Archive for the ‘Toby Broadfield's S13’ Category

I have had some interest lately on how I did the refinishing on the brake setup for the S13… specifically the plating of all the bolts/hardware. I tackled this project before the birth of this blog, so I’m going to revisit the process so it will now be in writing for others to reference.

I have Stoptech 4-piston BBK on the front and Z32 rears. The Stoptechs were the original black color and the Z32’s were the OEM dark cast iron color…virtually a flat black. Back in 2009 I decided that I wanted something a little more flashy. So I set my heart on white… not over the top but would still “pop” behind the wheels. I contemplated between painting the calipers and powder coating the calipers. After seeing how the paint on the OEM STi Brembos would discolor from high heat and the clear coat would come off the OEM EVO Brembos, powder coating was an easy choice. So the first thing was to disassemble everything:






I used compressed air to easily pop out the pistons:


I decided to keep everything organized the way it was removed… that way each piston etc. would be in the same exact spot as when it came out:


Back from the powder coater… I also had the hats on the front rotors done in black and taped off the rear rotors to do those. I went ahead and also had them coat the front caps for the hubs:





Next was all the hardware. Since I couldn’t powder coat those items, I did some research and decided I would zinc plate them myself. I stumbled upon… I was in heaven. I put together a kit to zinc plate my hardware and ordered it up. I wanted to try a couple different things, so I also ordered black chromate and gold chromate to “tint” the hardware. This is my at home setup:



All of the hardware had to be completely stripped of all paint, corrosion etc. down to bare steel before plating. Here is what it looks like right before plating:


This is a rough listing of the steps involved in plating:

  • Wire brush hardware to remove all paint and loose rust
  • Acid bath hardware to remove all corrosion
  • Bath hardware in distilled water
  • Bath hardware in a heated degreaser solution
  • Bath hardware in distilled water
  • Insert hardware in plating bath
  • Bath hardware in distilled water
  • Insert hardware in chromate bath if you so choose
  • Bath hardware in distilled water
  • Let dry
  • I did all the top hat hardware in a gold chromate:


    I also coated some of the other pieces in a gold chromate. For some reason the 4 bolts and 4 pins in the picture ended up in the batch. So I had to strip those back down and do them in black chromate:


    I did the crossover lines and all the main bolts that would be visible in a black chromate. If you are wondering why they look “wet” in the pictures, it’s because I sprayed them with WD-40 as a final step. This is suggested after they are taken out of the black chromate bath and they are dry:



    Here are some pictures of the rears right after assembly. I also sanded the powder coat off the top of the raised “NISSAN” lettering and hand painted those with some Duplicolor gloss black:




    Here are some pictures of the fronts right after assembly. I had a sticker place make me some high-temp die cut Stoptech stickers since the original “STOPTECH” lettering from the factory is painted on. The stickers are still perfect today!





    I have been at a stand still with the S13 lately. I have been really busy with custom work for other 240sx enthusiast and spending my late nights playing the Arma III alpha on PC… well, my new iMac 🙂 I have been trying to save up for a new tool for my home garage that will help me tremendously. Like test fitting the TR6060 and hopefully test fitting Sikky’s prototype TR6060 mount. That tool would be the MaxJax which is manufactured by Danmar. I’m pretty pumped about getting it…. I should have it within the next few weeks. I highly recommend checking this thing out. It’s way over engineered, thus being really safe. It has a 443% safety factor for those wondering. You can check out a video below… and I’ll be sure to have a full write-up on it once it arrives and I get it installed. It is designed for residential garages with average ceiling heights. It is portable and can be set up in 10-15 minutes…. just stow it away in the corner when not in use. I have seen guys that even install another set of inserts out in their flat driveway so they can use the lift out in the sun!

    I actually had some spare time to work on the car yesterday… that hasn’t happened in like 3-4 months.

    I’m working on the air conditioning setup at the moment:



    My quest for a clean tidy engine bay has led me to doing a “tucked” air conditioning setup. I don’t really like the idea of lines going everywhere in the bay. So I’m going to simplify it by running the lines out of the compressor directly to some custom bulkheads on the firewall. I can run the lines down the same path as my heater hoses alongside the block. Typically the firewall fittings are at each end of a giant loop that takes place in the engine bay. I will essentially relocate that loop to behind the dash and down the inside upper portion of the passenger fender. Then the dryer and condenser will be up front out of site behind the bumper.

    I want to use all XRP air conditioning hose and fittings. Which means I have to convert everything over to o-ring pilot fittings. Since I bought an aftermarket dryer and condenser, I had the choice to get them with o-ring pilot ports… so those were no big deal. However, I had to figure out what to do with the compressor, evaporator and the ports at the firewall. I’m still in the middle of all of this, but I’ll show you my progress so far.

    First thing was to figure out how to modify the evaporator to work in the “tucked” setup. As it sits from the factory, the evaporator hard lines come out through the firewall. These have to go bye-bye since I’m going to use the firewall locations for my compressor lines. Which means that the connections for the evaporator lines will now need to be done inside the car instead of at the firewall. So I cracked the evaporator plastic housing open to see what I was up against. The evaporator core sits in the middle of the housing as seen below. You can also see where the hard lines exit the housing and normally would protrude through the firewall:


    As luck would have it, the evaporator is square. I rotated the evaporator core, inside the housing 90 degrees, so that the hard lines would now point down over the passenger foot well. This would allow me to do my connections inside the car and leave me room on the inside of the firewall for some custom bulkheads. I cut off the plastic protrusions that held the OEM hard lines in place:


    Housing back together… I will simply seal over that figure 8 shaped hole with some thin ABS plastic and epoxy:


    I cut the hard lines down so that the new 90 degree fittings would hug the housing as close as possible. As mentioned, these are going to exit right above the passenger’s feet. So I don’ want them hanging down where they are going to get kicked. Had some aluminum male o-ring pilot fittings welded on:



    I hogged out an area in the bottom of the housing for these to exit:


    Some closed cell foam on the inside around the fittings and some machined 90 degree o-ring pilot fittings… this part is complete:


    Test fit back in the car… they really don’t hang down lower than the surrounding items:


    Second order of business are the bulkheads for the compressor lines. It will be a o-ring pilot #10 and a #8 on the firewall. Unfortunately the two holes on the firewall are huge. Had I known I was going to do a tucked setup, I would have welded those closed and made new smaller holes for a pre-made bulkhead. Oh well, time to do something slightly custom and make it work. I bought one of the aforementioned bulkheads from Vintage Air just so I could use the male-to-male fittings. This is what they look like once pulled off the Vintage Air firewall plate:


    I figured I would do somewhat of the same setup I did for my heater hose bulkheads… custom machined aluminum plates that would cover the OEM holes and house the male fittings. I came up with these:





    Coated with the some black epoxy paint:



    Mounted in the car:




    This is what I’m looking at inside the cabin:



    I now need to get all of the XRP AC hoses and fittings ordered up so I can start mocking everything up. I also need to buy a CTS-V compressor. I have both a C5 and C6 compressor and neither one of those are going to work. The C6 compressor fittings exit out the side into the frame rail. There’s not enough clearance by a long shot. The C5 compressor fittings exit out the back. But by the time I add a compressor o-ring pilot adaptor block, the fittings will hit the #2 primary on the header. The CTS-V compressor angles the fittings out the side and angled up.. perfect!… I think!?!?! Once I have the compressor squared away, I can make the two compressor lines for the bay, the lines inside the cabin and the lines down the fender to the front of the car.

    My cluster build is complete. Although the finished product looks very basic, there was a lot that went into keeping the simple look. So bear with me while I post a lot of build pics during the process.

    The first hurdle was the size of the MXL… it’s too damn tall to fit within the constraints of the cluster framework. As you can see in the photo below(don’t mind the crappy cell pics in the next four images) it is about 3/8″ too tall overall. The top is cut off and at the bottom the buttons are smashed into the lower lip of the framework. Note: the framework has obviously already been modified to the specs of my standard clusters I make.

    I knew that I wanted to keep the front edge of the framework as is because I need the OEM cluster surround to butt up in front of it so it fits like stock. So essentially I need the front lower edge to stay put, but the back lower edge that butts up against the plate needs to drop down 3/8″. First I slit the bottom ledge at each corner just inside the lower mounting points:


    Received my display yesterday… courtesy of Jeff & Jordan Innovations. Thanks again for the hookup! As most of you know I kind of build clusters from time-to-time, so I’m looking forward to building one for myself to house this bad-boy. It should actually be a bit more of a challenge than the clusters I have fabricated in the past, considering it doesn’t exactly fit into the confines of the OEM housing. But I prefer a challenge over easy… the reward is always greater!

    I chose the MXL for a few reasons:

  • AiM Sports appears to be the leader in race displays
  • I like the clean look of the MXL
  • I like the fact that the display is completely customizable via a computer
  • The MXL supports CAN bus hook-up. Which means I can simply wire 4 wires and it will read every sensor off the LS3 ECU. Hookup consists of: IGN, GND, and two CAN wires.
  • Received the TR6060 this past week. Everything looks to be good-to-go on it. I can see that I’m gonna need to figure out lines for the slave cylinder as it uses a quick disconnect. I’m not sure if there are any options out there to convert it over to AN, but worst case scenario I can cut the line and weld on a -4 male end. Jeff over at Jordan Innovations is telling me that Tick Performance offer some conversion fittings… so I’ll check those out.

    I also received my stage 3 (they have 6 stages) Monster clutch/flywheel combo. The stage 3 is good for 700hp/tq… so I think I’ll be good:) I have a couple of friends on Zilvia that run this clutch on their LS1’s and they have nothing but great things to say about it. I have also read a lot of positive feedback on the www so I went with Monster. I’m use to spending a gang of loot on a Blitz or Cusco for import engines… this thing was on sale for a measly $649.

    Since I’m trying to source everything I can to get this trans in and not have to take it back out, I went ahead and also picked up a MGW short shifter. It’s fully adjustable and cures the issues the stock shifter is known to have. This kit is pretty badass:

    With all the recent new parts bliss, I about forgot that I needed a little thing called a starter. So I quickly ordered up a MSD 5096. Also fully clockable to aid in any clearance issues.

    I originally was going to do a T56 transmission for my swap. It’s a good trans and it’s what my Sikky trans mount and driveshaft are designed for. However, they are going up in price lately. It’s hard to find one for less than $1500 and seem to average around $1700. Jeff Jordan from Zilvia opened my eyes to how cheap the TR6060’s are going for. They are even more bullet proof than the T56, not to mention that it will have FAR fewer miles since it’s out of a new Camaro. The only thing left was to find one.

    I typically Google for TR6060’s every few nights with little luck. Either it’s a trans that was for sale 2 years ago or something that is overpriced… or just no results at all. Well, I came across a WTB thread on I figured I would check to see what luck, if any, the guy was having finding one. Very first reply a guy said he had one that he was selling along with the OEM clutch, hydraulics, OEM pedals, Hurst shifter etc. He wanted $2000 + shipping for everything. Basically he was switching over to an automatic 4L80E for the drag strip… he has a 850-ish whp 5th gen Camaro that was just built. So I promptly become a member on Camaro5 as fast as my man fingers could slap the keyboard. As I go to click on his username to send him a PM, I realize that the dude lives in the same damn town as me… Normal, IL. I thought to myself, you have to be shitting me! Bloomington/Normal is a little over 100,000 people… so it’s not that big. And it’s not like it’s a suburb of a large city… it’s really out in the middle of nowhere. So I end up talking to the guy and the trans is on the east coast where the car was built. But he said he could do everything for $2000 shipped. So I’ll have some extra parts that I can hopefully part out for a few bucks. Looks as though I need to order up that Monster clutch!

    As far as pics, nothing major as I have been waiting to post them in a substantial update. But it would be very rude of me to make a new post without some pics. I finally found some black fuel rails. The Black Label ones that I planned on going with have seem to be discontinued. But lucky me Katech just released some a few months back. They are simply FAST rails made for Katech in a black color… and believe or it not the price isn’t jacked up just because it says Katech on them. I also finished all of my hoses including the power steering hoses. Note: the power steering hoses, heater hoses and oil filter hoses will get fastened to the block, frame rail etc to keep them where I want them. I just need to figure out what type of clamps I want to go with. I won’t do that until the hose ends are actually crimped on though. I also got my harness from Chase on there, but I don’t have the coil pack sub harness plugged in yet in these pics.

    I also talked to Justin at Sikky today and they have a mount in the works for the TR6060. He informed me that they will be going into production hopefully in a few weeks. They can then just custom make a driveshaft that will work with the TR6060 and my S15 rear-end. Justin(Sikky) has been very pleasant to work with. They have always answered their email within 24 hours and have always been accommodating to me. Thanks again to Sikky!

    I designed a surge tank last week and had my local machine shop fab it up for me. It consists of a billet upper neck with a 1/8″ NPT port for a -4 overflow line. On the upper front a -8 weld-on XRP double o-ring port that leads to the top side of the radiator. A weld-on -4 AN nipple at the top side for the steam ports. Then at the bottom left two -8 weld-on XRP double o-ring ports for a pass-thru from the heater core to the front inlet port on the water pump:

    All of the lines mocked up:

    I got off my ass and finished the heater core setup the other night. I cut the hard tubes down as far as I could and still allow me to get some 5/8″ heater hose onto them securely.

    As you can see I basically cut them down to the rib on the tube:

    I then simply sanded down the tubes so they were basically smooth:

    This is how they mate up to the backside of the machined bulkheads in the car:

    Some simple heater hose and temporary hose clamps… it’s done. I will ditch those nasty hose clamps for the final install and use some XRP Ensure Clamps.

    I also mocked up the radiator hoses:

    I will be doing a surge tank for my high point in the coolant system. I will be running the steam ports into the top side of the tank, looping the output heater hose through the bottom of the tank and then into the front port on the water pump. Since I have never done a surge tank before, I do have one question if anyone can confirm it: do I absolutely need to run a port from the top side of the surge tank to the top of the radiator?

    I decided to mount the XRP oil filter above the frame rail on the driver’s side. I needed to mount it somewhere that was accessible and would also show it off a little. Since the brackets for the filter mount using bolts from the rear, I needed to make it so it was easier to unbolt and access. So I am mounting the brackets to an aluminum 1/4″ plate. I will then mount the plate to the vehicle using some nice hardware. I will also powder coat the plate black before it’s all said and done.

    Marking the plate for drilling:

    Holes for the brackets drilled and counter sunk:

    Drilling with a 90 for the plate mounts:

    Test fit:

    Here are the heater hose bulkheads all finished. Using 1/2″ aluminum at 1-3/4″ diameter. Drilled, tapped and counter sunk for the XRP o-ring fitting. Backside consists of 3/4″ solid rod with a 3/4″-16 thread cut on the front half, then the back half milled to 5/8″ diameter with a hose catch on the end. Then the center drilled out to 7/16″. I then used a black epoxy paint to give it the proper finish. Some washers and an XRP bulkhead nut will hold it all in place.

    XRP fitting in place:

    Bulkheads mounted:

    Mounting the tucked radiator I picked up from Chase:

    Again, using nice hardware throughout:

    I also received my engine harness from Chase… thing is awesome! More pics of that in an upcoming update.

    For now I needed to get the Mil-Spec connector mounted up for test fitment. I decided to go low on the firewall. Since I am keeping the A/C ports on the firewall, there really wasn’t the standard place to mount it. I thought it would look funny running the harness across the A/C lines, above or below them, and have it mounted where the OEM harness comes out. So I decided to mount it where the green marker circle is:

    It will fit there perfectly, but I had to fab an aluminum washer for it on the engine bay side. Usually where most people mount it there’s more room for a bigger mount plate, but not for me. So I cut this little booger out of 1/8″ aluminum:

    I should have a lot more updates rolling in for a while, so don’t stray off too far;)