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grretc

1973 240z Refreshening Thread

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1973 240z Refresh Thread

I recently purchased a 1973 240z from an older woman who had it in storage since 1985.

Background

Long story short is that I responded to her two sentence long ad on craigslist, and decided to check it out when a buddy of mine wanted to get sushi in her area. Had we not gone to get sushi, I would have never checked out the car. On the phone she mentioned that the car was in her back yard and had been sitting since 1985. I thought it would be a heap of junk. Upon inspection, the car was clean since it was sitting covered in an extended part of her house. Car was practically rust free with almost everything original, but she wanted too much for it. I told her to give me a call when she was ready to go lower on the price. Seven months later, I got a call and a deal was made.

Since arriving back to my house, I have removed and flushed the radiator and freed up the seized engine with PB blaster. I had little hope for PB plaster, but it ended up working a miracle! The rear wheels weren’t spinning when I bought the car, so I have to solve that problem to get the car rolling.

Current To-Do List:

1. Flush old fluid out. New fluid in.

2. New spark plugs and spark plug wires. Cap and Rotor as well.

3. Start cleaning.

Any recommendations as to where I should go from here? Is the carpet worth keeping? A lot of this car is still original, even the carpet, so my goal is to keep it fairly original. My plans are to basically refresh it and enjoy it when I have time. I’m sure along the way I’ll upgrade a few things (headers and exhaust, but I won’t go too far. Everything original that is taken off will be cleaned and stored in case I even want to go back.

These kinds of threads are worthless without photos, so here are some of the car. I have more, just need to find it… I’m more active on Hybrid Z than I am on here, but I feel that this thread is more appropriate on this site since the community is a little more into preserving and less modifying.

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Edited by grretc

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what city in the bay area did you get the car from?

That car looks like the classic "barn find"

If the carpet isnt too frayed or smelly i'de keep it. If its faded you can always paint carpet using upholstery spray paint.

DO NOT put it in the washing machine. It falls apart when you do that.

Even that back hatch area is rust free. It must have been inland from the ocean and fog.

After you free up those brakes, you should pull the gas tank and clean it out. It's gotta be

nasty from sitting that long.

My marin/sonoma county 280z had more rust on it than most bay area cars. I suspect it was driven into

the city daily. Check the front hinge area for rust bubbles. Thats where mine rusted.

I have another 280z from San Jose calif that was a "barn find" like your 240z. Virtually no

rust garage queen.

How are the dog legs and floors in that car?

How many miles does the odometer say?

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Hey hr369,

Thanks for the kind words. I found it in the Santa Clara/San Jose area. It was on the border of the two cities. The carpet can't be lifted out without it cracking, so I think washing it is not an option for sure haha. The gas tank is on my list of to do. It's going to get cleaned out and powder coated when I take the suspension down for a powdercoat job. Your 280z is probably similar to my 280z as well. Practically no rust and was sitting in someone's garage. Got any photos?

Dog legs and floor boards on the car are in absolutely pristine condition. I'll have to get a photo of those when I check on the milage.

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mine has 77k original miles. there is a welded in patch on the gas tank where it must have rusted out from sitting so long.

a/c with R12 still works too. Original seat covers but has a dash cap. I also had original carpets but tried washing them.

Like you im trying to keep it as orginal as possible. You should pull your valve cover and check the condition of the cam

and see if the spray bar was clogged. I've seen a few where an oil hole clogged and it ate a cam lobe. You can also

see if they ever changed the oil in the engine by taking the valve cover off.

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Congrats Grretc on your purchase! Very cool that she called you back after 7 months and you were able to make a deal on it. I like your plan to keep it as original as possible but since it sat outside for so long, even though it was covered we all agree some items will have to be replaced. The door panels look near mint, great to see there were no speaker holes cut in to them. I recently did a fuel system rehhab on my '72 but it had been a daily driver before I got it. Since you are planning to drop the tank check out the various threads and websites on replacing the tank vent lines. If they are original they are going to need replacing and having the tank down helps a lot in getting it done. Keep us posted as we all love threads like these!

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Grretc, nice find. I'm partial to '73's. I would start with removing all brake cylinders and calipers. Your rear drums are probably seized-you'll need to shoot some lubrancant in there wherever you can and start tapping the drums off from the interior side. Use a wood block for this so that you don't break the drums.

I know you want to keep it original, but I would consider removing all smog equipment/egr, clean up the balance tube, and plan on swapping out those carbs for roundtops. The more variables you can remove from the system, the easier the car will be to get running and properly tuned. Make sure all your suspension parts articulate properly and inspect/replace bushings as needed.

Good luck on your project.

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Looks like a good car. I would start with the following and have a goal of not digging too deep. You want to drive the car and if you start taking it too far apart you may find yourself with a non-running zcar for a long time.

- Clean everything.

- Replace all wear items in the brake system- pads, shoes, hardware, master cyl, wheel cyl, calipers, etc.

- Flush clutch hydraulics and assess.

- Change oil many times over the first 1k miles.

- New tires.

- Check cooling system hoses, etc. Flush cooling system and replace fluid.

- Drain, replace fuel, assess tank. If you drop tank, replace all hoses, etc.

- Basic tune up stuff.

If the car runs but runs rough, read up on swapping the carbs to round tops. A set of ztherapy carbs works miracles.

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This car is crying to be the original green it used to be.

Great find. keep us posted.

My first Z was green with tan interior so I am partial.

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On picture #8 sure looks like 113 Metallic Green was the original color, very similar to my 302 Green Leaf Metallic. Mine has a black interior though. Go with the green, not too many around.

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Hey guys, thanks for the kind words. I think I'm going to take tlorber's advice and remove the smog equipment, but not off this motor. I have a spare l28 with an n42 head that came off a running Z I'll throw in this one. So that one will run on round top carbs while this motor remains untouched. If I ever wanted to go back to completely original, it will be there waiting for me.

Hardway, I looked up what you were talking about and came to this link:

http://www.jrdemers.com/280ZX/tankvents/tankvents.html

If that's what you're talking about, I'll probably take care of it once I know the car and move and stop under it's own power.

jonathanrussell is right. I don't want to dig myself too deep with this kind of thing. I know people who regret digging too deep into their z and have made it a 10 year project. My goal is to enjoy driving it, not enjoy working on it. His advice basically said get it up and going, which is what I plan to do. Then I'll tackle the suspension and cosmetics. One thing that is for sure..when it's time to paint, it will be 113 green :)

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Congrats, Grretc!

Nice finding!

What happen to your HRS30?

Are you going to restore both?

Hey tamo3! I still have the Fairlady Z and depending on how things go, it will probably be restored within the next 20 years :) I have my 280z to tackle after this...

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Great looking project - one of the first things I always do is to pull the radiator and take it to a shop to have it rodded - one less thing to be concerned with - your shop can verify pressure and correct any challenges while they have it - the last one I had rodded and boiled was $40. Z$ well spent.

I also agree with above - change out all our fuel lines - you'll be glad you did! Don't forget the bottom of the carbs while you are at it.

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Quick update. I spent the last week or so in Orange and contemplated on buying things from MSA since I was there, but ended up purchasing nothing. I recently got back and started to work on the car. First things first! I had to get this thing running or else it was never going to move. I drained the oil out, and put in new oil along with a new filter. Put in some new spark plugs and ran gas directly to the pump. Man am I DUMB. I thought I had it all planned. I put in a new battery and got the terminals switched!!

After I slapped it on I saw some smoke coming from the started and the alternator so I quickly pulled off the negative side and did some research. Nothing besides the smoke happened. I thought I was off the hook, but once I corrected my dumb mistake I tried to start the car. I saw a tiny bit of smoke come from the clamshell the engine turned but nothing. I tried and tried again, but it never started for me. After reading this thread ( http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/electrical-s30/17266-real-dumb-arse.html ) about someone who made the same mistake, I started thinking of reasons as to why the car won't start and I've come up with this list:

1. Carbs are not getting gas. I noticed that the linkage was not going down as far as other su's I have toyed with. In fact they barely go down at all. The rod that goes through the firewall doesn't go deep at all either.

2. Fusible Linkage is fried and needs replacement

3. Voltage Regulator is fried and need replacement

4. Starter is fried and needs replacement

5. Alternator is fried and needs replacement, but I don't see why this would stop the car from starting.

I currently have power to all my lights and the key was not in the ignition when the battery was put on incorrectly so I don't think any of the wires in the cabin got fried. Any idea on what I should look at first? Or any other ideas as to why the car isn't starting? Man this project just got really frustrating.

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Hey Travel'n Man,

Thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to take the radiator to get checked once the engine and transmission are out for cleaning. I need to get a lot of the small projects done before school starts. Anyone have recommendation on how I can clean my fuel lines? Replacing them is $$$ and if I can clean them to put the money somewhere else, I'll try that.

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