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Posts posted by qz16

  1. I have a 1973 so I am not sure that your set up is exactly the same as mine. 

    Having said that, I believe up under the passenger side you will see a bank of connector blocks.  Your wire harness is separated into a few pieces.  If memory serves me there are 4 larger connectors with 10 pins in each.  There is a also a few individual connectors.  The 4 larger connector blocks (black white green and blue) connect the dashboard  or instrument harness, hatch area harness, to the engine harness.  The relays for things like the horns, and wipers are located on the passenger kick panel and are connected with individual connectors.  There is also an “L” shaped connector that connects the hazard relay. Another for the main power from the battery to the fuse block.  Can’t remember other detail at this moment.

     Anyway, I would start by taking copious notes and labeling the various individual connectors, and I would disconnect the battery and leave it disconnected until the issue is resolved.  Write down the order of the 4 larger connectors, they are colored and I believe keyed.  I think there is a good chance that the problem is one of the relays, but that is just a guess from some of the things that you posted.  Don't conclude anything based on guesses.  You can troubleshoot this to the point where you can eliminate the actual issue, and not waste time or money replacing items that are not damaged.

    After labeling all of the connectors I would disconnect them from the engine harness and see if the short still exists.  If it is gone than reconnect one connector at a time to determine which harness has the issue.  If the short is not removed then I would disconnect the individual connectors.  If everything is disconnected and you still have an issue then the problem is likely to be in the engine compartment.  I say likely because there is always the possibility that a previous owner has added or modified something.

    Once you figure out which area has the issue then I would get a schematic and track it down.  I have a laminated schematic in the garage and will post a picture when I can, a bit later today.  If you do not have a meter or short detector you need to buy one,  you can get something fairly inexpensive.

    You may be overwhelmed, frustrated and confused right now.  Electrical systems are similar to plumbing, without some of the sloppy mess.  Go slow, take your time do one thing at a time and draw a conclusion.  If your not sure post the question.  Write down what you are doing and what the results are so the forum can help you.  It may take a while but you will get through it.



    • Like 2
  2. So, I have 1973 240z - not aware of any differences that would affect these measurements.
    Across the radiator support  your image #3 -39 3/4 in.

    Your image #1 - 39 5/16"

    Your image #2 - 39 1/2"

    If this satisfies you - great - If you need really accurate measurements then let me know and I will dig out the laser and get some batteries in it.


    edit: Okay so I went back with the laser:

    your image #1 measured 39   5/16"

    your image #2 measured 39  1/2"

    your image #3 measured 39  3/4"

    now realize: my hood is attached and generally aligned

    my fenders are not fastened to the body

    my grill, bumper, and valence are not mounted

    Hope this helps


    Just curious what issue are you trying to resolve?

    • Like 1
  3. I think I understand the benefits and the desire to run either an electric fuel pump with or without a mechanical pump. 

    In your original post you mention that you don't run your 240z frequently and that you thought the diaphragm may have dried up and caused the pump to fail or not perform as it should.  Sorry if this is off topic.  During the restore of our car there have been long periods where the car has not been started.  I am running a mechanical pump without the benefit of an electric.  I have a fuel filter before the pump.  I too was having issues starting after the car sat for a while.  After sitting for a period of time the fuel filter bowl was always empty.  At first I did not think much of this, but that changed with time and effort.  Since the car is in the process of being restored most of its parts are new or restored.  New fuel pump, new hoses and clamps, restored fuel tank, restored SUs, restored plumbing from the pump to the SUs., ... etc.  I read that many of the cardone fuel pumps had issues so I purchased another pump, but it too was not able to suck fuel from the tank.  I got to be an expert at filling fuel bowls by hand, to get the car started.  I was thinking that my fuel pump was not strong enough to pull the fuel the distance from the tank while it was cranking and that it was taking too long to crank the car to fill all the lines and the fuel bowls. A friend suggested that there was an air leak that was causing the system to lose its vacuum, and that the tell tale was the fuel filter bowl being empty after the car sat for a while.  He talked me into checking to make sure that the right size (diameter) hoses were everywhere.  Sure enough I did have some that were a bit larger than they were originally.  While I never really proved that the diameter of the hoses and clamps was the issue, the fuel filter bowl now is able to stay full even after the car sits for months.  I believe if I checked the fuel pump that there would be fuel in the pump keeping the diaphragm wet.  Anyway, I was considering going to an electric pump but forgot about it after my issue was resolved.  Don't get me wrong electric fuel pumps are great, a little noisy sometimes, but pushing fuel at a constant rate is beneficial.  Really like Racer X's and Steve J's safety solution.

    • Like 4
  4. Hatch Alignment Guide

    I have searched for a process/procedure, or guide to help me align a 240z hatch, but have not been able to find one.  It may be out there, but It has eluded me.  I am not a professional, just a do-it-yourselfer.  I am restoring a 1973 240z.  My hatch gave me a bit of trouble and this is the process that I used to achieve reasonable results.  This is meant only as a guide, something that hopefully is a bit better than obvious.  I think alignment is often considered daunting by some.  It really is not rocket science.  It takes effort, be patient, be careful, and be realistic.  If you could look at a new Z coming off the line in the 70s, I think you would notice that they were great cars, but they were not perfect – for example their gaps were not always uniform.  There is a phrase that I was taught on my first job after college – “The enemy of good is better”.

    There is another thread “Hatch Alignment” that has photos of my hatch, and its gaps.


    Please feel free to improve or correct any errors - thanks


    Install and clearance Check


    1. Remove the hatch striker to prevent the hatch from locking before it is aligned.
    2. Install the appropriate weather stripping.
    3. Tape the entire body opening of the hatch to protect it from scratches/chips while fitting the hatch.
    4. Install the hinges into the body.  This requires two bolts per hinge.
    5. Adjust hinges upward toward the roofline.  This will help if you have any issues clearing the roofline as you close the hatch for the first time. You might want to mark a line on the hatch body to define the position of the hinge.  This occurred to me after I aligned my hatch. A good way to keep track is to make the most current line the longest.
    6. Installing the hatch is a two man effort.  It requires two short screws per side. 
      The hatch tab holes are beveled so there is no adjustment up/down, left/right. 
      Placing shims between the hatch tab and the hinge move the hatch toward the front of the car closing the gap at the roofline.  This is the only adjustment involved with the tab. 
      My glass was removed during deconstruction of the car.  The hatch is considerably lighter without it.  I found it easier to handle the hatch without the glass.  Some people recommend installing the glass before aligning the hatch.

    Do not install the hatch lift support strut. 
    Do not let the hatch close, keep it propped open. 
    There is only one strut for a 240z.  The 260z and 280z had 2 struts, one on each side.  Some, including me, believe that the single strut on the left (drivers) side causes the hatch to twist over time.  The force of the strut when the hatch is in the open position forces the left side higher than it would be otherwise.  I believe that this puts downward pressure on the right (passenger) side of the hatch driving it toward the body opening. 

    Prop open the hatch with a stick.  It should be high enough to be well away from the roofline. 

    1. The hatch should move freely at this point.
    2. In addition to the tape I put thin towels along the body opening to protect everything.
    3. The next step is better with more than one person, especially if your glass is installed.  Slowly start to close the hatch checking to make sure that it clears the roofline and the edges of the body opening. 
    4. If you have sufficient clearance – congratulations you have passed the first hurdle.  The next step is to align the hatch.  If you do not have sufficient clearance, don’t panic yet. 
      There are a few relatively easy things that you can do to help with clearance issues.  You can add the second strut.  This is probably a good idea anyway.  Realize that the standard single 240z hatch strut has a force of 88lbs.  If you add the second strut to the right side I would strongly recommend that you replace your original 240z hatch strut, with two 260z/280z hatch struts.  Each of these is rated at 44 lbs. of force which is the equivalent of the original single strut at 88 lbs.  The second thing you can do is to position your hinges to create sufficient clearance.  The last thing that I can think of is to remove the hinge and enlarge the hole that the bolts go through to mount the hinge, this will increase the amount of adjustment that you can  achieve.
      1. Adding a 2nd hatch strut
        To add the second strut you need a few parts including a body mount for the strut bracket.  These body mounts were spot welded and they have a few bends that put them close to the quarter panel skin. The body mount bracket is not left/right side dependent.  Most of the early S-30s that I have seen have broken spot welds.  This could be due to the 88 lb. strut, or it could be due to the uneven forces applied from the hatch when closing and opening the hatch.  Y
        You will also need the mounting bracket for the strut.  This bracket comes in left/right versions.  It screws into the strut body mount, and the strut is bolted to the bracket.
        The next piece to the puzzle is the strut itself.  It is not right/left side dependent.  Order a 260z/280z strut as it has half the force of the 240z strut. Make sure the mounting matches your hardware.  I have seen these with either ball mounts, or shoulder bolts. 
        The last piece is the bracket that is attached to the hatch and is the mounting place for the other end of the strut.  This bracket is available from zcardepot.  This bracket comes in a left/right configuration. 
        I was not able to find new versions of the other brackets for sale commercially, which means you will have to get them from either a 240z/260z/280z.  It is easy to remove them from a car with an air hammer or a hammer and chisel, without damaging the quarter panel skin of the donor. 
        Adding the 2nd strut may help with clearance issues on the right side of the car.  The location of the brackets is the mirror image of the left side.  Since you can’t easily spot weld the body mount you can drill two holes and mount the bracket with screws through the channel of the body opening.  Caulk these when done. If you need more specific assistance to install the 2nd strut I believe that there are directions either on this forum or on the internet.
      2. Hinge Positioning
        Positioning a hinge is not difficult.  The hinge can be moved left and right as well up or down, within limits.  There are two limiting factors.  The first is that the captured nut in the body has a range of adjustment.  The second is the size of the hole that the hinge bolt goes through. You should remove the hatch tab screws that hold the hatch tab to the hinge.  After removing the screws you will need to prop the hatch on the right side so it does not collide with the roofline.  NEVER remove the screws from both hatch tabs at the same time.  The 88lbs of force in the strut/s can get the hatch out of control in a hurry.  At one point I thought my hinge was adjusted as high up as possible, but it wasn’t.  It actually was being restrained from going as high as it could by the rubber gasket that the hinge fits into.
      3. Enlargement of the hole in the hinge
        I was nervous about this alteration, but it is an option.  I needed this alternative.  Prop the hatch and remove the hinge from the car.  Put it in a vice.  With a small flat file or a small round file you can open up the hole the bolts go through.  Figure out where you need the extra space and only open the area needed.  Realize when you do this you will need a larger split washer and a larger flat washer.  You do not want to remove too much material as this could weaken the hinge mount.
    5. Hatch Alignment
      I was told that if you separate everything, the hinges from the body and the hatch from the hinges that you turn a difficult task into a very difficult task.  I wanted the best possible restoration that I could muster.  Old hinges on doors, hatches, etc. usually have issues and I was concerned about rust issues in the hinge wells.  Anyway, without realizing that I was making the problem more difficult I separated everything in order to refinish and substitute new parts.  I also don’t know how you can inspect the hatch tabs without removing them from the hinge.  If  I had it to do over again I would mark the position of the hinges before working on the body.  They ae left and right oriented and stamped with an L/R.  If I was not going to do bodywork in the area behind the hinge then I would not remove them at all.  If I were going to replace the hinge because it was weak or bent, but I was not going to need to do body work behind the hinge then I would wait until installing the hatch and replace one side at a time, after the hatch was installed.  Bottomline:  Even though I separated everything I was able to do a fairly good job of aligning my hatch.  I do not believe that aligning a hatch is a very difficult job.  Installing the hatch is definitely a 2 man job, especially if your glass has not been removed, but alignment can be done without help.  Having said that 4 hands are better than two.  The process is an iterative one.  Make one change at a time and check your results.  Protect your car with tape and towels.  I will assume that you have achieved adequate roofline clearance, and that after every adjustment you check to see that you still have the clearance that you need.  If you lose the clearance consider backing out the last change and see if there isn’t another way to achieve the alignment that you want.
      1. First step for me was to see if the hatch fit within its opening squarely.  Another way to put this is to check if your right side gap (the space between the hatch edge and the body opening edge) is the same near the top of the hatch as it is at the bottom.  If the gap is not uniform check the left side.  If the left side has the opposite issue then you have an alignment issue.  If it isn’t then you might have a more serious issue like the hatch or the body opening not being square.  If one or the other is not square then you will not be able to get uniform gaps without doing body work.  If you do not opt for bodywork then you may still be able to align the hatch to achieve the best possible result given the body issues.
      2. Assuming the hatch and the body opening are reasonably close to being square.  Check the right side gap top and bottom.  If it isn’t the same then you need to make a decision as to whether the top gap or the bottom gap is closer to the desired gap.  If either the top or the bottom is too close to the body edge then this will be the point that you will want to affect.  For example say the gap at the bottom of the right corner is too close to the body edge you have a few choices:

                                                                   i.      you could move the left top side of the hatch closer to the roofline or

                                                                 ii.      you could move the right top side away from the roofline.

    My preference is usually to avoid any action that decreases roofline clearance if possible.  So I would put a shims behind the right side hinge under both bolts.  This pushes the hatch top right edge toward the back of the car and the top left corner toward the front. I think it is best to loosen both sides of the hinge before inserting a shim under either bolt.  I found it easier not to completely remove the bolt.  Tighten both bolts a couple of turns at a time, until both are sufficiently tight.  Check the right bottom corner if the gap is larger then we are moving in the right direction. Check the right side top and bottom gap. If they are more uniform then the adjustment was successful.  I would check the left side gap top and bottom.  If the gap is not uniform then you need to make an adjustment. Shims installed on the opposite side will move the side you are working on closer to the body at the lower corner.  To affect the top corner of the side that you are working on shim the hinge on that side.  When you have gotten the side gaps top and bottom sufficiently close to your liking you can move on to the next  step.

      1. With the side gaps uniform top to bottom you will want to compare the left side gap to the right side gap.  I am exaggerating to make a point, lets say the right side gap is 1 inch (at the top and the bottom) and the left side gap is .5 inch (top and bottom). It would be ideal to make both the left and right side gaps equal at .75 inches.  You need to move the entire hatch (top and bottom) toward the gap that is larger (right side).  To do this you will need to loosen both hinges.  I was working alone so:

                                                                   i.      I removed the hatch tab screws from the right side, and propped the hatch up with a stick. 

                                                                 ii.      Next I loosened the hinge bolts on the right side.  This allowed me to move the right side hinge to the right, because it was not held in place by the hatch on the right side.  You typically will not need to move the hinge very much.  You can check that it has moved by lowering the hatch as if you were going to put the screws through the hatch tab.  If the holes line up you have not moved the hinge, if the hinge is to the right by a small amount compared to the hatch tab hole then you have moved the hinge and you should tighten the hinge bolts.  Make certain that you have not disrupted your previous changes to the hinge position or you will disrupt the progress made earlier on the side gaps.

                                                               iii.      Carefully, loosen but do not remove the left side hinge bolt (the left side hatch tab screws should still be tight at this time.  Pull the hatch from the right side and push the left side hinge to the right.  It will probably need some persuasion.  My advice is not to hammer or rubber mallet the hatch.  I did smack the hinge in order to move it.  It is difficult because the hatch is still attached to it, and it would be best to have a second person to push the hatch top and bottom while you pull the hatch from the left side.  Remember you do not need a lot of movement, and you don’t want to overdue it and have to reverse the adjustment.  Keep checking the right side tab holes – when they line up with the right side hinge you have affected an adjustment to the right.  Re-install the right side hatch tab screws and tighten the left side hinge bolts.  Check your work and repeat as necessary.  Remember the hinges have vertical adjustment and horizontal adjustment within limits.  If you need more then they can provide then you will need to remove the hinges one at a time and enlarge the hinge holes to get additional movement.  You will probably need to do this on both sides.  Remember I said that hatch alignment was not that difficult, but it is work and it can be frustrating.  Take your time, take breaks, if I can do it so can you.

      1. Now with the gaps uniform top to bottom on both sides and with the gaps relatively equal on both sides check the bottom corner of the hatch to see how it aligns with the edge of the quarter panel.  If the body lines line up you can move on if not you can cause them to line up by adding shims behind the hinges on one or both sides – this drives the hatch toward the back of the car.  If you need to move the hatch away from the back of the car you can accomplish this by adding a shim between the hatch tab and the hinge.  I found it helpful to use double sided tape to hold the shims in place for the tab adjustment.  Place the tape on the shim and stick it to the hatch tab then move the hinge up to cover the shim and insert the hatch tab screw.
      2. The last thing is to check the height of the hatch at the roofline.  Adjust the hinges up or down.  The best way to adjust the hinges is always to loosen both sides.  Again, a friend comes in handy anytime you need to move both sides of the hatch at the same time.


    Hope this helps to make the job easier.

    • Like 1
  5. Someone asked: What do you think caused the issue that required the addition of the 2nd strut to obtain the necessary clearance?


    In thinking about this I believe that you need to understand this car’s starting point.  My son, and I bought the car for one reason and that was to have the fun of restoring it.  Our intention was to keep it, so every decision was based on what was best for the car.  I believe that we did not knowingly sacrifice quality in any area.  We bought the best and did our best, if for no other reason than we intend to keep the car forever.  We started deconstruction immediately after purchasing the car.  This is an important point.  We had no history with this car.  I don’t know if the hatch closed properly before we took it apart.  It closed, so the real question is how uniform were the gaps, was the paint at the roofline scuffed/chipped.  The answer on the gaps is that they did not impress me as being particularly bad, or indicative of a body issue.  That’s not a very definitive answer, but it is all that I have.  The paint was in miserable condition.  There was zero clear coat and some rust in the typical spots, right dog leg, right fender near the door, right rocker, lower hatch, and lower right quarter panel.  I don’t  believe that I would have noticed a scuff or chip given the condition of the paint.  None of this really mattered to us because we were going to restore every nut and bolt anyway.  We were changing the color so we were taking it to bare metal and everything had to be removed from the frame.  I am sure that the hatch is twisted/warped.  Not so badly that it would not close, but bad enough that it was perceptible when laid out on something flat.  Now, did it twist because it was forced at some point during its life?  Did it twist over time because of the single strut?  Did it warp because the glass was removed and it was stored for a few years?  Was it warped because I live in Arizona and we get huge swings in temperature?  Whatever the reason and whenever it happened (most probably before we purchased the car) the result is that it has some amount of twist in it.  When the glass is installed will the weight take some of the twist out?  When it is closed against the new weather strip will it tend to right itself to some small degree?  Does the fault lie in the bodywork that I did?  The point is I can’t answer definitively what caused the clearance issue.  The car is 48 years old and we have owned for it for 5 years.  like most of us it has a past. 

    Was it necessary to add the 2nd strut or was there another way to solve the problem?  I can tell you that I believe the 2nd strut is a positive improvement to a great car.  Nissan thought it was an expense worth adding to an already great car, beginning with the 260z.  My simplistic experimenting leaves no doubt in my mind that having 2 struts to balance the weight of the hatch is a good thing.  And finally, it appears to solve my clearance issue.  Do you need it to align your hatch?  I don’t know, but I needed it to align my hatch given my abilities and level of patience.  If you have a 240z I would check the spot welds on the hatch lift strut body mount.  I would also check the hatch tabs carefully as someone suggested earlier; this may be a manifestation of the uneven force placed on the hatch when it is being closed.

    I hope this thread helps someone tackle a job that they might not otherwise attempt.    

    • Like 2
  6. 2nd Strut
    It took a while to get the parts for the 2nd strut .  I did not realize that the body mount was spot welded and the strut bracket was screwed to it.  CS was able to source the body mount – thank you.  Installation of the 2nd strut confirmed that the strut forces the hatch vertically upward, and provided the extra clearance that was required to protect the body.  The image below shows the 2nd strut loosely installed.

    2nd strut.jpg


    vertical rise hatch corner
    Earlier in this post I had a similar picture.  In it I had lifted the hatch right corner by hand to show the maximum vertical rise that I thought would be possible.  I did not move the paper with the lines on it.  This latest image below, shows where the hatch  right corner sits in its open resting position with the 2nd strut installed.  

    vertical rise hatch corner.jpg




    Patcon - I was wrong about there being vertical movement in the hatch hinge.  My comment made it seem as if there was slop in the hinge.  My hinges are new, and they have little to no slop in the hinge.  As you know, on a 240z there was originally only one strut to help raise the hatch.  As you press upon the bottom of the hatch to close it you begin to overcome the 88 lbs. of force of the strut. As you push down on the bottom of the hatch; the top of the hatch, at the roofline reacts, in the opposite direction.  The left side has nowhere to move as the strut is already forcing the hatch up, the length of the strut being the limiting factor.  The harder you push the hatch to close it the higher the force becomes at the top of the hatch on the right side.  This force causes the right side of the hatch to appear to rise, but it is actually causing the hinge to rotate on its hinge pin and in fact it creates vertical movement at the right corner.  Eventually I think you create enough downward force on the bottom of the hatch to overwhelm the left side strut and the hatch rotates downward to the closed position.  For whatever reason I need a little more clearance (probably earlier in the cycle) to clear the roofline.  Putting the 2nd strut in on the right side seems to provide that extra lift.


    Below are the results after installation of the 2nd strut and aligning the hatch.


    Left Top Corner                                                                                                                                                       Right Top corner

      hatch left top.jpg                              hatch rt top.jpg


    Right Middle Gap                                                                                                                                                   Left Middle Gap

    hatch rt middle.jpg                             hatch left middle.jpg


    Right Bottom Corner                                                                                                                                           Left Bottom Corner

    hatch rt bottom.jpg                             hatch left bottom.jpg


    Hatch Top Left Gap  Hatch Top Right Gap

    hatch top left.jpg   hatch top right.jpg


    Hatch Roofline

    hatch roofline.jpg


    Hatch Lip Corners

    I am not satisfied with my work on the quarter edge corner or the hatch edge corners.  I guess it just got past me at the time.  I'll do better next time.  As far as the the body line not matching.  I think I will be able to address this with a striker adjustment and hopefully some help from installation of the glass compressing the new weather stripping.

    hatch rt lip corner.jpg



    hatch left lip corner.jpg

    • Like 3
  7. CS,

    I Think you have a great point about the glass.  I have been concerned about the effect of its weight, and form.  Also, the hatch frame may benefit (not very likely I suppose) from being locked in place against the weatherstrip.  Because the hatch is so much easier to handle without the glass and because the glass is 40+ years old and therefore fragile I wanted to at least get to the point where the hatch would open and close before installing it.  I’ve already got the second strut parts ordered.  They will be here in a few days.  You have helped me a lot in the years that I have been working on the bucket and I respect your experience,  but I have come this far and would like to see the impact of the second strut.  I don’t need a great deal of vertical help to clear the roof line, and the weight of the glass may negate the vertical lift gained by the strut.  You know as well as I that the 2nd strut is not the final solution even if it works.  If it works I am going to have to get the hinge higher in its mounting.  I don’t want to risk damage to the roof line or even the paint if the strut gets old and fails.  Once the hatch can open and close freely I will install the glass before going any further.

    As always, thanks for your advice and experience.



  8. Pictures can be deceiving.  It's helpful to know how they were taken, and what the corresponding adjustments were when they were taken.  For example it is easy to jump to the conclusion that the hatch extends far beyond the fender.  In one of my posts I said: “I do not have the latch hardware installed so the hatch is not shown fully closed.” Because the hatch is not fully closed and because of the angle that the picture was taken the rear edge of the hatch  looks far worse than it is in reality.  Will it be perfect when I am done – I doubt it.  But the hatch rear edge will be close enough to matching the rear fender edge to satisfy most folks, at least in my house.

    zedhead - Don’t worry about being brutal.  I will take positive advice from anyone whenever it is offered.  I am just trying to give the “bucket” my best effort, sometimes it is an iterative process.  

     This forum has been a tremendous help to me.  I have tried to post items that might help the next guy avoid a few problems or solve a problem faster than he/she might otherwise. For example I was unaware that the hatch lift strut actually raises the hatch vertically, when in the open position.  I think this might help the next guy.

    Anyway, I have the parts coming that I need for a right side hatch strut.  This will allow me to prove/disprove that my issue can be resolved with a very slight vertical movement in the hatch open position.  Once I can close the hatch without worrying about the paint I can do the trial and error adjustments for the gaps.  I will post pictures, bad or good.  Some can trash the effort, and I am sure that some will help me figure out how to improve it.  Once I get the hatch right with the additional strut I can decide whether I want to get the vertical movement with the strut or by opening up the adjustment holes for the hinge.  I put this off because I dread making those holes larger, and because I still think introducing the 2nd strut with the 260z was an upgrade, certainly not just for aesthetics. On the other hand, part of me thinks that the 240z had one strut and the bucket is a 240z so it should have one strut.


    Roberts280z – You have a little more extensive work on your project than was needed on mine.  The bottom of my hatch had the typical rust issues and I had some welding, patching and metal filling to do on it.  The left side of the bucket was fairly clean, the right side had a lot of work in the dogleg area and some in the lower quarter.  I could not find much help via the forums to align the hatch, but I am hopeful that this thread will ultimately turn into a procedure/process that helps others do it faster and better.  I look forward to your comments – thanks.  Let me know if you need a measurement.


    Patcon & Grannyknot– As always, I appreciate your assistance – thanks.


    Thanks to all for your help.

    • Like 2
  9. the problem is that there is no more vertical adjustment, using the bolts that hold the hinge to the body.  I suppose I could make the adjustment hole larger.  do you have a good way to do that or should I just use a drill or a round file?

  10. Yes, the hatch just nicks the roof where the tape is.  I don't need a lot of clearance at this point but you can see from the other pics of the closed hatch that I need to bring the hatch more toward the front of the car which will likely cause more of a clearance issue.  I would like to get the gaps to look good but I am not a perfectionist.  

    And Yes I plead guilty on the paint.  It still needs a final buffing.  Thanks for the compliment.  I love to paint.  This is the 2nd car that I have done.  My first was a 1974 MGB, that I still have.  

    • Like 3

    hatch closed roof gap right side.jpg






    hatch closed roof gap left base.jpg



    hatch closed base.jpg



    I am going to have to move the hatch toward the front of the car.  More on the right then the left, this i fear will only make the clearance issue worse.  I also hope that adding the weight of the glass will not impact the lift of the piston.

    By inspecting the tabs I gather you mean remove the hatch completely or can i just take the screws out and get one hinge out of the way?  I guess I really need to look at both sides of the hatch tab.  Thats going to take a bit of time as I will probably need a second set of hands to remove and install the hatch.  I will post images of the tabs when I have them.

    Thanks again.



    Okay so I just took a look at the tabs and they are painted, which means they got a good look over when I sanded them before I primed and and sprayed color.  I am fairly certain that they are in good shape. I probably would not have noticed if they were slightly bent, but a bad weld would not have escaped me.


    hatch closed roof gap left side.jpg

    hatch closed roof gap right side.jpg

    • Like 1
  12. Charles,

    Good suggestion - thanks for the interest. I took a lot of shots of the hatch, but realized that your starting point and mine may be different.  To clarify I am not really concerned at this point with the gaps when the hatch is closed.  My first concern is to successfully close the hatch without damaging the paint at the roof line.  I did take snaps of the gaps in case I am missing something that they might reveal.  I do not have the latch hardware installed so the hatch is not shown fully closed.

    hatch open roof line.jpg

    In this image everything looks fairly good, but as the hatch closes the available space between the roof line and the hatch is reduced to the point where it just barely scrapes the roof, this is the area of concern in the photo that follows later on.

    hatch open roof line 1.jpg









    roof gap right side.jpg




    So, with the hatch shock absorber installed (on the left side (standard for a 240z) the hatch is pushed upward with enough force to raise the hatch within the hinge.  This is actually helpful, I think, on the left side because it creates more clearance to pass over the roof line.  Unfortunately it does not affect the right side and so the clearance is less on the right side.  You can prove this by lifting the right corner up .  It rises approximately 3/16 of an inch, when lifted by hand.


    roof gap left side.jpgroof left .jpg




    roof right.jpg



    roof area of concern.jpg

    The taped area is the concern.  This is where the roof line is scraped as you close the hatch.



    hatch left hinge.jpg

    There are no shims installed on either hinge at this point.


    hatch right hinge.jpg



    hatch hinge lift.jpg

    The image above shows the hatch open all the way.  I marked a line (bottom-short line) to indicate the height of the hatch.  I lifted the hatch and marked a second line (top-longer) to indicate the height of the hatch when lifted.  The difference is about 3/16 of an inch.

    So, here is my thinking.

    1. The shims behind the hinge single bolt head either side of each hinge move the hatch toward the rear of the car and away from the roof line.

    2. Shims placed between the phillips head screws and the hatch move the hatch toward the front of the car.

    3. The two larger head bolts on either side of each hinge adjust the resting position of the hatch, mostly up and down, and only slightly left or right if at all.

    4. Raising the hatch (vertically) when it is in the open position is helpful because it creates clearance to avoid interference with the roof as it is closed.

    5. the shock absorber(lift support piston) is stronger enough to lift the hatch vertically.  With only one piston on the left side only one side is lifted and the right side is driven downward.  The right side can't really move downward because it is at the bottom of the vertical travel of the hinge.  Obviously I have no facts to offer as the reason for Nissan adding a 2nd piston to lift the hatch on the 260z and beyond, but since the body of the 260z and the 240z are very similar in this area it seems worthwhile to try adding a 2nd piston to raise the open resting position of the hatch.

    6. I was lucky enough to find a pair of 260z hatch lift support brackets and they should be delivered in the near future.

    7. While waiting for the 260z brackets I will attempt to align the hatch in minimize the gaps in the closed position


    Please do not worry about offending me.  If you have a better or more elegant solution, or experience that indicates the above thoughts are foolish please advise as soon as possible.  I am getting older by the minute and need to get the bucket on the road.


    Thanks again, to all for your help.




    • Like 2
  13. Thanks to both of you for responding. 


    The hinges are new, but they have a fair amount of vertical rise.  It may not be excessive and I do believe that the hatch may be warped/twisted, so I do not believe that it is the fault of the hinge.  With the piston install as possible, but in the middle of the hatch it is just too close to clear the roof.


    I do not have the long shims but I have used half shims ranging from 1/32 to 6/32 to no avail.  the issue is always the same, a couple of 32nds to close to the roof line.  When the hatch is closed, with the shims the gap between the top of the hatch and the roof is huge.  I know I could bring it in a bit with a shim behind the phillips head screws that hold the hatch to the hinge, but the issue is that I can not clear the roof to close the hatch without scuffing the roof paint.  I can't even begin to figure out how to delicately take any warpage out of the hatch and who knows what will happen when the glass goes back into the hatch.





    • Like 1
  14. Our project has dragged on way longer than I intended.  It is a 1973 240Z that we call "the bucket".  The car was completely stripped and has undergone a color change, and there was a fair amount of rust that had to be dealt with, so it should not come as too big a surprise that I am having trouble aligning the hatch.  I have new hinges.  The 240z had a single (shock absorber) lift support on the left side.  The alignment of hatch at the roof line is very close, but I need more clearance to close the hatch without damaging the paint.  The problem as I see it is that the hinges have a great deal of vertical play.  Because the original design call for a single shock absorber to lift the hatch the left side sits much higher than the right side when the hatch is open.  The result is that the hatch is actually tilted down toward the right (passenger) side.  I do not have any adjustment left on the right side.  Years ago I remember reading that someone added a second shock on the right side to prevent the hatch from twisting.  I have since found out that the 260z and 280z both had two lift supports, one on each side.  This makes perfect sense to me, given the issue that I am having in that the right side shock absorber will raise the hatch using the play inherent in the hinge.  I am hoping that it will give me enough clearance to clear the roof and then the weight of the glass will force the hinge play to be reduced when the hatch is closed.  

    So, my plan is to add a second shock absorber to the right side.  In order to do this I need the bracket that attaches to the body that holds the shock absorber.  The original shock has a bracket attached to it with a rivet type pin.  This end attaches to the hatch.

    So, If you have experience that indicates that my plan will not work - please share your thoughts, so I can move on to my next plan which I have as yet not thought up.

    If you a 260z/280z RIGHT side bracket that you want to sell please contact me.  I only need the right side bracket, but would buy the whole setup if necessary.  The image below is of a left side bracket - I need the mirror image.  Thanks for your help.


    • Like 1
  15. 4 hours ago, smaceng said:

    Great write up on the a/c system.  Just purchased my '72 and am looking forward to adding air.

    Did you ever receive your vintage dashes dash?

    If so, what do you think of it and how much did it cost?


    Scott in CA


    Thanks, yes, i did get a vintage dash.  if memory serves me it was $1k or $1100.  It is great.  Not a scratch on it.  Fit and finish was perfect.  Everything lined up perfectly.  i don't know what they cost now, but it was worth every penny.   Highly recommend.  Good luck with your 72 Z.

  16. ET14k - thanks - I'm still in the denial phase where I am hoping without reason that there is someway to prevent the scratch.

    zkars - like I dont have enough anxiety in my life - right?  Having said that - I have thought about the drip rail and the fear of taking a rubber mallet to my paint caused me to work on other parts of the project until I uncovered a solution to the cracking paint syndrome.  I thought I was in safe territory until I realized that I had to install the rubber window roller which is pinched on to the same door edge and then I figured out that heaven has given me two chances to chip the paint in that spot, once for the roller and then again when I pound the molding on top of it.

    So how do these guys with the $50k paint jobs do this?  There must be someone out there that has conquered this medieval process, OR is this the step just before they put the car up on BAT?  Imagine that all these $100k cars with chipped paint lurking under their chrome trim.  Next time I buy a car guess where I am going to look, and if there is no cracks then I am going to finally find out how to put the trim back.

    If I figure out anything remotely promising I will be sure to let you know.

  17. I know here I go again - worrying about chipping paint.  I am in the process of putting a door back on our project.  The door is mounted and I just  finished installing the window regulator and glass.  Across the top of the door there is a piece of molding, chrome on one side fuzzy on the side facing the glass.  It is press fitted onto the door edge.  Is there some method of protecting the paint while installing the molding?  Would applying tape to the edge before fitting the molding over it help?  Is there a special tool to spread the molding while applying it to the door?

    Thanks in advance.

  18. So, I really do not have a horse in this race, and I am on thin ice because I am not trained as a mechanical engineer.  To re-state the original issue I was concerned about the bare metal lying between the mounting holes pressing into the painted surface and damaging it, thus potentially allowing water to create an issue. 

    It seems to me that this mini system (the handle, bracket, backing plate, pivots and springs ... etc) is strengthened because the bracket, AND its backing plate behind the door skin sandwich the door skin.  My backyard logic would suggest that all the forces involved with lifting the handle are distributed because of the bracket and the backing plate.  Again, backyard logic, if you separate the bracket from the skin it seems to me you change the mechanical system and the skin no longer supports the bracket and backing plate in the same manner, and I don't think it improves the distribution of the force involved.  So, to me anything that puts air between the skin and the bracket (a washer of any type) may not be favorable.  A strip of hard plastic between the door skin and the bracket sounds better than bare metal but will probably injure the softer paint surface.  Again, backyard logic, the thin rubber was meant to be sacrificed to protect the paint, and allow the forces at play to remain relatively unchanged, at least in  my own mind.  The entire bracket surface is still in contact with the door skin.   A thin piece of soft plastic might be better than rubber, because it might be more resilient against the elements, but I am not sure that it would fail before the paint.  This is a fun topic because it is more complicated than it appears at first glance.  If there is an ME or structural engineer out there this would be a good time to explain what is really going on. 

    My final thought, at least for this reply, is that the bucket is 43+ years old.  When we acquired it a number of systems had failed, including seals, rusted metal, ... etc.  The metal under the door handle was not a problem.  I also do not remember anything remarkable about the paint on either door in this area.  My point is that without realizing it I may have started a red herring.  The Datsun engineers must have done a pretty good job - it lasted this long. 

    • Like 2
  19. I’m not the most experienced painter, so take that into account when you read this.  I am restoring a 1973 240z, changing colors so everything needed to be painted.  One thing that I learned is that I am not capable of defining where rust is or is not.  I wound up removing undercoating from places that I would have bet would not have rust only to reveal issues that I might have inadvertently covered up if I had not taken the time to remove the original 43 year old covering.  I also learned that I could not get away with covering something unless it was completely free of dirt, oil etc.  In my case I had to remove fenders anyway and once I started chiseling and using a wire wheel I could not stop.  I originally was going to make it body color, but my paint color (orange) is extremely expensive, and I actually liked the blacked out look better.  A friend criticized my flat black approach and he was right.  I sprayed a rustoleum  rubberized undercoating product over the flat black and I like the result.  It actually looks better than the picture.  The bucket has not gotten back on the road yet so I cant tell you how well it will hold up but it is reasonably thick and seems pretty tough. 

    fender undercoating.jpg


    By the way I would encourage you to take a really good look at what is covering the floors inside the cabin, I had what I believe was a factory coating inside,  AND the undercoating on the underside of the car.  I found areas where for whatever reason: driving over a curb or a poorly placed jack, or a mean spirited rock chipped the undercoating.  I think what happens is that water gets into the crack actually gets between  the coating and the metal.  Overtime rust is generated and for the most part concealed from most eyes.  The dog leg area is notorious as is the floor pans just before the firewall, and of course where the fender meets the lower corner of the door.  Free advice probably worth as much.

    • Like 2
  20. nice to know that I am not the only over-protective wrench in the group.  When I removed the door handles I noticed that the bracket had rust on it.  There's nothing to prevent it and if it lays on the paint and scratches or chips it could be the perfect opportunity to create a real nightmare.  I like putting the rubber over the entire surface of the bracket, drilling holes in the rubber for the studs as that well fill the holes as well.  Once again, thanks for responding.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  21. I am in the midst of re-assembly of the bucket a 1973 240z.  I just mounted a door and started cleaning up parts to be installed on/in it.  Here is a picture of the backside of the exterior door handle.   There are 2 square rubber seals that are mounted to the handle to prevent water from entering the interior of the door.  I would rate mine at about a 6 out of 10.  I think I may have found a place to get some but I am not sure that I want to go to the effort of taking the handle mechanism apart to install them.  Any tip/experience would be appreciated.

    ext door handle.jpg

    Also, as you are aware there is a metal bracket that spans the two square holes in the door.  This bracket has two studs which go through the door and provide a means to mount the handle.  I spent an unreasonable amount of time on bodywork and painting this car and I must admit I am not excited about butting that bracket up against my fresh paint.  There were no signs of a gasket when I removed the handle.  I checked with the usual suspects and they don’t list a gasket.  Has anyone cut a thin piece of rubber and glued it to the handle before attaching  the handle to their door.  Again, I would really appreciate any advice that would protect the door.

    • Like 1
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