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First time Z owner, Joey J's 77' 280z Build Thread [PICTURE HEAVY] Updated 4/5/15

Joey J

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******* Picture Heavy Build Thread *******

Well i just purchased a very clean (crossing my fingers) 1977 280z and its on its way over. It should be getting it early next week! 



I'm all about the low life. I know, i know... I've read around here before and not too many agree with slamming a Z. But ima do it!! So.. I just wanted to introduce myself and hopefully i can get a lot of good info here from you all.






FYI this was my last car: 


Untitled_HDR2redo by Joey_J, on Flickr
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Welcome! I'll ignore the fact that you owned a Honda, since you now in fact own a Datsun  :thumbup:  (just kidding) 


Looks like a good car to start with. The cleaner the better  :thumbup:

Hahaha, it was a clean Honda though. I really didn't want to start with a rust bucket.


Welcome to Ratsun, nothing wrong in slamming a Z many here have there own opinions in what looks good and what doesn't. All and all it's your car do what you like to it.

Thanks, i really appreciate that. I had read some thread of ppl bashing on others wanting to slam their z's. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hopefully you asked the seller before you made your purchase, if the fuel tank was cleaned, flushed and re-sealed or replaced.  If not, you'll find out the hard way that there is probably 35 years worth of sediment in that tank that will clog injectors and force you to change your fuel filter with much frequency!

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  • 3 months later...

Hopefully you asked the seller before you made your purchase, if the fuel tank was cleaned, flushed and re-sealed or replaced.  If not, you'll find out the hard way that there is probably 35 years worth of sediment in that tank that will clog injectors and force you to change your fuel filter with much frequency!

Actually i didn't ask. Last week i actually decided to clean out the whole fuel system since im changing the injectors. That tank was dirty!!!! The gas came out a dark brown color.

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Since my first post the Z has changed.... a bit, just a tad. I'm going to use this thread as my build thread and post up pics of her progress. I have lots of pics on my phone so since day 1, hopefully i can get the pics in order. Here goes....


I got her in early march, you already saw how she looked on the outsdie on day 1, so here is the engine bay and interior.


Not bad for such an old car in my opinion. She hasn't broke down on me yet *knock on wood*. I am changing the fuel injectors because of a tiny leak but that's about it, i'll get into that later.



Interior is in good condition except for the seats, they were re done with some horrible fabric. They remind me of some ugly old school outdoor type chairs. Thank god they came with seat covers so its not such an eye sore.



I took her to my buddies shop and removed the front bumper and shocks, looks a little strange but it's not staying like that.



Next we removed the rear bumper and left shock and had to remove the muffler tip that stuck out almost a foot. (that's my buddy in the pic)



Here I'm installing the new front valence and changing the oil and oil filter. Definately needed, it was black but i wasn't worried because it had a sticker on the window saying it was due for an oil change that month. With the valence in I can't stop staring at the car :wub:



I put in a cone filter on it, nothing special.I was hoping it would make the car sound a litter better. I couldn't really notice a difference. 



I dont have a pic of when i removed the muffler, it had a preety mean sound but it was too loud in the cabin and i guess since the pipe was cut arround where the rear tire ends the fumes would kick back towards the front of the car. It was horrible. So I took the car to a local muffler shop and removed the cat and replaced it with a vibrant resonator and 2.5 inch piping installed with no muffler. The car sounds beast now and almost no drone. Also looks beast with the pipe sticking out 3 feet  :rofl:



As you can see the 3 foot pipe sticking out is not there, that was just when they were taking measurements for bends lol. I went to my buddy's shop and installed the BRE rear spoiler. I love it, i'm so happy i didn't go with the smaller version. Looks a lot more aggressive.



Got these fender mirrors installed, i liked them when i first got them. Now i kinda regret it and wish i went with originals to start off with. Eventually i'll get them and sell these. There is nothing wrong with these, i just want the chrome mirrors, especially because of the wheels i just ordered  B)  (It's a secret for now)



Took this pic the following day at my school's parking garage. I'm in love. Except for that pesky bumper shock that is still there  :mad:



Christmas came early this year, this was the one project that i couldn't wait to do. I bought this Megan Racing coilover kit from Mckinney Motorsports. I thought about going the integra dc2 route but i didn't want frankenstein coilovers.


Here is a couple of pics of the install. I have lots more on the other thread i made with the review.




Oops too low in the rear lol. 



After taking measurements and jacking the car up and down this is how she finally sit. I couldn't be happier. 



Here is a before and after comparison. 


After that i was pretty broke, i kept using the car as a daily driver and about 2 months later i notice a tiny leak on one of the injector fuel hoses. So i decide to clean out the whole fuel system and replace the injectors. I might as well since i'm going to be taking everything apart.



Tank is out and very dusty.



I cleaned out the tank with muratic acid.. mission. Not sure if that was such a good idea but whatever. Sanded down the tank to repaint it.



here im installed the nice and clean tank back into the car. Instagram pic haha. Follow me if you'd like @Joey_J



Looking under the car i see this, there is basically no bushing left there. No wonder the car vibrates after 75 mph. I gotta looking into replacing that, but thats going to have to be another project.



I thought the plugs were new, but i pulled them out for fun since i had the car sitting in the garage waiting for the injectors. I was wrong. Not sure what this means but im replacing them. Maybe some one can analyze them based on the color. I tried to look at a chart but they all looked the same to me lol.

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So now im on to removing the fuel rail in preparation for the injectors comming in the following day. This was last thursday 7/11/13. 



On the last screw to take out the fuel rail i strip it... fail.



Fuel rail is out and im starting to put it back together with new fuel injection hosing. 



New injectors come in, here is a comparison towards the old ones. I bought a set of beck/arnley.



I open the box and remove each one and i find out one injector looks different. Im very picky. If im buying brand new injectors i want them to match. After fighting with Rockauto they make me buy a new injector and now i have to pray it comes white, i'll get a refund for the green one once i send it back so no biggie.This delays the whole project a week.... 


This brings us to today. Since i ordered my new wheels on Monday o.o... i decided to test fit how the fender flares will fit. The rear looks good but the fronts don't look low enough. Now im thinking i may need to do some body work to the front to pull the front flares lower. More $$$ great....




The injectors are scheduled to come in tomorrow, hopefully that is the case and i can finish that project and i can drive her again. It's been at least a months since i've driven her now. :no:

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Yeah rockauto is a collection of many different brands and such. Get rid of that fuel injection and throw some weber carbs on there!

Haha I thought about going with carbs but this car is my daily driver and I feel that fuel injection is a lot more reliable. Also I don't know a thing about carbs, which would make things even worse.

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I disagree about the reliability part. Carbs are 10,000 times more simple. I daily drive my carbed 280 and I barely ever touch the carbs. On the upside if you keep the fuel injection you could look into putting in a zx's turbo!

The reliability issue is just what I was told. I have no knowledge about carbs honestly. Hm zx turbo? Tell me more lol. I thought I had to swap the motors.

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Small update, finally got the last matching injector. Here is a couple of pics and a bonus



Put the injectors on and tried putting everything in and I realize I need to trim the hosing on the new injectors... Fail...



Everything in, I just gotta put the connectors back on which I will be replacing this weekend. They should be arriving tommorrow.



Here's the bonus lol, I was taking a video for my friends and this happened. Took me a while to stop the video at this frame haha

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry its been a while since the last update... Here is what i've done in the past month nothing big. Big changes coming in the next 2 weeks though  :devil:



Here are the pics of the new connectors i finally got them installed they look great!



1 week later a fuel pump line breaks and this is what happens. I should have replaced it when i replaced the fuel pump lines when i changed out every single other line out  :blush:



Here is the hole, should have taken care of this before but... lesson learned... 



I removed the fuel pump and there is the broken line.



New lines on looking spiffy, too lazy to clean up the fuel pump since no one can see it lol



as i was finishing up fedex drops this off, old steering wheel on the right



I love it  :thumbup:



Also stained the cup holder, i've never seen this in another z, so I'm curious if anyone has this. this was pre-stain.



The result, almost a perfect match.



Time for new plugs  :sick:



Drives about the same, maybe a little smoother... It could just be my head playing tricks on me.



Went to a local meet the following weekend keeping it oldschool 




A shot of the engine bay some one else took at the meet. I wasn't planning on popping the hood but i was showing it to another s30 owner at the meet.



Put in a fuel pressure gauge, just for peace of mind really when im working on a problem. 


Big changes coming in the next couple of weeks, stay tuned!

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Joey, your thread gives me more encouragement and anticipation for mine! Definitely taking your advice from my thread.


Did you do the welding on your coilovers? Because those welds are nice haha. A shame we didn't talk earlier before you purchased

the Megan coilovers. I have a personal relationship with them and I get parts at cost  :thumbup:

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Joey, your thread gives me more encouragement and anticipation for mine! Definitely taking your advice from my thread.


Did you do the welding on your coilovers? Because those welds are nice haha. A shame we didn't talk earlier before you purchased

the Megan coilovers. I have a personal relationship with them and I get parts at cost :thumbup:

I'm glad ryyyyyy. I didn't do the welds, I got them professionally done. I was gonna try and do them myself but I didn't wanna learn on my suspension lol. And yea too bad we didn't talk earlier, a discount would have been nice :(


Updates comming soon :)

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I've been waiting 6 weeks for this day to finally arrive...



Mmmmm, sexy



Test fitting the rear, looks like I need to add a bit of camber



In the process of doing the front.



Front is done, this is a little teaser I posted on Instagram follow me @joey_j



This was all yesterday. Today I'm going to finish up the rear if I have the time. Hopefully ill be able to do a mini photoshoot once its all done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Forgot about updating the thread, oops



After cutting the rear fenders I find that they're already bonded with some sort of sealant. Lucky me :)



Here's how one ended up, these things are a mission to put on. I have to camber out the rear a bit to have the lip sit flush with the fender.


Pics of the final product, enjoy :)






I couldn't be happier. I'm in love with how it's sitting on these CCW's, it was worth every penny.

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  • 2 weeks later...

that z is super clean man! keep it up!

reminds me a lot of this guys 260z:



Thanks everyone!


@rbs30 yea I had seen his before. These have always been my dream wheels and finally got a car they'll work on. It was either this or works and works have a 4 month delivery time so that was out haha.


I went with a different finish for the face and I just realized its a 2+2. I had seen the car so much and never realized that.

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