Keep Drifting Cheap: turbo C35 Laurel for 1250 quid

Thread in 'Project Cars and Builds Threads' started by BenRice, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Ever since I turbocharged a mates non-turbo S14 it's got me thinking: how cheap could I put together a capable drift car for?

    Nissan's are my jam so figured I'd stick with my knitting. I have some transferable bits (3 full sets of 5 stud wheel, race seats on rails, harnesses etc) or spares/leftover/random parts (R200 diffs, 5x1 axles, muffler, oil sandwich plate, VAFC's, AFM, pod filter, radiator) sitting there, and have the ability to do the work myself & tune it. I just needed a base.

    So my mate & I have been brainstorming and we've come up with the following recipe:

    The base: C35 Nissan Laurel - factory 5 stud, uses S14/S15 suspension and RB engines

    I've got my hands on this piece of magnificence for the princely sum of $600 (yes it has a bonnet):
    81392728_741717302985077_8560197638601834496_n.

    The engine: RB20E - dirt cheap replacement engines, dizzy & leads instead of coilpacks (ie less hassle)

    I managed to find one literally 700m from my house for $20! Complete with blown auto trans and missing an alternator & starter, but as far as a core engine was concerned i couldn't believe it

    Then it's a case of sourcing a clutch, small case gearbox, cable handbrake, clutch pedal and suitable driveshaft. Some of said parts:

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    81457999_1001154536918179_3816464508516302848_n.

    The last piece is to turbo it using a factory DET turbo. In my case i've got my hands on, what appears to be, a rather good condition RB25 turbo.

    Now, the exhaust studs on the exhaust port on cylinder 5 on the single cam are a reverse orientation to the twin cam. However, stainless manifolds tend to have a little extra meat so the holes can be drilled through the flange. I picked up a factory position stainless manifold for this.

    Next is the oil drain. I'll be drilling & tapping the block like i did with the S14, only this time it can be done before it goes into the car.

    For fueling, the single cam uses top feed 160cc injectors so I've got a set of RB20DET 270cc injectors to swap in. For controlling the fueling we'll be using the trusty VAFC & wideband.

    I'm going to try a few things as well with this car. I've ordered a "255lph" fuel pump, braided oil feed and water/oil pressure gauges off Aliexpress. I'm even using the yoke off a TD27 driveshaft. I'm going to run it on wastegate pressure for now, but the idea is to push it up as far as 12psi. Next stage will be to sell the 25 turbo and source a "replacement" unit from Aliexpress and see if it, and the engine/clutch/gearbox, will hold 15psi

    At the moment I'm an ECU, clutch pedal, viscous fan, pressure plate bolts and yoke swap away from having all the parts collected and ready to go. So far I've spent NZD$1,950. That's including the purchase of the C35 as well. Once the final parts are acquired and all the odds & ends are sorted I'm hoping to be under $2.5k

    The plan is to do all of this on a long weekend at the end of the month. Taking it from a rolling shell, to a tuned & driving car in 3-4 days. I'll still need to fork out for some coilover suspension before going to the track but I'll wait until a suitable deal pops up.

    Wish me luck!
     
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  2. prblmslvrs

    prblmslvrs Active Member

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    This looks like its definitely one to watch! Good luck with trying to squeeze it all in that timeframe.
     
  3. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Thanks dude

    Yesterday the loom turned up in the post and I picked up an intercooler (free), front pipe (factory R34 GTT so 2.5" & free) and a TD27 manual driveshaft (also free).

    I was skeptical on the TD27 driveshaft fitting the RB20 box but sure enough it's a perfect fit. The front half is longer than a Silvia or Skyline front half as well

    Split it apart last night then measured the length of the RB20 box (795mm from bellhousing mounting surface to rear) so next stage is to measure the C35 auto box and the front half of the C35 driveshaft and fingers crossed i can just swap front halves. Otherwise it'll be a chop & weld & balance time

    Got word this morning that I'll have an ECU, viscous fan, shroud & power steering pump 50% discounted in exchange for a sticker on the car

    That leaves clutch pedal, pressure plate bolts, drivers side guard & headlight to source before the 24th
     
  4. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Pictureless update sorry

    Clutch pedal acquired yesterday & is in the post, and have a lead on a headlight leaving me really only a thermostat housing and pressure plate bolts to go. Have been told the drivers side guard is passable so will leave it for now.

    Picked up engine oil, gaskets, spark plugs, manual spigot bush & ancillary belts from my local automotive plug. On my way home I'll see what the local hardware store has as far as M8 x 1.25 16-17mm high tensile bolts for the pressure plate. Plan is to get up and do a once over on the shell to see if it needs anything like brake pads etc, and to measure up the driveshaft to see if I'm in the ball park with just a front half swap

    I'm now pouring over service manuals and wiring diagrams to work out if I'm missing anything on the loom and what wires on the engine loom i need to hook up to get it to run. I'm sure it'll be something like an injector relay or something that'll hamstring me on the day

    I'm tempted to get it running on the stock injectors then swap in the 270's once I've confirmed everything else runs.

    As far as combining the body loom with the engine loom i think it's making sure the starter signal wire & alternator bulb are hooked up, switched power gets to the ECU and the inhibitor switch is bypassed.

    Oh, and thought i'd nickname the project Lunch Money seeing as though it's being funded from the account i have for carparts and buying lunch
     
  5. chidley

    chidley i like fingers

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    Epic. I love how easy you make it all, manual swap etc is fairly easy but boosting an NA is always a tricky one, I guess its handy you've done it multiple times and know what your doing RE: tuning. That's the bit which scared me tbh haha.

    Looking forward to seeing this progress <3
     
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  6. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Cheers dude!

    So picked up the engine. It came with a blown auto box but got that off quick smart and with the help of an engine crane we got the engine into the garage.

    82053710_2528120320804733_7909280041924558848_n.

    First issue: the exhaust stud pattern was not what I had though it was.

    82059832_2682391211856822_7934367349627420672_n.

    I had thought it was just cylinder 5 that had the studs the wrong way round, turns out it's the other 5 that are! So that left me with a conundrum

    Change engines?
    Modify the stock single cam manifold?
    Modify the stainless twin cam manifold?

    I opted for option 3. Now after a bit of measuring i came across an interesting discovery: the stud spacing and flange size is exactly the same as a 38mm Deltagate/Tial wastegate flange! The single cam exhaust port is only 33mm but the twin cam manifold runners were oval and 38-42mm

    Considering the factory manifold flange was 16mm thick, and the stainless flange only 9mm i initially wanted to pop the 9mm thick wastegate flanges in between the manifold and the head & get the wastegate flanges welded to the manifold flange. However after a bit of staring and measuring i'd be making more work for my fab guy

    So 6x wastegate flanges have been ordered (at $10/flange it isn't killing the budget in the slightest) and we'll be cutting the twin cam flange off, sliding the wastegate flanges on the exhaust studs, tacking the runners in place then welding fully off the engine finishing with a good session on the linisher. When welding each flange fully we'll use the old single cam exhaust manifold and bolt a couple of flanges to it to hold it square.

    On the good news front I found I don't need to drill the block as the single cam has a turbo oil drain already, it just has a bung in it. Just need to find a 3/4 NPT fitting to suit and we're golden
     
  7. antz

    antz Active Member

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    This is my new favourite project.
     
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  8. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Bit of back and forth on this one at the moment

    Wastegate flanges turned up and were exactly as I hoped. Bolt holes are 9mm so will open them up to 10.5mm. Have dropped them off, along with the gasket and manifold to my mate for alteration. Then pulled off the flexplate bolts and flexplate. Drilled out the auto spigot bush nice and easily and popped the new one in the freezer

    Then fitted the alternator and found i need the little adjustment bolt setup for it. Then went to put one of my turbo oil drain's on the RB25 turbo to find they're either too small or too big. And found 3x snapped studs on the exhaust housing

    However my Aliexpress orders are starting to hit the country so there's a little motivation there.

    Off to order flywheel bolts, adjustment bolt and an oil drain now

    So lucky to have the engine in the garage. Chipping away at it in the lead up means i can overcome these problems easily before they become super urgent
     
  9. Simon998

    Simon998 Member

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    Tinypic is killing threads ffs, much the way photobucket went.
     
  10. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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  11. BenRice

    BenRice Well-Known Member

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    Anywho, went and moved Lunch Money from where it was being stored to my mates place

    It's not a pretty sight

    82526336_10212441920763211_5732360616518090752_n.

    Couple of bonuses:

    - Comes with power steering pump intact and ready to be bolted onto an engine
    - Has some red lowering springs in it already
    - R200 rear subframe (a lot of Medalists came out with the R180)

    And a few new unbonuses:

    - Cracked windscreen
    - Broken passenger side taillight
    - Mangled ignition
    - Festy smells inside

    Drivers side guard is too far gone to save in reality so will be hunting in earnest for a replacement

    Also, in manifold news it's lucky we're cutting the flange off:

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    6mm of run out across the face lol

    Spent a bit of time last night trying to get the 3 broken studs out of the exhaust housing to no avail. Used copious amounts of heat, shocked them, and bought some brand new channel locks and they still wouldn't budge. Am now going to cut them down flush with the mounting face and drill through the studs to try and get them to collapse. Have an M8 tap to run through it to clean up the threads afterwards

    I am persisting with this housing because i found it to be an OP6! So i've got myself an RB25DET NEO turbo

    Fuel pump, oil pressure & water temp, oil line and throttle body joiner all turned up today & yesterday. Mail room lady at work thinks I'm crazy

    And measured up my driveshaft finally! The front halves of the auto RB20 C35 and the manual TD27 Navara are exactly the same length. However, the RB20 manual gearbox is 35mm shorter (795mm vs 830mm). That being said, having 35mm of the yoke exposed is not the worst i've ever seen so will carrying on blindly and hope for the best. At least it'll have the hanger bearing for support

    Once my wife has headed off camping I'm off to pick up Lunch Money and drop it at my place. Then it would have magically appeared while we've been away....

    I also have a bit of running around picking up other parts today. I'll still have a few things left come next week, but I'm out camping until Monday arvo from 5pm today
     
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