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Complete restoration of my 1972 240z. I will document my progress as I attempt to restore the Z in my garage as time permits, with little experience and less skill!

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Entry 4 Interior Removal

Back at it this past weekend after some much needed vacation!  I removed the rear bumper, fuel expansion tank, and the interior.  I had some help from my better half.  We spent about 4 hours Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday.  I started with the rear bumper.  The original bumper has hole in the middle of the top, from what I presume was a hitch. The back side of the bumper has a good bit of rust.  These two issues probably add up to a new bumper. Ouch! Next was removal of the fuel expansion tank and the fuel filler neck.  The neck came out easy enough, but the filler neck was was not so easy.  The flange at the top of the neck needed to be folded in so it would pass down through the hole in the body.  The neck was badly damaged, no doubt contributing to the fuel smell when driving.  Then we removed the interior, which was straight forward and has begun to reveal the extent of floorpan rust.  The passenger side is worse, with complete rust-through just behind the rear most seat support, about one inch by four.  I have about 75% of the floor insulation off and it appears it was good at holding moisture.  As the plastic interior panels were removed, most broke since they have become so fragile with age.   Next week I will remove the front and rear suspension and get unibody mounted to a rotisserie so I can get a good look at the underside and rails.  Thanks for reading.  




Entry 3 Begin Exterior Teardown

This weekend I worked on starting the exterior teardown.  I started with the rear finisher around the tail lights.  This revealed more rust damage than what I expected.  I knew the hatch sill would need to be replaced but now it seams like there is deeper damage. I will be able to determine the extent only after the sill is removed.  I was also able to remove the hood cowl, wiper assembly and the front fenders.  The first fender took a lot longer than anticipated.  This was because the guide I'm using directed me to remove the top inner fender bolts, one near the rocker panel, and one in the door jamb.  What it didn't tell me is that there are two near the rocker panel, seven along the top inner fender, two joining the front of the fender to the corner valance panel, and three behind the headlight.  Only three broken bolt heads from both fenders.  Not bad considering it appears all of them are originals! Once the fenders were removed and the areas were cleaned up, everything looked solid, which is amazing considering how much debris was accumulated there. I spent 5 hours working on the Z and no money spent. I'm still shooting for April 2nd to have everything off of the uni-body and I still feel good about that goal.  Thanks for reading.




Entry 2 Engine Bay and Fuel Tank

I continued removing hoses and the wiring harness from the engine bay. I labeled all the wires with duct tape and a sharpie. Also removed the gas tank. Other than 44 years of dirt and a small dent, it is in really good shape.  I spent a total of about 4 hours working on it this weekend. No money spent this week, but I have started looking at the complete stainless steel  hardware replacement kits.  Looks like they run about $300, and for that price, well worth the convenience and quality upgrade.  I've set a goal to have everything pulled off of the uni-body by April 2. I think short term goals will motivate me to keep going.  I now understand why some restorations can take years!  Lastly, I noticed that the pics in my first blog were not the best, so I tried to make a conscious effort to do better.  Enjoy, and thanks for reading.




Entry 1 Engine accessory removal

I will be restoring my 72z back to "near original" condition. I will utilize all original equipment that can be reused and replace what can't with new. I am not overly concerned with originality, especially if it is expensive.  I have set a budget of $7,700, and must include some tools, but I will document that as I go.   I will be utilizing two primary resources as guides for the process; How to Restore Your Datsun Z-Car by Wick Humble and of course, the Haynes manual. I began last weekend by disconnecting all wiring and hoses from the engine and transmission and, preparing for removal.  Two of the rear drive shaft bolts did not want to break loose so I persuaded them with the sawzall.  I used my floor jack to support and remove the transmission without much trouble.  I used a 2 ton engine hoist to remove the engine with a 10 foot section of chain wrapped around the exhaust header and an M10 bolt inserted into the bracket hole(?) next to the fuel pump.  I purchased a 750lb capacity engine stand from Harbor Freight for $46.  You can see it in photo 108 attached.  I had to purchase the mounting bolts ($9) which were M12x1.5, 75 mm long.  Unfortunately they were too long for the stand and bottomed out in the engine block before tightening so I cut a little off.  In all, It took me about 10 hours to get the engine and trans out. Today I worked for about 5 hours removing the battery doors, front bumper, grill, hood hinges, windshield cleaner reservoir, coil, and started brake lines.  The brake lines have been a pain!  I went to the auto parts store and got flared tube wrench for $6.  Well worth the money, but I still couldn't get one loose. It's in the proportioning valve so...... Thanks for reading. Feel free to post questions, comments, and suggestions.



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    • I agree. We have some great members. @Mike Just remember "Imitation is the sincerest form of flatter". I have a similar yellow and the same bullet mirrors. I love the Rota's on your car although my bumpers will be pure chrome. No strips... It looks great!!!
    • Thanks for the pics, Mike. This site helped me in so many ways. I met people from all over the world and visited a few in New Zealand. The Zed is a unique car. There is actually none like it for the affordable enjoyment. I had one back in '74. Traded it for a 3/4 ton 4X4 Chevy p/u when I moved to the mountains. But I never forgot the excitement and love I had for that first car. In 2005 I bought another one and made it mine with new parts, paint, upholstery, etc. My wife calls it the "acceptable mistress".  I actually met you at the MSA show in 2006 when you complimented me on my hat (purchased from this site). This site is by far the BEST Z car site where folks can come and not be snarked on by the old members. The members here are the most helpful of any site I have visited...so THANK YOU! And thanks to the members who make it so good. Cheers, Mike
    • Thanks John, I also posted a copy of this in our forum under your name.  It will get a lot more traffic in the forums, so be prepared for the responses.
    • My first comment since joining last April.  I would like to share some of my experiences  owning my Z if I may.  I have owned Christine (her nickname)  since 1978 and she currently has 176,898 miles under her hood.  She is in better health than I am, however I'm pushing 85 1/2 years  so she does have an advantage.  During the 38 years I have owned her the only mechanical failure has been a water pump which I replaced about 25 years ago.  In the process of removing the old pump one of the bolts snapped off inside the head.  I installed the new pump minus that one bolt and the pump has never leaked. Within the last two years I had the brake system rebuilt as well as the A/C which still uses R=12 and works great.  She still wears her original white paint job and red interior.  I replaced the orighinal radio for a stereo/CD unit and recovered the seats.  Everything else is original including the dashcover.  She has never slept outside except on a trip to Canada.  I have owned many automobiles  in my lifetime, but never an automobile as reliable, beautiful and fun to drive as Christine.  How she got her name?  About 15 years ago (yeah its been that long) I took her in for a tuneup and valve adjustment.  I was so impressed how she was running I couldn;t wait to get home so I could have my late wife drive her.  I backed her in the garage and asked Shirley to come out for a test drive.  She was never enamored of the car because she felt the Z was pretty fragile in the event of an accident.  I finally got her to come  out and the last thing she said before she got in the car was "i  really don't  want to drive your stupid car!"  I half kiddingly told her to be careful with her language because car's have feelings too.  Well, she proceeds to turn on the ignition and  the car gives off  the loudest  backfire which just reverberated throughout the garage.  Shirley had a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel.  She finally let go and bolted out of the car.  I got into no small amount of hot water laughing at what had just occurred.  She never drove the car after that day and we never spoke of the incident after that day.  Christine had never backfired before that day nor has she since.  God's truth.  From that day on we referred to her as Christine after Stephen King's novel of the same name. Like i am sure all of you,  I love my Z.  Not only for the precious memories but also because I think they are special automobiles from both a design and well as a mechanical aspect.  Thanks for listening. John Petkovich
    • I had a lady friend that lived in San fran when they were filming bullit. The movie production team had her car towed because it was on the route where they were shooting the film. Knowing her, she ran over the big orange cones to park in her space.  She was pissed just thinking about it and that was 35 years later. She said it was very "noisy"  
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