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Everything posted by Michael

  1. Remove the valve covers and inspect the rockers and pushrods. The latest malady sounds like what happens with a "wiped" flat tappet cam and bent pushrods. Also manually turn the crank-bolt and check that the valves are opening correctly (that whole 18436572 firing-order thing). Re-do the "quarter turn trick" if it's a hydraulic cam, and re-set the lash if it's a mechanical cam. It's conceivable that the distributor was installed 180 degrees backwards, so to speak. That is, spark hits the #1 piston as it's coming up on the... exhaust stroke, instead of the intake stroke.
  2. Turn everything off, put transmission in neutral and spin the crank (via crank pulley bolt) with the appropriate socket wrench (7/8", if memory serves) and either a breaker-bar or a section of pipe engaged with the wrench handle. Spin the crank for a full revolution. It is possible that the crank is seized, whence the starter can't muster enough torque to break the seizing. If the crank is indeed seized, that's problem #1. If it spins OK by hand, then we'll return to the starter problem. A vigorous person should have no difficulty turning the crank with the spark plugs installe
  3. Welcome! Several of us are in the LA area. Perhaps we should have an in-person meet, 'rona-permitting? If you car doesn't presently run, and you're unsure of re-start procedures, it may help to post in the "general troubleshooting" sub-forum. The usual culprits are of course fuel-air-spark, assuming that the valvetrain and so forth are healthy, and that the compression is OK. 4L80 is an unusual choice, to go behind a small-block. Was the original intended for drag racing?
  4. To affix aluminum plates to the transmission tunnel, as a completely new feat for me. Isn't the more common approach a "blowproof" bellhousing? Something like this: https://www.holley.com/brands/lakewood/products/drivetrain/bellhousings/ . These are unfortunately very heavy (maybe 40 lbs), but aren't they required by the NHRA?
  5. Welcome back! Yes, it's been a long and choppy 21+ years. Perhaps we ought to have an "old member" section, for reminiscences and such? I will bring my hot-water bottle and wool blanket. An important lesson is regarding having the right environment. Insufficient garage space, or too rigid of a state regulatory burden, all conspire to sap motivation. Or in some parts of the country, where land is plentiful and regulations are forgiving, the climate is brutal, and for half of the year it's unpleasant to drive a sports car, or even to be in the garage. The result? We have to awa
  6. Have a look at the "suspension" chapter of the venerable JTR V8 conversion manual, where there's a discussion on re-drilling the K-member to move the LCA outboard (and slightly upward). There's also been discussion suggesting (sorry, the context escapes me) the benefits of a "slightly" wider track in the front than in the rear. As to the 5x114.3 vs. 4x114.3 dilemma, both aesthetics and wheel selection-options suggest the benefits of swapping to 5-lug in the front, if that's already been done in the rear. Given the cost of the Ray's wheels, the additional cost of new 5-lug hubs (a
  7. Having spent 20+ years trying to do it myself, I realized that my skills are woefully inadequate. I've also garnered a respect for professional workmanship, even if it's costly. The frustration is that most pros are into the show-circuit... $20K paint jobs and that sort of thing. I've also learned to never argue with a seasoned pro... that's one context in which it is assuredly not the case, that "The customer is always right". But you're quite right about the importance of patience. Today Datsuns are expensive. In another 20 years, the generation that idolized them in their y
  8. Not to range too far of topic, but that's a 150-pound block. I chose those attributes intentionally, to result in surprisingly light engine. It's the sort of thing that powers the winners of the Hot Rod Drag Week contests... things like 1962 Novas that weigh 2100 pounds. But the big-block people or the Nova people won't countenance one of that them thar Datsuns... and vice versa. Just like it was, 21 years ago, when this site first started. The point is, that great things are possible by dispensing with OEM stuff and replacing it with high-end, specialized parts, tested and ins
  9. Not to be provocative, but I wonder how much of the price-escalation is from a cultural affinity to "keeping it Japanese" or "all Nissan"? In other words, if the engine were a Donovan aluminum big-block 572, with AFR heads and a big mechanical roller cam, backed by a T-56 transmission and a Ford 9" center-section (duly converted to independent half-shafts), then might we find ourselves with a car that cost $100K to build, but only fetches $40K at auction?
  10. Plausible and intriguing, but would the bending stresses (cantilevered load) be acceptable? Miata 15x8 wheels are typically around 36mm offset, whereas a Z, if I'm not mistaken, would be 0 offset (4.5" backspacing on an 8" wheel... that is, 9" lip-to-lip, is 0 offset). So that's a 36mm-thick cylindrical slab of aluminum, drilled 4x114.3 and counterbored to accept lug nuts and the head of a socket-wrench (what is it, 21 mm?) ... and then drilled and studded at 4x100, to accept the Miata wheel. 1" adaptors: https://usadapters.com/collections/4x114-3-4x4-5-wheel-adapters-
  11. If you've done the 5-lug conversion, the world is your proverbial oyster (at least as regards wheels). There appear to be lots of OZ wheels in 5x114.3. It's us poor 4-lug schlubs who lack options. Were I to have done the 5-lug conversion, I'd just order some Weld Draglites (https://www.weldwheels.com/street-strip-wheels/draglite.html) in a custom offset. Problem solved. Maybe this is classic paralysis-by-analysis, but here's the problem: 1. Car has been sitting for decades, and tires are completely unsafe, even for pulling out of the driveway. 2. Cho
  12. There is of course the adage of getting that for which one pays. I don't expect forged wheels for cast-wheel prices. The quandary however is that even among comparably built and comparably designed wheels, there's wide range in weight and price. One would like to get "the best" within a certain class of product, realizing that "best" will differ between the different classes... or applications. Another example is Konig wheels. Several appeal to me, in price, design and even weight. But good luck getting a 4x114.3 pattern with the right offset for a Z. Another example is 6UL (
  13. This is precisely why a crowd-sourcing approach of gathering data - even anecdotal data - is so important. Until brands build a reliable track-record, we can only rely on word-of-mouth. By way of example, I bought a "Central Machinery" drill press from Harbor Freight Tools, about 20 years ago. It still works great! Best $150 that I ever spent on a tool. But the purchase was blind... no knowledge, not even anecdotal data. I dislike Rota for two reasons. First, they're heavily advertised, which to me suggests more sizzle than steak. Second, they tend to be
  14. It occurred to me, that after thirteen and a half years, a reply might be judicious. Or at least amusing.... The vendor is/was called "Cam Motion", from their "low lash mechanical roller" line. A modern internet search reveals this: https://cammotion.com/low-lash-solid-roller ... but that's for LS-series engines, and not for Mark-IV big blocks. I can't find anything about big-blocks on their current web site. Back in the day (winter of 2006-2007), the part number was L2402-2501-12+4. That's 239/249 deg @0.050”. Lift is 0.642”/0.646”, 112 LSA, installed +4 deg. Sp
  15. Any updates on this? Those Jongbloeds are beautiful wheels, but what of cost, weight - and most importantly. fitment? A quick search reveals that just over the past year, we've had multiple threads on "Help, all of the Datsun wheel links are now 10+ years old, and there's no comprehensive spreadsheet anyway". Then there's the inevitable question of stock springs (cut or otherwise... assumption is that the spring perch is NOT relocated) vs. coilovers. The result is inevitably... inconclusive.
  16. Thanks for the kind words, fellows! The Z completed its transcontinental journey on a trailer behind a Penske box-van, and is now "safe" in the general locale where it started its American life... California. Pro tip: towing is exhausting... tough on both tow-vehicle and driver. Our box-van was lucky to get 10 mpg, especially on hilly terrain (Missouri Ozarks, Arizona mountains). En route, the Z received smattering of compliments at gas stations, truck stops, hotel parking lots,... Here's a photo from the rear, in the car's current resting-place. License plate is go
  17. Search for country of origin has for me also thus far been unsuccessful. I'm not utterly thrilled with the styling, but the wheels are remarkably light-weight. They have the correct bolt-pattern and offset. The closest competitor is Rota, but the comparable Rotas are 3-4 pounds heavier. The reason for my sudden ebullience is that I'd like to get my perma-project out of hibernation. The current tires on there are about 30 years old. Yes, 30! The current wheels are the 14x7 "Western Turbine"... heavy, and offering limited tire choice. 15x8 offers several tire option
  18. Surprisingly, there don't appear to be any threads on these wheels. Manufacturer link: https://www.vorswheels.com/collections/tr3/products/tr3 . These are 15x8, 0 offset, and appear (by my reckoning) to fit a stock-suspension 280Z. Weight is evidently 13.5 lb (see https://www.vorswheels.com/pages/vors-wheel-weight), which looks to be decently light. Any opinions? I am surprised that I've never seen mention of these either on our Forum, or really in any Z-type of venue. Am I missing something obvious (failed design, improper fit, bad reputation....)?
  19. I'd like to see more dedicated tube-chassis and other radical mods. Whatever happened to jos260z's project? Promising start, but then...? One approach is to build a proper round-tube chassis on a jig, with the desired front/rear subframes (or even better, mount the suspension directly to the chassis, eliding subframes and their associated weight). Hollow-out (technical term?) the Datsun body, and then wrap it onto the chassis. This has been done before, but recent examples are hard to come by. In the 90s there were some drag racers... the name Ron Jones comes to mind. Ron use
  20. Cute dog, and attractive young lady. That out of the way, the 2nd-generation Camaro front hubs/rotors also fit the 280Z spindles. I confirmed this in a "pick-a-part" junkyard in Ontario, California, some 20 years ago. But, whether with the Mustang or the Camaro, we have the issues noted in the video: rotor diameter is too large (needs to be machined-down), and brake caliper has to be replaced with a larger and beefier unit --> more weight. So... what if instead one prefers the comparatively svelte weight of the stock hub/rotor and stock brake calipers... but wishes
  21. Inspired by an ad for 15x9 wheels in our classified sections (sincere best-wishes to the seller, but those particular wheels are a bit too heavy for my tastes), a search on tirerack.com for 15" tires isn't as bleak as I'd worried. For example, these: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=BFGoodrich&tireModel=g-Force+Rival+S+1.5&partnum=44VR5GFRS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes look like a good candidate. Not to dissuade Spdrcr or anyone else, but perhaps our misgivings about 15" tire selection are a bit excessive. That said, a bigger problem, I th
  22. The coolant/oil mix suggests a blown head gasket (best case), cracked heads (can be repaired) or cracked block (a serious problem). it may make sense to pull the engine, and to completely disassemble it. The machine shop will then perform tests to ascertain if the blocks is cracked. Even if the block is fine, there may be merit to installing new bearings (crank and rod) and new rod bolts. The stroke of the crank can be easily confirmed by measuring the vertical displacement of a piston across one half-revolution. If it's a 383, that displacement (which is the stroke!) will be".
  23. Good points, Miles, but with all due respect, this is not a "newbie" question. I've owned and worked-on this car for 22 years. Wick's book (among others) has probably been sitting on my shelf for nearly 30 years. It's just that the car (not unlike the book) has sat more or less ignored for the majority of those years. Recently I moved, together with the car, to a locale where I have no garage, no parking space, no tools, no place to work on the car, and no time to work on it either. But the car was too precious, too storied and too unique to sell. And paradoxically, even Quixotically, I
  24. To summarize, the approach appears to be: 1. Disconnect lines to the calipers (front) and slave cylinders (rear). Pass fluid through the whole system. Hopefully the master cylinder and vacuum booster are OK. If not, do something... 2. Replace the slave cylinders (rear) while being mindful of the parking-brake pawl. Check drum diameter, and if out of spec, replace. Replace shoes. 3. Replace the calipers (front), rotors and pads. Presumably also do the bearings... or split the hubs/rotors and just replace the rotors? 4. New fluid, and bleedin
  25. Despite surfeit of information on upgrade options (in this sub-forum, or the FAQ), and some wise advice on leaving things alone for the more modest applications, there seems to be little information regarding refreshing of stock brakes. Here’s the problem: car has been in hibernation for years, maybe decades. Fluids are old. Pads are probably from the early 1990s. Brake lines were custom bent and installed around the year 2000 (long story), but the brake hardware (calipers, rotors, drums, cylinders,…) were left alone. Car was driven sporadically over the years, but hasn’t been
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