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Project THESEUS: A '74 260z


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Got most of the rest of the valves out today, barring 2 exhaust valves that I can't do with the style of compressor I have. due to how close they are to the cam towers. Will need to get a different type of compressor or otherwise figure something out for those.

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Also discovered this, which is going to be fun. I don't think it was caused by anything I did, but it's a possibility. New valve guide ordered, apparently they are very much doable to replace at home which is good.

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Valve seats all  look good.

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Got a bunch of misc stuff done the past few days.

Got some foam on the under-fender cushion-things:

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Inside of the front fenders painted properly and coated with stonechip coating:

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Got the block mating surface cleaned up, and found out that I'm pretty sure the engine has been rebuilt at some point. There are numbers stamped next to each cylinder which I assume is how many thou it's been over-bored or similar?

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instead of spending 90+ dollars on a nice spring compressor, I bought a 16$(12USD) C-clamp from our equivalent of Harbor Freight and welded some bits of pipe to it. Worked out great.

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15 hours ago, Lockleaf said:

Is that a princess auto special?  Nicely done regardless.

 

indeed, and thanks! So far it works flawlessly for what I need it to do, and a while lot cheaper than buying something purpose-built.

 

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More misc. stuff today. Pulled off the thermostat housing and was pleasantly surprised at how clean everything looks inside.

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Cleaned it and the fuel pump up, not aiming for show quality but got the grease and corrosion off.

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Cleaned and painted the hood hinges and hatch strut mounts:

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And cleaned/stripped/scuffed/painted the inside of the hatch black. I know factory the whole hatch is body color, but the rest of the interior is black and I wanted it to match.

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25 minutes ago, Noll said:

Pulled off the thermostat housing and was pleasantly surprised at how clean everything looks inside.

Noll, not sure if you are aware because you're a young guy but all those old gaskets were asbestos so try and take them off with a blade and never use a wire wheel.

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7 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

Noll, not sure if you are aware because you're a young guy but all those old gaskets were asbestos so try and take them off with a blade and never use a wire wheel.

 

Very good point, hadn't considered that! I did take it off with a razor blade when I did it earlier, then got the small remnants off with a wire wheel - just the little gooey fragments that were glued onto the metal at that point though. Should have avoided the worst of it that way but going forward will be extra careful with any original-looking gaskets now I know.

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47 minutes ago, grannyknot said:

Noll, not sure if you are aware because you're a young guy but all those old gaskets were asbestos so try and take them off with a blade and never use a wire wheel.

 

Same with the brakes.

 

Wetting things down while cleaning the grunge off is also a good idea. Wash the brake assemblies off with brake cleaner. When removing the gaskets do it in a sink or a shallow tub with water. Soak the gaskets for a bit to soften the bond between the gasket and metal, then remove while keeping airborne bits to a minimum.

 

It is a good practice with current materials too, as we haven't had 100 years of exposure yet to reveal how harmful they are.

 

Many things automotive are hazardous to our health, paints, adhesives, lubricants, coolant, refrigerant, residual schmutz from stuff wearing. Take precautions to minimize exposure, live a healthy life and enjoy your Datsuns.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/17/2021 at 6:01 PM, Racer X 69 said:

 

Same with the brakes.

 

Wetting things down while cleaning the grunge off is also a good idea. Wash the brake assemblies off with brake cleaner. When removing the gaskets do it in a sink or a shallow tub with water. Soak the gaskets for a bit to soften the bond between the gasket and metal, then remove while keeping airborne bits to a minimum.

 

It is a good practice with current materials too, as we haven't had 100 years of exposure yet to reveal how harmful they are.

 

Many things automotive are hazardous to our health, paints, adhesives, lubricants, coolant, refrigerant, residual schmutz from stuff wearing. Take precautions to minimize exposure, live a healthy life and enjoy your Datsuns.


oh for sure, I want to live long enough to enjoy my hobbies for a long while yet 🙂 .never hurts to be safe.

 

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Nothing major today, got the punch that I needed and was able to drive out the broken valve guide with no issues. Getting the new one in will be fun I'm sure, but I'll make it work.

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Edited by Noll
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Before you try to insert the new guide cool it first  (If you can get dry ice that works well)  with ice. It will go in easier.

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On 7/16/2021 at 6:54 PM, Noll said:

Got the block mating surface cleaned up, and found out that I'm pretty sure the engine has been rebuilt at some point. There are numbers stamped next to each cylinder which I assume is how many thou it's been over-bored or similar?
 

 

The number stamped next to the cylinders refer to the diameter matching of the pistons to be inserted at the time of fierst build.

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26 minutes ago, jagman said:

Before you try to insert the new guide cool it first  (If you can get dry ice that works well)  with ice. It will go in easier.

 

I don't know of any good local source for dry ice unfortunately, was going to stick the guide in the freezer overnight though. Figured that will help a little at least.

 

13 minutes ago, MikeRL411 said:

 

The number stamped next to the cylinders refer to the diameter matching of the pistons to be inserted at the time of first build.

 

Good to know, learn something every day 🙂 . Guess this block has never been skimmed then.

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Take the racks out of your oven and see if an L6 head will prop up in there. Set to 375F and the the valve guide on the tool in the freezer. FSM says 400F.

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15 hours ago, Noll said:

 

I don't know of any good local source for dry ice unfortunately, was going to stick the guide in the freezer overnight though. Figured that will help a little at least.

I get dry ice from my local fire extinguisher shop. 

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thanks all for the suggestions/tips! Did some more research on replacing the guides, and an old forum thread contained some info about just putting them in with an air hammer (apparently this was a common practice with the iron guides at the machine shop this guy worked at). Figured I'd give it a go as I have 4 guides in case I mess up. Made a really ugly but functional air hammer bit to use with the punch from my previous post (the socket is so the hammer can't jump off sideways and damage the head):

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It worked a treat, new guide in down to the stopper ring in a couple seconds. Probably looks a tad high in pics as I removed the spring seat washers for now, but it's as far in as it can be.

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Next up, clean the exhaust valves, finish cleaning the head exterior, lap all the valves (intake and exhaust), make sure I get the head 100% clean, and put it all back together.

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Finished cleaning up the head today. All that's left now is to lap the valves, make sure the top end is fully clean and free of any tiny debris, and put it all back together.

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Will aim to get all that done pretty soon and the engine back together so I can get back to making a mess in the garage (welding/grinding/paint removal) without worrying about contaminating the head.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, ShutterMeShort said:

Holy cow man....  The amount of work put into this project!!!!   I bow to you!  I really can't wait to see it finished!   Soooo much metal work....

 

Many thanks, and me too, will be super happy when it's on the road 🙂 . That it has been, sometimes I wonder why I got myself into this mess lol. Happily 99% of the welding is over with now, doors and some little fender bits are all that should remain. Been one heck of a good way to learn how to MIG though, can't complain in that regard haha.

 

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More head work tonight.

Lapped all the valves, was a bit worried that there could possibly be some misalignment in the guide i replaced and I'd have to get that seat re-ground but happily it was dead on:

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All valves done and in. I guess they must have given me one valve from a different batch as #2 intake has a different face than the rest, but all other specs are the same.

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New valve seals too, no reason not to while it's apart for the price they cost.

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Had to rig up a slightly sketchy setup to use my clamp with the head the right way up to install the keepers, but I was careful and it all worked out fine. All valve springs are in.

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next up is cam, rocker arms, and lash adjustment (I'll have to re-do the lash when hot after install I realize), and I can bolt the head back on once I make sure the block side of things is good to go too.

Edited by Noll
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Cam and rocker arms in, and lash adjusted. Just need to make sure the block is 100% ready to go too and slap it all back together.

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A lot more engine stuff today. Head on, torqued, and timing done. The timing was dead easy as I knew it was correct when I took everything apart so I just paint markered' the correct location of everything.

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New crank seal in and inserted to a different depth than the previous one to hopefully solve the leak issue.

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Got the fuel  pump, water neck, fan, etc all on, and temporarily threw on the intake/header to see how it will look. I'm rather happy with the end result, not gonna lie.

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Perfect? Nah, but it's a hell of a lot better than when I started. New gaskets, head refurbished, new HG, carbs rebuilt, intake/engine/head cleaned and degreased, etc etc.


A local friend wants to buy my ZX 5spd so I'm going to use that money to get the 240sx transmission conversion complete, should be a good way to future-proof and i get a short-shifter etc.

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Made some progress on bodywork, spent too many hours sanding the heck out of the engine bay in prep for high build primer etc.

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Also got all the dents in the roof fixed. Before pic here, hit each one with a file to see the exact location of the high spots and then some careful body hammer work got them to a point I'm happy with. No after pic because it doesn't really show up well in pics.

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Was going to make my own mount to make the universal washer fluid bottle I have bolt up in the stock location, but found a CAD file for an adapter on thingiverse that someone had already designed, so I just 3d-printed that instead. Works just as it should, one more thing off the list.

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Got a bunch done today but it was a lot of stuff that doesn't look like terribly much progress despite being so.

Started by stripping down the hatch channels on the body because they were full of old sealant etc. Got everything removed and applied seam sealer on all the joins.

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Seam sealer'd the engine bay too, so that's out of the way now which is nice.

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started doing a bunch of necessary exterior work too. Not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but I've come to the conclusion that if I fully strip/prep/paint the car there's no way I'll be driving it before the snow hits (both for money/time reasons), so I'm just sealing everything up well enough that I can rock it as-is for a while. Some exceptions obviously, hatch area and engine bay are getting paint as taking stuff apart again in the future would just be more work for no reason.

Roof coated and looking pretty decent with all the dents tapped out.

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And did a lot of pretty much invisible work to the exterior of the shell. sprayed a bunch of filler primer on areas that had previously been welded to eliminate pinholes that would trap water, then scuffed once dry and went over it with the zinc primer (my Niva sat outside all winter with just that stuff on a bunch of bare metal and had zero surface rust so it should do the job just fine here for a while).

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I don't think I'll paint the doorjambs now as they're not that much of a pain to pull apart later by comparison to the hatch seals. Fenders/hood need final work and the hatch needs some bodywork, but nothing super major. Still need to figure out what I'm doing for/with doors.

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13 hours ago, Racer X 69 said:

Coming along, and really looking so much better than what you started with.

 

Awesome!

 

That's for sure; it might be a bit raggedy visually still but hey, I'll take that over rust any day 🙂 . Getting closer and closer to road worthy.

 

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More done today, started by sealing the area behind the taillights and painting it black. Partly to seal it better but mostly so there isn't any light-colored paint visible through the gaps in the taillight trim panels.

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With that done, moved on to some filler application. The stuff on the roof joins is probably eventually coming off eventually when I paint for real, just wanted to smooth it up a bit for now.

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From there, painted a bunch of stuff. rear bumper mounts (still need to make the fronts), swaybar mounts (had to make one of the flat plates as it was MIA), etc.

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Pulled the wiper motor stuff apart to check it; I'm dumb and didn't take a picture but the motor was in immaculate condition with all original zinc coating intact so I just put it back together after painting the bracket, motor bag (just do it blends in in the cowl), and re-wrapping the wire loom.

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Got the bearing I need for the ZX5spd bellhousing with the 240sx trans today too. This was a surprising pain to find as rockauto has the wrong size bearing listed for all the Z/zx transmissions, but I figured out the bearing spec in the end and got one from a local bearing house. Will remove the shields as it's internal to the transmission and doesn't need to be sealed. In case it helps anyone in the future the bearing spec (trade number? idk, it doesn't match the actual dimensions) is 63/22/C3 .

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