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Friday, March 06, 2009
Lux suggested a 69' Camaro / Firebird fuel tank for my Z, since the price of a new one was around $260 (including the sending unit), it was 18 gallons (larger than the stock 15 gallon tank in a 240z) and it's filling neck is rearward facing (so I can mount the cap under the license plate). So, I went online and purchaced one. After I un-boxed it, I wrapped it up in a few shipping blankets and wedged it between the strut tower brace and the backs of the seats in my 350z and delivered it CrushProof.


Monday, September 08, 2008
I dropped by CrushProof a while back to discuss solutions for my roll bar issues. Lux suggested chopping the floor mounts, which might lower the stock seats to an acceptable level. Failing that, he suggested finding a seat from another vehicle that would be even shorter than the stock seat. Lux suggested a mid-90's Corvette but, looking at the cloth seats in the one that he had parked in his garage, I was not impressed. So, I talked with Russ, who suggested seats from a Honda S2000. I found a pair on Criagslist that a guy bought for $800, and I purchased them from him for $550. The seat pad was fairly thin, and the mounting points on the rails would attach to studs welded to the floor, rather than the studs protruding from the bottom of the rail (as in the stock 240z seat). This leaves less room from the bottom of the seat to the floor of the car. So, I dropped them off and we tried it out. Still too close. We're just going to have to modify the hoop. Damn.


Saturday, August 23, 2008
Here is a quick view of the roll cage that Lux fabbed up at his shop. It's created alot of issues with headroom as it sits just above the crown of my skull. Since my body is long, the seat is mounted so my head is in the top quarter of the windshield. My hope is to get my eyes at the center of the windshield and keep from bumping my head on the bar.

I may request that the bar be moved back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Yesterday, I called up Bruce Balmer of Z Therapy and purchased an expertly rebuilt set of SU carburetors for my Z. I was never able to tune the set that is currently on my car. So, in about 10 days I'll be able to install them on my new engine that's on the stand in the garage.

Sunday, June 15, 2008
Yesterday, Cory and I pulled the Z out of the garage and took it down to Crushproof. I decide to take a beauty shot of my two Zs in the driveway, since they have never been pictured together before. I anticipated disconnecting the drive shaft, since you should not let it spin freely in the transmission (not sure why).

Once we got there, Lux looked at all the key rusty spots on my Z and seemed rather positive about it's relative health. Since my car came from California, by way of Arizona, there wasn't much rust on it in the first place. We dragged it into the parking lot in front of the shop and parked it next to a shiny GTO. We hung around for a while and talked with Lux about a few of his projects and kicked around some ideas about work on my Z. He's going to be looking at the car for a week or so to assess the body further and put together a price estimate.

Once that's done, I will drag the car back to my house and disassemble it and return the rolling shell to Crushproof to start the modifications and restoration.


Friday, June 13, 2008
I took my truck home from the storage facility yesterday and kept it overnight then drove it to work. I took off a little early and headed down to the machine shop on Burleson. I picked up my engine, mostly to get my engine stand back. I will recycle the engine, so Cory and I spent some time tearing the engine down (since the heads are aluminum and the block is iron) and collecting all the scrap metal in the house to take down to the metal recyclers. Once the bed was full of metal, we knew we wouldn't have enough time to get to Howard Lane, so we opted instead for a trip to Rising Sun to pick up my new engine.

We got it back home, cherry picked it out of the car and put it on my engine stand. Later that evening I pulled the carburators off the engine to get them cleaned up to put them up for sale in the near future.

I'm stoaked about my Z again and I think I'm going to take my car down to Crushproof tomorrow to talk with Lux Blue about the bodywork.


Monday, June 09, 2008
I dropped by Rising Sun today and asked the owner about a machine shop that I could take my 82' L28 engine (pictured) that I bought from one of Yanos' friends. While I was at the shop, he showed me his silver 240z up on the lift. He pulled the engine (also a L28) to install a small block Chevy. I ended up taking my engine over to his recommended machine shop. I intended on taking the head off of my current L24 engine to increase the compression. Different combinations of bottom ends (block) and head can alter the performance of the engine significantly.

After a while, I got to thinking about the L28 that was sitting in the Rising Sun garage. It had three 40mm Mikuni side draft carburators, and is a good working engine that probably wouldn't need machining for quite a while. So, I went over there today and asked if he would sell it to me. He quoted me a price of $300, which I quickly agreed to. He also threw in a nice 4 row radiator along with it. Score! I'll go pick it up later this week.

Friday, June 09, 2006
I went by Discount Tire this morning to see the status of my Konig wheel order. I decided to pick up a set of Rewinds, since they are a more common 15" rim and slightly wider than my slotted mags. Also, I destroyed one of those 14" mags in the "curb check incident". I got the price down from $100 each to $87, which beats any price I saw online. Plus, they'll put the rubber on and balance them, and I can just slap them on. The set was at Discount Tire after four weeks of waiting for them on backorder.

They look about the same as a Panasport rims which cost $299.00 to $395.00 each! They are a bit lighter than than the Panasports at 14 pounds a piece, to Panasports 15.8 pounds.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Last night, I had painted and built up both strut assemblies. Once I build the hard line connections, all I have to do is wait for the soft lines from Yanos and rebuild and paint the calipers.

Friday, June 02, 2006
straight metric brake linesThe rear brake build continues... I started with two sticks of 3/16 ready made tubing from AGS (American Grease Stick) with metric 10 threads on each end. One was 20" and the other was 30". The third (much smaller) tube I purchased for the threaded ends, so I could re-build the existing lines by replacing the nuts on the caliper ends of the tubing. My plan is to use them as a backup if the new lines don't work as expected.

I removed the hard brake lines from the distribution block that's right side line bent to shapelocated closer to the right side of the car. Fortunately, these nuts came right out of the junction without rounding out the nut on the compression fitting. Using these tubes as a guide, up to just passed the hold down where the line enters the wheel well, I bent the new lines into similar shapes as the originals. I discovered, marking the beginning and ending of a bend really helped to even out the bend and avoid bending the tube too sharply.

Once the shape was complete, I cut the caliper end of the line off,  completed left side linewell past where the last hold down would be placed. The next step is to build a tab that acts like the existing tab that's currently in the wheel well. This tab will be mounted with 2 metric bolts right where the original hard lines entered the wheel well, from under the car. Once I know the length of the line, I'll create the compression fitting using a double flare. Unfortunately, the flaring tool that I bought was of a very low quality and did not create a double flare, but rather a sharp sided funnel at the end of the brake line. I'm certain that this flare would leak so I will be both lines completedreturning the the tool, and search for a new one. My next steps are to, build the tabs for the hard line / soft line junction, rebuild the brakes, and finish building up the the suspension. That is, if the rest of the parts have arrived from Courtesy Nissan.

I called them Wednesday to find that they had run out of one of the parts and that my shipment was sent out that day. So I'll still need to do some hunting for a set of washers that go under the nuts on the top of each strut. I hope I can get all of this done before Sunday the 11th. If not, I can at least rebuild the back end of the car so it can be dragged into Austin on the 15th.

Monday, May 22, 2006
wheel and a-arm removed I finally put aside some time to work on the Z this last weekend with Yanos. We started with the back wheels since I already had the right side rear replacement strut assembly mostly built up. We started by jacking up the rear of the car and pulling all the hardware that connects the top of the assembly to the car (at the top of the strut tower, and to the a-arm that is already loose in the first image. The second part was an adventure. The rod that goes through the assembly has threads on both ends, which means it's not a good idea to pound on the end to knock it through the hinge. We held a bolt in place to tranfer the hammer blows to the rod, which saved the threads. The left side pushed left through, but the right side stopped moving once we pushed it into the a-arm. Yanos suggested that we get a steel rod from Lowes that was about the same diameter as our threaded rod. We picked that up, as well as an angle grinder to cut the rod ($89 bucks!) then Amy knocked the stubborn rod right through to the other side.

strut removed The next step was to remove the connection from the hard brake lines to the flexible lines that go to the back of the drum. Unfortunately, the flare nut stripped on both sides which ruins the hard line. Fortunately, it's a short tube that terminates at a distribution block in the rear of the car, and both tubes came loose from the block without any problems. I don't feel too bad about it stipping, since Yanos convinced me to pick up a line wrench, which grabs all sides of the flare nut, to keep it from stripping. It stripped anyway, and as you can see in image number two, we had to cut the hard line. I tried to order a new set from this morning, but Courtesy Nissan no longer carried them as NOS (new old stock).

pulling the shaft After that, we used the spring compressors to reduce the pressure pushing up on the cap of the strut so it could be removed. Yanos noticed that the nut that held the cap in place was missing the washer. Guess the last guy who was in there didn't really care to put the car back the way he found it. I went ahead an ordered 4 of those, just to be on the safe side. Once the cap and spring were removed, I pulled the guts off of the drum brake back plate to remove it. The next step was to pull off the shaft that connects the half shafts to the wheels. This requires a bit of force, so I had to pull out my slide hammer. I pulled the four bolts that held down the back plate, and pulled the flange that held a second hard line down to the assembly and the back plate. Once that was removed, I stuffed a rag in the hole to keep out debris, and ran a wire brush over everything to knock off the dirt and grime that had acclumilated on every surface. My parts won't be in until Friday, so I can spend the extra time painting up the suspension and brake components.

disc bracket on Once the exterior was clean, I pulled the cap off of strut tube and pulled out the tired old strut. It was coated in it's own juices and was pretty useless, so I threw it away. Before I put it back in, I put the brake bracket on with the bolts that were used to hold the drum brake back plate. I made sure to put anti-seize on every bolt, to keep the bolts from sticking. My next step is to build up the rear struts so they are ready for installation (probably Saturday or Sunday morning), rebuild the brake calipers and paint them, and get some new hard lines made during the week so I can put it all together during the party to provide some entertainment. Might be something that Cory could help me with as well. Plenty of work to do almost every night this week.

Friday, May 19, 2006
Yesterday, Yanos and I went to Pick-a-Part to look for some parts for my Z and for his Toyota AE86. I left straight from work, but fortunately I had a spare set of clothes in my car, for an occasion such as this. Yanos led me to the bone yard the back way, down Veterans Memorial. We crossed both Ella and T.C. Jester (two streets that run right by my house), but neither of them seemed related to the streets I know. The guy at the gate knew Yanos by name since he had been to the yard so many times. He also jotted down any request that Yanos had, which was very cool. One of the first cars that we saw was a 240SX that looked like it had just been placed there.I was really looking for brakes off of a 300ZX (Z32) to use on my rear disc brake swap, but the 240 SX was the only donor car that I could find on the lot. As you can see from the pictures they fit my adaptors perfectly. Now that I have most of the parts, I will swap the rear brakes this weekend. Part of that project will be to repair the damage that I caused to the suspension when I spun the car and waked the back wheel on a curb. Just before I pulled that bone-head maneuver, I had purchased new suspension components. So this weekend, I should be able to put on new struts and springs all the way around, which will give the car an inch lower stance. I also put some rims on order to replace the 13" slotted mags that were previously on there.I screwed one of them up on the curb, so there are only 3 good ones left. If anyone is interesting in helping me with the job, you are welcome to come over on Sunday (when I will be doing the bulk of the work). I'll just be preparing the parts for installation on Saturday, while Amy and Christine go to an Astros game.

Friday, November 04, 2005
Do I even use this blog anymore?

Friday, October 22, 2004
engine rebuild kit
If only rebuilding a Datsun straight six were this simple.

Sunday, October 17, 2004
Today, I pulled out the replacement a-arm and strut that I bought to replace the one that I whacked into a curb and bent. The a-arm and strut assembly are held together with a long pin that's threaded on both ends. Nuts hold the pin in place and a notch with a small pin in it keeps the big pin from sliding towards either side. So I got the nuts off and the pin out of the center, but the big pin refused to move. I put some penetrant on it, but it still won't budge. I tried to use force and bash it thourgh, but I just ended up screwing up the threads. I tried to spin it in place by cranking on the nut, but that just stipped the threads out of the nut. I ended up just giving up and putting it back in the garage. Maybe I'll work on it next weekend.

Saturday, May 22, 2004
A few months ago, I did exactly what I said I would never do in my Z. I drove it in the rain. It was to a Z Club of Houston meeting but, that is no excuse. Sadly, I had been putting off the purchace of new tires due to budget constraints.

The odd combination of a hill, a curve, bad tires, slick roads and a heavy front end resulted in a full 18o and a date with a curb and a metal barrier. As you can see, the curb bent my lower A-arm on my rear tire, bending it inwards. The metal barrier bent hit just behind the passanger door, bending the wheel arch, smashed the tail light (which was promptly replaced) and just missed the bumper. It destroyed the fuel cover as well, along with pinching the body at the rear of the car. The slotted mag wheel saved my little Z from worse body damage but, paid the ultimate price.

I limped the car home in the breakdown lane on I-10 in the rain, sliding from side to side because the rear wheels were no longer in alignment. I got home to find the power was out in my neighborhood and Russ and AB had lit candles all around the house. I pulled the Z into the garage one last time and wiped some of the rain water off un-damaged parts. The next day, I found that the rim leaked all the air out through a crack. So I had to remove it and replace it with the spare.

I pulled the car from the garage, replaced the rear blinker light and took a string of pictures so I could talk with Pat's Autobody about repairs and modificatoins. I paid Pat $40 to come and take a look at my Z but, he quoted me $8K for all the body work and paint. The price was reasonable but, sadly, I don't have the cash to get any of the work done anytime soon. Not sure what the future holds for my 240z.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004
I re-built my Z restore page this day. I will populate the blog with stuff that happened before this date and after this date up to today.

Thursday, December 11, 2003
I took the Z to Lakewood Car Clinic around the corner from my house to do the body work after the incident last month. After a quick inspection by the insurance company, they quoted me $300 to repair my car. Unfortunately, no shop that would do the job quoted any price lower than a grand. Any lower and I was bound to get a mound of bondo and a coat of non-matching paint. So, even though getting the money from the insurance company was a long shot, I decided to get the job done right.

Lakewood seemed to be a reputable shop, and after a conversation with the owner, I was sure he would do a good job. Since it was in the shop anyway, I added a few repairs that needed to be made. The damage to the lower valance that was done by the shipping company, the paint around the Z logos on the back quarter and the turn signals (since they were not removed when the car was painted yellow).

To make the job cheaper, I removed all of the accessories that were not needed to align the body to (such as the bumper).

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
My Z was backed into in the parking lot of Pho Tau Bay, causing some serious damage. Take a look here. I had just installed some new spinner caps on my slotted mags, as well as a new shift boot. I was thinking about the next step, when suddenly, I was pushed back 5 steps. A sad day, but perhaps it will have a happy ending.

Saturday, November 08, 2003
SU and package
I bought and installed some new SM needles into my SU Carburetors to replace the (slightly bent) N54 needles that came stock from Nissan. Apparently they are virtually the same as the stock N54 needle, up to about 2,000 rpm. Then it gets richer, and really delivers the power. The power delivery was much smoother because these needles are new and straight and after 2,000 rpm, the engine was slightly stronger. They cost me $30 a pair from Z Therapy.

Friday, September 19, 2003
All the work paid off. I drove to Austin and attended the 5th annual Capital Z of Texas club Datsun Autoshow. I got there early and parked next to one of my Z Club of Houston compatriots, Bill Westall, in his 1977 280z. Cory and I spent the first part of the morning replacing the original carpet with some that I bought form Auto Carpets Direct which were very close to stock. However, they didn't have the openings for the metal hooks on the floorboards, or the buttons for the firewall, so they will need to be retrofitted before I'm satisfied. They don't look all that well made either.
I got some good comments about the state of my car. I stayed around to answer questions but, eventually I decided to walk around. I spent the afternoon taking pictures of all the cars that were at the show, including a Maxima wagon filled with high school students. I entered the show as a "daily driver" thinking that I would be a shoe-in. Unfortunately, Bill's car, and a Australian 260z were in way better condition and both won first and second place respectively. It puzzled me that the 280zx that had dents and rust got third place, so I went home empty handed. It was still worth the trip. I posted the rest of the pictures here.

Thursday, September 18, 2003
Up to this date, I have installed 90% of the polyurethane bushings. I only lack the bump stops on the struts which will be installed when I get new struts and springs.

My brother and I un-installed the ratty carpets and gently removed the vinyl in the passenger compartment. Under the carpets, however, we discovered a little bit of rust. Since neither of us knows anything about welding, we cut out the cancer, cleaned up the edges and riveted a tin can in place of the missing steel. You can see the hole that was cut in the second picture. The next step was to remove the sound dampening tar in the foot wells, since a patina of rust had infiltrated below it, mostly around the drain plug holes. The next step was to spray the clean foot wells with a rust preventative.

Then Cory turned his attention to the center column. I think all Zs have the problem of heat and noise leaking out through the center column. So, I did a little research online and found heat shielding from EHP. The specs put the heat resistance up in the 1000s of degrees Note: Since I'm updating this considerably after the fact, you will notice that the link no longer directs you to the right place. I can't find this specific material, or the company that produced it.

To reduce road noise, Cory and I applied a layer of of DynaMat Xtreme over the heat shielding (which also provided some extra heat shielding) followed by a layer of automotive padding, or "jute", made from synthetic fibers (originally made of natural fibers, which decay can give early Zs that distinctive smell) Fortunately, the original vinyl was in really great shape, and easily fit over the sandwich even though this is considerably more material than the tar (which remained on the column) and jute that was originally in place.

What's even better is, it still looks OEM. Heat is no longer a problem, and road noise is cut way down. The next step was to install a floor mat of heat shielding, covered with Dynamat Xtreme, to handle heat / noise coming from the foot wells. They were also made to cover some of the fire wall but, it's so cramped up inside there, it will have to be a project for a day when we remove the dash. At some point, I will be also install the Dynamat (without the heat shielding) over the the strut tower / rear wheel housings. This should cut down on road noise even more.

Once the interior work was done, I turned my attention to the engine bay. I removed the smog pump, since it made adjusting the carburetors nearly impossible. The engine works considerably better without it but, it won't stay tuned at either the low end or top end of the RPM range. I think it may be necessary to get a new set from Z Therapy to get everything running correctly. The car has not run this well and the engine bay has not looked this shiny for quite a while, I'm sure.

I had some problems with the brakes making noise, so I replaced the rotors, pads and shoes (in the back). Cleaning up the hardware for re-installation was a snap now that I own a sand blasting cabinet. Before we left, I put a coat of wax over the paint to shine this tired paint job up a bit and we hit the road to Austin. I'm fairly impressed that everything looks and runs as good as it does. With the limited knowledge of me and my brother, we took a non-running car and made it perform well enough to drive back to Austin. As you may recall, I drove it from Dallas to Austin and stayed the weekend with my brother but, the car refused to run because of a rusty fusible link from the battery to the starter. Well, there's still plenty of work left to be done but, I reached all of my goals for the week. Time to have fun in Austin.

Sunday, September 14, 2003
new bushing next to rubber bushing in A arm
I installed the polyurethane bushings in my front lower control arms, and my rear a-arms last night. Turned out to be a much harder job than I expected. As you can see in the photo (left), the bushing doesn't just slide right in. The old rubber bushing (that was pressed into the A arm) must be removed first. So, I drilled out the rubber, and pulled out the inner sleeve, that cleared enough of the rubber away to start cutting the outer sleeve with a hack-saw.
outer bushing sleeve in A arm
I sawed two cuts down the length of the sleeve as deep as I could and got under the new tab that I had created. I hammered on the strip of metal until I pushed it out the other side. Once that was done, I could get a flat-head screwdriver under the (now c shaped) sleeve and drive it out. I had to grab this one with a pair of vice grips and turn it until it finally came loose (right).

Wednesday, July 23, 2003
Not much work has been done on my Z. However, I have done a lot of planning. Now I'm looking into getting the body work done, and fixing the suspension and brakes. Next will be the differental. Finally the engine and transmission. The last two may take a while, since the planned spend on the body will be over 8 grand (a surprisingly accurate estimate looking back). I replaced the picture of my Z as well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003
L24 with intake and exhaust removed
My brother and I disconnected everything that was attached to the head to clean it up for re-installation (right). The existing manifold and carburetor were sold on eBay leaving me with the side draft carburetors that I bought in May of 2002. Fortunately, Cory (my brother) dropped by a few weeks before and helped me disassemble and rebuild them. The tricky part was making sure the needle would seat correctly in the fuel port at the bottom of the carburetor. Unfortunately, after the parts were reassembled, the needles would stick at the very bottom of the tube. The problem was, the screw that held the needle in place at its base was torqued down too tightly, and the needle was bent very slightly. The shop manual warns not to tighten that screw too tightly, but it looks as though the factory where it was assembled played by different rules. I bought a second pair of pair of SUs from a local Z owner, and the needles were in the same shape. My brother figured out a method to account for this, and I will share that method when I get my repair/restore procedures pages up. So now all the parts that I owned were assembled and ready to install. Unfortunately, I didn't own all of the parts that were needed to get this car running. The previous owner(s) destroyed or removed many of the parts that the original SUs depened on to make them run. Additionally, the SUs that were installed previously were the 1972 water heated variety, or possibly the 1973 flat top caruburetors. There was some evidence to support that supposition. This car has had at least 3 owners, so I have to piece together the details to see what needs to be replaced, and what is missing. The first thing that I noticed was, the fuel rail was cut short, since the 4 barrel carburetor only needed one fuel line running to it. The throttle linkage was also butchered and parts of it were missing. Most of the emmisions control system was completely absent as well. The smog pump was still there, but there was little else. This required me to go on the hunt for, what Nissan called, an anti-backfire valve, but what is more commony known as a by-pass valve. It kept clean air from entering the balance tube from the smog pump at lower RPMs. This was used in carbureted engines with emmisions control legislation thrown upon them in the early 70's in California. However, in two years the carburetor would be deleted from the 1973 and replaced with a fuel injection system, thus eliminating the "need" for anti-backfire valves. Fortunately, the advice of a good mechanic pointed out that the much of the emmissions control system was a domestic product, found on Fords and GMs from that era. Since clerks at auto parts stores only understand what the computer screen tells them, if the part doesn't exist for your car, they don't help you solve your probelms by suggesting compatable parts. The part from Nissan costs $95, but the compatable part I found for a Ford / Mercury 426 engine from 71' and it only set me back 45 bucks. Another missing part was the heat shield. A necessary part made more necessary by the fact that they hold the ends of the springs that snap the butterfly valves back in place when you release the gas petal.
L24 with SUs installed
We found one at a junk yard, but it was the wrong year, so Cory had to do a lot of surgery on it to make it fit.
heat shield and springs
We spent most of our time looking for parts, and not enough time installing and testing them. We did get the engine to run, but it was really rough, and it died at 700 rpm. I'm sure most of my troubles come from the electrical system though, so I should be able to hammer them out by next weekend.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003
I've been so busy with my Z the last 4 days and I've made some major progress. As soon as I find a diagram from a 1970 Z engine bay, I can connect all the hoses to the carburetors that my brother and I rebuilt and have my Z on the road again. Of course, fixing one problem usually reveals others. The car is 30 years old, after all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
holley 4bbl
It turns out the holley that was strapped onto my little L24 was dumping too much gas into my engine. That was an fuel adjustment issue, which was my fault. Holley's are just too complicated. This was the reason my engine died last time I went for a ride. I pulled one of the plugs, and it was charred black, and slicked with gasoline. I bought 2 books on basics and performance tuning the Holley, but the bad press about this mod got to me. I pulled it on Monday night and took some pictures of it. Now I'm stuck with taking my head to a shop and getting the ports re-ground, and getting some of the guides replaced, as some are leaking oil into the cylinders. When I get it back, I'll have to make sure the rockers are gapped correctly and make sure the timing chain is set correctly. Then I have to rebuild my carbs (a very easy task) and get the intake manifold cleaned up and powder coated. I also need some miscellaneous parts from the junk yard to connect the carbs correctly. I should be able to get that done in three weeks, right?

Friday, March 07, 2003
I just received my big box of Polyurethane from Suspension Restoration Parts. I got the Hyper-flex master set with the transmission bushing and bump stops. I don't see how all of this stuff goes in the car since there is no diagram, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. I also took some MothersĀ® Mag & Aluminum polish on my slotted mags.
Mag Before
Mag Aftert
Shined them right up without too much effort. Still took about 20 minutes a wheel though. Check out the before (left) and after (right). Not as super shiny as I was expecting, but these aren't chromed, so I think that's the best look for them. Now I need to get some new center caps from Motorsport Auto to complete the look. I even put some turtle wax wheel wet on my rubber to shine it up. The wheel wet stuff kinda smells like candy. I think that's from the carnuba wax they put in there. The smell stuck around for quite a while after I was done with the job.

Monday, March 03, 2003
Wrong stick
When I changed out my transmission for the ZX 5-speed, I neglected to change out ZX shifter. It turns out the change in body styles from S30 to S130 pushed the transmission back, wich straightened out the stick for the ZX. The picture shows the stick installed and in first gear. As you can see, it's too far forward. Just centimeters from the stock radio buttons (which made for easy access). Unfortunately, pushing the stick into first gear cut up my rubber shift boot on the screw mounts for the leather boot hold down on the console. So, I ended up pulling a stick from an older model Z, but for some reason, the opening in the fulcrum was too big for the pin that went through. Also, there was too much play on the x-axis as well, so I need some shims. I went to Home Depot, but they really didn't really have everthing that I needed. While I was there I spotted a sweet 78' 280 Z in the parking lot, and even got to meet the owner. He was working on a rolling restore as I am, and needed some parts. I directed him to the Z graveyard and we exchanged e-mail addresses. At Home Depot, I went ahead and bought a concrete bolt with a metal sleeve to be used that as a bushing to remove the y-axis slop, and a 5/16th washer on one side to remove the x-axis play.
Wrong stick
I also picked up a cheap metric micrometer. I ended up finishing the work last night and here's how it looked when I got done (right). I would have loved to try it out on the street but, sadly, my engine wouldn't turn over. Probably a fuel delivery problem, or spark from the distributor, or maybe even some fouled spark plugs, who knows? The car is almost 30 years old, things are bound to break. I'm planning on finishing up the carburetor rebuild (with my handy "Just SU's" video from Z Therapy) and sending my head off to get ported and polished at a local machine shop. I'm also planning on buying an electric fuel pump, so I can remove the mechanical one that robs precious horsepower from my engine.

Sunday, February 23, 2003
This last weekend Cory and I worked on the engine electrics and got my Z very close to running. The only thing that was missing was a fuseable link that connected the battery to the starter. The existing one had rusted through. Unfortunately, it was too late to buy a new one. I was able to pick one up the next day, but Cory had left that morning, so I was on my own. When I installed the part the next evening, the engine came alive. Russ and I drove it around the block, and up the freeway and back again. We were on our way back when the engine died and it started to rain. We were on the corner of Jones and Louetta, so if it only had made it one more block we would have been home. Russ pushed it into a parking lot and, after a bit of cranking, the old L24 breathed again. We were able to get it back into the garage this time, but just barely.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002
clutch master cylinder
clutch master blockoff plate
I got the parts together to install the clutch master cylinder. Instead of buying a used master cylinder, I opted for a new part, directly from Nissan (left). The first step was to remove the clutch master blockoff (right) plate, which was held on by the very
plate removed
plate removed from inside
bolts that will hold down the master cylinder. The nuts came off very easily, but the plate itself was stuck down with some kind of adhesive. With a little effort, the plate came right off. From the inside you can see the threaded hole where the rubber stop
plate in hand
clutch master cylinder installed
for the clutch pedal is installed. The next step was to install the master cylinder using the same bolts that held down the block-off plate. I didn't take pictures of the rest of the parts while they were not installed. You will need the pedal, the spring and the plastic piece that the spring sits on, to keep it from making noise. There is also
petal installed
a pin that goes through the fork coming out of the master cylinder and the arm of the clutch pedal. In the final picture (taken much later), you can see the rubber bumper, which has been adjusted to put the pedal in the right place. Since this is a retro-blog, I don't recall how the pedal itself is held in. Maybe it was a bolt with a sleeve. I guess I shouldn't blog so late.

Thursday, May 30, 2002
Carbs in a bag
Good things do come in garbage bags! My SU carbureators were delivered today. Since Russ was at the apartement when they arrived, he took some pictures of them and sent them to me a the office (how thoughtful). I hadn't done much research before I bought these, and I could have ended up with a lot worse. I think I ended up with a set from an early 72' or before. After that, they were either 3 bolt with engine coolant lines into the carburetor itself. The ones after that (that were probably on my Z before the Holley four barrel were the flat top kind, that were apparently junk.
Carb 45
They are covered with a lot of crust, and they reek of fuel (someone forgot to drain them before they put them on eBay). I did notice that the choke cables had been cut, instad of unscrewed and sent along with the package. I hope there's not more stuff missing from these carbs. I go buy a rebuild kit this week.

Thursday, June 28, 2001
Car Cover
My Z is finnaly home. Since my poor Z is non-functional, II have a car cover on order from Victoria British, so I can keep my Z out of the rain since I have no carport at my apartment complex. It's specifically made for a 240, since it has an "ear" on the drivers side for the single rearview mirror. It doesn't have an inner lining to protect the paint, but that shouldn't be a problem, since I don't really care about the current paint job. When I was out putting the cover on my Z, I decided to take a picture of the rusty area that was mentioned by the eBay seller.
Surface Rust
It was right on top of the bumper, just to the left of tailpipe. The whole bumper needs to be re-chromed anyway, so I wasn't too worried about it. While I was taking a picture, I noticed a small gap just above the bumper on the left side where the rear valence comes down from the tail lights. It was even worse on the other side. Upon closer inspection, it looked like the bumper had been torqued. The valance was pulled away just above the bumper, and the paint was cracked. Just below the bumper, the damage was much worse. From what I could gather from the evidence,
Torqued Bumper
it looked as though the transporter had used the hook under the bumper to strap the car down to his trailer. These hooks were really not meant for this purpose. Their original purpose was to keep the car from rolling around on the deck of a ship as it was transported from Japan, not to hold the weight of the car on the back of a truck at an angle. It looked as though he had really torqued it down too, since I could clearly see an indention of the chain in the lower part of the rear valance. It was also apparent that the mounting points for the bumper were bent as well, since the bumper was now out of alignment with the rear of the car. The lower edge of the valence was bent up as well. I looked at the contract for the transport and found that, if the damage is not pointed out at the time of delivery, Able Auto Transport is not copable for the damage. So I'm screwed. My Z not only doesn't run, it's body is damaged as well.

Sunday, June 24, 2001
The weekend started off really great. Bill drove me up to Dallas so I could drive back in my "new" 1973 Z that I bought off of e-bay. My dad received it from the trucking guy earlier last week, and it was waiting at my the workshop of my parent's mechanic. My dad drove the car around a bit the week before and noticed that the AC wasn't working. He took it to his mechanic "Jessie", who replaced the compressor. He ended up spending $800.00 on the new AC. After I got to looking at the job that was done, I think my dad was overcharged. They used the bulkiest compressor available for my engine and it was top mounted, right above my alternator. In the ZX, the compressor was moved to a mount that was orignially set up for the smog pump (below and on the opposite side from the alternator). It would have been a much smaller unit, and far less conspicious. To top it off, the hoses were too short, so they didn't hug the frame rails, and they were twisted into place. Unfortunatley, I didn't spend much time in Dallas to review the work that was done, as I really wanted to show the car to my brother, Cory. So, I thanked my Dad for his help (and money for repairs) and headed down to Austin. On the trip, I noticed that the AC wasn't really working. In fact, it was very hot in the cabin of my 240. I had the windows rolled down, but because of poor air circulation (inherent in the S30) I had warm air blowing into my face from the window, and my poor feet were sweating in the hot air in the foot wells. I couldn't be sure if the AC was on or off, or maybe the heater was on? Could it be the heat from the engine bay coming through the firewall? I noticed the engine temperature was up to two thirds, but I couldn't be sure if that wasn't where the meter was supposed to be. Even with all these difficultifies, I still was able to run the Z up to around 100 mph. I crossed the city limits, and got off on the exit that got me onto the road that ran across the front of Dell's Round Rock office and on into Pflugerville where my brother lived. As started up the hill to take a right, I noticed that the transmission wasn't changing out of first gear. I tried a few tricks to goad the transmission into changing gears, but it was unresponsive. So I limped my Z on to my brothers place in first gear. When I got there my brother and I dove into the problem, but it could have been anything. I didn't have the time to drop the car off at a repair shop and I needed to get home to go to work the next day, so I decide to tow the car home. I tapped Bill one more time to bring my Montero in from Houston, which he didn't mind doing. I rented a full length car trailer from U-haul and hitched it to the back of the Monty. The trip home was uneventful, aside from the extra gas consumed and the low speeds that we had to drive hauling all that extra weight. The car made it home in one piece, and I parked it right next to my Montero at the apartment complex. So, I have a Z now I wish I had a garage to fix it in.

Friday, June 08, 2001
I got a quote from Able Auto Transport to move my Z from Arizona to Dallas for $500. I did this to save money on the shipping cost (I think I did anyway, because I'm writing this on September 9th 2004). My plan is to hitch a ride to Dallas and drive the car back through Austin and on home. It would also give me an opprotunity to show the Z off to my family.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001
The hammer falls (metaphorically) at the e-bay auction. My bid price of $4,700 beat out 17 other unlucky "wanna-be" 240 owners. The pictures, and description showed a very clean yellow 1973. I had already set up a signature loan from my local credit union to handle the purchace price, and I had some money squirrled away to handle the shipping costs from Arizona. I decided to ship it to Dallas, so my dad could get a look at it, then I would drive it back through Austin, to show it off to my brother and on home to Houston.


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