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1980 Datsun 280zx restoration (help me please)


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Good evening everyone, I think I have posted about this before but I am in need of help. A little background, my grandfather left my family around 20 cars or so but thanks to the neglect of my dad they have rotted in the warehouse. I am 18 years old and going off to college next year but have successfully restored a 1994 cobra from the same warehouse. I am based near Houston, Texas and want to make this car a drifting machine. I plan on engine swapping this car but I am unsure on where to start. I will include some pictures, I have started by removing the seats and other items from the interior. I want to remove the dash from the Datsun and have downloaded the manual and watched countless YouTube videos but I cannot remove the steering wheel housing from the car. I accidentally broke a steering wheel remover bolt on trying to remove this steering wheel, please let me know what you all think and if there is anyone based near the Houston area I can contact for further instruction, this would be much appreciated. Thank you for reading and I hope you all have a blessed night. - Reece

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It is a bit tricky the first time you remove a ZX wheel.

Rule 1. There is a simple push-on cover over the upper half of the wheel, the one with the ZX logo. I guess its the horn button isn’t it? It just kinda of peels off of the center section.

This reveals the 22mm nut. Remove the nut (not quite all the way) the wiggle and pull (hard!) the wheel toward you until it comes off the splines. Done. 

I just happen to have a tan wheel from an 81 turbo on a ZX I;m parting out that you can purchase to replace the one you “had a learning experience” on.

Send me a personal message.

 

Edited by zKars
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2 hours ago, zKars said:

Alright sweet, I'll have another go at it tomorrow, thank you so much for replying, I might just have to purchase that wheel off you unless I find another online that I like. Thanks again! - reece

 

 

It is a bit tricky the first time you remove a ZX wheel.

 

 

Rule 1. There is a simple push-on cover over the upper half of the wheel, the one with the ZX logo. I guess its the horn button isn’t it? It just kinda of peels off of the center section.

 
 
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This reveals the 22mm nut. Remove the nut (not quite all the way) the wiggle and pull (hard!) the wheel toward you until it comes off the splines. Done. 

I just happen to have a tan wheel from an 81 turbo on a ZX I;m parting out that you can purchase to replace the one you “had a learning experience” on.

Send me a personal message.

 

 

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10 hours ago, zKars said:

Remove the nut (not quite all the way) the wiggle and pull (hard!) the wheel toward you until it comes off the splines.

Use a puller ( a pully puller..) when you can't get it off..   NEVER HIT IT WITH A HAMMER YOU WILL DESTROY THE BEARINGS!!   (Like that dumb arse of a painter of mine.. (the first one..)  see my "restoration of a 280zx 2+2 1979 slick roof )  I'm still in need of a new bearing thanks to that unprofessional idiot..

 

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Maybe jumping ahead, but if you want to drift it, you'll prob need some sort of LSD or weld the diff.  I have an '80ZX with  a mild build L28, stock diff, Eibach lowering springs,KYB shocks and poly bushings.  It won't drift(unless the roads are wet).  Popular engine swaps if you can't have the L28 are Nissan RB motors and v8's.  I cant imagine a v8 Z would make a great drift car with the added weight. Maybe an aluminum GM 350? 

You can always replace the dish top pistons in your N42 motor with flat tops and replace the stock cam with a higher lift one.  Mind you you'll likely have to replace the stock EFI with something like Megasquirt or Halltech or FAST EFI. Or go carbs. Pretty spendy.

I don't suppose your grandfather left you guys with a Toyota Soarer/Chaser?

The BMW E36 is a pretty good and plentiful drift car.

 

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4 hours ago, Reptoid Overlords said:

I suppose you're right, to be honest I might just try to make it as clean looking as I can and maybe try and make another car into a drifting car. I have not seen a Toyota Soarer/Chaser in there but if you'd like I can go take a video and some pictures of the cars that we have in there. Thanks for responding! - Reece

 

 

Maybe jumping ahead, but if you want to drift it, you'll prob need some sort of LSD or weld the diff.  I have an '80ZX with  a mild build L28, stock diff, Eibach lowering springs,KYB shocks and poly bushings.  It won't drift(unless the roads are wet).  Popular engine swaps if you can't have the L28 are Nissan RB motors and v8's.  I cant imagine a v8 Z would make a great drift car with the added weight. Maybe an aluminum GM 350? 

You can always replace the dish top pistons in your N42 motor with flat tops and replace the stock cam with a higher lift one.  Mind you you'll likely have to replace the stock EFI with something like Megasquirt or Halltech or FAST EFI. Or go carbs. Pretty spendy.

I don't suppose your grandfather left you guys with a Toyota Soarer/Chaser?

The BMW E36 is a pretty good and plentiful drift car.

 

 

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I have not seen a Toyota Soarer/Chaser in there

I was more or less making a joke.  The Soarer was a 2 door RWD car sold in Japan and some other markets(we got the Lexus SC300, which is essentially a Soarer)  Some of them got the 2JZ-GTE engine. Same as a Supra. A Chaser is basically a Japanese market version of what we in the states got badged as the Toyota Cressida.  They also had the MarkII, and the Cresta, which I believe shared the same platforms through some model years.   You can turn a Cressida into a pretty mean car by swapping the entire drivetrain from a supra into it.  Pretty spendy and pretty involved though.

For the sake of appreciating autos, post some pictures of your grandfather's collection.

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41 minutes ago, Reptoid Overlords said:

I was more or less making a joke.  The Soarer was a 2 door RWD car sold in Japan and some other markets(we got the Lexus SC300, which is essentially a Soarer)  Some of them got the 2JZ-GTE engine. Same as a Supra. A Chaser is basically a Japanese market version of what we in the states got badged as the Toyota Cressida.  They also had the MarkII, and the Cresta, which I believe shared the same platforms through some model years.   You can turn a Cressida into a pretty mean car by swapping the entire drivetrain from a supra into it.  Pretty spendy and pretty involved though.

For the sake of appreciating autos, post some pictures of your grandfather's collection.

Will do, should I post them on this thread or should I create a new one titled, my grandfathers collection? Before I post them though, my dad has been wanting to sell them so if you're interested any of them are for sale, for the right price haha! 

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42 minutes ago, Terrapin Z said:

Mine came off pretty easy. It is for sale if you are looking for another stock one. 

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Thank you very much, if I do end up going the stock route I will contact you 🙂

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7 hours ago, dutchzcarguy said:

Use a puller ( a pully puller..) when you can't get it off..   NEVER HIT IT WITH A HAMMER YOU WILL DESTROY THE BEARINGS!!   (Like that dumb arse of a painter of mine.. (the first one..)  see my "restoration of a 280zx 2+2 1979 slick roof )  I'm still in need of a new bearing thanks to that unprofessional idiot..

 

I did try this but to no avail I still was not able to get it off, I think I might just try and find someone near me that can help me with that.. Anyone know where I can get a dirt cheap trailer?

 

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14 hours ago, Reece said:

I did try this but to no avail I still was not able to get it off, I think I might just try and find someone near me that can help me with that.. Anyone know where I can get a dirt cheap trailer?

I think you can better invite someone in than to go with a half a car to someone?

Also.. if you can't get it off heat the thing with a hairblower and then you can ice the axle with cold spray, you can buy that in a can and spray the axle to minus 42 degrees Celsius..  (No i don't know Fahrenheit but it's very cold.. 😉 ) 

A paint burning heating gun would also work but dont make the cable in the axle (from the horn) to hot!  I use a hairblower and shut the inlet with my hand a bit so it will give more hot air.. keep checking the hot air with your hands..

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As you wil need a new steering wheel, you could also cut the aluminium part off with a grinder just don't touch the steel axle..  (stop just before the axle with cutting, then stick a flat screwdriver in it from the front and brake/crack the last part. (USE NO HAMMER 🙂 )

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10 hours ago, dutchzcarguy said:

As you wil need a new steering wheel, you could also cut the aluminium part off with a grinder just don't touch the steel axle..  (stop just before the axle with cutting, then stick a flat screwdriver in it from the front and brake/crack the last part. (USE NO HAMMER 🙂 )

Ah thank you, I will try this and let you all know if I have any luck.. Thank you very much for all the info! 🙂 

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