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Barefootdan's 280z Build


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Posted (edited)

Well… the highs are high and the lows are low. Today I changed the oil and retorqued the ARP studs. A few needed about an 1/8th turn to get back into torque but nothing felt odd. 60ftlb per the ARP slip. I ensured I was going in the correct sequence as well. Started up fine and I started to let it warm up. Not even a couple minutes later the idle became strange. Wouldn’t want to rev either. Then the dreaded smoke started coming from the tailpipe. It definitely was not even at operating temp yet. I thought maybe I spilled something and left it at that as I bled the front brakes. I came back to start the car and still smoke. The car is filled with water in the coolant system for reference so no odd smells. I pulled cylinder #6 plug and well….

 

1A8B2333-572E-4A6C-871D-490391C57DA1.jpeg
 

I have no idea how this could have happened but I think the head gasket just blew. Someone please tell me there may be another answer but all of my car knowledge points to this 😅 

Edit: first thought is perhaps an air pocket. But I do recall the fitting in the picture blowing off during my first warm up since I forgot the clamp. I cant imagine air getting trapped when that happened, unless it made its way back there...just odd that it happened when the car was not up to temp. Second thought is maybe one of the coolant passages is blocked with gunk? Hard to speculate though without removing the head. Such a bummer, right as it was done! The bright side is that if it is the head gasket, it is a cheap fix and can be done in a day. 

Edited by Barefootdan
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Posted (edited)

Took off the valve cover and what in the world!!! And intake rocker jumped on #4. Luckily nothing is scored and the retainer was easily found. 
 

could this be the culprit? Maybe the fuel was building up in the chamber and steaming off? But this would probably have been black smoke? I’m hopeful but doubtful…other thought is the increase in vacuum was pulling oil through the seals causing the smoke. 

 

1502A61B-A46B-4096-A981-03D9CC0820A4.jpeg

Edited by Barefootdan
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The smoke could have just been vapors coming back from an open valve.  You'll want to measure cylinder pressure before assuming you have a bad head gasket.  

The thrown rocker arm could happen because of a sticking valve, maybe a tight guide or valve seal.  I'd just keep doing the small things to get it to run correctly and let the parts wear in and see where you end up.  No need for panic.

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1 minute ago, Zed Head said:

The smoke could have just been vapors coming back from an open valve.  You'll want to measure cylinder pressure before assuming you have a bad head gasket.  

The thrown rocker arm could happen because of a sticking valve, maybe a tight guide or valve seal.  I'd just keep doing the small things to get it to run correctly and let the parts wear in and see where you end up.  No need for panic.

Thats a relief. Thank you. I was jumping to worst case scenarios and didnt even think of the vapors from an open valve. 
The valve lash of all other cylinders was in spec, so I think it is safe to assume this one was too. I'll keep an eye...or ear 😉 ...out for any strange sounds next time I fire it up. Open headers doesnt make it easy, so that could be my next project in the meantime. 

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Fixed the valve and it started right up nice and smooth again. Still smoked for a few minutes but it eventually died off...what a relief! Crisis averted👍

Now back to our regularly scheduled build 😄 

I was able to get the muffle hooked up which helped tremendously with listening for any strange noises. I'll grab some pictures this afternoon. The last piece preventing a spin around the block is brakes. I was able to start bleeding the front but my driver side bleed screw is clogged. Going to soak it or grab a new one if that fails. 

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  • 1 month later...

Whew time flies! I’ve been on strict orders not to work on the rotsun…I mean Datsun this past month 😆 since I got married on the 23rd. But! We are free again and able to spend my weekends in the garage again. Today I was working on brakes. It’s the last thing I need to get her “running” around the block and I’ll be damned to get one ride before I start the interior. Front brakes bled well but the rear was not flowing any fluid. I back tracked the lines and found the clog in the one coming off the master. Blew that bitch out with my pressure washer and let it dry before bleeding the rear. Of course both lines leaked ( at the flexible connection) so new line are ordered. I also order two new calipers and lines for the front because safety. 
 

Sorry for the sparse updates but we are back on track! The engine started first crank today after nearly a month of sitting. So excited. 

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I realized I never posted my exhaust photo! Its too good looking for the rest of the car! I will dial in the fitment once I take it to the shop for a proper flange to be installed. Currently it sticks out a couple inches too far for my liking. But I can start the car in the garage without my ears bleeding so its a win 🙂 

IMG-3604.jpg

I finally moved my attention to the brakes as its the last thing needed for a test drive. I finally got the front bleed screw unclogged but it was sticking. So rather than spend time and money on a rebuild build...a remanufactured unit is only $37! Got one for each side with new pads. New rotors are in the mail so dont mind those rusty discs too much. You might also notice the soft lines are disconnected. After replacing the calipers, I thought its better to be safe than sorry, especially for brakes! So those are on order too. 

IMG-3603.jpg

 

Once brakes are done I will be ready for the maiden voyage! Maybe just to the neighborhood park and back for now 😉 I want the satisfaction of driving her before tearing into the interior and wiring harness. 

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7 hours ago, Barefootdan said:

I can start the car in the garage without my ears bleeding

I don't need a woman. I won't take me no wife.
I got the rock and roll and that'll be my life.
No page in history, baby. That I don't need.
I just wanna make some eardrums bleed!

Sorry... I'm back now.   ROFL

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13 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

I don't need a woman. I won't take me no wife.
I got the rock and roll and that'll be my life.
No page in history, baby. That I don't need.
I just wanna make some eardrums bleed!

I'm embarrassed to say I had to look it up. I should have known!

"Why waste good music on a brain?"

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9 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Hahaha!!!  I'm just happy that someone got the reference at all!

Don't beat yourself up!!!   :beer:   

Maybe you should turn up your references to 11, when you need that little...you know.

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Excellent!! I love the video. And the editing. I know you probably didn't intend it to come off this way, but I see:

"Happy guy pulls his Z out of the garage all nice and gentle like. Drives like Grandma down to the end of his street. 
Once out of sight of his house (and the camera), he gives the car a proper high RPM thrashing!
After enjoying the crap out of himself, he pulls back down his street slowly and carefully just like Grandma, thinking nobody's the wiser."

That's what I get.    ROFL

LOL!! I also love the giggling at the beginning. Whoever was taking that part of the video knew you were having a great time and was very happy for you!

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14 hours ago, SteveJ said:

Maybe you should turn up your references to 11, when you need that little...you know.

Remind me next time we're together. I had an honest to goodnes real live "this one goes to 11" moment at a Zcon. I think it was Atlanta at the people's choice show. Remind me and I'll tell you about it.  LOL 

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1 minute ago, Captain Obvious said:

Excellent!! I love the video. And the editing. I know you probably didn't intend it to come off this way, but I see:

"Happy guy pulls his Z out of the garage all nice and gentle like. Drives like Grandma down to the end of his street. 
Once out of sight of his house (and the camera), he gives the car a proper high RPM thrashing!
After enjoying the crap out of himself, he pulls back down his street slowly and carefully just like Grandma, thinking nobody's the wiser."

That's what I get.    ROFL

LOL!! I also love the giggling at the beginning. Whoever was taking that part of the video knew you were having a great time and was very happy for you!

Hahaha you nailed it!!! Got back and showed her my video and she asks “How fast did you go?! Sounded like you’re speeding!!” Luckily the Speedo was not plugged in so I said “not sure 😉

 

 

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5 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Excellent!! I love the video. And the editing. I know you probably didn't intend it to come off this way, but I see:

"Happy guy pulls his Z out of the garage all nice and gentle like. Drives like Grandma down to the end of his street. 
Once out of sight of his house (and the camera), he gives the car a proper high RPM thrashing!
After enjoying the crap out of himself, he pulls back down his street slowly and carefully just like Grandma, thinking nobody's the wiser."

That's what I get.    ROFL

LOL!! I also love the giggling at the beginning. Whoever was taking that part of the video knew you were having a great time and was very happy for you!

Yeah, I got that too. Kind of doctor Jekyll and mr Hide theme.

Sorry officer, I just lost control for a minute. Not the car, just lost control of myself. default_rofl - Copy.gif

Edited by EuroDat
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Great video, we need more cow bell next time!!
Congrats on getting it road worthy. It’s more work than one thinks and why some many project cars never get finished.
Even after I finish my Z and make the interior look like it wasn’t parked on Venus for a decade my wife will probably never want to ride in it.
1. Too Loud
2. Too Bumpy
3. No XM radio
4. No heated seats
5. Too many rattles
6. Embarrassed to be seen by others
7. Smells funny
8. No cup holders
9. “Is that gas I smell”
10. No airbags...”Is this safe”

If you watch this video below and don’t laugh then you have no soul! One of my favorite movies.




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9 minutes ago, Av8ferg said:


Even after I finish my Z and make the interior look like it wasn’t parked on Venus for a decade my wife will probably never want to ride in it.
1. Too Loud
2. Too Bumpy
3. No XM radio
4. No heated seats
5. Too many rattles
6. Embarrassed to be seen by others
7. Smells funny
8. No cup holders
9. “Is that gas I smell”
10. No airbags...”Is this safe”

You can fix 4 & 5 when you redo the interior and seats.   #6, have her wear dark sunglasses.  #8, a console armrest with cupholders.  And 7 & 9, only offer her a ride when she is getting over a cold.    The rest, you're on your own ...

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I have started the prep for cleaning out the interior rust and patching my floor pans. I have the full interior out, wiring harness and heater core included. I started to strip away the surface rust and also the paint in preparation for POR-15. Although, the more research I do, it seems like stripping the paint on non-rusted areas is not needed? Am I doing any benefit to stripping the paint or just wasting time? 

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My floor pans had some mild surface rust in a few areas that I cleaned and put POR-15 on I didn’t strip the paint that was not showing signs of rust. I did run the POR-15 slightly into the pained areas to ensure complete coverage.


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