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juxsa

'78 280Z resto mod

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juxsa    0

Hello everyone!!! I picked up a 1978 5 speed 280Z on 4-7-16 and I will use this thread to document the build of it. Unsure of mileage. It reads 58k miles on the odo. Frame rails were solid and there was no rust located under the battery. Looks like it was repainted back in the 90's to fire engine red. It was a decent job too because there is no over spray that I could see and the gaskets and trim were all clean. There is some cancer on the body panels but nothing severe. I will need to get a replacement hatch though. Not sure if I can save that. Interior is pretty damn clean too. Tach, gas, temp, and clock are not functioning currently. The door cards are in good shape except that one of the prior owners cut holes and placed some aftermarket speakers there  :(


 


It was not firing on all 6 cylinders when I went to look at it. Due to that I talked the guy down 20% off his asking price. Drove it home and on the weekend replaced one of the fuel injector plugs and BOOM all 6 cylinders fire and she purrs like a kitten. Changed the oil with 15w40 Rotella and the 51515 oil filter. Got her on some jack stands and made a quick "to buy" list. Ordered a full poly bushing kit, outer tie rods, ball joints, inner shift boot, and a shifter pin/bushing kit. Going to wait to see how that affects everything before I replace shocks and springs. Brakes are really good already so I will keep the front's stock but will be converting the rears to Disc for convenience.  My buddy has a stock airbox I'm going to repaint and put back in to get rid of that cone filter.


 


What am I planning on doing with her? Build up the L28? Swap a different motor? I have thought a little about these things but that is a bridge that is many miles down the road. I know I want to lower her an inch or so then paint her white w/ blacked out trim and louvers... But my first priorities are getting everything tightened up, replace some sheet metal, and learn how to to drive it. I have never owned a RWD sports car so I am very excited. 


 


I have had several project cars before. a 69 Buick LeSabre, 65 Ford Galaxie Wagon, an 88 Shelby CSXT that was a monster. But I was never able to finish any of them. Now that I am a few years older, learned some patience, and also now have a job that pays better than minimum wage I can take something like this on. It also helps that my buddy (a big Z nut who has owned and built up several of them before) is going to be building up a 280Z he recently picked up and restoring his series 1 240z so he will be able to show me the tricks of the trade.


 


Here is a link to my google photo album:  https://goo.gl/photos/ak4WHsZKSp1v7WB47


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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Sand blasted and painted a spare set of control arms and TC rods the other weekend and installed/replaced bushings in the front end of the car this past Friday and Saturday.  I also took off the hideous aftermarket wheels with dry rotted tires and replaced them with a used but almost new set of wheels and tires. 15in Rota Grid V wheels and 225x50 Tires. Due to rain I didn't get to drive the car until Tuesday and dear god the thing handles great. I turn the wheel and the car goes where I point it!!! My little A4 Audi handles great too especially after all the suspension and drive train work I've done to it but this 40 year old Japanese sports car is a completely different beast. 

 

I still need to replace the rest of the bushings in the back half of the car but doing the front end made a world of difference. The L28 is so damn stout doing any sort of motor swap is now written off. I'll be replacing the rest of the bushings after I get my rear calipers and steel brake lines.

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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Well over the weekend I pulled the drivers side fender off. I was worried about what I might find but fortunately the rust is minimal. Over the week I'm going to clean off the rust and paint the inner fender.

 

I also have a weird problem where the headlights blow the 30amp fuse (not sure what size it's supposed to be cause that's what was there when I got it) where the fuse links are in the engine bay. The low beams work even with the blown fuse it's only the brights that cause the short.

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juxsa    0

Took the passenger side fender off the car yesterday. Again I was glad to see that there was hardly any rust. There were two spots under the battery tray that will require a patch but not a big deal. I was just glad to see that the rust was minimal. I also got from the Zstore a bunch of the little rubber pieces that go on the fender and hood area as well as a new leather shift boot to replace the dry rotted one.Over the weekend the plan is to put the patches in, wire wheel brush any remaining surface rust off, and then primer and paint the inner fenders.

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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Did a little more metal work over the last several days. The weather hasn't been great with rain off and on so progress has been slow. Did a couple of patches around the inner fender and cut out a rotten piece on the drivers side where the windshield wiper goes. Lucky for me my buddy has a couple of S30 cars that I can cut on to get things I need. I also picked up a 77 S30 parts car that has solid outer fenders and a damn near perfect hatch.

 

I need to use some seam sealer on the patches and a few more hours cleaning then I will be able to primer and paint the inner fenders to keep them from rusting again. I also bought several cans of Fluid Film with the extender hose and sprayed inside the front half of the frame. That should also help prevent further rusting.

 

I am also figuring out that it is a lot harder to take photos documenting the work on the car. Sure it sounds easy to just whip out your phone and snag a couple of pictures, but while you're doing the work you either forget to take the pictures or you don't want to take off your gloves or wash your hands, pull out your phone, take a few pictures, then put your gloves back on and get back to work. When you're on a roll, stopping to take a picture is the last thing on your mind.

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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

I'm doing my best to take as many pics as I can :-D here's some progress today. 
 

That headlight area is EXACTLY what's up next to patch on my car. Thanks for the pics. They give me more clean idea of what I need to do.

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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Well I figured out that I needed to seal off the whole area so that's what I did. Also, this seam sealer is freaking awesome. I forgot to take a picture of it but before I welded in the big piece I welded in that little hole and sealed it in too.

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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

It's been a few weeks since I have had any time to spend on the car. Yesterday I took the day off to finish the rust repair on the passenger side inner fender. Hopefully it will only take a few hours and minimal adjustments to get the fenders lines up and bolted on cause then the car will be ready to get back on the road.

 

 

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juxsa    0

And here is how she sits after spending all of yesterday on her. These pics were taken around 8:30 and I had spent about 11 hours working.. I was in the process of trying to bolt on the fenders but was getting frustrated getting everything lined up and was reaching the "F it" attitude which means I get sloppy and careless so I stopped and called it a day. 

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juxsa    0

Got the fenders lined up and bolted in. Also got the front airdam mounted. All I have to do is figure out some brackets and I can get the 240Z bumper mounted and the front end is basically finished. As soon as I get the exhaust manifold from the machine shop I'll bolt it back and build the exhaust and I'll be able to drive it!!!post-52411-0-04903600-1469325087_thumb.jpgpost-52411-0-77264700-1469325093_thumb.jpgpost-52411-0-23144100-1469325090_thumb.jpg

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juxsa    0

Well it's been a while since I have had anything post worthy. Last weekend I got the exhaust manifold back on and was going to build the new exhaust but my friends welder was out of gas. I spent a little time yesterday tinkering but it was gross out so I didn't accomplish much. I did however sand blast and paint some S13 Ebrake caliper brackets for the rear disc brake mod I will be doing. I am going to have the prettiest rear Ebrake brackets for sure :D

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juxsa    0

It was a pain but built a 3in mandrel bend exhaust for it. Stock down pipe but from there I have a 2ft glass pack then to more 3in pipe the to a muffler with dual 2.5in exits. I'll post a few pictures tomorrow. I also swapped the hatches from the parts car. The green hatch is damn near mint so no more leaks!!! I almost hate to put holes in it to put a wing on it

Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

I didn't really take any pictures this go round. I pulled the front hubs and replaced the studs for some longer ones. I got some 45mm studs and pressed them in. The grease was still pretty clean so I think the front bearings were replaced within the past few years so I just regreased them and put them back in. I also replaced the tempature sender unit so temp gauge works now, stock brake lines with some stainless steal lines from Apex and mounted my 240Z bumper. I need to get some spacers for the side bolts so i'll order some from MSA when I put in an order their Victory wing

Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Got the FPR plumbed in and carbs were still gushing fuel. Decided to take the carbs apart and found that there were a few things wrong. took the carbs partially apart, cleaned and tweaked a few things, and got them back on. No more leaking. I also got a gauge hooked up to my FPR and found that I am only putting out just under 3psi of fuel pressure. I am thinking that since I have the low pressure pump wired into the stock location, that it's not getting the full 12v. All I can figure is that it might have something to do with my unplugging all the efi harness stuff and it just being zip tied in a bundle in the engine bay. 

Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Got a few more things in the mail today! I got a much needed carb heat shield, reflective insulation tape, and some fender welting for the ZG flares. Also removed a bunch of the efi wiring that is no longer needed since the carb swap.

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Edited by juxsa

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juxsa    0

Decided I would try out this heat reflective tape on the heat shield and on the back of the air box. Still have to do a little more wiring since I am swapping out the fuse links with a maxi-fuse box... i'll report back on how the reflective tape works out.

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