The Search for Traction Finale

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The great thing about this setup is that  very little changes. The same axles are kept. Same mounting points. And it was easily converted back to a cable clutch setup from the 2001’s hydraulic system. There were only two items of concern – first when installing the cable arm into the transmission I found it did not fit. Of course, had I read absolutely everything on the SR20 forums I would have known this already but I only read what I thought was important. This was easily fixed because, for some reason only Nissan’s engineers understand, after a decade of having the arm sit inside a collar they chose to insert a sleeve into the collar and then machine the arm to fit into the sleeve. A good chisel and an old slotted screwdriver – plus a hammer – got that out in no time. The mechanical arm now fit like a glove – no grinding or machining required.

 


I am not an engineer, so understand my consternation that after a decade on the market why a sleeve was inserted into the collar that holds the clutch arm. Hammer, chisel, and old slotted screwdriver – it was out with a little bit of axle grease. That mangled piece of metal used to be the sleeve.

Then it was time to get some JB Weld out and to fill up the spaces in the tranny near the passenger side axle. Even though this is a strong transmission, I was not going to take any chances and used the same strengthening trick that worked well for many others – including myself with my 1999 Infiniti G20 transmissions.

 


Just a bit of clean up to ensure that the JB Weld doesn't affect the axle seals. This is just a precautionary act to ensure that there's enough strength in the transmission around the passenger side axle to withstand the forces exerted by the turbocharged powerplant. However, notice how the shift mechanism on the B15 transmission is literally flush with the edge of the transmission? On the B13 and P10 transmissions, it is recessed back.

The second item shocked me that I had missed it in my research. The shift mechanism is moved significantly towards the centre of the car. When installed in the B13 NX1600, it contacts the shift stabilizer bar and no shifting will take place. As with most projects, this issue hit us in the late evening and as we were stalled now, we called it a day. Some late night research showed some people who had done this swap before me had either ground away the metal that held the bushing in place or slotted the bolt holes so that the stabilizer bar could be moved over. Neither of those was high on my list – as I saw weaknesses created in both of them. For a street driven car these could be very viable options. On a track car, creating a weakness is simply asking for a part failure in the immediate future. So I took my part to Platanium Diesel, owned by Elmer Bauman. He is a heavy truck mechanic and an amazing fabricator. One look at the bracket and he dismissed my idea of moving the bolts and welding them in place. He suggested we cut out 3/16” of the bracket material and then weld it back together. A few minutes with a hacksaw later, the part was reduced, welded together, painted black, and ready to install.

 

Nothing like a good hacksaw and a massive vice that has endured a lot of use. With 3/16″ of an inch removed, the bracket has been prepared for its new role.
Welded back together, given a coat of paint to protect it from the elements, and our modified bracket is ready to got back into place.

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