Hardway

Hardway's 1971 240z #8011 - Build and Repair Thread

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    As described in my previous post I am now the proud owner of 1971 240z Series-1 #8011. The post can be seen here -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/open-s30-z-discussions/52517-its-mine-new-owner-1971-240z-8011-a.html This is the most complete 240z I have owned and has been the recipient of a lot of time and money in regards to both parts and labor. However, it is not 100% and has plenty of room for me to add my personal touch and tinker with it as it needs things.

    One of the first items on the to-do list was to remove the over rider bar on the front bumper. The reason for this is because the hood was making contact with it and it was keeping the hood from opening all the way.

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    After about 15 minutes of carefully remove the screws that held it in place I had the bar off. I have never been a fan of them anyway so I was happy to see it go. Now the hood opens like it is supposed to and I am on the hunt for some bumper guard strips.

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    Now that the hood opens I wanted to change the oil, bleed the brakes, and possibly bleed the clutch. Before I could get to those items, the next item on the list unfortunately is a new radiator. I did not notice the two pin holes in the middle of the radiator core until I got it home and was taking pictures of the car. Only under the light of the camera flash did the shallow puddle of coolant in the lower radiator flange appear. A quick check with a bright flashlight confirmed it had been slowly leaking for quite some time. I do not knock the seller or myself for this because neither one of us saw it even when the car was on the rack at the seller’s shop. Cough it up to “comes with the territory”

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    So like all cars that come in to my possession they seem to wind up on jack stands within a week of purchase. However, I am determined to never ever have this car off the road for more than a few days at a time. For now, on the jack stands it goes.

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    The radiator came out with little drama. Once out and the electric fans removed I could see it had been repaired before, possibly several times.

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    With the car off the ground and the radiator out it and allowed me to get a better look at everything. It is very satisfying to see this car has not seen a parking lot curb or other front end damage during its life time as everything appears to be very straight and true.

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    I made plans to drop the radiator off at a local shop I have used in the past with good results.

    Next up was the brakes. Everything is pretty new on the car including the DOT 5 fluid in the brake reservoirs. After posting up some questions about keeping it flushing it I decided to keep it based on the advantages it offers for a regularly driven street car. I started with adjusting up the rear brakes as I could tell they were not correct when I pulled the wheels off. A few turns of the wheel cylinder adjustment screw had them providing the correct amount of drag on the drums. Since my wife was available to help me I made her comfortable in the driver seat and did a full bleed all the way around. Sure enough, there was a ton of air in the rear brake lines! Once removed and everything buttoned up the pedal was much firmer and confident in its operation. Job done!

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    Next up was an oil change. The previous owner told me the car probably had less than 200 miles put on it in the last year or so but it had also been over a year since the last oil change. The oil still looked okay but it was time for it to go. I picked up a new Wix filter, a 5qt jug of Castrol GTX 10W-30, and a bottle of Risolene Zinc additive. I know everyone uses a different oil or additive but I have had good results with this setup so I am sticking with it. The oil drained with no issues but the filter was a different story.

    After using my trusty filter wrenches I quickly determined it was going nowhere and I was only damaging the filter in the process. This was pretty disappointing to run in to but again, it comes with the territory.

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    So out comes the punch and drill. I used a series of bits to drill the hole big enough so my large screw driver could go through. I did not want to risk the screwdriver just tearing the top of the filter apart.

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    I really thought one hole would get it done. Unfortunately it took two holes to give me enough range of motion to finally get the filter to spin off.

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    Since the rubber seal was still stuck to the block once I got the filter off I can only guess that either A. someone forgot to oil the seal before putting it on or B. the oil had just disappeared due to time. For a quick comparison here is what the Penzoil filter looks like next to the Wix. The seal size is the same but as you can see the overall diameter is bigger on the Wix. Since the Wix is shorter than the Penzoil I am sure they hold about the same amount of oil.

    OilFilter04.jpg

    That was enough excitement for one weekend. Looking forward to the upcoming 3-day weekend!

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    During the work week I heard back from the radiator shop and the news was not good. They could not repair the existing core and they wanted over $400 to re-core it. Their advice, just buy a new one. I found a Champion 3-row all aluminum radiator part# CC110 on Ebay for $215 shipped. The seller, Big Dog Performance was “Johnny on the spot” getting it shipped out. They were also wonderful to work with. Thank you Sue and Chuck! PLUG: If you need a Champion radiator for your Z they have the best prices and service. The radiator arrived safe and sound via FedEx on Thursday July 3rd. Below are the Christmas pictures showing how it arrived and unwrapping it. I must say my initial inspection revealed a high quality radiator that was well packed and well made. Being aluminum it was significantly lighter than the old brass radiator I pulled out.

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    Installation was just the reverse of taking the old one out. One change I made was going back to the stock style mechanical fan. The electric fans I removed were triggered by a temp probe that had to be pushed all the way through the radiator core. I could not bring myself to start bending up the fins on a brand new radiator for the probe. The mechanical clutched fan is an extra I got with another car a few years ago. It was in good shape but I will eventually buy a new one along with an MSA shroud to match the rest of the near pristine engine bay.

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    Since I had the car on jack stands this was going to be the best time to replace the rear hatch strut as it would allow me to work on it without bending over. The strut on the car looks to be the original. Since the car included a wooden stick in the hatch area it appears to have been out of service for a long time.

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    I picked up a Stabilus SG 225005 off Ebay for $40 shipped. This came at the recommendation of Blue in a post from a few years ago regarding another source for hatch struts. As you can see the new strut on the right is just a hair longer than the original.

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    It took a little time to get the upper bracket off the old strut. A cut off wheel and a few hits with a punch cleared the pin enough to remove the bracket.

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    The instructions did not say what order to install the bolts and spacers so I did what seemed logical to me. I also replaced the upper 10mm bolts with some new ones as the rear most bolt’s threads did not look good. Fortunately the threads in the hatch were still in good shape. The end result is a hatch lid that securely stays up on its own. It also provides a large enough opening so you are not hitting your head on the hatch lid while loading stuff in to it.

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    With so many things accomplished I figured a celebratory drive was in order. A quick trip around the neighborhood reminded just how hard the tires were as well as mildly flat spotted. The tires on the car were some Pirelli P44 205-70-14 that were from the late 70’s or early 80’s according to the seller. These are apparently popular with the vintage Mercedes crowd but on the Z they looked almost truck like. They also rubbed pretty bad when turning sharply so they had to go.

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    I jumped online and determined a 195-60-14 would be more appropriate. Discount Tire carries Barum tires which is part of the Continental tire family. Their model, the Bravuris 2 seemed to have good reviews amongst enthusiasts around the net and were priced right at $55/ea. They had a 4th of July special going that included $50 off if you made the appointment to buy on July 4th. I performed the appropriate clicks and set an appointment for 10am the next morning.

    When I arrived at the tire shop in the morning I checked out the tire to make sure it was what I wanted. I knew just by looking at it that it would not fill up the wheel well as much but also should have no chance of rubbing. Plus, the tread pattern looked good so I gave it the thumbs up. A swipe of the credit card authorizing $258.60 and 45 minutes later I was back on the road with fresh rubber. The short drive home revealed just how bad the old tires were and that I had made the right choice. The car steered easier, tracked better, and just rode nice. While I don’t love the way it looks right now once the suspension settles a little more in the front I think it will look better.

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    That is all for now. I am still working to source one or two fuel door knobs/locks and debating if I want to put my Datsun script emblem on the hatch. I am on the fence about this as I know when I go to remove it the pins will most likely break off and I will have to source another one or apply it with emblem tape.

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    You sir are a man after my own heart. VERY nice work

    A word of advice though. You just put an aluminum Radiator on a metal frame car. You will want to put some sort of rubber in between the radiator and the metal frame to prevent galvanic corrosion due to the dissimilar metals. It may save you some headaches in the future. Your car is a thing to behold. I wish my 71 had as clean a background as yours did. But we all get to a point where we bond with the car. You are well on your way to 'making it yours'.

    Keep the pics and updates coming buddy.

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    Thanks for the compliments guys! You are spot on with your assessment and recommendation Zed. I just placed an order for a MSA fiberglass fan shroud and I just received my new fan clutch. When I take everything off to swap it I will pull the radiator away from the core support and insulate it with some foam tape and grommets around the holes. I was in a bit of a hurry to do the radiator swap over the weekend as I had friends coming in to town that wanted to see and go for a ride in the Z. They all agreed this is the best one I have owned was bought well. I am even drove it to work to today so I could take it to my locksmith to ensure the extra keys they made fit the cylinders properly.

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    Jeff,

    I played around with a number of different solutions for isolating the radiator from the frame. Zedy is 100% correct that dissimilar metals can cause unwanted corrosion so it is important that you do this at some point.

    In any case, what I found worked best for me were some rubber grommets that I purchased from McMaster Carr. I had to purchase a bag of 50 or so, so I have plenty of them left over and would be happy to offer you a few for your Z. I also have all of the correct hardware to go along with the grommets.

    Just give me a shout and I'd be happy to provide you what you need for a proper mount.

    Mike.

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    You guys are right and I will be addressing this sooner than later. I actually picked up some grommets tonight that are a thick rubber which I think will work perfectly. I appreciate the offer Mike and will let you know if what I bought does not work out.

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    In case you guys have forgotten, our aluminum heads sit on an iron block. Talk about dissimilar metal corrosion. An alternative solution (pun intended) is to use waterless coolant. Jay Leno's garage had a video on it. I began using it after installing an aluminum radiator.

    I've been using it for more than a year including high speed cruising in 92+ degree days with no problems.

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    ........I always use distilled water with anti freeze......no minerals and metals to feed electrolysis.

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    In case you guys have forgotten, our aluminum heads sit on an iron block. Talk about dissimilar metal corrosion. An alternative solution (pun intended) is to use waterless coolant. Jay Leno's garage had a video on it. I began using it after installing an aluminum radiator.

    I've been using it for more than a year including high speed cruising in 92+ degree days with no problems.

    With a gasket in between...

    Also, "regular" antifreeze performs the same function, regarding corrosion. Waterless Coolant isn't anything magic, it's just a brand name.

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    LeonV, the gasket doesn't make any difference when current can flow through the head bolts. Here is the link, Ya pays ya money and ya takes ya choice.

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    I don't need marketing propaganda to make my decisions, thanks. This topic has already been discussed, if not here then on HybridZ, MSDS and all. A properly maintained cooling system will not corrode. I've examined enough L-series blocks and heads (among others) to see the effects of neglecting your cooling system, as well as maintaining it. Believe me, I know very well that theoretical stuff is fun to talk about but it helps to have a glimpse of reality when doing so.

    Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread any further. There are some good points made in this thread (post #21 shares my sentiments, among others): http://www.ffcars.com/forums/17-factory-five-roadsters/302124-you-using-evans-waterless-coolant.html

    Edited by LeonV

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    Over the past few weekends I have had some time to work on the Z but unfortunately no time to post any updates. With a free Tuesday night on my hands I wanted to let you guys know what I have been up to. First and foremost, to everyone’s relief I addressed the issue of the aluminum radiator being bolted directly to the car. I knew there no shortage of options out there as many owners have used strip of rubber to various grommets and other things to use as a spacer. Knowing I did not want to use anything with adhesive on it I knew using a piece of foam rubber weather stripping was out. I then turned my focus to using some sort of grommet and then it hit me. I remembered when I repaired the toilet in one of our bathrooms that the bolt kit included some rubber reinforced washers. I figured the size should be pretty close to the size of the bolts holding on the radiator. A quick stroll down the plumbing aisle at Home Depot revealed the perfect parts kit. At $1.62 per kit I bought two so I had a total of 8 rubber washers. Each kit comes with everything you see and take note that 2 of the washers are slightly thicker than the other 2.

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    After about 20 minutes of working on it all the washers/spacers were installed. The fit snug around the bolts but not so tight that they were pain to install. For less than $5 my problem was solved and the best part it is nothing permanently attached to the vehicle.

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    With the radiator wrapped up I turned my attention to installing my new fan clutch. With the fan off I installed some new water pump studs along with a dab of thread locker on each. The studs are part of a Dorman water pump stud pack and included all 4 studs, lock washers, and nuts.

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    The fan clutch swap took just a few minutes. The difference between how tight the new clutch is compared to the old one was night and day.

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    A few minutes with my 10mm box wrench and the fan was back on. With the spacers installed it brings the radiator closer to the fan. I did not have any issues installing it and based on how close it is I am going to run without a shroud and see how things look.

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    I drove out to the local Cars and Coffee meet the next day after doing this work. Between plenty of toll-way driving at 75mph and stop & go driving the needle never reached the half way mark. Job done!

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    One of the great things about older cars is the opportunities they present in bringing parts back to life. One such part for my car is the Datsun script emblem that goes on the hatch. I did a refurb job on a used emblem I got off of Ebay. It came out so well I decided to post a thread about it here -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/body-paint-s30/52715-diy-datsun-script-emblem-repair-refurbishment.html#post460651

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    Jeff,

    Your car looks great! I had the same issue with the oil filter on my car, but the filter sat on the car for +20 years from the last oil change in 1989! At first I tried the big screwdriver punched through the filter, but that wasn't enough torque, so I had to use an old metal rod to break it loose. In the end the filter was mangled, but I got it off! :)

    Keep up the good work!

    Robert S.

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    Belated congrats for the new Z. I followed your other thread, and still look at it for my gradual rebuilt rear drivetrain install.

    Question about your 240z tint strip on the windshield. Is it applied to the inside or outside of your windshield? I found a N.O.S. one on eBay a year or two ago, and tried applying it to the inside. Maybe it was because it was a 30 year old piece of film, or my lack of skills, but I failed miserably and gave up. Recently a gentleman told me tint strips are applied to the outside. Figured I'd ask.

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    Back in 1976 mine went on the inside. Now they could go on the outside, I don't know. It would be a pain in the butt to clean the windshield if it was on the outside.

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    The 240-Z strip across the windshield is on the inside. It was put on by the original owner per my conversation with him. The second owner attempted to scrap it off at some point on the passenger side but it appeared to be coming off in little pieces so he gave up. I am honestly not a big fan of it but I am leaving it alone for now and will remove when the windshield is pulled for paint later down the road.

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    With the mornings being a little cooler in the Austin I decided to work on replacing the non-functioning Pioneer 8-track that came in my 240z. I already picked up a replacement heater control panel off of the Datsun Parts for Sale Facebook page. The one in the car was in very sad shape and probably not restore-able.

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    I knew I was in for a treat when I saw pieces of wood holding up the 8-track unit.

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    Based on the helpful how-to threads here on the site I got the panel pulled out to access the wiring. To do so I needed to get to all the control cables which mean getting around the blower motor housing. However with the ARA A/C box in the car this was impossible. Out came the glove box liner that was on its last leg and then the ARA box. It was strange to see a coat hanger snaked around the back of the dash as if it was helping hold up the ARA box.

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    A wiring connections and things to fiddle with and she finally came out.

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    It was at this point I was reminded of how sketchy the wiring is on this car and knew this was the time to address. My car has the typical parking light circuit burn hole which now serves as a routing point for an in-line fused wire that replaces it. In addition a blown fuse has been circumvented with a piece of wire wrapped around it. This entire cluster will be addressed but I am still trying to decide which direction to go. New fuse box from MSA for $200 or possibly put something together myself for less?

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    With the heater panel components disassembled and cleaned using my Shop-Vac with a brush attachment I inspected the control lever assembly. As expected it was dry as a bone and one of the cables on the bottom was distorted while the other was missing entirely. I will be sourcing new cables as these are very rough.

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    Setting the control levers aside and adding to the parts list I took some time to inspect the blower motor. A quick 12 volts to the primary wires proved the motor worked but being 40 years old it drew a lot of amps to run. With everything on the bench now is the time to do the Honda blower motor upgrade. I will be sourcing these parts over the next few days as well as cleaning up the box and giving it some fresh paint. For now, it was nice to get rid of all the nasty oily foam and the expanding foam. Within a few minutes it was much nicer to look at and handle.

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    That is all for now. Time to do some more parts research and shopping!

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