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NMcKe97

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About NMcKe97

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    San Diego

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    Cars & mechanics, computer hardware & software, hiking camping & anything outdoors, economics & investing, guns, research, all sorts of stuff

My Z Cars

  • Zcars Owned
    280zx
  1. Dished pistons for NA?

    I'd say you guys got that right, the farther I stray from oem factory spec the more dollar signs I see. As all of you said, it's never just 1 mod. I'd get a different block if need be but mine was in fine condition and I'm already a grip of cash deep into this build, it's almost finished, just need pistons and I'm pretty much good to go. I probably couldn't get a block if I wanted to anyways. I appreciate the recommendation though and will keep it in mind. Unfortunately this whole build is on someone else's time so I have to get it out of there way as soon as I can, I really don't want to over stay my welcome, I've already had to have it towed a few times from other friends houses because of the time :/ . I knew there was another z supplier I was forgeting about, thank you Zed Head for linking me to that! I gave them a call and they only have a half set but he said they can get the other half in a week or so from ITM even though they're backlogged. He said ITM have some in a warehouse apprently, I don't know how that is because everyone I've talked to including ITM said they are out but hey works for me. Yea the factory set up worked great for me so far so that's the route I'm looking to go. As I said earlier I openly welcome hp gains and will take them were I can but it's not my objective, later down the road I'll make my way there. Some words of the wise right there, that will definitely come to mind anytime I'm considering mods. Thank you for sharing that great quote! Please tell me that's a joke and you didn't get your finger lopped off siteunseen , that would be one shitty day! After a very busy day and a number of phone calls I've gotten closer to finishing my build. Dave at rebello racing said he has a set for .030" over if I recall correctly, zcarsource has half a set in .020" over and can get the rest of the set in the following week, and my machine shop said they might have found some sealed power pistons in .020" over so I potentially have a few choices right now. I'm thinking I will try and get the pistons from my machine shop to start off because of convenience and if that doesn't work I'll probably get the set from Dave over at rebello racing because it's cheaper than zcarsource and a little extra BANG for your buck, litteraly. Not that I have a large selection here and I'll probably end up with whatever I can get my hands on, but what brands of pistons do you guys prefer? I know ITM is fairly well liked and commonly used, I've heard good things about sealed power, and I forget what brand Rebello has but I imagine if they're using them it's pretty good. If it where your choice what pistons would you go with? Once again guys thank you very much for your insight and good words, it might not be a big deal to you but it's helped me out tremendously and I can't say that enough! -Noah M
  2. Dished pistons for NA?

    Great idea rturbo, if I'm unable to find a set of pistons or some other alternative then I will most likley pull a head out of a yard. I hadn't planned on going turbo (although I'd like to at some point, that or stroker) and still don't because as you and Patcon said, that takes money which is something I don't have a lot of. I more or less ment I would suffer with the low compression until I could get the parts, but forget that, sounds like it would be a while and would be a very slow and grueling time up until then. As much as I wish I could do this build on my own time and schedule I can't because it's not my house and I currently don't have a place. I have enough funds to probably finish the motor but that's about it. I've looked on Datsun Spirits website but it says they have no stock for 86mm or 87mm, I called them this afternoon and left a message inquiring about pistons and will follow up on it tomorrow. I'll take a look and see if I can find any 86.5mm pistons, I hadn't considered that or done the math myself, so as you said Zed Head, I doubt the people I'm talking to are either. I believe we checked the taper with the new .020" rings and it all checked out within spec but I'll re do that, better safe than sorry. I looked over ebay a few times siteunseen but I didn't see much in the .020" or .030" category, I'll give it another look and see if I missed anything. I talked with Dave over at rebello racing and it sounded like he might have what I need, he said he would give me a call tommorow morning and let me know if he is able to get a .020" over or .5mm pistons. He recommended I use shaved turbo pistons accompanied with 240z rods if I cant find any flat tops. He said it will increase higher end torque as well so can't complain with that. The real problem then is finding l24 rods in a reasonable price range. If you guys or anyone you know has some l24 rods laying around and are looking to part ways with them or trade them for some l28 rods I might be interested, if it sounds like somthing you're interested in send me a message or drop a comment. I probably won't bore it out any more unless I have to just to save costs were I can, but who knows, I might have to go that route and I can't complain with a little extra umf behind each combustion cycle. No matter which way I cut this cake money's being spent so I'm gonna do it right or not at all. What's a safe amount of material I can take off the p79 head without having to shim the towers? I'll probably find the answer as I'm reading Diseazd's build threads but I'm gonna ask anyways . Damnit Patcon that's not what I wanted to here , but it's what I needed to here. I guess I'll be doing a little arithmetic in the next few days. You couldn't have said it better Patcon, the last thing I want to do is assemble an engine I'm not satisfied with, I'd rather have not built the engine at all if that were the case. I don't have any hp or compression ratio goal in mind. It's unfortunately not really a build for power, although I openly welcome it. Mostly new oem equipment and upgrades where I can such as ARP hardware so that when I do really build it I'll have some experience and some upgrades all ready to go. I'm rebuilding it because I already had half the block apart due to a head gasket leak so I figured I might as well go the extra mile. Plus I really wanted the knowledge and experience I'd gain from the rebuild. I figured mechanical work is a great life long skill to have so I went ahead and invested my time in it. Up until several months ago I knew close to nothing about cars. I could change my fluids and basic maintenance but that was about the extent of it, I'd like to think I'm getting somewhat fluid in the vocabulary and understanding of things but I've still got a lot to learn. I'm trying to digest and soak in every bit of it! I personally wouldn't invest my time and energy in something unless I was all in, so you guys have my full attention! I'm trying to put in my due time and gather all the info I can from you guys and these threads, thanks again for all the advice and info, it's really been a big help! I assume that 87mm pistons won't be enough to throw the stock ecu off, correct me if I'm wrong, so maybe that is the route I'll have to go, we will see. I've only heard good things about ITM pistons so hopefully I can find some. Asides from custom and forged pistons what other brands are reliable and liked by you guys? If the f54 p79 combo is already on the lower end of compression stock then I definitely can't go backwards and sacrifice hp, I was already using all that she had. Unfortunately for me jonathanrussel they're out. I called and talked with 2 of their sales reps about it and they said they are out of stock and would have to call and order it from ITM. I informed them I had gotten off the phone with ITM earlier and that they are backlogged for several months and out of .020". With that in mind they said that would mean they have to wait as well. So it sounds like I've got a few potential options now. I'll shoot for the original plan of using overbored flat tops but if that isn't able to work out atleast I've got a few other avenues I can take. Thanks again guys for taking the time out of your day to give me a hand and share your knowledge and experience, I know I keep saying it but I really do appreciate it! -Noah M
  3. Dished pistons for NA?

    Unless I'm able to find a good deal on a head I REALLY don't have the money for it, I just got laid off and am looking for new work so at the moment I have no income and a shallow savings account. If I inevitably have to use these pistons then maybe it was ment to be and I'll be going turbo in the near future, but I don't see that happening. Thanks for the advice rturbo, I hope that's not the route I have to take but I appreciate the recommendation, I hadn't considered that option beforehand. I'd like to stick with the stock head and compression if possible but we will see what happens. Thanks for your time, advice, and insight, I sincerely appreciate all you guys helping me! -Noah M
  4. Dished pistons for NA?

    Thanks for confirming that jonathanrussel, I knew that they came stock but I wanted to reaffirm that you aren't supposed to use dished pistons. Good to know that my piston to valve clearance won't be a problem, I was slightly worried about that, I'll probably check just to be safe anyways. Yea when I saw the box the pistons came in I got a little bummed out because it was a brand I never heard of and have never seen anyone talk about on the forums, so the quality was definitely a concern. Upon more searching I couldn't find much about there quality, didn't read anything bad about them but I'd rather not be the guinea pig and use something tried and true. I'm now in search for 86mm flat top pistons with .020" overboard(or any overboard at this point). I can't find ANYTHING. I've called my machine shop, ITM, motorsports auto, zcardepot, datsun california, and northern auto parts, all of them are on back order for a few months and wont have anything for 4+ months they said. I found a single .030" flat top piston but that leaves me needing 5 more and at 40 bucks a pop it's not cheap. I also found a engine rebuild kit with .050" over but its 500 bucks and I don't have that kind of money. It would help me out sooo much if you guys could give me a hand locating some pistons. If you know of a company, private seller, or anyone that might have something please let me know or talk to them, I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks as always for the information and help guys, you're always very insightful and resourceful! -Noah M
  5. Dished pistons for NA?

    It sounds like we are going to find another set that are flat top pistons, definitely will need the extra get up and go for the build as I was already using every ounce of hp she had stock so I definitely can't go backwards. You hit the nail on the head with that one Siteunseen, he's given me an unbelievable amount of help so the last thing I want to do is cause a problem or stress him out! Thanks for the link to that calculator, that will definitely come in handy at some point or another. Probably not this build cause I'm to lazy to gather all the numbers and plug them in right now but nonetheless thanks for the tool. Unfortunately the pistons have already been attached to the rods but I can't have compression drop from 8.8:1 to 7.3:1 so we will be getting the right flat tops. I don't even want to know what the hp output on something like that would be, it sounds awful. If I had a different head or a turbo laying around with all the other little goodies needed then the dished pistons wouldn't be a problem but unfortunately that's not the case. I wondered the same thing zed head but the box and website both specify it's for the l28e so I'm not really sure what to think, it'd make more sense if it were an early 280z but what do I know. They imaginably have a reason for it or maybe they are just out of touch with the z pistons, who knows. I think you'd be modestly surprised to see how the 2+2 drives, I've pulled on a number of cars with more hp including evos, bmws, subarus, and more. Probably has something to do with me knowing how to drive but I'd like to accredit it to the ol' Daty puttin in work! For now I'm going to stick with the 2+2, it's done surprisingly well for me so far and that's with it being stock. You'll have to take my word when I say I've driven the $^!# out of her and really put her through her paces. I've nonchalantly removed 100+ pounds of interior from her before and it had a real nice get up and go so I imagine if I really wanted to lighten it up it wouldn't be to tough. I believe I recall people lightening it to 2600lbs or less if memory serves me correct. I know most people aren't a fan of the 2+2 but I've genuinely enjoyed every bit of it, it has a nice get up and go as well as great steering and handling. I could care less for the cruise control and all the other luxury bs, especially cause most of it doesn't work, but it's nothing I can't remove or fix. Do you guys want pictures of the build or should I save my time and forum space? Thanks again for the help, advice, and taking the time out of your day to help me gentlemen, it's very much appreciated, hopefully I can return the favor someday! -Noah M
  6. Dished pistons for NA?

    Sorry I got ahead of myself and forgot to mention which year and model I have. It's a 1981 280zx 2+2 with a f54 block and p79 head. It's a stock engine with no work done on it up until now since I've been working on it. It's been a family owned car its whole life so I know exactly what has or hasn't been done to it. Thanks for your time. -Noah M
  7. Dished pistons for NA?

    I just recieved my new pistons and rings from the machine shop for my NA l28. I had to have the walls slightly honed so I required oversized pistons. I recieved a set from safety pistons with hasting rings. The part number is "SP123 -2 nissan (datsun)81-83 : 280zx 6v 81-83 : l28e eng 2753cc / 86.0 mm" The set of pistons I got from the machine shop were dished unlike my original flat top pistons and my uncle, who I'm building my car with, said that's how they are supposed to be even though it will lower compression. Through all the reading and searching I've done I thought that you only really wanted flat top pistons on the NA set up and dished pistons for turbos because of the lower compression. So my question is, are these the right pistons to be using or am I supposed to have flat tops for my set up. I've had the head machined .005" and the block machined, I need to figure out how much material the shop took off the block but it's not much. Im also using a fel pro head gasket which I've heard it is slightly thinner than stock. My uncle said we needed to use dished pistons because of those modifications is this the case? If I do need to re order pistons what brand should I get or who should I order them from? Thanks in advance for the help and input it's much appreciated! -Noah M
  8. It sounds like that's the route I'm going to take. After the core plugs come out I'm going to drop the block off this afternoon for a hot bath and possibly a hone. My poor engine had chunks of corrosion and debris in the block so it's a much needed cleaning. I think that once the cleaning process and everything is done to the block I am going to paint the inside of it with glyptal paint to prevent sludge build up, aid in oil run off, seal any debris if I didn't get it out, and just peace of mind knowing the block is prepped. I found the original blue paint for the block so I'll put a nice coat of that on once I'm finished. I've already ordered the brass core plugs and they're on the way, definitely worth the few extra bucks in my book. I made sure to scour the internet and forums for advice on the timing chain kit and the general consensus seemed to be to buy a Japanese made kit and if you can oem chain guides. I couldn't find oem chain guides in a price range that fit my budget so I went ahead and ordered the white head performance timing chain kit for 120$(cheap budget huh(sarcasm)). It is "High quality, made in Japan timing chain kit best performance and reliability. An OE equivalent to the OEM timing parts."https://whiteheadperformance.com/product/oe-timing-chain-kit-datsun-240z-260z-280z-280zx/ I'm sure it'll do the trick but what brand timing chain kits do you like to use/recommend? I'd send mine back in a heart beat if you have something you'd recommend over that set, I'm just kinda learning and guessing as I go. That book is gold when it comes to information, I bought that along with "how to modify your datsun/nissan ohc engine","Clymer 280zx shop manual","Haynes 280zx repair manual", and "Chilton Z & ZX repair manual". That combined with the numerous forums and webpages I should be able to do most the work myself, should haha. Thanks as always for your help and advice, it's helped a lot in my tear down and rebuild! -Noah M
  9. Thanks for the recommendation siteunseen. I was just about getting ready to call and see what the ZCarDepot's piston rings were made from and order those just so I can keep this project moving. Looking at the ring sizes and specs they are all the same size that folks recommend so I should be able to use that set no problem(I don't have my old rings readily accessible so I can't be certain, just gonna send it!) I'll make sure to double check ring size and clearances with the originals once I get them. If they're holding up to your standards I'm sure it'll be just right for my application, thanks again for the recommendation. Definitley will have more peace of mind knowing it's what other Z car lovers use in there baby. Do you know anything about the honing process required to achieve proper piston seating? Is it something myself and a mechanic can do or do I need to take the lower end to a machine shop? Thanks again for the help and advice, your knowledge is always invaluable! -Noah M
  10. I could find 86mm rings but only in cast iron or chrome, I saw a few oversized at .050" but that was about it. What would be a good ring set in place of moly or oem rings? I want something that will last, either equivalent to the original quality or better if possible. I heard sealed power and perfect circle were good brands but they both no longer have their moly piston ring set. I guess if nobody has moly rings and I can't find any I'll have to suffice with the next best. Thanks for the help. -Noah M
  11. Hey everyone, I was curious if anyone knew of a brand that still carried moly piston rings for 86mm flat top pistons or any other good replacement for the oem piston rings. I've been looking for some the past few days and was just up all night reading and trying to find a brand that offers them but all I can find is chrome and cast piston rings. From what I've read oem rings are no longer available and sealed power piston rings discontinued there L series moly ring set. I looked at perfect circle, itm, grant, beck & arnley, motorsport, and a few other brands but couldn't find any. If you guys have any recommendations I would much appreciate it. Last I posted I had half my engine apart for a head gasket replacement and was considering a full tear down. One busy schedule, a few more tows, and I've finally found myself a spot to start working on my car again. I've gotten the entire lower end disassembled now and everything is in tip top condition, as I'd hope a 168k mile datsun would be. The valves, valve guides, rocker arms, camshaft, cam towers, pistons, cylinders, rings, crank, seals, and main and rod bearings are all in great condition. None the less I'm going to be replacing what I can with new oem parts or upgrades. The persons shop I'm using recommended that we re glaze the cylinder walls ourselves. He rebuilt and overhauled vw engines for 20+ years so I trust his mechanical advice but I'd like to get some advice from people that specialize in z motors on how to prepair a cylinder wall for moly , chrome, or cast iron piston rings. I know the cross hatching is supposed to be 45-30 degrees and it has to have a certain grit finish but I don't know the exacts. I've tried to read about it online with lots of vague imformatiom and in how to rebuild your datsun and how to modify your datsun but it doesn't go into enough detail. I'm sure a big question is why am I rebuilding my engine in the first place. A big reason is simply knowledge and education, another is peace of mind and garunteed quality of work and products. I've always had confidence in the L series engine quality and know they can reach upwards of 400k+ miles on an original engine, but as I said, I'm curious and wanted to tear it down none the less. I had a slight head gasket leak into cylinder 1 from the front right passenger side which led me to the tear down in the first place. While I'm here I plan on replacing my expansion plugs with brass, installing a new timing chain kit, new turbo oil pump, stainless steel or chromed engine fastener/hardware kit, arp con & main cap bolts, arp head studs, arp intake and exhaust studs, oem main & rod bearings, piston rings, all gaskets, all vacuum lines, all coolant lines, some fuel lines, all hose clamps, and a number of other small stuff around the engine bay, electrical, and suspension. When I get a little more free time I will make sure to upload photos for all of your viewing pleasure and go into more depth on anything else you guys would like to know. I need to order the parts sooner than later so the shop owner can get back to working on his own baby haha, your help and advice is greatly appreciated. Please share any and all recomendations/advice/criticism you might have for the piston ring brand, parts/hardware, preperation and assembly, or whatever else, I can't learn enough and really appreciate it! -Noah M
  12. P79 Head Stuck to Block, Please Help!

    I haven't turned the engine over yet because of the debris that fell into the cylinders when working on it, but from what I can tell the cylinder walls still look healthy, clean, and appear to have the cross hatching from the factory. It's never dropped oil pressure, atleast under my ownership, and I feel like I'd be able to tell if it had lost oil pressure, correct me if I'm wrong. Mark Maras and Zed Head why do you guys advise/recommend against a lower end tear down? Wouldn't it make sense to replace what I can while I'm in there or are todays replacement parts inferior to the original quality? My Z has 168k miles on it. It was originally owned by my step fathers dad then later given to my step dads brother who eventually put it in an airplane hanger for 5-8 years with all the fluids in it and a damp environment. My step dad eventually acquired it from his father when he passed away and took it out of the hanger. After a number of repairs and auto body work my step dad had it up and running mostly healthy! Fast forward to Christmas of 2014 and that's when my step dad so graciously surprised me with my first car! It had 136-144k miles (big range sorry) at the time and was still in need of repairs here and there. Since I've owned it it has had a number of repairs done on an almost routine schedule, if it's not one thing it's another. I try to take care of my Z, always performing routine fluid changes, only using quality products, letting it warm up, not revving it in netrual, the normal schpeel. I definitley like to "drive it" to though if you know what I'm saying, so there's imaginably a fair amount of wear the engine has accumulated since I've owned it and over the last 36 years/168k miles. I plan on getting new, stock, flat top pistons for roughly 300$. Then I'll clean up and sell my old pistons to make back some money. I was looking for connecting rods but didn't see any in my price range so I'll just reuse mine and upgrade the connecting rod hardware with arp bolts. Would it be worth while and cost efficient to have machine work done on the lower end? If I have it out I'm under the impression I might as well go the whole way. If I don't rebuild the lower end what is a guestimated lifespan, 200k more miles if that? I just don't want to be redoing work if I don't have to. Plus I'd really like to learn all that I can while I'm in there. That would be awesome siteunseen, I'd love to get the run down on the L series from somebody knowledgeable such as yourself! If you ever get the free time and are able to get around to it feel free to pm me or leave a reply on here with all your insightful knowledge! It sounds like you got a damn good idea of what's going on in the realm of mechanics! I had actually considered picking up that book but never got around to it. Guess I found my next read haha. Yea anxious is an understatement in my case, I was dreading the tear down pretty bad but now that I've done it I don't know what I was so worried about. Exactly like you said siteunseen, it's all pretty straightforward, just helps to have visuals and a little advice from others. Thanks again everyone, you guys are awesome! - Noah M
  13. NMcKe97

  14. P79 Head Stuck to Block, Please Help!

    Glad to here I picked the right gaskets, thanks for the affirmation siteunseen! I'll make sure to look around and find the best quality timing kit and grab the assembly lubes you recommended, thank you for the heads up. I'll be honest I'm not familiar with when and when not to apply the lubes and sealers etc.. I believe I'm not supposed to use anything for my head gasket, but not sure about any of the other steps, I'll have to read around. Thanks gwri8, I'm glad to finally be moving on haha. I guess if I didn't get my fill of fun with the first part I'm going to now. I've been trying the vise grips and I've also been using pb blaster and liquid wrench with some hammer hits here and there but nothing yet. I'll make sure to be real gentle and slow as well as wiggle it back and forth. I was considering using a Dremel and cutting a line in the bolt then using a flat head bit and wratchet to loosen it, what do you guys think? I cleaned the surface area and jury rigged some tape as a bowl around the bolt. I then filled it with liquid wrench to soak until next weekend when I'm back. I also picked up a new propane bottle but forgot to bring the nozzle so I won't be able to try that method tell next weekend as well. All that and lots of prayers like you're saying grwi8 is definitely what'll do it! It got my head off it'll get my bolt out! It's definitely a good life skill to have, that was a big reason I wanted to learn all this. Plus it saves a lot on money and gives you rest of mind in the quality of the work. There is probably a little over a cm sticking out so I'll make sure to take it easy with her, thanks for the fore warning sweatybetty! Definitely don't want to end up going down the road to drill world haha! I'll make sure to keep an eye out for any steering pump fluid once she's back up and running, thanks for the advice Reptoid Overlords. I'll look into local welders but in the mean time I'll keep trying, thanks for the advice grannyknot. Yea I decided since I'm already in here I might as well go the rest of the way. I'm going to use all arp hardware top to bottom and replace or upgrade anything else I can while I'm in there. Im thinking if I can afford it new pistons and connecting rods(sell the old ones), new valves(sell the old ones if condition allows it), new oil pan, new throw out bearing, all new vacuum coolant and fuel lines, new timing chain kit if needed, and a new water pump if needed. What am I missing or would you guys recommend? Then I need to get the transmission rebuilt(1st and 2nd bearings are going out and it feels like most the synchros are on the way out to(maybe gm synchromesh with friction modifiers will help)), all new suspension and bushings(you wouldn't believe how bad it is), some body work and then she'll be good to go, for the most part. Yea from what I read most the mods won't make a big difference if at all until I get an independent ecu. Unfortunately I don't have money for that right now so I'm just being proactive and doing the work I can while I'm already in there. I have the car in front of my friends house and his dad wants it moved so I'm going to see about relocating it next weekend and continue from there. My car was previusly in pretty good running condition with smaller problems here and there. I ended up having to tear the head down due to a severe head gasket leak I got in cylinder 1. My heater core blew out one night and over heated almost right away. I obviously shut it off right away but it still reached higher than normal tempatures. A while later I severed my coolant feed line while on the freeway when my alternator belt broke. I pulled over and turned it off immediately but it overheated again. At the time I was much less experienced at car work so I took it to a mechanic. Not my normal mechanic either. They fixed the coolant line and pressure tested the system to check for other leaks making my head gasket leak bad enough to steam out the exhaust. I noticed as soon as I got it back it was puffing white out the back. So this time I decided to take it to someone more "experienced", I took it to the aero automotive z "experts" in San Diego. They tested the pressure the day I dropped it off and called back saying everything was good, they didn't warm the car up to tempature was the thing though. They then left the car under pressure all weekend. Come Monday they decide to try and fire it up instead of drain the coolant from the block despite being told there is a headgasket leak. It almost resulted in a bent rod according to their mechanic. After being bidded a 2200-2500$ head gasket repair bill and them trying to get me to sell my car to them at a almost guaranteed lowball offer I took my car to my normal mechanic. He advised I try using k seal. So I sure enough try that out and it briefly worked but the leak slowly returned. I unfortunately had to continue driving, due to life cirumstances, with the leak and eventually stopped when it reached a point I felt was going to lead to detrimental damage. After sitting for several months I finally got it towed a couple weekends ago and now here we are. I believe my profile has a more in-depth description about the car if you're interested. (EDIT: I guess my profile info didn't save when I made my account so I will have to re update that when I get some free time, sorry.) Thanks as always for all the advice, feedback, and info! - Noah M
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