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MJLamberson

Tips for modifying,upgrading,or restoring a Z on a budget.

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I figure it would be a good idea to share our cheap fixes or money saving tricks in one place, for instance:

I found the genaric weatherstripping from kragen works perfectly on 280z doors, 20$ will cover both doors.

I know you guys have a lot of these "tricks" so share 'em, maybe even cheap products that really work.

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Ace Hardware has felt weatherstripping that is a perfect replacement for the door panel window felt. You can buy one roll for $8 if I remember correctly.

 

Mcmastercarr.com has the top window channel weatherstripping in 8 foot lengths for $11 each. You need two of them to complete both doors.

 

You can "rent" tools for free from Autozone. You simply put down a deposit that you get back when you return the tool. It's great for renting speciality tools that you will only use once or twice.

 

Still hung over and that is all that is coming to my pickled brain right now.

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Your title doesn't match the posted subject. How about we change it to "Tips for modifying,upgrading, or restoring your Z car on a budget." If it generates enough ideas we'll sticky it...:wink:

 

 

LARRY

 

Not sure how to change the title... stripped thread repair kits work great, saved my a thermostat housing

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Use black silicone sealer to patch holes, tears, or cracks in the rubber trim pieces on early bumpers. Apply it from the tube using an old business card for smoothing. Let it dry over night and then treat the rubber trim with your favorite trim dressing. Keep the suggestions coming!

Dennis

1971 240Z

Original Owner

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Window Channel Felt (from Classiczcars.com)

 

"www.jcwhitney.com

 

The catalog item number for the part is 18GA-4874U.

Now here s the tricky part. The letters in the catalog number can be different depending on which issues of the JC Whitney catalog your looking at. But if you call the order line and tell the person you want part # 18-4874, you ll get the right stuff. It s description is "Rubber Window Channel 9/16 " x 17/32 ". It comes in an 8-ft. piece. Which is almost enough to do both sides, but not quite. So, you have to order 2 pieces. The price when I ordered was $6.99 each. "

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This may sound stupid, but I came to a conclusion that this is the only formula that is true to whatever you do in you Z...

 

...it's just about keeping things as simple as possible. Having restored a Z and being in the middle of modifying, I learned that actually most of the simpliest things that I did worked best. I'm still to check if these simple things survive on the racetrack, but I'm convinced that the first thing that is going to break will be something complicated and/or expensive.

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Not really a mod but some advice learned the hard way...

 

If at all possible, resist the temptation to impulse buy expensive parts or parts that "look like" they will work.

 

There should be a 72 hour "cool-down" period when considering purchases over ~$50. I'm still in the learning process. :D

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That is very wise Hugh. Last summer before my car was even painted and partially back together I was trying to convince my dad to let me buy an intercooler for down the road.... never convinced him but glad I didnt buy it.

 

The lesson that can be learned is buy what you need and think before you cut, dissassemble, or rip apart anything. It will save you alot of money down the road.

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But I have found having two cars (one together and one apart) help you figure out how to put one back together : )

 

Ok, now for a cheap one, 70-78 headliner repair/replacement. Locate a local fabric store that deals in automotive materials (ie headliner material) and buy 2 square yards (cause one square yard is 5" too little). Buy 3M headliner adhesive (3M only, don't get cheap here). Remove old headliner for template, cut out a new one and install using instructions on 3M can. Approximate cost $35, do two cars at once approximate cost $40. Since there is enough glue for two cars easily.

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But I have found having two cars (one together and one apart) help you figure out how to put one back together : )

 

Ok, now for a cheap one, 70-78 headliner repair/replacement. Locate a local fabric store that deals in automotive materials (ie headliner material) and buy 2 square yards (cause one square yard is 5" too little). Buy 3M headliner adhesive (3M only, don't get cheap here). Remove old headliner for template, cut out a new one and install using instructions on 3M can. Approximate cost $35, do two cars at once approximate cost $40. Since there is enough glue for two cars easily.

 

JOANNE fabrics actually stocks some headliner material, along with some really nice black vinyl.

 

Evan

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JOANNE fabrics actually stocks some headliner material, along with some really nice black vinyl.

 

Evan

 

do they have foam backed vinyl? has anyone used a reasonably priced website for foam backed vinyl headliners? I found yourautotrim.com and they are selling it for $16.95 per yard (54" wide). Does that seem reasonable?

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The plugs for the 77-78 bumper end caps work REALLY WELL for the floor pan drain holes.

 

If you are running carbs, lawn mower throttle cable can be used instead of the choke cables.

 

Not my idea, but black binder clips can be used to hold the shifter boot to the center console, and then the chrome levers removed.

 

A 1/4" self-sticky rubber or felt "bumper" can be used on the glove-box lid to ensure the light turns off and doesn't drain your battery.

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Some oldies but goodies.

 

A NHL hockey puck makes a good replacment for your steering coupler. Less flex than stock, cheap too! I've had mine installed for 10yrs +.

 

Early chevette heavy duty springs (not the progressive rate) I'll get a part number and edit this post. 80's 4 door with air. They fit perfectly in a Z.

Cut for desired ride height. I recall 1.5 coils to get a nice reasonable drop from stock height. Nice balance on the track. I have driven several z's with these springs, and they were beautiful to drive on the track!

 

Early 90's honda coilover kits fit 240's. You need different springs, but collars just slip right on. They DO NOT fit 280's as they have larger dia strut tubes.

 

And for restoring a 240/260/280, a huge percentage of parts are interchangeable between years.. Very handy at picknpulls, so don't be afraid to look at other years of Z's for parts.

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Heres a good one

some helpful tips for working on your daily driver.. make a list of every' date=' single, minimal task that needs to be done to swap the manual trans in. Pedal assembly, clutch master, clutch lines, center console swap, any potential wiring, every little thing you can think of. Divide those tasks into two types:

 

The first type of task is what you CAN do, in a short period of time, without making the car un drivable. You can install the master cylinder and the hydraulics (dry) as well as the pedal assembly, at LEAST. I dont know what kind of wiring changes might be needed, but you can make pieces of wiring to do the splice/whatever.

 

The second type of task is the actual transmission swap, the console change (i would think? this is your call, not mine, I can't see the parts) The sort of thing that you DO need to have the car parked somewhere, immobile, on jackstands, "swapping stuff out."

 

By taking care of anything and everything that can be installed without sidelining the car on afternoons, evenings, light weekends, single days off, whatever.. you make the total time with the car SIDELINED much less.

 

I can't take credit for this suggestion; I read a write-up on swapping late 80s SPFI onto an early 80s subaru motor, and the guy broke the tasks down in just that manner.. it made so much sense, I have thought about any potential swap in that light ever since.

good luck; now it's time to start shopping for a five-speed!! :lol: Swapping a fivespeed in for a four speed is an hour long proposition, if you;ve done it once or twice. Three hours at the outside, and thats with stupid mistakes coming up left and right.

peace

shawn[/quote']

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