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Thread: Chinese junk 180sx

  1. #1
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    Chinese junk 180sx

    Since NRR is pretty much dead I thought Iíd keep updating the build thread here instead. Iíll just briefly give a quick recap on some of the photos. No need to go into detail. Itís been pretty much just everything Iíd love to see on an s chassis so I just keep throwing parts at it.
    So, this was a drift car I purchased in 2014 that was built around 2007. It came with a VQ30, manual conversion. Iíve slowly been building it for the street car class in WA.
    The pictures are pretty much in chronological order and there are tons. This is only a good selection of them.


    Ripped out that junk.

    Found a really cheap vz ls1 with the strong rods. The engine looked immaculate inside so I started to mock up the QM magnesium reverse starter bell housing for fitment.

    Bolted up the QM twin 5.5Ē clutch



    Not a great photo but I plumbed up a davies craig water pump.

    Also fitted these wilwood superlite 12Ē front brakes I had gotten a few years prior.


    Suspension is just Chinese crap I had to play around with to make it fit nicely. I also got driftworks front and rear uprights mainly for the drop but the fronts use a shorter toe rod mount which means a quicker steering ratio. I had to make some custom bump stops to keep the lock standard.

    The cam I decided to use was a custom ground EPS cam. 242/248 109 600 lift If I recall. I lost the cam card a few years ago. The pistons needed fly cutting.

    I scored some bare cnc dart pro1s from a shop in Florida for $800us as they had some damage to the deck. I got the heads decked 20 thou and cleaned up and they were good to go. I also used some PAC 1204X springs.

    Started to plumb up a dry sump system I cobbled together from parts off ebay.

    The car also required +25 fenders on the rear.

    Next I got some Chinese pacemaker copies for a whopping $150. The passenger side fit no problem but the drivers needed cutting and rotating to fit around the steering column.






    I went with an ATI balancer that puts the 6 rib belt almost where the stock a/c belt runs. Since I wasnít using a normal water pump the alternator is the only accessory running off this belt. It needed milling to sit the alternator further back.


    I thought it might be worth mounting the coils in the car to get them away from the heat since there was plenty of room.

    Started to mock up the holley ultra xp 650 cfm carb I got for cheap during a 4th july sale.

    Mounted up a scraper. it doesnít sit as close as a nylon one to the crank counter weights but it should still help.

    Started to then mount the dash and wiring.

    I built these lights to swap out for any night events. They did have covers but after a while they broke so Iíll need to remake them some day.

    I did a few little circuit racing modifications to the carb. The first is a crossover for the vent tubes that can stop fuel flying out the vent tubes under very hard braking.

    I added some extensions to the main jets.

    Also modified the floats. Using the angled floats keep the bowls from starving as you go around a corner. The square ones have a tendency to cut the flow to the bowl when the fuel sloshes to one side. This makes sure the same level of fuel is constantly in the bowls.

    Next I wired up a race technology dash 2. It suit the cars lack of an ecu since you can program any sensor to work with it. Although there are only 4 inputs.

    Hereís the car at least running and drivable. An astra pump was fitted as well as a crankcase vacuum pump.

    Next I worked on the exhaust. Very simple crossover and chambered mufflers. They donít do much, the car still makes your ears bleed even with plugs.

    I got rid of the chinese crap oil cooler after I balooned It with 120psi of oil pressure by accident and went with a chinese not as crap mocal copy cooler.

    Headers were finished and wrapped.

    Remade some solid mounts to give a bit more clearance for all the dry sump plumbing.

    Scored some charbon doors for $500 because some fat guy leant too hard on the drivers door and snapped the hinges off. It took a little while to fix that up but not overly difficult.


    The car came with a fiberglass roof skin because as some point someone had forgotten to clip the botten down and it flew up destroying the roof and windscreen. So I chopped out what was damaged and just rivited this thing on. There was literally no weight saving from doing this.


    Interior pretty much ready to go.

    I swapped in a nismo 2way with 4.08 ratio just because it was the only lsd I had sitting around.

    I originally had a stock car products 3 stage but it was very flogged out and leaked so I pinched a really good condition 4 stage I had for another project car and mounted that up. I used a canton dry sump pan but before I ordered it I had them mount the -12 bungs where it would easily sit around the s13 cross member. I also at the time asked them to put a third one on for a future upgrade but ended up needing it much quicker than I thought. That pump mount was something I whipped up on the mill. Just a square piece of steel, faced to be square and drilled to mount.

    Hereís the dyno sheet. Itís some red line and numbers.

    Ready for testing now.

    I needed a larger fuel cell so I decided to make this out of 3mm plate. It holds about 43l



    I originally had a Muncie m22 when the car was dynod. But this jerico came up so I got it. Finding one of these was the plan from the beginning. I just didnít have the funds to buy one when I first started.







    I remade the tensioner for the vacuum pump to something much sturdier.

    I also got around to putting some covers on the doors.

    Testing the car out at Collie. It didnít go well. I broke a shifter linkage from too much clutchless shifting. The transmission was fine.


    Decided to finish the rear bumper and make an opening to prevent it becoming a massive parachute.

    I went to a track day at Barbagallo and was checking the diff oil just out of curiosity and found all these little triangles attached to the sump plug. I donít know how long the pinion had been like that as there was no signs of any noises or anything.

    I thought Iíd upgrade so I managed to get a whole twin turbo 300zx subframe for $300.

    After looking at all the mounting points it was too hard to mount the subframe in the 180. The mounting studs on the car have the same front to back spacing with all the rwd jap cars except the width of the subframe goes in increments of 30mm. So the skyline subframe is 30mm wider than an s13. And then a z32 subframe is 30mm wider than a skyline subframe. With offset bushes you could probably fit a z32 subframe into a skyline but it is too wide for an s13. The studs sit on the very sides of the mounting tubes on the subframe. So the only way I was able to mount the R230 in the car was use an r33 subframe and modify a bunch of bushings by drilling offset holes.

    The r33 subframe also needed notching.

    One bush fits perfectly but I had to make another bushing to fit the left side.

    Since they use the GTR sized axles I ditched the driftworks upright in the rear and used the alloy z32 ones since they had the correct size hub bearings plus unsprung weight and all that.


    I made some helper spring adapters to get the correct height in the rear.


    This is an adapter I made in the lathe to convert the CV style mount on the R230 to the standard 4 bolt on the R200



    At the same time I had everything out I decided to widen my tunnel to make working on the transmission much easier.

    Once everything was in I plumbed in a transmission cooler.


    Next up I wanted to upgrade the R230 so I bought a Cusco 1.5 way MZ directly from Cusco. I needed to wait several months for them to actually make it since the R230 isnít used as much as the R200.
    Out with stock VLSD


    One of the stub axles required 20mm chopped off it to fit up once the new centre was in place.

    I put it in the lathe and cleaned up the end and put a bevel so the c clip would open easily and lock the stub axle in place.


    Iíve also been recently modifying the cage to 2018 cams spec. When the car was built as a drift car the car was never intended to be used in cams events so it didnít comply. I had to chop out the main hoop and pretty much connect it all back up again. I still have the crossover in the roof to modify and the taco gussets to weld in.



    Iíll have some more updates soon. Thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Alexg; 16-02-19 at 10:11 PM.

  2. #2
    . motoxray's Avatar
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    Great read, thanks.

  3. #3
    Registered User schnitzelburger's Avatar
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    Wow great build and great read too.

    Im keen to see more

  4. #4
    Registered User the big fist's Avatar
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    You know I love this car.
    glad to see the build is still being documented !

  5. #5
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    Hah. Thanks all. I realise there's a lot of info I glossed over. I got really slack updating it on Nissan road racing. There's a bunch of stuff I've done that I haven't been taking photos of. I need to do a bit of a catch up in the next few days.
    I'll be glad once the cage is finished. I'll finally get it repainted and submit the logbook and cage forms to cams. I'm putting in a passenger seat as well so I hope to do some rallysprint too with it.

  6. #6
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    Awesome!

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    This is pretty much what i've been working on since last year apart from putting the diff together.

    I made welded in a frame to hold the fuel cell and oil tank. It looks a little low but the frame still sits about 30mm above the lowest part of the diff. I'll see how it goes getting on and off different car trailers. I might need to raise it up a little. I also have a top cover to finish up that isolates the cabin from them as well.





    With the diff out i can finish making a patch piece to close this hole up in the sub frame.



    The diff is all back together now. I got a friend to weld on a -8 fitting to hook up a diff cooler at some point. I also drilled and tapped the little flat section on top of the diff which i never even realized was there until i was asking around to find out the best position for the return line.
    Apparently all Nissan diffs at least all the Rxxx diffs have this flat boss as the European cars had that section tapped from the factory. Don't know if this is true or not?

    Having the return on the top lets the cooled oil fall directly on the pinion and where it meshes with the crown wheel. The oil is also meant to propagate to the front bearing on the pinion cooling that as well.



    I recently bought a used carbon fiber air box to try and give myself a little more visibility. I have my seat mounted almost to the floor and the air cleaner blocks visibility of the apex of corners i found. This air cleaner set up drops the height by about 30mm over the 14" air cleaner i had on the car. I want to continue that front vent all the way to the windscreen. I then need to get creative and make some ducting to force the air at the bottom of the windscreen into the box. I havne't quite figured out how i can do it without it looking weird yet.







    I also have some MCA reds i bought just before Christmas to go in the car. The BC coil overs will go back into my daily.



    All up to date now!

  8. #8
    Extended member nopistons's Avatar
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    Top stuff

    Curious though, what happened with the VQ30? I remember that inlet manifold from old magazines...

  9. #9
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    So when i bought that car it had been sitting in his dads shed for about four years. The turbo had been pinched off it and it wasn't running. He was just over the car and had to let it go. I can't even imagine how much that car cost to build back in the day.

    At that point it had been through about three vq30's. It just kept starving itself of oil every time. It had this super shallow custom oil sump with some very small wings on each side to increase capacity a bit but obviously it wasn't enough.

    I sold the whole conversion to a guy that wanted to put it in a datsun or something in 2014. engine, trans, exhaust, ecu, wiring, tail shaft, crossmember and mounts. I hadn't seen or heard anything until about halfway through last year i saw it was for sale on facebook for more than i sold it for. No idea if it ever sold after that. It was expensive and didn't really have much interest when i was following the ad.

  10. #10
    Registered User CEF33Y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexg View Post
    Apparently all Nissan diffs at least all the Rxxx diffs have this flat boss as the European cars had that section tapped from the factory. Don't know if this is true or not?
    In The FSM for s14's it shows a diff cooler setup, pretty trick

  11. #11
    Extended member nopistons's Avatar
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    Shame about the VQ. They are reputedly tough as nails motors, but alas. Seemed odd that something that was magazine covery last decade would reappear

    The diff coolers were on German market 200SX's (S13 and S14). And thermostatic too, they only opened at ridiculous temperatures or above silly speeds. I can't remember the specifics but it read as being made for Autobahn speeds.

  12. #12
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    Interesting. I didn't even know they were a factory thing until i started to do a little research.

    I did a quick google search and found a cached picture off ebay when the swap kit was for sale again last year.



    I'm still using that header tank and catch can and i still have that little alloy reservoir with the -16 cap on top sitting on the shelf. When i bought the car someone had converted it to a vmount intercooler/rad setup. I'm still using the radiator that came with the car but made ducting to box in the radiator instead. The intercooler went when i sold everything.

    Once i'm done with the mechanical stuff i hope to make the car look as good as that again. so shiny and clean.

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    Updated my poor MS paint wiring diagram. I'm using a bussmann mini fuse relay block and getting rid of all the large full size relay and separate fuse blocks. I've cut down on a lot of extra fuses and relays. Should neaten everything up a bit more than how i had it before.





    This is more for just a record in case i lose the diagram but someone might find this useful. This is pretty much as bare bones a body harness can be using electric pumps for almost everything. It would be simpler with efi as well since the ecu would be controlling most of the pumps and fans.
    Last edited by Alexg; 09-03-19 at 12:46 AM.

  14. #14
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    Little update.



    Swapped in some MCA reds yesterday.



    Patched up the notch in the subframe.



    Put the diff back in and filled it with oil to check for leaks.

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    Forgot to take a few pictures of this box cover i made for the oil and fuel tank to isolate them from the cabin.





    Also got my daily repainted a little while ago after a neighbor backed into the drivers door when it was parked at a friends place and then an uber driver also backed into it a few weeks later in front of my house. I don't think any part of that car didn't need some level of filler.







    The radiator was leaking and the alternator died a few days ago so i needed to get this car fixed before doing anything else. I put in a two pass radiator and used an inline filler neck. All bled up and ready to go now.


  16. #16
    Registered User Turboesky's Avatar
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    nice to see some updates.

    So i take it you're making room for a passenger seat ?

  17. #17
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    Yep i have a passenger seat to go in to take people around and do sprints. What's been happening with your ute and the escort? Did you get the strain gauge working?

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