Tag Archives: 4.3 final drive

Bringing Up the Rear Part V: I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

9 Apr

As you can tell from my last entry, the latest round of mods to my Z have been nothing short of ‘interesting’. Basically, it’s kicked our collective asses, and it’s taken alot of blood, sweat, tears, money and patience to have it all come together. But we rounded an important corner, and I think I can officially say that for the time being “I’m done!” (well, sorta).

A couple weeks ago, I took the 8 hour drive up to Buffalo to have Mike from Innovative Tuning finalize the Haltech tune. The car decently enough on the way up, no issues. The ride back was even better, firstly because I found a different way to go, saving me about an hour, and secondly because it was nice to be back in a car that was properly tuned.

Last weekend we decided it was time to tackle the 4.3 final drive install. I’ve written alot about this custom setup in previous entries. It’s been sitting here for probably 6 or 7 months now, just waiting. Of course, this seemingly simple swap was not without it’s drama. First, we had a helluva time getting 1 of the exhaust bolts out. After that was solved, the exhaust came down and we found something that we at the shop call “no bueno”. My midpipe was cracked almost all the way around, right where the resonator meets the piping section. In addition it was developing a second crack at the resonator itself. It had noticeable scrape marks on the underside from numerous incidents. Since the car is so low, stuff like this is inevitable. The exhaust has been in the car for probably 5 years now, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Except…it’s titanium. As some may know, welding titanium isn’t exactly like welding anything else. Takes some pretty specialized stuff, that we certainly don’t have here. A few phone calls later and I was hooked up with Joe from Accurate Welding. I immediately ran down there, midpipe in hand, and in no time, I was back on my way!

This is one of the great things about being in NY, and I’m sure other areas of the country too. Everything you can think of is literally a stones throw away. Today we had some spare time so we finished up the install. Unfortunately it’s been raining most of the day, so I haven’t actually had a chance to drive the car yet. Kwame did though, and his words went something like “HOLY SHIT THAT THING IS QUICK!” He was all smiles – I hope I am too!

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Pressin’ On

20 Jan

The press has seem some heavy action here lately – just swapping out stuff on our own cars! Kwame has a full array of bushings he still needs to do. In preparation for installation of my 4.3 final drive equipped pumpkin, we had to press out the stock pieces from the pumpkin. I picked this pumpkin up last year from a customer who had it sitting around. It had an inordinate amount of rust on it, and it made removing the bushings a royal PIA. Not to mention, when you’re trying to secure a ~100 lb pumpkin in a press, it’s no easy task. One bushing dropped out easily, but the second one just wouldn’t budge. Finally, after some coaxing with some Nuts Off (a really good penetrating oil), the air hammer and a cutting wheel, we managed to force it out. Next up we’ll file off the rest of the surface rust, and install the SPL Solid Bushings in their place. I think I’ve also been talked in to just dropping the subframe and doing the Whiteline Rear Traction Kit along with the rest of the NISMO bushings for the rear, as well as the NISMO exhaust hangers, to compliment the rest of the NISMO bushings already on the car. It never seems to end……

Bringing up the Rear Part IV

1 Nov

The 4.3 rear is now finished, and in transit back up north! This was an adventure to say the least, and essentially represents a bunch of parts that otherwise should not fit with one another. Ben @ Puddymod sent me some final pics of some more of the custom things that had to be done. I figured I’d share them, just so you guys can see what was involved

On the ring and pinion setups, you have a crush collar. This collar is a use-once part, and basically serves as a base that lets you set the torque of the pinion nut consistently. Here you can see the standard crush collar, vs the one that had to be machined for this setup

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Here you can see how everything stacks on the pinion itself – just gives you a nice visual to show where the bearings go

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Even the shims needed to have the gear mesh so nicely had to be custom done

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Because this involved so much custom work, Ben actually made a fixture to make things easier. A prybar is used to set the lsd/ring gear assembly into place quickly and evenly, and the fixture holds it in place

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After the bearing caps are reinstalled a backlash reading of 4.5 to 5 thousands is measured, note the sweet gear to gear pattern

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Total turning torque on the assembly is 30 inch pounds with 270 foot pounds on the pinion nut

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And there you have it – the inner workings of the 4.3 setup. I’ll be using the SPL Pro Differential Bushings with this setup, and I’ll also be testing out a new Urethane Transmission Mount as well, which I am really looking forward to.

Once everything is installed, hopefully by next weekend if time allows, I’ll do some in car videos and post them on our Youtube Channel

Thw questions we’ve gottan alot: Can you do this for me too? The answer is yes. The second question is “how much is it?”. The answer is, unfortunately, insanely expensive. Between the custom parts that had to be made, to the sheer hours of labor involved, this is easily several thousand or so in labor (parts not included). So if you’re serious about it, and it’s on your ‘must have’s”, drop us a line at z1sales@z1auto.com. For a brief period we were able to get our hands on a drop in 4.3 final drive, but sadly, the part was discontinued from our Japanese supplier, and no more will be produced. While it was in and of itself very expensive, it was still less than 1/6 the cost of everything that has gone into this. One of those situations where you are so deep into it, you have no choice but to finish.

Bringing up the Rear Part IV

5 Oct

Just a few other pictures Ben sent over to me before it all gets sent to NY for install.
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The ring gear is now installed on the LSD, and both were rebalanced – it’s now within 1/2 1000’s true – pretty good 🙂

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One of the really tricky things when doing a ring and pinion install is setting spacing of the pinion relative to the ring. Since these are machined parts, there can be some differences in tolerances between one set and another. Shims are used to equalize things, so that the pinion has the right mesh pattern with the ring. This ensures that everything runs efficiently, without making noise, and without producing uncessary heat. You apply some paint to the ring and pinion and spin the assembly, and take note of where the 2 are meshing. When I sent this batch of stuff to Ben, I included a bunch of shims that we had laying around. Nissan sells 14 different size shims for these things, so it can be a bit arduous setting it up. The shims we sent down were close, as you can see from the pattern. Ben’s the consummate perfectionist though, and wrote me “as you can see from the pattern on the ring gear I have more adjusting to do. The pattern is acceptable in most shops but, not mine, I know it can be better. I will have to custom grind a shim about 8 to 10 thousands to get it to a standard I can be happy with”. Gotta love someone who only wants things a certain way when they leave his shop! When you’re out there picking an installer for anything as involved as a rear end, or a motor, etc, this is the sort of attention to detail you want. When that project leaves the shop’s doorstep, it’s essentially being signed off as being “perfect”. If something isn’t perfect, it comes back and bites you in the ass. Picking the right parts is important, but picking the right guy to make those parts work is essential. If anyone out there needs a terrific guy to set up their rear differential and/or ring and pinion, Ben @ PuddyMod Racing is your man!

Bringing up the Rear Part III

5 Oct

QuaifeLSD350Zbalanced

Things are nearing completion on the 4.3 final drive setup. Ben forwarded me some additional pics last night. We’ll have one more to share once we’re ready to install it. Here is a quick shot of the Quaife LSD I’m going to use, after being rebalanced. You usually don’t go this far, since time doesn’t allow for it and the parts are relatively well balanced from the factory. But since this thing has been a custom affair from day 1, Ben went the extra mile to rebalance the LSD. He also microfinished and cryo’d the ring and pinion gears. Should be back in my hands soon, then we get to swap it in and try it out – I can’t wait!

Adam’s Project Z33: Bringing up the Rear Part II

27 Sep

Got some new updates on my bastardized rear that we’ve discussed here last month.

The goals were simple – the execution, has proven anything but! Today I’ll show off some pics of the more of the guts that are needed to make this 4.3 ring and pinion work.

First, notice the picture of the Quaife LSD all dismantled Quaife Helical LSD

Quaife LSD for 350Z Exposed

Quaife LSD for 350Z Exposed

The Quaife is a helical differential, which means it transmits power via a series of intermeshing gears.

This diff has never been used, but we wanted to make sure it was absolutely perfect. It has been sitting around though for a few months, unsealed, so we wanted to make sure it was free of any oxidation, etc. It’s been fully taken apart, cleaned, and prepped and is now ready to go back in.

Last time, we showed how the custom sleeves were done to allow the correct pinion bearings. The next hurdle to tackle was the actual pinion flange. The problem with the 4.3 final drive I got is the pinion diameter is smaller than the factory 350Z units – the length is correct, but the difference in diameter is why we had to sleeve the shaft in the first place. In order for the rear to work, it has to somehow bolt to the driveshaft. This is what the flange’s job is – it joins the driveshaft and pinion together so all that power can effectively turn the pinion, which turns the ring, which is bolted to the differential, and then output to the rear axles/wheels. What we ended up having made was a bit of a hybrid. It uses the splined carrier for the 4.3 ring gear, mated to a custom machined flange that matches the correct outer diameter of the original 350Z pinion flange.

Custom Machined Flange for 4.3 ring and pinion into 350Z

Custom Machined Flange for 4.3 ring and pinion into 350Z

Stock on the right, new flange on the right. This will allow everything to work together in harmony, and bolt up without us having to modify the driveshaft in any way. Next thing to do is get it on the drill press and put the holes in to allow it to mate to the driveshaft, and then high speed balance it to make sure it is 100% true, so there are no unwanted vibrations.

Last things to do are press on the new bearings to the differential, and then microfinish and cryo the ring and pinion. More updates coming soon!