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CW240Z72

Restoration of HLS30-12070

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Received the AC kit from Auto AC solutions last week and decided to mock it up in the car. Link to the kit we got as reference:

Z AC Kit

Initially I had high hopes for this kit. From the description on the website it sounded like it was designed specifically for the Z. I wanted a system that was much cleaner than the dealer unit originally installed in the car that had the massive York compressor. 

This is what came in the kit (AC compressor and mounting brackets not shown - mounted those before snapping this picture) 

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As you can see, the evaporator unit is a massive assembly. I could not figure out how to package it cleanly behind the dash and with the existing HVAC system. Perhaps I was looking at it wrong, but it didn't seem as integrated of a unit as the one removed. 

The compressor mounting brackets seemed fine, but the hardware provided was useless. Looked like M10X1.5 hardware for the most part, but with mix matched bolt head sizes and thread pitches. Definitely not very well thought out. I will replace all of this will better quality hardware. 

With the York compressor, all the AC lines and fittings remain on the RH side of the car. With this new system, the compressor is mounted down on the LH side of the engine, similar to the ZX. Now this aspect of the kit I liked, as I didn't want to look at the compressor when I opened the hood. However, the condenser seemed to be setup for the York style of system, with both inlet and outlet ports on the same side of the unit. Again, I don't think this was very well thought out. We'll be able to make it work, but with more effort than I was anticipating. Another feature of this kit is the ability to maintain the smog pump as the AC compressor bracket has holes to relocate it slightly higher up.

With all that said, I am pretty disappointed in this kit. Looks like a quality Sanden compressor and some cobbled together off the shelf pieces to make a "kit". With that said, we decided to rebuild the evaporator originally on the car and utilize the new valving, hardware, and fittings so that the under dash appearance was as clean as possible. For someone who is looking to install AC in a Z but retain the factory heater and look, I'd suggest picking up only the engine mounting bracket and compressor. You could easily build the rest of the system yourself, if you can locate an original style evaporator. 

Pulling the evaporator a part, it was amazingly clean and needed very little to recondition. The plastic housing was split open, cleaned, new seals installed, and painted. The evaporator core itself was thoroughly cleaned externally, checked for leaks, flushed, and vacuumed to ensure no containments were left. We'll leave it plugged until final install. 

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10 hours ago, CW240Z72 said:

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. 

Sorry, I wasn't specific enough with my question. Based on the tensioner and the way the cam gear looks, I figured it was an ITM kit. The question(s) is What ITM kit is it? What's the ITM part number?

The reason I ask is that the ITM kit listed for the 240 and 260 is 053-90300, while the kit for the 280 and 280ZX is 053-90400. From the pic, your slack side guide looks like the one that comes with the 280 kit, not the 240 kit. Hard to tell with it mounted up, but that's what it looks like to me.

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14 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Sorry, I wasn't specific enough with my question. Based on the tensioner and the way the cam gear looks, I figured it was an ITM kit. The question(s) is What ITM kit is it? What's the ITM part number?

The reason I ask is that the ITM kit listed for the 240 and 260 is 053-90300, while the kit for the 280 and 280ZX is 053-90400. From the pic, your slack side guide looks like the one that comes with the 280 kit, not the 240 kit. Hard to tell with it mounted up, but that's what it looks like to me.

Found my invoice for the order of the ITM timing kit. P/N on it is 053-90300, listed for a 240Z. I will look for the box that it came in as a sanity check that it made it in correctly. 

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Huge improvement was made to the Z body. Before blasting the car, we removed the battery tray so that the area around it and underneath could be cleaned up and any rust removed. The battery tray itself was salvageable, but corrosion on the mounting flanges would make welding it back to the body very difficult. As a solution, we order one of the stamped trays from Klassic Fab JDM. Link to their website: 

Klassic Fab JDM

Here's what the area under the battery tray looked like before blasting. You can seem some corrosion between the firewall and under tray area. A part from that this section of the Z was relatively clean all things considered. 

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This tray was a very close copy of the original in size, shape, and appearance. I was very happy with the quality of the piece. The owners were kind and experienced with Z cars which is a bonus. 

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Once the car was blasted, the area around the battery tray had not rusted through, but did show signs of pitting from corrosion. Mocking the new tray into the box showed that the areas which we would weld were thin and would again be difficult to work with without burning through. Fortunately, Klassic Fab also sells a replacement panel for the under battery tray area. This stamped also copied the factory sheet metal very well, even with the stamped locating pads to weld the wiring tabs to.

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While again not entirely necessary to replace both the tray and area underneath it on this car, we wanted to ensure that this rust-prone area of the Z would be good for another 50 years. 

The patch panel was trimmed down to the appropriate size, stich welded in, and body worked for a seamless transition from patch to original steel. I was very pleased with how well the panel matched the factory area. We only needed around 50% of the patch panel to remove all the corroded steel. If your Z is in need of a battery tray and/or the area underneath it, I would highly recommend Klassic Fab and the panels they offer. 

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Next we'll burn in the tray for good and weld in the electrical wiring tabs. 

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10 hours ago, CW240Z72 said:

Found my invoice for the order of the ITM timing kit. P/N on it is 053-90300, listed for a 240Z. I will look for the box that it came in as a sanity check that it made it in correctly. 

Thanks for checking. But now I'm really wondering.

According to the parts fische, four of the parts (cam sprocket, chain, tensioner, and the tight side (straight) guide) were used unchanged on all the cars 240 through 280.

According to the docs, the only two parts that ever changed were the crank sprocket and the slack side (curved side) guide. I have no idea what they changed with the crank gear and they all look the same to me, but the slack side guide is visibly different.

Here's a pic showing the differences. (I don't remember where I hoovered this from so I unfortunately cannot credit the creator). They used the top one on the 280 and the lower version on the 240 and 260. Notice that the shape of the lower hole is different and so is the shape of the metal support bracing at the upper end:
slack side guides.jpg

Again, it's tough to tell from your pic, but your curved guide looks like it has the single hole at the bottom and the metal bracing at the top. Meaning it's the 280 style and not the one for the 240.

At this point, I bet you're wondering why I'm wondering... I need a timing set (for an L28) and the ITM sets are relatively cheap and plentiful. The pictures on ebay for their 280 set (053-90400) show the guide for the 240, and the timing set they offer for the 240 has a PICTURE showing the 280 style slack guide.

Up until I saw your timing set, I thought it was just a picture problem. Now I'm really not sure.

I want to make sure I get a 280 style guide and now I don't know if I should intentionally order the "wrong" ITM set. Now everything is muddy.

Edited by Captain Obvious
grammer

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And I apologize for the distraction, but does anyone know what they changed with the crank sprocket that warranted a new part number?

The 240 used P/N 13021-21000
260 and 280 used P/N 13021-U0100

And when they made the change, the 240 P/N was superseded to the later number. So Datsun believed the newer 260/280 crank gear could be used on an earlier 240 if necessary, but not the converse.

Anyone have any idea what the difference is?

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That's not it. Docs says same slinger number used for all cars 240 through 280:

THROWER-OIL CRANK - 12302-A3500

And I know the ZX motors I've been into lately all have it too, so it went beyond the Z and into the ZX.

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11 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

And I apologize for the distraction, but does anyone know what they changed with the crank sprocket that warranted a new part number?

The 240 used P/N 13021-21000
260 and 280 used P/N 13021-U0100

And when they made the change, the 240 P/N was superseded to the later number. So Datsun believed the newer 260/280 crank gear could be used on an earlier 240 if necessary, but not the converse.

Anyone have any idea what the difference is?

Based on the photo comparison you have of the 240z and later 280z slack guides, the overall length of what I have matches what came off my 71 and what was supplied in the kit. However, the unique lower slot feature appears to be different between the two. 

If it helps you sleep better at night, I have used an ITM timing set for the 280z before on L28s with no issues. 

 

 

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Thanks. So which slack side guide style came in the 053-90300 kit you purchased? Did it come with the 280 style, or the 240/260 style?

It's more than just the hole shape at the bottom. The upper portions are different as well. I don't know if they are the same overall length or not, but the metal back-up support plate is different. I'm having a hard time describing it, so I marked up a pic.

This is the 240/260 version:
240 style 2.jpg

And this is the 280 version. Note the additional meat on the metal support:
280 style.jpg

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11 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Thanks. So which slack side guide style came in the 053-90300 kit you purchased? Did it come with the 280 style, or the 240/260 style?

It's more than just the hole shape at the bottom. The upper portions are different as well. I don't know if they are the same overall length or not, but the metal back-up support plate is different. I'm having a hard time describing it, so I marked up a pic.

This is the 240/260 version:
240 style 2.jpg

And this is the 280 version. Note the additional meat on the metal support:
280 style.jpg

Based on those photos and looking closer at what’s on the engine, I have a 240/260 version of the slack guide in part geometry, but the slot feature at the bottom is just a clearance hole on mine. Almost a hybrid between the two. 

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Thanks for checking. Makes me wonder what they include in their kit for the 280's. A question for someone else who bought one of those.

Thanks again and good luck with the build!

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2 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Thanks for checking. Makes me wonder what they include in their kit for the 280's. A question for someone else who bought one of those.

Thanks again and good luck with the build!

I was looking through the build photos I have of a L28 we did two years ago. An ITM kit was used on that one as well, but I can't recall any difference between the OEM slack guide and the one supplied. But no final fitment issues occurred. 

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Another big accomplishment on the Z, all the parts came back from powder coating. They look GREAT, super happy with the quality of work from the guys at Quality Powder Coating (oil pan and a few smaller bits didn't make the shot). 

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We were very fortunate with this Z and the little amount of rust it had on the body. The one area that needed to be replaced over the entire floorboard area was a small section in the passenger foot well. Based on the isolated area of rust here, it was most likely from the dealer AC system that was installed in the car. 

The rusted area was cut out, surrounding metal cleaned, a patch panel replicated, welded back in, and smoothed down for a seamless transition. In the process of welding it back in we replicated the factory spot welds so that it looked as it did when the car was first assembled. 

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Am I correct in believing that some of the springs are corner specific? Some have different colored paint dabs...

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39 minutes ago, Patcon said:

Am I correct in believing that some of the springs are corner specific? Some have different colored paint dabs...

That’s correct. Front and rears are of different lengths, and they have different spring rates left to right which account for driver’s weight. FSM has this documented, I’ll try to find it. 

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So how to keep track of which goes where while powder coating?

Never mind, they're all slightly different lengths. Provided the current free length is close to spec

Edited by Patcon

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Slowly rebuilding the hardware that returned from plating. Hand brake mechanism, fuel tank hardware, hood release, headlight buckets, HVAC controls, and the proportioning valve were first for reassembly. 

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Also started working on the suspension components. Here's the rear control arm brace assembly, powder coated and plated hardware. I know the lower control arm caps should have been black instead of clear zinc as they are now, but I thought it would be nice to break up all the powder coated parts in that area. 

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Front strut assemblies are also reassembled now. As are the front calipers. 

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All new bearings, seals, wheel studs, brake line, KYB strut, rotor and pads. 

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Edited by CW240Z72
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Here's another side project on the Z that's on pause while we sort through hardware and body work. For the AC system, we'll use the restored dealer evaporator, a modern Sanden compressor (mounted on the lower LH side of the block), and all new hoses and components. 

One thing I didn't like about how these AC systems were routed, was how the dealers would use sheet metal screws and install the dryer on the RH strut tower. It's big, bulky, and ugly IMO. 

I mapped out the hoses, and I think the cleanest way to place the dryer is on the front side of the core support, next to the condenser. Behind the grille and blacked out core support I don't think it will be too obvious from the front, and from the engine bay all you'll see are the two hoses routed down the RH frame rail. 

In order to map this out I modeled up the core support mounting points (in green), the condenser itself, dryer, and fittings. I'm able to plumb the hoses in CAD, using the minimum bend radius of the hose and its physical properties to accurately plumb with it. The larger green holes are the openings in the core supports where the harness routes through. The bottom of the condenser has mounting holes for cushion clamps. My thoughts were to clamp the lower hose down to prevent movement and abrasion.

Thoughts? (sorry, terrible screenshot photos). 

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11 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

There are some serious hours of prep on all the plated parts, it paid off, every piece looks perfect.

Thanks! I was really excited to get the full length hardlines redone as well. I’ll try to grab a few shots of those. 

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