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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z


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On 6/30/2020 at 10:20 PM, Noll said:

decide if I should leave the stitch-welds as-is or make one continuous bead. Thoughts?

Leave it with just the stitch welds, a continuous bead is stiffer but can lead to stress cracks.

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On 7/4/2020 at 11:35 PM, EDM620 said:

I had one of those on my '77 200SX a few decades ago. Like you say, they're pretty heavy. I think there is a metal plate embedded in the bottom of the spoiler to you might be able to screw directly into it and not have to rely on adhesive alone.

 

This one just has a void underneath, but if I wanted too I'm sure I could glue in a plate with some nuts  to make life a bit easier.

 

 

On 7/5/2020 at 6:04 PM, grannyknot said:

Leave it with just the stitch welds, a continuous bead is stiffer but can lead to stress cracks.

 

That's what I was leaning towards for that reason, thanks for the confirmation! I need to find that balance of improving stuff without inadvertently causing future issues.

 

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Stupid hot today and I didn't feel like welding, so I tore down the front suspension/steering components and cleaned a lot of it up. Happily, the rack and inner tie rods have zero play or weirdness going on, so I don't feel the need to rebuild or replace anything. Paint, new outer tie rods and locking nuts, and it'll be good to go.

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front LCAs pictured are the ones I got used with a bunch of goodies already on them - They're not rusty so I'll just be scuffing/painting them. Not sure exactly on colour yet for the suspension components, thinking possibly gunmetal or gold? The front x-member and steering rack will definitely remain black though.

46 years of dirt, grease, and rust had to go somewhere, and hoo boy did it ever.

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Took half an hour to get myself even remotely clean again.

I couldn't for the life of me get the strut gland nuts off, even with a pipe wrench. Anyone know if I NEED the originals, or if the ones that came with my new strut inserts will work? If the latter I'll probably weld a bar on the old ones for leverage + heat, but if I need to save them I think I'll bring them to a local garage and pay them a few bucks to get it all apart for me.

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New ones always worked for me.. however be aware the depth of the nut might be different. Won't know until you pull it out  I guess. I'd just remove them at all costs, and if the new ones don't work.. It's easy to find a replacement, or just mod the new ones to work. I am willing to bet the new ones will work though,

 

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1 hour ago, Draker said:

New ones always worked for me.. however be aware the depth of the nut might be different. Won't know until you pull it out  I guess. I'd just remove them at all costs, and if the new ones don't work.. It's easy to find a replacement, or just mod the new ones to work. I am willing to bet the new ones will work though,

 

 

 True enough! I'm thinking the plan of action will be to buy 4 of the biggest hex nuts I have an impact socket for, cut the old shock shafts as low as possible and weld the hex nuts on the strut nuts. 450 ft/lb should get them off, I hope. Just need to be careful with the welding heat in relation to the strut inserts, as I don't actually think they're blown.

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21 minutes ago, Noll said:

 

 True enough! I'm thinking the plan of action will be to buy 4 of the biggest hex nuts I have an impact socket for, cut the old shock shafts as low as possible and weld the hex nuts on the strut nuts. 450 ft/lb should get them off, I hope. Just need to be careful with the welding heat in relation to the strut inserts, as I don't actually think they're blown.

 

I bought the biggest pipe wrench (24") they had at harbor freight for these nuts. They can be really difficult!

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1 minute ago, Draker said:

 

I bought the biggest pipe wrench (24") they had at harbor freight for these nuts. They can be really difficult!

 

Yeah, I can imagine. With this method if the impact doesn't work I can use a breaker bar on the welded-on nuts as a backup. When I was using the pipe wrench earlier it was spinning the strut in the vice, so that's a bit of a concern if the impact fails though, will need to figure out how to better clamp it.

 

It held up great when I was using the impact to remove the nut that held the tophats on though lol, misplaced my spring compressor so I just aimed the spring at the wall and utilized safety squints. Went well, didn't launch the tophats or bearings too far.

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17 hours ago, Noll said:

It held up great when I was using the impact to remove the nut that held the tophats on though lol, misplaced my spring compressor so I just aimed the spring at the wall and utilized safety squints. Went well, didn't launch the tophats or bearings too far.

That's the only way to take them apart, after doing it a few times you can put your left hand on the top hat and slow it down as it pops off.

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8 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

That's absolutely terrifying sounding.

 

Ehh, not too bad. The spring wasn't about to go anywhere itself, just expended it's energy shooting the tophat a little ways.

 

1 hour ago, grannyknot said:

That's the only way to take them apart, after doing it a few times you can put your left hand on the top hat and slow it down as it pops off.

 

It definitely made things easier and faster, that's for sure!  Might have that a go eventually, for now keeping all my fleshy bits out of the way haha.

 

 

39 minutes ago, slowlearner said:

Sorry dude, but that last pic of your grubby face had me think of scooby snacks! 🤣

 

Lol!

 

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Had another go at removing the nuts, no joy. Just started spinning the struts in the vice no matter how tight it all was. Previous to this pic I also welded a nut on, and the impact gun did absolutely nothing. I have a few more things I'll try, and someone on FB has offered me a set of cutoff tubes for the cost of shipping as a backup plan which is awesome (I'm assuming they cut for BC coils or similar).

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Also degreased + primed + painted the suspension components I had previously stripped. Black for anything visible in the engine bay, hammered silver for suspension components.

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Found this pic from back near the start of the build while doing tech support on a family member's phone. Whole lot has changed since then, in many ways.

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17 minutes ago, Noll said:

 

Had another go at removing the nuts, no joy. Just started spinning the struts in the vice no matter how tight it all was. Previous to this pic I also welded a nut on, and the impact gun did absolutely nothing. I have a few more things I'll try

The best way I have found is re-install the hub, bolt it back on to the wheel so you can stand on the tire bring out the Oxy/Acetylene torch and heat the top and gland nut until they are smoking hot, let it cool off, spray it down with penetrant and it should come right off.

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20 minutes ago, Draker said:

Maybe try to heat the outside of the tube?

 

18 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

The best way I have found is re-install the hub, bolt it back on to the wheel so you can stand on the tire bring out the Oxy/Acetylene torch and heat the top and gland nut until they are smoking hot, let it cool off, spray it down with penetrant and it should come right off.

 

Good point about using the tire for leverage!  Yeah, I'm thinking I'll whip up a acetone/atf mix in a paint can, leave the struts upside-down in it overnight, and then give that all a go.

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Steering rack refresh is (nearly) complete! For a DIY job I'm pretty happy with it. Will be taking the boots off again before final assembly to re-grease everything properly.

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VS before:

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Got the front LCAs back together, just together for now so I don't lose anything. I'll be cleaning up the hardware etc before final assembly.

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I also got my new dataplates back from engraving. Pretty happy with how they came out for under 30 bucks. Didn't want to paint everything and put the old grotty ones back on, and the doorjamb plate (not pictured) was painted-over and generally totally trashed.

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2 hours ago, BrothersGarage said:

Where did you get those awesome plates for under $30? They look great!

 

I should have clarified, sorry lol. The engraving work was under 30CAD, the plates themselves are about 50$ each. Got them here: https://www.zeddsaver.com/collections/datsun-z-car-id-plates

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8 hours ago, MikeRL411 said:

 

But they are the wrong size.

 

How so? Comparing against my old ones and the mount holes on the car, and the only difference I can see is that the rivet holes on the repro door jamb plate are maybe 2mm more widely spaced than the OEM one. The physical sizes of the plates are dead on.

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Lot more done this weekend. Cut off the d/s frame rail:

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Like the other side, This wonderful mess will need to be taken care of:

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This was one of the first sections I did on the car, and looking back on it from a year + later of constant work on the car, it falls a bit short of the quality I'm ok with now (even though it's hidden and will be covered in bedliner). Some imperfections are whatever as long as it's strong, but the lower curve of the floor wasn't going to do as it was.

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As such, I cut a bunch out, did some welding, cut more out, etc:

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Shifted my focus to the new frame rail. Fixed the rear end (no pics), and welded up a new front section for the tow hook mount.

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Next up will be to make and weld up new bits for the front floor flange, fix the section of frame rail still attached to the car, and then weld the 'new' segment on. After that, on to the rad support!

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On 7/14/2020 at 11:36 PM, BrothersGarage said:

Props for doubling down and re-doing the parts even though no one would see them. 

 

Thanks! I know nobody but me (and those reading this thread, I suppose) will know the difference, but I want to make sure to do it right the first time. I plan to keep this car for the long haul, and don't want to be thinking about the stuff I could have done better lol. Obviously there are many areas that are far from perfect, but it's all either the best of my ability at the time I did it, or stuff that I know I won't mind too much when I look back on it in the future.

 

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Found a bunch of ZX parts for sale for the equivalent of 350USD. so I jumped on it, and towed it all home yesterday. 5spd, L28 f54/p79 with all wiring and accessories, and 4 matching wheels for that price seemed super good. Plan is to sell everything I don't need or want and ideally end up with an effectively free transmission that will be plug-and-play while I eventually get my 240sx trans bellhousing machined.

Ready for cleanup.

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a lot of scrubbing later - not perfect, but good as it'll get without me taking all the ancillaries off.

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This is where the bad started. Breaker bar on the crank wouldn't turn it, so I popped open the oil pan drain. The pan itself seems remarkably good, still has paint on it!

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2.5 liters of terrible lay inside though. Intake and exhaust were not in an orientation where water could get in, so my guess is headgasket maybe? Engine seems to have been stored totally dry for 10+ years which is unfortunate.

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Not the end of the world though, I got the lot for the 5spd, and anything else was a bonus. even if the block is a total boat anchor I can still sell stuff and with any luck end up with a free transmission for my trouble.

Speaking of, the trans took a bit of persuading, but came off without incident. Needs a good wire-wheeling and general cleanup, but shifts perfectly and seems in fine working condition as far as I can see.

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The flywheel side, ehh, not so much.

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Popped the valve cover off expecting the worst, and was pleasantly surprised. Surface rust on the cam from sitting, but otherwise pretty immaculate. Going to try to bathe the cam in white vinegar for a while to see if it can be revived maybe.

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I'm assuming the crank and rods are total garbage, but I'll tear it all down anyway - maybe I got super lucky and it  just needs bearings and a polish. In any case, I havent' torn down a l-series yet, so it'll be a good opportunity to learn.

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1 hour ago, Noll said:

I plan to keep this car for the long haul, and don't want to be thinking about the stuff I could have done better lol. Obviously there are many areas that are far from perfect, but it's all either the best of my ability at the time I did it, or stuff that I know I won't mind too much when I look back on it in the future.


Which is the prefect attitude to have when taking on a project such as this. Major props. 

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4 hours ago, Noll said:

Going to try to bathe the cam in white vinegar for a while to see if it can be revived maybe.

Have you considered electrolysis? Its pretty easy to set up and advantage it gets into tight spots. Slow like the vinegar bath but use a non-automatic battery charger and you'll see action. I'm attaching a pic of the sludge my electrolysis bath pulled from my brake backing plates and a few other bits. I'm curious if adding vibration to the bath might speed things up.

 

Convert sodium bi-carb into sodium carbonate by baking at 350 degrees - the powder literally boils as it converts. Once done, store it in an air-tight container. If any moisture gets re-absorbed, simply bake it again to re-purify.

 

Odds are pretty good that the engine is seized, but again, soaking the cylinders with penetrating oil (or ATF) plus crank bearings/journals just might get things moving.

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On 7/16/2020 at 9:46 PM, BrothersGarage said:


Which is the prefect attitude to have when taking on a project such as this. Major props. 

 

Thanks! it's only metal after all, I can always re-do stuff again if I want but would rather save myself the hassle before it's all painted.

 

On 7/17/2020 at 12:27 AM, EDM620 said:

Have you considered electrolysis? Its pretty easy to set up and advantage it gets into tight spots. Slow like the vinegar bath but use a non-automatic battery charger and you'll see action. I'm attaching a pic of the sludge my electrolysis bath pulled from my brake backing plates and a few other bits. I'm curious if adding vibration to the bath might speed things up.

 

Convert sodium bi-carb into sodium carbonate by baking at 350 degrees - the powder literally boils as it converts. Once done, store it in an air-tight container. If any moisture gets re-absorbed, simply bake it again to re-purify.

 

Odds are pretty good that the engine is seized, but again, soaking the cylinders with penetrating oil (or ATF) plus crank bearings/journals just might get things moving.

rust sludge.JPG

 

Good idea, will definitely give that a shot! And yeah, definitely going to pull the head and pan to make sure there's nothing untoward and clean out any junk, then new bearings etc if it's all salvageable.

 

 

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Got the firewall mostly welded back up. Ran out of welding gas, so finishing touches in a day or two, the on to the frame rail.

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