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dmoralesbello

280Z Restomod Progress

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I had an electrical mishap after "finishing" my engine bay. I inadvertently pinched a cable (in front and below the windshield cowl) while tightening one of the brackets that I powder coated on the firewall. I caused a short circuit which toasted a dozen or so wires in the harness. It took me a couple of months to figure out the cause of the damage and then replace all the scorched cables with ones form a donor harness I was lucky enough to find on Ebay. Definitely not a fun job.

The thing is that although the fusible links heated up and melted the insulation during the short circuit, they never broke! Electricity continued to flow and burn stuff until I was able to yank the positive terminal from the battery. It was about 30 seconds of pure panic and smoke. Thankfully no fire!

After repairing the wire loom and testing everything I decided to get rid of the fusible links and replace them with a modern fuse block and Maxi fuses (as discussed in other posts). Hopefully this setup will grant me better protection in the future. Here's a pic.

PS: The fuse holder above the fuse block is for my stereo equipment.

 

 

Fuse block replacement for fusible links.jpg

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38 minutes ago, dmoralesbello said:

The thing is that although the fusible links heated up and melted the insulation during the short circuit, they never broke! Electricity continued to flow and burn stuff until I was able to yank the positive terminal from the battery.

 

Sounds like they weren't really fusible links.  Do you know that they were the factory originals or were they aftermarket?

 

Could also be that somebody used the wrong links.  There's been a discussion over the years about the use of the red links in place of the brown ones.  Many years ago somebody decided that the brown ones were actually red and that they were 50 amp capacity instead of, probably, 30 amp.  This red link information has been propagated since then even though the FSM clearly shows different, with a smaller gauge wire for the Brown (Br) links.  Maybe somebody finally got "burned" by it.

 

Bummer.

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Forgot to say that if you had the incorrect fusible link because of that bad information and replaced the link with a fuse of the same amp rating, then you'll be in the same situation.  You haven't really improved anything.

 

I see three 50A fuses in your picture.  Those are way too high.  Compare the fusible link wire sizes in the FSM and you'll see that the Brown links can't be 50 amp, if the Green links are 40 amp.  Brown is smaller than Green.

 

Here's the info from the 1978 FSM that I'm talking about and the other info about "red" links.  That were never used.  I don't know how it got this way but Nissan's FSM's were the same for many years, showing Brown as the smallest link, and never showing a Red one.  This topic was one of my first big discussions on a Z forum.  Never did get a good answer.  The atlanticz page even shows wire size, that doesn't match the FSM's.

 

http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/fusiblelinks/index.html

 

image.png.c908127a11d41c390fa4f20268caa726.png

 

image.png.e8360afee35152b9c2aaab01efe030df.png

Edited by NewZed

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14 hours ago, NewZed said:

Forgot to say that if you had the incorrect fusible link because of that bad information and replaced the link with a fuse of the same amp rating, then you'll be in the same situation.  You haven't really improved anything.

 

I see three 50A fuses in your picture.  Those are way too high.  Compare the fusible link wire sizes in the FSM and you'll see that the Brown links can't be 50 amp, if the Green links are 40 amp.  Brown is smaller than Green.

 

Here's the info from the 1978 FSM that I'm talking about and the other info about "red" links.  That were never used.  I don't know how it got this way but Nissan's FSM's were the same for many years, showing Brown as the smallest link, and never showing a Red one.  This topic was one of my first big discussions on a Z forum.  Never did get a good answer.  The atlanticz page even shows wire size, that doesn't match the FSM's.

 

http://www.atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/fusiblelinks/index.html

 

image.png.c908127a11d41c390fa4f20268caa726.png

 

image.png.e8360afee35152b9c2aaab01efe030df.png

I think you hit the nail on the head. The fusible links I had before were put there by the previous owner and I assumed them to be correct. I seem to be making a similar mistake now with the Maxifuses as you point out. Should I be using 30 amp fuses to replace the three 50 amp ones and a 50amp instead of the 80 amp fuse? 

In

I'm very thankful for your input and correcting my error. 

Dave

Edited by dmoralesbello

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It's hard to say.  Because it's not clear that the conversion from wire size to amps is correct.  If you assume that the conversion is right, then actually a 20 amp might be right. 

 

0.3 mm is 43% of .69.  43% of 50 amps is 22 amps.  Or, 60% of the green link, 0.3/0.5, gives 24 amps.  So, 20 or 25 seems right.

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Following the logic that I'm best protected with the lowest amp rating fuse that will allow the circuit to work under max load, I did a little experimentation.

I started with the recommended 80 amp fuse in the 1 position which worked fine. I then tried a 60 amp fuse which is still holding steady. In the other 3 positions I had started with 50 amp fuses (as I'm sure you remember) and went down to 30 amp fuses which have held steady also. I was hoping to go down to 25 amp fuses and give those a try but I haven't found any at the parts stores around me. I did however come upon a single 20 amp fuse I so I placed it in the 4 position (that powers my interior lights which are all LEDs) and that has held as well. If I come upon 25 amp Maxifuses I will give those a try in positions 2 and 3 and see how that goes but here's a pic of the current setup which seems to be working well.  

 

280Z Maxifuse Block to replace Fusible Links.jpg

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On 4/27/2018 at 9:16 PM, dmoralesbello said:

I haven't posted anything since last August but I was busy with many other life projects (like getting ready to retire!! ). I finally did a little playing with the Z and installed a Datsun Compe JDM steering wheel. It looks so much more fitting than the Momo Nero steering wheel I had on there before! It just looks proper.

I also installed a "custom" fire extinguisher behind the passenger seat with an ABS plastic fabricated base hidden under the carpeting. Looks very clean and slick.

Finally, I finished work on my Retrosound radio faceplate to make it look like the OEM unit by adding lettering above the knobs,

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Hey Dave, good to see you are still making cool changes to your Z.  I totally agree on the Steering wheel.  I thought about getting one for my 280 but ended up doing a 240 wheel which I really like.  Can you share more info on your fire extinguisher set-up?  Thanks!

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On 10/2/2018 at 5:43 PM, dmoralesbello said:

Following the logic that I'm best protected with the lowest amp rating fuse that will allow the circuit to work under max load, I did a little experimentation.

I started with the recommended 80 amp fuse in the 1 position which worked fine. I then tried a 60 amp fuse which is still holding steady. In the other 3 positions I had started with 50 amp fuses (as I'm sure you remember) and went down to 30 amp fuses which have held steady also. I was hoping to go down to 25 amp fuses and give those a try but I haven't found any at the parts stores around me. I did however come upon a single 20 amp fuse I so I placed it in the 4 position (that powers my interior lights which are all LEDs) and that has held as well. If I come upon 25 amp Maxifuses I will give those a try in positions 2 and 3 and see how that goes but here's a pic of the current setup which seems to be working well.  

 

 

 

Proper fuse selection is based on the current rating of the wire in the circuits, so the wire can be protected in case of a short to ground.  You are certainly picking your fuse correctly by finding the lowest rated part that won't blow in your circuit, but keep in mind fuses wear out with use, either through surges when the power is applied or through temperature rise by using the accessories in the circuits.  Just to make sure you don't oversize your fuse, here is a guide for maximum fuse size by wire gauge:

 

AWG 12 - fuse up to 20A

AWG 10 - fuse up to 30A

AWG 8 - fuse up to 50A

 

http://bdfuses.com/fusesnwires.php

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On 10/4/2018 at 11:11 PM, Jaymanbikes said:

Hey Dave, good to see you are still making cool changes to your Z.  I totally agree on the Steering wheel.  I thought about getting one for my 280 but ended up doing a 240 wheel which I really like.  Can you share more info on your fire extinguisher set-up?  Thanks!

Nice to touch base with you once again buddy! The cool thing about the extinguisher is the base to which it attaches. I wasn't about to drill holes in the floors and wanted the extinguisher right behind the passenger seat where I could really reach it if necessary. I used a 4" x 12" piece of 3mm black ABS plastic and marked the 3 spots where the supplied extinguisher bracket would attach to. I placed 3 rivnuts in those spots on the ABS plate. I then covered the back of the ABS with heavy duty 3M double stick tape, lifted a bit of the carpet behind the passenger seat and stuck the base exactly where I wanted it. I replaced the carpet over the base and marked the positions of the rivnuts on the base with a pick through the carpet, placed the metal bracket  that came with the extinguisher over the carpet covering the fabricated ABS plate and fixed it with 3 properly sized screws that would not extend past the rivnuts so as not to damage the car floor. I finally placed the extinguisher into it's bracket. The set up holds the extinguisher solidly in place and "no floors were drilled during the making of this film", 😉😂

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Realized that with the new fuse block setup the hood vent right above it will allow water (rain or otherwise) to come into contact with the electricals which are not as water resistant as the old fusible link arrangement. I decided to mirror the shape of the driver side hood vent liner to place under the passenger side vent. I modified it somewhat so that hot air outflow isn't restricted too much but will still prevent water from dripping directly onto the fuse block. So far I've completed the cardboard template. I will transfer that onto sheet metal soon and then paint.

 

Passenger side hood vent liner template 1.jpg

Passenger side hood vent liner template 2.jpg

Passenger side hood vent liner template 3.jpg

Passenger side hood vent liner template 4.jpg

Passenger side hood vent liner template 5.jpg

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What an awesome build, love the color and all the custom/special touches you incorporated.  Your build is inspirational...I just started the restomod on my ‘78, it was a basket case so I have a long way to go.  I have a thread on here for mine...but I am mostly doing rust repairs right not.  Thanks for your work building this thread, it’s motivating!

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21 hours ago, Jethoncho said:

What an awesome build, love the color and all the custom/special touches you incorporated.  Your build is inspirational...I just started the restomod on my ‘78, it was a basket case so I have a long way to go.  I have a thread on here for mine...but I am mostly doing rust repairs right not.  Thanks for your work building this thread, it’s motivating!

Thank you so much for appreciating all the thought and work that have gone into my Z. Put a similar amount of work into your build and I'm sure it'll turn out just as good or better than mine. I'll be following your posts so keep 'em coming fast and furious. Great luck! 

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In an effort to dial back the mod in restomod in the cabin and bring back a bit more of the vintage look I went back to green illumination on my dials (still LED, of course), and threaded my original shift knob to fit the short-shifter shaft. Along with the Datsun Comp steering wheel I had already changed a few weeks back I think everything comes together nicely now and looks more like a stock '78 280Z.

 

 

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