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Everything posted by BTF/PTM

  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.
  16. I've seen it in passing in various threads on a couple forums, but I want to ask this group to be certain. Are the factory LCA's from a 280z interchangeable with those of a 240z? Thanks
  17. Hi everyone, I've another question that isn't specific to z-car science, but is relevant to the general setup thereof. My question is in regard to stretching a tire across a wheel for which it's too narrow. A 205 tire on an 8 inch-wide wheel, for example. It seems that, in many cases, this is done simply becuz the owner likes the look. In other cases, it seems it's done because the proper-width tire doesn't fit under the fender. My question is, what does this do to a tire in terms of its structural integrity and performance? Is there a threshold where a tire can still perform safely under aggressive driving conditions (autocross or a track day, for example)? At what point does the trade between making it fit and pushing the mechanically safe limits of the tire become dangerous? And, to specify a bit, I'm referring specifically to road-legal tires. I understand that specialty race tires are often built with different types of sidewall (cantilever type comes to mind). Thanks, everyone!
  18. Welcome, and welcome also to the blissful money pits that are z cars A first recommendation is two good sources for factory service manuals. Banzaii Motorworks is a great place to find the actual books, and xenonS30.com is a great place to find the manuals online. As you're realizing now, a 35-year-old wiring system that appears unmolested does not equal a properly functional system. I've got two fuses pulled from my own z's fuse box (horn and parking lights) because, despite proper function, they each have a short somewhere that leeches current slowly and steadily. And yes, this is by far the best place on the web for support and real technical feedback on these cars.
  19. I love when my threads turn into technical discussions I always end up learning much more than I thought I would. The comment about the PO having used 280z struts makes me wonder. It's been a long time since I've crawled under the car. Time to get the car out of storage and tinker a bit, methinks. I'll need an enclosed trailer, though. Damn you, road salt!
  20. The subtlety is what I love about these flares. They almost look OEM. I was hoping some of our resident experts could tell me a bit more. Oh well, can't win 'em all
  21. The fuel sender seal is available at any Nissan dealer, the part is still used in modern cars. It costs about $4.50. A parts guy will be able to cross-reference it for you. I'll +1 everything said so far. It's not difficult, just time consuming. I ended up replacing the fuel filler neck, both sections of flexible tube going to and from the tank to the main fuel supply and return lines, all the grommets and all the vapor system hoses. A couple of the hoses were parts-store approximations, so I also used a couple of those parts-store bendable metal hose supports to keep them from kinking. As a final couple of steps, I sanded/painted the tank straps and put gaskets material on them as a new backing, and I repainted the fuel tank. In my case, painting the tank was necessary as it was a leaking fuel level sender seal that started the entire process, and the leaking 4.5 gallons of gasoline ate much of the tank paint as it escaped. I didn't use a service manual, it's a very simple system if you're savvy with tools and can observe how the pieces all fit together as you disassemble them. I recruited a friend to help with the new filler neck, that rubber tube and its related ring clamp at the base of the tank are worlds easier with a second pair of hands. P.S. - for rusty tank strap nuts and/or rusty ring clamp screws, PB Blaster is your bestest friend.
  22. Up until now I've not been a fan of fender flares on a z car, but this look really strikes me for some reason. Is this a custom molded flare, or is this the altered metal body? Call me crazy, but I love it.
  23. Seam leak? It's a sloppy way to troubleshoot, but if it is a seam leak and it's anything faster than a slow drip you should be able to fill the tank a little past half way and spot it with a flashlight. Wipe the tank down first and you'll see the source of the leak when the light hits the fluid. The above mentioned check of the level sender sealing surface is a good idea, too. Again, if the leak is from there, you'll see it with a flashlight. As a final note, it may be a good idea to take the tank out of the car at this point. Pain in the arse, but you'll have a full view of every angle of the tank and you can use a very small amount of gasoline and just roll the tank around as needed. Or, you could just take this opportunity to replace the tank with another one *shrug*
  24. This is great stuff, thanks for the picture! It took me a couple days of staring at that picture and reading your posts before I fully understood it. Had to dig all the old four-bar linkage stuff from my college days out of the recesses of my brain. It does make sense, a tweek on a very small bracket at the inner end can translate to a large discrepency when placed across a 14-inch swing arm. I'm guessing you didn't loosen the bolts much, maybe a half turn or so, just enough to maintain component contact and reduce friction enough to be able to push the parts around?
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