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280zx 5 speed going into 75 280z


Dave WM

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I have a leaking rear main (I assume, dripping engine oil from the weep hole in the bell housing) and a 5 speed from an 83 that I have been sitting on for over a year. With the long weekend I decided to pull the trigger and get started.

Car is up on 4 12 ton jackstands with 6*6's under the wheels taking some of the weight, and backup floor jacks on the cross member and diff. Little possibility of a failure of all of them, so I feel safe.

1st up was the exhaust and all the heat shielding. the manifold to pipe was already loosened up so that was easy. the heat shield was no issue with a little PB to get things going. the exhaust turned into a bit of a pita, I could not undo the connection to the cat (cali car) and to get the heat shield out of the way I really needed something to give. I ended up undoing the muffler mounts at the rear, and the single bolt at the trans near the middle. with that done I was able to completely drop the entire exhaust. only thing left is a sensor of some kind at a cat bung. this thick wire cable goes up under the passenger seat and terminates into a two conductor plug. Not sure what its for, its on the back side of the cat.

anyway with that moved over I was able to clear the shield. while there I took the time to tighten up the hand brake, just a few turns to take up some slack. I just did now want to forget that, its impossible to get at with the shields in place.

Next the drive shaft to diff bolts. This was interesting I ended up getting a box wrench in behind the sway bar and on the nut side. with the box in place I was able to turn the entire drive shaft in a way that would catch the box wrench on the underside of the car and turn the nut. once loosened this way it was very easy to turn the drive shaft to get the nut at 12 o clock making it easy to remove by fingers only. Marked the drive shaft and diff with some paint to get it back in the same way, pulled it, baggy applied to tail shaft to catch gear lube, and shaft out.

unplugged the reverse light, backed off the speedo drive, loosened the trans mount, put a jack with a 2*6 under the oil pan put a jack under the trans and tested to make sure I could get the big trans mount bolts out (with load off they came out easy).

Called it a day, will disconnect the battery and starter tomorrow and hopefully get the trans out and then the flywheel. I have not bought any clutch parts, I really wanted to look them over esp the flywheel to see if I need new or resurface the old. I am leaning on resurfacing the old, figure its OE and maybe better quality than new stuff on ebay. the Clutch seems fine so I am thinking of just replacing the friction part and the maybe the pilot bush if it seems worn at all.

I hope to get as far as the OE seal in by no later than Sunday, but if not Monday is fine too since I will have to wait for next week to get the flywheel machined.

oh and a new pressure plate, I realize its part of the clamping just like the fly wheel surface.

 

 

Edited by Dave WM
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The box wrench trick works quite well (I have one that is curved) and I leave one rear tire on so I can push it with my foot while laying under the car which rotates the driveshaft and puts enough pressure to loosen the nut. I use the tire when I tighten them as well but this time I put some muscle behind the effort and make two or three quick turns of the tire to ensure those pesky nuts stay on tight.

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good idea on the tire.

I was doing some more reading, I plan to use studs on some of the bolt holes as alignment dowels during the install, get the trans hanging on those and then just wiggle the output spline if needed to slide it home. At least that is how the story goes.

I am also planning to remove the vapor line while I have good access. Will take it out complete to use as a guide for bending up a new one. The old is hopelessly stuffy from rust. Something to work on while I wait for the clutch parts.

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If you need some help next weekend getting it back in let me know. Also do you have an impact wrench? Helps getting the flywheel bolts off. So much easier than busting knuckles!

Also before you pull the trans make sure your drive shaft slides into the ZX 5 speed ok. I'm pretty sure all the yokes are the same, excluding the Borg Warner but just in case. You don't want to go through all that to find you don't have a drive shaft. 

Edited by JSM
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will do the shaft check 1st thing tomorrow, thanks for the tip. I did measure the length, look ok, a little hard to tell for sure since the old one has the dust cover on the tail shaft, but it looks like 30.5 from bell housing to tail shaft end. have the impact driver. I have seen where you leave one nut in until you get something under the flywheel to avoid dropping it. will see how that goes tomorrow as well.

Edited by Dave WM
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The Exedy clutch kit is a $100.  I personally would not go through all that trouble and not replace everything, you know "while I'm there" kinda thing. 

$110, it went up.

https://www.amazon.com/EXEDY-06009-OEM-Replacement-Clutch/dp/B001B5D7TE/ref=au_as_r?_encoding=UTF8&Make=Nissan|67&Model=280Z|874&Year=1975|1975&ie=UTF8&n=15684181&newVehicle=1&s=automotive&vehicleId=1&vehicleType=automotive

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Trans is out, transferring stuff like clutch fork, mount looks iffy so will get a new one, have to see about that exedy looks like a good deal.

My scissor jack setup worked well, I had to take it down it 2 stages since I had the car so high up, the jack did not have enough range. I used to small jack stands to get it down with some spacers on the scissor jack, then removed the spacers reset it and removed the jack stands (front and rear of trans) and lowered it the rest of the way. the inspection plate is covered with what looks like a thick blanket of tar, almost like under coating, from what I can see with the clutch still on. I presume this is engine oil slung around by the backside of the fly wheel. I am capturing video of stages but not the actual process, its hard enough to get it done, adding camera work is out of the question.

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Sounds like you are making good progress. The rear seal is expensive via Nissan. Not sure why, compared to the front crank shaft seal which is about $8. The rear will cost $30 at your local Nissan dealer. Part nr: 12279-2B500.

The size of the rear seal is 80/100x10mm if you want to try aftermarket. Should be about $5 to $10.

 

While you are at it, I would replace the transmission rear oil seal and the selector bushes (pin bushes and ball bush). The seal and bushes will set you back about $22 in total via Nissan.

Change the oil. Most recommend Redline MT-90 gear oil. Suitable for brass synchros.

 

 

Selector bushes and rear transmission oil seal.

https://www.courtesyparts.com/oem-parts/nissan-bushing-lever-32861n4200

https://www.courtesyparts.com/oem-parts/nissan-bushing-32855h1010

https://www.courtesyparts.com/oem-parts/nissan-extension-housing-seal-32136u010a

Note: The 32136-U010a replaces the original oil seal 32136-U0100

 

Word of wisdom when selecting your clutch. Make sure you compare the height with the new with the old. So many people get into trouble with the throwout bearing collar height.

If you do this quick procedure with the old clutch and pressure plate, you will know what to expect with the new old. Sort of a practice run.

If you already removed the pressure plate then keep going and remove the flywheel. Once you have it out, lay the flywheel on a table or bench and assemble the clutch disc and pressure plate. The disc doesn't need to be lined up perfectly, its just to measure the height of the throwout bearing collar.

Position the throwout bearing and collar on the pressure plate and messure the height from the clutch fork contact points to the flywheel surface. It should come to 92mm. The worn clutch disc will make it a little more, but 92 is approximatly where it should be.

Do this same procedure with the new clutch. 30 minutes checking this could save you hours of frustrating re-work.

There are four different throwout bearing collars and a lot of people get them mixed up with the pressure plate. Nearly always requires removing the tranny and fit the correct collar to solve it.

Edited by EuroDat
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I'm using that clutch kit on both of my Zs. The 280 I swapped out the throwout bearing myself. It whines when I'm not depressing the clutch pedal. On the other car I had the bearing pressed on the collar. It's way quieter and i gave the guy $5 or $10 to press it on.

I remember now about those buttons on the friction plate. If there under a certain depth they reccomend replacing. I have a caliper that a small metal scale comes out off for measuring depth.

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11 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

I'm using that clutch kit on both of my Zs. The 280 I swapped out the throwout bearing myself. It whines when I'm not depressing the clutch pedal. On the other car I had the bearing pressed on the collar. It's way quieter and i gave the guy $5 or $10 to press it on.

Siteunseen makes a good point. If you can't find someone to press the bearing onto the collar, you can do it yourself. Just don't put the bearing on the work bench and tap the collar into place with a hammer. The bearing is too soft and you can damage the contact surfaces.

You can use a couple of metal plates or hard wood (4"×2") with a hole drilled through them for a 1/2" bolt. You will need a bolt or threaded bar long enough to go through both pieces of wood the bearing and the collar and some washers and nuts. When you screw it all together, the bolt will squeeze the bearing onto the collar.

To make it go a lot easier, put the collar in the freezer over night. If you are using wood, you will need to freeze the collar. You can also warm the bearing a little in the oven (50 deg C).

I like to clamp the bolt head or about an inch of the threaded bar in a bench vice. Then the washer, block of hard wood, bearing with light oil on the collar surface, throwout collar, hard wood, washer and nut. Screw it down until the bearing bottoms out on the collar.

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had to scrap my nice Nissan seal, I ended up with a makeshift seating tool that ended up pushing it in to far. ended up at autozone got a felpro. was more careful and just used a block of wood tapping around the edges (after greasing up and rotating so as not to fold the lip). I could not resist getting a duralast clutch kit. it was in stock and I was there, so got it. I am sure its not the best but I drive like an old lady so I hopefully it will hold up ok, One of the mount holes was a tiny bit off making getting the bolt started  a problem. I am looking for my rat tail now to fix that.

the old clutch was just about done, the rivits were just barely below the surface, not even a hairs thickness. The rear main was leaking but I don't think it was all that bad, but I really have nothing to go on. will post up vids when done. the dura last has a lot of fingers unlike the exedy, not sure if that is important just a note.

I am going to leave the bearing alone, its quiet and spins smoothly. Besides it prob better than the no name replacement.

I was going to get the flywheel machined, but it looked very good with no scoring or burning, so I just used some 400 or so grit and block sanded it to rough up.

cleaned all with brake cleaner (pressure plate and freshly sanded fly). Reinstalled the fly wheel with some blue locktite and worked up to  100ftlbs in a star pattern.

I had a nice puller for the bronze pilot bush, so used that (very easy) and replaced after freezing and tapping in flush, then set it to the bottom of the bevel with a socket and a few gently taps.

Transferred over the backup light, some wire clamping hardware, and the trans mount to the new trans. chased the starter motor threads, installed the clutch fork and TO bearing and put on a new boot.

As soon as I find that rat tail I will finish up the clutch and then install the trans. I think I can leave  the shifter installed and just snake it up the rubber boot and leather cover. I hope to be on the road COB Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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yepper 1st thing I did when I got the trans. I had a 3.7 cog in it, popped for a 3.54 which is what I have.

Clutch is in, got the old shifter out by just removing the knob and dropping it out, put the gator on the replacement trans, all set for a big day tomorrow.

I still think I have a good shot at just leaving the shifter on and reversing the process.

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Trans is in, starter and speedo hooked up, rev light hooked up. Still to go the shifter, pretty sure I can engage it from above so as not to pull the center console.

Lessons learned..

  1. Spend the 80$ at harbor freight for the trans scissor jack, made all the diff. I struggled for 2 hrs with my home made scissor contraption.
  2. buy some long bolts 10mm 1.5 cut off the heads and use them as alignment tools. I had on the top and one on the side.
  3. use those to put in the starter too.

it prob took me 20min start to finish getting the trans to engage with the above setup.

 

 

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"So let it be written so let it be done" Ramses II

the exhaust is in, just have to button up the cat heat shield, take care of the vapor line, and apply some of that rust encapsulator product on some of the surface rust noted on the bottom. will finish off with some under coat where it has flaked off. I noticed the clutch has a very light spring pressure, not sure if its less that what was there, just that I noticed it so prob is less, great for those 98 lb weaklings that get sand kicked in there faces at the beach (oh that does not happen anymore due to anti bullying these days, never mind).

Edited by Dave WM
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Test drive went great. clutch engages much sooner but still fully disengages for easy shifting. Its been a while since I had a MT car, perhaps this is normal (as clutch wears full engagement takes place later, seems like that would follow).

The clutch action is very smooth, noticeable improvement. Speedo works but have not confirmed, but should be correct. Rev-3rd work smooth, could not get out of the block to try any higher gears, had to call of car work for work work and hurricane prep. Full testing will be done prob next week when I have some time to take it out on the freeway.

over all a big plus :)

 

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The range of engagement is partially a function of the marcel spring.  The wavy one between the friction surfaces.  It compresses, but allows early contact of the surfaces.  Some interesting technology in those simple looking parts.

http://www.motoiq.com/MagazineArticles/ID/1429/Clutch-Technology-Part-3-Clutch-Disc-Construction.aspx

Good luck with the 'cane.  Florida's just a big sand spit though, so should drain pretty quickly.

Edited by Zed Head
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well this sux, my second test drive I noticed a lot of gravely sounds, like bearing issues. I did NOT rebuild the trans just new seals, penny wise pound foolish. I don't know why I did not notice on the 1s test drive, prob the excitement of getting it done must have dulled my perception.

So will have to commit to another long weekend to pull the trans and put the 4speed back in. At least I will not have to fool with the Clutch. You can feel the grinding noises thru the shifter, no noise in neutral, my guess is a bad bearing. The 4 speed was dead quiet.

Not a total waste, I got good at the process, and had to replace the clutch and rear main anyway (leak).

 

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