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1977 280z Light Restoration Project


Muzez

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Hey Guys,

Making process getting everything back onto the car just before the end of the driving season here. Excited to get it all finished and put some miles on this year. Figured I would post a quick before and after of the suspension reassembly.

Before

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After

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Newly refinished MSA linear springs vs old stock springsEA6768E0-3016-467B-81C3-D3CB4C543E69.jpeg

Reassembled Brake drums

415CA7BB-5039-4DD8-BFB8-3C7A8A7512AB.jpeg

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  • 1 year later...

Welp! Drove all summer and had a great time. Few gremlins with the fuel system, but otherwise it was great to get out and get some sunshine 

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Unfortunately, winter means maintenance and this winter is the big one. Pulling my engine. First time doing this solo (though I have been leaning heavily on you guys and the service manual for insights so not really solo.)

So far, making progress

- Gas tank dropped

- Fuel lines emptied

- 5mph crash Bumpers off

- Radiator drained and out

- AC system drained and condenser removed

- Intake out

- Wiring labeled and photographed 

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The plan is to pull the engine this weekend but the biggest barrier is the exhaust manifold to collector pipe connection. I already snapped off 1 of the nuts and I have no idea how to access the one in the back closest to the transmission. I have tried heat and break-loose and similar products with no luck.

Anyone have any advice for getting the exhaust pipe disconnected from the manifold?

Edited by Muzez
Fixed photo
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  • 3 weeks later...

Well. Engine and Transmission are out and I am almost healed from a minor surgery so I am ready to get back out to the garage. Next thing is checking for oil leaks. Trying to decide if I should be replacing the head gasket. Included some photos below. If anyone has any advice, let me know! 

The sides of the engine block don't seem to be too oily except under the #3 spark plug. There is a little buildup around the plug itself which makes me think it wasn't torqued down well at some point. 

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The major area of oil buildup is where the front of the head meets the timing chain cover. There is sealant around the water pump to suggest that someone replaced it in the past.

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None of the compression numbers were off when I tested but they were a little lower than I would like. It was my first time testing though so it is possible I messed it up (can't remember if it tested hot or cold). 

  1. 155 PSI
  2. 159 PSI
  3. 163 PSI
  4. 162 PSI
  5. 157 PSI
  6. 160 PSI

Also, what is this mounting point for on the front right hand side of the engine above the alternator ? 

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For more on the engine / trans removal, there are photos here. 

 

 

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Mounting point is for a mechanical fuel pump, provided the hole into the timing chain was milled open.

Is there a reason you wouldn't want to do a head gasket?

I think if I had the engine out, I would do the head gasket. It allows you to inspect the jackets for corrosion and the valve seats as well as clean up the combustion chambers. It's mostly labor, the gasket is pretty cheap. Technically you shouldn't reuse the head bolts but many people do.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Patcon said:

Is there a reason you wouldn't want to do a head gasket?

Mainly because this will be my first time doing it and I am a little terrified that I would c&%k it up. 😛 Mostly worried about snapping the head bolts and resetting the timing correctly and just generally getting beyond my abilities. Bad reason since I set off on this whole journey to learn. 

Good point though on the cleaning and checking the internals. I will do it. Will start disassembly in a week or so. 

Edited by Muzez
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If you haven't already bought this I highly recommend. I built some dirt bikes and boat motors so I knew the basics but I'd never done a car motor. I bought this book for $20 and didn't have to call my Dad for help at all. I think it whizzed him off? LOL

https://www.amazon.com/Rebuild-Your-Nissan-Datsun-Engine/dp/1931128030

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Great how to book. He makes you want to do it unlike Haynes and Chilton manuals. They suck in my opinion.

 

 

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There's a good chance that the water pump bolts have either already been broken by a previous owner, or will break as you are removing them.  It's not that big of a deal if you break one, they aren't terribly hard to remove, especially with the engine on a stand and not in the car. 

I would go ahead and replace the head gasket and timing chain while the engine is out.  The book that Siteunseen mentioned is the way to go for sure.  I had never done it before and used that book.  Made perfect sense and I'm no real veteran at this stuff.  If setting the cam timing is your biggest worry, that book makes it plain and clear.  Plus there's lots of threads on here about it, and if you get stumped, folks are happy to help. 

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2 hours ago, siteunseen said:

Great how to book. He makes you want to do it unlike Haynes and Chilton manuals. They suck in my opinion.

Bought and shipped! Thanks for the recommendation. I don't have to be worried about my dad being Whizzed. He's an engineer and understands the theory of engine design, but chose to focus his mechanical knowledge elsewhere. Whenever I talk about my car, he always asks "Have you sold it yet?"

My biggest complaint with the Haynes stuff is its not always well organized and misses important stuff. I mostly use it to fill in when the service manual doesn't cover a topic. 

2 hours ago, Reptoid Overlords said:

There's a good chance that the water pump bolts have either already been broken by a previous owner, or will break as you are removing them.  It's not that big of a deal if you break one, they aren't terribly hard to remove, especially with the engine on a stand and not in the car. 

I would go ahead and replace the head gasket and timing chain while the engine is out.  The book that Siteunseen mentioned is the way to go for sure.  I had never done it before and used that book.  Made perfect sense and I'm no real veteran at this stuff.  If setting the cam timing is your biggest worry, that book makes it plain and clear.  Plus there's lots of threads on here about it, and if you get stumped, folks are happy to help. 

I am sure I will have a thousand questions but you guys are always good at answering and being there. Saved by bacon when I yolo lifted my engine a few weeks ago. 😛 

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I was putting my parts in storage to make space for breaking down the engine and I found some previously repaired damage to the radiator that I didn't see before. There wasnt any visible igns of leaking or rust when I pulled it or in the coolant, but it looks pretty rough. 

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Three questions:

1. This thing is junk right? 

2. Assuming it is junk, anyone have a recommendation for a drop in replacement? Saw there are a few 3 rows from champion and mishimoto that don't look too crazy assuming they don't require fab to mount. 

3. In the very unlikely chance that it is not junk, should I fill it with something for storage? 

Edited by Muzez
I can't spell to save my life
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are you going to use a radiator shroud? There are brass and copper radiators out there new. things to watch out for is the drain hole location if you still have the splash pan, and the filler neck overflow direction depending on how you want to deal with then over flow. I like the copper brass types over aluminum.

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5 minutes ago, Dave WM said:

are you going to use a radiator shroud? There are brass and copper radiators out there new. things to watch out for is the drain hole location if you still have the splash pan, and the filler neck overflow direction depending on how you want to deal with then over flow. I like the copper brass types over aluminum.

I still have the original fan and fan shroud which I was planning to put back on, but now that I need to replace the radiator, I am open to other options. Would the alternative be to switch to electrical fans? Or is a shroud not necessary with the copper/brass setup?

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1 hour ago, Muzez said:

1. This thing is junk right? 

The vertical metal is tubes that the coolant flows through.  The horizontal zig-zaggys are just the fins that dissipate the heat from the tubes.  It's not necessarily junk if it doesn't leak.  But, besides leaking, the tubes need to be clear so that there is good flow and good heat transfer.

Just drain it well and store it away.  You might also consider taking to a radiator shop and seeing how much it would cost to refurbish it.  It used to be common practice to boil them out but it's not so common anymore.  Caustic chemicals and longer-lasting coolants make it not so profitable.

I had good luck with a parts store Murray radiator.  Many of the aftermarket radiators out there are meant for underhood flash, like cold air intakes and chrome hose fittings.  Make sure you know what you're getting.  And electric fans don't really add much, they're kind of for show also.  A shroud, a good fan clutch, and a good radiator works really well.  The cooling problems you read about are from 40+ year old parts, not the design of the system.

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@Zed Head yeah, I haven't yet run into any overheating issues (knock on wood). Was going to take my gas tank to a rad shop and get a quote on the recoat so I can take the radiator at the same time. 

For cleaning it out, I think I remember someone mentioning to rinse it with isopropyl alcohol to dry up any remaining water and then cap it. Does that sound right? 

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You could stick a heat gun/blow dryer at one end and just let it run for a while.  Isopropyl alcohol (AKA rubbing alcohol) will take water with it but it's kind of a spendy way to do it.  Take it inside and prop it in front of the fireplace.  Stick it over a forced iar heating vent.  Take it to bed with you.  

 

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8 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

Take it to bed with you.  

I do like a good snuggle. But I imagine my wife might be a little frustrated sharing the bed with something else and its been a while since I slept on the floor. 😛 

Its pretty clean now but I will probably deploy the hair dryer method. Worse case the shop I occasionally work out of has a few barrels of barrels of Iso for parts washing, so maybe I can grab a gallon when I'm there next. 

Edited by Muzez
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey Guys,

Got most of the wiring undone in the engine bay and am almost ready to send this thing off to paint. Two questions:

1. What is the best way to get this harness through the firewall? Or is it easier to pull the connectors in the cabin through the other way?
 

Haven’t started trying to take the old rubber seals off yet because I am sure they are going to disintegrate the moment I do. Also, do they make replacements for these or is there a good substitute?

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2. Any idea what this vacuum line goes to? And can I remove it and reinstall it from here? Or will it require removing the dash to reinstall?

27C9DAD3-0D71-4B06-B906-2D3CA8CDBBCC.jpeg

 

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