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seattlejester's 1971 240Z

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Running into a strange problem. With the running lights on, it seems the turn signals do not work anymore. Even with electronic flashers. I do note that when I kick the running lights on my turn signal indicators dim, I wonder if there is too much draw on them to trigger the flasher with them being "dual filament" (two trigger) bulbs.

With that issue aside, chickenman helped set me in the right direction with the tune. Car seems much happier now. Very good advice about making it rich and allowing the software to pull fuel rather then add fuel. I ran a very quick tune session and the AFR's are much much better then they have been.

The nice weather is definitely coming to a close, so I asked a friend and forum member if he wouldn't mind taking a few shots of my car.

We headed out downtown. I did a fair amount of swearing in the stop and go traffic, but the car seemed to do well. Temps didn't get hotter then 5* above running temp.

He was really devoted, willing to lie on the ground for the shots.


I think they turned out pretty nice.



The blast back home through the tunnels was fantastic I'll have to bother him for the sound clip some time. I did notice a coupler had blown off the turbo, so that will have to be re-tightend.

During the shoot, at one point the car started making a much higher pitched grumble and whine from the fuel pump. It still got us home fine, but I had been abusing it in some regard given it isn't fed fuel very nicely and it was trying to cram fuel through through an artificially small fitting. I thought it best to be proactive and swap out the pump.

DW seems to be pretty popular so I picked up one of the inline pumps.


Made some new terminals.


Swapped it right in. Definitely quieter then the Bosch 044, less whine, more of a little buzz. Car also seemed to start much better even from cold. 

Definitely a bit more tuning to do, I think the cosmetic touches turned out nice, so time to make the rest of the car a bit more presentable.


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It has been a while since an update.


So first off, I've been working on some little projects.


I've been meaning to redo my hand brake. It is pretty loose being an ebay unit, and finally having pulled it in a straight line it does not actually lock the wheels like one might expect of a hydraulic brake.


So first off is a design or an improvement. Two faults I found was slop and lack of actuation force/pressure. 

The lack of actuation is remedied with a bigger wilwood clutch master. The slop will be addressed with bearings.


I started off with a blank for the handle


Basic design attempt for a simple handle. Then I looked up prices for having things cnc cut or water jetted and decided maybe not for me.


Decided to shrink it down to just an adapter for a simple pipe. Extra holes to test for alignment and leverage.


Then a simple sketch for a base using no dimensions.


Correction once real dimensions were found and the pivot plate was finalized


Then, since the master is a bigger bore I raised the whole thing, distancing the pivot and giving a bit better leverage.


3d print the pivot piece.


Made a tube adapter since you can't weld to plastic for testing.


Then hot glued the pieces together for testing.


The base was simply made out of box steel. Pretty simple in design and easily replicable.


Mounting plate was made for the master


Then welded together, don't mind the welds, prototype to just check for functionality at this point really.


The pivot piece was traced, then cut. The additional pieces were then welded on.


The result. Really feels good in the hand. The only detectable slop is in the forward direction which is resultant from the master. A spring should take care of that if needed. The base still needs some aerating as well and the pivot could be more contoured and could use some kind of mechanism to maintain some brake pressure so it can be used as a parking brake.


Another point of improvement is the crummy fuel pump location. Given the fuel pump is mounted to the bottom of the hatch floor and the fuel cell sits below that, it does make noise when you are going down a hill, braking or other such activity. 


There was some though of taking the fuel cell out and welding in some bolts to the side of the fuel cell box, but figured a little pedestal might be easier.


Using my favorite tool I cut up some leftover pieces.


Then cleaned up the spot to be welded with a grinder


Added the bar to space the plates


Then measured to drill some holes, and welded the assembly together.


Now the fuel pump has preload so will hopefully be happier and last longer.

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One may wonder. Why did you make a vertical handbrake? Isn't that what those kids do who do that whole sliding thing?


Well, yes, that is what they do. 


I took the Z to a drift school. I went knowing that this was not likely going to end well. We have long suggested that these cars were pretty bad for this given the slow steering and lack of overall angle. I can report. Yes, that hasn't really changed.


With the weather getting a little nicer and the car seemingly sorted, I was looking for something to do. Turns out they were bringing back the drift school at the local track which had been absent for a couple years, or at least a couple years ago. Figured I have RWD with an LSD, spare tires as well, what do I have to lose?


Went out with a friend who also has a mostly dormant project, kind of an excuse for both of us to drive our cars. The last time we drove together is when I lost my oil line and killed my motor. Sad to say this time was not without mishap. Arriving at the track I found oil. Seems the oil feed line to the turbo worked its way loose from the other end of where I found it loose the time before. Luckily with my new oil pressure gauge fitted I knew it had not killed itself like last time.


I will reiterate, check all AN fittings and hose clamps! An accurate oil pressure gauge in a good location is also a MUST. 


Found a very nice local who happily shared his oil with me. Oil topped off, tires changed, onto the track.


It is pretty interesting to learn. Having never done a donut or anything of that nature this was a whole new skill set.


Sad to say I really did not do well. In retrospect I think I was focusing too hard on trying to get the car to spin instead of thinking of how to control what happens after. Made myself and most likely my instructor quite sick tossing us around. In the end after not really getting anything remotely resembling a drift, I asked the instructor to take it out (top picture). He reiterated what we have always known. The steering is slow, heavy, and lacking in angle, but he said the power was real good. If I could figure out how to get a bit more angle (we spun shortly after the picture was taken, lack of angle is the culprit), he said this could be something really fun to play with.


So with the street tires put back on we stood around and watched for a bit. It is remarkable how much control some of these guys have.


I must say sitting here a few days later, I am itching a bit to try again. Maybe some Arizona Knuckles and TTT tie rod ends maybe in the future.

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Thanks, I went into it being a little worried, like what if my hybrid axles that uses parts from 3-4 cars breaks, what if my engine mounts shift. That all kind of went out the window when the instructor was like, ok CLUTCH KICK. 


Happy to report the car took abuse from 3 people and seems to be fine. If something breaks it is a weak point, best find it now rather than on a long road trip or something.

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I'm still printing from home. Material is PLA. It takes a little bit more thinking to make sure the parts fit on the little build area (4.5x4.5), but still manageable. If I need a bigger piece my friend has an 8x8 one that I can use as long as it isn't actively printing. 

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According to some online searching it says it is able to print ABS.


ABS probably would be better for engine bay or things like that, but then you have to consider venting the room the printer is in for the fumes. PLA is really nice to print with, but it does kind of have an iffy temperature limit in regards to car stuff. The printer I am using just sits at the foot of my bed in a corner and just chugs away. 


If you have something small you want printed let me know, I'm in that spot where I appreciate the practice in modeling. If it's PLA, just shipping will be fine as long as it doesn't take too long. If you want it out of something a bit more resistant, I'd have to bother my friend and he might charge a bit for material and setup, but probably cheaper than any commercial print.

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If I recall you do make some very decent sketches. Just a sketch with clearcut dimensions would be enough to go on for something simple. There are some limitations to printing or optimizations that have to be considered so that might be nicer to start from scratch.


If you already have a model, something compatible with fusion 360 would be nice. That way I can edit it if something needs tweaking and I can convert it to STL I think is what the cut program likes. Simplify 3d is the cut program so if you are 100% sure on the model, then something that simplify 3d can recognize would be fine.

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That's pretty awesome. I've been wanting to get a 3D printer for a while now. As soon as they can reliably make electrical connectors I'm buying one. I might try and design some kind of mounting bracket for said electrical connectors and send it your way if you're interested.

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Hmm that is something interesting to think about. With how cheap plug kits are I'm not sure how economical this would be. It would definitely be useful if you were doing some type of specific connector or some such thing, I know I've been delayed a week or two looking for a specific connector. 


If you can sketch something up with dimensions I'd be happy to make you a prototype. I'm happy to use the practice.

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