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    The z is in Pittsburgh
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    Engineer gone wrench turner

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  1. Hi folks, I learned this year that my z's rear struts have visibly different angles where the strut tube is inserted into the bearing housing. This explains a lot, the car has always had a funky driver-side rear toe issue, and it's off enough that with urethane bushings and the new adjustable LCA's, the driver-side LCA had to be torqued to get the main bolt thru. Not good, we know, but the car is just a roller for now so it shouldn't affect anything. Anyway, there are a few threads on this, it's a fairly common issue, but is there a way to fix it aside from hoping to find a replacement strut? Can the tube be separated from its housing and adjusted to proper angle? Thanks guys!
  2. Hi guys, We got the bolt out (lots of penetrating oil and a big breaker bar), there is a very, very small warp in it, I will take you up on a spare pair of those bolts if theyre available. That said, we were able to coax the metal back into shape using standard old-school body work techniques (hammers and drifts), as mentioned there was only a small warp right around the pilot nut for that bolt, and now it sits very near vertical (about where the other side sits, close enough that it's not worth fighting for the last tiny bit) and threads in/out far more smoothly.
  3. Hi everyone, I'm in process of doing urethane bushings and coil-overs, and have noticed something fishy. As the title indicates, the mustache bar bolts aren't parallel, and the passenger-side one is kicked forward a solid 15 degrees or so. Both bolts are mounted to the rear of the holes from which they protrude, are straight and are very solidly attached. There are zero signs of frame distress except for immediately at the bolt, it simply looks like the entire bolt was rocked forward. Can these bolts be pulled straight? They disappear into the frame, so I'm leary about trying anything for fear of breaking an internal weld or something equally catastrophic. As a related question, can this affect wheel alignment? My car has always had a ton of toe at the rear wheels (significantly more at the driver side, for what it's worth), and after reading all of our posts I've figured it's a combination of old metal and old bushings, but could a misaligned diff at the rear pull on the diff front crossmember and thus affect control arm position? The last two bits of relevant information are that the car has an R200 in it (installed by PO), and sadly it has suffered a passenger-side, rear-end impact that damaged the rear bumper mount and rearmost framework. I have been told by the repair crew that the frame is now straight. Thanks, everyone.
  4. I'll add a +1 for heat and lots of penetrating oil. I just pulled my suspension apart today and, possibly due to my z being a rust-free version as previously mentioned, both spindle pins came out without a fight by using heat on the strut body, liberal application of penetrating oil and a 2-pound hammer on a long bolt to drive them out. Not to be outdone, Karma hit back by granting me one pin with a stripped end thanks to whoever had previously fiddled with the car. I have to buy new pins anyway. Oh fortune, how you mock me... Speaking of which, I'll pose a related question. If a spindle pin is in good condition when it comes out, does it require replacement?
  5. Thanks again, the feedback is great! As for elaborating, an example of negatively changing a combustion chamber would be milling a head down so far that a quench zone is cut away or maybe a flow restriction around a valve opening is created. Like my example of the deck height/cam height math above, these ideas are not known factors, this is all conceptual. I am not a machinist or an engine builder, which is why I'm hoping to combine the tech stuff that I've read about with real-world experience that hopefully other folks have.
  6. Thanks guys, your replies are exactly why I wanted to ask. As I understand it, in reference to deck and cam height, removing - for example - .040 from a block deck and .040 from a head surface would still warrant, in the case of an L-engine, using 0.080'' shims under the cam tower to retain crank/cam timing geometry. These numbers are simply examples in the interest of simple math. If this idea is not correct, please by all means correct me. If this is correct, then it's why I'm curious about whether there's a limit of how much can be taken off the head before the combustion chamber shape becomes negatively affected. If material can be taken off the block in order to retain good CC dynamics, it makes sense to do it that way. That's what I was asking. Again, please correct if I'm wrong.
  7. Hi Everyone, Been quite a while since my last post, hope everything is good. I have a question for the L-engine builders here, related to raising compression in a street L-engine to 10:1. I've read that, with flat-tops, roughly .080'' must be milled off the head. Here's my question: Can anyone offer advice on whether it's better to mill that amount off both the block and head, or either the block or the head? My curiosity is in regard to excessive milling possibly (negatively) changing combustion chamber dynamics. Anyone have experience with this? Is there a best practice that should be...well...practiced? And I suppose a fair addendum could be, is the best solution to simply use pistons that raise the compression instead of milling? Thanks all =)
  8. Hi everyone, I'll bump the thread to take on a comment. Like many of us, I think these VTO LeMans wheels are freaking sweet on a z. In my case, I think a set of 15x7s with 205/50 or 205/55 tires would be about perfect. Now here are the questions, the first one much more important than the second. 1) Does anyone have a set of these wheels, 15" size, and the 300zx rotor/toyota truck caliber upgrade for the front brakes? I'm interested in this upgrade to modernize the brakes, and obviously the wheels need to clear. 2) My car's trim is entirely darked out, all polished metal/chrome is powdercoated satin black. Is anyone here skilled enough to do a quick image for me of a 240z with the VTO LeMans's in satin black? Thanks everyone =)
  9. I have tried to contact z-zx-club.de three times now, no response yet. Thanks for your help, though =)
  10. Hi everyone...hopefully there is an "everyone" here... I am finishing my 6th week as an American expatriot living/working in Germany. I have managed to contact the TUV to begin discussions of importing my '72 240z into the country, but with a short list of bolt-on improvements I would like to install on the car, as well as small engine performance improvements, I fear that the only way I will be allowed to drive the car is if I leave it 100% stock and abandon all plans for improvement. If anyone has experience with improving/modifying a z car in Germany and obtaining an "erlaubnisbestaetigung", please send me a PM. Thank you!
  11. Based on experience, focus your search on finding a car with an accident-free chassis, as little rust as possible, a complete interior and all of its body trim. It's relatively easy and cheap to find a rebuild kit for the engine/carburetors, or to rebuild the brakes or suspension. But repairing collision damage, welding in new sheetmetal and/or hunting down 35 year-old body/interior trim parts gets very pricey very quickly. As is already well covered here, vehicle transportation is also relatively cheap.
  12. Hi everyone, I've survived my first five weeks as an expat, and have gotten the first bits of information as to whether bring the Z here is worth the trouble. My Z is virtually stock, having only an R200 and an L28 as its modifications, so from what I hear since those are still factory components, they create zero problems. That said, I'm hoping to find specifics on whether I can have subframe connectors installed on the car prior to the trip here and still pass inspection. Nothing has been done yet, so I'm hoping for good news. I know it's delayed, but thanks for the info you've provided thus far. Here's to thinking positive thoughts, Germany needs another Z! =) And no, I definitely do not plan on using the car as any type of daily drive, let alone a winter driver, it will be a once-in-a-while car to take out and have fun on nice weekends. If I can get it here and legal, that is. Thanks again! P.S. - I'm in Griesheim, just outside of Frankfurt.
  13. Hi everyone, I figure it's time to put out my "help" flags, I'm moving to Germany in about five weeks and once I'm settled in I'll be shipping the Z out to live with me. I need to learn the ins n outs of importing a vintage car, so anyone out there who knows the gig who's willing to school me is welcome. PM me and I'll give you an email address, or just post here. Thanks, everyone!
  14. Hi everyone, I recently heard of a technique some folks have used to prevent header flange leaks on our L-series engines. The technique is simply cutting the flanges apart in between each tube's mounting bolt holes. This gives the metal somewhere to go when it expands, as I was advised that sometimes as the header flange expands it will bow and create leaks. I heard this from a couple of z-car racers at a race day at Blackhawk Raceway in Wisconsin (I asked them if they were members of our forum, none of them were). I don't know if this is a race-only technique that might weaken a header that needs to put up with longer-term use, or if the technique was even still valid for modern aftermarket parts. It may have been an old technique. Anyone have experience with it? I have an MSA 6-1 header, not yet installed, that eventually will go on my car, so I figured I'd ask about it and make the modification before installation if it turns out to be useful. Thanks, everyone!
  15. The hinges can be rotated against the body of the car slightly if you loosen the bolts. That may help. My z had one forward corner of its hood that sat high. After trying everything we've mentioned here, a trip to a local body shop and about three hours of professional work solved the problem - the hood and fenders had shifted and after a proper realignment all sat where they should. Not a DIY fix, but the car looked a million times better so it was money well spent.
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