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240Z resurrection

Discussion in 'Rebuilds and restorations' started by tyroguru, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    I've had my 240Z since April so I thought I'd start a "rebuild" thread to give people a laugh at the ups-and-downs of a rookie restorer! As I said in my initial intro (https://zclub.net/community/index.php?threads/konnichiwa-from-a-new-240z-owner.25555/) this is our first foray into the world of car restoration so we're learning as we go - all input and corrections are more then welcome :) .

    The term "resurrection" in the subject is slightly overkill as the car isn't completely dead but it's certainly far from life! I believe Chris (Vega) was going to put some life into this before he sold it but I saw it early on in this process and it was exactly what we wanted so we had it as-is. When imported it was an automatic and the box had just been swapped for a 4 speed manual (literally just I think!) - it still had the automatic brake pedal shovel and no clutch pedal, no master/slave cylinder fitted (Chris provided those though which was great along with other bits including a starter motor and an ignition barrel + keys as it had no keys).

    A photo I used in my intro post which shows the engine gives a hint of the fun ahead for us:

    IMG_9100.JPG


    Apart from the dog legs the body seems to be in very good shape. There is some minor blistering in a few places so I guess we'll see what reveals itself over time. This was a California import and the last license tag on the plate was from 2005 so it's been laid up for roughly 15 years.

    The first thing we did was to strip the carpets and seats out as this had obviously been a fabulous residence for Mickey Mouse, Secret Squirrel and whichever rodent needed a home! There was masses of rodent faesces to clear out of everywhere; the glove box was obviously a choice latrine as it was deep in dung: the dirty pigs!

    Regarding the engine, as you can see from the photo, quite a lot of things are absent and things I didn't want are present. This is a '73 HLS30 so it had the smog installation and AC (which have been duly removed). It was/is also missing a bunch of things which include the radiator, half an air box, brake reservoir caps, some accelerator linkage (main torsion bar), oil filler cap, rocker cover bolts, engine mount bolts, quite a few transmission bolts, starter motor bolts, exhaust manifold studs - in fact lots and lots of bolts! I suspect what has happened is that this engine has never ran in this car and the old one has just been taken out and this just placed in the engine bay. That's all good though as it's forcing us to understand a lot about the car as we go along.

    Over the last couple of months we've done a bunch of jobs which I won't go through but they're all working toward "Mission Ignition" - getting this baby started!! We're not there yet but last night we did manage to turn the engine over on the starter motor for the first time! Yay! This has taken way more effort than you might think as we have a bunch of electrical issues to work through because those rodents just love cables to sharpen their teeth on!

    The petrol tank is currently off and this weekend I'm trying to clean that out and re-line it myself: I'm part way through cleaning it out but I'll document how that ends up.
     
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  2. SacCyclone

    SacCyclone
    Z Club Member

    Mickey Mouse makes his way from Disneyland in LA to much of Cali looking for Zeds to nest in.....mouse dropping are a very common problem with Cali zeds for sure.
    On the bright side it looks like you have got a good one there and these engines are very hearty so should go well on the resurrection.
    Mike
     
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  3. Woody928

    Woody928
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Following with great interest as you well know! EXTRA:D
     
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  4. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    It was a pretty productive weekend. A friend and his son came around to help which together with my son and his girlfriend meant five of us were working on things on Saturday. If that's the case then how come I'm the only one who got to deal with the fuel tank! More on that later...

    Changed front and rear flexible brake hoses. Obviously, with the age of the car anything that is rubber tends to be in a pretty bad shape but the front ones had both been cut so they definitely needed doing!

    IMG_9523.jpg

    Pretty sure that the plate housed on the strut shouldn't be sheared like that! Is that meant to house the other end of the flexible hose? Wasn't sure at the time so need to follow up. I was missing the caps for the brake reservoirs but I got them recently so they went on also.

    Took the electric pump off and changed the filter. I didn't get a shot of the filter itself but it was absolutely disgusting! Many times worse than you might think from this photo of the top of the pump with the filter about to come out:

    IMG_9499.jpg

    Whilst I had the pump out I put it on the bench to make sure that it worked when 12V was put across it - hummed away nicely (I assume that it is meant to do that when 12V is across it!).

    Also fitted a nice shiny new Mishimoto radiator :) . It's been waiting to go on the car so I thought I'd get rid of that blinkin' box that it's been sitting in !

    IMG_9559.jpg

    The tank cleaning and re-lining was a job and a half but it seems to have gone well. I'll write it up when the it's all (hopefully!) cured.
     
  5. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Looking at the above photo it reminded me of something. I removed the smog kit that the car came with but that left the balance tube with more holes than swiss cheese! I could have plated them up but I decided to get a shiny "new" one from ztherapy - the last photo above shows half of the "Euro" style balance tube that I got from them. I think it looks fab!
     
  6. SacCyclone

    SacCyclone
    Z Club Member

    Euro balance tube does look great and the engine cleans up nice with all the smog stuff gone.
    Have a look inside the float bowls to make sure they are clean in there and the needle seat is working properly as well. You will need a new float bowl top gasket as the old ones tend to break apart when they get old.
    Might as well install pipe plugs in the exhaust manifold and remove that air pump log to clean things up further. Lots of penetrating oil like Blaster or Liquid wrench before giving it a good try.
    Looking good.
     
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  7. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Thanks for pointing these things out Mike. No idea how the smog rail had bypassed me but it had. I gave the nuts several applications of a penetrant spray I have and they all came loose! I haven't got around to any carb related stuff yet but your point has prompted me so I took the float bowl lids off. Not too filthy inside the bowls but the gaskets do look tired (picture below). Some new gaskets are now on order...

    IMG_9562.jpg
     
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  8. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    As the car has been dry stored for a bunch of years it seemed good to drain the fuel out and look at the state it was in. I know see why everyone refers to old fuel that has been standing as "varnish" as the fuel that came out the tank really did smell like varnish and have a consistency of it! There was about only about 2 litres left in the tank so that was a relief as I only had a 5 litre can to drain it into...

    The tank itself seems to be in very good condition on the outside and internally the situation wasn't too different really. However, as expected there was thick deposits of varnish all over the tank with several millimeters thick on the tank bottom on both sides of the dividing baffle. Apologies for the pretty poor quality of some of the the following photo's but hopefully you get the picture of that state too things at the different stages. The initial drained state was like this:

    IMG_9472.JPG Image_2019-06-08 09_12_17_971.JPG

    I decided to clean and re-seal the tank myself using a POR-15 cleaner/degreaser + metal prep + fuel tank sealer. I got the kit from https://www.frost.co.uk but many places sell it:

    IMG_9551.jpg

    Note that the above image shows a ~4L . The original "kit" comes with a 1L cleaner/degreaser but that was nowhere near enough for this job. I think I followed the instructions correctly (warm water, 50:50 mix, sloshing it around, leaving it for ages at different angles!) but it just took multiple cleaning/rinsing sessions to remove the buildup of fuel deposits.

    A note on sealing up the many holes in the tank. The tank has a number of holes for fuel inlets/outlet and vapour release - 7 in all. I watched several youtube videos and everyone I saw just sealed their tanks up with Gaffer tape of some variety so I followed suit. However, either I'm clueless when it comes to taping holes up or it just isn't up to the job as the mixture pretty much pored out! I need a better way of sealing the holes so I ordered a number of cork and rubber bungs of eBay and plugged them that way and that worked very well:

    IMG_9553.jpg

    (Note that the inlet/outlet pipes in the photo are just sealed with Gaffer tape and this was fine for them if it was done well).

    In total, I did 5 (yes, 5!!) cleaner/degreaser rinses which was a royal pain in the bottom but once I'd started I figured I'd better do it properly. After the initial clean the inside looked like this:

    IMG_9555.jpg

    Much better! You then have to apply the metal prep and as I didn't;t want to do that more than once I took my time and made sure I covered all parts of the tank which is a lot of different angles to get the tank at when you only have a litre of liquid in there! After metal prep shots:

    IMG_0638.jpg


    IMG_0639.jpg

    Apparently the slight oxidization you can see here is to be expected and is dealt with by the sealer which went in next. The fuel tank sealer is some liquid plastic/metal as far as I can tell and here's a big warning: never, ever get any one your hands and especially not on your face!! I now have a patch on my nose that is taking ages to go :) . This stuff is pretty brutal so make sure you cover up well.

    The biggest problem I had with the sealer was pooling. They say in the instructions that you need to drain the tank for at least 30 mins to make sure that any extraneous sealant drains - if you don't do that you will get a pool of the material form on the bottom of the tank. Well, I held that tank up for at least an hour and emptied the sealant out as it formed pools and I still have some pooling in the finished tank!! It's not too bad but it is annoying. Anyway, the finished inside looks like:

    IMG_0649.jpg

    IMG_9567.JPG

    Bit of a pain of a job but hopefully worth it in the long run.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019
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  9. SacCyclone

    SacCyclone
    Z Club Member

    I think you did a fantastic job on the fuel tank and i would be very happy with the results.
    Well done!
     
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  10. Rob Gaskin

    Rob Gaskin Treasurer Staff Member Moderator

    Agreed, great job and useful info. for us.

    Just a thought - how does it seal the tank without blocking off feed and return pipes?
     
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  11. candy red

    candy red Well-Known Forum User

    looks like you've done a great job there :bow:

    interesting question from Rob
     
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  12. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Thanks all!

    Maybe this is how I got paint on my nose :) . As you are rolling the sealer through that side of the tank you need to blow air down those pipes to ensure they don't have any sealer in them. One video I saw recommended a compressor on low pressure but as I don't have one yet I simply blew down the pipes. I don't think it's an issue really for the return pipe as it isn't near the floor of the tank and you can reach your finger inside easily to feel air coming through. The feed pipe is much closer to the bottom and inaccessible so I was very careful to make sure that this was well blown through (you can hear air going through it when you blow).
     
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  13. Woody928

    Woody928
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Looks, like you're making great progress. Awesome work with the fuel tank, I'd be really pleased with that job myself!

    I'm sure its a job that needs doing on alot of these cars, and whilst it isnt glamarous is a great idea. Are you planning on refurbing parts as you go and refitting them or trying to strip everything and then refresh?
     
  14. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Thanks! No, just refurbing and and refitting as I go really at least to start with in my quest to get it back on the road. While the fuel tank work may have seemed overkill to some I figured that regardless of what I do to it down the road I'm always going to need a nice clean supply of fuel so seemed a good investment of time. For now I just want to get that engine going and drive it around for a bit!
     
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  15. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Another weekend inching our way toward being on the road.

    Haven taken Mike's advice to inspect the carb float bowls I needed new lid gaskets and I couldn't see them on any UK based site as expected (someone please tell me if you can get them from the UK!) so I had ordered them from thezstore . However, it turned out that to ship a couple of gaskets worth 7 odd dollars was going to cost 28! I could do without UPS but apparently they cant' so I cancelled the order and ordered some sheets of nitrile cork gasket sheets off eBay and made my own using the old one's as a template. I used 1.5mm thick sheet. They look pretty good but we'll see how they are when fuel is going past them...

    Again, as Mike suggested, I went to remove the air pipe that was part of the old smog system. This took considerably longer than I was expecting as I couldn't see how to get this off without removing the inlet manifold so off it came. Now I'm sure this takes a couple of minutes when you've done it before but it sure took me longer than that! The nuts/bolts that are at the bottom of the inlet / top of the exhaust manifold are not the easiest things to get to - it was the first time for a number of years that I wished I had a young child again so that they could get their teeny hands in there! :) Anyway off it came:

    IMG_9578.jpg

    While it was out I gave the inlet manifold a very quick clean up just to remove the surface crud. I'm pleased I did this job though as it looks much better (well, it will when I got some plugs ordered for the holes in the exhaust manifold):

    IMG_9581.jpg


    Today we got the freshly lined fuel tank back on the car which was a bit more of a faff than I thought it would be really - maybe I should just reset my expectations as everything takes longer than I think it should! I'm assuming we should see 12V on the pump when the ignition is on and not just when cranking (?) but regardless, we never see 12V on it. Maybe it has something to do with the wiring loom in the boot at that side looking like this:

    IMG_9587.jpg

    :EXTRAeek: . Guess I know what the next job is!
     
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  16. toopy

    toopy
    Z Club Member

    Fun looks that.... in Yoda's voice!
     
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  17. SacCyclone

    SacCyclone
    Z Club Member

    The US 1970 to early 1973 cars did not have an electric fuel pump, just mechanical. The later 1973 and 1974 260's had an electric fuel pump underside near the fuel tank. This factory electric fuel pump has a relay or two under the passenger side kick panel interior. Your car looks to be a 72 or earlier so the electric fuel pump was installed by the shade tree mechanic as was the wiring. If you are going to keep that one, you may just want to set up your own 12v complete with fuse etc. One of the reasons the factory electric pump had a relay was if you got into a crash, the fuel would stop pumping fuel all over the place if the engine was no longer running. Something to think about if you go the electric pump route.
    Great work so far.
     
  18. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    Thanks for the encouragement! I think it's definitely a 1973 automatic (HLS30):

    IMG_9149.jpg

    I'm going to try and repair the back end of the loom if possible but, as you say, I might have to just find a 12V feed from somewhere at this part of the project.
     
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  19. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    We have life!! I never thought I would be so ecstatic to hear a car start :) .

    I was trying to sort the mess of wires in the boot to get the rear electric fuel pump working but I figured that I don't need that to get the car running so I have just cut every wire in the loom, separated them out, tidied them up and left them for now. I've buzzed out the fuel pump wire coming from the relays under the front passenger side so at least I know which one to connect up for that!

    Turning the engine on the starter didn't draw any fuel through the front filter - I managed to suck fuel through to the front so the lines appeared clear. We took the mechanical fuel pump out and the rocker arm was very stiff so we took it apart:

    IMG_0004.jpg



    IMG_0005.jpg

    I don't actually know what freed it up but after some physical violence the rocker arm freed up and we got good suction and pretty good movement with the diaphragm. With the pump back on we got a nice flow through to the carb bowls.

    It's no good having fuel if you've got no spark though! We had 12V to the coil but nothing on the distributor. Sigh. The primary resistance on the coil and the ballast resistor were OK but the secondary resistance on the coil was about 2Kohms out of tolerance (too high - FYI, ambient temp was around 75degF) so I ordered a new coil from Mike@MJP. With the new coil in place we still had no spark :-( . It was then that I noticed that the distributor didn't have an earth connected to it! D'oh. After connecting the earth up to the distributor we had a nice strong spark on the plugs. Maybe we didn't need a new coil but at least it looks nice and shiny.

    Even with a strong spark the engine wouldn't start but it's been a *long* time since I've started a car with a choke :) . A quick pull back on the chokes and she sprang into life (thanks to Mark for the reminder)!! Such a great moment to hear that engine for the first time.

    In all the excitement I forgot to bolt the rocker cover down before doing that so oil fair poured out! Also, I had forgotten to bung up the holes in the exhaust manifold from the air pipe/rail that had been removed so in no time we had really hot air pumping out - never mind the noise. I bunged these up today but still have a pipe to remove that comes out of the exhaust manifold that used to feed into the old balance tube (see photo below):

    IMG_9578-new.jpg

    Tried to remove that today but it is in seriously well so will have another go tomorrow... We put the exhaust back on last week as I bought some manifold studs and a gasket back from my last trip to the US (along with a bunch of other bits) and good job we did as I'd imagine that would have been a very noisy and hot experience without it.

    Loads of smaller jobs to do as always but next job of note is to put the clutch hard line and cylinders in.
     
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  20. tyroguru

    tyroguru
    Z Club Member

    "The night is dark and full of terrors" was the tag line for Game of Thrones and it was pretty apropos for what went on last night with the Z! Unlike GoT though this had a a fairly miraculous and happy ending...

    I mentioned previously that I got the car when the 3 speed auto box had been swapped for a 4 speed manual (from a 280Z I believe). All we had to do was put the pedals in, the cylinders, the hard line, fill it up with fluid and off we go.

    First the pedals went in (*massive* thanks to Mike for supplying the spring protector for the pedal box):

    IMG_9597.JPG


    Then the slave cylinder (sans flexible hose at this point):

    IMG_9596.JPG

    Then the master cylinder and hard line. I don't have a good picture of this and the hard line needs redoing really but it's really just to get things on the road so we're all good :) :

    IMG_0035.jpg


    Filled it up with fluid, bled the clutch and then came the moment of truth - will it work?? I fired the car up, pushed it into 1st and gradually let the clutch out... The clutch bit and the car crawled slowly forward!!! Victory! Now, to appreciate what happened next you have to appreciate that our garage is at the top of a sloping drive and the car is parked in forward. It's not a big slope but it's enough and here's a rare photo of the car being outside the garage as it takes 4 people to push it up the sloper (5 when the brakes were binding!):

    IMG_9538.JPG

    What happened next can only be ascribed to a very poor decision on my part: pure madness really. For some reason which I still can't fathom, I put the car into reverse and slowly rolled it backwards using my new found clutch abilities. The problem was that although we've put new brake line hoses and put brake fluid in we've never actually tested the brakes :oops: . As soon as the rear wheels rolled onto the sloping drive, off she went down the drive! What happened next happened extremely quickly :) . I pumped the brake and nothing happened. $#^%#!! I quickly grabbed the gear stick, dipped the clutch and tried to ram it into first gear but as the seat wasn't bolted in and I was going backwards downhill the seat pushed backwards under pressure!!! I'm not a tall person so I desperately pushed at full stretch trying to dip the clutch and as the car hit the road at the end of the drive I engaged first gear. On a video you can hear my wife scream, my son laughing and a screech as the wheels lock when 1st gear engages!! Unfortunately the car was still going and the neighbours opposite have a brick wall and a bunch of trees. I threw the steering wheel to the right to turn it fast before the car hit the wall opposite and the door flung open as it wasn't shut! I grabbed the door, pulled it shut and came to a halt, parallel parked a couple of inches from the neighbours wall. I have absolutely no idea how I didn't hit the wall or how I got the door shut in time.

    This is the position I finished up in:

    IMG_2046.JPG

    What a night! The gear box was now making some horrific grinding noises as it turned out that whoever had fitted the gearbox had only used a single bolt to hold the bell housing onto the engine and in all the excitement and force the bell housing had been twisted out of line. Fortunately I had previously bought a set of transmission bolts on my last US trip so when I got the car back in the garage we jacked the bell housing up a bit, got everything aligned and put some new bolts in. The gear box sounds good again and the clutch still works.

    So, overall a success but I could do without that kind of excitement. We were so fortunate that nobody was driving or walking along the road at the time.

    Note to self: engage brain a lot, lot more.
     
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