Thanks guys. I'm trying to document some of the fun I'm having over here a bit more, and not just focus on the 280Z... but just look at it. I love driving it, and I'm really looking forward to getting the exhaust fabricated.
I just had a look at Brainerd International Raceway, looks like a cool place! Will keep an eye out to see if there's any fun looking public events.
I went to a car show as well recently, I've got a ton of pictures from that to go through next. And some more wildlife.
I had the car booked in to have the new manifold fitted and exhaust fabricated. I didn't want anything too loud, so opted for a 2.5" stainless system with two mufflers.
Unfortunately the exhaust shop didn't reconnect the coolant sensor, leading to a poor running, impossible to drive car. The exhaust shop couldn't work out what happened, so I ended up having to get it towed to another garage and fixed.
Here's some shots of the finished product:
And what exhaust post would be complete without a video?
The idle on the car has been sticking on deceleration, which a bit of research indicates the Boost Control Deceleration Device is a likely culprit. I scored a replacement throttle body from eBay for $15:
The BCDD is the valve on the bottom. Three screws later:
And fitted (it's in there, I promise):
That appears to have cured the deceleration issue. I removed the dashpot as well to avoid any interference that it might cause. Unfortunately now the throttle is sticking open a little bit, and I'm kicking myself for not cleaning the throttle body out whilst it was off the car.
The 280Z burned about 1L of oil across 500 miles, and a quick Google indicated that the problem is likely the little rubber valve stem seals are old and have perished.
$18 later and I had twelve new stem seals and thanks to my lovely parents sending me a OHC valve spring compressor tool, and a set of instructions borrowed from the internet.
First thing's first, cam cover off:
Everything looked in good shape, so time to look at getting the springs out:
Pull all the plugs to make turning the engine easier:
Notice anything unusual? Spark plug 3 is different to the rest! So I ordered a replacement, and it turns out that #3 is correct, and the other five are the wrong type. Great. The HT lead also fell apart when I took #5 off, so a replacement set of them was ordered as well.
Carrying on - get the first piston at TDC (the cam lobes point to roughly 11 and 1) so the valves are as far up as possible.
Put the car in fourth to stop the engine moving, and then shove about 4 feet of rope in the spark plug hole. This is what's going to keep the pistons in place.
Take the retaining springs off the rocker arms:
Then using a 14mm and 17mm spanner, back off the locking nuts and screw the lifters down:
Then compress the valve spring with a screwdriver and take off the rocker arms:
This also exposes the lash pads, which come off nice and easily with a magnet tool. Everything removed so far:
Attach the valve spring compressor:
Push down and the collets are exposed for removal. Again, the magnet tool makes pulling them out easy:
That will let you pull the valve springs off, and the valve stem seals pop right off:
And there we go! You push the new seals on, and then just put everything back together. Took seven hours to do the entire engine. Will see if it's fixed the oil burning issue over the next few weeks.
I mentioned earlier that one of the HT leads basically fell apart, so I got some nice NGK replacements - turns out the clip that holds them in place is missing, so I'll try and source a replacement.
August has flown by in a flurry of storms, rain, an eclipse, a few bike rides, ball games, breweries, and a Vikings preseason game. Oh, and a trouble free month of motoring with the 280Z!
Rather than try and write up everything, I'm just going to dump a load of pictures from the month with a few descriptions. Most (if not all) of these are from my phone.
First up was a 56 mile bike ride to Stillwater. There's trail that runs out there from about 6 miles East of here, so it's a nice quiet ride. I also got a new saddle and shorts that made a HUGE difference to comfort.
Obviously some light refreshment was required after the ride there:
Also a slightly shorter ride (46 miles) out to Enki brewing after work one night:
Some random shots of downtown through the variable weather.
Bit of rain doesn't stop the pedal pubs!
Summer beer dabbler across in St. Paul:
I was lucky enough to catch a Vikings pre-season game against the 49ers.
Oh, and an Eclipse - we got 83% of the sun covered here, and about 99% cloud coverage.
Well it finally happened. The Datsun broke down just across the border in Wisconsin.
I pulled over at a scenic overlook, and the car wouldn't fire back up. AAA were called, and arrived in 40 minutes. The car was trailered back to my apartment where I figured I'd give myself until Sunday to see if I could fix it myself. This happened on a Tuesday.
Let the investigations begin!
Quickly discovered my new shiny fuel pump was working OK, gas was getting to the fuel rail. Air filter was old, but removing it made no difference. Hooked a timing light up to #1 spark plug and bingo - no spark.
The previous owner had pointed out the electronic ignition kit he'd retro fitted, to make getting parts for it slightly easier. It replaces the 1970s transistor ignition circuit, which is hard to get hold of and unreliable.
I figured I'd replace the cheapest bit first, which was the HEI unit that he'd fitted. It looked like a cheap one, but they were heavily used by GM through the 90s so even the most expensive AC Delco ones are still $30.
You can see the heatsink that was fitted at the same time - 4 pieces of thin aluminium. The thermal paste on the HEI was also bone dry and probably not doing anything.
So new parts ordered:
Temporarily fitted the new HEI on the old heatsink, and huzzah! Car fired right up.
So new thermal paste applied:
I figured whilst I was there, I'd upgrade the ignition coil as I didn't know anything about how old it was. It was still using the original ballast resistor by the looks of it. So replaced with a MSD Blaster 2, which was another $45:
I can't really tell if that made a difference, but I think a little of the stumble at high revolutions has gone.
I'm also fully aware this is a 40 year old car, and I should be grateful that I've only had one breakdown across the whole summer (which was ironically because of something that had been upgraded). To make diagnosing anything in the future a little easier, I also added an in-line 100PSI fuel pressure gauge.
Drove the car to work and back today, and everything seems right back to normal. Celebrated with a car wash.
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2017 23:42:59 GMT by joeytalent
There hasn't been much Datsun activity recently, due to travelling back to the UK. I dropped my car off with Nathan at Metal in Motion to have the rust at the rear end fixed, and the rear bumper shaved.
Picked it up today and grabbed some quick pictures. Here's a before:
And some after:
This is the rust patch that was also repaired - this went through all three metal skins:
Renewed the rear light seals and the boot shut seal - and there was also three seals missing which are now fitted.
Absolutely over the moon with how it came out, exactly as I had imagined!
Very nice job on the rear end, really tidies it up a lot.
Yeah, I'm over the moon with it. Wish I had the talent, skill and patience to do it myself, but sometimes it's best to just accept your limitations and hand it over to a pro. I'm much happier with the mechanical side of stuff!
What better way to get over the excesses of Thanksgiving than a hike through a state park on a nice crisp November day?
We headed to Minneopa, a place I'd been a couple of years ago, where I took this image of the upper falls:
The weather was a little colder this time, and the trees a little barer. We got closer to the lower falls:
One thing I completely missed in 2015 is the Bison Drive. This is a 2.5 mile road through a stretch of prairie where there's a small herd of bison roaming wild.
There's a cool radio station you can tune into as you drive down the road, and listen to facts about the herd and conservation efforts. The bison have right of way, regardless of how big your truck is.
We ended up pretty close.
At the end of the road, there's an old mill called Seppmann Mill, built in 1862 by a German immigrant.
Winter is definitely here in Minnesota. We've been hitting under -30°C on a regular basis, and as the car is stored in some unheated storage, progress has been slow. I've been slowly picking up parts from sales and stuff to fit when it gets a bit warmer.
That hasn't stopped me visiting the car and starting it up every couple of weeks to make sure everything is still good.
Sure, it's a little dusty, but it's been surviving winter just fine. It's actually fired up first time every visit.
First up with the purchases - I got a replacement dashboard from Facebook for a steal, with the eventual plan of tidying up all the cracks and refinishing it.
Next up, I finally fixed the crooked steering wheel. I managed to do the hub up so tight that I had to use a hub puller, which involved pulling off a bit more interior than expected.
Also, I finally took stock of some of the parts that came with the car:
I've never been happy with the driver's seat in the car, as it has a metal bar right at the base of my spine, which makes long journeys less than pleasant. I've always had a thing for fixed bucket seats, and wanted something period correct that I could fit without modifying the rails in the car. Enter Planted Technology:
They make brackets that bolt into the original locations in a car, and then provide mounting points for aftermarket rails. Initially, they sent me the wrong bracket, but quickly resolved their mistake.
I test fitted the bracket in the car, and it lines up perfectly with the bolt holes from the original seats. No pictures of that, as it was freezing and I couldn't feel my fingers.
Next up, we'll need a seat.
I ordered a Cobra Classic RS, made in the UK, along with some universal sliders. I'm 99% sure this will fit in the car - I might lose a little leg room, but I'm not tall enough for that to be a concern.
The build quality of the seat is excellent, and it is very comfortable.
For the price, and limited room available in the cockpit, I think this is a perfect seat for the 280Z.
However, I ran into a problem when it came to fitting the Planted Technology seat bracket - the holes are about 1/8" off lining up with the Cobra rails.
I contacted Planted Technology with the photos, and they discovered that they have an error in their design for these particular adapters. It's not a big deal for me, as I can just drill the hole out in the rail to fit.
Next time, hopefully I'll be putting the seats in the car!