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Gollum

Gollum's DD L28ET 75'

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Ok, so people (drummingpariah namely) have been bugging me about getting a project thread going, so here it is. This car isn't exactly "road worthy" to many people's opinions, but that doesn't stop me. My rear tires are bald on the outside, the front tires are insanely bald due to a past camber issue. The car likes to hydroplane quite easily, but predictably. The car also likes to make lots of vibrational noise above 65mph, I think due to wheel bearing issues.

 

So here's the car as it sits now:

 

DSCI0688.jpg

(I personally love the overflow tank, it looks like a loose tooth to me. It's getting moved soon)

 

 

And here's the engine currently:

 

DSCI0695.jpg

DSCI0696.jpg

 

I've been slowly working on removing unused wires lying around, making things a bit neater, grinding off brackets that aren't being used, etc. When I got the car it had the earlier N47 intake manifold and not the stock intake J pipe. Instead it had several pieces of pipe hacked together with multiple couplers... so I installed the turbo, intake, and pipe off of my spare L28ET engine. I'm going to change that valve cover soon...

 

Notice anything missing in those pics though? Here it is:

 

DSCI0690.jpg

 

I was working on cleaning up the wiring one day, and I'd pulled the battery out in order to gain some room to work on it. While it was out I realized I had plenty of cable length to just put the battery in the passenger foot well... So I did it. It moved approx. 20lbs down by more than 12 inches, and inboard a good 6 inches. Win win win right? No worries, I'm going to move it to the back and get it sealed up sometime this summer, probably when I make my dash:

 

DSCI0673.jpg

 

That's some spare stainless my dad had lying around, so I stole it and brought it to my place. I'm not sure if it's enough, and if I've got the dough I'll just order some ali instead.

 

Also in the near future I'm going to get around to installing my rust free doors:

 

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b346/Gollumandsmeagol/280Z-Helen/DSCI0699.jpg

 

Which have now been painted the future color of my car - semigloss black w/clear. Should cost me about $75 in rattle can supplies. I might be driving around with some nice doors before I get the rest of the car painted at my current rate....

 

I really want to get my dash started soon though, because this wiring has been a nightmare, leading to patch work such as this:

 

DSCI0692.jpg

 

I just keep telling myself it's temporary.

 

I also need to get all this damned dynomat crap off the car. I don't care about noise that much, and it's been a pita getting it off. It's leaving it's goo behind:

 

DSCI0694.jpg

 

 

 

So that's that for my first post. The car is my daily driver when the weather is good, and when I'm driving it (instead of the 280ZX) I tend to work on it a lot more, so this summer should bring lots of improvements. The car isn't forever going to be my daily driver. Eventually it's just going to be a fun car that I'll be building to take to HPDE events once I've got the money to pursue racing as a serious hobby, not just working on potential cars... This isn't a SCCA racer, an autox car, just a fun car. I don't want more than 250 wheel HP with this engine, and if I do ever want more I've been toying with the idea of the LSx engines since they do everything so stinkin' well.

 

But first things first. I need tires BAD. Then I need to make the wiring safe. Then I need to dump some money into good struts, springs, and bushings everywhere. Then I can start talking about power.

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I don't have pics, but I've pulled my dash and I'm working on rewiring a lot of stuff. I'm still working out what all I do and don't need, and how I want to go about some of the wiring. The nastiest part of the wiring is the ignition key wiring, as it was pretty badly hacked up by a PO. There's wire leads going everywhere to everything. So I'm considering just adding some manual switches for the various ignition positions, and putting in a push start button.

 

I'll be working on the car monday most likely, despite my finger accident (posted in the non-tech section) so I'll get some pics then.

 

I'm also trying to figure out what I want to do for a dash. I'm thinking just like half of mikekelly's dash. Just a simple 2 angle dash, maybe with some sun visors for the gauges. I'll most likely add a switch panel closer to the driver than the dash so reach isn't a problem if/when I get seat harnesses.

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Well I'm out of school (yay) so time to start cracking down on the laziness that's been my car. I want to get this thing back on the road for the summer so I'm using our upcoming meet as motivation to get it done. That means it needs to be drivable again by Saturday, so I've got 4 days to make it happen.

 

Here's the new dash panel I just fabb'ed up tonight with that piece of stainless I had sitting around. I've decided it'll do until I eventually start working with composites and I'll make a new dash then.

 

DSCI0027.jpg

 

DSCI0029.jpg

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Wow, two updates in two days! Expect another tonight.

 

I'm debating leaving it like this for now. The OEM gauges aren't round, kinda kidney bean shaped, so I'm considering leaving them out for now. Besides, Tach and Boost, what else do you need?

 

DSCI0047.jpg

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Ok, second update for the day, and I'm not done yet today! I need to get over to my other cars to scavenge some parts off of them. I'm almost to the point of starting her up again once I get a few more wires hooked up and the battery back in again.

 

I've moved the battery back to the engine bay for the time being, I needed the space for the wiring that's all too long with nowhere to go.

 

So here's the current interior shot as it stands:

 

Car_HDR2.jpg

 

(shot was my second attempt at a HDR image for you photo geeks out there)

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No pictures, but she runs again! Took me a while to get it all sorted out, but she runs, and I've got almost all the wiring in place for the time being.

 

Only problems - No brake lights and no headlights

 

My headlights were already sketchy before, with only the brights working, so I'm going to bust out the multimeter and see if I can find the culprit. As far as the brakelights, I'm not too sure. It seems kinda odd because the wiring seems to be pretty simple and I don't think anything I deleted could have caused the circuit to stop working, but obviously something happened. So I'll have to diagnose that as well.

 

Could be a lot worse. I'm happy it's only those two issues.

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Well I got the brake lights fixed, morning of the meet I was so anxious about. Woohoo!

 

Headlights are still down... I'm quite angered by the complexity of the stock system and in the frustration of it all I just started hacking away. I started pulling out all the unused wires I've now completely confirmed I don't need. Hack Hack Hack.

 

Some of the remains:

 

DSCI0135.jpg

 

I'm still far from done removing all the needless crap, but it's a start. I've decide that instead of getting the stock headlight wiring to work I'm just going to wire up a system with a relay from scratch. Should be better off this way anyways.

 

I also got a little bored and decided to "fix" the crappy sound problem in my ZX...

 

DSCI0134.jpg

 

Now it just looks crappy. But that's a lot better than sounds crappy. Didn't cost me a cent!

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So today I worked on stripping an old wiring harness of one of my cars that I had lying around. I'm going to use it as a resource bin to wire up a friend's Z car (SBC 350). It's going to be rather simple, so paired with some relays + sockets we should be good to go. Hopefully I'll even have a start up video to share.

 

And this is what a harness from a 81' 280ZX looks like disassembled. (and I mean HARNESS, not just engine harness. I don't think this is all of it as I don't have the wires that plug into the other end of the junction box and go to the dash, as I couldn't seem to figure out where it ran off to. So let's say it's 70% of all the wiring in a 280ZX.

 

DSCI0152.jpg

 

DSCI0153.jpg

 

DSCI0154.jpg

 

DSCI0155.jpg

 

DSCI0156.jpg

 

DSCI0160.jpg

 

And that's about all I got done today, among enjoying a friday doing almost nothing after a short stint of decent pay work.

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Been a little while, too long actually.

 

I wired up a relay for my headlights, so they work again. I've been driving the car just about everywhere now for a couple of weeks and it feels so good to be driving her again.

 

I scored all new front suspension + steering rack for FREE from a friend. Sway bar, struts, springs (suspension techniques), hubs, brakes, etc. I pulled it all in an afternoon and it's still sitting in my trunk. I need to get some new grease boots before I put it all in.

 

And I've also been doing something else...

 

DSCI0331.jpg

 

Something like that can only mean something like this.

 

DSCI0334.jpg

 

It's from an 81' and I picked up the whole engine minus turbo, wiring harness, and ecu for $250. Not bad in my opinion. The guy wanted too much money for the "new" OEM turbo he had on it, and still wanted too much for the turbo that had been pulled out before. ($500 and $75 respectively). So I told him he could just keep it and find a buyer.

 

Should fix my exhaust leak....

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Been WAY too long since I've posted. Sorry guys. I'm now engaged and insanely busy. Plus it was cold and wet (compared to what it normally is around here at least) and I just hadn't been rushing much to get this thing on the road.

 

Now that the weather has been teasing us with a few weeks of beautiful weather it's time to get crackin again.

 

New cylinder head is ON!!! Yay. Take the advice of me AND the famous big-phil. Do not, DO NOT treat your wedge/brace/tool/whatever you want to call it, for your timing chain tensioner as though it's casual. This is NOT a casual part of a head swap, and if that damn tensioner pops out your are NOT in for a world of fun. You are in for a world of aggravating, cussing, pissing, and moaning of a time. I would have had this car on the road probably MONTHS ago if it hadn't of been for that damn tensioner.

 

So I'm now running a P90 with solid lifters and the automatic cam from 81' . This cam has more duration on the exhaust (opens degrees earlier for more overlap, and closes 6 degrees later). This cam also has .5 CM more valve lift on the exhaust over the 82' camshafts, and .9 CM over the 83' cams. The intake has .4 CM more valve lift than the 83' cam.

 

I'm sure not leaking exhaust out the side of the head gasket will make the biggest power difference though.

 

What's left to put on?

 

Intake Manifold

Intake Piping

Radiator

Add Coolant

Tighten Alternator

Wire up EFI

 

Done!!!

 

DSCN0053.jpg

 

DSCN0054.jpg

Edited by Gollum

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So she runs again!!! Yay!

 

I'd been getting so impatient to get this thing on the road again that I never pulled the exhaust manifold off to replace the gasket, and as semi-expected it leaks a little. Mostly on #6 on the bottom right edge. Not terrible. It now makes a lowly ruff instead of the nasty HISS HISS the head gasket leak made. This is much more manageable than before, and like I said, somewhat expected.

 

I also have a nissan OEM gasket sitting in my garage that only saw an initial startup on my previous head, I might try to reuse that and see if it seals. I need to get a stud kit before I do any of this though. I'm not pulling this manifold off just to deal with those freakin' bolts.

 

No video feed yet. Will get some later next week.

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So the engine was idling really poorly, and I thought it was my bad throttle position switch wiring. Well I got that figured out, but it was still barely idling. Turns out it was a bad Head Temp Sensor. Boooo

 

Now that I finally got her up to temp she decided to show off a few small coolant leaks. I don't have time today, but I'll have to get under there and find out where they are. One is definitely from the lower radiator hose, no biggie, it's the other that concerns me. It might be from the front cover, which would mean tearing the front end apart again. Please God don't let that be the case.

 

No videos yet, I know. Sorry.

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Ok, the update.

 

I started her up today, with the radiator off this time (didn't think about that last time until I was done for the day). Jacked the car up a bit so I could make sure to get all the air out, and to get under there to check out the leak I had.

 

...Let it run for 5 min... No leak...

 

...Rev'ed it from 3-5k for a solid minute.. No leak...

 

...Let it sit for another 10 minutes (at which point it was already to full temp)... No leak.

 

Although I did noticed a VERY slow leak from the backside of the crankshaft pully. It was very minimal. From how dirty the front of the engine was before I started working on it this winter I'm betting it was already like that. Probably needs a new front seal.

 

Things I'm going to get tomarrow:

 

1. New Head Temp Sensor

 

2. Front sway bar bushings

 

3. TPS Wiring Connector

 

Once those are on, she's good to drive. Just need to watch my water levels, and keep a close eye on my oil to make sure I've got no external or internal water leaks, nor any oil leaks.

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You *do* know that there are oodles of much much newer cars that you can yank the TPS plug off of in the junkyard right? I'd hate to see you waste money if that is an option in your book.

 

Who said I wasn't just going to a junkyard for ALL of these parts :-)

 

I'm kinda not thrilled with the idea of using used bushings, but I just need something to get me by for a little while.

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So... went to the junkyard and got a temp sensor, and the sway bar bushings (to get me by, hey they gave them to me for free). No TPS plug though. Poor selection of cars. Lots of 90's stuff, but seems like the older gems are thinning out. I know there's some up at another yard nearby. I'll check them out soon.

 

I get home, install the new temp sensor, and get the sway bar back in place. It started, and ran a bit better than before... but still not right. Unplugging my temp sensor brought the idle way up (at any temp) and neither connected or disconnected will the car hold an RPM. It'll rev nicely with strong throttle input, but it won't take small throttle inputs. Messing with the AFM open to see if I was dealing with it being rich or lean, I found that with the temp plug on, it was running WAY lean. Like it went from a 500rpm idle to 1,500rpm leaning it out. With the plug disconnected it's mildly lean. Richening the mixture takes it from a 1,100 rpm idle up to 1,500.

 

Tomorrow I'm going to take the temp sensor out of the ZX, which runs fine, and see if that makes a difference. If not then I've got a problem elsewhere.

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Boy has a lot changed since I updated this. Hopefully I'll stay motivated to update this thread in the next few days. Here's what I worked on today:

 

Diet.jpg

 

 

My car is bulimic. It's amazing what all she hawked up today.

 

It's also amazing how few wires are actually needed to run an engine and have enough lights to be "legal". I'm almost down to the bare essentials now. I think when I go MS I might end up with nearly as many wires on my engine harness as I'll have chassis harness!

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Well, almost a year later now. Almost forgot about updating this thread.

 

I've been busting my butt the last two weeks to finally get this thing on the road. I was in a holding pattern of excuses that generally revolved around affording MS. Well that still hasn't happened but I'm coming to terms with the reality that I could have been driving this car for the last 3+ years if I'd just put in a good $100 and lots of hard work. Well I'm putting that hard work in now. I still am not quite sure what was up with the OEM EMS but the more wiring I took off the more craziness that was revealed. It was all so bad that I decided the factory wiring wasn't truly worth saving, so out it went. ALL of it.

 

The only stock wiring I kept was the wires running from the passenger's seat area back towards the tail lights through the fender, simply because I didn't feel like messing around with fishing wires through there again and just want to get this done. The connectors that sit next to the passenger's right butt cheek were cut down from something like 20 wires to 7 which are:

 

Running Lights

Brake Lights

Reverse Lights

Left Turn Signal

Right Turn Signal

Fuel Tank Sending Unit

Fuel Pump 12v+

 

Those wires survived the reckoning and I cut and soldered them back together to do away with those no pointless connectors. Here's some basics of what will no longer be used so people understand what all those other wires went to.

 

Door sensors

Seat Belt Sensor

Seat Sensor (yes, actually senses if there's someone in the driver's seat)

Parking Brake Switch

Map/Interior Light

Defrost Wiring

Power Antenna Wiring

Speaker Wiring (I think)

 

And even more junk I can't remember. But I can say this: ALWAYS do this kind of work with an FSM handy, even if it's on a computer. Because I checked and double checked everything before cutting I knew exactly what I was removing and thus, when I later forgot what all was cut out I wasn't freaking out about having messed something up. It also helps you plan out your next step in how YOU would rather do it.

 

So now the tail area wiring is running up towards a new (to this car at least) fuse panel that's from a '83 I cut up quite a long time ago. What's wonderful is that it's a blade style panel instead of buss fuses. AND due to my minimalist wiring scheme I have enough fuses to easily run one fuse per device allowing lower rated fuses and much simpler diagnostics down the road when I blow one.

 

I'm also going to have a relay on EVERY circuit save the starter (doesn't need it honestly) and the alternator (which again, doesn't need one). The REAL beauty to doing it this way is that I'll run one 12+ wire to each relay, and then run ONE wire to each switch, and run ONE wire to the device. You just bridge your 12+ at the relay to both + sides, then you run ground at each device and at each switch. This makes star grounding almost impossible for the device side, but extremely easy at the switch side. The big benefit is that you don't have a million wires going in AND out from your switch panel so that you have a cleaner install that's easier to trace when needed. I hate chasing wires not knowing if I'm looking "upstream" or "downstream" because in OEM wiring if electricity goes somewhere else before grounding it's not black, even though it's an "acting ground" for one device. Extremely frustrating in my book, but I understand why it was done the way they did it. Honestly though, I'll gladly give up star grounding for simplicity for MY APPLICATION. Don't take this paragraph on my stance in wiring altogether. By contrast in ALL of my guitar amps I strive for the cleanest star grounding path I can manage, even at my amateur technician level.

 

 

And of course, this update is worthless without pictures, but I haven't snapped a single one yet. I'll get some pictures in the next couple of days to redeem this post and bring some extra life to this otherwise boring thread.

 

On another note (pun intended here) in the next few days I'm going to go horn shopping in the junkyard. My S30 has never had any so away we go. I'm going to try to come up with a clever mounting solution in the fender area for a couple reasons. 1. It makes wiring shorter and easier imo, keeping more wires out of the engine bay. 2. Having them hanging out up front when you have an open/grill-less S30 just looks tacky imo. 3. Hopefully they'll project in a more 360 degree pattern since you're not always worried about the person in front of you. I'm going to see if I can get 4 roughly from 2 different vehicles so I end up with 2 low tones and 2 high tones. I'm hoping this gives me some good volume and decent character.

 

I've also relocated the water overflow tank back to the engine bay for the time being. Not trilled with my 10 minute solution I came up with, but it works for now.

 

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. I made a fairly crummy wiring diagram from scratch in MS Paint. It's got a few flaws I corrected by hand later, but I could go back and fix them if anyone was interested in my straight forward diagram that's basically just a S30 adaptation of a basic hotrod diagram. Despite it's lack of detail in some ways, it's gotten me this far and I'm sure it'll get me through the project. It's nice to have a map if you will, to keep you oriented in the right direction so you don't lose where you're at, or forget to buy enough switches, etc.

 

More to come soon! I'd say I promise but I don't think that means much anymore at this point....

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Not much more wiring done at this point, but getting there. What I DID do, that was WORLDS of fun was modify a spare shifter I had lying around. It's from a datsun pickup. I wanted a longer shifter to bring it closer to arms reach from the steering wheel so the extra length was certainly welcome. Only big issue is that this shifter was straight up and down regarding side to side shape. It had a nice rake backwards but something needed to be done to get it further left towards the driver.

 

So I took the liberty to create a solution:

 

(Heat + Steel) x (Armpower + Mallet) / Iron = Epic Winningness.

 

Shown now is a picture of the achieved angle in just 3 heat ups and hammerings.

IMG_20120808_184048.jpg

 

 

Notice how the ears on the transmission are straight up. Lovely.

 

So here's what 1st gear looks like.

IMG_20120808_184150.jpg

 

 

And 2nd Gear.

IMG_20120808_184201.jpg

 

 

 

Of course side to side gate is unchanged, and this thing is LONG, so 5th is a little bit of a stretch in this picture but I'll be at least 1 if not 2 seat clicks forward when driving.

 

IMG_20120808_184215.jpg

 

 

You can also take a little peak at my fuse panel there.

 

And of course in any battle there are casualties. This was a spare caliper that I had which served as an anvil.

IMG_20120808_183738.jpg

 

 

The shifter survived, but has it's own scars as well.

IMG_20120808_183708.jpg

 

 

Hammering above, iron caliper casting texture bellow.

 

IMG_20120808_183644.jpg

 

 

 

Well that's all for now, but more to come.

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Not a crazy update, but an update nonetheless.

 

Got my dash remounted last night. ALL gauge wiring is now properly labeled and ready to be hooked up once I get there. I still need to cut two holes for the oil/temp gauge and volt/fuel gauge. Not sure if I'll remove the dash to do that, we'll see what's easiest. The dash was a bit far away before, and I happened to have some nice 8" long bolts lying around, so in they went. That extra distance made a world of difference. I'll now be able to reach my switches, even if I'm in a harness. I'd have liked to make a nice fancy dash from aluminum, but that is currently going against my KISS and Get'r'done philosophy. So I'm running what I had because it's the easiest route and worked fine before as far as functionality goes.

 

IMG_20120809_160049.jpg

 

 

 

 

I've also ditched the fuel "reservoir" tank as I can't find any good reason to keep it and it frankly just lends to the clutter that I'm trying to eliminate from this car. I want a chassis with an engine and basic necessities. I didn't see how this thing helped that. I've coupled the smaller breather tubes, but I'd rather have removed them entirely but that looked like more energy that I can't afford right now, as it would mean possibly dropping the tank, and then running to the store to find something to cap the tank with. All good ideas, and I might do that down the road, but honestly I plan to run a fuel cell when talking long term, so the KISS system prevailed.

 

 

IMG_20120809_160227.jpg

 

 

You can also see the wire I ran for the fuel pump. I was going to run it through the rubber grommet that the original pump wiring goes through, but again, dropping the tank would be required as the wiring makes a sharp 90 degree turn through the hole and runs along the tank for a good 8+ inches before coming out. I tired to reach it from bellow, but no luck. So in the more accessible hole it goes. Hey, beats what I had, which was a wire designed for wiring subwoofers going through a rust hole in the spare tire area..... (thank you PO....)

 

My new relays came in today from amazon, woohoo! Unfortunately I have to clean up soon for today and then I'm leaving town tomorrow for the weekend. So no updates at least till Monday, sorry guys.

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So I get home today from a long weekend away, and find new parts waiting for me! So what's the first thing I do just after some preliminary unpacking??? Get to work of course!

 

First, let me share a photo of my beautiful relays that came in just after my last post.

 

IMG_20120809_162026.jpg

 

 

I think these cost me something like $10 shipped. Not bad if you ask me, especially for not leaving the comfort of my home. I was going to order my switches online too, but the cost of shipping just makes that pointless. I'll just pay an extra $1 per switch and run to the local parts store for them. Cheapest I found decent switches online through amazon, ebay, etc was $2.50 + $3+ per switch. I can get the same/similar switch at oreilly for $5.... Got me sold.

 

Onto today's goodness. I'm still going to get more work done, but my hands were clean after cooking and eating dinner so I thought I'd jump on and share progress thus far.

 

IMG_20120812_184945.jpg

 

 

Genuine grant horn button. Woot woot. Decent quality part for the price and I'm more than satisfied for the time being.

 

IMG_20120812_184955.jpg

 

 

Looking at the rear shows that grant really thought this through and makes it easy to install two or single wire horn arrangements. Yay for foresight.

 

 

So let the wiring begin.

 

IMG_20120812_185845.jpg

 

 

I'm going the extra anal route on my car and soldering every connection after the crimp is made. Just extra insurance. I want these connections to last as long as possible to prevent having to go over everything in the near future. Make sure to get the solder to PENETRATE, not just melt on the surface. I've learn this the hard way through many hobby projects.

 

IMG_20120812_190041.jpg

 

 

After each wire is crimped and soldered I finish it up with some heat shrink tubing. I find this to work better for me than buying insulated/covered spade connectors and it's a heck of a lot cleaner than electrical tape.

 

IMG_20120812_191414.jpg'

 

 

I don't think I needed the ground wire, but I went ahead and made one up just in case. We'll find out when it comes time to try it out...

 

IMG_20120812_193009.jpg

 

 

And the finished product! Yay. Now I just need to head to the junkyard to get the actual noisemakers!

 

 

And while working today I snapped some pics of a factory splice. These are how nissan did their factory splices back in the 70's and 80's. So anywhere you find one wire that goes two directions (a LOT more common than you might think) this is what's hiding in there. While I might be mocking them, they rarely seem to be the actual point of failure in Z car wiring, so when wiring books tell you to never use crimp connections and avoid them like the plague (I've read plenty of literature that least to that conclusion) take it with a grain of salt. Usually it'll be the actual connection that leads to issues. Anywhere you have a friction fit and electricity has to jump from material to material you're giving the system a place for corrosion to build up. This is also a good reason to use relays. This way less current is running through your switches making those connections less likely to fail. You can put your heavy wiring and quality connections in a much cleaner path, literally. This makes it easier to fix and diagnose down the road.

 

So, onto the pics.

 

IMG_20120812_190519.jpg

 

 

B/w wire conversion from one into two wires.

 

 

IMG_20120812_190556.jpg'

 

 

What lies beneath the factory electrical tape (don't get me started on that topic), is just a basic crimp joint. Though this might look cheap and poorly though, go ahead and try to pull one apart sometime. They shouldn't be failing from harsh vibrations anytime soon, and I've only seen them corrode when you've got massive electrical issues such has bad grounds.

 

Okay, now back to work. Maybe I'll get some relays mounted.

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Quite the bare-bones Z you got going there!

 

There is just something about electrical work that is very calming and satisfying to me. Crimping, soldering, running wires, making circuits, etc. is just fun! I should be done with my ignition module, fusebox, and relay bracket pretty soon. It probably won't be pretty, but it'll do for now.

 

Keep it up!

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So not as much done last two days as I wanted, but tomorrow should be very productive.

 

I removed the left rear bumper support mount, as the rear bumpers was just cut off originally (not me). Serious pita but one down. I was half surprised at how heavy it was. Glad to be ditching at least another 15 pounds between the two I'm sure. More to compensate for the eventual cage.

 

And my relay panel is FINALLY ready to be drilled for mounting relays. It took much longer than I wanted but I'm at least happy with the time invested. Figuring out exactly where I wanted it was difficult and once I figured that out, the exact approach wasn't easy as I was dedicated to not buy anything and wanted it to be as function as possible.

 

IMG_20120815_012253.jpg

 

 

It's another cut of stainless from the sheet I have. I took the top of a round die grinder to it to swirl the surface then heat cycled it, though I'm probably going to heat it up again tomorrow. Why? I must admit looks were a factor, but I have a justification. For anyone that's driven with a plain aluminum dash you can appreciate this. Eventually, the sun hits your dash just right and you get blinded, no fun. I'm hoping the swirls with help break up reflections and that the coloring will help dull what reflections make their way to my eye. Why not paint it? Because paint on a surface with things mounted to is bound to chip and such, especially with super budget methods. This seemed like a more "full proof" method to alleviate the issue.

 

It will be mounted all the way right on the upper dash mount bolts. I'm considering doing the same to my dash, but will probably wait until I get all my switches and gauges mounted then pull it all off. Just seems easier that way for that huge chunk of stainless.

 

IMG_20120815_012311.jpg

 

 

Detail shot of the swirling. Didn't take long really. Spent most of my time on this thing just figuring out how I wanted to do it. The actual creation was just about an hour.

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Been too long since posting. Only a little over two weeks before the BBQ! At this rate the hope for finishing by then is slim, but I'll press onward. My real date to have it sorted by is October 11th, though I'll most likely be working out of town the week before, so end of September is my target.

 

I haven't had many blocks of time to get a lot done at once, but here's where I'm at.

 

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So ALL of my lighting relays are wired to the fuse panel, waiting to be wired to where they're going to and to switches. There's a dedicated relay for Low Beam, High Beam, Running, Brake, and Reverse lights. For sake of simplicity turn signals and the wipers won't have conventional ground switching, but instead will be positive pass-through switching.

 

Oh, and my headlights are done being wired towards the relays other than grounds. I'm waiting to ground them till I have the front turn signal wiring done and can ground them all at once to one location. Once that's done I'll be able to throw in a battery and test my headlights, though I've already done a preliminary test to make sure I was 100% right on my wiring pin locations.

 

To wire: (ouch, long list)

 

Headlight switches (doubles as running)

Turn switches

rear lights to relays (brake, reverse, turn, running)

brake light switch

reverse switch (not looking forward to that)

Two ignition switches

Wire said circuits (coil, ECU, Fuel Pump, stereo)

Horn Switch

Horn Relay

Wiper Swtich

Gauges (lights + signals)

 

I feel like I'm missing something, but that's a decent start on all the junk needing to be wired. Fun times.

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