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charliekwin

Project Boondoggle (or, so I went and bought a Z!)

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It's one step forward, two steps back.  Filled up this afternoon and found out that this problem wasn't nearly as fixed as I thought.  I think it's gotta be a problem with the filler hose, though I didn't see anything wrong with it when I inspected it a few months ago.  Adjusting the clamp doesn't make a difference.  The tank holds pressure just fine, it vents out when I take off the fuel cap.  At least the new paint is holding up well....so I guess that's positive.

 

VID_20160229_170930.mp4

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I'll try here before I go starting a "Help Me!" thread...this is what I've noticed since yesterday...

  • Noticed the leak pretty much immediately after filling up.  The leak was as fast and steady as in the video; about 1-2 drops per second.
  • Left it in the parking lot and over the course of about 3 hours, the leak slowed down steadily and eventually stopped.
  • With it no longer leaking, I took it home (a very short drive).  Leak then resumed, which is the video I took.
  • Last time I checked before going to bed, the leak had stopped again.
  • Woke up this morning, leak had started again.

Other things:

  • Tightening or loosening the hose clamp doesn't seem to make a difference.
  • The tank holds air pressure.  It passed smog and vents out when taking the fuel cap off.
  • The filler hose looked to be in good shape when I looked it a few months ago, but maybe I didn't inspect it closely enough

The two possibilities that come to mind:

  1. There's a blockage in the vent system somewhere and increased air pressure in the tank is forcing fuel out through the filler.  If that were the case, though, it doesn't seem like it would stop leaking during a warm afternoon and start again overnight, nor would I be able to pass smog.
  2. There's a pinhole leak in the filler hose that I overlooked.  Though in that case, I'd expect the leak to be relatively steady and not cycle.

I'll swing by the hardware store and pick up a big hose clamp to eliminate that as a variable.  Any other thoughts or suggestions?

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Loosen the cap while it's sitting and see if pressure buildup is part of the problem.  There have been discussions about the tank holding pressure before.  Somewhat inconclusive.  My 76 has zero pressure buildup.  When I remove the cap, nothing happens.  Could be that my check valve is toast, or they changed the valve in later years.  The diagrams show a spring-actuated check valve, but there's no information about the pressure it's designed to release.  It's between the vent tank and the charcoal can.

Since you have a decent view of the leak area you might also jack up the passenger side of the car, creating a new low spot.  If the leak is in the hose, you'll see a trail down the hose from the hole.  If it's at the metal-hose interface you'll only see fuel at the seam.  Use a mirror to get a better view.

That's a lot of gas.

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Mystery solved. Occam strikes again. I pulled the filler house tonight and found a hole. It's in one of the seams, which is why I missed it before and almost overlooked it again this evening.

1053969080f2fc30bc1c40036eb3bbc3.jpg

The hose, of course, is NLA, so it might be a while before I can find a replacement. Until then, I can leave the tank a few gallons short when filling, which is rather crude but gets the job done. Obviously this isn't something to patch over as a permanent solution, but a temporary is better than nothing. Red Seal RTV -- and I've taken so much of that stuff off! -- is the first option that comes to mind. Anyone have better suggestions?

EDIT: serendipitously, a filler hose that I'm mostly sure is the same part was just listed on eBay.  $50 for some hose isn't cheap, but it's (presumably) less than the cost of catching on fire and exploding.

Edited by charliekwin

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Look for a product called "Goop" I believe. If I am remembering right it is what I used to fixed a leaking seam on a fuel tank. Permanent fix and was constantly exposed to fuel. Drove the truck another 10 years or so with the patch...

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I grabbed the eBay hose, and figure I'm paying extra for some peace of mind.

Might be able to make a few bucks back by selling the old one, if I ever find the time to try and sell all the stuff I have laying around the house!

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Filler hose problems aside, in the past two weeks I used an impact wrench, a hammer and some cursing to get all the sensors out of both thermostat housings, and after a bit of refreshing they still look to be in good shape.  Removed a whole bunch of water scale from the 280zx housing and everything's back on the motor.  Nissan switched the locations of the two larger sensors, though, so there's a routing issue I'll have to deal with when I re-flush the system again.  Also, no more garish blue hoses!IMG_4066.thumb.jpg.91a0f92b0884f3b6d8ed4IMG_4081.thumb.jpg.e82f5c984e66f897cfeb7

I can't seem to stop taking on new little projects before finishing the old ones.

Took out the tail lights to clean the rear deck.  Hmm....dirty.  And a bit rusty (I understand how lucky I am that this is -- so far -- the second worst bit of rust I've found on the car).  And then the paint flaked a little bit....and I never liked the body color on those panels anyway....and then a couple hours later....and then a lot of hours later, because some of that paint did not want to come off.  So now it looks like this and I'm trying to decide whether I want to go all the way and paint the panels or just leave them as is.  They do match the state of the rest of the exterior right now :)

IMG_4068.thumb.jpg.f0eb02ce41be26a1558d4IMG_4077.thumb.jpg.3937e9bf5f42aae8611aeIMG_4074.thumb.jpg.dafd318c796b713d9c151IMG_4075.thumb.jpg.b1c4eadb873a935187834IMG_4080.thumb.jpg.c4b37c816d8352aaa6c53

And the Shin Buster Supreme is finally gone.  Not walking into those things ever again.

IMG_4067.thumb.jpg.156ed4c9e83e723adf574

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Pretty slow going over the last few weeks. My youngest is now 14 months and past the age where it's easy to schedule around her, and she's mobile, so if I can't work within line of sight, I don't get anything done!

Anyway, the decision to take on those tail light panels ended up being a bigger deal than I thought.  The left side was easy, the right...not so much.  Apparently after the car had its rear end accident, someone had to re-assemble the tail light surround.  They also did a decent job painting it.  Decent enough that the paint which flaked off easily from the left side had to be blasted off from the right.  I also had to dig out some old body filler to fix some of the contours, but all told, it came out pretty well.  Following along from another thread I found here, I primed, painted with Duplicolor wheel paint and sprayed some matte clear.  It's not quite as dark as I would have liked, but I can live with the results for now.

IMG_4088.jpgIMG_4093.jpgIMG_4094.jpgIMG_4097.jpg

No one bothered to fix the sheet metal after that accident, so I bought a hammer and dolly set from Harbor Freight and gave it a go.  Picked up a spot weld cutter while I was at it and removed that ugly sight shield, too.  Thankfully, it was rust-free under there.

IMG_4086.jpgIMG_4090.jpgIMG_4083.jpg

What else...the tail light gaskets were totally shot.  I bought a sheet of neoprene rubber from eBay thinking it would be a lot squishier than it was.  It wasn't.  I spent a little too long trying to make that stuff work before punting and using the closed-cell foam I had left over from the floors instead.  A few of the bezel screw holes broke after almost 40 years of exposure, so I had to rebuild those with ABS cement.  Everything else got a much-needed cleaning.  Then I remembered I put the license plate light holder in the corner and forgot about it, so it got the same treatment as the panels.

IMG_4098.jpgIMG_4099.jpgIMG_4100.jpgIMG_4102.jpgIMG_4103.jpg

Everything went back together, and I was ready for a Sunday drive, until I found that I have no brake lights, so that's next up.

IMG_4104.jpg

 

 

Edited by charliekwin
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That's some nice stuff there.

My PO painted all that black trim in the rear of my car with a gloss black. It just doesn't look right. It's low priority for me, but one of these days I'd really like to do something about it.

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Great work Charlie!  I love how you refer to the front bumper as the Shin Buster Supreme.  Made my Monday!

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Those bumper supports are the perfect height and shape to inflict an impressive amount of pain.  Only thing worse than running into them was doing it 3 more times!

Cap, I look forward to the day when I can do (or pay for) proper paint and bodywork.  Those tail light panels are now the best-looking thing on the car :mellow:

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On 3/2/2016 at 7:19 PM, charliekwin said:

Mystery solved. Occam strikes again. I pulled the filler house tonight and found a hole. It's in one of the seams, which is why I missed it before and almost overlooked it again this evening.

1053969080f2fc30bc1c40036eb3bbc3.jpg

The hose, of course, is NLA, so it might be a while before I can find a replacement. Until then, I can leave the tank a few gallons short when filling, which is rather crude but gets the job done. Obviously this isn't something to patch over as a permanent solution, but a temporary is better than nothing. Red Seal RTV -- and I've taken so much of that stuff off! -- is the first option that comes to mind. Anyone have better suggestions?

EDIT: serendipitously, a filler hose that I'm mostly sure is the same part was just listed on eBay.  $50 for some hose isn't cheap, but it's (presumably) less than the cost of catching on fire and exploding.

i wonder if a regular rubber tire patch would work?

 

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It might.  I didn't find much definitive about making a fuel-safe patch and since the hose was there on eBay, I ended up buying it.  Having been through the leak problem twice now, it's worth the peace of mind knowing I won't have to do it again.

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My brake lights are back!  The PO had hacked up the hazard switch and jumped two of the wires to make the turn signals work, which I thought might've been the problem.  The one I picked one up on eBay got the hazards working again but still no brake lights, so I started again at the pedal and worked my way through everything...

My son likes to "work" on the car with me, which is cute and I love that he wants to do that.  Usually he'll just grab a wrench or a screwdriver and finds something he can poke at, but lately he's been finding things that interest him and he'll just bury his head into it for 10 or 15 minutes.  The other day it was the kick panels, and I didn't think anything of it.  I pulled the fuse cover and saw the little booger's handiwork:

IMG_20160407_215911.jpg

A couple weeks ago, he forgot that he stored a bunch of tools in the glove compartment, which resulted in a 45 minute hunt for my tape measure.  If he weren't 4 1/2 years old, I'd swear the kid was gaslighting me! :D 

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Haha! Nice.

You really want to pull all the fuses out of that fuseblock anyway and clean up all the electrical contacting surfaces. I'd replace the fuses with new ones as well even if the old ones still conduct. Most of my filaments were saggy. I've been told that in a couple years it will be more than my filaments, but for now, we'll go with that.

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2 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

I've been told that in a couple years it will be more than my filaments, but for now, we'll go with that.

I painted the interior of my Grandparents house about 15 years ago.  After being married 60 years they'd quit closing doors.  One morning I regrettably saw my Grandad's sagging close to his knees, looked like two baseballs inside some pantyhose. :o

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On February 8, 2016 at 11:56 PM, charliekwin said:

 

 

I've heard the expression "Two eggs in a Hanky" to describe the south end view of a north bound female, but baseballs…….That made me pause.  That is a picture that I didn't need painted in my mind.LOL

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1 hour ago, gwri8 said:

 

I've heard the expression "Two eggs in a Hanky" to describe the south end view of a north bound female, but baseballs…….That made me pause.  That is a picture that I didn't need painted in my mind.LOL

During that week of painting I caught him playing grab a** with my sweet Grandmother while she was making the bed. 

I hope I inherited his libido. LOL

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No more putting it off...finally dealing with the interior panels.  I found a leather-textured vinyl made by Hexis that looked promising and ordered two yards of it, which should be enough to do all the interior panels in the rear hatch.  Thinking it would be an easy one (oops...) I started by doing the tail light piece this afternoon.

Step 1: clean.  I gave it a bath with Oxy-Clean and scrubbed with a green scuff pad; followed that with D101 all purpose cleaner, rinsed with water and then wiped with isopropyl alcohol.

Step 2: rewatch the Hexis training videos on YouTube for the third time and convince yourself this'll be a piece of cake.

Step 3: start trying to apply the vinyl and remember that applying this stuff is totally not a piece of cake.  I spent more than 3 hours doing just the tail light panel.  That's all I got done.

Step 4: admire your ...umm...handiwork?  A few pictures before getting in to some details.

IMG_4105.jpgIMG_4106.jpgIMG_4109.jpgIMG_4111.jpgIMG_4114.jpgIMG_4115.jpg

Some takeaways from today's efforts:

Curves are tougher than they look and it does take some time to get a feel for working with the vinyl, but you do get more comfortable with it as you go.   I've wrapped some small interior bits before, but a long time ago and not enough to consider myself experienced.  I picked the tail light panel thinking it would be easy but inadvertently ended up picking probably one of the worst panels to start with.  The curves are deceptively tricky to deal with, and it's also large and awkward.

The convex curves on the outside edges gave me a ton of trouble and I never got them looking especially great.  Unfortunately, the repeated lifting/stretching/heating that I did to get those to look the way they do now seems to also have reduced the effectiveness of the adhesive on sections that were overly-futzed with.  So visible section like this are lifting, because I spent too much time trying to make sections that I now realize can't be seen look good.  Whoops! 

IMG_4112.jpg

That said, the areas where I managed to apply it well came out really well!  I wasn't sure how much I'd like the look or feel, but both are very good and, IMO, appropriate for the car.  Will definitely continue on with the rest of the panels, which hopefully should be a bit easier to deal with.

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That looks great, maybe you can lift that edge and smear a thin layer of adhesive in the curve where it's pulling away?

Did the vinyl as it's shrinking into place pull, bend or warp the panel in away way? This looks really promising, looking forward to the next piece.

Chris

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Well thanks for stopping me before I started. I had been toying with the same idea of covering my interior plastic panels with vinyl, and the troubles you describe have given me second thoughts. It seems you've got way more experience with this sort of work than I have, and if it's giving you  issues, then I can only imagine what would happen if I were to try. It likely wouldn't be pretty at all.

If you come up with an alternative more stretchy forgiving material, or a foolproof "for dummies" method of working with what you purchased, that would be great. But if not... I think I might be shelving this project.

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Summed up, I'd say the results are a 10 of 10.  The look and feel is exactly what I was hoping for.  I'd describe it as a slightly cheaper version of the G37 interior.  The vinyl didn't distort the panel at all, and actually give it more structure so it isn't so flimsy anymore.

My application was more like a 4 out of 10, though.  This part here:

IMG_4112-cut.jpg

I probably lifted, stretched and repositioned it 20+ times, which is tough on the adhesive.  Most of that was just to clean up the far outside curves, which can't even be seen.  The way to wrap complex curves is (somewhat counter-intuitively) to stretch the vinyl around them.  The Hexis material can stretch about 30% before it will lift, so even if I had hit this on the first shot, it probably wouldn't stick.  I should have trimmed along that green line instead.  Depending on how the rest of the panels go and how much I'm bothered by it, I may re-do this panel later.

If you could find an upholstery or wrapping company that would be willing to do the application for you, that might be ideal.  I'm considering that myself for the dashboard.  In any case, it cost $85 shipped for two yards of vinyl and it's totally reversible if you screw it up

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