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Thread: Weak 240Z U-joint resolutions?

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    Default Weak 240Z U-joint resolutions?

    Hey guys. I've got a series 1 240Z that I'm slowly restoring as I drive it. I've developed an intermittent grinding noise from the rear that I'm fairly certain is the U-joint... possibly wheel bearings. Either way, I know the early Z's have u-joint issues due to the drive shaft length and a popular fix is changing to a 280z drive shaft. What other parts need to be replaced in addition? Are the u-joints on the Z's overly difficult?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nismo37 View Post
    Either way, I know the early Z's have u-joint issues due to the drive shaft length and a popular fix is changing to a 280z drive shaft.
    I've never heard this at all. Can you give a source for that information?

    Wheel bearings and u-joints don't really make the same noise when they fail. U-joints get clunky during gear shifts, and can cause a vibration. Wheel bearings, at least the rear ones with big ball bearings, tend to get loose before making lots of noise, allowing the wheel to move side-to-side and up and down and clunk a little bit, I believe. You can jack the back up and lift and tug on the wheel to test the wheel bearings. Crawl underneath and visually examine and pry on the u-joints. There should be zero play.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed Head View Post
    I've never heard this at all. Can you give a source for that information?

    Wheel bearings and u-joints don't really make the same noise when they fail. U-joints get clunky during gear shifts, and can cause a vibration. Wheel bearings, at least the rear ones with big ball bearings, tend to get loose before making lots of noise, allowing the wheel to move side-to-side and up and down and clunk a little bit, I believe. You can jack the back up and lift and tug on the wheel to test the wheel bearings. Crawl underneath and visually examine and pry on the u-joints. There should be zero play.
    There is a local Z guru near my home that has hundreds of old Z cars and a couple barns full of parts. He's the one that pointed out the difference. If you google "240Z drive shaft lenght" you'll see some information on it as well. My u-joints do clunk a little going into gear but there is an annoying growling noise coming from the rear at 30 mph and above.

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    Actually, I've done a lot of driveshaft (propeller shaft) Googling and not seen that. There is an early short propeller shaft, used with the forward mounted diff. Then the longer 240Z shaft, same length as the 280Z shaft, with replaceable u-joints. Then the 280Z shaft with staked in, non-replaceable u-joints.

    There is a problem with the side "drive shafts" (not the center propeller shaft) being too long on one side, if you convert to an R200 diff. That problem is described here and there.

    And the diffs themselves have an annoying growling noise, independent of u-joints or wheel bearings. Could be the bearings though, but they can be checked. How long have you had the car and what have you done to it?

    BUT, back to your direct question - if you have the forward mounted rear diff, then you have to use the short propeller shaft or remount the diff to the later rearward position to use the 280Z length shaft. Do you have the early diff position? You did not give the year of your car.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    I remember a very old thread about some character near Boise that had a rather large stash of Z's and parts, but never did pin him or the exact location down. I think 'mystery solved" is appropriate. He should make himself known and get some action on that pile of apparently un-loved and un-wanted Z-bits.

    Now on topic, I believe you have a slight mix up on the drive shaft verses the half shafts to each wheel. The issue revolves around the early and late diff location, which would change the required drive shaft length. Half shafts are all the same on all S30's.
    -----------------------------------------
    Jim
    73 240Z HLS30 149331
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zed Head View Post
    BUT, back to your direct question - if you have the forward mounted rear diff, then you have to use the short propeller shaft or remount the diff to the later rearward position to use the 280Z length shaft. Do you have the early diff position? You did not give the year of your car.
    My car was built in 1970, the original owner whom I bought it from stated it has the R180 differential so I'm assuming it's the forward mounted diff. The original L24 w/E31 head gave out on me a few months back. I've had the car since May. A loose cam bolt walked a pin loose and bent my valves. I had the clutch replaced and got a used L26 from the guy with all the Z stuff that I'm running until I can get the original engine rebuilt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zKars View Post
    I remember a very old thread about some character near Boise that had a rather large stash of Z's and parts, but never did pin him or the exact location down. I think 'mystery solved" is appropriate. He should make himself known and get some action on that pile of apparently un-loved and un-wanted Z-bits.
    Yes he exists. I've been there personally and have bought several items from him including an engine. I upgraded my cooling system to that of a 280z, mine still had the old metal fan shroud and fan. I have pictures too. Probably 250 z's of various models and years, mostly 240's - 300zx. Lots of 280's. He also has a couple of barns full of parts from body panels to drive train stuff. He doesn't appear to have a website but his name is Kim Blough (208)466-0004. Located in Nampa Idaho. He's mostly retired but if you can pin him down he's a wealth of knowledge. His business is called Idaho Z Car.

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    interesting... any of those z's in running condition or good restoration projects?
    are they stored under cover or rusting away out in a field?

    map says he's less than 500 miles from me...
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    I have been inside one of the barns, I think there is just one. The barn is packed with Zs and there were many Zs outside as I recall from being there 5 years ago. The barn roof appeared to have a few holes but the cars seemed to be holding up well from what I saw. Most of them had some kind of damage from a wreck if I remember right but not sure that is true for all of them.

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    From the aerial pictures on Google he appears to 100-125 cars outside and 3-5 buildings. three are quite large
    C

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    Oh my...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I might have a new best friend!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nismo37 View Post
    There is a local Z guru near my home that has hundreds of old Z cars and a couple barns full of parts. He's the one that pointed out the difference. If you google "240Z drive shaft lenght" you'll see some information on it as well. My u-joints do clunk a little going into gear but there is an annoying growling noise coming from the rear at 30 mph and above.
    Apart from the very interesting Z guru. Dam thats a lot of Zeds.
    Your noises sound more like diff related. I would look at changing the oil and checking for metal depsoits in the oil. A bit more difficult would be checking the back lash in the diff. Excessive backlash can cause clunking noises during gear change and poor toe/heel paterns which cause whine and sometimes growling noises.
    Chas
    Last edited by EuroDat; 09-21-2014 at 02:47 AM.
    Chas
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    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    Anyone in Idaho have a camera? We would all love to see some pics.
    If only I was retired, had a trailer and a pocket full of cash.
    Chris

    Quote Originally Posted by Nismo37 View Post
    Yes he exists. I've been there personally and have bought several items from him including an engine. I upgraded my cooling system to that of a 280z, mine still had the old metal fan shroud and fan. I have pictures too. Probably 250 z's of various models and years, mostly 240's - 300zx. Lots of 280's. He also has a couple of barns full of parts from body panels to drive train stuff. He doesn't appear to have a website but his name is Kim Blough (208)466-0004. Located in Nampa Idaho. He's mostly retired but if you can pin him down he's a wealth of knowledge. His business is called Idaho Z Car.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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