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seattle smitty

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About seattle smitty

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    Old, simple cars.

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  1. seattle smitty

    Timing chain wedge

    I recently went through this. I had made a wedge copying a design from a big book that came out in the mid-'70s at the height of 240/260z-car and 510 racing (some of you have this book, with a color photo of a Brock Racing Enterprises 510 on a track somewhere). I found the wedge and discovered it was too thick to work on my Z-22. After some sawing and sanding, it turned out a little too thin because it never quite was stopped by the tensioner. But it worked fine, which indicates that the tensioner need not be rammed all the way in. Or maybe it just means that the old chain was stretched a little. Anyhow, when I first made the tool, I drilled a small hole in the top and put a lanyard (piece of braided cord) through it so I could always retrieve the tool.
  2. seattle smitty

    buying a used car: getting the title for as little as possible

    Taxes, fees, tags, and plates just under $200 for a $200 vehicle??!! When I got my most recent beater for $250, I think all of that was about $90, IIRC . . . . Well, I guess I'll find out next week, including about the gift aspect. Thanks!
  3. I'm getting another temporary vehicle (very slowly working on a '81 720, which will probably be a keeper). This one is a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, in fairly good shape. It would be a keeper if it wasn't so new, with efi and a computer, highly over-complicated, which I detest. But maybe it will hold up long enough for me to get the 720 going. The current owners are giving me the car (in trade for my having done a bunch of welding and re-wiring on their horse trailer. In trying to keep the cost of the title transfer down, how should they fill out the bill of sale? If they write zero dollars (gift), how does the DMV calculate the value of the car? Naturally I want to get it for "low-book," which is about $250, not letting the license agency see the car, but showing them a bill of sale with such expressions as "non-running," "old tires," "engine-check light flashing," "A/C non-working," and any other creative stuff I can think of. Does anyone have advice on doing this? I'm in King County, and will have to get emissions-checked (another reason to have old cars). Anybody done this recently? Last time i did, years ago, it cost $16 per sniff, and if you didn't pass on the second try, IIRC, you had to have a licensed shop work on it, another PITA.
  4. seattle smitty

    Weird Oxygen Sensor Threads (pics)

    As a brute force method of getting the sleeve off, maybe unharmed, I'd run a drillbit through that big hole. That old sensor is no-good anyway, right? Then stick something like a line-up punch through the holes to rack on the sleeve, which you might hit with some heat, first. This oughta be easier on the sleeve than a Vise-Grip.
  5. seattle smitty

    limited slip diffs?

    Wayno, I experienced what you described with a '79 Econoline 150 "Trailer Special" van, 351, C-6, and a 9" with Traction Lock. Great for pulling a boat out of the water, but it wanted to swap ends on snow. But I attributed that to all the weight of a cast iron V-8 and dual batteries in the front, and not much load in back. My interest in limited slip for the 720 comes from years ago when I did some welding for a little logging crew out in the woods (different vehicle), and had to be towed up the "road" and into camp with a dozer. But I suppose that stuff is long behind me. So I'll settle for putting a loop for a come-along under my new bumper, when I get to that point. Thanks, fellas.
  6. seattle smitty

    limited slip diffs?

    Couldn't determine this with a search. Was/is there a limited-slip option that could be applied to my early ('81) 720? Also, in reading the '81 owners manual, I see that besides the standard pickup, the long box, and the King Cab (mine), there were one or two "Heavy-Duty" versions in that year. Was that a matter only of springs and shocks, or was there more to it? I'm going over to work on my truck today and will look for model designation letters/numbers. This poor little neglected machine is eventually going to be my shop truck, with flatbed and side-boxes. And semi-massive-looking homemade bumpers, lah di dah!! A comment on converting to a DGEV Weber: I'd be curious to see how Redline, or whomever makes it, did their adapter plate. I made mine, and found it to be a bit of a chore. FWIW, I have the primary side pointed left (driver side) and secondary to the right. I had to make it with two separate plates, one screwed to the 720 intake manifold, one screwed to the underside of the carb, the both screwed together around their edges. Doing this while providing clearance for the various DGEV throttle shaft gizmos that hang down below the carburetor's base was a little tricky. I could have done the adapter with a single plate had I welded some material to the manifold, maybe, but it came out okay. Funny, the last time I adapted one of these Webers, it was to an '86 Dodge Colt Vista, and it seems like it was a lot simpler operation, with only a single adapter plate needed. Dang, I gotta get this vehicle fixed and in-service, it or my Vista. Right now I'm making do, barely, with a '90 Geo Metro. Purchased cheap but what a heap! Hardly any traction, Chinese wiring, too new, and thus too complicated with a bleeping computer running everything via the too-small-guage wiring system, . . . If I had it to do over again, I'd get a Yugo, as the superior machine!!! (EDIT) -- Oops, don't know right from left. Carb is set with choke, and primary side, to the, uh, let's see, the right side, passenger side (U.S.) . . . .
  7. seattle smitty

    recommended shops

    (Found nothing in searching this, but could have missed it) Have any of the admins considered making a sticky topic for guys to recommend good machine shops, alignment shops, body/paint shops, transmission shops, etc., etc. in their areas? My machinist has moved away, and when I get to building a new engine for my 720 pickup, or getting the front end aligned, this sort of info would be helpful. Maybe some have found shops that are particularly knowledgeable on old Datsun/Nissans. What I personally would look for is shops in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, but members from anywhere could offer info for any area, of course. No doubt there are such recommendations being offered all the time in the various threads, but having them readily accessible in one place could be very useful. The only problem with this is that many of us do so much of our own mechanical/welding/machining work that when non-DIY'ers ask us for a good repair shop, we're at a loss to answer. But still, most of us don't bore our own blocks, do four-wheel alignments, and similarly specialized work, and thus may have good specialists we can refer to.
  8. seattle smitty

    DIY welding

    A few weeks ago I posted some comments to a member's thread in which he expressed dismay at the ugly welds he found on the chassis of his 720 pickup. He said he felt inclined to grind out and re-do the welds before painting the chassis. Some good opinions pro and mostly con followed. The O.P. and one other member currently fixing up their 720s, each describing himself as unskilled at welding, mused about getting a pal or relative with welding skills to come over and re-do the globby factory welds, one of them indicating he might buy a welding machine for this and other tasks. I have been welding for over forty years, professionally but usually as an adjunct to general mechanical work. My part-time retirement work mostly involves welding repairs for heavy equipment operators, with some fabrication of specialty buckets and such. I am in no way sniffy about amateur welders, some of whom do outstanding work. But I've seen a lot of the other kind, often when called to fix the messes they left, either from their inability to make a good weld or from their lack of metallurgical knowledge or of avoiding creating stress-risers. There is a relatively modern problem arising from the availability of small wire-feed welding machines. A lot of guys, who would have passed on doing their own welding in the days where an amateur only had stick welding and gas welding options, look at wire-feed machines and think, "All you have to do is set a couple of dials and just pull the trigger, . . . easy!!" The point I want to make here is that wire-feed welding is the easiest way to make a good-looking bad weld. Repeat, a good-looking bad weld. With some time spent looking at YouTube welding videos and practicing on scrap, the owner of a wire-feed machine can lay down what to any non-welder looks like a nice bead. But it is VERY easy with wirefeeding to have a bead with poor or no penetration, that has failed to tie in with one or both sides of the joint. In welding school, a professional will show you exactly this situation. He will bend-test and otherwise put your nice looking welding efforts under stress, and you will be surprised and chagrined to find that your pretty work was no good. But amateur welders who are buddy-taught or YouTube taught generally miss out on this, as well as all the knowledge of metals and design that come with formal weld training. One detail, for what it's worth, is that no-gas wirefeed generally is more likely to get penetration than the otherwise-more-desirable gas-shielded wirefeed process in the hands of a poorly-trained welder. One of the things you learn in school is what to watch for as you make the bead, so that you pretty well know as you do it whether you're making a good bead or not. So, bottom line, before you ask for help from an amateur who thinks he "knows how" is to find out how he learned to weld, learned about different metals and what they require, and so on. Don't be fooled by a bead that superficially appears better than the lumpy welds you might see under your car. Those lumpy welds probably held, while your buddy's smoother welds might not. And if you want to buy a welder and do it yourself, take a night class at the local trade school and have a pro look over your shoulder.
  9. seattle smitty

    1983.5 4x4 - retirement truck

    I feel your pain, Kaw. There is no excuse for that level of welding in a professional setting, whether they were applied manually or by robotics. It says something when you see some of the flawless beads on Japanese motorcycle frames, WHERE THEY SHOW, and then you look at the bird-poop welds under a chassis where a customer will never see them. If you didn't read that link I posted, you might take a look just to see the opinion of an expert who has seen corporate attitudes about fixing bad welds that could prove be dangerous to customers, including some that already have. Unlike the big corporations, where the bosses are rarely held personally liable, the owner of your little local welding shop knows very well that the lawyers will take him for everything he owns, even after his insurance coverage is used up, if someone is or can claim to have been hurt by something to do with the welder's work. Welding can have consequences. www.weldingweb.com has a couple of long-running threads devoted to the failures of amateur "welders;" take a look at this one on homemade (and a few commercial) trailers, and you'll start thinking you shouldn't be on the roads in anything smaller than a Humvee: https://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?372021-Trailer-fail-pics Here, this one is probably better. Stoffregen, you'll like the roll cage at the bottom of page 1 of this thread: https://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?139711-Welding-Fail!-post-pics-here
  10. seattle smitty

    1983.5 4x4 - retirement truck

    No doubt that's the practical attitude, Charlie, and some really horrible welds have somehow sufficed to keep metal parts stuck together. But any good welder can't help seeing bird-poop welds as almost personally offensive. It's like a lot of the work a decent craftsman does; nobody else will ever see the particular example of fine work he did, almost no one would care, but HE knows, and feels, what, just a little virtuous for having done it better than he had to. Welding is one of the prime providers of evidence for my contention that the factory engineers, Nissan/Datsun's or whomever, absolutely DO NOT always know better than the rest of us about their products. Take a look at the link below to stories of a cranky Englishman named Ed Craig who moved to the States and has been a welding consultant for many years. Occasionally one of the car makers will call him in to look at problems on their robotic welding lines, and what he has found will blow your mind if you know much about welding. The story, which I read on his site years ago and still has me shaking my head (about halfway down the linked page), involves a Chrysler chassis line. The chief welding engineer (and again if you are an experienced welder you'll hardly believe this) had specified the use of 5/64" Innershild (no gas) wire to weld the stamped-steel chassis members. This wire is something you'd choose for constructing tall buildings, and never thin sheetmetal. Of course, despite the best efforts of the guys working under this idiot, no amount of adjusting the welder and robot controls could keep them from blowing holes. They had a big rework crew of guys going full-time manually welding up the bad welds, yet somehow neither the chief engineer nor management could understand the problem. Ed Craig, who might have stood in stunned disbelief had he not seen many similar situations, immediately changed to an appropriate welding wire, reset the robots, and was quickly turning out flawless welds. Yet astoundingly (unless you have been around corporate managers), in the face of this evidence the chief engineer insisted that he knew what he was doing, kept his job, and continued doing things his way. https://weldreality.com/ROBOTmanagement.htm (Again, scroll about halfway down the page to get to the story I related).
  11. seattle smitty

    Weber carb air cleaner.

    FWIW, yet another supplier of those little rectangular chromed boxes for the 32/36 DCAG/DCEG is Borg Warner of Australia, selling them here under the name Warneford. They don't put any I.D. on their little chromed stampings, so you without the box it came in you won't know if it's one of theirs. I assume it's like many similar ones in having the baseplate screw down on the Weber flange, while those clips hold the rest of it together. My 2 cents, those simple filters are okay for when you are in the process of adapting a Weber to a Datsun or whatever, but that ultimately none of those open filters is nearly as good as a closed factory type air cleaner rigged to draw heated air during warm-up and outside air once warmed up. And you can get a K&N filter element, the best there is, and cleanable. Recently Fram has brought out their copy of a K&N, so that might be as good. I like the adaptions of stock Datsun air cleaners that I see in the photos here. I did that for another car ('86 Dodge Colt Vista), and it's always interesting to see how other guys do things. I'm in the process of making an adapter to put a Weber on a Z-22. Would've been done before now but I managed to screw part of it up on the first attempt; was making the two-part adapter out of phenolic, and stupidly drilled out the mounting holes too big to thread for studs. Well, I wasn't fully sold on this anyway, so I'm re-making this part (upper half of the adapter) from aluminum. In any case, the height of the Weber, base to flange, luckily is a good bit lower than the same dimension for the original Hitachi, so there is s bit of space for us to make adapters that don't put the Weber way up in the air. Down the road, if I have nothing better to do, I think I can fabricate a somewhat better intake manifold than the factory Z-22 manifold, but of course once you have a particular set-up working, you tend to forget about it and go on to other projects . . . okay, YOU don't, but I do.
  12. seattle smitty

    Ignition coil mounting?

    Funny thread, if not what you intended, Crash. Usually a contrarian, I'll disagree with some of what has been said. One thing about the factory is that they run the new car around a test course with a bunch of temperature probes under the hood to find the actual hotter and cooler areas, which are often not where you'd guess they are. They don't mount coils in hot areas. OTOH, if a guy does mods on his engine (different carb and air cleaner, for instance) that divert the under-hood airflow from what the factory had, he is on his own. The Nissan engineers don't know about your aftermarket coil. I say mount that coil the way its manufacturer tells you. There's a lot of sentiment on car websites that the factory engineers always know best. First, I don't see how anyone who has ever owned a car can say this. Every car I've ever owned (a bunch) has had its good points and bad points, its weak links that could have been done better, some of which are such common problems as to become notorious even among later fans of the marque. The blame for these weak points of any car can fall to the engineers, but might also have to do with the constraints under which the engineers must work, and this is a factor that is never mentioned by those with a knee-jerk, "trust the factory engineers" attitude. The basic problem is that any car has to be built to a particular selling price, and the bean-counters ultimately rule. This is to the good; nobody could afford to buy a car if the engineers were free to build what they want to build. Instead, they have to build "good enough," while meeting cost targets. Therefore, when YOU get the car, you can apply your own parts, do your own improving, in what might be thought of as an effort to build what the factory engineers would have built if they had had a free hand, with costs secondary. Well, you HOPE you are improving. Specifically with this coil, first consider that by the experiences of people on this thread, the factory unit has proven very reliable. Second, most aftermarket coils are for street performance or racing, and while by design they do work better at higher rpm ranges than stock coils, they are NOT AS GOOD for daily driving rpm ranges as stock coils that were designed for that. This is a common situation with aftermarket components of all sorts. This is not to say that you can't improve on the factory's built-to-a-price parts, but you can easily do worse.
  13. seattle smitty

    L18 +.030 pistons vs L28 flat top 86mm for budget rebuild

    You might talk to Delta Cams in Tacoma about having them regrind your stock cam with just a little extra lift (no more than stock springs can handle).They've done this for me on a few daily-drivers. It's a cheap option, and local. I wish I could lead you to a machine shop here. My long-time machinist got tired of all the B.S. that attends that business and the poor take-home pay (lots of shops have closed), and he sold the shop and left town to live in the woods. In fact, here's a suggestion: if you find a machinist with a good reputation, a guy with whom you'd like to continue to do business, pay a little extra and have HIM buy most of the expensive parts. Besides letting him make a little on parts (which used to be a major part of a shop's income stream, decades ago), understand that he can't be responsible for stuff brought in by guys who got them on-line, so if there's any sort of problem, he has to wait for YOU to deal with the provider of the parts, with your engine sitting idle and taking up space in his shop. He works to keep track of the relative reliability of parts providers, and in this era of offshored/outsourced auto parts, no-good parts have become a nightmare for shop owners. Have him explain all this, let him buy the parts, and you'll have a machinist who will volunteer good advice and do his best work for you from then on. As I say, the business he's in is not something he would have got into had he known all about it. We customers need to help our dwindling number of good auto machine shops.
  14. seattle smitty

    Problems posting a for sale ad

    Internet Explorer had the best tool bar, simple and obvious. When I'd ask advocates of Firefox or Chrome or whatever how they did a copy/paste or a print preview or whatever, they'd say, "Oh, first you do this, right-finger, then you do this, no, left finger, then yak yak, . . . ," and tell me some non-intuitive thing I'd have to remember for a couple of weeks until I needed it.
  15. seattle smitty

    What hard-to-find parts should I stash?

    Thanks. But I discovered the pads on the block with the stamped I.D.; says Z-22. Maybe the extra gaskets are for L-motors. Now I find that there were two distributors for 1981 720 King Cab Z-22s, one (my truck) with a snap-on cap, the other (donor truck) with a screw-on cap. (EDIT)--maybe the dist. on the donor truck was a transplant from some other year; Rock Auto shows only the snap-cap for this year.
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