inline6

Restoration of BringaTrailer 240z - HLS30-35883

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    On 11/22/2019 at 8:52 AM, Patcon said:

    That's a nice rotisserie!

    Thanks.  Many people make their own and I looked at a bunch of videos on Youtube of their modded engine stand, as well as custom creations.  I looked on craigslist on and off for about 8 months without luck before finally taking the plunge, spending what many would call a lot of money on this one.  I justified it by telling myself I have three cars that will go on it, and I can sell it for a good bit when I am done.  In case anyone is curious about the model, it is an Autotwirler Pro.

     

    On 11/22/2019 at 9:05 AM, wheee! said:

    I say just clearcoat it as is. Doesn’t get much better than that.

    I am very happy with the condition of the body as I found it under the paint.  There were many small dents and the minor damage to the rear end, but thankfully, nothing surprising.  I am at that stage of body work where I am epoxy priming, applying and sanding plastic filler, and will be appying high build primer shortly.  Not much bondo is going on the car.  Mainly, it is taking a small amount along the belt line... just below the body line that runs down the sides of the car.  It received lots of door ding hits along the side of the car over the years it was on the road.  

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    The Auto Twirler is a nice unit!

    I really believe if we had a brand new Datsun right off the factory line, it would still have a decent amount of filler on it. I don't believe these cars were that perfect rolling off the line. I think they are much straighter and flatter after a quality repaint than they ever were factory fresh

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    Speaking of the cars not being perfect off the assembly line, I have a bit of a dilemma.  It seems that as it came from the factory, this car has a less than perfect fit where the right rear quarter panel over laps the rocker.  I'm kind of inclined to go at this corner and make it right, which would entail dissecting at the spot welds and some miner reshaping.  

     Here are some pictures of how it looks from the factory:

    IMG_20191123_134046.jpg  IMG_20191123_134148.jpg  IMG_20191123_134207.jpg

    Note the middle picture here, where the floor panel is supposed to meet up with the panel that makes the tool door compartment. The attempted spot weld couldn't pinch the parts together because the tool door compartment panel was misaligned at the bottom edge.  In the third picture here, you can see that a factory worker appears to have used a MIG welder to fill in a bead in the crevasse. 

    IMG_20191123_134223.jpg  IMG_20191123_134250.jpg  IMG_20191123_134312.jpg

     

    Note gap caused by poor fitment.  From the factory there was a bunch of seem sealer in the hole (first pic).  Middle pic shows the jack point of the rocker.  It is not flat as it should be for proper jack fitment.  

    IMG_20191123_134325.jpg  IMG_20191123_134540.jpg  IMG_20191123_134654.jpg

    IMG_20191123_134747.jpg

    Seems a shame to leave it like this, but I will have to drill out spot welds and it won't look factory any more.  

    Edited by inline6

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    I think I would rework work that so the rocker line was straight all the way down. Loss of spots welds or no

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    On 11/23/2019 at 6:16 PM, Patcon said:

    I think I would rework work that so the rocker line was straight all the way down. Loss of spots welds or no

    Yeah, I am trying to do a high quality restoration (as best I can) and leaving that the way it is would bug me.  Going to be a bit of a project.  Maybe I will consider buying a spot welder like the Quick Spot II!

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    Next up to share is a repair to the A pillar where it attaches to the unibody.  Evidently there was some flexing going on here at some point.  Looking at the unwelded seam (inside edge of the corner), it seems obvious why this happened.  Pics show that aligns with the crack in the lead body filler:

    IMG_20191124_120607.jpg  IMG_20191124_120855.jpg  IMG_20191124_120911.jpg

    Also, note the indentation/impression made by the back edge of the fender.  Is that how it came from the factory, or is that unusual.  The driver side fender did have slight accident damage just behind the wheel well opening, above the body line.  Maybe a slight side impact there caused the back edge of the fender to bump the lead?

    I used a propane torch to heat the old lead and watch it run off onto the floor.  Then I used a blue stripping wheel to clean up the surface of the metal, followed by liberal use of the torch and compressed air to blow the old lead out of the crevices... followed by use of a stainless wire brush.   

    IMG_20191124_122432.jpg  IMG_20191124_122455.jpg  IMG_20191124_125200.jpg

    IMG_20191124_125213.jpg  IMG_20191124_125225.jpg  IMG_20191124_125248.jpg

    Given the lack of welds here, I strategically set a couple of tacks and a bead with my MIG welder for good measure and ground the ones in the inside corner down flush:

    IMG_20191124_130007.jpg  IMG_20191124_130941.jpg  IMG_20191124_130955.jpg

     

    Next came the tinning.  I watched a Youtube video to get a reminder of how to tin.  An Eastwood lead kit from my restoration of my other Z back in 1993 was put back into action.  The tinning "butter" did pretty well considering it was 26 years old.  At least, I think it did...

    IMG_20191124_152710.jpg  IMG_20191124_152721.jpg  IMG_20191124_152731.jpg

     

    I neutralized the acid with some water and baking soda mixed together.  Then went over the area with a wire brush.  Next came the lead filler.  Again, I used a standard propane torch:

    IMG_20191124_162438.jpg  IMG_20191124_162444.jpg  IMG_20191124_162449.jpg

     

    I think it came out pretty well.  Next, I started shaping with a file as well as a die grinder:

    IMG_20191124_173102.jpg  IMG_20191124_173045.jpg  IMG_20191124_173057.jpg

    More filing and some sanding with a DA and 80 grit.  Looking closely at the passenger side (3rd pic), I see that the body line is altered before it meets the back edge of the fender.  I will replicate for the driver's side.

    IMG_20191125_212452.jpg  IMG_20191125_212722.jpg  IMG_20191125_212800.jpg

     

     

      

    Edited by inline6
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    Bought a couple of toys to use on the restoration... and other car projects!

     Tig welder:

    IMG_20191203_194226.jpg

    Spot welder:

    IMG_20191203_194018.jpg

     

    usaweld.com is running a promo right now.  The spot welder counted as qualifying products for discount ($300 off), and I got free shipping.  The tig welder that I got is the 220 volt version and not water cooled.  Should be a lot of fun to learn how to use it well.  I've got an aluminum radiator for my other Z (highly modified) that needs some brackets welded onto it and some other welding jobs in line for that car as well.  

    I'm also interested to see how well the spot welder does on the rocker panel repair for the restoration Z.

     

    Edited by inline6
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    12 hours ago, inline6 said:

    I'm also interested to see how well the spot welder does on the rocker panel repair for the restoration Z.

    A lot of us are also interested whether this type of 'non-industrial' grade spot welder can deliver a decent result for joining a pair of light-gauge panels.  Perhaps when you take delivery, you can take it for a test run with some 20 and 18-gauge scrap and post some pix of your results.

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    On 12/4/2019 at 8:13 AM, Namerow said:

    A lot of us are also interested whether this type of 'non-industrial' grade spot welder can deliver a decent result for joining a pair of light-gauge panels.  Perhaps when you take delivery, you can take it for a test run with some 20 and 18-gauge scrap and post some pix of your results.

    Sure.  I've got to sort out the electrical hook up for it and the Tig welder in the garage, so it may take a week or so.  I will do a separate thread when I do the testing.  I will cover the job in detail in the build thread later as well.  

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    Got the spot welder working today.  I will post some pics soon.  In the meantime, thought I would change gears and put some engine related content the build thread.  After the leak down and compression tests were complete, I started disassembly of the engine.  Here is a 1 minute long video of the crankshaft condition before removing from the block showing the condition of the rod journals.  The engine most likely has 130k miles on it, if I recall the odometer value correctly (and if the odometer hasn't spun over twice!).  Also, I took another video showing the crank rotating in the block before removal.  Always nice when the crank rotates this freely, an indication that the block is as straight as it was when it left the factory.  

    The cam rotated very easily in the cylinder head also indicating the head is straight, not warped or bowed.  

    The block was dropped off at Will's Auto Machine Shop, Inc in Chamblee, GA. They've done a lot of Z car stuff over the years and know there way around the L-series.  I dropped off the .030" oversize ITM pistons, the crank and rods.  They bored the block and honed for the pistons, polished the crank, (still standard on rods and mains), cut the deck to clean things up, installed the pistons in the rods, and sized the piston rings.  Here are some pics of the block.  I used the sand blaster to get in between the bores and clean out loose rust and corrosion.  There was a substantial amount of sediment in the block when I first took it apart.  I suspect the previous owners didn't protect the cooling system as well as they could have with the appropriate amount of anti-freeze.  

    IMG_20190314_210040.jpg  IMG_20190314_210059.jpg  IMG_20190314_211922.jpg

    I cleaned the inside of the block with a brass wire brush (after the hot tanking done by Will's Auto Machine)

    IMG_20190330_163026.jpg  IMG_20190330_163037.jpg

     

    Here is the prepped crank and one of the piston and rod assemblies:

    IMG_20190406_161941.jpg  IMG_20190406_161857.jpg  IMG_20190412_183019.jpg

     

    Edited by inline6
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    Next step on the engine block was to install the freeze plugs.  I know some people paint the block first, but I wanted to do this like the factory.  I do draw the line at fully assembling the engine and then spraying the blue/turquoise/green color with over spray landing on the head and oil pan though!   For paint match, a few parts on the engine still had original paint.  For example, the upper alternator bracket still had original paint on it.  I was able to get that scanned at my local paint supplier and have them mix up some Nason enamel.  Here are a few pics with the newly mixed up paint dabbed onto the part.  I let the paint dry before taking the pics:

    IMG_20190121_143721.jpg  IMG_20190121_143745.jpg  IMG_20190121_143814.jpg

    I think it is a pretty good match, as I find it hard to see in the pics.  I put it on the flat portion of the arm just below the bolt hole.  You can see the raised up area in the third pic pretty well.

    Next, I masked up the blocks upper, front, and lower surfaces, and the oil filter location:

    IMG_20190317_162559.jpg

     

    After painting and letting it dry, I started assembly of the short block:

    IMG_20190406_151234.jpg  IMG_20190406_154813.jpg  IMG_20190412_183113.jpg 

    After the crankshaft was installed, I put the rings on the pistons, and put the piston and rod assemblies in the block (Front and back of piston showing ring groove orientation):

    IMG_20190413_163830.jpg  IMG_20190413_163847.jpg

    I used high quality masking tape to protect the pistons during ring installation.  I had to be careful, as I do not own a ring expander.

    IMG_20190406_213617.jpg  IMG_20190412_185837.jpg  IMG_20190413_164305.jpg

     

    With the amount that was removed from the top deck, I was sure to measure the amount that the .030" ITM pistons extend up out of the deck.  The reading is .025".  This means gasket selection will likely need some special consideration.  Instead of stock, I think I will need to go with a Cometic MLS... probably from Whitehead Performance as they have a listing of many sizes that I haven't seen elsewhere.  

    IMG_20190412_183058.jpg  IMG_20190420_163437.jpg  IMG_20190420_163518.jpg

     

     

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    Have you looked at Summit Racing or Jegs?

    If Whitehead can get them, then they are available somewhere else. Even to just verify pricing

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    2 hours ago, 240260280 said:

    You will have a squish of 0.5 mm which is OK.

    Do you mean with the stock head gasket?  That is about .019" piston to head clearance.  That will work? 

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    If you have .026 piston pop out and you use a stock Felpro gasket which is .049 , that gives you .023 . That would be a good number !

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    The flat top pistons for the F54/P79 system stick up a half millimeter (,020 in) out of the block above the deck.

    I measured the thickness of a used factory gasket for that combo to be about 1.2 mm (.047 in), I don't know if the earlier years head gaskets are thicker, but for the later years, it seemed to work fine.

    P1150463.JPG

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    Thanks for the info.  Got me looking again at this today.  After looking around for information about stock head gasket thickness, I am still not sure I can know with certainty which of the available gaskets will work.  In this case, I am focusing only on those head gaskets for a 2.4 L engine.  I have a Fel-Pro on hand which came in an engine gasket kit with the car.  I measured it a .045" thick for the most part, but at .052 across the fire rings.  I am unsure if that gasket compresses when installed - perhaps it compresses at the fire rings only... It appears to be made out of a very hard substance as opposed to the OEM stock gaskets, which appear to have a soft coating which can compress.  .045" would be a problem with .025" piston pop up, at least as I understand it.  Minimum piston to head guidance I have seen before is .022".

    There are a few different part numbers for OEM 2.4L head gaskets, but availability (right now) looks pretty sketch.  11044-27L01 appears to be discontinued.  There is one on ebay right now.  And you might be able to source this gasket from overseas.  It was apparently replaced by 11044-27LX1 which I just bought on ebay.  It shows 1.42 mm for thickness, but who knows how accurate that is.  And I expect this one will compress with installation.  How much, I am not sure, but from looking around online today, I found people indicating .12 mm to .15 mm compression after installation of stock gaskets, which is 5 to 6 thou.  I figure the gasket I just bought has a chance to work for me if the 1.42 mm  and .15 mm is accurate.  That puts the gasket at .050" compressed (again, in theory), which would give me .025" piston to head clearance.  I think I will have silly putty on hand to check head to piston as well as valve to piston clearances.  

      

    Edited by inline6

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    2 hours ago, 240260280 said:

    1.2mm seems to be average with 1.14mm being minimum.

    Do you know if those dimensions were taken before installation or are they for used gaskets? 

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    I got the head gasket - 11044-27LX1.  I measured it in several places and it is mostly .057 to .058".  I found one spot in the gasket only area that was .056".  Across firing rings bridging 2 cylinders (measured between several sets of cylinders), I get about .059".  1.42 mm thickness was claimed in the eBay listing, and that is close to .056".  So, if this gasket doesn't compress more than .009" upon installation...  (.056" minus .025" (pop up) = .031", minus .022" (min. piston to head) = .009" allowable crush) then this should work.

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    FYI- my last engine I was shooting for .021 clearance . I based everything on the Felpro to compress to .049 or 1.25mm . 

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    Work to straighten out the misaligned rocker panel (at the factory) has begun.  In addition to the problem I already showed pictures of, the top of the rocker panel had some misalignment as well.  The outer panel was noticeably low along the top edge, but only for the center portion of the rocker panel.  This caused a dip in the top surface that the aluminum threshold goes over top of:

    IMG_20200105_131923.jpg  IMG_20200105_131748.jpg  IMG_20200105_131756.jpg

    You can even see where the spot welder completely missed in attempting to join the inner and outer panels.  Seems the workers at the factory had to adjust the welder downward to hit the outer panel, and even then, they could only pick up the top edge.

    IMG_20200105_131818.jpg  IMG_20200105_131826.jpg

     

    I didn't show how I corrected it, but I just drilled out the spot welds, then used the stud welder to put some pins on the weld flange, and then used a crow bar and piece of plate to protect the top surface of the rocker, while prying up on the pins.  This allowed me to put enough lifting force on the weld flange to raise the low area of the rocker.  I then welded, with my Mig, the holes left from cutting out the factory spot welds, and ground everything flat again with the surface of the outer panel's weld flange: 

    IMG_20200106_221354.jpg  IMG_20200106_221404.jpg

    IMG_20200106_221413.jpg  IMG_20200106_221431.jpg

     

    It's not perfect, but it is much better.  Metal work like this is a big time suck.  Lots of tedious grinding of welds.  I finished them off with my hand held belt sander.  I hope to experiment with the spot welder I bought on this flange, but the electrodes may be too large in diameter to align well on this flange.  We'll see.

    Next up was the part where the quarter panel folds over the rocker at the back.

    IMG_20200104_135106.jpg  IMG_20200104_135851.jpg

    Interesting to see what is inside.

    IMG_20200104_145005.jpg  IMG_20200104_144950.jpg

    After a light dressing with wire brush... and the outer panel piece receiving some attention in the glass bead cabinet:

    IMG_20200104_151030.jpg  IMG_20200104_151047.jpg

    The sandblaster was again employed to remove corrosion and get to nice metal.  Got several pictures while this area was seeing the light of day:

    IMG_20200105_115630.jpg  IMG_20200105_115650.jpg

    Close ups showing pitting (light pitting, in my opinion):

    IMG_20200105_115705.jpg  IMG_20200105_115718.jpg

    My first 240z was missing the entire dog leg corner (inner and outer).  So nice to see this area in such nice condition.  

    IMG_20200105_115727.jpg  IMG_20200105_115802.jpg

    Pic showing up inside (bare metal from the factory and the seam sealer they used in the wheel arch).  A few more minutes in the glass bead cabinet with the panel.  The dark corner (upper left in pic) was pitted too much, so I made a section to replace that.

    IMG_20200105_115835.jpg  IMG_20200105_122620.jpg

    Taping for application of weld thru primer.  I've never used it before.  It is kind of transparent (has been applied in second pic):

    IMG_20200105_125630.jpg  IMG_20200105_130933.jpg

    Tape removed and outer panel tacking in progress with new fabricated piece also (bottom left)

    IMG_20200105_131024.jpg  IMG_20200106_221146.jpg

    As the welding occurs, the panel wants to move around.  I used the stud welder to yank on low areas, trying to keep alignment as best as I can as welding continues:

    IMG_20200106_221139.jpg  IMG_20200106_221208.jpg

    Alignment is not bad.  Lots of time involved with keeping alignment, tacking, and eventually grinding.  I easily have more than 30 hours of time with fixing the rocker and removing and reapplying this panel.  The end result of the main effort, to straighten the bottom of the rocker panel/quarter panel along the bottom of the car is "better".  Sometimes I can't get things good enough to my liking. 

    IMG_20200106_221229.jpg  IMG_20200111_150711.jpg

     

    I've ground the welds in the last picture down and filled small voids etc.  More pics will follow, but it's time to get out there and work on the car again.  🙂 

     

    Edited by inline6
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