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Noll

Project THESEUS: A '74 260z

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On 7/17/2020 at 10:07 AM, Noll said:

 

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.

 

Don't tear it down yet. Lots of ATF in the bores like others have suggested (I used kerosene). If you can get it to turn, it may well run (albeit with a new cam, lol). Clean the sump out and check the bottom end. If it's not too nasty and turns, new oil fixes lots of things. Better you found all that water before you tried to turn it over.

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16 hours ago, slowlearner said:

 

Don't tear it down yet. Lots of ATF in the bores like others have suggested (I used kerosene). If you can get it to turn, it may well run (albeit with a new cam, lol). Clean the sump out and check the bottom end. If it's not too nasty and turns, new oil fixes lots of things. Better you found all that water before you tried to turn it over.

 

Solid points and a good plan. My only trepidation is that there seems to be some dirt or something sitting on some of the pistons (hard to tell), wouldn't want to turn the engine over and have it become grinding paste basically as it seems difficult to remove with the head on.. There's no rush to get this engine in the car even if I decide to go with it, so will take it slow and make sure not to damage anything else.

 

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More welding today, as always.

Cleaned up the tension rod mount, and discovered a hole. Fixed this (no pic) and then welded on the new top layer I made:

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And mocked up the other main frame rail section to go back on. Will need to make one more patch here as can be seen.

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Just need to make that and a couple other small things and the new frame rail section can go on.

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What you're seeing on the piston is probably carbon. As long as the plugs weren't rusty and bad, it's probably fine. Once you lift the head, you're going down another rabbit hole.

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If there is debris in there, tape a drink straw into a vacuum hose and shove the straw down in there to suck it out.

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17 hours ago, slowlearner said:

What you're seeing on the piston is probably carbon. As long as the plugs weren't rusty and bad, it's probably fine. Once you lift the head, you're going down another rabbit hole.

True enough, I want to make sure there's nothing loose in there regardless though. The plugs were, uh, not great:

 

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15 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

If there is debris in there, tape a drink straw into a vacuum hose and shove the straw down in there to suck it out.

 

That's a very smart idea, thanks!

 

 

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Took a gamble on some side mirrors, and it seems to have paid off. Wanted something simple and classic that fit the look of the car while not being stupid money or over-styled. Hard to say no to these for 33$ shipped, and the quality in-person is actually rather nice. Just need to glue the mirrors to the backing for security as they're just a press-fit with the rubber. 

Plus, I get to say I have Lada parts on the car - these are the same as what are OEM to my Niva, just black instead of chrome. Realized one day that the styling was perfect so ordered this pair.

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I think it was your lada build that led me to looking at niva mirrors as well.  They seem like a great looking option and often way cheaper than anything else out there worth having.  Very nice.

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1 minute ago, Lockleaf said:

I think it was your lada build that led me to looking at niva mirrors as well.  They seem like a great looking option and often way cheaper than anything else out there worth having.  Very nice.

 

Yeah, they seem to be way better than they have any right to be for the price, and have that timeless look.
I really need to get back to the Niva, just as soon as the Z is on the road and reliable.

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Finally got around to cleaning my pigsty of a workbench.

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Properly bolted the taillights on for the first time and drilled the holes for the top trim clips:

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It is super nice to know that the rear end is DONE.

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A far cry from not that long ago:

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Wow! Good stuff.

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20 hours ago, Bleach said:

Amazing!

 

On 7/25/2020 at 4:05 AM, Draker said:

Wow! Good stuff.

 

Thanks guys! It doesn't always feel like I've done that much so it's good to look back once in a while and see how much has changed.

 

 

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More progress towards getting the framerail on - made yet another patch and welded the middle section back on that I had cut off for repair access.

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Probably going to redo the inner skin seam there, not at all happy with how visible it is. That patch visible in the background is also rather ugly (one of the first ones I did on the car), not sure how to go about fixing it now though as it's an awkward spot. Some filler and seam sealer should pretty it all up I suppose, it's structurally sound but ugly as-is.

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super-rough mockup of the frame rail, with any luck I should have maybe one more small patch to put in on the car before it can go on!

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And my next task once the frame rail is on, re-building the lower rad support.

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Edited by Noll
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Frame rail welded on today, and cleaned up:

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Patches on patches on patches:

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Welded in this patch for the inner skin, and made it all nice:

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Cleaned up the worst of the damage on the lower rad support - outer sections will be replaced obviously.

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And cleaned up the upper rad support and threw it all on for mockup.

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Made and welded in the inner skin section for the awkward-shaped bit by the firewall:

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Fixed up the subframe mount pockets:

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Started to patch the lower rad support and mocked it up again to make sure I wasn't messing anything up.

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and verified that the tow hooks actually bolt in to the new captive nut plates I made:

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 Fixed the lower crossmemember:

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Welded on:

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And mocked the upper section up again. Next up will be the inner wheel arch skins.

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Edited by Noll
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