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About Inf

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    Austin, TX USA
  • Occupation
    aerospace engineer

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  • About my Cars
    03/72 240Z HLS30-70xxx

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  1. Having had the Tokico red springs, then the Eibach pro-kit springs MSA sells back to back, I can tell you that the Tokico springs will give you a lower stance than the Eibachs, I'd say anywhere from 1/8" to 1/4" in the front (all other things being equal). The rears seemed to be roughly the same between the two spring kits. This was on a set of Tokico blue shocks just like you're using. I think the front Tokico ride height gave it a meaner look, but it had two drawbacks I'd highlight: 1) The front airdam was low enough that I had to drive the car up on some 2x6" boards so I could get the tall part of my Harbor Freight jack under it. It was one extra step, but a bit of a PITA when doing suspension work. Also had to lower the front wheels back onto the blocks to make sure I could get the jack out from under the car. After switching to the Eibachs, the front rode just a little higher, but high enough I could forget all that nonsense with the boards. 2) The ride was a bit harsh, at least for the streets where I live. It was pretty bone jarring sometimes. The Eibachs ride a lot smoother IMO when hitting rough patches. As far as advantages of the Tokico set: 1) Looks meaner to my eye, the Eibachs always made the front look like it was riding a little high to me. 2) Easier to install, at least for the rear (?) springs the unsprung length is less than the full travel between the perches, so you don't need to monkey around with spring compressors every time you take the assembly apart. Although, this could also prove to be a drawback because the springs could technically jump the perch, especially when putting your car down off of jackstands. You need to be careful that the springs are properly seated in the perches after lowering it.
  2. Someone give this man a Nobel peace prize! Glad you saved the car from such treatment
  3. Sorry I'd stopped making updates here while things were moving along. I've more or less reached an impasse, or so the guy on the phone would have me believe today. Keep in mind while reading this that I was NOT liable for the accident in any way (the other guy was) AND the other guy has insurance. I chose to work with my own insurance company because I thought I would get a more fair shake being that they are not who will pay in the end. My insurance company totaled the car out, claiming it would cost $7695 to repair. That should tell you something about what they think the actual value of the car was right off the bat. Basically, they came at me two weeks ago with an initial "cash value" offer of $5750. I told them that was ridiculous, and the first claims adjuster (who handles repair adjustments) told me I should take it up with another guy, a total loss claims adjuster who my case was being transferred to. I was told to expect a call from him soon. 11 days go by and I hear nothing, so I finally call up my insurance company and track down the guy responsible for my claim. He tells me he "has been looking at it and putting my file together," and the fact that he still didn't have a figure, despite them coming up with one previously, tells me he hadn't looked at my case at all. I know these guys have somewhere around 100-150 cases assigned to them at any given time, but seriously, couldn't even be bothered to give me a call? Anyway, I tell him that, as per the previous adjuster's suggestion, I had copies of receipts to send him showing work that had been done. He gave me his email address, and I sent them to him. Although I've spent much more, I could only find receipts for about $6700. One receipt showing about $4000 for a rebuild of the original engine/A/C install 4 years ago, and a large number of receipts over the last year on various suspension, brake components, wheels, tires, etc. Adjuster finally calls me back 5 days later and tells me that they "disregarded anything over 60 days old, except for the engine receipt that has a 'longer' window." Quoted me a new cash value of $7600 this time. The newest disregarded receipt was from July, so essentially everything except the engine work was ignored. I'm fairly pissed they just ignored most of the receipts, especially considering that I've only driven the car 1100 miles since the earliest "disregarded receipt" from mid 2009. All the 2010 receipts were within a window of less than 600 miles before the wreck. Your average daily driver would blow through 600 miles in no time, far less than 60 days, anyway. I'm also fairly certain that no concession was made to valuation after the engine work despite only 8800 miles being put on the rebuilt motor. Their latest offer was right around the "low retail" price that NADA lists, while my car should be on the high end between "average retail" and "high retail," or between $11,675 and $20,150. The insurance adjuster told me on the phone today that "those books" are "made by guys" and "used by lending institutions" and that "we don't use those." So basically "your car is worth what I say it is by doing a 'national search.'" I asked him what cars he compared it against, and he cited me ONE car: "I found a 1972 Datsun 240Z with a 2.4L 6 cylinder engine and a 4 speed transmission with a cash value of $5600 in [some town], Michigan. That one has 160,000 miles on it, yours has 128,000 so we adjusted for that" This "adjustment" is of course relative to the 128,000 miles, not the mere 8800 miles on my total rebuild of the original matching numbers L24. He made a confusing statement I can't remember about the condition of this other car, ending with "we didn't make any deductions on yours for condition, so you're getting the best possible offer." I asked him what other cars he looked at, and he paused, and shifted topics around and didn't answer my question. Just said something about "we did a national search and that's what we came up with." He then said I should be happy that his offer was "$3,000 more than the previous one" (not true, it's less than $2,000 more). Of course, I told him this was unacceptable. He then told me the following (as best I can recollect, not exact words): "Well, if you find this unsatisfactory, we can move to the next step in the settlement process. If we can't agree on a figure, we can send an appraiser out there and he can look at it and establish a value... you can send your own appraiser out there too, and they can get together and agree on a value for the car. Then whatever they decide on, that is legally binding and we will give you what they decide. If they come up with $5,000, we'll give you $5,000, if they come up with $15,000, that's what we'll give you." This pissed me off, because essentially it's a threat, as in "agree to what I offered you, or take your chances at being screwed over by our company-approved appraisal guy." When I looked earlier in January, I could not find a local classic car appraiser that would look at a car and do a "post mortem." A ton of internet searching found no one locally, and even in a bigger market, I'm not even sure where I could find one who would be willing to sit down with the insurance company's guy after doing such an appraisal and go to bat for me. I'm sure the insurance company knows this would run me at least several hundred dollars just to get an appraisal done, let alone have him deal with the other guy, assuming I could find someone who would. So basically the insurance guy has given me two options: 1) Accept the ridiculously low settlement now, or 2) Go to "the next step in the settlement process" and get appraisers involved, in which case I could get screwed anyway. I'm not sure what else I can do at this point? Anyway, I suggest ALL of you go get a classic car insurance policy through Haggerty or some other company, AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. You always read these kinds of stories and think it will never happen to you, I sure did. "I take great care of my car, I only drive it for leisure, and I keep it garaged 365 days a year, and I drive as defensively as possible!" Unfortunately, s**t happens. I won't name my insurance company while this is unresolved, but it's one of the big ones.
  4. Inf

    Installing Glove Box

    The cardboard glove box can go in from the front. Although it's pretty tricky, I've done it many times without destroying anything. I wish there was a straightforward procedure to do this, but honestly, it's just one of those things I always do by trial and error, and the process of "which side to bend inward" seems to vary each time I do it. I have always done this with the blower and air box in place. In fact, it's been trickier in my case than I imagine most of you will have because one of the large diameter A/C hoses is routed right behind where the glove box needs to go. I think the extra clearance would make it easier if it were not there. If it'll save you a bunch of time, I suggest trying from the front first. Just go slowly and be careful not to "over-bend" any parts of the cardboard.
  5. Hey everyone, Thanks again for the condolences. The local body shop I took it to has a good reputation and I'd used them for a very minor repair several years ago, but they were not willing to work on it this time around (or even really look at it at all) because it was was an "older model." Apparently they didn't even write up an estimate or touch the car at all. Even the hood had not been opened, so there was no way they could have inspected the front frame sitting in their lot. They sure made a bundle on the towing and storage fees for "2 days" (really 25 hours). Let's just say they picked up nearly 4 digits from the insurance just to pick it up from the tow company and look at it. My insurance agent said this shop is usually more into repairing newer BMWs, Porsches, etc and probably don't have the line of credit with any companies that sell replacement parts for a car as old as mine so it wouldn't be worth the hassle to them. Anyway, my insurance agent wanted to move it to some other shop that they approved of to sit on the impound lot there, because the body shop I initially chose was charging a daily lot fee after declining to work on it. Instead I opted to get control of the car myself for now, and I had them drop it off at my house. It's sitting in my garage now. It may have sustained a front impact, but the interior and everything else was in excellent condition, and I don't want her rotting under the sun and rain in a sketchy impound lot just waiting on paperwork to go back and forth for weeks or months. I managed to open the hood and take a good look around. The engine seems fine, but the radiator did get pushed into the fan. It recoiled forward after the wreck, so the front of the fan clutch is no longer rubbing against the radiator, but it is scraping the fan shroud that was already a tight fit before the wreck (this was the awful scraping noise I heard after the wreck). Surprisingly, the radiator still had coolant in it when I looked. I'm not sure what to think of this, because I saw a little green puddle after the crash where we pulled off the main road, and figured I'd lost all the rest of the coolant in the middle of the intersection. Air conditioner condenser, front bumper, and grille are lost causes, so are all the front body panels. The front radiator support has not buckled, as I at first assumed, but the passenger inner fender is compressed rearward by maybe 1" or so, which makes the entire front radiator support angle rearward on the drivers side. This compression can be seen looking in the driver's side wheel well, where the front end is buckled at the top near the front. I have been told that it can be straightened out, but I don't really know how that works or how much that would cost. Pretty sure the part of the wiring harness that goes across the radiator support is destroyed. The bumper was forced right back through where I think it was. Compared to the body damage this is trivial, of course. I'm not sure if I'll even take pictures for now, it's just too hard to go down there and look at it. I parked her in there two days ago and haven't forced myself to go back down. The insurance agent admitted he really had no idea how to start making an estimate for this, and would just call around to "places" and see what replacement body panels, etc, cost. I tried to tell him about where these panels are still available (BD, MSA, etc), but he was not interested in this information at all. This makes me worried that the local Nissan dealer will just come back and say everything is NLA, therefore, car must be totaled. We all know this is not true, all those panels can still be obtained with little trouble... I looked online into finding an appraiser to do a postmortem, and establish a pre-crash value, and I found one place in Houston that does this all over Texas, but they seemed extremely shady. A lot of the stuff I read about them on the internet makes me question if my insurance company would even consider their judgment as admissible to the claim. I'd hate to pay these guys the $450 they charge just to have it make no difference at all. At any rate, I was Googling some search terms trying to figure out what to do and actually found my own thread here on the first page of search results. This of course makes me keenly aware that the insurance adjusters could possibly be looking at this thread.
  6. Yeah, I am sincerely hoping things work out for the best. If the car is not totaled, I think things may be OK because I am confident my body shop will come through for me. I admit that most of my negative conceptions about what insurance companies will and will not do are based on hearsay where I don't know the whole story. Luckily, I've only had to deal with this sort of problem once before, and it was for relatively minor damage. I'm most worried about the car being totaled and not getting a settlement good enough for me to get a replacement vehicle that isn't a complete lemon/beater. I'm a poor self-supporting graduate student, so I really have zero margin aside from what the insurance company would give me. I'm hoping that the fact that it was the other guy's fault, and he has liability insurance (req. in Texas) will work in my favor. I've always been so careful with my car, it's such a shame to have it end like this. If they total it, it will definitely not be my last Z. I should have a "real" job in a few years, and a new Z and complete restoration would definitely be priorities. Having worked my way through grad school so far, I haven't accumulated much debt, thank goodness.
  7. Thanks for the tip, I actually just called my insurance company to ask about that. I just now arranged for my preferred body shop to pick it up from the tow company. They'll perform an estimate and try to reconcile the cost with my insurance company. The insurance rep said they would perform a "local market search" of "similar vehicles" to establish a cost. This scares me because A) there are hardly any of this car around central Texas, and the ones that ARE for sale are almost always derelict cars in some field somewhere. I keep a constant watch on Craigslist using Google Alerts for Datsuns, and I've seen it all. There's nothing comparable being sold around here, at least not through CL.
  8. Thanks guys. As I'm sure you can all imagine, I'm pretty broken up over this. I've had her for 8 years this month, and I always treated her like a friend, always putting her welfare over my own convenience. I've paid out the nose on rent just to always have a secure garage to store her in. Thanks for suggesting NADA pwd, I looked up my car and I believe mine is near the "high retail" quality based on the description here: http://www.nadaguides.com/Classic-Cars/1972/Nissan-Datsun/240Z/2-Door-Coupe/Values She was definitely way better than a 20 footer, and aside from the small paint chip I picked up from the door of a careless jerk in a parking lot last week, she was nearly flawless -- way better than any daily driver I've seen. The engine has slightly less than 9,000 miles on a complete rebuild of the original engine with matching numbers. The dash has a half cap, that has been on there ever since I've owned the car, but the interior is in excellent shape otherwise, and has not deteriorated any in the time I've owned it due to my care and constant garaging. Maybe the value NADA cites is enough to keep it from being totaled, since the police officer said they typically only total if repairs are more than 70-75% of the vehicle's value. Unfortunately, I've driven her so little over the last year that I don't have many pictures of her since I installed the new wheels last spring.
  9. My girlfriend and I were headed down Lake Creek Pkwy in North Austin in light traffic on our way to dinner. There had been on and off again drizzle all day, so the roads were wet and pretty slick. It was dark, and all parties involved (myself included) were driving with their headlights on. We were both wearing our seat belts (both lap and shoulder belts). I was proceeding at what I consider to be a reasonable speed for conditions, with the flow of traffic, at approximately 20-25MPH in a 40MPH zone. As we approached the intersection, the light was clearly green at least 5 seconds before the collision and it was still green immediately after the collision. As I entered the intersection, the other driver in a PT Cruiser abruptly turned in front of me to make a left-hand turn, failing to yield. His movement was so sudden, I had no time to react, and by the time I was able to press my brake pedal, we had already collided. There were other cars to the right of and directly behind me in close proximity, so my car was not the only oncoming traffic he should have seen approaching the intersection. This scenario is shown in the attached map. APD arrived on the scene very quickly and instructed us to move our vehicles out of the intersection. The PT was able to drive off onto the side street just fine. My vehicle had a smashed radiator (antifreeze ran all over the street), and the front bodywork was dragging on the ground and against the front driver's side tire. I managed to drive the car out of the intersection, but the front end was dragging on the ground and the engine most certainly would have overheated had it been run for more than a few moments The other driver was cited by APD for failing to yield, and accepted that he was at fault for the accident. About 30-40 minutes after the crash I asked the other driver if he was OK, and he said he felt fine, but was just a little shaken up from the crash. He personally apologized to me for having caused the accident, accepting responsibility. APD then allowed him to leave the scene, and his car was able to drive away under its own power. APD called a tow company for me, which brought a flatbed truck. I instructed the operator to use wheel straps, as the 240Z doesn't have tow hooks on the undercarriage. The front airdam, which had been smashed and was dragging under the front of the car, broke off when the tow operator drove it onto the flatbed. He placed the broken-off bodywork in the passenger side of the passenger cabin. Behind me in traffic were two witnesses who observed the entire crash and stopped to give me their information. They both told me that the light was definitely green, and that the other driver was most definitely at fault for failing to yield. I've attached a crappy picture of the damage. I did not take more pictures because all I had was my iPhone (no flash), and it was too dark to get any useful pictures. I only got this one picture by synchronizing it with the hazard light on the other car. The following damage is what I was able to observe at the scene (could not open the hood): Hood -- buckled Hood hinges -- smashed Front bumper -- broken in half Front airdam -- destroyed Front headlight scoops -- both smashed, passenger side cracked in two, drivers side deformed Outer fenders -- both warped and buckled, passenger side possibly damaged beyond repair Inner fenders -- warped/crushed at front ends, I imagine (everything around it is) Front radiator support -- buckled inward Air conditioner condenser -- destroyed Radiator -- destroyed Front grille -- destroyed Front driver's side tire -- damaged by crumpled body work Both horns -- destroyed Both front turn signal assemblies -- crushed and irrepairable Front headlights -- damaged, irrepairable Engine -- unknown, couldn't open hood, but the engine sound was very bad when it was driven onto the flatbed. Because the whole front end of the frame is damaged, I suspect that the car may be totaled? A lot of the damaged and destroyed parts are no longer available, and it is a very difficult task to track down replacements as I'm sure you all know. I had a minor scrape from a careless sorority girl in a parking garage on my fender several years ago, and the best shop in town was very reluctant to work on it because some replacement parts are so hard to find. I know the drill, the insurance company will attempt to screw me and give me "blue book" or whatever for the car, which is averaged down by the massive amount of rust buckets changing hands at very low prices. I am also aware that the "I've put this much money into this car" argument will likely fall on deaf ears. I guess my only chance now is to try to find a lot of sales of similarly conditioned cars showing the prices they went for. That's very difficult. I was planning on getting it appraised soon, just not soon enough unfortunately. I'll be checking out the other threads about this kind of tragedy for more information. Also, I learned that by going through my own insurance company, I would have to pay out of pocket for a rental car until my Z is either completely repaired or totaled, at which point my insurance would go after the other guy's insurance company for reimbursement. I have a regular comprehensive insurance plan, not a Haggerty-type arrangement. This is my "daily driver" that I drive every 1-3 weeks (I live in a place where I ride the bus and my bicycle all the time, no need for a regular car). What a terrible way to start the new year. Please let me know what you guys think.
  10. In an effort to close the gap at the top, I pounded the lip outward with some light taps with my mini-sledge hammer. I think it helped by 1-1.5mm or so at most. The trim piece just seemed like it was a tad bit too small to fit over the welting. The edge was pretty sharp too and, from looking at the gasket, it seemed like it would cut into the base of the bulb if I were to force it on there. As it was, I couldn't lightly press it on such that I could match the screw holes up either and I chickened out.
  11. It sounds like what you are referring to is the body seam where the roof is connected. From the factory it was sealed with lead before painting. Normal body flex and vibration can cause the small cracks over time
  12. Nice car, and welcome to the forum!
  13. Did the passenger door yesterday, went on pretty easily. Ended up adjusting the door striker all the way inward, bringing the door flush with the body finally. I'm still not sure if I got a good seal across the top. The door doesn't seem to compress the gasket much, if at all. If anything, I feel like the Kia gasket may be a little too soft. I tried the dollar bill test, and it was fairly tight everywhere except the top. I couldn't see an easy way to adjust the door to go more inboard at the top, I assume that would involve monkeying around with the door mounts? I did as a previous poster suggested, and put the white-dotted "stuffed" portion of the gasket into the 90 degree corner, seemed to work out OK. The joint in the gasket has no crimping in it, so you obviously want to cut that part out. When I did so, the two ends ended up meeting at the bottom near the front of the door frame. One additional point I wanted to add that I hadn't seen mentioned elsewhere is that I could not get the OEM "kick plate" to fit over the Kia gasket. This kick plate is the metal screwed-on panel that goes along the bottom of the door, and acts as the "push-on" welting in that area.
  14. Stoked as I am to see new retro wheel options, I must agree.
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