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My First Z

Discussion in 'New to the website!' started by RawlinSTR, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. RawlinSTR

    RawlinSTR
    Z Club Member

    Hi all,

    Been a long time Z fan and around this time last year I ended up somewhat accidentally winning an eBay auction for a friend's '73 240Z from California.

    It was an exciting process getting it shipped over.

    The car has a lot of nice bits on it since the owner went through the process of setting it up for track use over there. In fact it's been driven on Buttonwillow, Willow Springs, Laguna Seca and Sonoma Raceway to name a few.

    It was sold with the numbers matching block with no internals, and a N42 head with lots of bits missing, so I decided to try and find a complete L-series engine here to put in instead. Progress has been very slow with that though, and the engine I bought (L26 with round top SU's and a 5spd) is currently in bits since I'm doing all the gaskets and things like that before I put it in.

    Anyway, here are some pictures from the listing and some pictures of it over here as well:

    [​IMG]

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    I'm currently living in Northampton so if there's any Z owners nearby please get in touch, it'd be good to hear from you.

    Simon
     
  2. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Eric's?
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  3. Jake RAH

    Jake RAH
    Z Club Member

    No pics showing :(
    I'm over near Daventry so close to you. We also have a few more members near by.

    :driving:
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  4. jonbills

    jonbills
    ZClub Administrator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Welcome. Looks like you've got some very nice bits on it there.
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  5. Woody928

    Woody928
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    :cool: I really, really like this!

    Looks like a mega shell with some serious upgrades and goodies already fitted! You're going to have lots of fun with that once its got and engine and gearbox back in and on the road :D Have you thought about colour coding the engine bay while you've got the engine out? Would look much nicer on such a clean car. Looking forward to following this build!
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  6. RawlinSTR

    RawlinSTR
    Z Club Member

    Yep ;)

    Strange, they're embedded via Flickr. :conf2: Nice one, that's pretty nearby.

    Thanks! I got pretty lucky with what it's already got.

    Thanks! The shell is great other than a bit of rust at the bottom of both doors, and a small dent in the rear. I'm desperate to get it running and driving haha. The photos make the paint look a lot better than it actually is - there's very little lacquer left since it sat in the California sun for a long time, and there's lots of little chips and dings. HOWEVER, I made the mistake of making my last car (classic mini) absolutely spotless and from that point on it felt too fragile to drive, so I'm actually happy that this one has some scars... I want to be able to really drive it and not worry. So in answer to your question, I think I'll leave the bay as it is... for now :coolgleam:
     
  7. Albrecht

    Albrecht Well-Known Forum User

    Great! Eric's a friend of mine too. Have met him both in London and Tokyo. Very cool guy.

    Love that car. Some really nice parts on it too. Excellent purchase! Well done!
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  8. RawlinSTR

    RawlinSTR
    Z Club Member

    He's an incredibly nice guy, I've met him twice whilst out in California, and he's even taken me out in his Hako. He also had his Patrol one of the times I visited and we went down the LA River in it:

    [​IMG]

    Thank you, I'm a happy man!
     
    atomman likes this.
  9. Woody928

    Woody928
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Sounds fairly clean, possibly explains the black at the bottom of the LH door. Meh, we all know the blemishes on our own cars...

    In all honesty it sounds like its in the perfect condition to just be used and enjoyed with some wax oil applied to protect the underside! Itobviously has lots of character and a story behind it, my favourite sort of build. Much prefer cars like these to fresh resto's that don't ever see the light of day! Good for you :thumbs:
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  10. Woody928

    Woody928
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Any update on this? Really keen to hear what's being done to it :)
     
  11. RawlinSTR

    RawlinSTR
    Z Club Member

    I'd forgotten I'd made this post, thanks for the reminder!

    There's been a bit of progress, which I'll summarise:

    In terms of the engine build, the whole process was slowed down by trying to source a head that was useable without too much work. I ended up with a late E88 to which I had valve stems done, seats re-cut and a skim. Here's a picture of it on my bed after I'd picked it up:

    [​IMG]

    I stripped and painted/ renewed/ serviced the rest of the bits on the engine and rebuilt it up to look like this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Since the engine was in my garage at home and the car is at a friend's garage (I've been moving house/ selling the mini etc etc) I then had to rent a van to transport the engine to the car:

    [​IMG][/url]

    At the car end, I took out the 4speed and put in the freshly painted 5speed:

    Old:
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    New:
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    Installed:
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    I put a new clutch disc and pressure plate on the flywheel of the engine and then just this weekend I fitted the engine along with some of the accessories.

    NOS clutch dated 1986:
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    Fitting the engine:
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    Fitted (feat. wrinkle coated valve cover):
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    I bought a 280ZX alternator for the uprated charging capability, and I'm using a ZX distributor which I rebuilt and painted etc.

    I'm trying to re-use any parts I can but I don't want to put them back on dirty, so I paint as much as I can. E.g. Starter motor:

    [​IMG]

    The engine I bought came with HS6's but they were handed the same (float bowl on the same side) and were a bit ropey, so I sold those and found a reconditioned set on eBay for a good price, so they'll be going on:

    [​IMG]

    I've also got a 6-2 manifold from MSA which I will be fitting once I've got the flange welded on the down pipe and decided how I'm going to coat it.

    That's pretty much it for the update so far! There's lots of niggly little bits that need doing before I can start it up for the first time.

    As you can see it's all been engine related only so far. I'm not planning on doing any bodywork for a while - I want to get it running and driving and to enjoy it this Summer with it as the previous owner had it. I actually quite like the worn out paint, it gives it some character.

    When Winter comes back around we'll see how I feel again haha.

    Thanks for reading.
     
    SacCyclone, Pondo, Mr Ex Jnr and 4 others like this.
  12. Woody928

    Woody928
    Z Club Member
    Staff Member Moderator

    Glad to see this moving along, very keen to see this out on the road and being used!

    The bodywork looks superb however even if you say it is a little ratty in places, lots of us agreed this weekend that the ratty cars are some of our favourites.... I think it looks great as it is!
     
    RawlinSTR likes this.
  13. Pondo

    Pondo
    Z Club Member

    Looking forward to seeing this car on the road. You must be pretty close now.
     
  14. Fish1234

    Fish1234 Forum User

    I'm in the early stages of wanting a 240z so I've come here to get advice first hand see if it's worth me just buying a restored vehicle. I'm not mechanically minded and l was thinking that buying a half intact car fresh from California from Holland dealers on classic cars but it could throw up as many problems as it solves. And maybe pay the extra and get a fully minted car but that's very expensive. I wonder what you think being a hobbist restorer your self. I will put this question up on the main board as well and take the general consensus.
     
    Sam_C likes this.
  15. Makesy

    Makesy
    Z Club Member

    Hi and welcome! Very few of these cars come without any issues at all - the sad reality of classics!

    The good news is that there is plenty of help on forums, FB pages etc to get you back up and running when you do hit a problem.

    I would say the key thing is finding a good body shell and working from there - especially if you are not so mechanically inclined! These cars have been so susceptible to rust and the over the years (and the bad repair jobs that come with it!) it's important to look out for a good shell!

    Of course, depending on finances, almost anything can be fixed for a price :)
     
  16. RawlinSTR

    RawlinSTR
    Z Club Member

    An update!

    So I managed to get the engine started last weekend for the first time, but noticed an oil leak from the headgasket close to the front timing cover. I didn't have it running for long, because I still need to properly set the carbs up.

    Today I took the head off to try and work out what went wrong, and in doing so I found a pretty nasty surprise in cylinder 3:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    I'm not too sure what happened, but by the looks of it I think the edge of the bridge where the spark plug boss comes through on the head has broken away and the material has rattled around in the bore causing damage to the piston crown and spark plug.

    I'm fairly certain that the metal hasn't come from outside of the combustion chamber, the the valves don't look damaged at all. Surprisingly, the bore walls don't look to be damaged either.

    After all of the effort I've put in getting this engine together and into the car I was pretty upset when I found this. The head might be salvageable with a fair amount of work but the piston is definitely not.


    After speaking to Jon I think I've come up with a new plan. I have a spare N42 head with everything but the cam, towers and rockers.

    I've always ideally wanted to be putting an L28 in instead of an L26 so now I think I'm going to try and find a suitable L28 block and swap all of the parts that I've cleaned and refreshed over from this engine build to that.

    Unfortunately it means more delay to get this car onto the UK roads for the first time but I guess it's all part of it.

    If anyone knows of a source for a useable L28 block I would appreciate the tip!

    Simon
     
    AliK, Pondo, SacCyclone and 1 other person like this.
  17. SacCyclone

    SacCyclone
    Z Club Member

    O man that really sucks! So disappointed for you.
    The L28 engines are getting harder and harder to find here in the states, i would assume the same for the UK.
    I started looking last year for running 280Zx cars for under $1000 just to rob the engine and 5 speed transmissions out of them, not much luck so far but still on the hunt.
    I think your headed in the right direction on the L28, good luck with the hunt.
    Mike
     
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  18. johnymd

    johnymd
    Z Club Member

    I may have a L28 block for sale. I picked up a freshly bored and honed block over the weekend buy it may not be suitable for my needs. It's an F54 with a .060in overbore and I'm not sure of the availability of pistons to suit. This wouldn't normally bother me as I would just take it out for 88 or 88.5mm forged pistons but as I'm already building a stroker already I just wanted this to be a mild 2.8 with cast pistons.
     
  19. status

    status
    Z Club Member

    You might need a head gasket Jon
     

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