the wheel arch. I only wish my car looked so good but I probably wouldn't flog mine as hard if it did.

#1518761 BRE Open House Oct. 6, 2017

Posted by Tom1200 on 21 September 2017 - 09:15 PM


I will try and bring my 1200 as well, I have a training that runs till noon but it's about a mile from BRE, mine will be on a trailer as well.......seeing as it hasn't been road registered since 1991.


#1515701 A15 Build

Posted by Tom1200 on 07 September 2017 - 09:31 PM

I ordered my pistons from JE. I'll dig through my receipts and see if I have the order number, which you could probably use to at least get a quote. I ordered the pistons without the valve notches, more radical cams need the tops of the piston notched but I try to stick with less radical cams.

Nissan Motorsports doesn't have much for A-series motors these days.

Confirm which A12 is in your car; if it's an A12A those have a 75mm bore, I think one of the Honda motors uses pistons with a 75mm bore and 30mm pin height. That would save a few bucks on machining. If you can find the older A15 piston with the shallow center dish, that piston dish is something like 6cc, coupled 77mm stroke and the .8mm thick GX head gasket gives a compression ratio of around 9.8 to 10-1. You likely don't want more than that as you won't be able to use pump gas. Use one of the online compression ratio calculators.

Remember the power is in the cylinder head and also don't forget the power is in the head, did mention the power is in the head.

#1510542 Steering box brace - any good?

Posted by Tom1200 on 16 August 2017 - 06:29 PM

A friend gifted us a set of Spec Miata suspension for my son's street car; the springs are something like 750-800 front and 450 rear. It doesn't ride nearly as bad as I thought it would.

Off on a bit of a tangent; modern cars are much wider track, which makes a huge difference. My 1200 is 3 inches wider than stock and it's still 3 inches narrower than our 91 Miata. New cars also tend to have longer control arms which also helps.

Naturally their is a price for the increase rigidity, new car are pig heavy. A V6 Camry is heavier than a 65 Ford Galaxy.


#1510378 Steering box brace - any good?

Posted by Tom1200 on 15 August 2017 - 09:37 PM

When I started road racing motorcycles we couldn't get the latest 125cc GP bikes so everyone was racing 8 year old 125s, what you could get was the latest sticky Michelin slicks. It was no surprise the frames would develop cracks. While our Datsuns are actually pretty good around the firewall/torque box area they're still 70s cars and they get run on modern tires that have way more grip then anything back in the day.

Now we could stitch weld the entire thing; that won't take more than 40-60hrs and 15lbs of wire so clearly quite practical

Despite being a good starting point the stock suspension is pretty much crap; my wife had a Geo Prizm (Corolla), we were following some friends around Lake Meads North Shore Road, they were driving Triumph Spitfires and MGBs, the Geo was glued to there bumpers. You just can't compete with newer.

I'd totally agree spend the money on suspension goodies like bars, springs and dampers first.

As for the braces; it may well be akin to replacing a worn motor mount on your modern car, after you fix the mount the car is suddenly much quieter inside. On a road car the contribution to the handling may be the difference between pulling .80Gs and .804Gs, so yeah probably not going to matter. If I've done everything else I would be tempted to try various braces.

#1510067 Steering box brace - any good?

Posted by Tom1200 on 14 August 2017 - 08:33 PM

Actually you be surprised at how much stiffening up a commuter car helps. Most race tracks are smooth and the chassis flex is loaded into the car progressively; it's bad because the car effectivily takes a set twice but you can almost drive around it or at least plan for it and negate some of the adverse effects. It's also identifiable in a race car whereas in a street car it may be effectiving your car in ways you hadn't imagined

Those humped out secitions in the left turn lane may jack the right front as much has 5-6 inches, that's a heck of a lot of twist put into to a car very rapidly. The symptoms may manifest themselves as scuttle shake or just simply ride quality that isn't what it should be. It's an order of magnitude; it may not be as bad as a old ladder frame pick up truck but it still may be there. Also take into consideration the effect flex (even minor amounts) has on dampers, you are trying to hit a moving target. Volvo 240s are built like tanks and touted for their crash worthiness, they also have an excellent ride and nice steering. The two are not unrelated.

So while that bracing may not make any noticeable change in the cars handling for most drivers, it may add to the comfort level and have secondary benefit of reduced driver fatigue. I wouldn't dismiss any bracing as a looks racy do nothing part until I tried them on varying surfaces. The parts may be doing nothing more than damping out certain frequencies, which does have a noticeable effect.

My .02

#1505988 Rear Axle alignment odd tire wear

Posted by Tom1200 on 26 July 2017 - 09:53 PM

To quote a long time friend and professional driver coach "holy crap dude you drift that thing everywhere" so I think the answer is Yes. The consensus at the track days I instruct at is the same as well. Despite a good bit of single seater experience I'm a touring car driver at heart.

My fabricator, whose done some pretty high end work over the years was a bit taken aback by the wear; he's given me a list of things to check.

#1505974 Rear Axle alignment odd tire wear

Posted by Tom1200 on 26 July 2017 - 09:22 PM

Draker it's not the car thats defective, see the video link below, red coupe just in front of the Spitfire camera car. This video is how I figured out that the axle might have a bit of end play, as in 2 mm each side, so decided to check how it was assembled (it appeared be to right but wasn't once a high side load was applied). If it's possible for a driver to be to comfortable with oversteer I'd say it's me.


As for selling the car; you'll have to get past the wife; in 1984 I bought it from one friend and sold it to another the same day, then in 1989 got it back and turned it into a race car, then in 2000 sold it because I also had a single seat race car, got it back in 2003 and that's when the wife forbid me from selling it ever again.

#1505967 Rear Axle alignment odd tire wear

Posted by Tom1200 on 26 July 2017 - 09:08 PM

Wear pattern occurs on both sides of car; it's more pronounced on the driver's side.

Tire pressure is 24 psi hot. They tires are Hoosier vintage TDs, they are bias ply tires.

This coming weekend I'll be doing checking various things; the car is mix and match and one of the things I suspect could be an issue is the aforementioned leaf spring pins. The hosting is a 510 wagon H190 on 1200 Nissan Motorsports spring pack. 1200s use a 1/2 pin vs 5/8ths on a 510. The bits came off a 1200 sedan project so I'm not sure if whoever put it together used the 1200 pin to locate the H190 housing, if they did there'd be enough play to allow the housing to pivot foreman aft. In another post I noted that the axles were not,spaced correctly so it wouldn't surprise me if it's the pins. Of course I don't know if that's causing the wear pattern.

#1505955 Rear Axle alignment odd tire wear

Posted by Tom1200 on 26 July 2017 - 08:17 PM

So my  1200 race coupe has this bizarre wear pattern; inside edge of tires get scalloped out. Further inside edge is feathered as if the rubber is being pulled of to the inside. This could be a result of my somewhat driving style (read stop sling the car like a fiend) I don't think its a result of to much camber from something like bent axle tube (if it was i wouldn't expect the feathering)   Guesses welcome.  I think its possible the housing is moving around on the leaf spring centering pins.





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