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fish1479

Hi I have no idea what I am doing

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So it has always been my dream to take an old car and fix it up all pretty like. I fell in love with the 240 years ago and always thought it would make a cool project car. After years of playing with the idea, I finally started getting serious a few months ago. Fast forward to today, I am now the proud owner of a moderately clean 1972 Datsun 240z.


 


Here’s where it gets interesting. I have no clue what I’m doing. Seriously, I am 38 years old and the most advanced automotive work I have ever done up to this point was replacing brake-pads or installing an aftermarket exhaust. I have absolutely no business attempting to restore a car but here we are.


 


The good news is, I know what I want my car to be and I am ready to learn how to get there. I have no timeline or budget so if I’m here for the next 8 years (looking at you “seattlejester”) than so be it. I am surrounded by car guys who have a lot of knowledge and I also have many useful resources at my disposal such as a metal fabrication and paint shop.


 


The bad news is, I want to do a majority of the work myself. After reading this forum for the last couple days to try and figure out where to start, it dawned on me that I don’t even own a metric wrench set. So ya, if nothing else I should provide entertainment for everyone here.


 


Wish me luck!


 


post-55055-0-47980000-1500327831_thumb.jpeg

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Lol, I guess it has been a while. 

 

I came here with very limited knowledge as well. Reading a lot and taking time to analyze criticisms and absorb advice are really good ways to learn. Lots and lots of really knowledgeable people here and tons of people with lots and lots of experience.

 

I did see that car kicking around on craigslist, good to see it finally find a buyer. 

 

As above, care to share your vision?

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Welcome

 

Suggestions:

 

  • Just do a stock restoration for your first project to develop knowledge and mechanical skills.
  • Download a Factory Service Manual (FSM).  Check Hybridz or Google it.
  • Download electrical schematics for your car.  PDFs are easier to read than those found in books. Some are in color.
  • Buy the book How to Restore Your Datsun Z Car by Wick Humble. It will save you hours of searching for "how to" info.
  • Focus on searching Hybridz as 99% of questions have already been addressed.
  • Start bookmarking Z car parts suppliers
  • Join ClassicZCars.com website and search there as well.
  • Become well informed about modifications before asking questions. People will be more inclined to answer informed questions.
  • Read the new member FAQs.

 

 Useful Links:

http://zhome.com/

http://www.zcarparts.com/

http://www.arizonazcar.com/


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I will try to take some more pictures tonight. Is there anything I should show that might be of particular interest?

 

My vision is straight forward enough. LS swap but nothing crazy power wise. Shooting for around 300-350hp. This is not a track car, this is a weekend cruiser so it needs to be drivable. Maybe LS swap and drivable aren't a thing?

 

I want it to be clean and modernized as much as possible. Fuel injection, updated suspension, brakes, interior and so on. Hell, I might even do push button start. I'm not looking to win any shows, but I wouldn't mind it looking show ready.

 

Here are some of my "inspiration cars"

 

pfVd7iN.jpg

72_Datsun_Intro_1_1495x992.jpg

Edited by fish1479

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Take it all apart, get in over your head, forget where everything goes, then part it out?

 

HA! Friend me now for super savings on stock parts 2 years from now (or however long it takes a typical wife to get fedup with stupid ideas)

Edited by fish1479

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Besides buying wrenches, what are your first steps?  Do you plan to drive it and do the mods step-wise, or tear it down and be done in 2-3 years?

 

Do you have a garage or shop to work in?  It's a big project even for guys with a full set of tools.

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  Hey Guy,  I'm glad for ya....lol, I'm no mechanic but own a 1971z & a 1972z. The 72 has No Rust in the

floor or anywhere I've found. I got injured & could never fix them; was planning to pay to have it done but

shit happens....

 

    If you live near "Dallas Tx",   or anyone who might have some thoughts

call me;

 

 214 856 4711

 

  I really hope you get her going. I've owed a 1978zx T-Top & a 1986 300zx Turbo(looked like the cockpit of a

plane at night).  anyone with a thought or idea how I might make my dreams happen, please call.

 

 good luck my brother,

 

don

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If you've have no experience working on cars, I would suggest that you absolutely do not tear it down to a bare shell, and I would recommend doing basic reconditioning vs trying to modify anything. Rebuild the brakes, do the bushings, tie rods, anything made of rubber, you get the idea. While you do this, start reading. Do a LOT of reading. See how people here build their cars, and why they make the mods they do. Drive the car as it is. Figure out where the car needs improvement, and the best method of improving it. Knowing the strong points and weak points of the Z chassis is necessary to build a well modified Z car.

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Here are some pictures I snapped this morning. I wasn't really sure what to look for when I bought it but it seemed clean. The engine compartment wasn't covered in oil and the floor boards weren't rusted through so I figured I was ahead of the game. The car will live in the garage but it is a little tight for space. I was been toying with the idea of getting one of those two post car lifts. Not sure if I have the width though.

 

Anyway, let me know what you think. The car runs surprisingly well. It will almost be a shame to pull the engine out. Not sure if its the original engine though...

 

Link to Album

https://1drv.ms/a/s!Aq2pF04rkrhcgukf7QjxEsfHBmRtiw

 

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Leave it stock and renew/upgrade stock parts. I started with suspension (shocks, stiffer springs, poly bushings etc) and used the car as a daily driver/work car for eight years before doing a SBC swap. Every detail of the build was planned including an excel spread sheet listing parts with costs to complete the build. I purchased all of the parts I would need over several years. After completing the swap in 2009 I drove the car for five months to shake out mechanical bugs. Then, I took the car apart for paint and interior work. Elapsed time 2001 to 2009 = eight years. Peat Paraska took ten years. You don't need a lift, just basic shop/mechanic's tools.

Edited by Miles

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Pictures of overall condition, and problem areas might be helpful if you are looking for direction. Areas of focus would be under the battery tray, near the heater core, the dog legs (in front of the rear wheel), trunk slam tray, frame rails, floors, etc, mainly areas prone to rust or damage.

 

As above, you don't need a lift, although it will make your life a bit easier if you plan on keeping up with this hobby long term. Definitely don't skimp on safety though. Make sure to use jackstands and get a properly rated jack. Don't reach in the engine bay with a running engine. Make sure to chock the wheels when lifting one end and all the other basic stuff. If you aren't sure make sure you invite one of your car buddies to hang out while you do things. 

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If you haven't worked on machines, or in an industrial setting,  look up safety procedures such as "zero mechanical state" (all sources of energy brought to zero before working on a machine).  Includes: electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, gravity (things that can fall on you), mechanical, fuel, etc.

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fish, welcome, looks like a good straight car to work with. I agree with guys, make the car a rolling resto, that way you can keep enjoying driving it and see/feel the difference when you make changes or upgrades. You have a steep learning curve in front of you and once you get the straight six engine properly tuned you may be surprised just how much fun that original engine is.

The archives here and on other forums are filled with every topic you can think of concerning these cars, just about every question has been answered, you will also get better quality answers in the live forums if you have a basic understanding of the problem you are working on.

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NEW FISH! its nice when new members introduce themselves I wish I had a lil more etiquette . Welcome to the forum there's quite some good advice here to sum it up.

 

Two schools of thought dig in hard full resto-mod *all out and learn very well and sorta the hard way unless you do some research. Its not always how techy you are but how eager you are to learn some people cant learn from reading, rather doing it practically works too. I did this route and I wish I did a bit slower I did my first l28et swap before I even changed pads so I could relate. This method will be definitely a rude awakening however I must admit when I first did the swap way back there was way less things documented compared to now. The upsides to this is you learn way faster/more rewarding *(when it goes right) the downsides is probably takes longer, is harder and more downtime **(jackstand racing).

 

Start slow, low($) and progressively learn as you go. The downside you will end up spending more money re visiting things and thirst more POWER/modifications in that s3.  Upsides enjoy the car as you go on this journey. Really boils down to how much you want to do it? how much free time do you have!? and how much money you willing to throw? In my opinion If I had to everything all over again I honestly would go as close as turn key as possible.

 

Oh and don't listen to anyone telling you here this is the "best" or go "stock resto" this HBZ anything goes enjoy your new addiction.

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Yes! This will be an amazing journey. Very difficult at times, but amazing. Welcome aboard, the search function is your friend.

 

Don't forget you can use Google to search the site. Type in:

 

Whatever your looking for site:forums.hybridz.org

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