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About wingwalker

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    walla walla, WA11
  1. My new 280Z project -- advice, please

    I will, once I get into it. Right now I'm in the research/learning phase. My printer is at this moment churning out pages and pages of the FSM for the '77 280Z. I also located a color electrical schematic and downloaded it onto a thumb-drive. Today I'll have it printed out as large as they can do so at Staples. I'll ask them to laminate it. When I started printing the manual I had the best part of a ream of paper on hand. I just loaded the last handful into the machine and expect to run out soon. This manual is about twice the volume of the Alfa Romeo FSM, and I thought it was complete! Wow.
  2. My new 280Z project -- advice, please

    Miles, your second car sounds about like what I have in mind--except for the manual transmission. I really am looking forward to an automatic, and since this car won't ever see a track, the car will do what I want it to do. I will indeed upgrade the suspension (within reason). I went too far, using racing stuff, in the Alfa I built. It corners as if on rails, but the ride is rough and we endure lots of road noise. The noise is partially due to the bare cockpit. I took out all the tar-like insulation stuff as part of my weight reduction mania (I saved a tad over 350 pounds over stock, and that includes a roll bar I added). The Z will have lots of noise deadening material, carpets (which the Alfa lacks) and comfortable seats instead of aluminum race seats. By the way, I see you live in Sacramento. We lived nearby in Roseville from 2002-04. It gets equally hot here in the summers, but evenings cool off quicker.
  3. My new 280Z project -- advice, please

    Miles, thank you. I studied the link to Scarab information, and it appears my engine sits a tad higher, which would be the reason the p.o. cut a hunk out of the hood. I guess I could pull those mounts and chop them down a bit, but I still need a transmission support. I think it makes sense to buy a kit so all the engineering is done. Then I can concentrate on all the other stuff that needs refurbishing. New Zed, thanks for the links. I'm pretty sure that the block casting says 5.7 LS. The S is fuzzy, so it may be something else. But the number off the other side does tell the story. I'm going to pull the engine and transmission once I get the shop cleared of other projects (my Alfa needs an oil change and some detailing before I put it on the market and I have an old wooden sailboat that is nearing completion of a major restore -- it was built in the '70s on a 1921 design-- so I want that out of there too). Hopefully by mid-spring I'll be working on the Z. I think I'll pull one of the heads to inspect the topside carefully, and pull the oil pan to put some Plastigauge on a few bearings and rods to see that it is okay down there. When I get to that point, I'll search the forum to determine what else I should look for. As for the transmission, I think all I can do is cross fingers and see how it performs. Once the engine is pulled, I'll paint and detail the engine bay and take care of wiring issues in there. And I'll tidy up the engine itself before dropping it back in -- probably onto new mounts.
  4. My new 280Z project -- advice, please

    Thanks Miles, I just ordered the book from Amazon, and I'll search for the FSM and schematics on the forum in a moment. When I tackled the Alfa, I downloaded the schematics to a thumb-drive and took them to Staples to be printed on 11x17 stock. Then I had them laminated. Made them far easier to read and kept the grime off. I tried getting shots of the transmission under the car, with very little success. I did get a photo of a front motor mount. I'll post it here for comments. Thanks for the help. All your points are solid, and I'll follow them. And I agree that restoration is in order on cars this old. I plan on spending a bit of money to recreate the feeling of "newness" I enjoyed in my first 280Z. I bought that one with just 21,000 miles on it and drove it three years before it was stolen and stripped. One of my favorite cars.
  5. My new 280Z project -- advice, please

    Thanks, Seattle Jester. I, too, am in the Pacific NW, but on the dry side (Walla Walla). We spent 20 years on your side, ten in Friday Harbor and ten more on Bainbridge Island. Now we enjoy a bit more sunshine. But it does get hot here in the summer, which is why I will install air conditioning. I indeed do know how to weld, and own both Mig and Acetylene rigs. I'll use the Mig to patch the two rust spots I have found (likely there will be more to be seen when I strip the paint off). I also have the JTR book, which has nice drawings of mount parts. But I'm in a hurry to get this project done, and I don't mind buying a good kit to get around all the problem-solving involved in DIY. (I have built a few hot rods and know just how much time gets eaten up figuring out the next move.) It would be nice to hear from some who have experience with various kit suppliers. I do want to retain an automatic transmission. I successfully rebuilt the Italian 5-speed in my Alfa. It now shifts smoothly and quick. Great on the track, but the Z will be a cruiser, and I think an auto will be just right. I'll slip a camera under the car and try to get a good shot of the transmission. I'll then post it, and we can go from there. If I am supposed to have this thread on the Gen III, IV and V portion of this site, is there a way for me to shift this over to it? Or is there an administrator who would do so?
  6. My new 280Z project -- advice, please

    Okay, it indeed should have been "bear with me..." For 40 years I made my living as a writer and likely never used that phrase -- since I do not recall an editor ever calling me on it. So, I learned something about the English language here on the forum. But not answers to the questions I asked. The drag timing slips definitely were obtained with the previous engine. The car as I bought it has never run on this engine, and the installation is far from complete. I got the information off the block in the bell-housing area. So I am in the wrong part of the forum. Is there an administrator who can move this to the proper area of the site? Or should I start over.
  7. I bought a '77 280Z from a young woman who had bought the project from someone else. She did not know much about it, but she had accumulated some nice parts (including a new, still-in-the-box 670cfm Holly carb and a new carpet kit). I will try to post some photos, but since I am new here, bare with me. My goal is this: I want a nice driver, one with plenty of get-up-and-go, but comfort and good looks are primary. I intend to put air conditioning in it and ensure the heater works well. I will take care of two rust spots I have found and then paint it. It has no bumpers, but i see there are thin glass or carbon-fiber aftermarket ones available that look better than stock bumpers. Seat upholstery will likely be leather, with perhaps heated seats and new foam. I will put a decent (but not obnoxious) sound system in it. And I will rebuild any suspensions components that show wear. Ditto on brakes. In other words, I am lot looking to build a beast, just a very nice looking car that is enjoyable to drive long distances. Apparently the engine sitting in the car is a second swap. There are drag timing slips in the glove box that show it once ran in the 12s, (the previous owner said with another engine), but I haven't checked the slips closely. The engine now in it looks very clean and has the following stuff cast on the bell-housing: GM 5.7LS on one side and 10243880 on the other. From the research I have tried to do, I think this tells us that it is a 350 built around 1996, a roller (which I guess refers to the rockers?) Vortec (whatever that tells us). I don't see any markings on the tranny bellhousing, but it is an automatic. Here are three questions: 1. Where do I look to determine which transmission it is? The car is not on stands, so I cannot get under it yet.(I need to move my last project out of the shop, a street/track Alfa Romeo Spider that I will sell to finance the 280Z build). 2. I was told by the young woman that there is no rear support for the tranny, that one needs to be fabricated. The front mounts appear to be an amateur fabrication, but rather cleanly done. The engine sits somewhat high and the distributor (a Pertronix Flame Thrower) sits about four inches from the firewall. Here comes the question. If I buy a kit from JTR or whatever other supllier you recommend, I can get the engine to sit lower and further back. But that will cost precious dollars (I would need the have the driveshaft shortened in addition to the kit cost). The car ran well enough to run at the drags, so one part of me thinks leave well enough alone. I am not concerned by the small amount of weight shift new mounts would give me, so should I leave it as is and fab a rear support for the tranny? Or spend money and extra time converting to one of the kits -- and if so, which? 3. The car came with its hood with a hole cut over the carb (which I hate) but a second hood was included. It has no louvers -- that is, it is smooth. Would that be a 240Z item, and if so, will it fit? Thanks (and now I will try to append a couple photos).