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Thread: Torby's 240Z Project

  1. #1
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    Red face Torby's 240Z rebuild project

    Hi guys!

    Thought I'd make a thread about my Z project, as there's finally some progress.

    A couple of years ago, I bought this almost complete Z.
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    (Se my introduction post here: http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/thread40142.html)

    The previous owner, who imported this car from the US got tired of welding, and sold it to me for cheap. It came with all the parts in boxes, as well as a lot of new parts like complete poly bushes, rebuild parts etc.

    My original plan was to do a full nut and bolt restoration, but then we had a serious rainstorm, and my workshop was flooded.
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    This was the road outside our house.
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    To be honest, 20 cm (8 inches) of mud and water flooding the workshop pretty much killed my motivation, and the project was halted for a year, while I was gathering some parts.

    A year later, I figured I had bitten more than I could chew, and found a new Z.
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    It was in good condition (or so I thought), but the engine bay was in need of a bit of paint.

    New plan - remove the engine, simplify the engine bay, give it a bit of paint, and rebuild the engine from the other Z.
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    Removed the AC (28kg worth of junk) and then the engine.
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    Then it became pretty obvious that the engine bay was in need of more work than just a bit of paint.
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    Several hours of grinding, and out comes the truth - the car has been crashed, and the previous repair work is dodgy at best.
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    More to come in the next post...
    Last edited by Torby; 07-20-2012 at 05:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Ok, a bit of good news in between all the sad news - shiny new parts for the engine rebuild:

    45mm Mikunis on an original Datsun Competition manifold
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    JE pistons (10,5:1), Eagle rods.
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    Rebello stroker crank, hot street cam + bearings, gaskets, bolts etc.
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    Then, fast forward a few months and it's time to get the front end sorted.

    Luckily, I have a good friend who's certified for bodywork and paint, so I got him to help me out. We measured up the front end, and found that it was crooked from the previous crash. More than half an inch to the side, actually.
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    The crooked front, combined with all the dodgy repair work done previously, we figured it would be easier to replace the whole front end. So we chopped off the front from the first Z, and started working.
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    Lots of hours were spent trial fitting, adjusting, measuring and more adjusting.
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    And this is how the car stands today, all rust removed from the front end and replaced with fresh metal. The front is now straight down to +/- 1mm, which I believe to be well within factory specs from 1971. Now I'm just waiting to have the front end sandblasted before we can start doing tin work, and hopefully very soon - paint.

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    Further plans are to modify and improve as I go along. Hopefully, I will manage to rebuild the engine this winter, and have the car back on the road next spring. I will try to modernize a little bit, like replacing the alternator for a new one with internal voltage regulator, new fuse box and stuff like that.

    Thanks for looking, I will try to keep this thread updated as I go along.
    Last edited by Torby; 07-20-2012 at 05:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Registered User d240zx2's Avatar
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    What a project! Good luck, and do keep us posted...
    First & Third owner of HLS30-00721
    B. 01/70 D. 03/12

    New owner of HLS30-15653
    B. 12/70 D.

    Frank in Houston, Texas

  4. #4
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    Fantastic work and dedication! I wish there were fewer "It wasn't as clean as represented" stories for those enthusiasts having to ship overseas.

  5. #5
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    I love the precision! Excellent skills!
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)



    ZCars in Eastern Canada seaport ready for shipment to Europe

    http://ZSportCanada.com


  6. #6
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    Nice to see some Norwegians here, keep up the good work.
    Where are you located, i might stop by some day...
    Terje

    HLS30-37705, 07/1971, 905 red , DA 40865


  7. #7
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    I think many of these Z were wrecked and were never mentioned to the new owners. I found out the same thing, but I do not think the wreck was that severe, as I have no misalignment issues that I can tell, but you did the right thing and properly fixed the whole car. Good man!
    1971 240Z HLS30-38691
    93.9% done and getting better every day
    Now with 100% more DATSUN SPIRIT L28 Power
    1968 Datsun 2000 SRL311-03416

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your kind comments, guys!

    I would like to note that all this work is done in my garage, but would never have been possible without the good help from my friend, who does this for a living..

    The previous owner of the car was very honest about the state of the car, which he knew very little about. He never investigated it either, but what can you do, when dents in the frame rails are completely covered in body filler and paint..?

    I did investigate the history of the car, and there were 3 owners in the country before I bought it, but I couldn't find out much about previous restoration work. My guess is that the repair work was done in the US, but I can't be certain. No offence, though!

    A couple of more pictures of the repairs we did.

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    This piece had to be complete replaced, as it was rusted from the inside. The rust had eaten all the way through the 3mm metal, and just the outer 1.1mm skin was left. Both layers of metal were completely replaced with fresh parts made to fit.

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    I removed the battery tray, and welded the holes that were left. The holes in the firewall from the A/C were also welded shut. I plan to re-route the wiring in the engine bay, to keep it as clean as possible, but chose to keep the hole in the firewall, in case I change my mind. It could easily be plugged later if necessary. I removed the OEM wiring clamps, though, to force myself into finding a solution for rewiring.

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    This picture was also in my previous post, but I would like to comment that this part was spot welded, as well as fully seam welded on the inside, to preserve the strength of the chassis. The welds will be cleaned up and smoothed with tin, to keep the cosmetics side of things done properly as well.

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    Terje: I live about 25 km north of Hamar. Feel free to stop by for coffee!

    Again, thanks for the kind comments, I will probably be asking for a lot of advice later, when I get the body work out of the way.
    Last edited by Torby; 07-20-2012 at 03:28 PM.

  9. #9
    Supporting Member Diseazd's Avatar
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    You're very lucky to have a friend who really knows body geometry. Many people restore cars with unknown accident history only to find their beautiful Z goes through a set of tires every 1500 miles. My 71 restoration was out 1/4 inch and we replaced the driver side clip. I would have never known it if my body man didn't also run a frame shop. Really nice job Torby. Keep the pics coming.
    Last edited by Diseazd; 07-21-2012 at 05:03 AM.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7600346077563/
    ______________________________________________
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7603350695459/

    70, 71, 2 72's, and a 73 240z....
    90 300zx and a 1996 Acura NSX.....but who's counting?

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    Thanks for the kind comments. I had a look at your pictures, and wow! What a collection of Z's!

    Hope you don't mind a few more pictures. Anyway, had the front end sandblasted now. My daily driver isn't suited for towing heavy loads, but luckily a good friend came to the rescue with a proper truck. I was able to borrow the car trailer from another friend, so we loaded the Z up, and headed off. Note the prototype state-of-the-art front suspension setup we made..

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    The blasting only took about an hour, and the price was fair - however the guy didn't reach all the areas I wanted to have blasted, so that meant a few hours grinding and spot-blasting when we got back.

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    Next up was applying the special primer and then tin work (don't know if this is called tin over in the US).

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    All the welds were covered, to ensure pores and small holes in the welds are sealed.

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    I tried a bit of tin work myself, and it's not as easy as it looks, so I left most of it to the pro. Sanding and grinding, however, I can manage..

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    A fair amount of time was spent removing remains of old seam sealer, rubber on the cable clips etc, to ensure we got all areas covered in primer. Due to the rough finish from blasting, everything was rubbed down with 120 grit dry after smoothing out the tin work.

    Next was 3 layers of epoxy primer, which also etches into the metal to (hopefully) keep the rust from returning.

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    Now the primer is left to dry, before we can start applying filler, more primer and finally paint. Hopefully it will be all painted by the end of the week!

    Thanks for looking, more later!

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    Last edited by Torby; 07-25-2012 at 05:27 AM.

  11. #11
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    Great work Torby , hope to see this car one the road one day ;-)
    Terje

    HLS30-37705, 07/1971, 905 red , DA 40865


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    This is a great thread.........keep us updated. You're doing it right.....NICE WORK!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7600346077563/
    ______________________________________________
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1404980...7603350695459/

    70, 71, 2 72's, and a 73 240z....
    90 300zx and a 1996 Acura NSX.....but who's counting?

  13. #13
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    Thanks again for the kind comments!

    I'm very fortunate to have friends who can help me out with this sort of stuff. I wouldn't been able to this kind of work on my own.

    Gathered up some supplies today, - some satin black paint for the radiator support. Going to try make this look close to OEM. Also picked up some 3M 2K undercoating / stonechip, to use in the the wheel wells. A bit pricey, but hopefully worth it in the long run. There has been a bit of welding, so the undercoating will also hide this.

    I'm a bit undecisive about what do to with the front suspension, some of it will definitely need to be refurbed along with the engine bay, at least the crossmember. I have a full set of poly bushes ready, but I would also like to go for a Techno Toy Tuning setup with adjustable arms, coilovers etc. Can't seem to make up my mind about this.

    Also, I need to figure out what do do about several other things, BMC, ignition setup, fuel and brake lines etc. I would really like to make a set of stainless steel pipes, but this could prove to be difficult.

    Again, thanks for your comments, all feedback is very much appreciated!

  14. #14
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    Great work, I don't know if I would have the determination to continue to rebuild a car if i found it was severely wrecked.
    Current:2011 370Z 6mt with simple mods
    Starting my 240Z project

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    Thanks!

    I must admit I was thinking "what the h*** do I do about this?" and secondly, "what the h*** did we just do?!" right after we chopped the front end off.

    Today has been a pretty productive day.

    Started out by rubbing down the primer with 240 grit dry, and then applying body filler where needed.

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    This was sanded down and reapplied where needed.

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    While the last bit of filler was drying up, we applied 3M undercoating in the wheel wells (right word?).

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    Tried to cover the areas most prone to stone chips etc. The car won't be seeing any rough roads or rain (hopefully) when done, however I want do this properly the first time, and this undercoating gives peace of mind, sort of.

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    Next up, sand down the last of the filler.

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    More in the next post.

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    Then it was time for another coat of epoxy primer, to seal the body filler completely.

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    While the epoxy was left to dry, we headed over to my buddy's house, to dismantle this rusty old Mk3 Hilux for parts.

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    After several hours of hacking up the old Toyota, the epoxy was dry, and it was time for seam sealer.

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    This was smoother out, to finish off the bay properly. We also covered some old welds in the front end, to make them a little less visible.

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    And at last, a coat of filler-primer (right word?), which was left to dry until tomorrow.

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    Thanks for looking, more tomorrow!

  17. #17
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    Oh boy, sanding down filler isn't much fun, but imagining the end results helps on motivation.

    Today started with a few hours of sanding..

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    Sanding with 500 grit, pretty smooth.

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    As I suppose you can see, the front end will never look completely like OEM, but I think it's starting to look pretty ok. Maybe the next time I buy a Z, I can find a shell in mint condition...

    Time to mask things up again.

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    The color. We scanned and matched the paintwork, and found Toyota 079 to be the closest match. If (or rather when) the rest of the car will be repainted, this will be the color..

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    Masking done, bay wiped down with silicone remover and then tack-cloth.

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    Sit back, have a coffee and get ready to lay down the color..

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    And finally - the engine bay is starting to look the way I want it.

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    Not too bad, I think?

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    Have to touch up a couple of runs tomorrow, and then add the clear.

    Thanks for looking, more later!

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    You're really moving along!
    Current:2011 370Z 6mt with simple mods
    Starting my 240Z project

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonu View Post
    You're really moving along!
    Am I..?

    The last few months have been slow.. mostly busy with normal life, but also planning and gathering parts (and waiting for parts). Anyway, time to get busy again!

    When we clearcoated the engine bay, the clear turned yellow in a few spots, and there were some other small mistakes with the paint, so it needed to be repainted. If you read my previous posts, you can also see that we scanned the paintwork on the car, and found it to be a Toyota color. However, I wanted the car to be a little bit more than just plain white. I searched around for different paints, and found the Nissan Brilliant White, which is a 3 layer pearl found on the GT-R and 370Z among others. So we repainted the engine bay in this color, and also finally painted the inner fenders and radiator support black. I was in doubt about the black radiator support, but since the car is white, the color would really show when you look through the front grill. We did the black a little bit different than factory though, something most people won't even notice. Not that this is a 100% original restoration anyway.

    Please enjoy the pictures!

    The bay after keying the surface.
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    Spraying the new color.
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    Trying to take a photo of the pearl effect (before clear coat)
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    Finished!
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    Lots of masking..
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    Black in the inner fenders.
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    And the blacked out radiator support.
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    Thanks for looking, more later!

  20. #20
    It's awesome bartsscooterservice's Avatar
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    quality work !
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Wow great work!
    - HLS30-00655 240z on a long road ahead

  22. #22
    '75 280z tamo3's Avatar
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    Excellent quality job!
    '75/280z

  23. #23
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    I am just now seeing this thread. It has been said before and I will say it again, WOW! That is a lot of top notch work there. The end result should be astounding! We look forward to your updates and pictures.
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

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    Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated!

    I've turned my attention to the engine.

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    I'm sticking with an L24 block. Most of you might ask why I don't just get an L28 - well the answer is that L28's aren't really that easy to come by over here. My intention to begin with was to restore my other Z (which is just a shell) and use the original engine, to keep the "matching numbers". However, I'm now using this engine for this white Z.

    The block has been bored 0,5mm over.

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    Made some stainless bolts to attach the oil baffle thing.

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    Spent a lot of time checking bearing clearances. Time consuming work, but essential.

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    I'm using a stroker crank and Eagle H-beam rods. All new bearings of course.

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    Also, painted the rocker cover.

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    Thanks for looking, more later!

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    Oh now this is so cool! And a hell of a lot of excellent work! Keep it up man!
    A corvette, a honda and a zx oh my!

  26. #26
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    Outstanding work Torby!! Just one question, when can I ship you my 280? But then again I would miss out on what I like to. Great work man!

  27. #27
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    Torby, This is one h*** of a project. Hats of to you man. Well done. I dont think I would have the courage to try a front end swap like that.
    Chas
    Chas
    5/77 280Z HLS30 403100 with some modifications
    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Thanks for the kind comments! Much appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by rcb280z View Post
    Outstanding work Torby!! Just one question, when can I ship you my 280? But then again I would miss out on what I like to. Great work man!
    Thanks! Ship it anytime you like, not so sure you'll get it back! Seriously, though - if you're ever in this part of the world, make sure to stop by for beer.

    Ran into a minor setback with the engine, so it'll be a small pause before I can continue...
    Last edited by Torby; 04-04-2013 at 12:39 PM.

  29. #29
    Ultimate Restorations e-tek's Avatar
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    Wow - LEAD!!!! Some great work going on there!!
    E-tek Racing and Restorations

    Visit me at : www.E-tekRestorations.com

    or check my Blog: www.E-tekRestorations.blogspot.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by e-tek View Post
    Wow - LEAD!!!! Some great work going on there!!
    Thank you, I really appreciate it! You're doing a lot of that type of work yourself!

    Ok, so finally some progress again.

    After measuring all bearing gaps, to make sure they are ok, I spent a lot of time on the pistons, rods and rings. Now I have never rebuilt an engine before, so I have to be thorough, and doublecheck everything I do.

    Gapping the piston rings took a lot of time. I gapped them according to JE specifications, grinding only from the outside to the inside, to avoid a rough edge towards the cylinder wall.

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    Using the a piston to make sure the rings are correctly aligned in the cylinder.

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    Keeping track of the gaps before and after correcting them.

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    Next was getting the pistons connected to the rods. I found the best way to this was to modify two flathead screwdrivers, to get the locking pins in place. I destroyed a couple of these trying to install them, but luckily there were some extra wire locks supplied with the pistons.

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    So after battling the **** wirelocks for a good while, I finally had them all mounted correctly, and it was time for installing the rings.

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    Aligning the rings according to JE specifications.

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    Our dog probably thought I was working extremely slowly..

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    I finally got them all assembled, though!

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    Last edited by Torby; 05-03-2013 at 01:46 PM.

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    Time to get the crankshaft in.

    I carefully installed the seal. This is supposed to be done with the crank installed, but I did it before installing the crank.

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    All bearings in place. I applied lots of oil (15W40 mineral) to all bearings before torquing.

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    All torqued down.

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    I forgot to take some more pictures here, but you can barely see the side seals for the rear main cap.

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    Time to get the pistons in. Lots of oil to keep everything lubricated.

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    ARP rod bolts require special lube.

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    All pistons installed and rod bolts torqued to Eagle's specifications.

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    Next I cleaned the block properly, and started masking it up for paint. I wanted to finish the "dirty work" before painting.

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    When masking machined surfaces like this, just knock the tape along the edge with a hammer, and you can easily tear the tape off, leaving a clean cut along the machined edge.

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    Now I just need to get some 2k primer before I can continue with the paint.

    Thanks for looking, more later!

  32. #32
    Registered User Hardway's Avatar
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    You are making some great progress there Torby. We are all enjoying your thread. Keep up the good work!
    08/1970 240z Series-1 #8011 - Silver, black int., 2.4L I-6, 5spd, 90% restored.
    06/1973 VW Karmann Ghia - Black convertible, 4spd, 1600cc air-cooled engine.
    11/2013 Scion FR-S - Silver, 6spd, a car with the soul of a Z for the modern times.
    Restoration thread of my old '72 240z -> http://www.classiczcars.com/forums/o...1972-240z.html

  33. #33
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    Thanks for the kind comment, really appreciate it!

    Added two stickers to the Z, from my favorite Japanese tuners. Their cars are huge sources of inspiration.

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    Got the block primed with 2K primer. Also rubbed down the the brake booster, as this will need some paint later. Did the crank pulley and alternator bracket, too, which I believe are the two parts except the block that are supposed to be blue.

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    I've sprayed a couple of times before, but never mixed paint, hardener etc myself. Was a bit nervous about getting it right. Followed the recipe, but added a little more base, as the paint became a little thin (or at least I think it did).

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    Started spraying at low pressure, and turned it up it as I sprayed along and saw how the paint flowed.

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    Didn't turn out too bad I think..

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    The paint looks a little on the dark side to me. It was mixed to match the engine color on one of my brother's Zs. Will see tomorrow when it's dry.

    Thanks for looking, more later!

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    Between gardening and servicing the daily driver, I managed to squeeze in a little work on the Z this weekend.

    My other Z (now parts car) came with a lot of goodies, among them a full set of Prothane bushes and a lot of refurbished (zinc plated) bolts and hardware. A little while ago, I gathered all the extra suspension parts, and had them sandblasted and powder coated. So, time to start mounting stuff up. It's a bit of a puzzle, though, because none of the refurbed bolts are cataloged, only put in plastic bags according to sizes. Please note that this is only losely mounted at the moment, nothing is torqued down yet.

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    Using the supplied grease to lubricate the Prothane bushings for front control arms.

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    Removing powder coat from the front crossmember, to make room for the bolts.

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    New ball joints as well.

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    Thanks for looking, more later (when I can locate some of the parts I'm missing..)

  35. #35
    Registered User Tim B.'s Avatar
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    Fantastic job!!! Holy sh#t I wish I was half as talented....Good stuff!!!
    '72 Z HLS30 75685/Prod. 4/72

  36. #36
    Ultimate Restorations e-tek's Avatar
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    This really is the fun part. I always drag my butt through the body and prep stages until they're (finally) painted....then I try to take my time detailing and sorting all the parts that are to go back on. This summer is a little piece of hell for me because I have 2 cars in prep/paint stage, but the payoff will come this winter when I'm in your position!
    E-tek Racing and Restorations

    Visit me at : www.E-tekRestorations.com

    or check my Blog: www.E-tekRestorations.blogspot.com

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    Woa. Thread ressurection. Work has been slow, but I've managed to finish the engine, and been gathering parts.

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    Bolts and hardware has been acid dipped and treated to look like OEM.

    Distributor has been cleaned up, new rotor and cap, new turbo oil pump, new water pump, new timing chain etc.

    Also started cleaning up the wheels that are going on the car...

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    Thanks for looking!

  38. #38
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    Well, after a couple of weeks struggle, the car is back on it's feet again, and running. Still needs a bit of tuning, but very happy so far. Now I have only the exterior and the interior left. Oh, and the rear suspension. Sigh...

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    The front wheel gap is a little large, due to my lawn not being 100% flat.. And don't mind the panel gaps, they will be sorted.

    Thanks for looking!

  39. #39
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    Great work! Good to see it back on all four.
    Realy like those wheels you have.
    Andreas C

  40. #40
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    really nice work you have done to your Z!!!

    well done Torby!!! I wonder how you cleaned the wheels to have that chrome effect... I see the left side isn't chromed at all but the right is... did you do it yourself?

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    George_Zed: Thanks! The wheels have been painted with clear coat at some point, so I removed the clear, wet sanded the wheels and polished them with metal polish. The picture shows wet sanded on the left and polished on the right, I just used a piece of masking tape to show the difference it makes.

  42. #42
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    metal polish did this job? really interested!!! they came out great!!!if you want give us the product name too and how much did you use for all wheels...

    thanks a lot

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    Don't be fooled by the photo, they're far from perfect.

    I'll break down the procedure:
    1. Remove clear coat with paint stripper, careful with this, as some paint strippers can damage the aluminium.
    2. Wet sand with 1500 grit (could go with more coarse paper, but I didn't have any). This takes a lot of time.
    3. Polish. I used Autosol and Swissvax Metal Polish, combined with a battery drill.

    You don't need to use a lot of polish, so one or two packs of Autosol would be enough for 4 wheels.
    You can also use car polishes on bare alloy. Not the standard all-in-one bottles you buy at a gas station, but professional polishes like 3M, Megs MG-series etc.

    Hope this helps

  44. #44
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    maybe you say that they are not perfect but for the money spent they are perfect

    I had a price quote to get my wheels (14') professional chromed and it was €330 , so I could be happy with non so perfect polished wheels with the cost of few euros

    thanks for the info and congrats on your car!!!

  45. #45
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    Looks absolutely amazing! Excellent work

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