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Old 09-12-2007, 11:25 PM   #1
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Exclamation DIY: S13-S15 Front End Conversion

Quote:
Here's a cool DIY i found, hope it helps!

Main install parts:

- VIS OEM-Style S15 Carbon Fiber Hood
- Inner Circle Poly-Fiber S13-S15 Conversion Fenders
- Nissan OEM S15 Front Bumper
- Nissan OEM S15 Hood Hinges
- Nissan OEM PS13 headlight brackets (JDM)
- Nissan OEM S15 Headlights
- Custom Wiring
- New Paint (optional)

The Car from Start....


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And here are the new parts to go on:


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Last edited by Supra_RZ; 10-02-2007 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:25 PM   #2
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Everybody knows what removing the stock front end is like (minor PITA) so I won't bother with that.... I got a late start, so this is more like a half day. Removal of the front end took most of the afternoon. Also, I removed roughly 5lbs of dirt and debris from within the fenders.

Here you can see the front end just removed.


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The Good News: on the door side, all the lines are very good! YAY! But the happiness is short lived...


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Uh oh... why do all the mounting tabs point up about 20 degrees?


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The Bad News:

* I'm either going to have to see how far these will bend down (before stress fracturing)
* put wedge shaped washers underneath to try and offset the mounting angle (less stress on the fold points) AND hope that the hood will still close with that much fiber pointing up at it... not a nice looking install. or...
* hack it off and fiberglass a new one that fits properly


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Here you can really see how bad the gap is, very wavy, and far from the frame unfortunately


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Last edited by Supra_RZ; 10-02-2007 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:26 PM   #3
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Here are the installed PS13 headlight brackets. Straight bolt-on, just like a normal Silvia conversion. When the holes are cut in the radiator core support, the lights will be mounted to these brackets with custom holes.


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Here are the installed hood hinges and CF hood. If you use the S13 brackets, you have to move the brackets outward, which would require a tap/die set (which I don't have), also making it difficult to use the S13 hinges is that where you would need to drill is right where a seam is. I felt pretty uncomfortable attempting that, so I opted to use the OEM S15 hood hinges. If you match up the rear mounting hole on the chassis, with the front mounting hole of the bracket, the hood lines up (front to rear at least) like buttah. Of course using only one bolt mount is not as strong as both, but with the hood pins and factory latch, i'm confident that this will be of sufficient strength. Sam Chang tells me that this is the same setup the Jspec cars have been using on the track for some time now.

Additionally, Drift Freaq tells me that S14 hinges will be a straight bolt-on, utilizing all 4 mounting points, but I've not tested this... yet.


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Here is a close-up on the hinge. You can clearly see the unused front mount and bolted front hinge mount, as well as the unbolted rear hinge mount.


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Now the bad news, in 2 different ways, individual to each fender.
The driver's side fender is the worse of the 2, the gap between the fender and the hood is fairly extreme... about 3/4", even after much shoving and manipulating.


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The fender is also far too low to line up with the hood. My first thought was to lower the hood latch mount so that the hood would sit lower and thus line up better with the fenders. This was a no-go. The hood's quality is impressive, especially for a VIS product. The fit and finish is spot-on. The hood could not be lowered, as it fit PERFECTLY as it was. It could not be lowered without scraping the radiator support. For the driver's side, the fender must be raised about a 1/2" and somehow shoved closer by about 3/4".... did you people with the VIS/GTP/RaceOn fenders have this issue? or is it slightly different? At this point, i'm wondering if I should have stuck with the MUCH cheaper lower grade products, as they were less than half the cost of the Inner Circle fenders. *sigh* moving on...


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The passenger's side seemed to line up a little better. The gapping between the fender and the hood was excellent, however in the pic, you can see that hood gap top-to-bottom again... *sigh* this will be much work, the heat gun is going to get quite the workout. Rather than be depressed abouth the poor fender fitment, I elected to start installing the headlights... ie. the core support gets the sawzall treatment! Pix of that tomorrow... hopefull with mounted lights! Stay tuned!


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Last edited by Supra_RZ; 10-02-2007 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
This is a quick overview pic of where I'm at currently. Had some setbacks, but nothing too major. The headlights don't quite line up, since i'm modifying the S13 radiator core support, rather than going with the $300 S15 core support that would need to be welded in. Several conversion I've seen use the existing support, but as you'll see in the following images, there are some definite drawbacks. Below you can see the light midway through being custom fitted. My deadblow hammer makes an amazingly accurate spacer for the light's mounting point


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There have been many people saying that my fenders probably don't fit exactly right because my hood is mounted wrong. RIGHT. OK, so here is a pic of the hood and the hood hinge assembly... it really COULD NOT be more dead-on... look at the centering of the latch. The hood is currently the straightest, most correctly aligned part of the conversion, thus all other parts will go by the lines of the hood for fitment.


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Before shot of the radiator core support: passenger's side


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Mid-progress pic of the hole required for the S15 lights, more more modding is still required. I plan to weld on some small gauge steel stock when i've got the sizing right to add a little support and sheer strength to what I've removed. I was shocked to see how little strength the radiator core support adds to the car, it's VERY thing gauge metal (ie. you cut through it REALLY fast). There were 2 occurances (so far) when I got a little overzealous with the sawzall, but since this is all trial and error, I chalk it up to experience. Hopefully when I'm done, I can make a template for you guys who want to follow what I've done.... hey wait, I just realized that I should just drive around as-is and have a CAI! hehee


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n this pic I was TRYING to illustrate how the upper-tack welded tab needs to be bent back slightly to compensate for the curvature of the S15 headlight, as it wraps around the corner. You can probably see better in the pic above than this one, sorry bout that folks.


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As you can see, as of this entry, the lights sit just barely too far forward, almost exactly an inch too far forward, and probably 3/4 of an inch too high, it's bracket/spacer fabrication time!


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Whoa baby, check out that gap... once the S13 core support is modded just a bit further, i'm confident the lights will line up, I just ran out of time for the night (I like to be courteous to my neighbors and NOT run the air compressor past about 8pm or so). Slowly things are coming together!


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Last edited by Supra_RZ; 10-02-2007 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Passenger's side core support cutout, midway through


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Another view


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Here we go with the preliminary bumper test fit after the first round of trimming hte backside to make the FMIC and IC pipes fit.


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Marked in red is the area missing to clear the hot pipe, can't get too close on this side unless I want to smell melting urethane


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Significantly less needs to be trimmed on the passenger's side


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Behold the main problem. There is a SIGNIFICANT amount of plastic shaved from the back side of the radiator/FMIC area, yet here you can clearly see now the bumper is still hitting the end tank along most of it's surface, unacceptable. Time for more Dremel.


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Passenger's side inner headlight mount will need trimming so it does hit the AC service port, but this is a decent pic of how things fit together


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Last edited by Supra_RZ; 10-02-2007 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
So from Day 3, you can see that the headlight gap was an issue, but didn't SEEM like a big deal. As it turns out, the corner spot welds where the radiator core support was attached to the frame got in the way of the headlight assembly's curvature, not a big deal, a little more pounding... BUT, additionally, the forward most parts of the frame (fender mounts) were 1/4" too high. You have no idea what frustration is until one piece of metal (well, per side), a mere 1/4" high, is stopping you from a whole slew of things. 5 mins with a small sledge hammer fixed that, note below the slight pounding takin to the very tip of the frame (no worries, it's nowhere near enough to degrade structural integrity in any way). The pic is a little misleading, the lighting and dirt on the frame itself makes it look like it's fairly well dented in the upper right area of the highlighted area, but I assure you it's not:


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Here's the same work on the opposite side:


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In this pic you can see the finished cutout area of the driver's side, the pics can't quite show you the details, but my friend Bob neatened it up with his sawzall/die grinder skills... he's much more experienced than myself, and it shows!


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Top view of above:


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...and here's the passenger's side, completed. Note the sawzall skills of Bob again... I think I would've zipped right thru the upper area completely. I tend to get a lil out of control with the sawzall.... i've also noticed that when i'm zipping thru sheet metal I get this evil grin and maniacal laughter as I knowingly saw through anything in my path... maybe i should get myself checked for that... anyways, highlighted here are the hammered down areas of the frame and radiator support tab (left), and the most difficult cut of the support in the middle.


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Top view of above:


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Now things are looking better! This most recent test fit made my night


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Let's hope that the light patterns are fairly close to squared up! Eyeballing it, it seems really close to accurate. Next, perma-mounting the lights!


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Old 09-12-2007, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Here you can see exactly how the light is mounted. The light was aligned with the hood and placemarked, a new hole needed to be drilled in the core support for the main outer light mount point. I used a 6mm x 30mm bolt that goes up thru the support from the bottom. The head is so close to the pre-existing pop-up light mount that with minimal grinding of the new bolt, the head will jam against the existing welded bolt making a perfect lock for tightening. This was extra fortuitous because there is NO ROOM to work under there, even with skinny little girlie hands like mine Another nut on top keeps the bolt permanently mounted, and small washers were used for spacers, then the light placed over top, then a lockwasher and the final nut. Before tightening down all the way, there was a decent amount of bolt shank leftover that was then cut flush via sawzall.


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The inner mount point was the easiest. The stock JDM PS13 mount points are preexisting, complete with a welded nut to bolt to. The light was aligned, then marked by simply scratching the paint on the headlight's mount from the back
side, through the JDM support mount with a sharp piece of scrap that was lying around, this made drilling a snap. The light is now "bolt-on" Note how well the light aligns with the hood now.


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Here's a view of the other side after final mounting, note how much of the inner headlight mount had to be cut to make room for the AC service port.


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Headlights mounted and aligned! (aiming the beam pattern is a whole different issue though)


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here are pix of the bumper test bolted-on and fenders clamped into pseudo place (nothing is actually holding them on at this point). Things are really coming together now!


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Old 09-12-2007, 11:31 PM   #8
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By the end of Day 7, the bumper fits (yay) and all headlight wiring is done EXCEPT for the elusive turn signal blinkers... damn if I can't get them to blink
Here are the projectors (low-beam) with city/day-time running/parking lights (do they have a technical name?). Heh, I didn't realize there were actually 4 lights til I was into the wiring, pretty cool!


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High beams and parking lights:


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Parking Lights alone:


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Old 09-12-2007, 11:31 PM   #9
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:00 AM   #10
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SlvrTarantula has a little shameless behaviour in the past
sickkk conversion and even better write-up! Looks beautiful
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SlvrTarantula
sickkk conversion and even better write-up! Looks beautiful
thanks a lot, more DIY's comming up!!!
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:35 PM   #12
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Pretty cool little swap. How much did the entire project cost?
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:54 PM   #13
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nx2000 street rep is low. keep going
Awesome!!! This should be made a sticky!!
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:06 PM   #14
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Wicked write up!
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:52 PM   #15
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good post.... i like the kouki front alot better though for the s14
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:52 PM
 
 
 
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