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Getting the 73 Back on the Road


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Since the middle of May, I started getting the garage organized. It had not been a real priority in years, and it showed. Working from home made it easier to spend time in the evenings, and the portable air conditioning unit made it a lot more tolerable as temperatures got up to summer norms. Some weekends were spent working on the garage. Some were spent going to car meets (and other car activities), and some were spent working on other people's cars.

May turned into June, and June turned into July. Finally the garage was in a condition where I could unbury the 73.

I bought the 73 in late June 1993. I wanted to learn how to work on cars. Well, I got a lot of lessons the hard way, and the car paid for it. The car did get some use in the late 90s when it was pressed into service while my daily driver at the time was getting a new head gasket, but eventually I had to move to a house in 2002 that had a one-car garage, frequently trapping the car. A few years later, we moved into a house with 3 bays, but then I bought the 260Z.

The 260Z was in pretty good shape. It does look better than the 73, and I put some money and effort into some of its problem areas. Then it was time for the 2010 Mitty. Datsun was featured, with Peter Brock as the Grand Marshal and John Morton racing a spec Miata in BRE livery. The 260Z and 240Z started giving me trouble early in the week, and both continued through the Mitty weekend. The 73 was in worse shape as it stopped running. I didn't know it at the time, but the Crane ignition gave up the ghost after about 13 years of providing a good spark. Anyway, the 260Z was running better, and it received most of the attention and most of the hobby car budget. The 240Z wasn't completely ignored. It got a ZX distributor swap, some stainless steel bumpers, and new seat covers (though the seats were not reassembled) among other things, but it sat...and sat...and sat.

Then it got worse. I broke the temperature sender in the 260Z. I stole the one from the 240Z, and replaced it with the broken unit. The driver side door lock in the 260Z broke in 2018. I stole the door lock from the 240Z, and the door stayed stripped down. The last theft was taking off the ZX distributor last year to put it on the 260Z to replace a distributor with a wobbly shaft. The good news is that the parts theft ended there.

Edited by SteveJ
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So, with the garage organized better and with the 73 no longer being covered in odd materials, it was time to start.

I made a list and quickly knocked off a couple of items (removing the dead Crane box and replacing the bad temp sender) while adding two more new items. Then I reformatted the list, making a space for completion dates as items get checked off and adding blanks for more items as I encounter them.

The next weekend reassembled the door, finding the old dovetail was broken. I also installed a Pertronix Ignitor in the old 73 distributor that was still hanging out in the garage, though if it gives me a headache later on, there is a 74 distributor in the parts bin that could see an HEI trigger in the future. 

Meanwhile, the parts orders continue, including a couple of rebuild kits for the carburetors. Sorry flattop fans, the 73 has some 4 screw SUs purchased 25 years ago.

To do list for the 240Z.docx

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WooHoo!!!

Go man, go! I've always felt bad for that car sitting over there all neglected...B)

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This weekend I decided to go after the carburetors. The car had not run in 9 years, and I was worried about what I might find. As I pulled apart the float bowls, my worries were confirmed. The bowl in the rear carburetor was lined with a rusty-colored dust. The bowl in the front had some black ooze in that clogged the line going to the nozzle.

If you are ever thinking about just adding some fresh gas to a Z that has been sitting for a few years, I suggest that you don't do it until after you clean out the carbs and fuel system.

Many components in the float bowl were rusted. I presume it was in part related to the ethanol fuel that was in the bowls when the car was last running.

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I cleaned out the float bowls with carb cleaner and blasted out the last of the ooze with some compressed air. The rusty parts got tossed into a container and immersed in EvapoRust. After they have sat in the container long enough, they will be rinsed with denatured alcohol, dried, and coated with oil to keep the rust from coming back. (Update: I just looked at them. They look a WHOLE lot better after a couple of hours of soaking.) I also ordered new filter screens for the banjo bolts as I do not deem the old ones as being reusable.

Here's a video of the float bowls after I opened them up.

 

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I actually spent more time installing a couple of lights in the garage than I did working on the car. Since I had to do the install with the garage doors open, it got pretty warm in there today. However, I now have good light over the engine bay, so I think that will be to my advantage going forward.

The overnight bath in EvapoRust was good for the steel parts of the float bowl. After taking the parts out of the bath, I put them in a bath of fogging oil.

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I put the new valves in the float bowls and installed the floats and the vents. The lids are secured with new gaskets. I ordered the banjo bolt filters from ZCarDepot yesterday, so I hope to have them in time for the weekend.

Also I would like the get the new Quickjacks operational sooner than later. The car was difficult to push in and out of the garage. It felt like one of the brakes was hanging. It would be nice to get the car off the ground so I could inspect it.

Fortunately SWMBO is pretty tolerant of car parts in the Dining Room now, so if it has to wait a while, I might not get in too much trouble.

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Z Car Depot has my latest parts order in the mail, so I expect to see the package on Thursday or Friday. A guy needs a good distraction to reduce the leftover stress from work. That meant spending yesterday evening in the garage to clear out room for the Quickjacks, and moving them into the garage this evening. I did the grand unboxing, performed the required RTFM, watched a few YouTube videos on Quickjacks, and set about the execution.

Since I'm not in a rush, I only worked on the ramps this evening. The hoses are connected, and the cylinders have been pressurized. No air leaks detected. Tomorrow I hope to finish putting the quick disconnects on the long hoses and pump. Maybe I'll even get to bleeding the system. We'll see.

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I finished the assembly of the Quickjacks today. Unfortunately, one of the air cylinders will not hold pressure. I even swapped the valves between the two ramps to see if it followed the valve. Nope. It was the cylinder. Bendpak has acknowledged the help ticket.

While I wait for that to be resolved, the next round of parts arrives tomorrow, and I hope to get the screens for the banjo bolts on Friday. With car meets on Saturday and Sunday, I won't be spending as much time in the garage, but I hope to get a couple of more items crossed off the list.

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On 7/25/2021 at 6:14 PM, SteveJ said:

Also I would like the get the new Quickjacks operational sooner than later.

The Quickjacks were dropped in to your thread with no introduction.  They look interesting.

Is this them - https://www.quickjack.com/

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1 minute ago, Zed Head said:

The Quickjacks were dropped in to your thread with no introduction.  They look interesting.

Is this them - https://www.quickjack.com/

Yes, sir. I got the BL-5000SLX. If you have a Costco membership, watch their website for sales on them. On special, Costco has them for about $200 less than the next lowest price I could find. While I already have a scissor lift, I thought the Quickjacks would be a good addition. They will be once I get the parts from Bendpak to fix the ramp. I could use them, but I would have to remember to add air to the one air cylinder before trying to lower the vehicle.

Several items on the list such as draining the gas tank and replacing the 13 year old rubber on the wheels will be easier if I can just put the car in the air. I also plan on using it for oil changes and transmission work since the scissor lift cannot accommodate those tasks well.

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Well, the QuickJack support team is quick to respond. With a couple of emails back and forth, they were able to help me find the air leak. Now I am waiting on the remedy. Once the QuickJacks are operational, I can drain the gas and replace the tires. I might leave the car up in the air with the new tires until I finish so I don't flat-spot them.

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Parts are arriving today. I only had aftermarket door striker latches in my parts collection, so I ordered what I hope is a Nissan version from Z Car Depot. I also am expecting the banjo bolt filters for finishing off the carburetors.
On Monday, I should receive the window channel that I ordered from an ebay seller in Thailand.

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1 hour ago, SteveJ said:

Now I am waiting on the remedy.

What is it?  I can only see bubbles in your picture.  Is that a welded seam or a pipe fitting? 

Seems like Quickjack is overly confident in their manufacturing process.  A leak in a pneumatic system is a pretty significant miss.

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The leak is at the seal of the piston where the silver shaft goes in. Only air can leak out. The hydraulic seal is functional.

image.png

Apparently it is still safe to use like that, but the new part should be sent out. I don't mind having to replace it myself. It's a pretty straightforward procedure from what I can tell by looking at it (and from the email the support person sent). I have to undo a couple of bolts, remove the bad cylinder, slide in the new cylinder, put the bolts back, put air in the air cylinder, and bleed the hydraulic cylinder. I don't envision taking too long.

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I installed the Nissan door striker latch. After a little adjusting, the door closes and latches just like it should. Before I did the install, I asked the wife to pick out which latch was stock and which was aftermarket. She picked the wrong one, but I thought it was for good reasons. We compared the two, and she pointed out some details that I didn't noticed on first inspection.

Door Striker Latch.jpg

The Nissan latch is on the left. The aftermarket latch comes down too far at the top, and it looks thicker on the left side. I'm thinking that it may not allow the striker to come in far enough to latch reliably.

After being satisfied with the door, I turned my attention to finishing off the carburetors. I installed the banjo filters, buttoned up the carburetors and installed them back on the intake. They will be ready when I need to call on them to fuel the engine. Here's a photo of the new filter next to the old, rusty filter.

Banjo Filters.jpg

I finished up the evening by replacing some connectors at the solenoid. That allowed me to mark another thing off the list.

Progress.jpg

The window channel felt should arrive on Monday, so it will go in next week. The new air cylinder for the QuickJack is estimated for Wednesday, so I should be able to get the car in the air the following weekend.

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I started putting the seats back together last night, but I ran into a glitch. I counted and recounted the screws, and I found I was 1 short. The wife made a Home Depot run today to get a M8x1.25 machine screw and some 5/16 star washers. I used the new screw on the first seat, and as was putting the second seat together I noticed I had an extra screw. Apparently my counting skills were not what they should have been yesterday.

So the seats are together and ready to go into the car. I'm going to pull the center console first because I want to replace it. The replacement console is sitting the hatch area of the car.

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Today's episode is "While I'm at it..."

Since the seats are still out of the car, I figured it would be a good time to replace the center console with one I've had lying about for 8 years or so. I removed the console and removed the ash tray cover. The cover was pretty dirty, so while I'm at it, it would be good to clean it. I transferred the clean cover to the replacement console, and then I proceeded to remove the outer shift boot. Well, it was pretty old, and some of the threads broke. Then I looked at the rubber shift boot. It was torn. While I'm at it, I might as well find the replacement boot I bought many years ago. (Okay, so the wife found it for me. She knows the spare parts room better than I do.) I also found another outer boot during the search.

The shifter was pretty sloppy. The bushings were MIA when I bought the car in 93. While I'm at it, I'll find the brass bushings I bought 4 years ago and install them. It only took searching the same places twice to find those. I followed the tech tip on Blue's ( @240260280) page (link below) and used my vice to press in the bushings. I even had Wendy shoot a video of me pressing in the second bushing. Well, I couldn't crank down hard enough with the vice to get the bushings flat enough to fit inside the fork. So I took the shifter to the 20 ton press. THAT got the bushings flat enough. The shifter slop is gone. During all this, I got the drawstring out of the old outer shifter boot and threaded it into the new boot.

Tomorrow I will attach the rubber boot to the transmission tunnel, attach the outer shift boot to the center console, and get the center console back in place. If it all goes quickly enough, I might start getting the seats back into the car.

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I thought things went well tonight. I got the center console prepped and installed. The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how the fuse box lid should be attached to it. Having never seen it attached properly I had to guess. I know I didn't it differently from stock, but I was happy with the result. It looks less redneck than what a previous owner did.

With the quick install of the center console, I turned my attention to the seats. I got them in and secured. I couldn't help but just sit in the driver's seat for a little while. I haven't been able to do that for a few years. After enjoying the view and thinking of what is left to do to actually get the car on the road, I finished off the evening holding up the window channel rubber to the frame and putting the steering column cover back on. It's starting to feel like a car again instead of a collection of parts taking up a bay in the garage.

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Short update today. Yesterday I replaced the bad air cylinder on the Quickjack. It was a fairly easy task. Today I drained the gas tank. First I siphoned about 4.5 gallons out via the filler neck. There was some junk in the gas that came out, but not too bad. The gas wasn't too much darker than what you get from the pump. I then deployed the Quickjacks to finish draining the tank via the drainplug. I got another 4.5 gallons that way. There was less junk than I got from siphoning the tank. The gas smelled bad, but again, it wasn't too dark.

Tomorrow, I'll blow some compressed air through the hard lines in the fuel system, remove the electric fuel pump in the back, and replace the fuel hoses. They have been on there for over 25 years now. 

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It's the weekend, so progress was good. I bypassed the electric fuel pump for now. I took off the old hoses in the back and had the wife blast air through the lines in the engine bay. There were no signs of blockages. As a matter of fact, there was still old, stinky gas in the supply line.

Then I went to replace the hoses in the engine bay. I noticed a while back that one of the blocks that holds the fuel lines in place was damaged. When I removed the hose from the supply line to the fuel filter, I found this.

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I'm not sure why someone would cut off the fuel line like that.

Anyway, the new fuel hoses are in place.

Next up:

  1. Get a new battery.
  2. Remove the valve cover and pour some oil over the cam.
  3. Remove the spark plugs and put some oil in the cylinders.
  4. Turn the engine to circulate the oil.
  5. Add some gas to the fuel pump, carbs and gas tank.
  6. Attempt to start.
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23 minutes ago, SteveJ said:

 

I'm not sure why someone would cut off the fuel line like that.

 

Pretty sure I've seen that situation before. It had to do with a car that had A/C added and the fuel filter was relocated rearward to the shock tower or nearby. The supply line was cut to better mate to the filter. Major bummer!

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Speaking of comfort, it's good to reduce wind noise. The window channel rubber/felt was in two conditions: missing and rotten. I pulled the window frames out and worked on prepping them for new channel rubber/felt that I purchased from ebay. In case anybody is curious, here is the listing: https://www.ebay.com/itm/272740934276. Even though the seller is in Thailand, it only took just over 2 weeks to arrive. I can't complain about that.

I dug out the rotten channel rubber from the driver side and used a dremel with a wire brush to remove the remaining adhesive. There was more of the rotten channel rubber in the passenger side frame plus some of the thick felt at the bottom of the back part of the channel. There was also more adhesive residue. For that I started with a narrow gasket scraper, and I finished up with the dremel and wire brush. I took measurements of the frame to prep the window channel length and finished up by cleaning out the inside of the frames with denatured alcohol.

Tomorrow I will cut the window channel to length, apply a thin coat of adhesive to the frame and work the window channel into place.

Here are some before and after photos of cleaning out the old adhesive from the passenger side frame.

Before:

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After:

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With a helping hand from my wife, I got the new window channel glued into the window frames. The fit is good, not great, but that's fine with me. I reinstalled the window frames and buttoned the doors back up. There are fewer and fewer straggler parts lying about in the garage.

After I was finished with the doors, I got in the car with the windows rolled up. It was blissfully quiet in the cabin. I situated myself into a nice driving position to get the feel of how it will be after the motor is back running, and I pressed on the clutch pedal to feel ABSOLUTELY no resistance. D'oh! A new master and slave are now on order. They were added to my task list, too.

I'm thinking that the first attempt for engine start will be this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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Nice to have help like that. 

Starting that motor will be a wonderful moment when all goes well.  Fingers crossed.

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