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Getting the 73 Back on the Road


SteveJ

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I was looking for a garage project this weekend, so I decided to go ahead and install some Hella H4 housings with LED bulbs in the 240Z to replace the old Victoria British/Black Dragon Auto generic H4 housings with halogen bulbs. I have the generic H4 housings with LED bulbs in the 260Z, but I wanted to see if I got a better beam pattern with the Hella housings. I think the Hellas look better/more appropriate for the Z, too.

I even shot some video in case someone needed some more information on how to change headlight bulbs on an S30, not that it's a big challenge.

20220122_151458.jpg

Anyway, the video should be available now.

 

Edited by SteveJ
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1 hour ago, w3wilkes said:

Is it just me or are there 4 screws that hold the headlight housing to the car body? I think in your video there's a screw hole top left that is missing a screw?

That's right. There should be 4 screws, but you only have 3 when you twist the head off one. LOL That happened when I changed bulbs 22 years ago. Why did I need to change bulbs? I put in a new alternator and didn't know it was internally regulated. I was checking my new relay setup and running the car to test the new alternator. I measured the voltage at the battery and saw 17 volts! Before I could turn off the car, the passenger headlight went *poof*!

A little research on Zhome.com, and I figured out my problem, and bypassed the voltage regulator.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, what do you do when you have some free time in the evening, have access to a cheap Harbor Freight welder, and possess a homemade tool? You attach a nut to the tool.

 

20220202_180003.jpg

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11 hours ago, Captain Obvious said:

Just like when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail...

When you have a cheap HF welder, everything looks like a great place for a blob of terrible looking weld slag.

ROFL

When I played rugby in college, anytime a kick barely made it through the uprights (or doinked through), we would say, "UBE (Ugly, but effective)." That nut is securely fastened to the angle. It's definitely UBE.

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Shake down drive:

  1. Choke cables need to be adjusted.
  2. Alternator not charging battery. (Going to adjust tension to see if that is the problem. Also spare alternator is available.)
  3. Still some leaking from the tank, but it looks like vent hoses are the culprit. I'll have to drive it to drop the fuel level to where I can drain it and drop the tank to inspect.
  4. Turn signal cancellation needs to be cleaned up.
  5. Oil pressure is great.
  6. Water temp is normal.
  7. Hard starting after fueling up. I had to hold the gas pedal down while cranking for a while. Choke cable misadjustment?
  8. Ran like a scalded dog when it was up to temp.
  9. The 5 speed truck transmission (installed by a previous owner) leaves a LOT to be desired aside from dropping RPMs at cruise.
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So I added tension to the alternator belt, and the alternator still wasn't charging. Time to load the parts cannon! I fired the cannon and tested with a new alternator. Still no charging. Now it's time to diagnose properly. I checked the sense voltage.  It's good. I check the lamp voltage. It's not good. I checked on the positive side of the diode. Nope. I inspected the connector with the jumpers. Some time in the past I moved the jumper to the wrong place. I moved it back, fired up the engine, and saw 14.6 on the voltmeter.

So let this be a lesson, kiddies. DON'T use the parts cannon before you make an effort to diagnose thoroughly. 

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So the alternator is charging nicely. The chokes have been dialed back. (Though I accidently went gorilla-mode a broke one of the air cleaner receiver bolts. Fortunately, I had a stash to replace the broken bolt.) I did one more test drive to see how the lighting was in the dark. It passed with flying colors, though I did adjust the headlight aim some when I got home. The heat is working nicely, too.

It's time for the acid test. I'm taking it to a car meet tomorrow. It's the first excursion since the Mitty vintage races in 2010 at Road Atlanta.

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The funny thing about the parts cannon is that it did work for me once today. My wife's Escape wouldn't shift out of Park without doing the redneck override with the screwdriver. I testing the brake switch, and it seemed to test fine. However, I pulled a WTF and ordered a new one. It arrived today, and I took a couple of minutes to swap it in. She can shift out of Park again without the screwdriver. 

The funny thing is that I bought a copy of the Escape wiring diagram, and it was pretty easy for me to read. However, with all of the dang modules in the car, you follow one wire around, and it goes into a module. There's a dashed line rectangle inside the box for the module that says, "Logic", giving no freakin' clue what that logic might be. Anyway, she can drive her SUV again.

Sometimes the parts cannon will work, but don't bet on it.

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Well, I think I figured out why she was a little grumpy at times on the freeway. 

20220207_183611.jpg

Back in 2008, when I went to look at the 260Z that now sits in my garage, the owner said it wasn't running. After digging through the engine bay for a couple of hours, I found a distributor cap damaged in a similar fashion but worse. 

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My d21 jumped fire for 5 years? maybe. Ran like crap on acceleration then cleared up. It was tough pulling my boat but I cared more about the boat than the truck. My Dad, God bless him and his attitude, said try a new cap. $5 and him busting my balls for the next year is all it was. LOL

 

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Nice.  Never have seen a cap fail that way.  Used to see a lot of GM HEI caps fail from carbon tracking inside (boy that's been a long time).  Any idea as to its provenance?

I guess that means anyone running with a distributor needs to carry a spare cap.  The pile just keeps getting bigger.  😁

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10 hours ago, siteunseen said:

My d21 jumped fire for 5 years? maybe. Ran like crap on acceleration then cleared up. It was tough pulling my boat but I cared more about the boat than the truck. My Dad, God bless him and his attitude, said try a new cap. $5 and him busting my balls for the next year is all it was. LOL

 

That reminded me, I used to have an Isuzu Rodeo.  The plugs were recessed in the valve covers and the valve cover gaskets eventually leaked oil.  When the oil level in the bores got high enough, it would shunt the spark to ground and the engine would misfire on hard acceleration.  Took me a good while to figure out that one.  It was really strange, because it would idle and drive perfectly as long as your foot wasn't in it.

The band-aid was to remove the plugs and carb clean the oil into the cylinders.  The cure of course was to pull valve covers and fix the dang thing.

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49 minutes ago, ETI4K said:

Nice.  Never have seen a cap fail that way.  Used to see a lot of GM HEI caps fail from carbon tracking inside (boy that's been a long time).  Any idea as to its provenance?

I guess that means anyone running with a distributor needs to carry a spare cap.  The pile just keeps getting bigger.  😁

Back in the old days it was not unusual to carry a spare cap/rotor/points. Caps were not made of the nice thermoplastics that you see today and were susceptible to cracking if hit with cold water when they were hot. Points? Well, there's a good reason why you haven't seen points on a new car in a long time.

I suspect that I did not have the coil wire pushed all of the way down into the cap, or there was a defect in the cap that I could not see. Those are the two likeliest scenarios.

I should have a replacement cap this afternoon with a couple of spares arriving in a few days. I try to stock some caps anyway for when I am working on other people's Z cars.

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Two aborted projects today.

First, I got some new door seal. It was just too big to work right. I re-boxed it, and I'll send it back. However, that did spark me to take some measurements of the dead seal. I'm pretty sure I found a winner, and I'll post pricing and other info  if it works. It arrives Thursday.

One thing that did go right was getting the replacement distributor cap. As I transferred the wires to the new cap (one at a time to prevent getting them out of order), I also made sure the tips of the wires made good contact with the cap.

I also removed the dash cap and steering wheel to install some LEDs. I almost got frustrated trying to figure out how to get the tach out. I found one of the wingnuts easily by taking some photos behind the dash, but it took some time to find the top wingnut by feel.

I wasn't happy with the height of the LEDs when I compared them to the midget BA9S bulbs in the car. I just feel too lazy to remove all of the gauges to remove the illumination lenses. Again, measurements were taken, and I ordered bulbs that I believe will be better suited to the task as they are within a millimeter or so of the midget BA9S incandescent bulbs. Stay tuned.

It wasn't a completely wasted effort. I replaced the gauge turn signal bulbs with the longer LEDs. I'm hoping for a conspicuous brightness to reduce the frequency of me keeping the turn signal on like an old man in Florida. (You guys know who you are. 😉) With the tachometer out, I also found the loose bulb for the hazard switch and cigarette lighter. The wedge bulb was dead, so I wrangled up a replacement LED wedge. I also needed to plug in the optical fiber from the hazard switch to the housing for the wedge bulb. 

Meanwhile, entertain yourselves with some of the photos I took while trying to learn what I needed to know before buying parts. LOL

Here's the old door seal.

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The carnage on the old distributor cap:

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Backside of the tachometer (done with a magnetic light stuck behind the dash and phone in selfie mode):

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Ha! I just noticed the wedge bulb is plugged into the tach and one of the tach bulbs is just hanging out behind the dash.

Here's the backside of the cigarette lighter and hazard switch.

20220208_180746.jpg

Here's looking into the tachometer home while I'm waiting on the bulbs. 

20220208_182510.jpg

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9 minutes ago, Captain Obvious said:

I'm impressed you were able to actually get all up in there and replace those bulbs without pulling the gauges. Good work!

Let us know tomorrow how your back and shoulders are.    :excl:

Trust me, I've made in a concerted effort in the last 2 hours to do a red-neck spinal adjustment on myself by twisting my back frequently at various angles. 

I was definitely spent after all was said and done, though.

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