News Ticker

Vintage race car from a Junk Yard Dog – Part 2

datsun-roadster-13

Carson City, USA: After coating the frame everything came to a halt due to a residential move. Roughly a year later, progress started again. The front suspension was completely torn apart and all of the wear parts were replaced with new ones. This included upper and lower ball joints, spindle bushings and seals, to name a few. I also replaced every nut, bolt and washer with new grade 8 ones.

datsun-roadster-6

Keith Williams (left) with Chuck Crohs.

I first used a custom-made tumbler that a friend made for large parts to knock off the large amounts of old grease and dirt. I then used the blast cabinet to clean the upper and lower control arms, spring perches and the rest of the front end parts. Finally, I then sprayed them with a zinc based primer and powder-coated them black.

I and two of my roadster buddies spent a morning putting together both sides of the front suspension. We used my new super competition springs and re-valved Koni struts and attached them to the frame. They went on with no issues or problems.

datsun-roadster-5

The front hubs were fitted with the longer race wheel-studs and put together using new bearings and racing hub spacers from DRP. New racing brake rotors were sourced from DBA and I rebuilt the stock brake calipers with OEM parts from Nissan. The calipers were loaded with racing compound pads from KFP.

My friend, and resident genius Keith Williams, rebuilt the recirculating ball steering box and idler box.

When we installed the steering box we needed to notch the frame and widen one of the mounting holes to get it to fit. You see, this steering box was only offered in the late ’69 and ’70 roadsters and this is a ’67. I was able to source a genuine Nissan 23mm heavy duty sway bar and installed it with urethane bushings and new hardware. New tie rods and centre link were then installed.

datsun-roadster-4

I was able to locate an original but completely rebuilt 4.11 LSD and put it in the restored rear end housing with all new seals and gaskets. Longer race wheel-studs were pressed into the axles and the stock steel drums were replaced with later aluminium ones. I had a set of custom compound brake shoes made as well. The stock leaf springs were reused with new bushings and re-valved Koni shocks.

In the next segment I start the bodywork and metal work, as well as some fabrication for the steering column, quick release steering wheel and the racing seat.

Words/Photos: Brian Zana.