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Before the current shako Z car project gets too far along, some updates on what I have been working on should probably be posted. But first, a bit of a backstory on how this “Z” came to be:

One day, about two years ago, I was perusing the local craigslist for tools and car parts and found a guy that was selling off a bunch of Datsun stuff. I inquired if I could come take a look at the parts he had for sale in hopes I could maybe find something for my 510. Upon arrival, I found that he had shipping containers, literally 20’ and 40’ shipping containers, filled with Datsun parts.  I had stumbled upon a Datto graveyard!  After talking with the owner a bit, I found he was moving soon and wanted to sell a lot of the parts and cars before doing traveling out of state. I offered to help go through the parts with him, and at least help sort it all out in preparation for the move.  He took me up on the offer, and we began to sort the random scattered parts and pack. There was so much stuff that was scattered everywhere; minty engines, lights, NOS body panels and carburetors. It was pretty insane trifling through all the stuff at the time now that I think about it. Anyways, the job ended up taking a few weeks to pack it all carefully into trailers to send it on their way. After a couple truckloads of parts to include sending off a couple cars, there was but a lone orange Z setting by itself in the corner of the lot. I inquired about it and was told he wasn’t sure if he wanted to keep it or not and that it likely was soon to be shipped. I didn’t think anything of it, told him to keep in touch and was on my way; feeling rather accomplished to have helped the owner out. A couple of days later, I received an unexpected call from the Datsun parts legend.  After some small talk, he stated he didn’t want the Z car and that I could pick it up if I wanted.  At the time, I had a lot of stuff going on and though about it for a couple days.  About a week later, I called a friend of mine asking for some help to move the car couple hours later, I was the proud owner of a Datsun 280z.












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The car sat for a about a year while I was building my RB-7.  I would go to the side yard every now and then to have a peek at the Z. I would think about what I wanted to do with the car and would go back and forth on the styling and color that I wanted to.  One day, I was bored and wanted to see what it would look like lowered.  So I took out the springs.  I thought it was better looking… A couple months later, the wifey and I moved home and I drug the Z with me to the new place were it sat for a couple more months. At the time I was getting ready to go on overseas travel.  I figured I would have some time to think about what I wanted to do with the Z.  At the time, Kato-San of Liberty walk had just showed off his Z at SEMA.  I was really inspired about how he had taken the timeless look of the Z car body lines and made them even better with his flares and the livery.  I began the hunt for a G nose and since I was going to Japan, I hoped that maybe something would in fact work out. 

Having been in japan for a couple months, I was getting to know the area as I had scored a bike on bookoo.com for my ease of traveling around.  One evening, while I was riding my bike, I stumbled across a shop that had a ton of tasteful wheels posted up on the shelf.  I busted out my google translate app and introduced myself.  A couple moments later, I find that an ex marine works there.  Needless to say, a friendship was built to this day and I was welcomed to come hang out at the shop. Couple days a week I would pedal over to the shop time permitting and lend a hand where ever there was a need learning as much as I could from Tetsuyia-San, Hyato-San, Tomoya-San, Shioto and Alex.  

There was a recent article about the shop: http://www.speedhunters.com/2017/10/taki-works-okinawa/ 

After a couple months had gone by, I was showing Tetsuyia-San some pictures of the Z car I had and was showing him the liberty walk z car.  He then proceeded to tell me that he knew the owner of liberty walk and had repaired his cars.  He also stated that he knew of a G nose that his buddy might have.  I was extremely excited to hear all of the recent information. A couple days later when I arrived at the shop, Tetsuyia-San insisted that I get into his K car because he had something he wanted to show me.  An hour or so later, we arrive in Naha port at his buddies shop.  On the floor lay the G-nose that he had mentioned. He told me “4,000JPY and its mine.”  I will take it!  We stuffed it in the K car a drove back to the shop.  I was a little nervous of the condition, but Tetsuyia-San assured me that it was still fixable and that they guys were going to help me along the way. “FRP Try” he kept on saying.  Tetsuyia-San’s words of encouragement to never forget. 












Edited by Hakone Motorsports
Removed a photo

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A couple weeks after working on the G nose, I was looking around on japan yahoo auctions to see if I could find a kit to match the G nose.  After some time, I was able to find a mizuno works kit for an insane price. After a conversation with alex about the kit, he generously offered to order the kit for me and ship to Okinawa.  I was super excited.  A couple weeks later, a flawless kit showed up. The Z I felt at this point was now headed in the right direction. A couple weeks later, I was back home and could not wait to start working on the Z.





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When I arrived back in the states, I was able to find a L28 long block, and complete drive train for a great price.  I now had a P90 / F54 combination to include a 5MT and an R200.  The engine was blown, so I took it over to the machine shop to find out that it needed to be bored as assumed.  The machine shop ended up taking it .020 over and I was able to find a fancy set of flat top pistons. At the time I also had a L24 long block with an E88 head.  I figured I might as well make this a fine motor and bump up the compression a little and why not go a little further.  A good friend of mine, Ruben, over at So Cal porting offered to put his special touch on the head.  He did a hand port on it and facilitated a custom ground cam and new lash pads from Delta and procured the remainder of the valve train. He also ported the intake manifold for the triple side drafts.  I was also able to find a set of headers and blast them for paint and heat wrap.

Here is the site that I used for the compression numbers combination.  Of course, one should verify with their own math, but this will get you in the ball park: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/calcs/engine builder/index.html











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Up next on the chopping block was to consider the suspension. BC Racing took special interest in the build plans for the Z and sent us something special for us to install.  They offer a really nice kit for the S30 for a weld in coilover kit. They also have several spring rate options for the S30 kit. Having done the suspension upgrade, I can say that the best way to weld them in is to include a plug weld on the opposing side of the slip over joint to include welding the bottom portion.


After the coilovers were assembled, a friend of mine had recently gotten rid of his Z, and inquired if I wanted some T3 stuff.  One does not simply turn that down, so up next was the installation of torsion rods and control arms.  Very nice upgrade if one is seeking full adjustability of the front end.


The next part that needed to be tackled was the battery tray that was naturally rusted through to include the firewall that was cut out. Apparently the previous owner felt that removal of the firewall was required to swap in an RB. This is not the case.  Regardless, below are some images of the firewall being scabbed back in.  Fortunately, the same guy that helped with the T3 parts had some extra OEM metal sections lying around.


I needed to outsource some help with grafting in the battery / firewall assembly.  Specifically stretching the metal lip that the inner fender rests on.  I went to Sean over at Empire Fabrication.  The car was hauled in and out in one day. We also brought 2005 back with some planking on that same day.











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I figured there was some time available to work on the dash.  I stripped it down, filled it with a combination of body and padded dash filler.  Then spray some SEM dash texture and paint on it.  Not really happy with the way it cam out and currently debating on covering it with suede or buying a restored dash. 


Around the same time, the wheels were becoming a bit concerning. Steve (Steeb38 / 5onecustonms) was contacted through instagram to see what could be done.  The car was currently rolling on some Advan a3a in size 13x6. The car needed to have a much larger wheel to fill out the flares.  After measurements, we found that trading faces for 14” wheels we could step the wheels up to 16”.  The final measurements were 16x12 -70 for the rear and 16x11 -43 in the front.






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1 hour ago, rturbo 930 said:

Okay, how on earth did you do this?



Top secret


20 minutes ago, Nelsonian said:

Have any more pics of the Z with the flares on ?

Still fitting a few parts here and there, but its slowly coming together. 




Edited by Hakone Motorsports

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A while back I came across some seats I thought would fit the bill and help style the interior pretty well.  I had them reupholstered by a good friend of mine, Alex. Needless to say, I think they came out pretty well.  Lower cross mounts and seat to cross mounts will need to be fabricated. More to follow on that...



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Haven’t been doing much other than working on the body panels in preparation for etch / filler primer.    


I have gotten a lot of help from a buddy of mine (hotpot01 on IG) with the fiberglass front end.   Definelty not my forte, but learning as much as I can from him. Other than that, the preparation for the cage and seat mounts are underway.  


On a similar note, the first version of a rendering has also been done. The initial color palette is rather interesting. The goal is to have a nostalgic racing appearance and proudly display the supporting sponsors (BC Racing, Champion Cooling, AEM Intakes, Empire Fabrication, So Cal Porting).   


Edited by Hakone Motorsports

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There are a few more versions out now. Still working with noguilt on IG with the branding placement and possibly throw around a few more color schemes. He is super talented. 


Also shot a coat of etch fill primer on the car over the weekend and found all the areas that need to be worked. IMG_0629.thumb.JPG.30732d00c838e83fb0da7b6bc36cc267.JPG





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How many people have used a degree wheel on these L6 engines? 


I have found the only way to really ensure accuracy on the cam is to go off the valve retainer, preloading the dial indicator and recording the readings on the intake and exhaust opening and closing at .050.  The online calculators will then help you walk one into the required centerlines from the cam card comparing cam lobes in relation to the crankshaft. 


This is the only way I have found to work due to the lobe profiles on the camshaft being different. 


Has anyone else found a better way? 


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Posted (edited)

Did up a removable bash bar for the G nose and fit the lower half of the G nose to the bash bar.  The corner lamp mounts were pretty far off so the light mounts were cut out, then fiber glass was layed over the tubing that was masked and further trimmed to fit the bar once curing started to take place. 


The wheels, seat and mock up dash was fitted and pushed down the street for some motivational progress shots.  


The roll cage is put on pause until I figure out what would look functional while keeping it from looking like a jungle gym.






Edited by Hakone Motorsports

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