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Restoration of 71 240z

Clay C

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Finally getting around to starting a "Build Thread". Background on me...I'm 40 years old and honestly didn't give cars or motoring a minutes thought until about 3 years ago. I never wanted a sports car or cared anything about the performance of whatever I was driving. I do a lot of work at Road Atlanta Race Track in Braselton GA and have for the past 20 years. Around 3 years ago I started getting a campsite and weekend tickets for the Walter Mitty HSR Historic races down at the track because it seemed like something fun that my then 8 year old son would enjoy. The first year he could care less about the cars but enjoyed the camping and food. The 2nd year we camped right beside a gentleman that had a very nice White 240z that was un-restored but in great shape. I stared at that car all weekend and so did my boy. I still didn't know anything about cars, especially old Datsuns but I really did love the look of that car. By the end of that weekend my 9 year old son was reading the race schedule to make sure we didn't miss any action out on the track. 

Fast forward a couple of years and I have been bitten by the same bug that infected the rest of you guys! I spend most of my free time looking at Datsun parts or tracking auctions on BringATrailer.com for cars that I may or may not even like. What's worse is my now 11 year old son may be crazier than I am. That kid can tell you the make and model of anything on the road today. His favorite show is Top Gear UK and he has his own subscription to Motortrend TV. 

While eating Thanksgiving dinner this past year with my family in Alabama I mentioned to my cousin who is an engineer at BMW in Birmingham that I would love to find a 240 somewhere to play with. He immediately informed me his boss had one right then for sale. I of course took this as a sign from GOD and told him to stop eating and call his boss and tell him consider it sold.  

Below is what I bought. It ran great with the exception of a head gasket that was causing a combustion leak. The interior was in very good shape and the car looked pretty nice from a distance. I usually go overboard with any of my hobbies so I quickly decided it needed to look good up close and be as perfect as I can make it. I am learning a lot and this website and forum have been indispensable to me throughout this process. Everyone I have asked questions of here have been extremely helpful and considerate to point me in the right direction. I now have 3 Datsun's in total, 1 was in bad shape and I am using it to cut and weld metal parts for the car below. The other is a 76 280 that is sitting in a shipping container at my shop waiting on its older brother to be complete. 






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Should have taken more pictures during the tear down but I didn't realize these build threads were popular. I seriously wait for any updates to some of you guys progress like I am waiting for a new episode of my favorite TV show to drop. 

This car took a good smack to the left front at some point. I don't have much history on the car but other than the damage and some of the normal rust prone areas it appears to be in decent enough shape for a restore. The left frame rail is jacked up and the "under fender ridge" thing is all crinkled. My junker/donor car of course had been hit in around the same area but not as bad. I think the radiator support can be salvaged from the junker car and the under fender part. What I cant find is the front extension that the head light bucket mounts to. I bought a radiator support/font clip from ebay that looked good in the pics and damn if it wasnt crinkled in the same spot too. Im 0-3 on that but I am hoping my man doing the body work can figure it out. 





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This is my first S30 so I am not sure how well this one stacks up to others in the rust department but the bad areas were the Battery area and rear quarter at the fuel inlet. Wheel Arches had rust through on each side. The interior stuff was in great shape. The donor car has now been sandblasted but I haven't been by to take any pictures of it yet. I've got my fingers crossed that it was a decent investment to save some time fabricating and replacing aftermarket body patches. 










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What we started with on the engine. It was numbers matching to the car which was good. I got the kid in the shop when I could to get his hands dirty. He may as well put a little work in since the probability of him running it into a ditch in a few years is likely. Sent the block and head to machine shop. The guy said the engine was in very good shape but since we were do a complete re-build of everything I went ahead and had him rebore to .020 and put new pistons and rings in. Other than that we didn't do anything fancy with the internals. 



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Fingers crossed that it runs but I went by the book. Waiting on various parts from plating to wrap it up. Worst part of the engine rebuild to me was deciding on what to do with the valve cover. Nothing I did turned out the way I wanted it to. Ended up just wire wheeling the hell out of it and calling it a day. It wasn't the expensive cover with the 2400CC stamping so I can try again later.

With that other 280 I bought came an entire barn of parts, I think I have around 4 other valve covers now so maybe I can figure out a better process in the future. If ANYONE needs anything for their car chances are I may have it and don't need it. When I do the 280 I am not planning on trying to keep it original. 





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Best I could tell the rear end was in fine shape. Did the usual clean up, prime, re-seal and paint. I am beginning to hate cast aluminum....I think once its installed I wont be able to see every spot that didn't clean up perfectly but sometimes I feel like the more I try and mess with it the worse I make it. 



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I would like to find out who sprayed this car last and kick him in the nuts! I don't think they even through a cloth over the engine bay before they started. There was red overspray or really DIRECT spray on a lot of things behind the grill. I took these horns apart and was planning on just painting all of them. After I saw someone plate the backside I had another set of horns that I sent off to get plated. I will see how they both turn out and decide later



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More Red Paint! Working on cleaning up the wiring harness stuff now. Waiting on the Firewall grommet to get here so I can finish that up. For anyone who doesn't already know a company called Vintage Connections sells kits with all the old school connectors. I bought a crimper and 2 assortments of connectors from them and I haven't ran across anything yet that didn't come in these kits. 60962441980__137FD523-BE72-4709-BC89-BA477D380D7B.JPGIMG_4452.JPG


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Getting Parts ready for Powder coating. Should these rear stub axles be Powder coated? Hard to tell if they started out painted or not.

also...Coil Springs? I didn't spend a lot of time driving the car before I tore it apart, but I don't exactly have a frame of reference either as to whether or not the springs are worth replacing at this time. It didn't seem like anything was wrong with them. They are probably the ones that came on it back in '71....any thoughts on changing them out?


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