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  1. Been working hard to improve my photography skills so I shot my dad's orange Z this morning. These are my favorites. Shot with a Canon 6D.
  2. Hi all, just wanted to post some status of my trip to Japan. I was able to meet @kats and we took a drive in his Fairlady Z432. Man what a great car! It’s in great shape and Kats knows how to take car of his cars. We met in Kyoto as I arrived, with my family, to our hotel. Kats lives about 30 minutes away from Kyoto and drove the car up just to visit with me. He has 4 Z’s and asked me which one I wanted to see (and drive). Since I’ve never seen a Z432, it was an obvious choice. We spent about 20-30 minutes ogling the car before he let me drive it around the block. I don’t have an international drivers license, so he took the controls and we went for an extended drive around the city. I’ll post more about my observations when I am able to sit down at a computer, but I wanted to share a few pics. What a great time, and I wanted to personally thank Kats for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with me. As you can see, it’s springtime in japan and the cherry blossoms are in full effect!
  3. Big milestone last week. Car is back on wheels 5 years after I stripped it down.
  4. I should update the title of this thread to 'Z cars at the Concours and Museums'. My '70 is now on display at the San Diego Auto Museum. They have an exhibit that started Feb 2, 2019 called "Icons, Cars that Drove our Imagination" : https://sdautomuseum.org/exhibit/icons The Roadster is at the Petersen Museum: https://www.petersen.org/1969-datsun-1600-roadster/ Love that free storage!
  5. Some interesting ones below thanks to data and images from @kats @HS30-H @Mike B @Carl Beck & @26th-Z and anyone I missed (BIG THANKS!) May 1969 - total 2 cars - one domestic, one export: 1 = S30-00001 (Factory prototype 1) 2 = HLS30-00001 (Factory prototype 2) June 1969 - total 1 car - domestic: 3 = PS30-00001 (Factory prototype 3) July 1969 - total 4 cars - two domestic, two export: 4 = HLS30-00002 (Primary Production prototype 1) 5 = S30-00002 (Primary Production prototype 2) 6 = PS30-00002 (Primary Production prototype 3) 7 = HS30-00001 (Primary Production prototype 4) August 1969 - total 7 cars: 8 = S30-00003 (Primary Production prototype 5) 9 = S30-00004 (Primary Production prototype 6) 10 = S30-00005 (Primary Production prototype 7) 11 = PS30-00003 (Primary Production prototype ? 12 = HLS30-00003 (Primary Production prototype 9) 13 = S30-00006 (Primary Production prototype 10) 14 = PS30-00004 (Primary Production prototype 11) October 10 Two 240z test cars and parts arrive in North America in crates - HLS30-00004 (Silver Manual Mfg:09-69) Seisan Shisaku: #14 - HLS30-00005 (Silver Automatic Mfg:09-69) Seisan Shisaku: #15 < October 22 Three 240z demo/photo/show cars arrive in North America - HLS30-00006 (Green) - HLS30-00007 (Silver) - HLS30-00008 (Red) Oct 17 Press Presentation Ginza HQ, Tokyo Oct 20 First Ad in Japanese Paper (432) Oct 22 NYC International Preview Pierre Hotel (and press kit release HLS30-00006 Green) Oct 24 16th Tokyo Motor Show Oct 24 Wilshire Motor Show Preview LA Oct 27 Calif Competition Press and Autoweek Article on the new 240z with photo of Test car Oct 30 Boston Motor Show Oct ?? HLS30-00013 & HS30-00003 produced Nov ?? 432 Race Track Testing Suzuka Circuit Nov 25 Japan Test Drive for Journalists near Mt. Fuji Nov 25 ARRC Daytona Speedway 240z (red HLS30-00007) Dec 20 Refined Z's Shipped by plane to North America (following Seisan Shisaku road testing feedback and export production slow down to resolve) Early Z Production car Early Z Photos Early Z Advertising and Promotion Early Z Brochure Press Show in Japan Tokyo Motor Show Boston Car Show ARRC with Early Promo Z in Public Press Test Drive in Japan Early Z Coverage in Magazines Manufacturing Testing in North America
  6. Just wanted to chime in and let everybody know that the houston floods spared both the Datsuns and the Z and roadster will be seeing the beauty that is texas fall soon. Hope everybody is well, and driving as much as possible. I have been away for too long from this great community and will make an effort to be more present as I miss you guys. SD
  7. OMG, I'm drooling. This will be one sweet ride. Can't wait to start assembly.
  8. While Motorman7 is restoring my '73 240Z, (thread titled: We're bringing back the flat tops!) I've started digitizing the slides I took of the car I've kept since I bought it new in 1973. I came across the pictures I took of a "fun run" in 1974 sponsored by Jack Gubrud, the owner of Gubrud's Valley Datsun in Mt. Vernon, Washingon. That was where I bought my car in April, 1973 after returning from a 10+ month deployment to Vietnam aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. This was on Sunday, August 4th, 1974 from Mt. Vernon WA (north of Seattle) over the North Cascade Highway through the Cascade mountains to the town of Winthrop, WA. I believe almost all of the Zs in these photos were purchased at Gubrud's Valley Datsun. Lots of S30s! As I recall, Jack Gubrud paid for a BBQ picnic lunch for everyone. And we had a presentation by a Datsun engineer about the new Hitachi carbs. Wish I had paid more attention!
  9. Today, September 13, 2017, is the 45th anniversary of my ownership of my Z-Car. If someone told me when I first bought the car that I would have it for 45 years I would have said “you’re nuts”! Most of what follows is copied from the similar thread that I started on the 40th anniversary ( http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/44418-me-my-z-40th-anniversary/?tab=comments#comment-402126 ) and updated to cover the past 5 years. This is the story of the car… I read the road test of the 240Z in the April 1970 issue of Road&Track magazine and recognized the car as a great value. Then, in 1971 I visited my brother down in Miami and he pulls up in a blue 1970 Z - so that was my first ride. Between the article and that ride, I said to myself: I should get one of these someday... Bought my Z new in 1972 while in the Marines, using a re-enlistment bonus to pay cash for the car. Had a BRE/Interpart header, spook, and rear spoiler installed by the dealer at delivery. After I had the car for a while, drove up to the BRE/Interpart shop in El Segundo, CA and bought the Mulholland suspension package. In ’73, put in a hotter cam. Also in ’73 I put in the Interpart TC kit. In ’74, bought a new WR OD 5-speed, driveshaft, and R-190 LSD w/4.44 gears from Datsun Comp ($575 through a mechanic friend at a dealer). The car scooted pretty good with that gearing. Car was up on blocks for a year while I was stationed in Japan in late ’74 into ’75. By 1977, I wanted more power, so skipped the triple carb scene and went with a 331ci SB Chevy – 11:1 forged, cam, Edelbrock Tarantula manifold, 650 Holley double-pump carb, headers. Had to pull the R-190/4.44 out and put a R-180/3.36 in for the V-8 (the R-180 lasted while the V-8 was in). In 1978, I had the Acra-Trac front suspension mod installed (who remembers Acra-Trac?). Sometime during this period, I had the short steering knuckles put in. After 5 years with the V-8, I got married, needed a better transportation car, and was getting caught up with smog/legal issues with the swap, so in 1982, put in an L-28 with just a slightly hotter cam, and another Datsun Comp 5-speed. In 1983, the R-180 pinion gear finally failed while I was doing a spirited 1-2 shift (must have been something to do with the V-8 service!) so put in an R-200/3.54. Also in 1983 I made the +1 upgrade to 15” wheels. In ‘86/’87, did a moderate refresh of the car – went through the mechanicals, had it repainted original color (901 silver). Then, didn’t do much but drive and enjoy it for nearly 20 years. In late 2005, I started a mechanical refresh again (mostly suspension). In December 2005 (unfortunately) the head cracked and I had an oil pan full of coolant – so, an unplanned engine rebuild. As long as the engine was apart, went with flat-top pistons and a hotter cam. In January ’06, decided to go to the MSA show, so I worked on the cosmetics a bit and finally refreshed the interior. In 2007 I installed Z-Therapy carbs with SM needles. After those refreshes and rebuilds, I figured the car would be ready for another 20 years of trouble-free driving. In 2008, I moved from Southern California to rural Tennessee. I had planned to drive the Z across but couldn’t make that work with the household move so it was shipped to TN. Since the move, the car is used mostly to get me to my local fishing lakes, but occasionally I take it for a spin down a deserted country lane and blow it out with a couple of fast runs. Over all this time, the car has only been out of service (not counting the year on blocks while I was in Japan) for about 6-7 weeks due to engine swaps/rebuilds, paint, etc. It was a daily driver for the first 17 years, about a “twice a week” driver for the next 17, and has been about a “once a week” driver for the past 11 years. It’s been a long, but fun, 45 years of ownership. Future plans? Five years ago on the 40th anniversary I reported that perhaps I would reverse some of the mods I made to the car over 40-45 years ago (mostly non-stock instrumentation and other interior mods). That at some point in the future, with upper body strength diminishing, I’d have to consider pulling out the quick steering knuckles and putting stock ones back in, along with perhaps a larger diameter steering wheel, to reduce the steering effort. I haven’t done any of that. I’m 65 now and can still turn the wheel (although parking is a bear) so no changes to the car yet. I just keep driving it and “enjoy the ride”… A problem that will continue to get worse over the future years may be finding appropriate performance tires for 15” wheels (of course, as I age, perhaps I shouldn’t be exploring the capabilities of performance rubber!). Otherwise, the car is mostly good to go – let’s see how much longer we stay together…!
  10. Well, third time's a charm, it seems. After two lengthy and unsuccessful adventures with a DIY electrolyte set-up, I finally spent the money and bought the Caswell chemicals. It took me almost full day to create a new set-up... I created all-new baths (distilled water, muriatic acid, MEK solvent, Caswell electrolyte, Caswell blue chromate & Caswell yellow chromate). Every container was wiped down with alcohol before use, to make sure and manufacturing residue, fingerprints, etc. were gone. I also replaced my wire wheel (brass) with a new one, just in case the old one had acquired any kind of contamination. The acid bath was mixed at 1 part acid to 4 parts distilled water Electrolye and chromate baths were created according to the directions on the Caswell packaging (I didn't buy their manual).and added new ones for the electrolyte and the two phosphates) I used a fresh, single hoop of Moss-Boss zinc foil I added 1/2 teaspoon of Caswell's brightener liquid before getting started No heating used for the acid bath, nor for the two chromate dips My detergent bath consisted of a 4-qt crock pot full of distilled water, to which I added 400ml of liquid ammonia and a shot of dish detergent. I kept this at about 100 degrees F. Parts were scrubbed with a toothbrush, then rinsed off in a distilled water bath. The electrolyte bath was kept heated at between 100 - 110 degrees F during plating, with constant agitation using an aquarium bubbler. I pre-heat the solution with a hot water tank heating element, then remove the heater before I start plating. I started at 110 degrees. The temp dropped to about 100 degrees over the plating period. Plating current was set based on 140mA per sq.in. of part surface. I ran the part for 20 minutes, turning it 90 degrees at the 10-minute mark. I wasn't actually ready to get started with my first part (a brake line clip from the engine compartment) until about 3:00 Sunday afternoon. The part looked good coming out of the zinc plating step -- full coverage, dull light grey, no burning, no visible edge or corner effects. It got a quick swish in a distilled water bath, then into the blue chromate for a 60 s. dip. After that, it went directly (no rinse) into the yellow chromate dip for a 15s dip. Then a quick rinse with tap water. Then a 1 min. blast with a blow drier (running on HI heat). I can't tell you what a relief it was to see the part emerge like this... I'll post some pictures of my set-up later, along with some additional comments about settings and running multiple parts. I haven't tried any large items yet, so that remains an unknown.
  11. Well after forty years of ownership I'm finally starting a second go around at restoring my 1970 240Z. I purchased the car well used in 1978 with 90,000 plus miles from the local Datsun Dealership in Chilliwack, BC Canada. Here is a picture from July '78: Here is what it looks like today. Looks reasonable but the paint is showing its age and there are some other issues lurking that need to be fixed properly. Full disclosure will come later. Restoration number one was done in 1982 and I only did what I could afford at the time. I actually think this first attempt of was really "Canadian maintenance", my poor Zed was at a do or die point. Here are a few pics from 1982: I went to the parts department at my local Datsun dealership and made, what I learned later was, the largest order of body parts that anyone had ever placed with them to that point. By the time my body man and painter were finished and with the cost of the car, I could have bought a brand new 1978 280Z instead, but hey I was 18 at the time and I have never regretted doing it. In future installments I will list my restoration goals add a time line of my 40 years of ownership, after I sort and scan more of my old pictures. Anyway I plan to document my adventure with my re-restoration here, and I'm sure I will be looking for advice, also comments and tips will be very welcomed. Cheers, Mike
  12. The flat top contingent takes the top two spots placing 1st and 2nd in the stock 240Z category. The outclassed round tops just can't compete.
  13. Woot! My yellow 240z was recently featured in the VTO Wheels Customer Spotlight! I was wondering why Alex wanted me to take some photos of the car.. Anyone notice the cat posing for the photo? His name is Mr Banks and will sign autographs. ? Thanks @VTOwheels Mike PS: One correction, I am running Tokico Illumina adjustable struts (it says I am running stock struts). p{ margin:10px 0; padding:0; } table{ border-collapse:collapse; } h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6{ display:block; margin:0; padding:0; } img,a img{ border:0; height:auto; outline:none; text-decoration:none; } body,#bodyTable,#bodyCell{ height:100%; margin:0; padding:0; width:100%; } .mcnPreviewText{ display:none !important; } #outlook a{ padding:0; } img{ -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; } table{ mso-table-lspace:0pt; mso-table-rspace:0pt; } .ReadMsgBody{ width:100%; } .ExternalClass{ width:100%; } p,a,li,td,blockquote{ mso-line-height-rule:exactly; } a[href^=tel],a[href^=sms]{ color:inherit; cursor:default; text-decoration:none; } p,a,li,td,body,table,blockquote{ -ms-text-size-adjust:100%; -webkit-text-size-adjust:100%; } .ExternalClass,.ExternalClass p,.ExternalClass td,.ExternalClass div,.ExternalClass span,.ExternalClass font{ line-height:100%; } a[x-apple-data-detectors]{ color:inherit !important; 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line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .headerContainer .mcnTextContent,.headerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .bodyContainer .mcnTextContent,.bodyContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:16px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } @media only screen and (max-width: 480px){ .footerContainer .mcnTextContent,.footerContainer .mcnTextContent p{ font-size:14px !important; line-height:150% !important; } } *|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|* Customer Spotlight Mike Gholson of the Classic Zcar Club knows wheel fitment is key to getting the look that makes his car stand out. Mike came to VTO Wheels because he knew our fitment and customer service is the best in the industry. The VTO Classic 8 GTR 16"x7" wheels gives Mike's Z car a stylish finish, while the deeper lip gives a much more desirable and understated aggressive look. This yellow beauty is sitting on stock struts with Tokico springs that lower the car 1 inch. The VTO's are 0mm offset and wrapped in 205/55-16 BFG G-Force Sport 2 sticky rubber. No rubbing issues are reported, and the ride is said to be smooth and free of vibration. Thank you for your support, and please let VTO help you find the perfect fit for your next project, whatever the year, make, or model may be. Don't know what offset or bolt pattern to run? With us fitment doesn't have to be a guess! We will send you a wheel to test your fitment so you know that when you place an order, the fit will be perfect. Shop VTO Wheels Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|* Our mailing address is: *|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|* Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list. *|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
  14. This forum has been very helpful to me. As a means of documenting some of what we have done and to help others avoid some of my mistakes I thought I would post the installation of a vintage gen II mini AC system. Background: My son and I are restoring a 1973 240z. We call it the bucket, as there was a significant amount of rust that had to be dealt with and our other choice – Money Pit was already taken. We are changing the color from 113 avocado green to mango orange, it has an L-28 engine and a 5 speed gear box. At this point: the car was taken to bare metal, metal replaced where required and any rust has been eliminated the rear clip is painted, front and rear suspension has been restored/upgraded and installed brake system has been restored/upgraded and installed half axles, differential, driveshaft, transmission, engine have been restored/upgraded and installed fuel system has been restored and is installed cooling system has been restored/upgraded and installed electrical harness has been restored/upgraded and the cockpit harness is installed When we purchased the car, it did have a non-working aftermarket AC system, probably installed at the dealership. We decided to replace the AC, defrost, and heater with an integrated system from Vintage Air. Vintage Air recommended a Gen II Mini The Gen II is a replacement for the original heater core, air box, and under-dash AC evap. As you can imagine the gen ii is quite a bit smaller than the original components, but it is a universal system and therefore it needs to be shoe horned into a space under the original dash. Because I removed so much original material, I thought that I would be able to fit the combination evaporator/heater and air box above the transmission tunnel and behind the instrument panel. This gets it away from the passenger footwell and centers the defrost and climate openings. I found someone that had done something similar so I was fairly confident that I would not have a fitment issue with the dash. Brackets are provided with the Gen II but I did not find them to be particularly useful. Mounting is fairly straightforward, but if you are like me sometimes it takes a few proto-types to get something that satisfies you. Mounting the Evaporator Once the evaporator is in place you can decide where hoses need to enter/exit the firewall. It is always nice to use the original holes, but you need to consider the radius of the bends for the hoses as they do not like to make sharp turns. I decided to install bulkheads for both the AC hoses and the heater hoses. I like this luxury because if the engine has to come out or if anything goes wrong with the evaporator/heater then disassembly stops at the firewall. Also if any of the hoses fail you don’t have to disconnect at the evaporator to replace an engine bay hose and vice versa. Working these stiff hoses and close connections under the dash is not the most comfortable task, The only downside that I can think of regarding bulkhead connections is that there are additional breaks in the hoses that now require some sort of mechanical connection and this is yet another opportunity for a leak. I did not have to cut any additional holes in the firewall but I would recommend that you buy individual bulkhead connectors as opposed to 2-way or 4-way bulkheads. This probably makes it easier to use the original holes. Bulkhead Connections water connections are behind the evap, compressor connections are near the main harness entry. Those are EZ-coils fitted on the hoses to help keep them from collapsing due to a sharp radius you can see the water connections on the passenger side of the engine just below the level of the valve cover. Compressor lines enter the bay just above the passenger frame rail. I would have preferred to do all of the hose routing with the engine out of the way, but I was concerned that I could not visualize every aspect. The AC compressor is a bit of a chore to mount so I will do that while the engine is on a stand. Here is what is being replaced – a Nissan bracket, and a sanden compressor. The original compressor is much lighter than most that were used in the day like York, but the original combination still weighs 24 lbs. Original Bracket and Compressor I tried to use the original bracket. Even though it is heavy and bulky it is clearly better because the compressor can be mounted so that it does not have to move to install a v-belt. There is an integral idler pulley that is adjustable. I spent valuable time cleaning the bracket and the pulley in preparation for painting, but alas I could not figure out a good way to modify it to accept the new compressor and properly align it with the engine pulley. The bracket that I purchased from Vintage is simple (no idler pulley) but it is made to convert a York bracket. Unfortunately, it does not line up with the bucket’s pulley. So my choices were to somehow modify the simple bracket or build a new bracket. I decided to attempt a mechanical solution as opposed to modifying the bracket by welding a piece on. The problem really has two pieces: the compressor must align with the engine pulley and because there is no Idler pulley it must rotate to install and adjust the v-belt. Here is what I came up with. It is 9lbs lighter. I will continue to look for a more elegant solution with an idler pulley, but I need to get the engine back in the car. NEW AC Bracket and Compressor With the engine and radiator in place it is an easy task to route the Compressor hoses to the bulkhead. Vintage offers a connect system called “easy clip”. I have not used this before but it allows me to construct all of the hoses myself without the usual expense of a crimping tool. This will make start-up of the AC system much simpler, because I will be able to go to a shop and only require evacuation, drying and filling to get the system working. This should take about an hour as opposed to waiting for someone to construct the crimp hoses and depend on someone else to route the hoses to my satisfaction. Hopefully, the easy clip system works well and does not leak. Condenser The condenser and drier were both part of the gen II kit. Bracketing the condenser was fairly easy. You need to take into account the holes in the radiator support as the hose that sources the drier must go through the support. It would have been nice to mount the drier ahead of the support where the air is coolest but it was more convenient for me to put it on the engine side. I converted to an aluminum radiator with an electric fan so I installed a trinary switch on the drier. So, the routing of the hoses is: Evap to Comp, Comp to condenser, condenser to drier and drier back to the evap. The route that I took was evap across the firewall to the comp mounted driver side low, from the compressor thru the radiator support across the condenser to a connection on the passenger side of the condenser from the condenser thru the radiator support to the drier, from the drier along the passenger frame rail to the firewall to the evap. That is a 2 row aluminum radiator painted black with a dual electric fan setup. I still think that it is strange to use a 2 row, but based on what I read I convinced myself that 2 rows were actually better than 3 or 4 for the same overall length and width. The condenser is visible here - in front of the radiator Climate Control Panel The last piece of the puzzle – mounting the controls. When this project began, I had no idea what I was going to do with regard to the climate control panel. Trust me this restoration has had enough challenges, but I wanted the controls to look they were part of the car. Originally, I envisioned the new panel hidden behind the original panel with mechanical linkages to control the system. I ordered a panel from vintage air, their least expensive. It allows for 4 slide type controls: AC compressor on/off combined with AC temperature control, Heater temperature control, Fan speed control, and Mode (defrost, feet, body, body+feet) control. Now that I have good handle on the mounting of the evaporator and know that the dash will fit without interfering with the evap I can consider using the original Datsun climate control panel which had the original mechanical controls for the vent, heater and defroster. The bucket had an aftermarket AC system, but it did not have anything integrated so the compressor control and the AC temperature control were all hung external to the dash. The Datsun climate control panel accommodates three slide controls: outside air, heater temperature, mode (defrost, feet, body, body+feet) control; and a rotary fan speed control. The controls for the original AC system were appended to the dash and did not compliment the look and feel of the car. The original climate control panel and the vintage air panel I decided that I was going to attempt to integrate the vintage air controls into the 240z panel. My control panel was not in very good shape so I decided to use it to trial fit everything. I opted for the luxury of replacing my panel with a new one. MSA does make one – it’s approximately $130. Its plastic, well built, but nothing special. They have a slightly more expensive version with chrome accents – I was not smart enough to order that version, so I spent more to have the fun of trying to do chrome accents myself. The first obvious difference between the original and the vintage controls is the fan control. I ordered a rotary fan switch from vintage air to replace the slider that I originally purchased. The hole in the 240z panel must be opened a bit to accommodate the vintage air control. If you go this route, remember to be careful as you are working with plastic, so cracking is a real possibility. Next, I removed each of the slide switches from the vintage air panel. In my opinion the best/easiest way to integrate them into the 240z panel was to create an intermediate metal panel to house the vintage air controls and then mount the intermediate panel onto the 240z plastic panel. The metal panel should help distribute the forces of the sliders and will allow me to more easily position the sliders where I need them. It’s not as easy as it sounds. The travel of the vintage air sliders is quite a bit smaller than the original 240z controls. I considered mounting the sliders a few inches back from the 240z panel which would make the slider travel more similar to the original but it complicated everything else so I rejected the idea. The length of the vintage air slider mechanisms is also different than the original 240z controls. The vintage air heater temperature control is a bit hooky in my opinion. It is mounted to the vintage air panel by being squeezed by their bracket. There is no provision to screw it to a panel. It’s quite small. I used thin aluminum sheet stock to build trial configurations. It’s easy to bend and easy to cut and you can expose a lot of issues very quickly by using a proto-typing process. The AC control is relatively large. I decided to fit it into the top slot of the plastic panel labeled “AIR”. In my opinion - this is where it fits best. You can mount it without a lot of difficulty with one exception – the length of the slide control is too short. If you choose to go this route don’t purchase the vintage air panel (it’s a waste of money), and when you order the controls make sure that they provide full length sliders. When they build a kit with their panel, they cut the sliders to fit their panel and it is too short for the Datsun panel. I very carefully bent the L shaped bracket flat. I then removed enough material from the bracket to allow the slider to protrude through the plastic panel enough so that I could attach a plastic knob to it. I wanted to use the original 240z knobs to help disguise the vintage air system. One of my knobs was cracked and so I searched for a replacement. I found some new ones at Banzai Motor Works that were reasonable. The heater temperature control will fit just below the AC control. I built a small aluminum bracket that pinches the heater control and attaches to the climate control panel. Lateral movement of the heater control is prevented by the aluminum bracket and vertical movement is prohibited because the heater control is held in place by the ac control above it. The mode control will fit in the climate control panel’s third (lowest) slot. Here is an image of the original control panel with all of the controls mounted to it. Also, you need to seal off the cowl vent because there is no provision for the vintage air system to utilize that vent. The only fresh air vent system that you will have will come from the vents on the driver and passenger side which are controlled by individual mechanical cables. These vents actually get their air thru the ducts to the opening in the radiator support. The bottom line is that the original 240Z panel will remain in-tact and the new system will seamlessly fit behind it. You will not be able to tell that the entire climate system has been upgraded. vintage air controls Integrated Panel CONCLUSION If you choose to upgrade your AC system and you opt to integrate the controls into the original climate control panel you can benefit from my mistakes. Do not order the panel/control kit. Instead order the individual switches with full length sliders. Make sure that you order the rotary fan control and not the slide fan control switch. In the spirit of full disclosure I have not fired-up the AC system yet. Having said that, based on previous experience I believe that Vintage Air has done a great job providing a terrific system with more than adequate documentation. I especially like the reduction in physical size and weight. I also like the electronic controls as opposed to mechanical – cable stretch and loose cable connections are a thing of the past. I appreciated being able to make my own compressor hoses (hope they are solid and do not leak). I do wish that they would come up with a universal compressor mount with an idler pulley. All in all, it is a great system. It takes a fair amount of time and effort to install, but I believe you will be happy with the result. I will try to answer any questions that you might have. Good Luck.
  15. Hi everybody! Today I bring fresh news!!! During the last weekends we were working on the car…but some minor bad luck happened…we didn’t progress as we like!!! But bolt by bolt we are assembling the BIG puzzle!!! At this moment there is a willfull rubber, the one from the hatch glass…it will go directly to the litter! I bought an original in japan and I’m waiting for it! Then the doors…we didn’t finish the driver’s door because the inside locker is broken and we were unable to tune the door properly. I’m getting bored with all these tasks…only adjustments and tunning and…and…and… too much time spent on each part!!! The only goal that is keeping me excited is getting her to it’s original condition…and it’s almost done! Let’s see the photos!!! Plated and zinc parts… The fuel filter stand is originaly painted black, but I’ll leave it zinc…it’s cleanerto the engine bay…I think! New horns…before there were the giant vintage bosh… New heater grommets… Installing the door. New key lockers, new door handles, glass elevators and the main lock. This last one borke down. I suspected before the resto, that it didn’t opened the door properly! New hood handle...the previous one wasn’t original and didn’t match S30! New rubbers for hood handle and km mark. Cleaning and installing the side markers. Installed..they fit very well! And left side almost ready… Rear bumper installation! What an enormous task!!! 3 hours until the end!!! Too much parts, rubbers, guards, bolts, tune and so on…luckily everything is original and fitted well!!! All the new parts… The result before it goes to the car! Before the installation we cover the sides with sphincter to avoid some scratches! Annoying car said Mr.Vitorino... Almost!!! And here is the result!!! Seat in it’s place… With a Zelfie I finish this report… Hope you enjoyed all the results…next week some more news…I believe!!! Regards Mário
  16. I'm just hoping to be able to stick around to celebrate my own 50 year anniversary in a couple of years.
  17. when i first got my z the kids asked if they would be able to drive it (i have 5: 14, 15, 16, 18, 20) and i told my (then) 18 yr old he could take it to the prom. he was the star of the show that year, when the pictures came back all the girls wanted a shot next to the car in their fancy dresses and the boys put on their best James Bond rental tux suave... that was a couple years back and the next one (now 18) just took the z to his senior prom this past weekend - boy was he happy to go pick up his date! each time i see one of my sons drive off it takes me right back to high school and how a cool car was everything.
  18. Hello everyone! I hope this message finds you well. It's been a long couple of years. After my last update, which was exactly 2 years and 2 days ago, I spent 2019 moving a family of 8, along with 7 Datsuns, into a new house. Truth be told, the Datsuns, and all their parts, outgrew the space. We had to move! So 2019 was spent renovating the old house and getting it to market. We were handed keys to the new house in February of 2019, along with an ultimatum that the front and backyard landscaping needed to be completed within 12 months to avoid HOA "nasty-grams" threatening fines. 2020 started off promising. The economy was on fire. Work was great. We were planning to celebrate my 50th birthday in March with a road trip to wine country in #8701. It was definitely time to get back to restoring #187. But all those plans were temporarily placed on hold upon news of my father's health in late January. Within 2 weeks of finding out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he departed this world. It was a somber Valentine's Day 2020. We took comfort knowing he passed without much suffering. In fact, he reported no pain at all. Unlike many during the lockdown, we were fortunate to be at his bedside until his final breath at 77. Please indulge me while I speak of him. He was a descendent of generations of Vietnamese farmers. As such, he was destined to become one, but as fate would have it, he was drafted and placed into service. At the beginning of the conflict, Bell UH-1 Iroquois (nicknamed "Huey") were arriving in theater, but they came without pilots. So a batch of Vietnamese Air Force officers were hand picked and sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Tx to learn how to pilot the Huey. Interestingly enough, I completed my officer basic course (OBC) at Fort Sam Houston 4 decades later and separated from service with the exact same rank as my dad. Upon returning home from Texas, he flew special ops mission, flying upwards of 3 to 4 sorties a day for 8 years. It was an amazing feat. One old combat vet that spoke at his funeral said, "When we would climb aboard the Huey, we would always check upfront to see who was piloting the bird. When we saw that it was MAJ Huynh, we knew we would be home for dinner." During the war, he was introduced to his future wife, a young lady who was a descendent of royalty. Her father was the nephew to the king. What does that make me you ask? Absolutely nothing. [emoji1787] I digress. They married months later and had my brother in 68 and I followed in 1970. On April 30, 1975, the Fall of Saigon, we were on the tarmac at Ton Son Nhat Airport awaiting evacuation to US naval ships off the coast. Needless to say, plans for an orderly evacuation were scraped when the North Vietnamese planes began bombing the airport. As such, Operation Frequent Wind was implemented. I don't recall much other than booming explosions and the ironclad grip of my mom's hand handcuffed around my wrist as she dragged us out of the belly of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook onto a Huey. Despite the uncertainty of our Huey lifting off, 30 passengers, mostly women and children, made their escape by helicopter onto the USS Midway. As a young boy growing up, I would watch footages of Bell Huey being pushed over the deck to make room for incoming helicopters, and not once did I equate those clips to my past. It wasn't until the 40th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, when a large ceremony was held on the deck of the USS Midway, now a floating museum in San Diego, to honor my father and his squadron did I come to appreciate the significance of that aircraft carrier. The USS Midway evacuated my family and thousands of other refugees to the new world. Unfortunately my mom's journey ended in Hawaii after succumbing to malaria and pneumonia. She passed at 27, and my dad, then 33, a widow with 2 toddlers, began life in America with only the clothes on our backs, literally. Given the umpteenth times he has cheated death as a helicopter pilot, I thought my dad was invincible, capable of living well into his 90's, certainly long enough to enjoy driving #187 after the restoration. After all, it was he who bought me my first Datsun in high school, a used red 1979 Datsun 280ZX with 77K miles. We picked it up in Fontana from a gentleman that races top fuel for a living. I remembered our trip home. We got on the freeway and he gunned it. My dad rarely smiled, but he did that day, and we smiled all the way home. Now that I've laid my father to rest, I can once again turn my attention to restoring #187. Thank you for indulging me. Due to COVID-19, the panels that Rod ordered sat in quarantine at the border for months. The parts finally arrived last month and he striped the car to a rolling chassis in preparation for the body shop. Sorry I don't have anymore pictures to share but I will in the near future. Here's wishing you all a safe and happy Labor Day weekend! P.s Not sure why my father was the only one on that helicopter with a life vest on. You think he would have given it to me. [emoji1787] Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
  19. Hey guys, It has been my dream for many years to move to a spot where I could build my dream garage. Well, this year my dream was realized. We moved to a new house and I did not even need to build the garage. It came with a 36'x64' Pole Barn!! The barn is a great space. It really is a blank canvas at this point though. I have the shell, but I need to finish the interior. The previous owner got a start on the wiring and putting up some insulation and walls. They also left an area at the back in gravel, with the intent of building in 3 horse horse stalls. The first thing I will need to do is to get that filled in with concrete. After that I want to have an asphalt driveway put in. I had a gravel driveway put in this year as a temporary step, so I could get to the barn without having to drive over the lawn. This year I was consumed with working on the house and getting it to a point where the wife is happy with it. Is that even possible, LOL!! She always comes up with more stuff to do, or things she wants to add. So, next year is the year of the barn. I am just getting serious about putting a plan together. This is where you guys come in. I know a few of you have built some pretty nice garages. I would love to hear all of your ideas on what I should build into the garage. I am particularly interested in what I should do now, before the walls and ceiling are installed. All ideas on nice features to add and the timing of the build process are welcome. Thanks, Marty
  20. Still needs a tune and bumpers and a myriad of other things, but I started it for the first time in 6.5 years (and since the body was restored) yesterday: Before the restoration, way back in 2011: Totally rusted out pass. floor pan and rockers, mismatched tires, faded non-original color paint, etc etc. I've done everything except the actual body restoration (welding, paint, etc). All the disassembly, reconditioning of parts, reassembly, etc. It's been a LOT of work, and it's not over yet, but... I just wanted to take a short victory lap. Thanks for all the support and great advice.
  21. He’s almost done. I dropped the mirror off this AM. It’ll come home this afternoon. It’s just incredible! IMG_0300.MOV
  22. Thanks for the great information. Since I live in TX and it does get very hot here I think I will go with the ceramic MSA. I do love the looks of the SS though. Below are some pics of the car. 75K documented miles and first owner had car until 2012. Original window sticker and all service documentation throughout history of car. Next is on to Ztherapy SU carbs. Called them and they are booked out until June.. Geez they must be busy. Couple pics of the car below.
  23. Merry Christmas to all our members and sponsors! Have a wonderful holiday season.
  24. As car enthusiasts we are not merely the owners of 4-wheeled machines but caretakers of classic and interesting automobiles. Anytime we acquire a used but “new to me“ vehicle we always want to know its history, where has it been, has it been treated well, what made the owner buy this car over another, and so on. Many times there are clues left behind in between the seat cushions or stashed in the glovebox in the form of receipts, matchbooks, and maybe even an occasional photograph that was included with the sale. Sometimes the story of ownership is passed down through the owners themselves. But as time marches on and these cars and their previous owners grow older it is becoming harder to track down and have the opportunity to talk with the original owner of a car. After several conversations and a few months of planning this opportunity materialized and I am so grateful it did. This past weekend I trailered my 1971 240z #8011 to the Dallas area to visit family, attend the Dallas/Plano Cars and Coffee, and have lunch with Frank Lauriello, the original owner of the car. On Sunday October 4th we met at Main Street Bistro and Bakery for brunch. I didn’t know what Frank looked like but knew he was in his 60’s. Seeing that everyone else there was a young beautiful family and well-dressed I figured the first guy in his 60’s that walked in by himself would be Frank. Sure enough as an older gentleman walked in I tapped him on the shoulder and I was right. We formally introduced ourselves, shook hands, and a got a table outside. After ordering coffee and discussing how beautiful the weather was the conversation quickly turned to cars. Frank had never heard of Cars and Coffee so I told him about the event and even given the fact there were two dozen Italian exotics in attendance, only three classic Z’s were there. Being exclusive does not always mean being expensive I said. He laughed and agreed and asked the next time it comes around he would like to check it out. When I originally setup this weekend I was hoping to meet Frank at C&C but he was already booked up on Saturday. The waitress comes back around, we order our food and get back to our conversation. I asked Frank what made him buy the Z and what else was he considering when he did. He told me how he was looking at Porsche 911’s as they were fast and cheap back then and the 240Z’s were already popular around Los Angeles. After test driving the 240z he figured it would be more reliable than the Porsche so he bought it in late September of 1970. He remembered that the car was built in August of 1970 and felt it should really be called a 1970 but was titled as a ’71. I asked him “how cheap was a Porsche 911 in 1970?“ Frank: “About $9,000” Me: “How much was the Z?” Frank: “Around $3,000 if I remember correctly” Me: “How much was a house in Los Angeles in the early 70’s?” Frank: “Around 15 to 20 grand” We both laughed, seems that Porches have always been expensive. He went on to tell me a few years ago he considered buying a new 911 but his wife would not even get in the car to go on a test drive. He still likes them but he for now they are not in the financial picture. I asked him has ever thought about getting another Z, maybe a new one like a 370z? He said they are nice but he has not paid that much attention to them. Our food arrives, we take a few bites, switch gears to another topic of what we with our time, job, etc. Frank goes on to tell me that he volunteers with an organization that provides handyman services to senior citizens called Plain-O-Helpers. I was truly impressed with the variety of work they do and how busy they are, averaging thirty houses per week. They work with the city and county to help seniors get their homes up to code or install ramps, grab bars, and more. He has been doing it for twelve to thirteen years and I could tell he has a real passion for it. Suddenly my job as an IT project manager was not that interesting. We took in some more of our food and I ask Frank to tell me about any exciting trips or adventures he had in the Z. He wipes mouth and sits back as I can tell the mental wheels are spinning and he says “we drove that car everywhere.” “We took it up the California highway all the way to Canada one time, we drove it to Washington, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nevada.” “It was always a good car, had plenty of room for our bags” “It was always garage kept and never got rained on unless it had been driven and the rain came along” There were no adventures or mishaps with the car. Based on Frank’s stories the Z served as fun but essential transportation to their destinations. The conversation changed gears to ownership history and I shared what I knew based on the information I had gathered from the owner I bought it from. Frank owned the car for approximately twenty five years and during that time he lived in LA, Colorado, and then moving to the Dallas Texas area where he lives now. He sold the car to a car collector a few years after moving to Dallas in the mid 90’s. The car had an issue with second gear and at this point Frank was done with the car and did not feel like fixing it. We concluded that the collector fixed the transmission and sold the car on to the owner in Denison Texas near the Oklahoma border. I told Frank I actually spoke with this owner briefly after buying the car and that he was now in his 90’s. I did not keep him on the phone long, just confirmed a few things about the car and was hoping he still had the window sticker as Frank originally told me during our first phone conversation that it went with the car. Fortunately he remembered the window sticker but unfortunately it was lost during a move. I told Frank about all the work the work that Dave Hoffer and his crew had done on the car prior to me buying it from Dave. This included the engine and suspension rebuild along with the 5-speed transmission swap. We wrapped up our meal, took care of the check, and vacated our residency on the patio. We walked to the parking garage where the Z was and as we came upon it we talked about the condition of the paint. He said the color it is now is very close to what he remembered as the original color. I opened the hatch and showed him the evidence of the BMW graphite metallic that remained along with the original paint peeking through in a few locations where the BMW color had flaked off. I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride and he quickly accepted. After a quick seat belt adjustment we were off as several car alarms chirped upon our exit, informing us that we were disturbing their morning slumber. I took Frank on a nice loop away from traffic so I could do some spirited driving with him. He said “she really moves along” as the engine pulled the car around with ease, always providing a little g-force to the occupants. As we got on to a road with a higher speed limit I shifted in to 5th demonstrating how nice the car cruised and Frank agreed that is what it needed since day one. We drove around some more as I could see him looking around the inside of the car, taking it all in. As we made our way back to the parking garage Frank asked if he could take my picture with the car so he could show his wife and I replied “absolutely”. I parked on the side street next to the garage as we took turns taking pictures of the car and of the other standing next to it. We chatted a little more as Frank remembered being in a small accident in the car, being hit on the front right side. He said the shop did a good job and I concurred as the car has nice shot lines and handles well. I told him I had picked up the set of slotted mag wheels the last time I was in the Dallas area from a guy off Craigslist and asked what wheels were on the car when he got it and did he ever changed them. “It had the regular steel wheels and wheel covers on it, always did.” I popped the hood to show him the engine bay and that you could see the detailed suspension as well. He was impressed with all the attention to detail and was so glad to see that it has always been cared for. He mentioned the dealer chopped off the front of the original air cleaner to make room for the AC compressor. I have the “before” pictures of when Dave got the car and had always been curious who chopped the front of the snorkel off the air box and why. The morning had turned to the afternoon and I knew I needed to start heading back to Austin. I closed the hood down as Frank stood at the back of the car looking over the rear passenger quarter panel and as I joined him I hear him say “she looks really good, makes me wonder why I ever got rid of it” I could tell the memories were playing in full HD at this point in his mind. I told him I really enjoy the car and I am very happy and honored to have it as I know how special it is. I thanked him again for meeting with me, shook his hand, and that it had been a pleasure getting to talk with him. He did the same, thanked me for the meal, and said he really appreciated me reaching out to him and setting this up, it had been a fun morning. I told him I would keep him posted on the car and let him know the next time Cars and Coffee was taking place. I got the Z loaded back up and back to Austin without incident. As I write this I have more questions I wish I had asked Frank and wish I had someone to take pictures of us during our meeting. For now, I am beyond thrilled at getting to meet with him as it will be one of the many great memories I have with the Z.
  25. I'm in the process of tearing down my 73Z project car, and decided to make all new brake and fuel lines now. To save some money and not have to piece several pieces together, I decided to buy 25" rolls of tubing. I wanted to start with straight tube so I looked in to buying a line straightening tool. Well they wanted $100 for one and that was more than I was willing to pay, so I made one. This will work on 3/16, 1/4 or 5/16. It cost me $15 to make. Attached is a picture of it. If there are others interested in making one of these, let me know. If there's enough interest, I'll write up detailed instructions on how to build one. Paul (zbeemer)
  26. I think it is natural for people to have a bias toward their local market variants, and in pre-internet days not so many people got to see other market variants - so they didn't even consider them. What I do not understand are people who tell us not to look, or that a particular market/model is not worthy of attention. It is bizarre. Every variant has its own significance and the more contemporary variants you look at, the more you learn about them and your own market variant. There is always something to be learned. I own variants from three different markets; Japan, UK and North American, and two different models from one of those markets (Japan). Each one informs not just about itself, but also teaches us something about the others. I find it fascinating to compare them, and I'm still learning something new every time. I contend that you cannot understand each model/variant fully without looking at its production line and showroom siblings. It's a pipe dream, but I'd like to have an S30-series Z event where we managed to corral at least one of every variant/sub-variant and market model, and every different production spec and showed them all together in one space with full access. No velvet ropes around the cars and no cars locked. I think it would be both interesting and informative. Just a pipe dream though...
  27. I have been encouraged to start a build thread about my restoration of HLS30U-00026 so here goes. I started many, many years ago, as most of you know, and got sidelined during the depression in 2008 which lasted for me until 2014 or so. Although I managed to carry on with my involvement in the Z community over the past decade, the cars have been pretty much sitting in storage and very little work has been done. Then about a year ago, I got back into it and started sorting through my stuff, creating little projects and slowly stepping back into the restoration. A month ago, I talked to the guy who is doing all the paint and body work for Steve / Twin Cam Sportscars. Steve's business / shop is right around the corner from my shop and I have known Steve forever. You may recall that Twin Cam Sportscars helped with the restoration of Classic Motorsports magazine's Lotus Elan that appeared at Amelia Island. I started the work on the chassis years ago with another body shop that associated with Twin Cam, "Beautiful Bodies", but he went out of business during the depression. Now its Kim / After Hours Racing who agreed to take on the partially completed chassis. And here is where we are today...
  28. rturbo 930, Well, it IS a big deal. Its a Gold Medallion car, the car used for Mr. K's induction into the Hall of Fame, restored by the guy who wrote the book, detailed by a leading authority, and campaigned heavily. It will forever be the Franklin Mint car and will draw a crowd at car shows. Its called provenance. I personally share your thoughts, but the provenance thing is ruling (like the idea of value for a car Steve McQueen once drove).
  29. Got it out in the sunshine for awhile. Wore the flat spots out of the tires.
  30. A much needed cut and buff action. Getting ready for the first car show of the year.
  31. I have a three bedroom house that I rent out and I live in the garage apartment in the back.
  32. With all the parts wire wheeled I covered them in some Rustoleum satin black. The car is red but I didn't want to paint them red as the car may not be red all of its life so black it is. With everything cured after 7 days I started the reassembly process. The upper hinge was first. Using my bench vise I pressed in the brass bushings. They went in perfectly. Since the brass bushings were thicker than the originals I had to use the metal lips of bench vise to spread the side of the hinge a part just a little. I lubed all of the contact surfaces with lithium grease. Once I got the hinge halves together I used my 20 ton press to install the new hinge pin. The end result is nice and tight upper door hinge. The reassembly of the lower hinge was the reverse of the disassembly. The bushings in the lower hinge looked good and felt really good with the new pin so I opted to leave them. Just like the upper hinge, everything lubed up with some lithium grease. The inside of the door received some clean up and fresh red paint. The fasteners were treated to some wire wheel action to clean them up as well. With the help of my wife we got the door with minimal damage to the paint. I had taped a thick towel to the top of the door but still managed to pull some paint off. The end result is a door that functions like new again. Seeing that there are no new hinges to be had and there is a service on eBay charging $100 - $150 to rebuild each hinge, the is a lot of value to be gained by doing this yourself. It does take an investment in some specialty tools like the HF press but it will pay for itself over and over just as mine has over the course of many projects. I welcome any questions or feedback.
  33. On the positive, I'd already lined my Mom up to come stay at my house with my dog. She's miserable helping raise her grandkids and that was something she was looking forward to, she loved the peace and quiet here while I went to Memphis. We've decided not to tell my idiot sister and her son that I'm not going so me and Mom will spend the week together here, cooking together every night! That will be as much fun to me, I'm a "Momma's boy" and happy as can be spending time with her. Life is short but Datsuns last forever.
  34. Hi, I found some photos of my original Z, 1971, Redwing. When I got her from the dealer, she had 7 miles on the odometer. I was scared to death to driver her home after dark, I had never driven anything with any power. I'd had a VW bus! And the radio was playing the song "D.O.A". Anyone remember it? That was scary in itself. Needless to say, I got over that quickly, with my beautiful car. The color one was before we left, of her sitting right by the front to door, grinning in delight, anticipating the trip. And the black & white photos were when we (my son & myself) were camping. And yes, I packed all our camping equipment in her deck. I drove to Mt. Washington in N.H., where we climbed the mountain, the highest peak in the eastern U.S., 6,288 feet. Amazing trip travelling on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a lot of the trip, with all those curves! Oh yes, I zoomed her all the way. Wheee... Thought you all might get a kick out of seeing these. Jai
  35. I finally got around to moving my blog into a real website. I'm trying to go through my photos (over 2,400 photos, 6.6GB) and document what I've learned. I've got a bunch posted, I hope some of you can find it useful. 240Z – Carburetors240Z – Changing Instrument Lighting240Z – Choke Cable Repair240Z – Electronic Points240Z – Fuel Tank240Z – Generic Wiring Troubleshooting Checklist IN PROCESS240Z – Half-Shaft Rebuild240Z – Heater Blower Motor Replacement240Z – Multi - function Switches (Hazard, blinker, ignition) IN PROCESS240Z – Parking Brake Refurbish240Z – Power Door Locks240Z – Refurbish Tail Light Assembly240Z – Removing Window Cranks240Z – Replacing oil seals on R180 differential240Z – Seat Rebuild240Z – Speedometer Cable Replace240Z – Toyota Disk Brake Upgrade240Z – Windshield Washer Pump Replacement240Z – Wiring Harness RefreshGeneral Tips and Tricks
  36. I am starting a new restoration for a local owner. This one has a good history,so I am looking forward to the build. The brief background is that the owners family had an Orange Z (looks to be a Series 1) growing up and apparently the car was sold some time later (Not really sure on that part). The family referred to their Z as "The Orange". To make a long story very short, The dad, the original owner, retired and the kids bought him this orange Z for him to work on in his retirement and bring back the memory of his youth. Gee that sounds familiar. Unfortunately, part way through the restoration, the father passed away and the Z is now owned by the daughter, shown in the first picture here. The owner contacted me and asked me to finish the restoration ( I will fill in a bit more background on this later). So anyway, the plan is to finish the restoration that the father started. And of cou rse, we will take this to a very nice level of restoration, similar to my previous two cars. We still have some decision to make on the AC, and we will most likely stick with the mags and the round tops, but otherwise we will keep this very stock. Below are some pics of the car. Other than the body, the car is in very nice condition and was derivable. Also, car has an original uncracked dash and a nice assortment of restoration parts to be installed later. Also, the passenger seat is original and in great condition. That is pretty rare. So, Lots of pics of the car are shown below. Will document the build here as things progress.
  37. My restoration is finally finished. Now sitting in the show room at Robert's Automotive in Springfield, Illinois. 1981 280ZX Grand Luxury Edition, Manufactured September 1980. I drove it off the car lot on January 12, 1981. Features: Engine rebuild, original paint, original carpet and seats, re-upolstered interior and headliner, re-plated cadmium engine parts and restored wheels. I haven't driven it for almost 24 years. Original miles 25,536 and I have all documentation to back that up. I paid the ultimate price for NOT driving it - an entire engine rebuild. Everything works except the status display in the center of the instrument cluster. (See photo) Need to figure how to trouble shoot the status display. Needless to say I'm excited. I will be able to take it home before the end of next week. Still needs to have the air conditioning system re-charged.
  38. Dennis you're absolutely right. In the past year I've had 3 very long term customers give up their Zs due to their ages. Two of them are original owners. I find this situation very sad indeed. Perhaps my sadness is reflected in my own situation. Although I get around just fine at almost 70 and still put a few hundred miles on my 280 every year I recognize that the end is closer than the beginning.
  39. The 280 just sold for $22,000 on BaT and now it is going to Dubai, http://www.tominiclassics.com/ I made my parts and materials cost back and a little bit for my labour, I'm happy boy. Shopping list, another Z, bigger compressor, more lights in the shop, a new Tig welder?, maybe a spot welder too, ...
  40. Don't disregard automatic Zs. Looking at Zs over the years I've found the automatic Zs are usually still in better shape, a better chance that they were garaged sometime in their life, usually were driven less spiritedly and don't cost quite as much. It's really easy to convert an automatic to a manual in Zs and the used parts aren't very expensive yet, especially if you go with a four speed. Carbed Zs ended with the 1974 260Z. Anything after that was injected.
  41. February 1972 paint after a cut and wax by an 80 year old professional. Back home... With her black satin panties on...
  42. I think in South Florida we go straight into summer with 90 degree temps tomorrow! But, hey, I'm always ready! Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
  43. Hello all, my name is Lee Grimes and I am the Automotive Product Manager for KONI Shocks. I have been working with Greg and Joseph to get these new Z-car parts to market and help answer some questions. He pointed me to this discussion to maybe give some clarity or assistance. I won't be able to stay as a regular contributor but I will be happy to check in for a little bit to help people understand the new parts. A bit over a year ago, Motorsport Auto came to KONI to see if we could revive and modernize our offering for the early 240Z, 260Z, 280Z and 280ZX. Needless to say we jumped at the chance to offer proper products for these important cars. Off and on through the years KONI has offered the tradtional red painted KONI Special strut inserts with internal (off the car) adjustment for 240Z through 280ZX. In the late '70s-and early '80s KONI also offered an externally adjustable version for these cars excluding the ZX but they were discontinued by the mid-'80s. Now was time for an update. With Motorsport Auto as an exclusive partner stepping up to take full production run volume, we developed and tested new externally rebound adjustable (knob adjustable on the car) yellow painted KONI Sport strut inserts for these cars and a externally adjustable rear shock for the ZX. We started with the external adjustables from the 1980s as the launching point and even used the same part numbers this time with the SPORT suffix in the part numbers. We then updated the internals a bit (it was no slouch to begin with back then though) to more modern seals and guide components and set the valving to work well with either factory stock springs (starting baseline adjustment at or near full soft) or performance lowering springs for perforamnce street, autocross, track day, etc. use (starting baseline adjustment about 1/2-3/4 turn up from full soft setting). Like all KONIs, the adjustment range is about 100% so they are twice as firm at the maximum setting than at the minimum setting. This is a very large range of adjustment so we suggest that you start in the lower end of the range, drive it for a bit to get a feeling for it, and then tune accordingly from there for your ride and handling preference. I think it will be very rare that people will use more than 1 turn (about 50% higher than full soft) for normal use when they are new. Because the adjustment range is so large, it allows you to compensate for wear over extended time, tune it high for an autocross or track day, and then quickly turn it back down for street use. Because the range is so large, it is possible to overdamp the car for your needs and actually make it more harsh and have less grip than needed so do not just turn it way up figuring that "more is always better". Although these could be used for a dedicated track and racing car, their needs and expectations are different and we do have other racing options (e.g. 8610 RACE and 8611 RACE) where street handling and ride quality, high mileage longevity, etc. are no longer important. These new Z-car Sports are targetted to take you from stock Z- car to just shy of all out racing. They carry KONI's limited lifetime warranty against defects and materials to the original purchaser as long as tht person owns the car registerd for street use. Regarding the discussion about bump rubbers, you can use a good condition OE type bump rubber for a Z-car, one of the black urethane ones that Motorsport Auto sells, or the KONI Racing Silastic bump tops made for use on a 22mm piston rod. KONI does not have a specific bump stop length suggestions as different ride heights and springs will determine what length you need. The imporant part is that you have some bump rubber installed to keep the strut or shock from bottoming out internally which can cause internal damage that will cause loss of function and will not be covered under warranty. The first production runs of the fronts and rears for the 240Z, 260Z, and 280Z are currently in-transit from KONI in The Netherlands due in mid-March. The 280ZX fronts are in-transit as well but the 280ZX rear shocks are awaiting final production due to to different compponent sourcing but will be here ASAP. Please be clear that these were specifically developed only for these Z-car applications and they are not crossovers from ome other vehicle. Because these parts are exclusive to Motorsport Auto and no other KONI dealer has access to them, we will not be listing these part numbers on our official KONI websites for North America www.koni-na.com or Europe www.koni.com. If you have any questions, pelase contact our Technical Staff at info@koni-na.com or 859-586-4100 Option 6 from M-F 8-5 Eastern time.
  44. Another dramatic change has been the installation of the rear ST anti roll bar. This single item really has transformed the cars handling dramatically, it’s quite silly how well the car now handles considering the platform is nearly 48 years old. B roads really have been made so much more fun and the overall package has transformed just with this item. The front bar is still waiting to be fitted as we have decided it will be prudent to reinforce the chassis legs before installation given how chunky the new bar is. The overall suspension package now is however fantastic, its amazed a few people how well it negotiates corners. Thankfully the replacement of the lower steering column UJ has removed a huge amount of slack out of the steering and made it far more responsive much to my delight, the car really engages you and provides lots of positive feedback when you want to press on! Long term the only addition I can see will be strut bars to help out further when funds allow. We are very much shaking down the car given the huge amount of custom work that has been completed and various unknown parts installed. So far on the to do list is a vibration that comes in at around 60 & 80 while cruising, I’m not sure if this could be a propshaft balance issue having been told how precise this needs to be but will be investigated. Fourth gear syncro is also fairly high up the list as you cannot rush it and some attention to the gearbox however otherwise she’s running better than ever. The car is a far cry from the one that we purchased 2 years ago, with the exception of the half shafts I think everything drivetrain related has now been replaced. I think it’s only the brake master cylinder left in the engine bay before all major items have been replaced as well. Depending on my schedule the car is going to have a thorough check over in the next month or two and be looked at more seriously to get it running spot on and check that we’ve caught everything. At this point I cannot say a big enough thank you to Iain at Passion Engineering (and his dad who pitched in as well), while it’s taken me 5-6 months for me to plan everything out and source all of the parts his engineering skills have made this part of the project a reality. Due to time and space I didn’t get to attempt a few of the jobs which I would have very much liked to have tackled myself, however when it comes to some of the bigger jobs such as the fabrication and repair of items his skills are second to none. He also bent over backwards in his efforts to try and get the car Le Mans ready, working full weekends and putting in lots of extra hours to get it just right. Sadly some unforeseen issues stopped us but that’s meant to finished product was not compromised in any way. I’ve mentioned all of the key items above however its all of the little details where he excels such as my hidden fan override switch under the dash (without altering the car in any way) and rerouting on the rocker cover breather to be more discrete that makes all the difference. As you can well imagine I’m completely broke on the Datsun fund this year. That doesn’t stop future plans though and in the pipeline I’m still hoping to get a 4 pot vented brake setup up front to compliment the rear drums with new performance shoes. I’ve also been aware for some time that the exhaust system midpipe and tailpipe is very much homemade and horrible. Having properly investigated we’ve identified that near the tailpipe the diameter shrinks from about 2.5 to 1.5 which is really choking the engine I would imagine and needs to go. Currently toying with speaking to Z story about a new JDM muffler and midpipe to go with the current headers or even go the whole hog and replace the whole system which I’d love to if it can be justified. All being well we also have plans to sneak an AFR gauge into the factory gauge setup in place of the clock to keep things looking factory but being more functional. Aesthetics wise the project has taken somewhat of a turn with reality dawning that this is too nice a car to make it look like a race car despite my aspirations, I quite enjoy the fact that everyone thinks it’s just a standard 240Z with the exception of my crazy bosozuku style gear shifter. It’s only when you start talking to people that they realize all of the work that’s gone on under the skin. I may therefore continue to show restraint against spoilers and the like…. There’s been several stories and experiences as ever in the meantime and lots of little extra details however I’ve already written lots so I’ll leave it for now, enjoy the photos instead if you’ve made it this far. IMG-7113 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7112 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7115 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7116 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr A quick view of all of the area's you don't get to see. It would be good to clean up the fuel tank straps! (Follow link to video on Flickr) IMG-7111 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7467 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7316 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7470 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7325 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr IMG-7475 by Mark Woodrow, on Flickr
  45. I jumped in and rode with this rolling car show for an hour south then turned around and came back home. A whole bunch of American Hot Rods, and me. There was a BMW in the mix too. 6,000 cars from all up and down the East Coast. People were all over the sides of the road waving and taking pictures. It was pretty cool. http://www.hotrod.com/events/power-tour/
  46. Had a great weekend at the La Jolla Concours this weekend. Brought my 1970 240Z and the roadster. This is the first year that the La Jolla show has had a Japanese Class so I had to offer my full support. It was a fabulous show as always and had a great time. The party the night before was epic and way worth high entry fee (The party is an all you can eat and drink affair catered by La Jolla's finest restaurants). Anyway, I was interviewed by the local TV station, KUSI, I will try and find a video clip of that. I also was presented the "Honorary Judges Choice Award/Trophy" which is probably the best award I have ever received. The Honorary Judge has the entire field to choose from and he chose my Z, just barely, over a Ferarri that he liked. The emphasis on the award is preservation so that definitely helped. So, I will try and post some clips if they come available. The Award presentation was absolutely phenomenal. I felt like a rock star with all the people at the drive up presentation and photographers. They talked for about two minutes about the car and the award while the gallery and photographers snapped pics. Was way cool.
  47. Datsun Spirit owner Eiji Hosomi paid me a nice compliment yesterday at the ZCON judged car show. I was grabbing some much needed shade and rest after the first round of judging (my inaugural participation) and Eiji came up and asked if he could ask some questions about my restoration. He's had a lot of problems with the aftermarket door seals and wanted to know how I handled it. I told him about Kia Sportage seals - either new or from salvage, and you should have seen his eyes when he operated the doors and found them closing so smoothly. We also looked at my innovation on the hatch outer seal and he was surprised at how easily my hatch closes with the PRP repro inner seal because he's also had problems there. We covered several other areas of the car and had a great conversation. He's a big fan of 14" wheels with tall aspect ratio tires and factory springs to provide a comfortable ride. Really a neat guy and one I'd like to spend more time with. (Yes, I ended the sentence with a preposition.)
  48. So another project during this off season was to do something better with my brake booster. I took both the newly purchased "rebuilt" unit, and my old failed original boosters apart and reassembled one unit using the best parts from the two, plus a couple new parts I made to replace some rusty bits. Here's the final unit. Reassembled, painted, and ready to put back in the car: Some of the internal parts were really crappy, so I made some stainless replacements. I used stainless steel for everything with the exception of the threaded output shaft tip. I reused the original tip because it's hardened and I didn't feel like dealing with the heat treating. Besides, it doesn't ride against the vacuum seal, so even if it's not perfect, it doesn't affect operation. Here's what I made: Here's a pic of the smooth stainless output shaft sticking through the vacuum seal. This has GOT to seal better than the rusty crusty versions I had from both the boosters. My idle will thank me: As a bonus... My PO had painted the booster that came with the car, and I found the original sticker hiding under a thick coat of paint. Thankfully the paint didn't stick too well to the plastic sticker, and I was able to chip most of it off. It's not perfect, but it looks "appropriate" for the rest of the car. I haven't put it back on yet. Anyone have a good reference pic showing the location of where the sticker should go?

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