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'78 280Z resto mod


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#1 juxsa

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:57 AM

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/photo...4WHsZKSp1v7WB47

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Edited by juxsa, 05 May 2016 - 07:03 AM.


#2 juxsa

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 03:07 AM

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, 05 May 2016 - 03:18 AM.


#3 juxsa

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Posted 23 May 2016 - 09:58 AM

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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#4 juxsa

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Posted 26 May 2016 - 04:16 AM

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, 26 May 2016 - 04:20 AM.


#5 juxsa

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 02:36 AM

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, 08 June 2016 - 05:13 AM.


#6 juxsa

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 03:32 AM

A bit more progress

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Edited by juxsa, 10 June 2016 - 03:34 AM.


#7 Zetsaz

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 11:26 AM

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.



#8 juxsa

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 08:51 PM

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, 30 August 2016 - 03:31 AM.


#9 juxsa

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 01:53 PM

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, 12 June 2016 - 01:56 PM.


#10 juxsa

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Posted 20 June 2016 - 03:34 AM

It's a Christmas car :D. The parts car I have is green so it is pretty funny as I swap out the red and green body panels. 

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#11 juxsa

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 03:04 AM

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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#12 juxsa

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 03:09 AM

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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#13 juxsa

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:03 AM

oops... to the machine shop i go

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#14 juxsa

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 05:52 PM

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!!!Attached File  13719570_10154181248890973_4005703852052667090_o.jpg   95.62KB   0 downloadsAttached File  13728893_10154181249015973_5459752425094829248_n.jpg   39.28KB   0 downloadsAttached File  13719573_10154181248745973_8400878819681994360_o.jpg   88.64KB   0 downloads



#15 juxsa

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 06:50 AM

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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#16 juxsa

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 06:32 PM

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, 28 August 2016 - 08:11 AM.


#17 juxsa

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Posted 28 August 2016 - 06:00 AM

Pictures of the exhaust  and here is a link to video so you can hear it  https://goo.gl/photo...GyWMetCxQqN4gu5

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Edited by juxsa, 28 August 2016 - 08:14 AM.


#18 juxsa

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 05:49 AM

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, 06 September 2016 - 04:13 AM.


#19 juxsa

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 04:11 AM

Ugh efi problems. I love how my friends SU powered 280's move so SU conversion here I come

#20 juxsa

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 05:46 PM

Well spent yesterday and today doing the EFI to SU carb conversion. Unfortunately the K&N electric fuel pump puts out a good bit more fuel pressure than the little SUs can handle. Got a Holly FPR on the way. 

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