As I continued to drive the car I fixed small issues as they came up. It was really great to slowly improve the car as I drove it more. I know if I had just stripped the car to a bare chassis in the beginning, there would have been a few things I just wouldn't have caught to fix during a restoration process. As I drove it I realized the brakes just were not cutting it. I was running the toyota 4 piston caliper setup with the stock 240z rotor in the front, with rebuilt rear drum brakes. The pedal feel was terrible and I wasn't even close to being able to lock up the tires under hard braking. I spent ALOT of time tweaking and slowly upgrading, but I will spare you from that whole process and just show what I ended up with:
I ended up going to a rear disk conversion kit to replace the rear drums. I went with Zcar Depot's kit, as it seemed the most resonable. You could do this cheaper by sourcing all the components individually, but it was really only about $50-$75 more I think to just get the kit delivered.
Here is everything:
Drilled/slotted rotors, adapters, hardware, some good stoptech pads, SS hoses, and the maxima calipers.
First Step was removing the old (new) drum brake kit:
In the bin
Parking brake cable removed, and its mount removed as it's placement will no longer work.
I also removed this brake line holder on the strut housing as the hard line from the hose to the brake cylinder is no longer needed
Unless you want to pull the stub axle then the dust shield needs to be cut off. My tools of choice were my angle grinder with a cutoff wheel, and a dremel for the tight spots:
The adapter plate gets bolted in where the dust shield was:
Did a quick test fit with my wheels, no issue:
The stock brake cable fitted up without any modification, just needed a new clip to lock it in (not shown):
Routed the new steel hose:
Loaded up the caliper:
And boom, rear disk swap completed.
Repeated the same process on the otherside. To support the rear brake setup I installed this Willwood proportioning valve next to the master cylinder, and removed the stock proportioning valve that is near the gas tank in the rear. This gave me the ability to fine tune the brake bias to something that felt good.
In the picture above you will also see a set of Hawk HPS pads. The front brakes were not giving me enough bite in the least bit. The pads I got for the toyota calipers were garbage so I wanted to get a set of good pads for a track day event that was coming up. I got those Hawk pads hoping they would work. I did a bunch of searching for good pads for the Toyota calipers, but could not find good information on pads that would fit. I took a chance and ordered those, but they did not fit. If anyone is looking to upgrade to these toyota calipers, be aware that there are no good pad options for them. I decided to go to the track day with the pads I had on the front.
The track day was a blast. I new going into it that I still had a lot of unknowns with the car, and that the suspension was still utter crap. It was a track day at a local college, Dakota County Tech if anyone is Minnesotan. Its a very small track that was built as a training ground for police and tractor trailers, top speed was probably 70mph. It was perfect to get to know the car. y a few bad things happened. The front brake pads, as I suspected, were not up to the task. The brake fade from the front, even when I was only pushing the car to about 60%, was horrendous. I was maybe driving spirited for about 20-30 minutes throughout the day and I almost went through the entire pads, and the rotors were grimed up really badly.
The second bad thing to happen was a small fire on my exhaust. The one fuel line I didn't replace, because I thought it was good, had a pin hole leak that spilled fuel on the exhaust- igniting it.
So we got trailered home. I was pretty down on myself for not catching this issue, and for taking the car to a track day when I new something like this would happen. It took me a few weeks to even get back into the garage to clean it up and start fixing. But I eventually came around:
The culprit was the hose that goes to the vent shown in the picture above. The picture below shows the issue. The hose portion on the right, that looks new, was what I could see under the car. I saw the new hose and figured that was all good. The portion on the left was the old hose. The previous owner had replaced the hose up to the point it went inside the car. The new hose was spliced in using a heater hose union. The old hose was dry rotted and as I was cornering the car the fuel went up the vent and spilled out the cracks onto the exhaust. I should have caught this, I didn't take the time to take the interior panel out to look at the vent hoses, which was stupid. But at least this happened at the track where i could pull to a corner worker that had a fire extinguisher, and it didnt instead happen on the road.
Learned my lesson with old cars I guess. Here is the extent of the damage:
Pretty minimal all-in-all. Could have been a whole lot worse...I could have lost my car.
I don't have pictures, but I replaced the line and double checked all other lines and got it back on the road.
I never said I was smart.