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dmoralesbello

280Z Restomod Progress

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Man, that turned out beautiful! I wish I could see it in person in the sunlight! Hate to think what your restoration must have cost in both dollars and elbo grease but, the result is well worth it! Good job!

chris

Thanks Chris. I really don't want to add up the costs because the whole idea of the build was to get back what I had in '77. It's not meant to be sold but instead to be handed down to my 13 year old son who was actually pretty involved in the build so monetary value is (at this time) unimportant to me. The elbow grease was definitely considerable, as was the mental work in deciding the direction we should go in and the parts to replace. The fun factor has been immense and I'm hoping it will continue as (as you all know better than me) the build is never really over.

Thanks for the appreciation.

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Just picked up a retrosound system myself. Did you get the chrome trim plate through retrosound, or did you somehow do it yourself? They only offered me the black version.

The trim plate you get from Retrosound is the simple flat plastic plate that you must cut down to the correct shape using their markings. I used that plate, trimmed it carefully, beveled the edges and applied 1/8" chrome pinstriping tape in the same pattern as the OEM plate. Make sure you degrease the plate well so the pinstriping tape sticks and make your angled cuts with a fresh X-acto knife. I also decided to use the Blaupunkt style front knobs (from Retrosound) and kept the black rear knobs that I got in the original kit. The chrome trim on the new front knobs picks up on the chrome accents on the trim plate and makes for the final vintage look.

Edited by dmoralesbello

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Update on the Zpower steering kit: So it turns out that all I had to do was check the rheostat that controls how much assist you get from the unit. I had turned it all the way counterclockwise which in fact turns the unit off. I played with it today as I went for a 40 mile drive and ended up setting it at the highest assist level (fully clockwise). At this setting parking is a breeze and you just have to adapt to the new feel at highway speeds. Not a big deal really. I do feel a small amount of play in the steering but I'm not sure what to attribute it to. In conclusion it is an important improvement if the car is not meant for racing or autocross but for cruising instead.

Edited by dmoralesbello

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As I said before, my son and I took the Z out on it's maiden run to Ocean Drive in South Beach where competition with exotic supercars like Ferraris, Lambos, Mercs, RRs etc. is rampant. The reaction from passersby to the Z was incredible. Many people gave thumbs up while others pointed and took pics and videos. I really never expected this much attention and it seems my 13 year old boy now believes this is a pretty cool car.

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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NCchris    10

 my son and I took the Z out on it's maiden run to Ocean Drive in South Beach where competition with exotic supercars like Ferraris, Lambos, Mercs, RRs etc.

Bet the guys driving the supercars had no clue what you and your son were rollin, much less the dedication required to (re)build and maintain the Z!

As I said earlier, good job!

chris

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Drove it to my daughter's house today (around 100 miles round trip). Biggest difference from before the paint job and interior work was that the shimmy in the front end at about 70 MPH is totally gone. I had not been able to get rid of that shaking in spite of balancing the front tires and having the front end tightened and aligned a couple of times. No additional work was done on the front end so I think the only probable cure to the shimmy is the presence of the new front air dam. Quite the unexpected surprise.

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Wow, thats a really nice resto job.  Good job!

Thanks Greeko.

In the meantime I've been doing a little work cleaning up the engine bay: new spark plug cables, heat guard and general cleaning. Re-plating the fuel rail and numerous other items, painting the valve cover, ceramic coating the plenum and headers will be done in late February but here's what it looks like so far.

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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So, while taking advantage of some vacation time I've also been upgrading the sound system. Added a great little amplifier that fits easily under the carpet toward the firewall (almost behind the radio) and are fabricating two ABS plates that will hold 5 1/4 inch enclosed speakers under the dash (totally unseen).

Here's an initial pic of the right side ABS panel and speaker. More to follow once all the details are worked out since I haven't seen this audio set up before on this forum.

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Starting with the Retrosound radio which I discussed previously in this topic, the sound upgrade is complete and and I'm enjoying balanced, crisp highs and mids  from the front and side speakers with excellent bass response form the rear 6x9 Infinity speakers. It's being all pumped from a very compact Miura amplifier (80 watts x 4 channels) which we located beneath the carpeting to the right side of the console (close to the firewall) and is quite undetectable. The front speakers are McClaren Prosound 5 inch sealed basket units which are closed in the rear (not vented like usual speakers) so there's no need to add a box or enclosure making them very easy to fit in tight places. We fabricated custom panels out of 1/4 inch black ABS plastic (with similar texture to the OEM dash) into which the 2 front speakers were fixed and tucked away under each side of the dash. Although ideally high frequency sound should be directed toward the listener, in virtue of keeping everything "invisible", we had to count on the power and quality of the front under dash speakers to bounce sound off the floor. It has proven to work very well. I also decided to remove the rear speaker grills and make them less noticeable by simply covering them with black speaker fabric.

Here are a few pics to illustrate the set up:

 Speakers and ABS panel:

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Driver and passenger side mocked up under the dash (before speaker grill installed):

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Amplifier location:

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One of two USB ports in the glove box:

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Overview of the final install:

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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While we were doing the front speaker install I decided to add a little "ambient lighting" under the dash, directed at the floor. Used 2 self adhering strips of 20 LEDS which I picked up at Pep Boys. On the driver's side I placed them on the pedal support and on the passenger side under the glove box. I tapped into the lighting to the AC control box so it all lights up when I turn on my lights. Looks pretty cool together with the LED lighting I had set up before in the instrument panel and was very simple to do.

White LED instrument lighting:

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Instrument lighting plus "ambient" lighting under the dash:

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Better pic without flash (although it looks whiter and not as bluish in real life):

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Moving on to the exhaust. I had eliminated the resonator 2 weeks ago and left the muffler the PO had installed. Nice unit from MSA I think but I wanted a bit more sound, deeper, sportier. Ended up choosing a cylindrical unit from Magnaflow which looks cool, is quite a bit lighter and gives me a sportier, louder sound without any additional noise in the cabin. No drone at cruising speeds either. I'm not too crazy about the way the tube that leads from the back of the muffler to the exhaust tip looks with the welds so I'll probably paint it Hi Temp black this weekend.

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Here it is painted with ultra hi temp black:

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Edited by dmoralesbello

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After the time/ effort/ cost of the paint job and since the car is going to be driven I decided to get clear film paint protection applied to the airdam, fenders, hood, access doors and cowl. The stuff is invisible and "self healing" and has a lifetime warranty. Should prevent most minor paint chips. Also refreshed my window tints with ceramic film which cuts down the effects of UV rays on the interior and can be practically clear as was applied on the windshield itself. Definitely a dash saver.

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Finally got some good shots with a real camera of the Z. I'm so happy with the way it's turning out. Next phase of the project is plating (zinc, ceramic, etc) different components in the engine and engine bay which I'll start on in late February. For now it's just ride and enjoy time for my son and I.

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