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5/1970 240Z 03802


SpeedRoo

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Another 240Z followed me home and I couldn't say no to it! It's a May 1970 car that was first sold by Datsun of Hawaii in July 1970, fitted with air conditioning. It then went to the mainland in the early 1980s and underwent an engine transplant. The original engine, 07174, was discarded and a 1965 Ford 289 fitted with an automatic transmission. Hydraulic power steering was also adapted and fitted. Non standard seats and tan trim also found their way into the car. Next stop was Texas where it was purchased by the last owner in 1990.

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He then brought it with him to Washington State and undertook a multi year rebuild. Mounted on a rotisserie he did a nut and bolt restoration, stripping the body back to bare metal and removing all the original blue paint. Grey rustproof primer was followed by Sunshine Yellow acrylic enamel before reassembly. All nuts and bolts were re-plated, all suspension components refurbished and painted, and all new Nissan sourced rubbers fitted. New Nissan door cards and center console installed, non standard race seats fitted and strut bars added in the engine bay and rear. The 289 was retained with 15" wheels added and the car completed by the mid 1990s. Only 18,000 miles have been added since. 

 

Must say the Ford V8 does not suit the car at all, the power steering is too light and the brakes too heavy (a later brake booster had been fitted when the engine was swapped). Driving it back to back with my BRE equipped August 1970 build 240Z was a revelation.......all the modifications have to go! So the plan is to refit the correct engine, rebuild the brakes back to standard and put an early 4-speed gearbox back into it. The paint is great considering it was done 30 years ago and garage kept ever since.

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With "Twisty" safely tucked up in a warm garage I've started the process of bringing it back to original. First up was finding the correct engine. After scanning various 240Z registries and poring over any 1970 240Z sold in the last few years, I determined a number range for the correct one I needed to source. From cars finished in May of 1970 I determined the range was from chassis number 03598 to 04605. My car, 03802, was in the first third to half of these. Engine numbers ranged from around 06000 to 07400. So that's what I was aiming for. It would be a 4 screw carb setup with an early "Nissan 2400 OHC" cam cover. Scanning back through internet ads for early 240Z engines I found one listed a couple of years ago on "OfferUp". Even better it was only about 4 hours away from me. It was available and wasn't seized, it still turned over by hand! A quick day trip up to Carnation, WA and it was mine. First major obstacle overcome.

It will need a full rebuild but I have a NOS Nissan full gasket set, Datsun pistons, new factory rings and bearings all ready to go into it. First up will be be stripping it down, boiling the block, checking all tolerances and painting it the correct blue colour. Luckily I have a spare "monkey change" gearbox and R180 diff; a R200 had been fitted when the engine was swapped to the Ford 289. The block casting shows "0211" which translates to a February 11 1970 build. The engine number is "06517" so right in the correct range for a May 1970 240Z. Luck is with me so far!

 

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Edited by SpeedRoo
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Turning to the interior I've had Chester and Herod make up a set of new carpets for it from their original patterns. I had a spare set of seats that came with "08802" so they will be getting new foam and covers; unfortunately there seems to be a six month wait for interior items from Distinctive Industries who made all the reproduction trim for the Vintage 240Z program. In the meantime I've taken out the console and fuse box to check all the wiring/connections and renew where necessary. I think I'll take out the A/C system as it's no longer connected up. In the meantime I've made a list of all the other bits I need. The spare brake booster and master cylinder are off for sleeving and rebuild.

On the lookout for a metal fan and original radiator (hopefully @Terrapin Z has some in his stash). Also need an early steering wheel and headlights. Trying to bring "Twisty" back as close as possible to original but I realise having been repainted and with a replacement engine it wont be perfect.

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Edited by SpeedRoo
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Big question is what wheels to put on it. I don't have any TOPY steel wheels and doubt I will be able to find any 02-70 or 03-70 ones with the correct early hubcaps. I have some slot mags and also a set of American Racing Libres. I'm leaning to the slot mags as they seem to be fairly popular in the period. Then again I really like the look of the Libres. I've also got some Appliance mags that look okay. Decisions!

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Glad I dove into the wiring, a few extra switches added and some other wires missing. The heavy gauge wires coming out of the fuse box were a bit hard and fried, so dug out a spare harness I had and salvaged some better wires. Sanded all the connectors back to bright metal and cleaned up the loom with lacquer thinners. The original radio was missing in action so searched around for a better period solution. Has anyone used one of these modern reincarnations of the original style. https://www.retrosoundusa.com.au/index.php?l=product_detail&p=363 has music streaming, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux inputs as well as AM/FM. They have even made up a replica facia for it. Or do I go the other route and fit a radio delete cubby box? If I go with the updated radio I could add an extra speaker on the right rear across the trunk from the original.

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I vote for the Libres painted the same color as the rear valance - gunmetal.  You said you need an early steering wheel and 'headlights'?  Do you mean FRP headlight scoops?

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6 hours ago, SpeedRoo said:

On the lookout for a metal fan and original radiator (hopefully @Terrapin Z has some in his stash). Also need an early steering wheel and headlights. Trying to bring "Twisty" back as close as possible to original but I realise having been repainted and with a replacement engine it wont be perfect.

Hey Roo, 

I have a few radiators, and one metal fan. I have heard the metal fans came apart during use. Nissan then switched to plastic. The metal is great for a show car, but if you are going to drive this car, then I suggest a plastic. JMO.... mine is not for sale.  Lots of other parts if you need something. Including the plastic fan set up.

I picked up a number of wheel sets from a BAT leftovers purchase that came my way. I have a few sets in my stash too. Being you are nearby, shipping would be nil. 

 

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2 hours ago, Terrapin Z said:

Hey Roo, 

I have a few radiators, and one metal fan. I have heard the metal fans came apart during use. Nissan then switched to plastic. The metal is great for a show car, but if you are going to drive this car, then I suggest a plastic. JMO.... mine is not for sale.  Lots of other parts if you need something. Including the plastic fan set up.

I picked up a number of wheel sets from a BAT leftovers purchase that came my way. I have a few sets in my stash too. Being you are nearby, shipping would be nil. 

 

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Thanks @Terrapin Z I will take you up on the radiator for sure, I think I only have 2 slot mags in my stash but will check. Next storm on the coast I will be heading out that way to windsurf and will try and drop by and see all your goodies! I have the plastic fan but just needed the metal fan for display purposes!

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3 hours ago, 26th-Z said:

I vote for the Libres painted the same color as the rear valance - gunmetal.  You said you need an early steering wheel and 'headlights'?  Do you mean FRP headlight scoops?

Yes I need the headlight scoops, the ones on 03802 are metal for some reason and have tabs for perspex covers. Also after the Koito headlights, may fit the upgraded H4 Koitos. I like your idea for the Libres.

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Narrowed wheel selection down to Slot Mags or Libres. My August 1970 240Z came with Libres, which were made in Oregon at the American Racing foundry in Portland. As "08802" has been an Oregon car it's whole life, still has the original registration, I think the Libres are best kept for it. So looks like Slot Mags for "03802", just have to work out who made the two I already have and match them.

Been sorting out my parts stash to see what I need to source to complete the change back to original. I need some of the early seat hinges (Type 1) with the round adjusters, seems the base cushion and seat back have the same part numbers but the adjusters/hinges are different from mid 1971 onwards. In need of the early 4 speed gearbox, I have 2 of the later versions as spares if anyone needs one or wants to swap! Also after one early seat belt, I have the passenger side but not the drivers (PO fitted a harness). Date code is 4 1970. The search continues.

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Great Black Friday discounts on genuine Nissan parts today. Stocked up on bushes/bearings etc. from Courtesy Nissan and ZCardepot. Can make sure all the suspension bushes on "Twisty" are factory rubber and all the bearings in the engine rebuild are all Nissan parts along with the NOS OEM Datsun gasket set.

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