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78 810 Goon project :-)


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Been a Z-car guy for 25+ years, and have always had at least one Z-car during that time. (currently 71 240z with 6.0 LS turbo). I have been toying with the idea of a new project for a while and been negotiating off and on for over a year for this automatic 78 810 Wagon. I picked it up yesterday and am excited to have this blank canvass. Previous owner has had it sitting in his car lot for a few years, and he said that it ran and drove well prior to being parked. It has a little rust bubbling along the base of the front doors, front fenders and hood. The underside is clean, engine bay is clean, and the interior is as well. Battery was dead, but jumped it and it tried to start on 3+ year old gas. As this is my first post, I cannot post pics, but will once my account is unlocked.



short term...

I'll likely get it running as is and shake it out to see what I've got.


longer term... engine swap of course...

Prior to swapping the LS engine in my 240Z, I ran a built 2JZGTE engine and TH400 auto trans for years, so... the Aristo 2JZGTE engine is front sump and a natural choice for me. I'll likely do a rear end swap as well, leaning toward a Ford 8.8, as it is already a live axle, and gear ratio's are plentiful. Transmission is up in the air, depending on whether I want to go to a manual or stick with an auto. I am no stranger to engine swaps, and am not afraid to break the welder out :-)

I do not want to make it a race car, but a fun driver with a/c that I can take on a road trip anywhere.

I use the same screen name on HybridZ and zcar.com (incase you recognize it from somewhere), but will likely spend my time with this project here on this forum.

Regards, Mike

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Thanks guys,

No pics yet, but put in some fresh gas and a battery and she fired up and purred like a kitten... Even did a little 1st gear burnout and both wheels spun... LOL... I found that both brake lights were burnt out from being stuck on (just a minor adjustment of the sensor under the steering column), everything besides the stock radio seems to work, even the a/c... :-)

I have some leaky brake issues which is to be expected after sitting for so long, so that must be addressed before it can be driven further than my lane, but so far, so good ...

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  • 10 months later...

Minor update ...The goon is now registered,PA inspected and insured (cost me $10 a year to add it to my collector car insurance)... LOL

I replaced rear wheel cylinders, brake shoes, front pads, and did a small 20 mile loop to see what other bugs are lurking.

It purred like a kitten for the first 18 miles and then I had to limp home the last 2 due to what I suspect is low fuel pressure. The pump was getting louder as I drove, so I ordered a fuel filter to change that out first and see if it has any crud in it, and a Walbro GSL392 inline pump as I'll need to upgrade the fuel pump in the future anyway. The rear bumper was badly rusted on the passengers side, but I came across some nice thin bumpers from an Opel Kadett wagon in a junkyard that measure like they'll work just fine. I replace the rusty rear one already and fabbed up some brackets. It looks pretty good, except you can see the spare tire holder under the car that the big clunky bumper mostly covers. I took a couple pics of how the bumper swap turned out, but haven't figured how to post them yet...

Next...front bumper, and some wheels and tires...gotta get rid of these ugly steelies...thinking some RotaB 16x7 with a 205/45/16 or a 15x7 205/50/15 should fit. I wanted to do a 2" drop as well, but not sure about tire fitment afterward...

Also still planning on the 2jz swap, but can't decide if I want to stick with the front sump and existing suspension or pick up a 280zx parts car and attempt to swap the steering and crossmember to go to a rear sump...

Funny, I had it out one day, and ran by the hardware store to pick something up and already had a guy say that he didn't realize Datsun made wagons, and he didn't think he'd ever seen one..:

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