1 (edited by Klayfish 2017-04-17 05:52 AM)

Topic: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

My friend (board member Mental) and I have come to the conclusion that owning a LeMons vehicle just doesn't work for us.  I lack the mechanical skillset and time, and he lacks the time.  So the truck has to go.  I'll continue to run with my current race team, 3PM, and find myself a ride for when LeMons hits Atlanta this December.

So here are some details on the truck.  It's a 1983 ('84 perhaps, I forget) Datsun 720 pick up.  We ran it for 2 races in 2015.  The suspension was fantastic, it handles incredibly well.  In fact, I put it on the skidpad at the Mitty in 2015 and it pulled 1.154G…running older tires.  We had continual engine issues as we were running a stock Datsun engine.  It blew up at CMP Spring 2015 and has been sitting in my basement ever since.  Engine, trans, wiring and dash are all out and gone.  We bought a 1994 BMW 318i as a donor and stripped that down.  We had intended to transplant the entire drivetrain in for now, and later possibly the BMW suspension.  But we never got past stripping the BMW down and stripping the truck of its drivetrain, so the trucks’ suspension is still fully intact.  The package would include:

Truck - fully caged (passed 2015 LeMons tech).  As I mentioned, it handles better than a pick up truck should.  Has custom made brake pads from Porterfield (race pads for a Datsun 720 don’t exist off the shelf).  Adjustable panhard bar in the rear.  And that wing…adds hella downforce yo!, and the chicks dig it.  Believe it or not, the wing is actually adjustable too.  The dude who built this truck wasn’t messing around.  Custom front bumper is solid as a tank, you don’t want to get in this things’ way.  With decent power, can be class C competitive in LeMons. 

All BMW parts, including:
Entire drivetrain.  I bought the car from Copart.  Before we stripped it, we got it started and verified the engine runs well.  Rev’s nicely, no noises, no smoke, no leaks.  The car wouldn’t move, as when you let the clutch out, nothing happened…no grinding, no noises, no movement, almost like the clutch was disconnected.  Shifter moved through the gears fine, clutch pedal felt normal, but car acted like clutch pedal was pressed in.  Through some snooping, I tracked down the previous owner.  It was at a mom and pop car dealer.  Guy said he used it as his own daily driver for a few months while it was for sale.  Said it ran great.  Sold it to a kid who apparently went hooning with it.  Drifted it into a tree with the right quarter panel and fled the scene.  Dealer repo’d it and sent it to Copart.  Drivetrain will include engine, trans, driveshaft, rear end, full wiring harness…though wires for a/c and radio were cut.  We also have full suspension and front and rear subframes.  Steering column and exhaust.   

4 rims on 205/50/15 BFGoodrich Rivals, only used parts of 2 races in 2015.  The rims were for Datsun hubs, so they wouldn’t fit if you swapped the existing hubs to the BMW hubs.

5 Nissan Pathfinder rims with 205/60/15 Fuzion HRi tires...unknown age, good tread, but probably best for just rolling around or shake down run (we did run them at Road Atlanta for HPDE in 2015 and they were fine).  Same deal with the lug pattern as above.

Misc odds and ends…removable steering wheel, Kirkey aluminum seat, basic gauges, etc…

Here are some pictures of it from the 2015 Barber.  It still looks exactly the same....it's in my basement on jackstands with hood and fenders off.

http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LAL15/086-IMG_3563.html

http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LAL15/321-IMG_1486.html

I also tried to take some photos to show the cage and suspension, but had a hard time because of the location in the basement.  If you want more specific pics, just tell me what you want and I’ll get them for you.

http://s1197.photobucket.com/user/Klayf … 0%20LeMons

Truck is located in Acworth, GA and the BMW stuff is in Mableton, about 25 minutes from my house.

Three Pedal Mafia
"The Boat" - 2014 Halloween Hooptiefest class C winner
Civic hatch, Triumph TR7, 'Tina
'83 Nissan 720 - Moonshine Division

Re: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

Some interest from a noob here. Do you have any pictures of the bmw engine and transmission? What engine is it specifically, the 2.0? I'm interested in the truck but I'm not sure if I want to go the route of a bmw drive train. Would you be interested in selling just the truck and not the bmw stuff? Wanting to get into lemons so I'm taking the route of a mostly finished (as far as safety equipment goes) vehicle rather than a from-scratch build.

Re: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

Yes, I've got some pictures of the BMW stuff.  I'll get it posted for you, or can e-mail it to you shortly.  The motor is the 1.8L from the E36 318i. 

Sure, I could sell the truck and the related truck stuff.  Like I said, it passed tech in 2015, and drove really well.  If you had any desire to go back to using a Datsun 720 motor (though perhaps I'd question your sanity...LOL), I've got a large box load of spare engine parts for it.

Three Pedal Mafia
"The Boat" - 2014 Halloween Hooptiefest class C winner
Civic hatch, Triumph TR7, 'Tina
'83 Nissan 720 - Moonshine Division

4 (edited by Mental 2017-04-24 10:18 AM)

Re: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

Redshift_Rider wrote:

Some interest from a noob here. Do you have any pictures of the bmw engine and transmission? What engine is it specifically, the 2.0? I'm interested in the truck but I'm not sure if I want to go the route of a bmw drive train. Would you be interested in selling just the truck and not the bmw stuff? Wanting to get into lemons so I'm taking the route of a mostly finished (as far as safety equipment goes) vehicle rather than a from-scratch build.

No problem. Here is the Bimmer stuff
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgQUJyMnE3bklyMnM=w1024-h638-iv1
Transmission
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgU2o1TmZwR0VCUkU=w1024-h638-iv1
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgTkZua0VLdU1yUE0=w1024-h638-iv1
Subframes
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgMXZ6Y1B0WnFOQm8=w1024-h638-iv1
Engine

Now, as Steve mentioned, the 38 was running. We did start it but the shift fork was jammed. When I got the trans pulled from the engine it clanged back to normal, but we think when it hit the pole, the shift fork jammed and wouldn't release the clutch.  I kept the gauge cluster and wiring harness. I actually labeled a lot of it until I started running out of time and got to the stereo and HVAC controls. The ABS sensors are in place as well.

Now, after stating all of this, if you are a noob, yeah, ditch the BMW stuff and just buy the truck. The suspension is surprisingly good for what it is. Its a planted, predictable truck. But that was our problem. The guy that build it is actually pretty amazing and did this as a lark, including the custom panard bar in the rear. The suspension was good enough to starve the engine for oil.

There are not a lot of trick parts available for this engine. Our initial plan was a KA24 out of a later Nissan Hardbody pickup. Cheap, plentiful in junkyards and fairly bulletproof, but the BMW fell into our lap. Cursed with more enthusiasm than talent, I pulled everything rather than just the engine, thinking brake and suspension upgrades to match the powerplant.

But if you can get a Z24 for this truck, more power to ya. I think Steve still has the transmission, but the engine is long gone.

With the firm suspension, once we had the carb sorted, it stuck hard enough to starve the engine for oil. Then this happened;
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgQm4wc25xR1pGcFE=w1366-h638-iv1
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgY1NoNlpWQ1QyOUU=w1366-h638-iv1
https://lh3.google.com/u/0/d/0B1sl1VxLZlIgUkJPOUtGMHRzd0U=w1366-h638-iv1

I made some bad mistakes in building and executing this truck, but I learned a great deal. Particularly about actually listening to your gauges over your ego.

Now, in the interest of transparency, the truck needs a few items to be competitive. One is a proper containment seat. That was in the plans. It will take some work because there is not a lot of room, so find one you can test fit first.

The next is a fuel cell. The gas tank was replaced when we got it, but it is on the wrong side (so you are refueling in traffic on pit lane) and the filler is basically level with the tank so it fills soooooo sssssssslllllllloooooowwwwwlllllllyyyyy. but it is legal with the new stock tank.

The truck is easy on consumables, and its pretty easy to drive. It's light so the tires last and gets decent (for a race car) gas mileage. It is a momentum car like none you have driven, but will teach you discipline and patience. The guy that build it overbuild it. The front air dam, does not move. You can push a car with it. So if some red mist clown manages to tap someone, it won't ruin your weekend.

Its going to need some work, and it needs some track time, but the stuff that matters, like the roll cage, is well built and solid.

If you decide you do want the Bimmer stuff, lemme know, you can come see it at my house (Mableton GA, just outside Atlanta). It has been indoors since I pulled it last year. The truck has lived indoors since it was built. There is a little rust in the passenger footwell and the top of the bed, annoying by southern standards but nothing to those yankee rust heaps. With the hard work done pulling the fenders etc, getting access to fit any powerplant in the engine bay is actually pretty straight forward.

I hope this helps. The thought of this truck getting cut up is depressing, but man, being a teacher takes so much time, so between a father of three and a high school teacher, we just don't have any time.

Former director of mis-operations for Ok-Speed and known associate of the Three Pedal Mafia.

Re: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

Mental, the photo links are busted. I'm not in the market, but would love to see which one this is. I really do love the idea.

Pat Mulry, TARP Racing #67
https://youtu.be/qmf9JkedPR8

Mandatory disclaimer: all opinions expressed are mine alone & not those of 24HOL, its mgmt, sponsors, etc.

Re: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

Mulry,
I can't seem to make the photos show up in a post either, but it's the truck in my avatar.  Here are a couple of links to pictures of it from Murileemartin. 


http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LAL15/086-IMG_3563.html

http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LAL15/321-IMG_1486.html

Three Pedal Mafia
"The Boat" - 2014 Halloween Hooptiefest class C winner
Civic hatch, Triumph TR7, 'Tina
'83 Nissan 720 - Moonshine Division

7 (edited by Mental Today 09:47 AM)

Re: Datsun 720 caged shell + BMW drivetrain, ran LeMons in '15, $1500, ATL

Mulry wrote:

Mental, the photo links are busted. I'm not in the market, but would love to see which one this is. I really do love the idea.

Ask and ye shall recieve...

http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LAL15/086-IMG_3563.jpg

http://www.murileemartin.com/UG/LAL15/321-IMG_1486.jpg

Former director of mis-operations for Ok-Speed and known associate of the Three Pedal Mafia.