Clutch Slave

It is interesting going from a 20 year old car to a 10 year old car – so many things change. For example: the 240 clutch hydraulics run off simple brake hoses and flared fittings, while the T56 clutch utilizes a combination of braided lines and proprietary fittings (what is this needle-ball fitting that cost $12?). To mate the 2 together, one not only need a new clutch MC, but a series of -3 and -4 AN lines to pipe it all together.

Pressure side – 36″ banjo to -3AN, connected to the mysterious and expensive needle ball Russell fitting
Bleed side – 12″ -4AN, to 10mm female flare, to 10mm bleeder valve

You can buy everything together in a kit, but this was my first opportunity to work with AN fittings and I was not about to give up the fun. Sourcing all the parts together from summit and Pegasus was rather like playing lego (or ochem for the real nerdy type).

A closeup of the finished slave cylinder:

Hope it don’t leak


Fuel pump upgrade

Who would know 5.7L of dino juice burning power would outrun the original fuel pump that came with the 240. It seems that I too, can’t avoid the most common upgrade – the infamous Walbro 255 fuel pump.

Make sure you buy the whole kit for the specific car! Sometimes the pump will come as just the pump, without the rubber isolator at the bottom. This will make the pump hang by the hose, probably not a good idea. Quick eBay search gave the appropriate kit for the S13.

The process went smoothly, since I’ve previously pulled the pump just out of curiosity. Mark the pressure and return hose on the pump housing before you disconnect it (they look exactly the same).

I was quite surprised to find every part inside of the fuel tank to be in pristine order – apparently things don’t rust in gas fume! The pump, hoses and clamps all look like the day they were made. Felt like I was working on a 1 year old 240.

Not a big fan of using crimp noodles to join wires, would have preferred to solder the wires onto the pump cover terminals directly. At this point the gas fume was getting out of control and I simply wanted to close it up.

Goodies pile

Been collecting parts to hook up the clutch and steering hydraulics. Decided to go with Aeroquip from Summit because – that’s right, you guessed it. It was the cheapest.

If you are interested in doing this on your own, I followed the wonderful guide here for the clutch hydraulics:

Steering was more complicated. Just remember that the 240sx steering rack high side is M14x1.5, and low side is M16x1.5. Get the correct metric to AN adapters. I did -6AN for both high and low, and added an in-line steering cooler. You will also need a Billet Specialties RP1300 valve, Summit Racing P# BSP-RP1300. This limits the LS1 PS pump output to 2gpm so you don’t blow the 240sx steering rack, and converts the output to a nice -6AN fitting.

No, the Bath and Body Works, Nordstorm and Victoria Secret bags are not part of this work 🙂

Last but not the least, I’m attaching a parts list so you don’t have to waste hours and hours hunting down the lowest prices.

240 back from the dead

For those of you that remember, I have a white 240 sitting on jackstands. I guess working full time with “side project” can have its toll on the main project, but the time off has allowed me to realize how crazy I was. What was I thinking? Maxima V6 into 240? No wonder why that car never ran. Time to enter the 21st century and let diversity do its magic.

The all so awesome LS1 was once considered to be too expensive to stuff under the hood of a 240. But as it turns out, I’ve probably spent just as much on the VQ and gotten nowhere. It is time to be decisive! 240mi round trip to Bakersfield, CA and some $$ later I got myself one.

Why LS1? Besides being super cool, the super popular american V8 has tons of aftermarket support and parts are dirt cheap. The motor sits lower and further back, and actually improves the weight distribution of the car. Most importantly, the ECM is easily programmable. I know a lot of you will jump up and down at the idea of a standalone, but trust me. Nothing with what we are willing to pay will work as well as a factory computer.

Those $%#! motor mounts….

As usual, I just can’t seem to do things right the first time. If you remember my last post about my version 2 motor mounts, you would know how much I hate them… Well with a few days of vacation from thanksgiving, there is no reason why these shouldn’t be fixed!

The plan was to use these joist mounts and form into supports for hockey puck mounts:

But folding in the sides made a mess, and I really don’t want to deal with these wimpy 0.065″ stampings. Instead these became mock-ups, and I fabricated the actual mounts with the 1-1/4 x 1/8 mild steel on hand:

A few more passes with the magic wand:

Cutting off and grinding away the old mounts was a pain in the butt. After some struggling, The new ones made their way in. Much more stiff and better looking. For some reason my tig welds looks terrible, more reasons to paint these.

3 days of hard work!

VQ35 cam spacers – something you should just pay $75 for

These little cam spacers have been a royal pain for this build. Instead of forking up $75 and just buying some, I insisted on machining my own (which took more than 2 tries and too many hours), and putting them in in the most questionable fashion. After spending 4 hours last time getting all the way to the cam, I for some reason decided to not spend the extra 10min to fix it right. A little JB weld never hurt anybody, I thought. Behold, another 4 hours later and I found all the JB weld have broke – leaving the dowl pins floating around. well this time we are going to fix it right:


Cleaned it up nicely and welded up in the little jig I made back in St. Louis. Still need to grind off the excess weld (I need a TIG badly!) and slightly enlarge the center hole. This should provide many years of reliable service.

Fixing the VQ mount

After discovering the mysterious engine shift, I’ve been trying to come up with the best fix. The lack of hockey pucks put a serious damper on brand new mounts. Combined with my laziness I decided to give fixing the current ones a try.

Some cutting and grinding allowed me to shorten the driver side mounts by ~0.05″ (claimed thickness of the cutoff wheel). This still leaves 50tho out of alignment at the crank pulley, which I will have to eat because the headers are starting to find their way into the steering shaft (not to mention that there is literally 10tho between the valve cover and brake booster.) Considering how much the engine can shake during operation, I’m actually quite worried about header contact with the steering shaft. Maybe hockey puck mounts are necessary after all…