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CW240Z72

Restoration of HLS30-12070

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Decided to post up my restoration of HLS30-12070 that began earlier this year. I'm a long-time member of this group, but unfortunately lost my previous login information. Anyways back to the car and history of this Z: 

  • 1971 Series 1 240Z 
  • Purchased new from Earl Hughes Motors of Fort Worth, Texas on 12-21-1970 
  • Original Color: 901 Silver 
  • Original Engine: L24-16418
  • Chassis Number: HLS30-12070
  • Mileage as of 07-11-2020 (date of purchase) 75,206
  • Last registration of vehicle: 1990 

Car shows no signs of major rust or involved in any major accidents. It does have one repaint in the factory (or close to) silver. Missing front bumper, rear hatch vents, and hatch emblem. All other parts appear to be present and intact. 

First impressions, car shows to be a one-owner survivor that has spent its entire life in the North Texas area. Even living solely in a dry climate area, I was amazed how clean the body was from cancerous rust. There is no undercoating on the belly of this Z, making it very transparent of what the underlying steel has in store. Frame rails and floors are clean (minus a few previous floor jack mishaps we'll straighten out), all four wheel wells are clean. Rockers, dog legs, rear hatch area, hatch itself, doors, and the battery tray all look solid and well preserved. 

Goal for this Z is to go back 100% original as possible. We'll strip it back to the shell and build it up from there. This is the 6th (maybe 7th) Z for us to work on as a family restoration, and with a combined 40+ years in the paint/body/fabrication world should be a fun project to document. 

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Edited by CW240Z72
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With the introduction post out of the way, here are a few more photos of the Z and more information about it as we start to dig into it.

Car is sitting on the original steel wheels and the "D" hubcaps were stowed away inside. The RHR steelie was actually the spare (other steelie with the blow out tire in the back). It had a good amount of surface rust on it, but the spare wheel well cleaned up just fine and blasted cleanly (pics to follow). 

Other details on the Z: 

  • Original exhaust is still present and will be replaced with a similar setup 
  • Tail lights are in great shape with no chips, cracks, or discoloration
  • Rear bumper is nearly perfect apart from the rubber coming off the over riders 

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Edited by CW240Z72
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Interior is complete and original, but shows a good amount of wear. Seat foams are completely gone in the bases. Door panels are clean with minimal warping (will be replaced) and do not have speakers cut out of them. Dash is complete, and the center control panel is intact and in good shape. Radio is not original and will need to be replaced with a correct unit. Console is in good shape as is the ash tray. Dash has typical cracking. Steering wheel is in good shape as is the horn button. All carpets are well overdue to be tossed. Apart from the dome light and strut tower caps, all interior plastics are intact and in good shape. All glass is original, clean, and free of chips. Car has complete dealer installed AC system. This will be restored with a modern AC compressor and accessories for improved performance. 

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Engine is complete and appears unmodified. Only a handful of incorrect items like hoses and hose clamps are out of place from how it came from the factory. Dealer installed York compressor will be replaced with a modern one, and fitted on the LH lower side of the engine.

Engine does not show any major signs of issues or damage. Does not leak, had clean oil in it when purchased, and spins freely. I have not found the underlying reason why the car was parked 30 years ago, apart from being "old". 

Battery tray area is solid (despite how it may look in photos). Rust has not eaten through the tray or underneath it. 

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Rear hatch and lower valance of this Z are about as clean as they come on a survivor. No rust on the body or hatch panel. 

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First day of restoration. Began with tearing down the interior and hatch area of the Z, documenting each part, fastener type and quantity, and making notes of what we would need to order. 

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Edited by CW240Z72
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Most of these photos may not be of much use to the group, more or less a way for me to reference how things went back together and to better tell the Z's story. 

Continuing on the hatch area tear down, the internals of the hatch were removed, and followed up with a tear down of the doors. 

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Hatch stripped, tail light area stripped, doors stripped down to the shell only. Carpet was chunked, and now on to removing the dash, HVAC system, seats, and center console. Car needs to be stripped as far down as we can get it so that the shell can get dustless blasted. 

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8 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

Baby pool? 

Nice car. Looks like solid.

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Swim at your own risk! I was pretty surprised how bad it looked initially, and how clean it came out after blasting. Pics to follow...

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Taking a break from the interior strip down, pulled the engine out in preparation for sending the long block out for a thorough cleaning and rebuild. 

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Engine out, interior out, and getting back to tearing the body back down. Before blasting it, I wanted to remove the factory sound deadening from the floors so that no area would be left untreated. It surprises me when I see very nicely restored Z cars, taken all the way to bare metal, but the sound deadening wasn't removed. Lots of rust, no matter how clean the car appears, likes to live under there. 

Once that was out of the way, the remaining suspension, steering, and various components on the underside of the Z, were documented, tagged and removed. After having all the heavier structural parts off the shell, we mounted it to a rotisserie. 

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Huge milestone was accomplished on the Z. We had the entire shell and all components dustless blasted. 

We were very happy with the final results of this. No new problems were unearthed behind the respray. Shell was immediately followed up with a DTM (direct to metal) primer to prevent contamination from handling the raw steel. 

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Edited by CW240Z72
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Nice solid car!

Looks like it has a little damage on the left rear wheel arch and the rear corner. Beware, those rear corners are paper thin!

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On 11/7/2020 at 8:14 AM, Patcon said:

Nice solid car!

Looks like it has a little damage on the left rear wheel arch and the rear corner. Beware, those rear corners are paper thin!

Good eye. Yes, the LHR wheel well lip has a little bit of body damage at one point in the Z's life. Fortunately a bit of stud gun/ hammer dolly work was all that we needed to make it right (pics to follow). 

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At this point the car was torn down just about all the way. I was itching to start the rebuilding/reassembly process. Taking a break from the body work, I grabbed the R180 rear end and began the refresh for it. 

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After a thorough cleaning and some fresh paint, the assembly was built back up with new seals, bearings, and contact pattern verified. At this point the remaining hardware not installed on the diff was sent off to be zinc plated. Once that returns it will get the final button up and torqued to spec. We are working with the goal of a 100% original appearing restoration (as possible). I know Nissan most likely built these assemblies up and painted the entire unit black, but I couldn't get myself to do that. A little raw aluminum and zinc hardware will look nicely when it's all back together. 

 

Edited by CW240Z72
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Engine came back from the machine shop ready for reassembly. 

Short block was torn down, cleaned, inspected, and rebuilt with new bearings, pistons, rings and seals. Head was also torn down and thoroughly cleaned, and checked for any damage. After that, a valve job and decking the surfaces was done to complete the machine work. 

Engine and head came back separate so I could paint the block in the correct shade of blue and reassemble it at my own pace. The long block was completed with a new timing set and an OEM set of head bolts and washers. 

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With the long block out of the way, and waiting on hardware to come back from the plating shop and bigger parts off to get powder coated, I turned back to rebuilding the smaller assemblies on hand. 

Next up was the rack and pinion. I ordered up new bushings, rack bellows, tie rod ends. The FSM has an easy to follow guide for rebuilding these. Tore the assembly all the way down, media blasted the housing, and used a generous amount of grease on the gear system. 

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What a fantastic car to start with. I doubt there's many original cars left in that condition. 

You might try this process to remove the yellowing from the plastics, such as your expansion tank, since you've got the early plastic one. Not sure what differences there might be in the plastic you have to work with versus what was used in the video. 

 

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Very pretty work.

So what timing kit did you buy? I can see the ITM on the tensioner, but the curved (slack side) guide looks like the one for the 280, not the 240.

I have also heard (somebody's post-purchase feedback) somewhere that there were some minor fitment issues with the front cover hitting one of the guides. Too much material on some spot and it hit the timing cover. I think it was ITM, but I don't remember for sure.

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12 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Very pretty work.

So what timing kit did you buy? I can see the ITM on the tensioner, but the curved (slack side) guide looks like the one for the 280, not the 240.

I have also heard (somebody's post-purchase feedback) somewhere that there were some minor fitment issues with the front cover hitting one of the guides. Too much material on some spot and it hit the timing cover. I think it was ITM, but I don't remember for sure.

Complete timing set from ITM. This is the fourth ITM timing set I've installed, have not ran across a fitment issue yet, but good eye. I'll compare it to the original one pulled out again as a sanity check. 

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12 hours ago, rturbo 930 said:

What a fantastic car to start with. I doubt there's many original cars left in that condition. 

You might try this process to remove the yellowing from the plastics, such as your expansion tank, since you've got the early plastic one. Not sure what differences there might be in the plastic you have to work with versus what was used in the video. 

 

Very cool! I have looked into a few ways to achieve this with various chemicals. I found another how to video of a guy doing this to a washer bottle. When I get to that point in the build I'll report back on how successful this DIY process is for me. 

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Another small restoration project, cleaning up the original air cleaner. During the dustless blasting process we had both pieces of the air clean blasted, coated with a DTM, and then finished in the correct shade of orange. 

In my stash of parts was a set of NOS air cleaner gaskets. Once the correct stickers arrive this assembly will be ready for install. 

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