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Real638

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About Real638

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    Registered User

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  • Map Location
    Far Northern California

My Cars

  • Zcars Owned
    280z
  • About my Cars
    The Z is a "real 638" black Pearl I've owned since '81. I also have a '56 Ford 2 door Ranch Wagon & a '56 Thunderbird. I'm in the process of restoring mom's '68 Mustang convert. & waiting in the resto line is my late father's 56 Chevrolet 1/2 ton truck - street rod with a Pontiac 3 deuce 389 in it.

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  1. Saw this last week on Ebay. Used '78 parts in Forth Worth by a seller going by "mazda_nissan_heaven". The parts listing shows the "donor car" in one piece. Although missing all the Black Pearl dress up items as well as its' correct hood, the car was almost certainly originally black, as shown in the shots of the stripped doors that are for sale & shots showing the engine compartment. It also was built in 5/58, (same as the Black Pearl I own), and its' serial # and my car's are about 700 apart. I was in contact with the seller & told him what he probably had, but it appears the car was cut up before the Ebay ads were posted. The car appears to have been basically intact & solid. It also looks like it was running fairly recently. What possessed these guys to part it out is beyond me, but there are some fairly decent '78 parts for sale & if you have a Pearl it just got a little rarer.
  2. Thanks Mike. I'm pretty sure I read your write-up on this subject. I've looked at VXB bearings & my concern is the lack of a seal. I can't imagine grease will stay in the upper bearing long without one, & it's what keeps crud out of the lower. I have a pretty good extra pinion/bearing & may just put it back together with that & hope for the best. Terry S.
  3. Has anyone had recent success finding suitable replacements for '78 steering pinion bearings? Prior forum entries on this topic discuss replacing the obsolete Nissan bearing with one that is 1MM thinner & using a spacer to fill the gap. No problem. However I have been unable to find an angular contact bearing with the correct ID and OD, much less sealed on one side like the original. Thanks.
  4. I love these theoretical discussions. Had the same on the subject of the always broken rear manifold stud a few months ago. I've broken lots of bolts & studs off in lots of engines - always with a twisting motion. I absolutely agree that heat & time weaken them. But I have difficulty with the concept that heat stress alone will cause a bolt to simply break. If it has been cracked, even so small as to be invisible, the two factors together seem the much more likely culprit. Thats been my idea on the manifold stud break. The stress put on it when the engine is lifted cracks it. Maybe not visibly, but enough so that heat then takes its toll & eventually it breaks where the crack was - where the stud goes into the head. I'll be keeping the machine shop busy.
  5. I've owned my '78 (a Black Pearl) since '81. It hasn't been driven since about '90. Over the past few months I've been working on getting the old girl running, (which it does - sort of). It has 184K on it & the engine has never been apart. Original down to the injectors, timing gear/chain, etc.. While replacing manifold gaskets I noticed a lot of oily goo on the block coming from under the edge of the head at the #4 cyl. Today, while replacing valve stem seals, I found out where it was coming from. The head bolt between #4 intake & #5 exhaust is broken & obviously had been for a long time. I planned on rebuilding the head anyway, & the machine shop can take care of the broken bolt. Cam turns free so there is little or no warp of the head. Again this engine has never been apart so --- my guess is some guy doing engine assembly at the factory broke it. Since the car would run fine, he simply left it rather than pulling an otherwise good engine of the line. Anybody had a similar experience? By the way, while replacing the clutch, (also original), I found one flywheel bolt had backed out almost half way. All the others were torqued to spec.
  6. Suprised nobody mentioned this. JB Weld is great stuff, but it takes 24 hrs. to set up & is hard to sand down. Try USC All Metal filler instead. It's aluminum based, mixes with a hardener, applies like bondo, & sets up in a few minutes. Best part - it's waterproof & will not soak up water like bondo. Excellent for areas that may get chips in the paint, like rocker panels. I've used it a lot, & only use plastic fillers for finish surfacing. It's expensive, about $40 a quart, but worth it.
  7. Anybody have a lead on replacement mirror glass for the factory racing mirrors, (like on my '78 Black Pearl)? I have a hunch there might be something out there that will work, but most suppliers listings don't go back far enough. Thanks.
  8. True, the front stud/bolt will break, (see my original post), and that is not just a Z car problem. I've broken bolts in Y-block Fords, small block GMs & Toyotas. However I've never come across a situation in which the bolt head or nut/stud simply fell off; a little twisting is needed to snap it. And again, why does the rear Z stud seem to consistently break flush with the head?
  9. Don't think it's an exhaust hanger issue; trans hanger was intact on my car, and it had 100% original dated exhaust parts on it. Plus I don't see how that much lateral stress could occur; it's a 5mm stud thru a hole the size of a dime. My manifold wasn't badly warped, and I don't see how that would explain why only the rear stud has the problem. Visualize the stress placed on that one small stud when engine weight is placed on it, particularly at the point where it goes into the head. Assembly line stress still seems the most plausible explanation to me.
  10. To start, I have a '78 Black Pearl, (Real638), which I've owned since early '81. The car has not been driven since around 1990, & I just started working on bringing it back to life a couple of months ago. The engine had never been apart - it made it 184K & still ran ok when parked. It is missing the rear lifting lug & for all I know it may have been gone when I bought the car. I know the issue of broken rear exhaust manifold studs has been covered several time before, but I'm not satisfied with the explanations I've seen for this & I can't find an answer on how to solve the problem. From what I've read the hook is gone & the stud broken on nearly all 1st generation Zs. Banzai Motorworks says they reproduced the early lug because nearly all the cars that came into their shop were missing it. When I pulled the manifolds I found the stud had broken flush with the head. I broke 2 others during removal, as well as the bolt in the front, and one bolt for the radiator hose fitting on the other side, but they all broke with about 1/2" showing. These came out easily with a little heat & vise grips. Yesterday I looked at a '78 in a wrecking yard. Rear stud broken flush with the head. Same with a '74 & early 240 in the same yard. I did find a '77 with the stud, nut & lug still on it! When I put a wrench on it the nut & part of the stud literally fell off - broken flush with the head. I've seen a couple of theories to explain this. One is warping of the manifold causing the stud to break. The other is over tightening during repairs. Neither of these theories, while possible, satisfy me. I think Nissan used the lugs during assembly & that little 5mm stud bent, at the head, & cracked. I'm thinking about making up a sleeve, with room for manifold heat expansion. Thoughts on this?
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