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Discussion Starter #1
A few people have asked about this build which is on a private forum, I figured this was as good a place as any to post it, and probably better than most...

I have basically ripped this wholesale from my build thread on oldschool.co.nz, cleaned up the bad language and added some extra info in brackets. The discussion in between posts is gone so some context is lost, but I guess you will get the idea…

February 5, 2019
I will let the pics mostly do the talking.



Cost 3x boxes of beer








White dust is from fingerprinting, was stolen and recovered..







Fitted pretty nice with minimal sheetmetal cutting




Engine is seized, need to find another, but will use this to set up the mounts.




Made a removable subframe for the rear and mid body mounts


This is a later model safari steering box, this might be a sticking point but I have a plan that has been agreed with the cert man in principle (around this point the cert guy decided he had too much else lined up to take it on). The box is rotated forward from the original position, the tie rod position is exactly the same though



Front body mounts and steering box mount are all tied in. I have a design for this in CAD which looks pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter #2


Fitted the Safari clutch booster in there with relative ease




Engine is just propped there, I have moved it back 570mm to help with weight distribution/radiator clearance/etc. It also means I can use a SWB rear driveshaft.



Gear linkage might be fun, although apparently the gearbox in a Nissan Condor/Atlas with the FD42 has the same box housing, the top plate and gearshift mech should respectively bolt on/be able to be modded to fit.




Took it to a weighbridge to check axle loadings, 1755kg all up, 1130kg on the front. Axle ratings are 1500kg front and 1800kg rear so should be good to go. The weighbridge was reading 65kg heavier by the time we were done so this is probably worst case.
GVM of the Safari was 2505kg, so will be racecar.
There is a lot to do yet, as I said the engine is seized so need to find another + turbo to put on it.
Build the front cab mount and steering mount, engine and gearbox mounts
Need to think how to build the front driveshaft, probably a shorty shaft to a frame mounted carrier, then use the standard front axle.
Need to find FD42 gearbox linkage
Probably needs new tyres and at least one more rim for a spare
Need adjustable panhards and adjustable rear lower trailing arms to get the axles in a better position. It had a 2" lift that translates to about a 3.5" lift with the current weight, so axles are a bit off to one side and the rear will need rotating so the driveshaft flanges are parallel.
Need to airbag the rear for load levelling.
Need to convert the AC pump to continuous air for the airbags and whatever else
Will need to build a deck with big ass drawers underneath for my tools.
Will probably will have a budget hoist of some variety, maybe just an arm with a chain block.
Electrical will be a nightmare as the cab is 12v and the chassis is 24v, need to talk to an auto sparky to discuss my ideas.
Still need to 100% make sure that my cert guy will be able to take it on, there is no one in Nelson with 1D unfortunately.
Should be easy really.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
March 4, 2019
So yea, knocking it out like a schoolboy.
I have a new cert man now, very excited.



Bent some laser cut profiles and glued them together



Tacked the Xmember on for positioning purposes



Sealed up where I cut the old Xmember out so water didn't sit in there and rust it



Looks strong enough, its 5mm plate.




Tacked in place, I will weld it with the chassis rotated so I get a nice weld all around.



Then time to replace the temporary front mounts.



Cut off the old mounts for reuse.



Glued some things together. Might yet plate either side for extra strengths, it is probably strong enough though. The old mount is welded to 65 x 5mm box section, so all of the weight is going through the weld. There is a fat bead but still.




Mounted the clutch line. (I ended up getting a new line without the secondary bleed section)



I pilfered all the brake and clutch stuff off the dyna chassis, and have had success straightening out the lines with a vice, then rebending where needed. I am using rivnuts into the chassis or existing mount points if convenient. (I now plan to redo all of this with new line)



Had to drop the power steering pump 50mm to clear some vital cab related stuff, just made an adapter plate. I might brace it up a bit.



Modded the adjuster plate to match the 50mm drop.



Modded the throttle cable mount as this is literally all it needed to hook up the Dyna cable setup.
My solution for the steering is pretty much sorted and been ok'd, I just need to set up the original box and check the bump steer limits, then set up the new system and check again. I want to fix the castor first though as this will have a slight effect on things. I measured the lift accurately with the cab on and it is a fraction over 2". This means that drop boxes are pretty much overkill and will mean more castor than factory, so I have ordered some castor correction bushes which should bring it back to factory spec. The pitman arm is currently getting modified to suit my new tierod end, the machining boys were disconcertingly vague about the possible cost of this.
Next I will sort the brake and fuel lines, this should be easy. The fuel lines need to be 570mm shorter, but I may just re-route them with a bit more flexi.
Handbrake will be making up a pivot bracket to connect the two cables and correct the pull ratios, this should also be trivial.
Hopefully have sorted an engine.
Also I bought a hilux rear driveshaft. PCD of the mounts is very close to the Safari front shaft ones. It has a hangar bearing so I will make a chassis mount and get it shortened so it can mount the front shaft.
That will do for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
March 21, 2019
There are gears now, after a fair few evenings involving head scratching.
It was pretty straightforward really, I just reinstalled the Dyna shift mech, remounted some pivot stuff, extended some linkages, bent some others, and made some missing bits.
There is a lot of adjustment there so I can mess with the lever throws, it feels pretty good already.
Also the low range lever linkage is 75% there, the last pic shows its position on the floor beside the drivers leg. I need to cut a bit more floor and move the mount over about 25mm so its in the right spot. Once finalised I can connect it to the rest of the lever mech.
O and there is a handbrake now as well.
Also the interior stuff at the front all fits with no mods at all, this is good. It has a pretty skanky bench seat + drivers seat at the front, I will probably end up with a two singles although I will need to find seats that have a very skinny back and small hinge mech.



 

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Discussion Starter #6
March 31, 2019
I installed the castor correction bushes, it was quite difficult to remove the radius arms, I ended up having to cut one of the bolts. Pretty sure one was coozed so good to replace them anyway. I put new pivot bushes in too, these had been done and looked ok, but no harm in replacing them.




My trusty press came into its own once I had bodged suitable tooling, it is large and leaky and surprisingly rough, but always seems to get the job done.



I also had a look at the radiator situation with some CAD. Basically it needs to lay forwards about 45 deg to get even close to the volume needed and to miss all of the suspension stuff at full compression. I talked through it with my radiator man, he is probably going to come look to minimise the chance of problems.



Obviously this means a couple of electric fans. There is quite a good flow to the front of it, and he suggested cowling it to the engine as well to minimise heat soak into the cabin.
The custom rad will no doubt cost money.
Also I ran the last bit of brake line and mounted the fuel filter, which I had completely forgotten about until I rewatched the Skid Factory's TD42 conversion..
The low range lever is sorted. It ended up with a shorter throw than intended, but as it now has a lot of extra linkages this works in my favour as this accounts for the extra slop.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
April 13, 2019
A bit more progress.
I bought some Suzuki Vitara seats from the wreckers, these are the same frame as the ones I put into my bus so I know they can sit pretty low once you start cutting and shutting. They are a bit more supportive than the Dyna seat, and they have the added benefit of being a pair, not a single. Banana for scale;




I removed the bar that runs along the back of the seats, this allows the seats to recline into a far more comfortable position. It will go back in when the seats are installed and I know how much clearance it will need.

I will need to split that engine cover lengthways and add another hinge and latch. This means I can still get into the rad space without removing the passenger seat. This shouldn't be a drama.

I also checked the bump steer situation last weekend, first with the factory setup, then with the new arrangement. The new setup turned out pretty average as my positioning of the new steering box did not put the tierod exactly in line with the factory setup. This was due to some geometry that I had to guess at a few weeks ago, but when I moved the box up 25mm this made a huge difference, it is now slightly better than the factory setup which is a big relief.





The brakes look pretty new with minimal disc wear so that is good.

About there is where things have stalled as my back went out pretty badly and I spent a couple of nights in hospital. I'm home now and itching to do stuff but I should probably take it easy for a while. I am going to have to get serious about losing my belly as I am sure that would make a huge difference to the situation. Fat old man that I am.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
April 22, 2019
Got the drivers seat in and sitting nice and snug. The steering wheel is about 40mm higher than factory with my steering setup etc, but I am a 6’3” so the more legroom the better, and where the seat is placed is super comfy for me, with all the controls nicely to hand and heaps of legroom.



Unfortunately this meant a wee bit of a hole.




Firstly I welded in a brace to replace the bit of probably important body mount stuff that I had to clearance. There is a whole lot of weld through primer on the back of that.



Then I fashioned another bit of sheet metal to fill the gap.





There is a bit more welding to do on the inside by the engine but I will do this when the cab is off next. The same deal also has to happen with the removable cover, that will be tomorrows job.
Unfortunately the steering pump could do with being still a bit lower to clear everything, plus the seat belt mount frame thing that holds the socket and sits behind the cover will need a bit of loving too.
I looked at the passenger side seat as well, this will need a bit of clearancing but all on the engine cover, not the body. That's next on the list probly.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
April 28, 2019
Not a lot happening as I am still broken, but pain is just signals in the brain so I ignore it and carry on as much as I can.
Passenger seat is in after significant messing with the engine cover. Way less welding needed to the actual seat though. The inner bit of cover might need a bit more bracing, but it lifts and clears the seat ok. I will make sure the rad cap is positioned in this gap.






I even got the wife to sit in it to make sure it was comfy enough for her, she seemed generally satisfied although the hood lining got the stink eye.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
May 5, 2019
Made a new bit of the blue box section that mounts the steering box.



Then after a bit of positioning dickery I pulled the whole lot off and welded it on the bench for ease of access.




Then slapped it back and started welding the easy bits. I will leave the rest of it for when I strip the chassis for painting etc. and can get the positions easier for a nice bead.



Then found a spare plug and hooked up my dodgy lathe to the power. I discovered after I acquired it that the low speed gears are broken, so I had to get inventive with the mill drill as well. It worked out ok, but I am now looking for a cheap VSD to run the lathe.

I then made some crush tubes for the box mount out of some spare M24 threaded rod I had lying around.




After I did all I could on this (but obviously not take anymore pics), I finished up the cross member that goes where the gearbox mount was, and now acts as a sump guard. This is needed as I have the engine sitting about 40mm lower than factory.




This will also be part of the mount for the front driveshaft extension sometime in the near future.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
May 19, 2019
I spent the last couple of weeks tidying things up in the front of the cab, there was a lot of little niggly little stuff. I just have to do a minor mod to the handbrake bracket and hook up the clutch booster vacuum now.
Stuff like this patch below, finishing the underneath welding I couldn't do when I did the seat mods, brace up the split engine cover so it seals properly, weld a rust hole in the floor where the throttle is, fit a boot to the low range lever, mount the steering wheel properly, mod the steering wheel floor cover so it clears the shaft UJ, etc etc
I have left the engine cover in the back for now, this will get some loving after the induction system has been sorted.



I built a driveshaft hoop for future potential turbo doorts.



I then built some wheel arch extensions and new steps. I modded the steps after this as they looked a bit stink, I might still do a bit more to chunk them up as they still look a bit flimsy.
The arches are bolted on with rivnuts set into the body, pretty rock solid.







I somehow forgot to get a pic of the mostly finished article, you get the idea from this shot though..
Then I ordered some steel and got to thinking about the deck;







The height is set from pulling the springs out and sitting it on the bump stops, it should clear by 10mm or so. The deck ended up about 1050mm high, a good workbench height for me. it is a bit shorter than I expected, 2.5m long x 1.85 wide, but it was looking a bit out of proportion at 2.8m, and frankly stupid at 3m.
These is quite a lot more to do to that including side drawers in front and behind the wheels, finish the hoop, light mounts etc, that is the next few days effort I imagine.
I also removed and stripped down the Dyna wiring loom, this gave me the heebie jeebies, the thought of trying to marry the 12v Dyna loom to the 24v Safari loom give me conniptions. With that in mind I ordered a 20 circuit hot rod kit, all the wires should be labelled so even a thicky like me should be able to get through most of it without too much drama. I hope so.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
May 22, 2019
Loom arrived, not as scary as the original one, but still not pleasant to contemplate.
Ignored it and added deck bits.


 

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Discussion Starter #13
May 26, 2019
Sunday night update time.
For a start it continues to look absolutely banging.



I mounted some trad looking but actually LED tail lights. I added a mount spot for a Ute crane, pretty sure I have found one cheap.



Then I sucked in my gut and pretended I wasn't scared and started laying out the loom.




It took all weekend to get to this stage lol. Mostly it was separating things out to where they need to head to and figuring out what wires did what for the steering wheel controls. I also broke the heater blower and wiper stuff out of the Dyna loom so I can feed them from a DC DC converter.
I also pulled a whole lot of important looking stuff to do with glow plugs and such out of the Safari loom.
Interestingly it doesn't look like the new loom has relays to run the main lights, but I have pilfered those from the Safari setup as well.
I am feeling surprisingly comfortable with all this which I was not expecting. Maybe tomorrow I will apply power to it and let the smoke out. That will be hilarious.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
June 3, 2019
Holy ****e.



Front spaghetti.



Engine spaghetti.



Inside spaghetti.



Fusebox spaghetti.

Currently (ha!) I have;
Headlights high and low
Indicators
Hazards
Park lights
Brake lights
Wipers and washers
Heater blower
Acc, main and start off the key
A glow plug timer
I have the glow loom stuff hacked out of the Safari loom.

Things going surprisingly well, I have only blown 7 protection fuses during engagements.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
June 9, 2019
Spent some time adding to the wiring and tidying the routing and earth's etc.
Then I spent the weekend welding the deck up.



And adding somewhere for the batteries to go. I kind of wanted them closer to the cab but this meant either bolloxing up my side drawer plans or making them really hard to access, this is a reasonable compromise.



The deck also has this feature;



Because I will mount this bad boy that I picked up the other day;



This is good as I do not like to lift things.
In other news, the engine I have lined up is looking less likely as the dude has not responded to my messages for 3 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
June 23, 2019
It's been a couple of weeks since an update, mostly because it has been endless wiring up, which it time consuming but has sod all to show for the effort.
Basically I have been chunking away at it endlessly, with tidying things up and soldering chocolate block connections being most of it. It is all running on 24v now, all the bulbs and relays swapped over and running 2x DC DC converters for the 12v stuff.



So many relays...
You can see the convertors. One runs the wipers/washer/blower motor, the other runs the stereo power. The terminations are the same so if the wiper one blows I can use the stereo one as a backup.



Halfway through wiring the instrument cluster, have to study the Haynes manual a bit more I reckon.



I made a box for the fusable links, starter relay and glow relays. It needs welding in place yet. And a lid. The hole is access to the fuel filter manual pump knob.



Battery positions.



I stripped the old rear seat down to the frame, this is because I went back to the wreckers and bought the Vitara rear seats from the car I got the fronts out of, these look like they could be pretty good as a solution;





Just need to weld some mounts to the frame and create something to hold things folded away. It is nice that all the seats match too..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
June 30, 2019
The wiring is pretty much there now bar the speedo cluster, a bit more tidying in the cab and adding some Deutsch connectors in the rear. And a licence plate light.
I hate car stereos with all their inputs, eq settings and animated screens, also I have not willingly listened to the radio or watched television for more than two decades, a small and ineffectual rebellion against capitalism. I only listen to talking books over Bluetooth when driving and I hate it when I get into a car after someone has been used it and has messed about with the stereo and turned on the radio. So to prevent this occurrence I have bought a top quality Bluetooth mini amp off Ali express for $54, this has two tone knobs and a volume knob, and no display. Perfect.
In other news I have had some front driveshaft adaptors made so I will be sorting that out shortly.
I will hopefully have enough cash for a radiator in the next few days as well.
In the realm of actual work I have mounted the rear seats. Not masses of legroom but they work well and pack away nice and tidy;






It will be tight for the engine cover but do able.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
July 10, 2019
Been on hols, got back today and had a couple of hours in the shed tonight so I mounted the Safari cluster in the Dyna dash. I had mostly fitted the dash before we went away. It will fit ok I reckon, I had to trim the cluster hole quite a bit bigger.




Factory looking eh. It's all 1992 So no stylistic clashes happening.
 

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July 14, 2019
Proof that I am now an auto sparky and bollox to anyone who says otherwise;




Should have cleaned the smeg off my lens for that last one.

Then on to the engine cover, but first I had to build a bit of the intake to make sure I could get it all to clear. There is a sweet spot just behind the cab that will fit a 600x 300 intercooler, I am hoping I can get to that area without modifying my gear linkage too much.
Made a rim for the cut sheet metal so the floor was stiffer and the cover had something to bolt to.




The intake had to be low otherwise the folding rear seats would hit it.



Welded and cleaned up.



Looks kinda cool.

Then some time honoured 'frame it up in solid round then smash sheet metal onto it' fabrication.




It's tight. There was a wee bracket thing that hit the cover when the seat was down so I whipped it off with the grinder only to immediately realise it was the hook to keep the seats up. So now I need to replicate it. Like a twat.




I initially used some real thin galv sheet I had but it was clear I was never going to be able to fully weld it without chasing holes all over the place, plus it already sounded clangy and tinny, so I found some 1.5mm mild steel in the rack and used the thin sheet as a template. This meant I could get a nice fold where I needed it using the finger bender.



Still yet to do the other side and fill in those gaps, but good progress.
Front driveshaft assembly is in getting shortened and balanced at considerable expense.
Still yet to hear from engine man. I might have to spend that money on coating the chassis etc and hope I can find some more later on. Or find some more stuff to sell.
As you were.
 
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