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1977 280z Light Restoration Project


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The plug, if it has the inverted square drive is a solid piece. So you can't snap it like a bolt. Now if the square drive doesn't fit close enough then you might could strip it but I doubt it. The cover I was working on was loose and I couldn't hold it still enough for a breaker bar. I resorted to the impact and it came right out. No problem

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Thanks guys! Ended up settling on the propane rather than Mapp because the wife can also use it for some kind of cooking activity she wants to try (Yay sweets + brownie points) and I am terrified of warping the aluminum lol. 

Going to be a little quiet on this thread for the next week as I am visiting the in-laws for the holidays. But I will post pictures of the transmission and differential clean up when I am back. Have 3 days slotted out to get dirty before the new year. 

In the meantime, I leave you guys with my next challenge. Need to start paint touch up and light rust removal. I have two spots under the door trim (pictured below) and a little rust inside the fuel door. I have never done any body work before, are there any good tutorials on this site that walk through best practices of body rust removal and paint matching? The paint was updated 10 years ago and while it's similar to the original silver paint, its slightly warmer (less blue). Trying to reach out to the original owner (Jason from Delaware, OH if he is on the forum) to see if he knows what paint they used. Touch up does not need to be perfect, but would love it not to be immediately noticeable. The car will eventually get a full repaint, but probably not next year so I want to get ahead of any rust spreading in the meantime. 

Happy Holidays Everyone! 

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1 hour ago, dmuzial said:

Thanks guys! Ended up settling on the propane rather than Mapp because the wife can also use it for some kind of cooking activity she wants to try (Yay sweets + brownie points) and I am terrified of warping the aluminum lol. 

So it's not out yet?  One way to make sure you use minimum heat is to put force on it while you do the heating.  It will let go when you just hit the right amount of heat.

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The rust below the window trim actually starts up under the window trim. It then travels down lifting the paint as it goes. You really need to remove the window trim and sand down the rusty area as far as you can. Neutralize the rust then use a little primer, then touch up paint

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16 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

So it's not out yet?  One way to make sure you use minimum heat is to put force on it while you do the heating.  It will let go when you just hit the right amount of heat.

@Zed Head Not out yet. Wife is a nervous traveler so I was getting ready for the flight and closing up the house. Thanks for the suggestion. Will give it a spin when I get home

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50 minutes ago, Patcon said:

The rust below the window trim actually starts up under the window trim. It then travels down lifting the paint as it goes. You really need to remove the window trim and sand down the rusty area as far as you can. Neutralize the rust then use a little primer, then touch up paint

Yikes. Was worried that was the case. How hard is the trim to take out? 

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42 minutes ago, dmuzial said:

Yikes. Was worried that was the case. How hard is the trim to take out? 

In theory, not very hard. They snap off the metal seam at the top edge of the door. some plastic pry bars can help. Just be careful not to warp it when you pull it off.

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On 12/20/2019 at 8:09 PM, Patcon said:

In theory, not very hard. They snap off the metal seam at the top edge of the door. some plastic pry bars can help. Just be careful not to warp it when you pull it off.

Does the trim itself provide the pressure? Or is there a secondary like small (breakable) clips or adhesive? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I am back! And it has been a productive last couple of days. Propane torch and the jack worked great to break it loose and I was able to drain the differential of oil. I have now dropped the differential, mustache bar, cross members, drive shafts and a few other miscellaneous parts and pieces for clean up and powder coat prep.

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Few questions:

1. Is the propeller shaft different from the 4 speed to the 5 speed on the 77/78 280z? Saw a note of this on the Haynes manual related to 240z and 260z, but wanted to verify it was the same for 280zs as I was under the impression that the 5 speed was only an over drive gear. 

2. I am new to restoration, is there anything I should be looking for or reconditioning on these drive shafts while they are out? (rubber, seals, grease points) and is there anything I should be wary of damaging when cleaning them up? 

3. Is there a way to cap steel brake lines at the hub? Want to refinish the hubs, but trying to minimize how much brake fluid I waste as I just replaced it a few months ago. 

4. How much play is considered acceptable for the input shaft from the transmission from the engine? See video below. It looks like there is roughly 1-2 mils if movement. 

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For #1 ...  the driveshaft length with yours should be fine.

For #2 ...  in the spirit of "light restoration" examine the u joints for play carefully, replace if any is detected, not costly and easy to do yourself.  If you put in greaseable joints, be sure to orient the joint so that when the half shaft rotates to give you access the the zerk fitting, it is accessible.

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3 hours ago, siteunseen said:

Get a new tail shaft seal I thinks it's called.  I used one of those rubber end caps, 2" I think" on my trans end to keep it from spilling out.  T

Dang it man, where where you 2 days ago before I dumped Dino oil all over my floor. :p I had the same issue roading the 5 speed back from Detroit. The thing rolled over and dumped all over the back of my company truck. Luckily it was in a garbage bag, so it just smelled terrible but didn't hit the carpet. 

2 hours ago, S30Driver said:

For #1 ...  the driveshaft length with yours should be fine.

For #2 ...  in the spirit of "light restoration" examine the u joints for play carefully, replace if any is detected, not costly and easy to do yourself.  If you put in greaseable joints, be sure to orient the joint so that when the half shaft rotates to give you access the the zerk fitting, it is accessible.

For #1, that is amazing to hear, was worried 

For #2, will do. Probably way easier while it is out. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hey guys, 

Sorry for the delay in posting. Was heads down with all of the cleaning and powdercoating required to have the car ready to drive in April when my antique license plates come back into effect.

Progress Report

Rear of car has been completely disassembled

All of the small frame pieces have been cleaned and powder coated. 

Prop shaft, drivers side rear hub and components are prepped and ready for paint when it warms up here

Disassembling passenger side hub this week so I can prep it and the half-shafts

Broke one of the bolts in the cross-member that connects the control arms, so I have to have someone tap it and reweld it which sucks. But lesson learned about heat over strength lol. Only bolt have broken thus far, so I feel good about it. 

General note: One thing that I found super cool. The prop shaft u-joints had a bunch of surface rust, but when they came out of the sand booth, all of the original factory text was visible. Picture below, super neat to seen. Was amazed how many factory paint markings from assembly were still visible under the undercoating layer. 

More to come soon! 

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  • 2 months later...

I have hopes of one day being as active of a poster as @wheee! and his amazing build. In the meantime, progressing slowly here in Chicago. Weather has finally got nice enough that I can start painting the rear suspension components. I had to switch from power coating to POR15 + top coat as the garage I normally work out of is closed due to COVID. The finish is turning out really well though, was pleasantly surprised. First coat pictured below, forgot to get a photo of the second coat before storing. Excited to be seeing progress though. Aiming for end of May to have everything back together. 

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Also, realized that my rear shocks are blown while I was disassembling, so I am investigating replacements the system with a slight (1-2") lower. Debating between KYB/Koni and a set of Eibach Progressive Springs. Any other options that are worth considering? Going to look through the forum later today, but you guys always have good ideas. ? 

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Looking good!!   Many little cans of POR,  wow.  Your suspension choice is good, I have the Eibachs with Iluminas and like them.  Koni's can get expensive,  depends on your budget...    If you lower it, don't forget to replace the rear isolators with the 240 version - they are shorter.

The rears dampers make the biggest handling difference.

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12 minutes ago, S30Driver said:

Looking good!!   Many little cans of POR,  wow. 

Thanks @S30Driver! A friend recommended to get a pack of small cans because each time the cans are opened, POR-15 gets way harder to work with. At the time, it was on sale for $2 more than the equivalent Quart can, so I figured it was worth it (though I see that deal isn't going anymore). 

17 minutes ago, S30Driver said:

Your suspension choice is good, I have the Eibachs with Iluminas and like them.  Koni's can get expensive,  depends on your budget... 

 Wanted to get the Illuminas or HPs, but couldn't find Tokico anywhere. Saw on a forum they don't make them for Zs anymore?  The KYB is definitely closer to my budget, but saw a few notes that the KYBs have some issues with lowered setups? Still researching, but would prefer $140 for KYBs over $560 for Koni if there is not a major difference in performance. Also, are you running poly or rubber?

22 minutes ago, S30Driver said:

If you lower it, don't forget to replace  the rear isolators with the 240 version - they are shorter.

I saw this mentioned on the forums today. If it only drops the rear, does that not make the clearance unequal between front and rear wheels?

And I had read that the Eibachs have specific Front/Rear springs for 280z. If I swap the rear isolators out, do I still take the Eibach springs for 280z? Or should I be switching to the 240z springs?   

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21 minutes ago, dmuzial said:

  Also, are you running poly or rubber?

I saw this mentioned on the forums today. If it only drops the rear, does that not make the clearance unequal between front and rear wheels?

And I had read that the Eibachs have specific Front/Rear springs for 280z. If I swap the rear isolators out, do I still take the Eibach springs for 280z? Or should I be switching to the 240z springs?   

I have retained rubber for most of the bushings with some exceptions.

Yes, you want the 280z specific Eibachs,  only change the rear isolators, the fronts are the same as the 240's.  Yes, you need to pay attention to the correct front / rear installation, many before you have got them on backwards and had to reverse them.   I have that setup with what many would consider  and have commented, "the perfect stance".   ( unless you want to go for the dragstrip funny car stance....)

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22 minutes ago, S30Driver said:

I have retained rubber for most of the bushings with some exceptions.

Yes, you want the 280z specific Eibachs,  only change the rear isolators, the fronts are the same as the 240's.  Yes, you need to pay attention to the correct front / rear installation, many before you have got them on backwards and had to reverse them.   I have that setup with what many would consider  and have commented, "the perfect stance".   ( unless you want to go for the dragstrip funny car stance....)

 

Yeah, drag strip isn't on the horizon for what remains of this lady's 170hp. Trying to treat her gentle (at least until I have a better feel for her and have ironed out the rough edges) 

Thanks for the guidance! 

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  • 2 months later...

Project Update: Finally got all of my new parts in and am starting reassembly this week!

Replacing the worn out struts first. Went to pull the first one last night and the entire thing came out in pieces. Sprayed the whole bench with oil when it came apart ? . No idea what brand these are because there are no markings or part numbers whatsoever. 

Is it still best practice to backfill the strut housing with oil to prevent rust? And if yes, what kind of oil is recommended?

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On 7/2/2020 at 9:42 AM, dmuzial said:

Is it still best practice to backfill the strut housing with oil to prevent rust? And if yes, what kind of oil is recommended?

Found the answer here: 

 

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