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73str86

Finally got one...now to make it mine: 1973 240z Refresh / Personalisation

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I've been busy with job applications and interviews during my transition out of the Army. Haven't had much time lately (odd given that I'm on terminal leave) but the weather has been nicer the past couple days and I'm getting antsy. I haven't driven the Z in a YEAR!

I reinstalled all the fuel and brake line brackets. I finished up the battery tray area with roll-on bedliner to toughen it up. I painted it silver. Most of this will be invisible to the eye with battery tray, battery, etc. Instead of welding in the battery tray I'm just going to use self-tapping screws. I still need to touch-up the brake booster.

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Sanding, cleaning, polishing, painting nuts and bolts is a long, tedious process. I'm hoping the finished results will pay off. I installed the fuel pump (after cleaning it up with a wire brush) with new gaskets and original spacer. Installed the timing chain cover. Installed the water pump. Installed a section of the coolant/heater hose T-bar and line.

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Next is finishing the coolant/heater hoses, install the NISMO high flow oil pump, factory distributor (still haven't decided which one to use; I have the factory '73 dizzy and '83 dizzy on hand). Need to install alternator, starter, and motor mounts. I got pretty frustrated yesterday--it looks like my gasket set didn't include a thermostat gasket? WTH?

I also picked up a NOS Clifford Research header. The plan is to get a competent local exhaust shop to build a full twice pipes system.

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Here is the original header I had, sandblasted, primed, painted, and cleared with 2000 degree header paint:

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I may use this original one first to break in the motor and have my original exhaust ready to bolt up.

:beer:

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I have a house and a mortgage here, so I'll be here for a little while.

The current plan is to find a job, stay here through the rest of the year, then move to Austin, Texas to finish my Bachelor's Degree at UT.

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Made some decent progress with my 2.9L L28 swap in the past couple weeks.

For the area where I replaced metal under the battery tray, I coated it with bedliner to add another layer of protection, then painted it silver. I also stripped, sanded, primed, and painted the battery tray itself. I made the decision to screw the battery tray in with self tapping screws instead of welding it in. I also have a new plastic battery tray with hose to place on top.

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Now on to the engine itself. Obviously the first step was to install it! After dealing with ill-fitting and poorly made motor mounts from Black Dragon and Beck Arnley, I decided to bite the bullet and spent the $90+ on the factory Nissan mounts. Boy did it make a difference. The photo below shows the two new Nissan motor mounts. Then the old one. On the Black Dragon mounts, the small pin on the bottom which lines up in the crossmember below the bolt was about an 1/8 of an inch off. On the Beck Arnley motor mounts, it wasn't threaded for factory bolts--it required the use of a nut and washer. Also, the rubber was not cut/molded properly to attach the independent bracket supports.

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I purchased the clutch/transmission spline alignment tool for about $4. It actually gave us a bit of trouble. About 30 minutes of fidgeting and adjusting the motor/transmission alignment it finally all came together. I installed the 60 amp alternator, flame thrower 3 ohm coil to delete the ballast resistor, 280zx gear reduction starter. I also stripped, painted (Datsun blue), and clear coated the battery hold down bracket. After that, my dad and I hooked up all the wiring in about 15 minutes. I don't like the look of old/dirty wiring next to a new shiny motor but I have heat shrink wiring wrap that will go on once it's on the road and everything is sorted out.

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I went out and spent about $100 on various odds and ends. The ~ one foot coolant line from the lower radiator hose to the heater core lines. Various vacuum and coolant line block off caps for the triple SKs and to block off / remove the hard coolant line that used to wrap around the block and warm up the stock intake manifold. Rubber bushings to place between the aluminum radiator and radiator support wall to shield from vibrations. I also had to cut the tube coming out of the lower thermostat housing because the carb would not be able to bolt to the intake. I planned on buying a brass plug to screw in but was lucky enough to dig through my original intake/balance tube zip lock bags and found one that fit perfectly. It looks a lot cleaner.

I finished thoroughly cleaning the insides of two out of the three 45mm SK carbs. Now there's only one left. Once the carbs are mounted with the Datsun Spirit heat shield and the aluminum 4 row radiator is installed, all I have to do is fill up the oil and fluids and crank her up. I'm hoping to be able to drive it to enter a local car show on Fort Gordon on Saturday. :cool:

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:beer:

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And not Datsun related, but in between all this I flew to Houston to pick up a new daily driver. It's a one owner 2002 Subaru WRX wagon with 115,000 miles after the road trip back to Georgia.

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I am a subaru guru of sorts, have had nothing but them for 12 years. My THIrd Subaur was a bugeye. Somebody spent some real money on that one as it has the nice JDM lights that were about a grand back in 2002. It obviously had aftermarket wheels before it was sold, as those are just OEM Subaru wheels. Remeber you will need a +53mm offset for any subie.

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The WRX was a show car owned by a 55 year old woman. She traded it in to a dealer on a new WRX. The dealer stripped it for the most part before sending it to auction. Wheels, stereo, CAI, exhaust. Overall I'm happy but the dealer is withholding service records even though I am in contact with the previous owner.

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It's been a while since my last update. Layla is breathing and running on the road. All I can say is it's an amazing feeling.

A couple steps back:

I installed a Champion 4 row aluminum radiator from eBay.

4 Row Champion 1970 1975 Datsun 240Z 260z Radiator | eBay

I swear I paid $225 for a 3 row on eBay, and was shocked to get the 4 row in the mail. I think they were out of stock and sent me the 4 row or something. I also found some rubber shifter bushings at AutoZone which I used to run the bolts through to provide a small amount of vibration dampening against the radiator support. All holes in the radiator lined up perfectly to factory mounting holes. With the thickness of the four row radiator along with the 280zx 3 row balancer pulley, it is a tight squeeze. I mounted the fan and clutch to the pulley before I installed the radiator for the sake of space. It is an extremely close fit with perhaps 1/2" between the 240z fan and the new radiator. I think it'll be fine and haven't found any issues.

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The finish and craftsmanship look excellent; my thermostat stays below the halfway point with city driving (temps 70-85 degrees in May right now). I'm happy and feel as though it should handle Georgia and Texas summer temps of 100+ degrees just fine.

The next order of business was to install my thoroughly cleaned and sorted triple 45mm Sanyo Kiki (SK) racing carburetors originally from Japan. Cleaning all three carburetors was a tedious process; they were pretty gunked up inside. I will be experimenting with Weber and Mikuni chokes/jets in the next 1,000 or so miles to try to find my best setup. I also installed a triple carb heat shield from Datsun Spirit for $116. It was a little disappointing at first to see how simple it was to make; but the quality of the zinc plated brackets and hardware were really nice. I will also apply 2000 degree thermotec heat shield/fiber/sticker to the top and bottom of it. It's nice because it has lips to keep any possible gas leaks away from the headers.

At the moment I don't have any air horns or filters. YIKES! :stupid: That's my next order of business.

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I ran all the fuel lines, spark plugs, NGK wires, etc. I installed a Mr. Gasket liquid filled fuel pressure gauge from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Mr-Gasket-1564-Liquid-Pressure/dp/B000N8ISFS/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1368232326&sr=1-2&keywords=mr+gasket+liquid+filled+fuel+pressure+gau ge

From my research and advice I received I decided to break in and run the engine with the factory mechanical fuel pump. The gauge will allow me to keep track of the pressure it produces. I dumped the Schneider break in additive all over the camshaft and in the timing chain area in the head to let it get to the block and pan. Next came the moment of truth. After being satisfied that oil was being pumped to all lobes of the cam (I blocked off the spray bar holes with the hardware supplied in the Schneider Stage III kit) and seeing sufficient oil pressure, I decided to go ahead and try to start it and let her fire.

To much dismay, it just wouldn't start. I had spark. Spark plug and point gaps were set. I had fuel. FRUSTRATION ensued. My father's impression was that we had the distributor off by 180 degrees, which is the initial guess for every backyard mechanic. I was certain I did enough research about installing the oil pump and spindle at the 11:25 position. We removed the distributor anyway to double check; it was spot on. Firing order and spark plug wires were double checked. I slept on it--depressed a little I might add. :cry:

The next day I was reassessing the situation without my dad there. After referring to the wiring diagram in my FSM, I realized that the condenser for the coil was on the wrong terminal. After switching it to the negative as it was supposed to be, SHE FIRED UP IMMEDIATELY! I was running my sandblasted and painted header that was originally on the car. She was LOUD! Soon thereafter I reinstalled the rusty 2 1/4" exhaust with a new Magnaflow muffler. I recorded some HD videos but I think they're too long to post.

I let the engine rev at ~ 2500 rpms for about 15-20 minutes to let it reach operating temperature. My oil pressure was amazing (thanks to the NISMO high flow pump) and was over 45 lbs. I inspected for leaks--NONE!

Here is a super low quality video I took on my cell phone. Trust me, it does not do it justice. This was before I used the synchrometer to synch the carbs. There is some bog and the linkage could use some attention.

After dialing in the idle and balancing the carbs it runs amazing. I reinstalled the front sway bar with new end links and bushings. I also drove to a local tire shop to get my new Falken Ziex Ze 912 195/60R14s mounted and balanced.

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I put the hood and grill on with my father on a Saturday morning and immediately drove to a local car show on Fort Gordon. All the rushing made me feel like I was on a car TV show rushing to complete a build. :cool:

I was amazed at how much attention the car received. A surprising number of women came up to me talking about how it was their first car in San Francisco, Florida, etc. The older men reminisced about how fast they were in the day. Here's a shot from the car show:

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I put about 80 miles on it in two days, always varying speeds, etc. So far I haven't gone above ~3800 rpms. It feels like a completely different car. I plan on emailing the PO who owned it since 1976 and show him the progress I've made. I can't wait until the engine is broken in and I can really drive it.

:beer::beer::beer::beer::beer::beer::beer::beer:

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Sweet, nice work!!! It's a shame we can't get properly sized high performance tires in 14" anymore, without going to essentially race rubber.

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Sweet, nice work!!! It's a shame we can't get properly sized high performance tires in 14" anymore, without going to essentially race rubber.

So far I'm really impressed with the tires. When I park in my garage dirt and tree buds, etc. stick to the tread all around the tire. Even touching the rubber feels very grippy as opposed to most tires I've felt before.

Hopefully within 1,000-3,000 miles I'll autocross it and will definitely hit the drag strip a few times before buying some slicks.

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So far I'm really impressed with the tires. When I park in my garage dirt and tree buds, etc. stick to the tread all around the tire. Even touching the rubber feels very grippy as opposed to most tires I've felt before.

Hopefully within 1,000-3,000 miles I'll autocross it and will definitely hit the drag strip a few times before buying some slicks.

I'm sure they're fine for regular driving but the Ziex 912 is an all-season tire and its diameter at that size is about 1.5" smaller than stock. I just wish there were summer performance tires available in 14" with a diameter of at least 24.5" but I don't see that happening any time soon, if ever.

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Get some kind of filtration on that thing sir!!!!

I do not want your new engine to suck up dirt!

The K&N air filters actually arrived from Pegasus Racing on April 30th I just didn't make the time to post an update. I'm a lot more willing to go for longer drives now. I did not factor the cost of the K&Ns into the figure for the carbs. It hurt a little. I keep thinking I'm done with spending money!

LOL

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Since the last update I took the carbs, intake, and exhaust off. I figured I might as well get my NOS Jet Hot coated Clifford Research header put on with an exhaust made by a real shop instead of the hack job that was on there before.

After some research and a recommendation I found Eddie's Custom Exhaust Shop in Augusta, GA. I got an estimate of $160 for 2.5" pipe including making the header extension from the 6-3-2 header.

The owner told me I needed to supply the header reducers. After ordering from NAPA for $26.99 and waiting two days for delivery, they sold me a set for larger headers. The exhaust shop sent me to a local race shop I had never heard of. After walking in the 10-bay garage seeing all sorts of sweet rides, the owner of this shop guided me into the store area. There were about 15 isles of all the race parts you only ever find online. Ignition, AN fittings, fuel pumps, the whole nine yards. Fully built 383s and polished rear ends. I was like a kid in a candy store. The local race shop sold me the reducers I needed (pre welded together I might add) for $16.99.

As the guy was ringing me up I asked if he had any exhaust tips for sale. He pointed to the other side of the wall and I could not believe what I saw. A NOS ANSA tip! I asked if he had another and he said there should be another in the box. I could not believe it and I felt incredibly lucky to have gone into this shop. I'm going to eventually weld them together and turn it into a twin tip design. I suppose this makes up for when WingZr0 ripped a few of us off for $400 a piece.

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The exhaust shop finished around 1 p.m. after dealing with the hiccups. Instead of going for a Flowmaster or Magnaflow muffler, I opted for a used Borla Pro XS he offered me for $20. Overall I'm happy with it. I'll post a video--eventually.

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I still haven't gotten around to swapping the rear differential. I just bought a fixer-upper investment/rental home that will be taking a great deal of my time.

:beer:

Edited by 73str86

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A year later...

I just broke 1,000 miles on my new L29. I gave up on the triple SKs; they couldn't idle enough to my liking and I didn't want to mess with all the jets.

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Sold them and made a couple hundred dollars. Back to my 3 screw SUs.

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I cut my throttle arm from the firewall to the balance tube to use the SKs, so I had to find a new rod...difficult task. Stumbled on a local guy with a parts car, bought a bunch of carb parts, ended up with the whole dang car a couple weeks later in exchange for a 83 5 speed and p90 turbo head.

There was something wrong with the rebuilt kit I bought a couple years ago (maybe I got a flat top kit) that I put in because once everything was together, she wouldn't run. What do I do? Put in the original needle valves along with some SM needles...and she purrs like a kitten. Amazing throttle response, with stage III schneider, clifford headers, and borla muffler, everyone looks when I step on it. Sounds like a V8 at idle but the glorious straight six sound under load.

There's one catch. Once I hit 1,000 miles I started taking her over 4,000 rpms. At 5,000, she falls flat on her face and putters out. I'm going to dial in the timing this weekend with a timing light.

Upcoming projects: my humming diff is still going strong at 1,000 miles after it started. I have a fully rebuilt R180 4.11 open diff ready to put in, just sourcing some bushings and trying to decide if I want the Ron Tyler diff mount.

Also looking for a used 432 style rear spoiler and non-ducted spook airdam.

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Nice work! Looks great.

93 octane? I'm so-o jealous. Premium pump gas here is 91, contains alcohol, (and I think they are lying about it being 91 octane).

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Nice work! Looks great.

93 octane? I'm so-o jealous. Premium pump gas here is 91, contains alcohol, (and I think they are lying about it being 91 octane).

Yes 93 is available here in GA. I try to stick to the non-ethanol version as well (around $4.39/gallon).

I plan on moving to Colorado at the end of this year. I think she'll run ok on 91.

Is there a video size limit for these forums? I want to take a good quality video of my current exhaust before I change it a little.

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Cool, what part of Colorado? Theres only 91 octane here too and you may need to retune or re jet your carbs for the altitude.

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[quote=73str86;461267

Is there a video size limit for these forums? I want to take a good quality video of my current exhaust before I change it a little.

If the video is too large, you could load it on YouTube and just post a link to it on this fourm.

Dennis

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Yes 93 is available here in GA. I try to stick to the non-ethanol version as well (around $4.39/gallon).

I plan on moving to Colorado at the end of this year. I think she'll run ok on 91.

Is there a video size limit for these forums? I want to take a good quality video of my current exhaust before I change it a little.

At least you still have a choice on non ethanol.. I only seen that in Germany here across the border. Here everything regular contains 5% ethanol in it. I hope it doesn't effect the fuel system and carbs to much.

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Well I finished the move to Colorado, driving a 26ft Penske truck with the 240z behind was not an enjoyable experience.

 

She arrived dirty, and I didn't have my DD in Colorado.

 

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I had to drive her in two days of snow before I decided on another vehicle.

 

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It looks like it'll be up to 62 this weekend so I have a feeling I'll take the Z out. She seems to be drinking the 91 octane decently at this elevation, and I haven't even had a chance to touch the carbs. The timing advance didn't need to be changed, and she's running like a bandit. I have concluded the sputtering out at 5500 rpms is that the engine/carbs are sucking the float bowls dry. I have sourced a used NISMO electric fuel pump to remedy this. As of now it acts a bit of a rev limiter. It is leaving 1500 rpms on the table.

 

I plan to do a 5 speed / 4.11 R180 swap this winter with a bushing refresh.

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