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

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After all that was done I finished wiring up the new stereo. It is an Alpine CDE-143BT. I had installed a model very similar to this in another car and really liked it. Given all the features it has plus Alpine’s high quality I think it is the best value in car stereos.

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I ran the mic over to the driver side visor. It is just clipped on and nothing was cut or altered to install it.

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For right now I am using 2 Pioneer 6x9’s from a previous stereo installation project. The boxes are from Custom Sounds and ran $30. It is not the highest quality speaker setup but they get the job done for now. Down the road I will install some kick panel speakers and re-locate the rear speakers to they are not so visible.

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That is all for now. Due to my current budget limitations and the peak driving season upon us in Texas I have no more plans at this time. 2015 will be the next time any projects are undertaken on the Z. For now, it’s time to get out and enjoy it.

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Great job on the blower box, isn't that fun connecting up those 4 hard wire/cables?

I've done that job 3 times now and hope I never have to do it again.

You'll like the Honda blower, I found it moved about 2x as much air as the old blower.

Chris

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Bravo man!

 

I have been thinking of doing this mod (blower) myself one day.  Probably when I try to redo the dash..... so many projects.

 

But great work and VERY clear pics...this should be a sticky.

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Thanks for the compliments guys.  It has been good having the car back together.  Now that the weather has turned a little cold down here I am planning to drive the car to lunch today and really test out the heating system.  Hopefully I won't encounter any suprises.

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This is one of my favorite threads that I've found. You are doing an awesome job! Thanks for the great photos and posts - and enjoy the drive!

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Thank you Dtshaw66.  Half of the adventure in owning a vintage car is working on it.  For so much work having already been done to my car there are still numerous little projects to do on it.  Next up is a tranmission drain & fill with some Redline MT90.

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Thank you MotiveAlloy.  I see you are in the Austin area.  I am up north in Pflugerville.  If you need a hand with anything just let me know.

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I have been hammering out some odds and ends on the Z over the past few weekends.  On a recent trip to a local car show a few weeks ago pecan and walnut debris started shooting out of the passenger side fresh air vent.  When I was installing all the new blower motor components I vacuumed the opening out several times but once I reached 70mph it started shooting out.  The image below is probably a familiar site to anyone that has owned a classic automotive that has spent time outside.

 

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[url=http://s87.photobucket.com/user/camaroguy1969/media/1971%20240z/Nov%202014%20Work/Pecans02.jpg.html]Pecans02.jpg

 

I popped off the cowl panel expecting to find more shells and debris but to my surprise everything was now very clean.  I managed to vacuum up a few leaves of other things but that was it.  With the inside vac'd as well I crossed it off the list.  A quick project done!

 

 

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With a beautiful Sunday in front of me last weekend I decided to do a fluid change on the transmission since it had developed a whine going out to the car show a few weeks ago.  I had heard and read lots of good things about Redline’s MT90 transmission fluid so after a few clicks on Amazon I had 3 quarts on my door step within a few days.

 

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In addition I bought a transmission drain plug socket set off of Ebay.  I remembered not being able to get the drain plug off the transmission of my old ’72 lime green/yellow 240z and figured this would help.  Even though a half inch drive kind of fits inside the drain plug, it is not the correct tool and usually just ends up galling the inside of the drain plug.  The CORRECT tool is a 13mm square head socket that you use with a half inch drive ratchet.  Even though I only used one bit out of the set for about 3 minutes, it was worth every penny of its $38 price tag.

 

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I made sure I could remove the fill plug before draining anything.  Once that was confirmed I removed the drain plug.  At first only a teaspoon of fluid came out so I decided to remove the fill plug to give it some air.  Once I did that the fluid stopped.  Perplexed and a little disturbed I put my finger up in the drain hole only to discover the gearbox was empty.  My heart literally stopped.  I was so shaken up by it that I had to walk away from the car for a few minutes and get some water.  As I came back and stared at the drain pan knowing I had driven the car well over 100 miles since buying it, most at highway speed, I knew this could end up very bad.  A quick inspection of the magnet on the drain plug revealed only a little metal fuzz so I was a little hopeful.

 

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I figured at this point my only option is to put the drain plug back in and fill it up.  I have a fluid pump but since I already had some clear tubing I decided to fill it from the engine bay by snaking the tubing up against the transmission.  Ladies and gentleman, this is the way to do it!  It was super easy and quick.

 

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I had my wife keep an eye on the fill hole while I poured the fluid down.  Once it started dripping out I stopped and reinstalled the fill plug.  After some gentle laps around town the whine went away completely except for 5th gear which still has a very subtle whine. I figure once I get some highway time on it this may go away too.  To be on the safe side I may drain and refill it after a couple weeks just to make sure there is nothing is floating around.  All in all I am shocked and feel very lucky.  I dodged a bullet for sure!

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I had lunch the other day with my buddy and fellow Z owner Mike W.  Since the sun was shining and I had nothing else to do I decided to tackle some small stuff on the Z.  After buying the car getting under it I noticed the passenger side steering rack boot/bellow and outer tie rod boot was shot.  I knew exactly the amount of effort this was going to take as I had done it on my old ’72 240z when I had it. 

 

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The passenger side was not in much better shape so both sides needed to be done.

 

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I also remember and still read how the rack boots you buy on Rock Auto and other places that are supposed to be for our cars do not fit properly.  The main problem being the inner side of the boot is too big to fit snuggly on the rack.  Then I came across a post somewhere that an owner used some boots that are for a VW and were made by EMPI part# 88-1509-K.  I found them on Amazon and purchased my Moog outer tie rods there as well since they seem to have the best price.

 

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I started on the passenger side and disassembly is very straight forward.  A few tips and things to remember.

 

Tip 1 - The passenger side threads on normally, aka clockwise aka, righty-tighty, left-loosy.  The driver side is reverse threaded so to remove it you twist the tie rod off in a clock-wise fashion. 

 

Tip 2 - Break the jamb nuts loose first, again following the info in tip #1.

 

Tip 3 - Once you have the new rack boot on take a wire brush and clean the threads of the rack.  This will make installing the new jamb nut and tie rod much easier.

 

Tip 4 – Do not rely on the number of turns of the old tie rod to get you close.  Due to variations in from one manufacturer to another you need to measure from a fixed point to the center of the joint of the tie rod.  In my case this was 23.5cm on each side.

 

The whole job was done with very little drama and only one minor injury, a decent size scrape on the top of my bald head.  Tip 5 – Always wear a hat when working under a car!  With the passenger side tie rod and jamb nut off the rack boot was literally falling apart as I pulled it off. Compared to the new one it looks like a very good match.

 

RackBoots03.jpg

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A quick trial fit of the rack boot revealed that the hole for the threaded portion of the rack to go through was too small.  Using my step drill bit and the molding line around the hole as a guide I enlarged the hole in a matter of minutes.

 

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Sure enough the fit is perfect once installed.  The small hole fits tightly around the threaded end of the rack while the other end fits in the groove of the rack and is secured with an included tie-wrap.

 

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With some anti-seize applied to the threads, a few turns of the tie rod, some tightening with the wrenches, and the passenger side is done.

 

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The driver side was simply a repeat of the passenger side keeping in mind things are reverse threaded on this side.

 

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With the car still on jack stands I wanted to tackle something that has been bothering me for awhile.  When I bought the car it had an Acco over rider bar on it.  I have never been a fan of them and it was interfering with the hood when it was opened so I removed it.  Of course when I did this it revealed the cut away bumper guard strips.  I had managed to track down a new set of bumper guard strips but have been reluctant to install them since the left side has been NLA for quite awhile with no sign of any new ones coming on the market.  

 

Unfortunately the cut down strips look pretty bad and at car shows they really let the car down as a whole.

 

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Enough is enough, I am going to install them.  I got mine from Vintage Rubber and for some reason only the right came in its Nissan package.

 

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Before diving in I wanted to make sure I enough mounting nuts for them in case the originals were too rusty to use.  This brought up an interesting observation.  The left strip uses 10-32 nuts and the right strip uses M5-0.8.  I double checked them with a thread gauge and sure enough they are different.  No big deal in my opinion as no one will see them once installed.

 

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Removing the bumper was no big deal and once on my padded card table I had a chance to give it a good inspection.  Overall the bumper is in really good shape with only some minor breakdown in the chrome finish, a very small ding off to the right, and some black paint over spray on one of the bumper guards.

 

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Using one of the boxes that a tie rod came in, some wood, and a clamp I gently secured it to the table to work on it.

 

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On the inside of the bumper and one of the bumper guards there was some writing and a stamp.  The writing looked like 5 FHC 3 and the stamp is too hard to decipher.  Anyone know what these might mean?

 

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After a few shots of PB blaster the old bumper guard strip nuts came off.  With the bumper on the table I decided to put a little elbow grease in to it using some Mothers Billet polish to try and make the chrome look a little better.  This stuff is a bit expensive but the results never cease to amaze.

 

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I got the new bumper guard strips installed and got the bumper back on the car.  In the grand scheme of things the strips are a small piece but in my opinion they have a very high impact as they help complete the front of the car and give it a correct look.  I know a lot of people don’t like the bumper guards but I have always been a fan of them and glad they are now looking good on my Z.

 

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That is all for now.  With the holidays upon us I don’t see me doing much else to the car.  Depending on how things go I may start looking in to getting it painted in the spring.  For now, I am just happy to have it and enjoy it.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Looking good! You should coat this inside of that bumper with a rust encapsulator of some kind. Keep it looking nice. 

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I hit the inside of our bumpers with Rust-oleum Universal Silver Metallic. It repels water really well and doesn't look that different from the natural color of the inside of the bumpers.

 

post-29719-0-66575900-1417139437_thumb.j

 

BTW, It kind of has a greasy feel so you can spray it directly over bolt threads - nuts will still thread right on. Also if you spray it on thick and you get runs, they pretty much level out and disappear.

 

Oh, and spray it outside away from anything you want to keep clean. This paint throws a LOT of stray metal flake into the air that settles on pretty much everything in your spray vicinity.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the suggestion Hazmatt and Motive.  When I take the bumper off again to have the car painted I will definitely do this.  I kick myself for selling a set of pristine bumpers about 2 months before I found the car.  Oh well, live, learn, and listen to Jay Leno, "never sell anything, ever!"

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It has been awhile since I posted anything about the Z.  The holidays were good and I am now employed again which is even better.  Once the holidays were over I decided to tackle an issue with the driver side brake lights.  I was in no rush as the weather had been crappy until the last few days.  I am happy to report I got the issue solved and you can read all about it in the thread I posted in the Electrical forum ->  http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/50735-turn-signal-switch-spring-ball/?p=462461

 

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Once I got the brake light issue solved I turned my attention to the engine as I had noticed the valve train was a bit noisy.  With the valve cover off and spark plugs out I went about checking the clearances on all the valves.  Blue helped me do this on my old lime green Z so I was familiar with the process.  It is definitely easier with 2 people but I managed just fine by myself.

 

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I was a bit surprised that about half the valves were too tight.  In addition the #4 intake valve may need a new lash pad as the adjuster is bottomed out yet I still could not get my .008 feeler gauge between the cam and rocker arm.  Everything else checked out fine once it was adjusted.  With the engine buttoned back up I instantly noticed it was quieter at idle and ran smoother.  I took it for a shakedown run and when I came back the valve train was a bit noisy-er but not like how it was before I started.  Maybe I got a few valves too loose?  Either way I will be getting back in to it as I need to replace the valve cover gasket, take care of the #4 intake valve, and polish up the valve cover as it could use some attention as well.  That is all for now.  All in all, a good note to the end weekend on.

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I was thinking about valve adjustment and aftermarket / reground camshafts a few weeks ago and your post about adjusting your valves reminded me....

 

I know for certain which cam is in each of the zcars that my dad and I have. Mine all happen to be original so the FSM specs for intake and exhaust valve lash clearance should be followed. Many L series engines though, after 40 years, have been rebuilt using a reground camshaft where the cam card indicates valve lash clearances that differ from the FSM. So, how do the rest of you deal with this if you don't know what cam may be in your engine? Do you measure the lobes to see if they haven't been reground?

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You bring up a good point Jonathan.  The engine was rebuilt under the previous owners care and I still have his contact info.  I will reach out to him to see if he has any specs or documentation about the engine rebuild and cam shaft that was used.

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I'm proud of you son :)

For the #4, it is possible that the valve seat has been hammered upward into the head. This also causes the valve and rocker to rise up and remove all lash gap. I saw it happen on an E31 with bronze seats.

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I'm proud of you son :)

For the #4, it is possible that the valve seat has been hammered upward into the head. This also causes the valve and rocker to rise up and remove all lash gap. I saw it happen on an E31 with bronze seats.

 

I was going to say the same. Measure installed spring height to see if you have a sunken valve.

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Nice work !

 

I had the whine to but in the diff, ended up replacing it, because nobody cared to every check the oil level ( bearings and gear was damaged ). It's quiet ever since. I guess it's not supposed to whine, like some people say if your Z doesn't whine it's not a Z, well that's not true ;)

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