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Leon's Other 260Z


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#1 Leon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:35 AM

I finally have a few minutes to sit down and start a log for the "new" 260Z. It all started with JCCS last September...
 
I took a trip from the Bay Area to Long Beach in the orange 260Z in September. My fiancee came along and we made a vacation out of it, staying in San Luis Obispo for the weekend and driving to Long Beach and back on Saturday for JCCS. I tried to contact one of my favorite professors from college in order to meet up with him while we were in town, but unfortunately he got the email too late. He was my Ground Vehicle Dynamics professor as well as the adviser for our FSAE engine development senior project. During the early stages of the project, while discussed ideas with my teammates and browsing an old ICE textbook, a picture of SU carbs popped up and I exclaimed, "hey, those are the same carbs as my Z!" At the time, I still had my (first) blue 240Z and the red shell. My professor overheard this and it all began. As an aside, he's worked for Dan Gurney's All-American Racers and the Benetton-Renault F1 team, pretty damn awesome!
 
Back to the present...
 
In one of his emails, he mentioned that he was thinking of getting rid of his Z in order to make space for a new race car - an F2000 open-wheeler. Of course, my interest was piqued! He was the second owner and had owned the Z for 24 years, and it had gone through many moves, across the country, and even to the UK and back with him when he went to work for Benetton-Renault. It had also gone through a few colors: originally gold, "baby sh*t brown or depending on who you talk to 'caramel'", BMW BRG, and finally Jaguar BRG. He had the paint done at a high-end hot rod shop, a 2 stage base/clear job. While the paint was being done, so was the body repair, welding in new metal in the fender and rocker, and rust-proofing everything. It has an essentially brand-new interior, including a new Nissan dash (!), new weatherstripping, new brake and fuel hard-lines, new wheel bearings, rebuilt braking system, new or re-chromed bumpers, coilovers, fat front and rear ARBs, and on-and-on. Of course, it came with some extras including: ITS L24 with Rebello-prepped E31, Tilton flywheel, coated MSA 6-1 header with mandrel-bent exhaust, 260Z Euro tail lights, a copy of the '73 FSM, binders filled with records, etc. Clearly, it was tough for him to make the decision to sell it, but it's nice to keep it "in the family" so to say. Needless to say, I'm quite happy to have this Z!
 
Before leaving SLO, we had to hit the Pismo Dunes so we rented a pair of ATVs. I haven't had fun like that in a while! I had to make sure to represent (yes, I am wearing a pink helmet :P):
 
DSCN1635_zps863c7165-1_zps12a682d7.jpg
 
I rented a U-haul auto transport and borrowed my future in-laws' 4Runner to be the tow vehicle.
 
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Our fears were confirmed however, as by loading the Z ass-end first too much weight was placed on the trailer tongue. We unloaded the car and repositioned the trailer. The Z rolled out of the garage and into the street, probably the first time it has seen sun in years, if not close to a decade.
 
DSCN1638_zps611fc7f5.jpg
 
The most important job of all went to Melissa.
 
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We were all just hoping we wouldn't pull one of these: :lmao:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH3i1Y0yXIg
 
In the end, we prevailed!

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Getting some lunch at one of our favorite spots in SLO, Jaffa Cafe, before heading back home...
 
DSCN1642_zpsf42b38fd.jpg
 
Oooh, nice engine bay!
 
DSCN1643_zps7690d143.jpg
 
Damnit, who's the a-hole tailgating me!
 
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And she followed me all the way home. Can we keep her mom, please can we?
 
DSCN1647_zpsf04459bd.jpg
 
And a nice sunset over South San Jose
 
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It was a successful trip and now she lies, waiting in the garage.
 
DSCN1649_zpsc68ad356.jpg
 
More to come! :)


Edited by Leon, 05 July 2014 - 05:01 PM.


#2 JCan

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Leon -

 

WOW!  Nice car.  I noticed that the engine bay and I assume undercarriage looks AMAZING!  What a find!

 

 The 260 you have, new interior (including dash!) and under carriage metal means you can spend time on the fun stuff (HP, Gear ratios, Suspension)

 

What do you plan to do to it?



#3 Leon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

Leon -

 

WOW!  Nice car.  I noticed that the engine bay and I assume undercarriage looks AMAZING!  What a find!

 

 The 260 you have, new interior (including dash!) and under carriage metal means you can spend time on the fun stuff (HP, Gear ratios, Suspension)

 

What do you plan to do to it?

 

Thanks, Jim! Undercarriage is very clean, it's just how I like my Zs: rust-less! :)

 

You're on my wavelength here, nice lead in...

 

It has coilovers with Tokico HPs so I may swap the dampers out if I don't like how they pair with the springs. The PO said it was a really nice autoX setup. It also has poly bushings, 1" Front - 3/4" rear ARBs, and a completely rebuilt stock brake system. It's essentially the perfect setup for me so I'm leaving the suspension as-is for now.

 

For gearing, I got the stock 4-speed and a mystery 5-speed along with it, plus I've got another pair of 5-speeds sitting in the garage so there are plenty of transmissions to go around! My plan is to pair up a late-ZX 5-speed with a 3.9 ratio STi R180 CLSD along with Coffey's axle adapters. The car has an open R180 in it, but I haven't checked whether it's a 3.36 or 3.54. I do have a 4.375 R200 CLSD laying around, but that is slated to go into the orange Z.

 

There is no engine or trans installed currently, as you can see, so I can weigh my engine options here. The plan is an L28 with either the Rebello E31 head that came with the car, build one of the E88s I have sitting around, or find a P90 to shave. Throw in an Isky reground cam, lightweight flywheel, 6-1 header, triples and I'm ready to go! Not sure yet what I plan to do for ignition, I might just stick with a ZX distributor as I'm not eager to run Megajolt on this one.

 

Speaking of triples, I just picked up another set (thanks to Hung for the tip)!

 

DSCN1651_zps4fd6cbbc.jpg

 

At this point, I need to figure out which head and block I want to use and send them to a machine shop (any recommendations besides Rebello, SF Bay Area folks?). Then, besides the cam, I have everything else ready to go. :D

 

The vision for it is a nice driver that's somewhat quiet and comfortable, yet still be at home carving up backroads and killing cones. The goal is to have it done for my wedding in August, but hopefully a lot sooner. But let's be honest here, we all know how that goes...

 

"Go to bed, we're getting married tomorrow!!!"

 

"Ok-ok-ok, I'm almost done, just gotta tighten a few bolts!"



#4 JCan

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

Sounds like you have just about everything you need to complete the car... and because of it I do not have any suggestions to add.

 

The car I am building is for my son, and because of it, I purposely didn't add a lot of horsepower.  

 

However, a 2.8L block with fuel injection and a turbocharger with waste gate set at 14-16 psi really has some get up and go.

 

I look forward to reading about your progress!

 

PS

Congratulations on your wedding!  However after I was married, I lost about 50% of what I call "peer pressure points" (having influence over your wife) so I say "get the car finished at all cost, prior to the wedding!!!"  --- GRIN



#5 Leon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

Sounds like you have just about everything you need to complete the car... and because of it I do not have any suggestions to add.

 

The car I am building is for my son, and because of it, I purposely didn't add a lot of horsepower.  

 

However, a 2.8L block with fuel injection and a turbocharger with waste gate set at 14-16 psi really has some get up and go.

 

I look forward to reading about your progress!

 

PS

Congratulations on your wedding!  However after I was married, I lost about 50% of what I call "peer pressure points" (having influence over your wife) so I say "get the car finished at all cost, prior to the wedding!!!"  --- GRIN

 

Jim, I'm really liking the progress of your build as well. It's well thought out. With that said, I don't know if I'd trust my kid (whenever that happens...) with a car like that!

 

Ha! "Peer perssure points", I like that!

 

I asked her, "so can the Z be in the wedding?" She replied with a "yes", of course, she likes the car and has been very supportive of my addiction (she's the reason I got my first 240Z!). I replied with, "well then I'll just work it into the wedding budget..." :lmao:

 

She wasn't laughing...

 

I'll keep you guys updated!



#6 EvilC

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:08 PM

Great story and very nice car, you sure know how to find them ;-)

 

 

Can't wait to see of you get this done in a few months and I sure you will be able to. I need to get filters like you have on your webers. So much to do!

 

Keep us updated!


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#7 Leon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:39 PM

Great story and very nice car, you sure know how to find them :wink:

 

 

Can't wait to see of you get this done in a few months and I sure you will be able to. I need to get filters like you have on your webers. So much to do!

 

Keep us updated!

 

Thanks Clive! I'm actually curious about the filters, so I'll be going to the dyno when it's ready. :)

 

Hope your Z is progressing well!



#8 Gollum

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:52 PM

For a good machine shop that's not robello, look for the machine shop that's on main street in walnut creek. I can't remember the name, but I can look them up if you can't find them. They don't have a ton of datsun experience, but they're one of the best subie porters in the world, and ironically majority of the work is actually in the diesel field.

 

All the guys there are absolutely awesome, and the owner REALLY knows his stuff and is fun to talk with. I have no doubt he won't just take good care of you and your head, but charge you fairly while doing a great job. I haven't found any other bay area shops I'd trust with a datsun head other than these guys. And remember, because they're heavy into the diesel stuff, they understand how to treat I6 heads which tend to warp differently than shorter V8 or I4 heads.


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#9 Leon

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

For a good machine shop that's not robello, look for the machine shop that's on main street in walnut creek. I can't remember the name, but I can look them up if you can't find them. They don't have a ton of datsun experience, but they're one of the best subie porters in the world, and ironically majority of the work is actually in the diesel field.
 
All the guys there are absolutely awesome, and the owner REALLY knows his stuff and is fun to talk with. I have no doubt he won't just take good care of you and your head, but charge you fairly while doing a great job. I haven't found any other bay area shops I'd trust with a datsun head other than these guys. And remember, because they're heavy into the diesel stuff, they understand how to treat I6 heads which tend to warp differently than shorter V8 or I4 heads.


Sweet, thanks for the tip, Nate!

Safe to assume it's these guys?



#10 Leon

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:31 PM

Now that I think about it, I can stop by Gotelli's as well, they're much closer to my neighborhood, and get some recommendations. Maybe check in with Ditos Motors to see who they use too. i know they rebuild engines and that's where I go to dyno the Z.



#11 Perfect240z

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

Well as long as you know what you want done, the machine shop I took my other head to is good as long as you know what you want, the price was so good.  They have limitations because of the age and how much room they have in the shop, and one of the guys used to work on Datsun's.  I was going to go to a shop over here in livermore called terry tinney performance.  They do classic race cars and seem t be really good, but the work I was outta my price at the time since I had a made a lot less back then.  http://www.terrytinney.com/



#12 Perfect240z

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 08:03 PM

Let me know what you don't plan to use :)



#13 Leon

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

Thanks for the tip, Alex! ;)



#14 calpoly-z

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:58 AM

Leon, 

 

Ground vehicle dynamics was a very enjoyable course. Did you ever take single track design with that same prof (completely forgot his name, and but now that you mentioned it i do recall he had a datsun too). I thought single track was a better class but mostly because I actually got to build something. Loved it! I built an electric scooter. With suspension! It was bad ass. Glad you picked up his car and it stayed in the Cal Poly family. 


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Currently: Finally running/driving after 4 yrs down. Tuning and buttoning up all the random loose ends left over from a long term project.

#15 Leon

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:08 AM

Leon, 

 

Ground vehicle dynamics was a very enjoyable course. Did you ever take single track design with that same prof (completely forgot his name, and but now that you mentioned it i do recall he had a datsun too). I thought single track was a better class but mostly because I actually got to build something. Loved it! I built an electric scooter. With suspension! It was bad ass. Glad you picked up his car and it stayed in the Cal Poly family. 

 

Hey Alec!

 

Unfortunately, I couldn't fit in single track into my schedule at the time (prof is "Fab" BTW :)). I LOVED ground vehicle dynamics. I'm glad the Z is staying in the family as well!

 

Wish I could've build a bike, you still have the scooter? Looks like Texas is treating you well, man. I'm sure you're enjoying your house and 370Z!



#16 Gollum

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:28 PM


Rankin Performance Machinemore infotransparent.png‎
 
800 Alhambra Avenue
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 372-8112
 
 
Tada :-) Good people.

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#17 Leon

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Ah, it was in Martinez! Thanks for the rec! This is great info for Bay Area guys.

 

I did some research yesterday, myself. Made a trip to Gotelli's (local speed shop, love that place!) to pick up some Redline for the S2000's oil change. My baby only gets "the best". :roll:

 

I BS'd around with the guys and asked for a local shop recommendation that does OHC engines. They recommended Baca's Auto Machine and "Stevie" specifically. They said Baca's does a bunch of Honda engines and pretty much anything else you can think of. It was just 10 min away in South SF so I drove down to the shop and man, it definitely looks like it's been around for 50+ years (current owner later told me the shop opened in '68)!

 

I spoke with Stevie, he's a cool guy and seems like he knows his way around this stuff. What gave me extra confidence was that he's done L-series work before and there was an L block sitting right by my feet, waiting to be worked on! I was quoted $500 for bottom end machining (that's magnaflux/cleaning, boring, crank turning, rod resizing... some of this may not be needed) and $750 for bottom end machining plus assembly. I'd love to assemble my own block, but time is of the essence here! I'll leave myself plenty of time to put the rest of the engine together and into the Z.

 

Now, the only problem is, the crank is still in SLO! I had to leave quite a few parts behind in SLO that we couldn't fit into the 4Runner, Outback, or the Z. Specifically, another block, couple cranks, couple of air dams, etc.

 

I'll keep you all updated, and hopefully this shop comes through!



#18 JCan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

Leon.  You did not mention what I believe is the most important thing about the bottom end....  Balancing>!!@#$~!!!!!!!   How good is this shop at balancing the crank/flywheel/rods/pistons/pressure plate???  My brother and I always focused on ensuring our engines could easily wrap to 8krpm without too much vibration. (of course you know that one of the great things about the L6 is that it can be perfectly balanced at all frequencies and does not need a "harmonic balancer"),

 

Back in the day, my brothers car, L28/mild cam/webbers/11:1 compression, ran on 97 octane, and would smoke lots o cars just because we had such a wide and flat torque curve (leveraging RPM).  Each time we rebuilt it, the car seemed to be smoother and smoother.

 

I am sure you are doing this, but if not, you might forgo having the shop assemble your motor so you can spend your money having the shop balance the key components.

 

Also...  what compression are you looking for?  what head / piston combinations are you planning? 



#19 Leon

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:39 PM

Leon.  You did not mention what I believe is the most important thing about the bottom end....  Balancing>!!@#$~!!!!!!!   How good is this shop at balancing the crank/flywheel/rods/pistons/pressure plate???  My brother and I always focused on ensuring our engines could easily wrap to 8krpm without too much vibration. (of course you know that one of the great things about the L6 is that it can be perfectly balanced at all frequencies and does not need a "harmonic balancer"),

 

Back in the day, my brothers car, L28/mild cam/webbers/11:1 compression, ran on 97 octane, and would smoke lots o cars just because we had such a wide and flat torque curve (leveraging RPM).  Each time we rebuilt it, the car seemed to be smoother and smoother.

 

I am sure you are doing this, but if not, you might forgo having the shop assemble your motor so you can spend your money having the shop balance the key components.

 

Also...  what compression are you looking for?  what head / piston combinations are you planning? 

 

Jim, thanks for the tips! This is actually my first full engine rebuild, so I'm starting fresh here. Balancing is a great thing to mention and something I forgot to ask about. D'oh! If they can balance the crank, ensure consistent rod and piston weights and balance the clutch/flywheel/PP, we'll be in business!

 

Compression will be CA pump gas friendly, i.e. no more than 10:1. It'll be a flat-top L28 with either the modified E31 (depending on chamber size, haven't cc'd yet) or a cut-down P90. I'm more worried about clean ports and big valves than maximizing compression.



#20 JCan

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 01:09 PM

Leon.  They are not going to balance your engine unless you ask for it.   V8 engines can not be balanced throughout the rpm range and require a harmonic balancer, this pully sits on the front of the crankshaft and is offset and designed to make your engine run smooth at one RPM.  on american engines I believe the RPM is maybe 4k?  If you balance your L28 and they do a good job you will be amazed at how comfortable it is to run your engine to 7k+rpms

 

(remember HP = torque * RPM, a flat torque curve out to 5k if you can get it yields what I consider to be as close to a variable displacement engine at 2krpm=x1HP

 

The crank and flywheel assembly need to be done dynamically.  Piston and rods are done statically.  I checked the piston weights, rod weight (big side and small side) and they were accurate to 1 gram. (I have a digital cooking scale I "borrowed" from my wife when she was away :)

 

Don't be afraid to assemble the bottom end yourself. It is easy and you can check clearances with plasti-gauge and some calipers (digital ones are really inexpensive now).

 

If you want to talk, give me a call.  858 204 9422.






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