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Well, I weigh 172 pounds and started hitting the gym pretty hard recently.

Also, the car can lose more than 30 lbs just by switching to a lithium battery, plus I'll get whatever the difference between a stock radiator and an aluminum one saves me. The one I have is leaking so I'm going high performance on that front.

However, I'm sure the sound deadener I intend to instal will suck up some of that.

Any other quick and easy weight savers out there? CF hood? Plastic gas tank? Nitrogen in the tires? ;)

As far as power is concerned, I saw somewhere on this forum that triple Mikunis supposedly bring an L24 up to 190HP and an L28 up to 200HP. it looked like manufacturer's documentation, so who knows how realistic that is, but if a carb change can do that, then I'm sure the other plans I have can get me over 200 without trouble.

But the above target is a P:W of ~10:1; better than a Porsche 993 or a BMW E45 M3, not that this ratio is everything, but it's fun to think about.

Edited by Matthew

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Okay, I'm back. Sorry for the silence. I got laid off in the middle of August and the car had to go on the back burner for a minute while I figured out a plan for that little issue.

I've done a small amount of work on it since my last post; mostly taking a wire wheel to the floor to see what the story is there, but also pulling the dash.

The dash project was a piece of cake except for one thing. I got a little over zealous with the ratchet and smacked it with the handle while I was pulling the bolts under the windshield. Of course I put two little dents in the dash that are big enough to be a problem but small enough for me to not know what to do about it. I'll see what it looks like after I clean it up, but I have a feeling it's going to need repairing. Major bummer because it was perfect before that.

e91db613638a5a56eab8369c5ced4e7c.jpg2dee26927f1c6d521a03eb6dc478fb3d.jpg

Here's the damage:

1ca8a979e0aef6a80f2bb660d3f92824.jpg

Edited by Matthew

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About an hour. Here are the instructions: http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/5934-removing-dash-and-interior-for-paint/

The only hard part was finding where the heater controls connected on the right side near the firewall and getting a screwdriver in there.

Just be careful with the dash. I didn't realize they are that fragile. :/

/M

Edited by Matthew

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Ignore the dents in the dash and focus on the rest of the car. Pretend the previous owner did it.  :)

wise words.

bigger fish to fry - there's a whole car in front of you!

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About an hour. Here are the instructions: http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/5934-removing-dash-and-interior-for-paint/

The only hard part was finding where the heater controls connected on the right side near the firewall and getting a screwdriver in there.

Just be careful with the dash. I didn't realize they are that fragile. :/

/M

Thanks, I read throught those and they sound pretty complete.  I really thought it would take more than an hour!

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Me too. Most of of the delay for me was going back and rereading the instructions to make sure I wasn't skipping a step.

FYI, you'll need some long socket extensions for the heater and some very short or 90 degree screw drivers to get the heater control wires separated to get the center plastic piece out.

The hardest part is separating the damned plugs on the wiring harnesses.

/M

Edited by Matthew

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Not much to report as I've been spending the week trying to lock down a new job. Here's where I am as of tonight:

6874d9dd82e3e198a372d8b0fe492434.jpg

Took the remaining dash components out, along with the heater and paper trim pieces. I think all that's left is the steering column, paper firewall insulation, pedals, and wiring. That stuff needs to stay in until I pull the suspension and engine, so I'm moving to the back half of the interior after I box all of these parts up.

Also, what's this called? :

e1c6bfdaf506fdc7c476ca973e9f2868.jpg

...

In other news, I'm starting to talk to places about the welding and paint. I have a guy coming in two weeks who is in Boonton, NJ and will give me a quote on fixing the wholes, stripping, epoxy coating, and painting everything. That will dictate a lot of how I move forward (what I do myself and what I farm out).

By the way, he told me definitely not to media blast the car and use aircraft stripper instead. Anyone have experience with this?

/M

Edited by Matthew

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I got a chance to get my head behind the front rims today.

It turns out they are Shelby 14x6 slotted mags. Not sure if I can get the busted hub cover screws out without ruining them, but if I can I will be able to salvage them. I didn't see any real problem spots and I should be able to polish out the intense patina.

I am glad they are at least a name people recognize. Maybe I'll be able to get something for them when I'm ready to replace them.

...

I've been thinking a lot about the drive train, and the one thing I'm 100% solid on is that the #1 upgrade I need to do is a 5 speed. From what I can tell, the model number for the easiest swap is FS5W71B (Long extension housing) and came in these cars:

* Datsun 200SX (S110) with Z20 engine

* Datsun Maxima (810) with LD28 diesel

* Nissan 720 with SD diesel

* Nissan 200SX with CA18ET engine

* Datsun 720 long tail

* 1977-80 Datsun 280Z

* 1979 280ZX (non-Turbo)

* Datsun 810

* Datsun 620

Obviously, there were different ratios depending on the car and year, so I need to match it to the rear end ratio I will end with and figure out what works best with my driving style (aggressive, lead footed, and sharp).

Edited by Matthew

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I have done cars with aircraft stripper and with media blasting. There are problems with both. Media blasting work hardens the metal and does make it thinner as well as leaving a fairly coarse texture. If the blasting guy doesn't know what he is doing he can ruin the car, cut holes in it and oil can the panels. Aircraft stripper works good and will eat anything on the car, paint, filler caulk all of it. I used a twisted wire brush to dig through the softened filler that was on that car. If you messed up and slung the stripper all over you it wasn't long before you realized it. It gets hot quickly on your skin. If the temperatures are hot outside the stripper dries out and quits working. It takes several gallons to do a whole car and it can be difficult to get all the residue out of the cracks and joints. Most good paint shops have it. It is a time consuming process but for a limited budget is effective and the metals is perfect when you wipe the last material off. Also the fumes are very hazardous. respirator is highly advised especially for you and your young family. If I do another car I will use my blasting guy but he is very good and very careful.

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Hmmmm, sounds like having it stripped for me might be the way to go. My garage sits underneath my house and I don't want to fill my kids' rooms with fumes.

Either that or find a spectacular blasting guy.

Thanks for the tips!

/M

Edited by Matthew

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About a third of the way down on page two of this thread, cbuczesk recommended a blasting guy. If he really would do a whole car for $500, that's a good deal. I'm cheap and almost always lean towards DIY, but if my choice was blast it myself or spend hours and hours working with the methylene chloride, I'd spend the five hundred bucks.

 

Ron Coover in Shippensburg is the blaster (717) 532-6540. They also do body and paint. We've used him for smaller things but he has a large building for blasting. I'd guess about $500 to do a car.

 

Chuck

 

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 I've used the methylene chloride strippers in the past. They do work well but the fumes are tough to deal with. On this Z & a few home projects dealing with multiple layers of 70 year old paint, I've been using Citristrip. No fumes. No burned skin. It does take a little longer to work. I generally leave it on for 24 hours and it seems to work as well as the other nasty strippers.

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The last 240z I had stripped cost me like $900. I would do that all day long before I would spend 40 plus hours in paint stripper. I found my blaster by asking at my local automotive paint supply. They gave me a list and I started calling people and seeing where they work. This particular blaster does work for the local Mopar restorer who is doing 6 digit cars. If they trust him with that expensive iron my Z will be ok.

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Pro tip for people thinking about the Subaru diff swap: while the WRX STI didn't always come with one, it looks like the Subaru Forester and maybe the Outback might have used an R180, so that could open up the options. I need to verify this, but there's one on eBay out of a Forester right now. I believe the ratio was 4.44, though.

/M

Edit: the Subaru r180 seems to be limited to turbos and 6-speeds, so that might help with searches.

Edited by Matthew

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I took a break from the interior and pulled some more exterior parts. Nothing major. Yesterday was the 5YO's birthday so not a lot of free time lately.

The rear bumper was sort of a bitch to get off. Looks like it had been tapped or backed into something, because the bracket was bent on the left and the mount point on the left fender is a bit dimpled and the bracket inside the bumper is bent up where it was pushed forward a touch. Nothing I can't bang back into shape in two seconds, but it really drives home how terrible the design for these bumpers is for repairing the car after a collision.

Also pulled the sheet metal that protects the fuel lines behind the right rear tire, which brings up two questions I haven't had a chance to research:

1) is there supposed to be one of these on the left side? I didn't see any holes for one so I assume not.

8f8ed10e17bd9fcd637c4dac6d695afc.jpg

And 2) are these little holes in the fender arch supposed to be there or did some dirtbag put aftermarket mudflaps on my baby?

5af68af003c9afed6456a9506c64b423.jpg

I assume the latter.

/M

Edited by Matthew

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The British car restoration magazine, 'Classics Monthly' did a comparison test of several different paint strippers in 2013.  They found a significant difference in performance (speed) and ease-of-use (incl. fumes) across the products tested.  Also in price.  Some of their notes and tips:

 

  • New UK government environmental regulations forced a change in formulations at some point after 2000.  The banished chemical was a solvent called dichloromethane (DCM).  After the DCM ban, some of the revised stripper products no longer performed as well as they had previously (meaning that some brands may no longer live up to their reputations, while others may no longer deserve a poor reputation).  Not sure whether a similar ban on DCM occurred in the USA.
  • Gels are preferred over liquids because they stick to vertical panels
  • For best results, etch the paint surface with a utility knife or single-side razor blade, creating a 1"-spacing crosshatch pattern
  • Don't let the stripper get into panel gaps or joins.  It's hard to flush out afterwards and can foul up your new paintwork.  The recommendation is to tape off fixed-panel edges and all panel seams and gaps before applying the stripper.
  • After application of the stripper, cover the panel surface with cling wrap (aka food wrap or Saran wrap) to keep the stripper from evaporating
  • The best product tested worked quickly went through several layers of paint with just one application.  A less expensive stripper worked equally well but had to be left overnight to work.
  • The least-effective products worked slowly and require multiple applications
  • A few strippers are -- with care -- safe for use on fibreglass, Most, however, aren't.

In conclusion, using a poor-quality stripper will result in a lot of unnecessary work.  Using a high-quality stripper can be a surprisingly easy process.  Pre-etching the paint with a knife helps a lot.

 

The magazine's test winner was a product called 'Rustins Strypit' (www.rustins.co.uk).  Sells in various-size containers, from 250ml to 4 litres. Due to transportation safety regulations, I'm not sure whether these kinds of products can be shipped from the UK in small or single lots.

Edited by Namerow

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Hmm. Interesting. I'll look into it and see how it is compared to the Citristrip, which I can buy locally at Home Depot when I go get the lumber I need to block the ceiling under my kitchen that my idiot contractor FORGOT to do and has made making nag dinner like getting on a trampoline. Then I get to retile the floor. Fun times with home ownership.

In other news, I am employed again, so I can get back on the car floors project once the savings has been refilled from three months of no deposits. I have a few options lined up now. It's all going to depend on the total cost and the order things need to happen. Quite a few people have offered to do the welding jobs, so I just have to pick one and plan out the schedule.

/M

Edited by Matthew

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Okay, most of what I've been doing this week has been on the house work, so the Z work has been limited to research. Originally I had intended to figure out what I wanted the finished car to have on it and just do the installation of all of that stuff once, but the more I look into it the more I realize that the things I had originally intended to do might make the car no fun on the street, and I really don't intend to ever take it on a track day. I might do some autocross stuff at best.

 

So I am bailing on the majority of the mods until the car is on the road. This should help my budget a bit in the short term, but will probably result in wasting money on fixing up parts that eventually come off in the long term. Whatever.

 

Right now I think I am going to continue to body / paint work (obviously) and keep the original engine and suspension until I find out how I feel about them. I am limiting the immediate mods list to the 5-speed and the Subaru differential (unless I find something else that is better or more cost effective).

 

This should give me a pretty satisfying car. Who knows. Maybe I'll be happy with just that stuff.

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