dmuzial

1977 280z Light Restoration Project

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    Hi Guys! 

    New to the site. Just bought a 1977 280z. Its my second Z, but first S30 and I am ecstatic to get started. It seems pretty common place to introduce new projects here so I figured I would drop a note. 

    Current Prognosis: Chassis is in good shape and car both starts and runs pretty well for its age, but definitely needs some dialing in. Going to keep it mostly original and focus on restoring its performance to 1977 spec. 

    • Many of the bushings are original and need to be replaced.
    • Engine ticks pretty loudly until it is fully to temp and likes to hang at 2000rpm on downshifts.
    • There is light surface rust on the rear suspension components, engine sub frame, and a few small body panel issues (picture below) which need some TLC.
    • Car was repainted a decade or so ago and while it looks good from a distance, its very rough up close. 

      A few photos are below, or you can get all the detail from the seller's BaT Post from a few years ago. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1977-datsun-280z-8/

    2019/2020 Projects

    • Fluids Change [Complete]
    • Shifter Bushings [Complete]
    • Brake Master Cylinder Replacement & Bleed [Complete]
    • Vacuum Hose Replacement [In-Process]
    • Powder-coat Suspension Components
    • Bushing Update (Poly Primarily)
    • Oil Pan Seal Replacement
    • Rear Main Seal Replacement
    • Rust Remediation

    Future Projects (WIP)

    • Front/Rear bumper & DIA trim delete and replacement with 240z/260z components
    • Paint respray (Either original silver or the blue/green Datsun paint of same era
    • 5 Speed Transmission?

    fullsizeoutput_335-e1504206107449-940x558.jpegdownload_20190817_114209.jpgdownload_20190817_114400.jpg

    IMG_4478-2.jpg

    Small body rust spot above drivers side door drain

    IMG_3260-1.jpg
    Chassis/Suspension components to be painted or powder coated

    IMG_2561-4-620x465.jpg

    Test 3D print of the car (Still waiting on Silver filament 🙂

    IMG_1468.JPG

     

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    Engine tick is most likely loose valves, easy fix. High hanging rpm is most likely boost controlled deceleration device, easy fix.

    It's late for my old arse but will tell what I know tomorrow.

    Nice car and welcome to our forum. You'll  get all the help you ask for just be patient.

    Cliff

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    Many people prefer new rubber oem bushings where possible. The urethane ones can be overly harsh

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    12 hours ago, siteunseen said:

    Engine tick is most likely loose valves, easy fix. High hanging rpm is most likely boost controlled deceleration device, easy fix.

    Thanks for the warm welcome Cliff! Glad to hear these are relatively easy fixes. Any insights you have on them are welcome! Do you know if there is a inspection list of common issues somewhere on the forum that I should run down while she's put away for winter?

    10 hours ago, Patcon said:

    Many people prefer new rubber oem bushings where possible. The urethane ones can be overly harsh

    That has been a big debate of mine. My friend (~60 y/o man, lifetime track rat) made fun of me for considering rubber bushings, but the car has pretty good road feel already. 

     

     

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    "Track rats" don't car if it's harsh; only how it turns

    For me I went with new rubber because I don't plan on thrashing the car...much :ph34r:

    You could look in the "waking the sleeping beast" thread and see if something stands out to you

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    On 11/7/2019 at 8:45 AM, Patcon said:

    For me I went with new rubber because I don't plan on thrashing the car...much :ph34r:

    Yeah. She has 38k original miles. Might save this one for cruising and turn the next one into a thrasher. Any recommendations for where you got your rubber? I see a lot of kits for Poly, but not many rubber kits. 

    On 11/7/2019 at 8:45 AM, Patcon said:

    You could look in the "waking the sleeping beast" thread and see if something stands out to you

    Good call. Was looking through one of the posts last night and it had some good suggestions. 

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    @dmuzial, congrats on your purchase. Looks like a very stable starting point.

    Check out the 1977 wiring diagram now supported by @EuroDat in the download section.

    It's been through several revisions since posted back in 2004

    Wayne

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    Welcome to the forum. If you need help, this is the place to be.

    I'm with @Patcon on the poly bushing kits. It makes the ride a lot harsher. I can personally vouch for that and still regret changing certain (mustache bar) components. It does handle better, I give it that, but the ride certainly got a lot harder and anything that could rattle did after the swap.

    If you do go poly and the mustache bar bushes are in good condition, my advice; look for another mustache bar to fit the poly bushes. Those original bushes are NLA (no longer available) and if your car has 38k chances are they will still be in good condition. They will be one of those hard to get parts in the future.

    If you want to chance the bumpers, there are some god threads on this site to help you. Plenty of other things to attend to before tackling that.

    Goodluck and enjoy.

     

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    9 hours ago, wal280z said:

    Check out the 1977 wiring diagram now supported by @EuroDat in the download section.

    It's been through several revisions since posted back in 2004

    Wayne

    Btw. Wayne rightfully deserves all the credit for that wiring diagram. I'm just babysitting.

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    @dmuzial, are you Auto70 on BaT?  If so it sounded like you and the seller were pretty close on price, nice to see it end up with someone on this site.

    I'm in the fresh rubber bushing camp as well, the difference between the old rubber and new is quite surprising and firmer than you might think.      You can never post too many pics on this forum, following other members build threads is always pleasure. I just completed a 77/280z project myself  and I'm looking for another one, great cars. You might might find a few 77 specific things of interest here,

     

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    On 11/8/2019 at 5:41 PM, wal280z said:

    Check out the 1977 wiring diagram now supported by @EuroDat in the download section.

    @wal280z Thanks for sharing and thanks @EuroDat for maintaining this for us! Added to my favorites!

    On 11/8/2019 at 5:46 PM, Patcon said:

    Many of the rubber bushings are available new from Nissan. You can find the parts numbers here

    @Patcon thanks! Appreciate it. I have seen Courtesy mentioned a few times before. Is it because they have a big eCommerce presence? 

    On 11/9/2019 at 3:30 AM, EuroDat said:

    If you do go poly and the mustache bar bushes are in good condition, my advice; look for another mustache bar to fit the poly bushes. Those original bushes are NLA (no longer available) and if your car has 38k chances are they will still be in good condition. They will be one of those hard to get parts in the future.

    @EuroDat Thanks for the feedback re: Poly. Will start with Rubber. Can always change up later once I get a chance to see how stiff it is. That rattle is something I am more concerned with knowing the wiring is 43 years old and Chicago's roads aren't known for their smoothness. Thanks for the heads up for the Mustache Bar bushings. Now I know what to scan for when I find parts cars haha. Is there a list somewhere of the NLA parts? 

    On 11/9/2019 at 8:06 AM, grannyknot said:

    @dmuzial, are you Auto70 on BaT? 

    @grannyknot Not the same guy (unfortunately for him). Seller was a nice guy, but he wanted $13,000+ for it originally. The paint is in pretty terrible shape (looks great from far off, but is rough up close) and there are a lot of maintenance things that need done from years of minimal use. Ended up buying it this summer for a little less than the BAT number about 2 years after its original listing. 

    May PM you in a few weeks regarding your experience, but will look through your post first. Excited to see the progress you made. 🙂 

    PS Sorry everyone for all of the call outs, had garage cleaning duty before Chicago's salt makes taking the car out of the garage impossible. 

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    12 minutes ago, dmuzial said:

    @Patcon thanks! Appreciate it. I have seen Courtesy mentioned a few times before. Is it because they have a big eCommerce presence?

     

    Courtesy has a pretty good parts site but the best thing is, they are very supportive of the classic car segment. I like to see that rewarded

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    @dmuzial  I don't see much activity on this thread, so I thought I'd ask where you are in your project. Are you planning? Are you able to work through the winter?

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    On 11/21/2019 at 1:56 PM, DannDZ said:

    @dmuzial  I don't see much activity on this thread, so I thought I'd ask where you are in your project. Are you planning? Are you able to work through the winter?

    @DannDZ Thanks for checking in! Had the in-laws in for the Thanksgiving Holidays, so went dark for the ritualistic "make everything in the house spotless only for guests to trash the place" dance.

    Got the car set up on cribs and jackstands this week, so I am getting ready to go to work. Did a deep inspection. Chassis was in better shape than I expected, which is good. Few metal components which probably will need significant refinish or replacement (see e-brake components below). Going to drop the oil pan next weekend and then clean up around the transmission to see if my oil leak is from the main seal or just the pan. 

    General question (happy to move to a different forum section if better there): found a 280z 5 speed transmission for sale near me for $75. Guy just pulled his 5 speed to replace for the ZX 5 speed. 80k miles. Good working order. Debating picking it up for expressway driving and added value on resale value (I presume). Worth the effort? Pros and cons of 280z 5 speed versus waiting and eventually doing zx 5 speed? 

    Screenshot_20191201-143346.jpg

    IMG_20191130_134334.jpg

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    @dmuzial, Glad you are able to get back to work on it. It's great that the Chicago winter doesn't stop the work.

    Kind of a silly question, but did you glue and screw your stands together? My buddy and I are discussing if we want to make wooden wheel crates for next years work or to just rely on jack stands at the four jack points. A bit off-topic, but I'd like to hear from anyone following this thread.

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    7 hours ago, dmuzial said:

    Worth the effort? Pros and cons of 280z 5 speed versus waiting and eventually doing zx 5 speed? 

    Buy it! Even if it sits in the corner and does nothing you will double or triple your money if you sell it, but more importantly if you don't buy it, it may end up at the metal recyclers and we don't want that.

     

    2 hours ago, DannDZ said:

    A bit off-topic, but I'd like to hear from anyone following this thread.

    There are pros and cons to both, wheel stands put no stress on the springs or rubber isolators at top the strut mounts but you can't work on the brakes because of the tires, Jack stands give you the most room to move a round and access to everything but sometimes old rubber isolators tear away  with the constant weight pulling on them.

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    I agree, get that 5 speed!

    Many of the later zx transmissions are close ratio, which most, including myself, prefer.   A great deal at $75 with no shipping if its local.

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    1 hour ago, grannyknot said:

    There are pros and cons to both. 

    @DannDZ @grannyknot covered it well. I am currently using a mixture of both. Most of the parts I am starting with are chassis, engine, and transmission related so the wheel stands give me a solid structure and great height to work on the car (about 2-4in higher than jack stands based on current config), but it does slightly limit what you can work on and your mobility. I have the back wheels on jack stands so that I can pull off the rear suspension components later this winter.

    The wheel stands are pretty solid construction. I ripped some 2x12s for the boards and used deck screws to connect everything together. I didn't seen any advisory to use glue on any of the templates I looked at. 2 things to think about as you are building.

    1. Measure your jack stand base.  You can make the wheel stand structure so you can put the jack stands on top of the wheel stands for added height.
    2. Consider half fixed, half stack-able wheel stands. You can fix the bottom and then build a few additional tiers that can be added to vary the height where needed. 
      Bonus: I saw a cool design for a bench that uses the wheel stands as the structure. Can't find the template, but its mention at the link here.

    @Patcon , @grannyknot,& @S30Driver any advice on common failure points on these transmissions that I should keep an eye out for? 

    Also, will get you a few better photos tonight, but two questions:

    1. I know almost 0 about HVAC systems and haven't had a chance to look through Haynes. I need to move the HVAC hose circled in red to clean up some surface rust on the frame (currently sitting on the frame, no play). The hose is on the drivers side of the car under the brake master cylinder and runs between the compressor and the firewall. Any idea if this hose is fluid filled and/or the best way to remove?

    IMG_1558.JPG

    2. Will definitely send you a better photo of this tonight, but at the top of my engine bay and along the top of the trunk, there is a dark brown film. It has two layers, one brown (primary), then below it is white (secondard), then below that is the engine bay paint. Was there a protective surface coating on the engine bay that I should be wary of removing? Planning to do a deep clean on the engine bay this winter and wanted to make sure I wasn't removing anything important. 
     IMG_20190905_195518.jpgIMG_20190905_195518_DM.jpg

     

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    I would say that is one of the refrigerant lines to the AC compressor. Has Freon in it. Do not crack it open! Your best bet is to remove any clips if possible to make it looser and work around it.

    As for the engine bay line, I would say that is just grime of some sort. Wash away...

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    1 hour ago, Patcon said:

    As for the engine bay line, I would say that is just grime of some sort. Wash away...

    Trust me, I can't wait. 

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