Jump to content

motorman7

We're bringin' back the Flat Tops!

Recommended Posts

                    Well, the last restoration went so well I think it's time to do another one.  I am actually restoring this '73 240Z for a gentleman up in the Bay Area.  He is the original owner of the Z and a friend of the Orange Z owner whose car I recently completed.  We will  pretty much go through the same process and restore this one to it's original condition including the original flat tops.  Actually the flat tops are one of the first things we discussed on the phone and I was thrilled that he wanted to have those put back on (I would have a hard time restoring a '73 and putting on the round tops). 

 So, attached are some pics of what we have to work with.  I will document things here as the project progresses.

DSCF6400.JPG

DSCF6398.JPG

DSCF6406.JPG

DSCF6409.JPG

DSCF6414.JPG

DSCF6415.JPG

DSCF6418.JPG

DSCF6420.JPG

DSCF6421.JPG

DSCF6422.JPG

DSCF6423.JPG

DSCF6436.JPG

DSCF6427.JPG

DSCF6432.JPG

DSCF6439.JPG

DSCF6440.JPG

DSCF6441.JPG

DSCF6442.JPG

DSCF6447.JPG

DSCF6449.JPG

DSCF6456.JPG

DSCF6459.JPG

DSCF6461.JPG

DSCF6464.JPG

DSCF6467.JPG

DSCF6469.JPG

DSCF6472.JPG

DSCF6474.JPG

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big job, about the only thing you get a free ride on is the shift knob, looking forward to watching the transformation.

Oh just found the close up pic of the shift knob, scratch that.

Edited by grannyknot
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Holy Moly!!

73 skidoo! Whoo Hoo!!

Bring it on Rich!

I'm all eyes and ears on following THIS restoration----I am admittedly biased, but truly do believe that the 73 240z is THE most difficult of the Z cars to restore to originality.

Parts are difficult to find that are specific to them, and they are numerous.

You know, as you've had one in the not so distant past.

Looking forward to some of that "flat top love" that is pretty darn scarce in the Z world.

Let me know if there is any way I can help.

The owner is so lucky to have found and employed you to do it!

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice condition base to start from. Good to see that it still has the original intake manifold and balance tube.

You just need to find someone who knows flat tops. And shift knobs.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments everyone.  It should be a fun build.  The owner will be stopping by on Monday with a number of original parts that he has purchased for the restoration.  I think he said he has an original radio along with the original set of flat tops and a number of other parts.  That will definitely help.  Maybe he even has a shift knob 🙂 .  Will post as things progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, on a semi related note... This is what I was working on today. Maiden voyage after paint up the street and back.

Runs great. Haven't really opened it up yet, but so far, I'm very happy with the results!
P1130597a.JPG

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK you're on! At first glance about 8, but I know how crafty you can be so there may be many more hidden in there.

There's some more of that "flat top" love I'm talkin up. Is this Gary's Z??

Are @motorman7, you and me the only inhabitants of this fourth dimension?? :alien:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, that's Gary's Z. The wheels spun under their own power for the first time in five years yesterday. Up and down his country road a half mile while still missing a lot of the body panels. And you're right... There are changes to those carbs that you can't see in the photo. You and I have discussed most (but not all) of them.

Clock's-a-tickin, but we're still hoping he'll have his car at Zcon. Power to the Flat Tops!     :alien:

Haha! I'll stop the thread jack! All the flat top talk got me worked up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhh...good to see the the car owner here.  @jayhawk stopped by today and dropped off a six pack for me, a six pack of flat tops that is,  See pics below.  Two are the originals and the other four are spares.  I will look into those a bit later.

I began the motor tear-down this evening so that I can pull the motor.  Things went pretty well, so I am hoping to have the motor out this weekend.

It always amazes me what I will find during the tear down.  Some of the amusing finds include the double spring set-up attached to the SU,  missing fast idle linkage,  capped off heater lines,  and unique '73 tubes going to nowhere (pics below).  It's amazing what you can hide behind a large air cleaner and a set of SU's.  Anyway, not a big problem.  We will get these fixed when we get to the assembly portion.  For now, I want to get the motor out and then move to the interior disassembly.

DSCF6486.JPG

DSCF6478.JPG

DSCF6489.JPG

DSCF6490.JPG

DSCF6494.JPG

DSCF6495.JPG

DSCF6496.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jayhawk  Welcome back!

Happy for you for hanging on to your Z--especially an original owner Z!  No shame in it sitting---lots of that happened. Events in life have caused a good many to fall into dis-repair. There's a story to be told in each instance.

I remember your posts from quite a few years ago and realized back then that you had a 73 with flat tops.

I had wondered several times in reading those posts what had happened to you and the Z. You were one of the few that retained the flat tops, although it looks from the photos above as though eventually you swapped to round tops.

You will be thrilled to see your Z returned to former beauty and Rich is certainly the  man for the task at hand.

@motorman7

Creative spring solution for the round tops----spring not long enough---add another!

For me, that's the first time that I have ever seen the original air pump and the air conditioning compressor co-existing on the drivers side of the block. I'll be interested in seeing how those were both mounted.

What is the Vin # and build date of this blue on white Z?

Mine is #167424 fairly late build date of 6/73---wondering how close a sibling this is.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice six-pack.

The best flat top pair to put back on the car might not be the originals. There were a number of revisions of the flat tops between 73 and 74, and if you have different versions, I would absolutely use the later design.

And since a lot of them were upgraded at the dealers in those years due to customer complaints I would contend that the later design should still be considered "stock" even on an early 73 car. Changes described in the 73/74 carb modifications documents and TSBs.  (Ref TS73-38 and TS73-81)

So I'm no carb expert or stock car show judge, but I would not ding a 73 in a stock class even if it had the later version of the flat tops on it. YMMV

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Zup said:

 

For me, that's the first time that I have ever seen the original air pump and the air conditioning compressor co-existing on the drivers side of the block. I'll be interested in seeing how those were both mounted.

What is the Vin # and build date of this blue on white Z?

Mine is #167424 fairly late build date of 6/73---wondering how close a sibling this is.

 

 

The car is actually an early 1973 with a build date of 10/72.  The SN is 125678.  Also, I think  @jayhawk mentioned that he drilled the holes in the firewall for the AC so I am wondering if it is more an aftermarket AC and not a dealer installed AC.  Perhaps he can comment after vacation.  For this restoration, we will be removing the AC.  That makes things a little bit easier.

 

47 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

Nice six-pack.

The best flat top pair to put back on the car might not be the originals. There were a number of revisions of the flat tops between 73 and 74, and if you have different versions, I would absolutely use the later design.

And since a lot of them were upgraded at the dealers in those years due to customer complaints I would contend that the later design should still be considered "stock" even on an early 73 car. Changes described in the 73/74 carb modifications documents and TSBs.  (Ref TS73-38 and TS73-81)

So I'm no carb expert or stock car show judge, but I would not ding a 73 in a stock class even if it had the later version of the flat tops on it. YMMV

I was not aware of the difference in the flat tops from '73 to '74.  I will have to look into that when I start re-assembly.  I will definitely be consulting you and @Zup when I move to the clean and restore phase. Thanks!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is how many judges can tell the difference between early and late model flat tops??? There's Bruce and Jim, any others? LOL

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also what could be considered a middle series if you follow the 73/74 Fuel System Modifications Plus TSB.

It's mostly internal though, so you couldn't tell just by looking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Nice six-pack.

The best flat top pair to put back on the car might not be the originals. There were a number of revisions of the flat tops between 73 and 74, and if you have different versions, I would absolutely use the later design.

And since a lot of them were upgraded at the dealers in those years due to customer complaints I would contend that the later design should still be considered "stock" even on an early 73 car. Changes described in the 73/74 carb modifications documents and TSBs.  (Ref TS73-38 and TS73-81)

So I'm no carb expert or stock car show judge, but I would not ding a 73 in a stock class even if it had the later version of the flat tops on it. YMMV

I think I’d like to use the original carbs if possible.  My goal is to restore it to the way it was when I drove it off the dealer’s lot.  

The only changes I made to the car over the years was to add the aftermarket a/c unit (that I personally installed. Maybe that’s why it never worked very well 😀) , replaced the radio with a Blaupunkt, and the carb “upgrade” (which cost me $554 in 1980 dollars!) The Datsun shops back then made a lot of money off of gullible flattop Z owners like me who bought off on the supposed superiority of the round tops.  For the record, I had never had any vapor lock or other problems with the car, and this was during a time I was driving all over southern California making sales calls.  I just wanted to “improve” my car after listening to a presentation at the Orange County Z club meeting by the mechanic who I then went to for the conversion. Hmmm...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jayhawk said:

I think I’d like to use the original carbs if possible.  My goal is to restore it to the way it was when I drove it off the dealer’s lot.

Understood, and admirable.   :beer: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the radiator and AC evaporator out then started working on the back end.  This actually cleaned up pretty nice, and the bumper and rear end damage do not look too bad.  All the interior panels will need to be replaced though.  They are as fragile as egg shells.  The rear tail lights are in very nice shape.  Here are some pics from the disassembly.

 

DSCF6497.JPG

DSCF6499.JPG

DSCF6502.JPG

DSCF6503.JPG

DSCF6504.JPG

DSCF6505.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rich....You are “the man” when doing a complete restoration the right way. I love seeing these needy Z’s taken down to the bones and brought back to their original beauty. Now that you have a very detailed , “do it the right way” painter, you have the right combination to achieve concours results. With the time and money that you put into your restorations, it just lets you know that when a pristine Z sells at auction for $50,000.00, it’s little more than a “break-even”. I’ll enjoy watching this Z come back to life!

Guy 

Edited by Diseazd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm another fan of the flat tops, have been for years. Hi Jay, we have conversed on these a good few years ago. I never got round to using the flat tops, I sold the project Z I was going to use...

These carbs are well designed, as is the airbox that goes with it. Can't be that hard to use, its only fuel and air! (though the key is careful set-up/adjustment).

I may have an odd NOS for the "1974" version (as this version went on to 1978)..... and found an SU replacement needle part number...

Will be interested how you get on.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some notes about a couple of questions raised in this thread.

1. The A/C unit was an aftermarket kit I installed myself sometime in 1974.  I recall it used a rotary compressor, which I thought would be smoother than the traditional reciprocating piston type.  However it was never very effective and the restoration will not include any A/C.

2. The condition of the interior likely comes from storing it in my side yard for 10+ years after I quit driving it.  It gets hot in the sun here in N. California east of the SF Bay.  Plus it has 188,000 miles on it. It was my daily driver from 1973 to 1988. I did get it back inside the garage in 2005, but the damage was done...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/5/2018 at 5:29 AM, Diseazd said:

...... I love seeing these needy Z’s taken down to the bones and brought back to their original beauty. Now that you have a very detailed , “do it the right way” painter, you have the right combination to achieve concours results. ...

Guy 

Hi Guy, good to hear from you again.  Yes, having a great painter is a huge help.  It is the only way that I will do the cars now.  

 

Got some more parts off of the interior of the car.  Also got the engine harness out and the engine out.  Will take out the trans, diff and brake and fuel lines next.  Also got the wiper arms and wiper motor out.  I am guessing the car was parked somewhere close to a tree at one time.  That Z CSI comes in handy.  If i knew my trees better, I could tell you what kind of tree it was . 🙂

 

DSCF6509.JPG

DSCF6507.JPG

DSCF6512.JPG

DSCF6516.JPG

DSCF6518.JPG

DSCF6519.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spent a little more time removing parts today.  It was pretty dog gone hot here so I opted not to mess with the transmission today.  Instead, I removed the front end bumper assembly and lights.  Also removed some of the brake components in the engine compartment.  I did a quick wipe with de-greaser on the engine bay fenders and they clean up pretty nice.  Will clean up a bit more once I get all of the brake lines out.  Here are the latest pics.

DSCF6520.JPG

DSCF6523.JPG

DSCF6524.JPG

DSCF6525.JPG

DSCF6527.JPG

DSCF6528.JPG

DSCF6530.JPG

DSCF6532.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued the part removal process.  Removed the Transmission and drive shaft.  Also started removing door hardware and windows.  I may be able to get this off to the paint shop by next week.  That would be nice since the paint job is the long pole in the process.  Paint will take about 4-5 months.   Will work on motor re-furb, and undercarriage parts while body is at the body/paint shop.

DSCF6534.JPG

DSCF6535.JPG

DSCF6536.JPG

DSCF6537.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.