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Everything posted by OldAndyAndTheSea

  1. DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR THE FAINT AT HEART, OR THOSE WHO HATE READING. I KINDA POURED MY HEART INTO THIS ONE. Best split it up over time. Hey there guys! My name is Andy Leonard. I live in Upstate New York, where Z's and Z parts are few and far between. I am 21 years old (and will probably be much older by the time this car is 100% complete). ALL work on this vehicle has been done by myself. I'd imagine over 3,000 hours or so and about 9,000 dollars have been invested (parts only) throughout the restoration process. This is an ongoing project that, as you will see, has gone through many changes. By no means is this car complete. I am always thinking of some stupid change or modification to make the car more and more appealing to myself. Lets start at the beginning.(buckle your seat belts, its going to be a long ride. I'll try to keep it interesting.) My first Z (unfortunately I don't have pictures) I found in a barn while when I was 8 years old. The car did not run, it needed an engine, but I didn't care. I fell in love with that hulking piece of rust from day one. I paid roughly 300 dollars at the time, which was a HUGE investment at 8 years old. As the years passed the car fell further and further into disrepair. It soon became apparent that I could not save the body, and I was on the market for a clean, rust free 240z. I was a 16 year old kid with about 4,000 dollars burning a hole in my pocket. After some searching, I found what I was looking for, in Southern California. I promised myself I would not let this one fall to the same fate as my first Z venture. Here is the car I purchased from California (I paid 2500 dollars, plus another 1000 for shipping, sucks, but the rust free aspect was worth it to me) In order to keep the virgin steel of the car and undercarriage safe, I spent the next 3 successive days under the car scraping and undercoating (sucks, but 150% necessary) I bought the car from eBay (along with many other parts of my car, haha). As with any eBay purchase, especially when dealing with cars, it is always a gamble. Luckily I caught a break. The car arrived and showed minimal problems. I had my base. I was ready to begin what would become the next 3 years of my life. The interior was completely dismantled and either broken, or missing. I started by removing the AWFUL stock bucket seats. The seats were so bad that the previous owner has EPOXY'D, not glued, EPOXY'D, the blue seat covers to the seats, fusing the two horrific materials together forever. As shown here Those were quickly disposed of (and hopefully burned for safety reasons). These seats were what went into the car soon after. (yes also purchased off eBay, say what you want but I consider them the BEST investment I have made to the car, they are PERFECT) -200 Dollars shipped! hahaha And believe it or not they weigh a significant amount less than the stock seats. I had to fabricate mounting brackets for the seats, as they did come with rails, and miraculously shared a similar base width, which was a complete and total guess on my part. I mounted the seats to 1/8th inch sheet steel cut to adapt to the slight differences of the new seats, and mounted the plates to the existing seat brackets. I also ordered and installed my carpet kid after painting the floor pans black, with a brush, to protect them. I decided to change the look of the conventional black dashboard, and since my dash had a crack in it a dash cover was most definitely in order. I thought blue and black two tone would look pretty neat, so I carefully removed and taped off what I couldn't from the dash. I painted the dash and the center console a dark blue. I left certain things black in the car, to create contrast. - Floor Pans - Interior shot (there will be more from numerous angles later, just initial install) Now that I had an interior, my 17 year old mind said, forget engine stuff, lets paint it! Now I know what you are probably thinking, "Andy. the car doesn't look that bad, the paint looks fine, why would you paint it?" I agree, the car did arrive in decent shape, but the previous owner told me that he had the car quickly painted in MEXICO for under 250 dollars for the full job. The paint was only a year old and already the MOUNTAINS of Bondo, securely hidden beneath, were already beginning to crack. I ended up doing the following TWICE, as I was not at all satisfied with my first attempt, due to impatience. A note to all who are thinking of restoring ANYTHING: TAKE IT DOWN TO BARE METAL ALWAYS, DON'T PAINT OVER THE UNKNOWN. I quickly found myself sanding into hidden body filler, especially in my doors, and would attempt to fix BOTH my and the previous guy's body work at once. The hours of grinding will absolutely save you time in the end. DON'T BE DUMB LIKE ME! So, in a blind fury, I went straight to body work. I was now making the biggest mistake I have made to date on the car... Take a guess at the number of layers of material. - If you guessed 8, you are correct. That's a whole lot of paint, and bondo....But I stupidly pushed through. Continuing the paint process. When I felt the car was straight-ish I bought a gallon of PPG k36 primer, hardener, the works. I primed the car that same day. Did I remove the emblems? NAH Did I remove the door handles? NAH Did I remove the windshield? NAH Did I remove ANYTHING AT ALL?! I think I removed the rear bumper. DUMB! In retrospect I wish I had built a time machine instead so I could go back now and kick myself in the balls. The next 2 months would be a a serious test of my mental stability. I sanded the primer first with 500 wet, then working my way to 900 grit wet, after a recoat. As I finished I quickly wiped off the car and before ran to the furthest reaches of the garage to see the, most certainly awesome, results of my labor. Instead as I gaze forward, I felt like a Hawaiian surfer just staring at all the waves...... WHAT HAD I DONE?! How could this be??! The car was smooth as glass (generally not a good idea in primer for one, paint needs something to stick to) which felt amazing to my ignorant hands. Even the smooth texture could not make up for the ripples that so commonly plagued my doors roof and hatch. WHAT WAS I TO DO? There was no other option......I had to do it over. DAMN! My world was turned upside down. I cannot tell you how hard it was to put that grinder back to the car.... I was still mentally prepared for laying paint next. But now I had to fathom the idea of starting from square one again. Now my interior even had over spray from primer on the panels and carpet (it has taken until just recently to restore them to previous luster.) My friend and mentor for all things Automotive allowed me to use an unoccupied paint booth where he worked in return for working for him. I was allowed to work at nights, after hours as long as I left the place in BETTER condition than I found it. I stripped the car to bare metal. Hours turned into days, of seemingly endless material. Grinding through inches upon inches of body filler, completely painting my face blue, save the distinct outlines of where safety goggles and a mask clearly had been. After exhaustive work, and screaming relentless obscenities later. The car was completely naked. She had not been this way since when she was on the production line in late 1972. NOTE: APOLOGIES FOR THE BAD QUALITY, THESE WERE TAKEN FROM A 2 MEGAPIXEL CELL PHONE CAMERA. (you may run into this in the future as well. I don't like having a camera in my shop with all the dust flying.) -First stages of body work Once the car was in bare metal I thoroughly inspected each and every inch for flaws. I targeted them individually and SMITED all dents that opposed me. I was a force to be reckoned with. Once all problem areas had been eradicated, I sanded the car, in its entirety, with 180 grit sandpaper for a smooth-ish finish. Next was primer.......Again. -BUT FIRST! I forgot to mention earlier, I did yet another impossibly stupid thing to my car when trying to paint it the first time. I painted all my door jams flat black with spray paint..... (I claimed cause it looked "cool" but it merely was me being lazy, looking for the quick way out instead of taping the doors and jams etc. Was a common trend with me then.) SO what did this mean? It meant I had to take a blow torch to the jams of the car, and the doors themselves. Heating and scraping the flat spray paint off the car. This too took an unbelievably long time....Don't do this either. Paint your jams like any normal person. As for the torch thing....That job blows..... Trust me, you want no part in that. NOW I can spray primer.. For real. The time span between this this day and when I originally sprayed primer was almost exactly 8 months. (like I said earlier, a time machine would come in handy) I sanded and re-primed the car until the blocking process was complete. I worked my way up to 500 wet again. -Freshly dressed in primer (Used Martin Senour this time, due to cost constraints, I would recommend the high build primer, it works great!) -Doors - Hatch - 500 wet sanded (and dried) The car looks and feels great. Finally, I feel I did a good job. Now, I never thought the day would come, it's time for paint. I chose a silver metallic paint, also by Martin Senour, and their high performance clear coat. (At first I'll admit, I was not loving the clear, until I buffed the car out, about two years after spraying. Yes, they call me "Captain Procrastinator".) Unfortunately the 6 incandescent bulbs in my garage don't accurately show the TRUE color variations in the paint, hopefully you can see the bronze tones and platinum hue that appear at different sun height. The car is now to be painted. First came the base coat. Had to lay it on from a distance to reduce mottling. Then came the clear. It sprayed a little harder than PPG products but it didn't turn out half bad. It looks great now after buffing the car. I also purchased a carbon fiber hood and flares, because yet again the money was obviously burning a hole in my pocket. I know, not the most solid investment at the time. But I was a kid. Who cares if the thing even RUNS right? Right? Here is the car during it's reassembly and the beginning stages of retrofitting the hood. I painted the grille and tail light panel sections black. - WHO CAN REFUSE THOSE? I bought these back when they were only 230 dollars, I think, from TheZstore. Now I think they are over 300 for a set. I GOT LUCKY! Next was getting all of my lights to work. I'll admit lighting is NOT my area of expertise, and the previous owner had slaughtered the wiring harness. Luckily with the help from my mentor the car was lit and wired in under an hour. Also, I installed the Autopal HID lights (I think that's they are called). They are very bright. All right. I'm going to skip over the engine section for one second, yet again, so I can finish this stage of the body assembly. Just know that the car runs, and drives currently, although not inspected. The car first hit the road on October 31st 2008. And won't you believe it, that the night before, northern new york was hit with a freak ice storm, and somehow unbeknown to me accumulated about 4 inches of snow. Luckily the day after melted most of the snow. My blood pressure soon began to lower. That being said, my drive home was certainly interesting. When towing the car to the shop where I painted it, the alignment (was perfect) got super screwed up, to say the least. It looked like a Pigeon toed Datsun 240z. I threw my steering wheel back on, started her up, VROOOM!!, sounded great. Then I went to turn the wheel. BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BE BE BE BE BEEEP BEEEEEP EEEEP BEEEP!!!!! My horn was being relentless. It would not stop screaming with every subtle movement of the wheel. Apparently I had bent the horn button (metal prong thing that rides on the back of the wheel) out far enough that it was constantly engaging my horn. And to add insult to injury the alignment of the car was so bad that when I turned the wheel so the car would go straight, the tires would squeal! So there I was, driving down the street, in a HONKING, SQUEALING freshly painted 240z. People would turn and either stop to laugh or wave as I passed by. I was 19 years old, hauling down the 7 mile stretch back to my house on checked tires, in this boisterous beast. I was enjoying every minute of it. I got the car home. Got an alignment with a new set of Fuzion tires as a temporary set. I was impressed with the tread as these were cheap tires. They are great temporary tires if you plan on putting different rims on your car but don't have the money to do so just yet. I cleaned and drove the car to my hearts content. The first day I drove the car over 8 hours, on Halloween night. This is what the car would look like for the next 6 months or so. If only I could have driven it that long........You'll see what I mean later. I mounted the carbon fiber flares with double sided molding tape, quickly fabricated a set of flimsy hood mounting brackets and hit the road! I had driven the car from October 31st until about mid november, which is when the snow began flying, so the car took its permanent place back where it had grown so accustomed. On stands in my garage at home. When the car first arrived it came with a 5 speed wide ratio transmission. I loved the idea of the 5 speed but my second gear was on its way out, and the synchro would whine every time I would shift at a higher rpm. This had to be changed. And with winter coming to an end the car would soon be on the road again. I would now return to my childhood car, my beloved first Z, now in its resting place stored away in a field behind my garage. I heaved my jack, my stands, and tools out to the other car, and In a couple hours I removed the 4 speed. (70,000 original miles on the car, was out of a early 72 240z). I did the same with my 5 speed, but from the comforts of my heated shop, not laying in the mud. With both transmissions side by side I swapped out the needed hardware and installed the 4 speed into my car with a new throw out bearing. Again, as I CONSISTENTLY SEEM TO DO, I did something INCREDIBLY STUPID............I mentioned earlier that the 4 speed was out of a late 1972 Datsun 240z, the 5 speed I don't know the original origins so I can only guess, but the yoke that extends through the bell housing to the slave cylinder, and the cylinder itself was different on both transmissions, and each car. My car, used the closed hole yoke, and cylinder; the 4 speed utilized the open holed yoke, and that slave cylinder. Guess when I figured this out? After reinstalling the drive shaft? YEP After reinstalling the bell housing bolts? YEP After installing EVERYTHING BUT the slave cylinder?! YEP! So once again, I reluctantly became a professional Datsun transmission installer overnight...... I didn't feel that just drilling a hole in the yoke would be the right way to do it, although I figured it would work. I wanted to do it right, not cut corners like I had before. I was finally learning. I dropped the transmission yet again, it was quite easy thanks to some never seize, which is something my Father beat into my head from an early age. Whatever bolt you take out, never seize it before you put it back in. It'll save a lot of heartache in the long run. You'll thank yourself later. I swapped out the stupid yokes. A task that took literally 45 seconds....and in about an hour again, I had the transmission back in its rightful place, and hooked up the remaining loose ends. The car was now ready for the season, when the season was permitting the to car. I drove the car 5 and a half days before more heartache.... I awoke one morning for College classes. I ran out to the car as I normally do, wanting to let it warm up a bit before I left, I went out early. Unfortunately, the dumbass who drives the car left the axillary power on. The battery was deader than a door nail. It wouldn't even take a jump... Luckily though, I had a slightly LARGER battery in the garage, on the charger, so I was not worried about being late for class. I removed the battery retainer bar from the dead battery, and swapped in the much larger (I think possibly marine) battery. It fit well in the battery box, but the height of the battery prevented me from reinstalling the retainer bar. This was over a 3,000 dollar mistake. ALWAYS FASTEN YOUR BATTERIES DOWN!!!!! I will explain shortly what happened. All RIGHT, this is FINALLY where I talk to you about the engine(s) that my car chews through. I will first talk about the original engine since that is the engine I am talking about in my story. The engine is a L24 original block with a early e31 head and a mildly aggressive cam (It was what came with the car so I am unsure of lift and duration). It still uses the dual SU carburetors, and runs 6-2-1 headers, with Crane Fireball electronic ignition, coil, and distributor. The engine ran great, the idle needed to be adjusted every once in a while whenever I deemed necessary. I would have a flat head screw driver on my person at all times for this. The air slide in my rear carburetor was a little sloppy and out worn so adjusting the carbs to the aggressiveness of the cam proved to be extremely difficult. But for the most part the car ran beautifully, it always held at least 40 pounds of oil pressure even at an idle. So back to my story... I had just swapped out the dead battery with the big ass boat battery so I could make it to class. I got to school all right, then on my return trip while cornering I heard a shudder from under the hood. I thought: "This isn't good." so I pulled over, and shut the car off (this is important). I opened the hood and saw the battery now wedged between the inner fenders and the block. I thought by catching it at this point I had averted a catastrophe, but little did I know, I had just set one in motion....... What I didn't see was that the battery had broken my oil pressure sending unit line just at the engine mounts. The engine's gauges ran directly off of the pressure from the block. So when I started the car the next time, I was still reading SOME oil pressure at an idle (I assume the line was not completely broken at this point, only leaking) so I continued to drive. Car felt great. Felt responsive, fast, I was having a grand ole time driving home...... until "BAM!!!!!!!" "OH NO! I KNOW THAT SOUND!!!" Anyone who has spun a rod bearing will NEVER forget the gunshot like sound coming from deep inside your engine. It's unmistakable. And I knew that is certainly what I had done.....My engine was finished.....and at least at the time, it felt like I was too.... I pulled off the to side of the road. I checked my oil, which had apparently pulled a Houdini on me and vanished. I had just changed the oil the day before. "Where the hell is all my oil?" I thought about it while I sat stranded on the side of the the road. I was waiting for my father to show up to tow the car back to our home, 15 miles away. I continued to search for the source of the problem, and then I found it. The clear brittle pressure line that was clearly broken and dripping oil. THAT was the cause to my problem. The reason I didn't see it before was because I turned my car off...stopping all oil pressure, so it wasn't leaking during the initial inspection.....until I got back into the car, that is, and started my way home. I like to think of myself as Speed Racer laying an oil slick behind him. That's the best way to explain it. Decent imagery. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the engine in its broken state because I didn't want to be reminded of such lame-ness. Just imagine the pictures above, but broken. And Dirty (covered in oil). haha So the Datsun was brought back to the garage, and yet AGAIN put on those jack stands. (She is still sitting there today) What I forgot to mention (along with probably numerous other things) is that I had purchased (back at age 14) a fully rebuilt L26/E88 combination with a similar performance cam. The engine never left the pallet after being rebuilt. I bought it for around 250 dollars (I think). I had originally purchased the engine for my First Z, but the body fell apart too fast, and since my car ran fine I never felt the need to swap what isn't broken. Here is the engine as it sat, for year in my garage. -notice how clean the timing chain is. The engine had NEVER been fired. But now my engine WAS broken, and it needed to be swapped. I removed my engine and set it aside. This also allowed me to finally paint my engine compartment. (it's just dusty in this picture, but it's actually a very nice satin black) (here it is kinda cleaned up, although horrible cellphone quality. Hopefully you get the idea.) I then painted the block of my L26 and swapped all of my engine components over, and swapped my valve cover, because "its shinier" Now I would LOVE to tell you that I just swapped this engine into the car and all was well. But nope....why would it? I'll tell you why. NO compression. Zilch....even with the plugs in....greeeeeaaaaatttt.... From sitting over the years the cylinders, more specifically the piston rings collected moisture. They began to rust, (this may have happened even before I bought it at age 14) we will never know. So I thought, I'll just get new rings. Pop the head off and of course the cylinder walls are horribly scorn and have some scale. I take it to a local machine shop to have them boil and bore the block. I drop it off. I hear back within a day. I knew the news came too soon, and was probably bad. He explained that he had bored the cylinder walls as far as he could, without re-sleeving, and the scale was still very much a problem. So my decision was either to assemble this engine, and burn oil, guaranteed, or search for YET ANOTHER ENGINE base. I spent 400 dollars on the machine work performed to my new boat anchor block (I actually may make a table out of it, with a glass top I think it would look nice). So my wallet was not looking forward to the new engine search. So now I have one broken ass L24/e31 and one equally as worthless L26/E88. Luckily within a couple hour's drive I located a L28/N42 N/A out of an automatic 76 280z. I love the N42 head and have always longed to upgrade to the L28. The price was 200 or best offer. The engine was out of a running car (the guy upgraded his 2+2 to a l28et/5speed). I didn't care if it ran because I was just going to do the same thing to this block as I had my L26.I bought the engine for 175 dollars. When I got the engine home I quickly made work of it, stripping the engine of it's transmission, air conditioning, etc.... until only the long block remained. Finally with all of the junk off of the engine I loaded the engine back in the truck and drove it off to the machine shop, to yet again....perform the same machine work. The block was bored .030 over and utilizes 240z Rods, L28 Crank, and forged pistons. (Yes, I'm eventually going turbo) Built for lower compression for turbo: 8:5:1 The N42 head was completely rebuilt with new springs valve job and guides. This was the end result. I couldn't be happier. I decided to paint the engine blue, I thought that would be a good color to use for spotting oil leaks (I am still traumatized from what happened before.) That is where I currently stand today. I am waiting to save the funds for a new clutch (I am thinking Clutchmasters FX100, because as I mentioned earlier I will eventually be going turbo, so I decided to buy a clutch with enough holding power for both setups. So I am only a clutch away from having my car be driveable again. So as I wait to attain the means of a clutch, I have been fixing all of the little "bugs" in the car like the following: Touch Up Paint - Here and there (nothing major) Interior assembly and cleansing. (finally fully assembled my interior, looks great!) Sanding (2000 wet) and buffing the entire car (mirror or glass like finish. Hard to do with silver). (this is why I said I liked the Martin Senour clear. It buffs to a brilliant shine: See pictures). Physically bolting ZG Flares onto the car. Looks very clean. (Make fun of me for not cutting my front fenders, I couldn't bear to cut into her, drilling 24 holes was hard enough.....) Mounting brackets for the front License Plate (got pulled over once having it taped in windshield. Don't do this, or check state law) Swap passenger's door panel with my first Z's (somehow remained 100% perfect) Replacing the Oil Pressure Line that broke Fabricating a Turbo Oil Pan (Thank you FlatBlack@Hybridz.org for this idea. The picture was wonderful. Anyone who does this make sure to notice the location of the tap in regards to the holes for the pan bolts) Painting my Fuel Injection Intake (and currently working on boring the intake to accept a 60 mm throttle body) Painting or Cleaning (with steel wool and lacquer thinner mostly) all remaining parts: Starter, Headers, both intakes, and lots of forgotten miscellaneous. Constantly cleaning exterior and interior. I hope to show all remaining parts of the car in the following series of pictures. I also forgot to mention that I upgraded my front rotors to the drilled and slotted rotors (I'll take pics eventually) This is where I am as of today, Thursday December 23rd 2010. -Interior panel. I threw an extra Datsun emblem in the middle. I like it, a lot. Still missing that left panel though... -Headers: My exhaust is straight 2.5'' to a Monza exhaust system. -The L26 pan tapped to accept turbo applications. (knew that engine was good for SOMETHING haha) -Notice reflection of boxes in top left. (sorry like I said my shop isn't well lit). - Torn Door Panel -Dusty but MINT door panel from my first Z -Swapped over and conditioned (cell phone quality, but the difference is remarkable) -Notice the shiny new pressure line. (clear/white colored) -Behind the dash. Was a huge pain in the balls getting the oil pressure gauge line out. Had to blindly reach through this. Already removed the heater piping.... -In order to access this. (was 11mm nut on gauge and 10mm nut on the line itself. Took like and hour to figure that out.....Can't see.) -Bolted on flares. No more double sided tape. -Reflection on back hatch. I will try to take a good picture of it. This one does it NO justice. - Can kinda see my calipers (edited) just another angle. No flares. Pre-installation. -I painted the hydraulic arm red to set off the 4 points a little. I know lame, but I don't care. Also painted my calipers this same color (no pic) I have millions more pictures. I have invested easily over 3000 hours into this project. I have driven the car in its entirety for 16 days the first year (Oct 31st 08-Nov 15th-08) and 5 days the second season, for a grand total of 21 days. So I am currently on a ratio that says for every 104 FULL 24 HOUR WORK DAYS. NO SLEEP. I get to drive my car 21 times....... So roughly 150 hours of solid work, for 1 hour of drive time..... Man I hope I can improve on that a bit...... Thanks for looking at my thread. I am sorry that I almost positively bored you to death, with my endless banter, but this car is how I invest so much of my time, I figured it was time to show off what I put so much time, and love into. Thanks again. Take care all. If you have any questions shoot me a message!
  2. OldAndyAndTheSea

    E31 head price check

    I have a couple e31 heads from my years of collecting. Both are complete, and let's assume in working condition. One is ported and nicely polished with a mild cam The other is from what I gather to be completely stock. I know that is not a lot to go by but what is the market like for the earlier e31 heads? Anyone know? Thanks brethren
  3. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    So when the car first came home, it actually had two very small pin holes develop in the tank, which I neglected to mention....I patched them up, through the power of composites, and hoped that would be the end of it. All the while....in the back of my head, experiencing these reoccurring lean conditions, I couldn't help but think the tank is probably my underlying problem. So last night, on another routine check under the car I inspected the tank again....and by just wiping it down with a trashed microfiber it sprung yet another leak..... this cannot bode well for the inside condition of the tank.....it's gotta be the source of my leaning out. I imagine the pickup and screen, if still in tact, is probably full of debris...but still can pass enough fuel for idle, and light cruising. Again....logic would dictate that the fuel tank would be the obvious suspect. Here's hoping. So I ended up contacting a gentleman in Florida, Doug at Fever Racing, who builds what I would argue the most robust and well designed aluminum fuel cell for these cars ever. Mine is going to essentially be a replica of the oem tank, however it will have an internal Walbro 255 mounted within the tank, eliminating my external filter and pump setup. These things are works of art. It will be the final piece that really sets the rear/underside of the car off. My fuel tank was definitely the weak link both visibly and physically (apparently). He also wants some carbon door panels and a console, so we will work out a bit of a trade deal when the time comes, which is cool, as this is a $2,000 fuel cell and pump setup. But I want the car to be robust and future proof. This is the answer. The lead time is claimed to be two weeks.....so until then it looks like the Z will most likely sit in the garage and I'll work out the last mechanical and electrical kinks in the meantime. Like installing my new shift boot and parking brake boot. White stitching to match the rest of the interior. Very pleased with these pieces. Came from England. Before I still haven't detailed the interior......gah I wanna do that so badly. In due time, Andy....in due time.
  4. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Progress on my insane VQ35HR 240Z project

    Mark, Few can, and will, build to this standard. You've essentially set the bar for these cars in the States. I myself have been motivated by your projects on my own car. I don't know if I ever would have gone as crazy with my carbon stuff if I hadn't seen your build. So I thank you for that. And also, thanks for taking us along for the ride. Now it's time for YOU to enjoy that ride. It's been long enough. Cheers, Mate! Congratulations. She's a beaut.
  5. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    Couple random shots from driving it around. The car has developed a lean condition that I am currently investigating and diagnosing. Cruising and idle AFRs are good, it starts to lean out at partial throttle, and while under boost.....fuel pressure and the pump seem to check out. Clamping the return line pegs the pump at just under 90 psi, so I don't believe it to be a restriction issue. While I do that I am finishing up little details here and there each night. It's pretty cathartic to be able to work on this thing each evening, as it idles away, and I test various systems. I did the first stage of paint correction. It finally feels smooth again. Time to take it down a bunch of dirt roads...haha. Tonight I added a v-band and a section of flex pipe to the downpipe, as to allow for some movement in the system and to take some stress off of the downpipe bolts...I'll probably safety wire those eventually, but this whole exhaust is very temporary until I source a new turbo...but for now, and for what I have into it, it'll suffice.
  6. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    Not bad for a 2 month come up. It was nice getting some Z time in while my car was tucked away nice and warm in storage. Yeah, any Z guy will know immediately that it's not a 240z, but it'll fool most. The 77-78 body wasn't doing me any favors...especially with the bumpers.. That rust definitely originated from a hole, filled with bondo, that leaked. Definitely a-typical. I think the hole may have started at the lead roof seam...most of the rust on the car came from sloppy previous repairs...which I guess makes sense...these cars weren't worth the money, at the time, to invest in proper metal replacement....so it got bondo.....and then some more bondo....and some more on top of that.... It's gonna be a great driver. I am excited for the owner.
  7. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    Haha! Caught me. That is a 1978 280z that I backdated with a bunch of 240z stuff, and painted for a Canadian gentleman. If you'd like I could copy and paste my thread from another site and upload that here. There was some pretty awesome rust repair that went into that one. He is hopefully coming to get his car, and a boat I fixed for him by the weekend, or early next week. here's a link to that thread. It's got a shit ton of pictures. http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?9043433-1978-Datsun-280z-quot-resto-mod-quot-Progress-Thread Some teasers. I can make the same thread on Hybrid if people feel that may be cool. Then perhaps the owner could take control of the thread and keep it updated throughout the life of his car. Twinning is winning. Not sure if you mean the composter (the cubic looking thing next to the fence and driveway). Food scaps and other organic material are thrown in there, and over the course of a few months it is rotated to transform the contents into excellent soil, rich in nutrients, to supplement with yearly planting.
  8. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    I was able to delicately mount it in the car today. Now it can hurry up and cure fully. I get by with a little help....from my welting. I'm telling ya, this shit's gold! Good enough for the girls I go with....Honestly not bad for roughly 20 dollars total investment. Really happy with the result. And to confirm I put everything back together correctly I started it up and brought it out to the end of the driveway. On display, haha. Being in the sun will speed up the flocking.
  9. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    Instead of flocking it today, I decided to do it late last night/early this morning, so it could be curing to the touch when I slept. It's got a couple more hours before I can carefully handle it and install it. But here are a couple sneak peaks. I forgot how much flocking changes the appearance....all of a sudden this fifteen dollar piece of plastic looks expensive. haha. Yay! Now maybe I can have the car all back together then take it for a ride. The weather isn't terrible today, so I didn't want to waste the day waiting on cure.
  10. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    Tonight was spent modifying my A pillar gauge pod, preparing it to be flocked. The gauge pod was originally meant for a NA Mazda Miata, and was much too wide. You could see all my wires with the pod mocked in place. so out came the heat gun....which worked surprisingly well. Slowly working my way up the lip, molding it to the weatherstrip, and then trimming off any new excess. Looking fairly haggard, but it conforms nicely. HOLY shit does my windshield need to be cleaned. Christ. Forgive that. Tomorrow it's gonna get flocked. Cool.
  11. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Car won't start( but wants to)

    Eliminate the gas tank as a variable and squirt some fuel in your carbs. Does that change how it runs? Have you confirmed your fuel pump is working properly? Have you checked the lines, and vent lines, for a restriction? If your chokes aren't doing anything that should tell you something.
  12. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    Tonight, after work, I decided to putter on the 240. not having door handles was getting tiresome, so I installed some Porsche RS style handle pulls. I opted for the red set to match the seatbelts, and also for some better visibility for "ohshit!" grabbing. haha I could have mounted them like this.....but that's too easy, and it looks like garbage... ...so I took it one small step further..Choppity chop chop.. I really really really like how they turned out. Exactly what I had hoped for. I will be replacing the temporary fasteners with something a bit more appropriate. These are just to see the proof of concept. simple. lightweight. clean. I'm a fan. ...also got the rear tow hook bolted in place. The front will take a little finagling, but I'll knock that out in the near future. I can't get over the grip this thing has.....I still haven't broken traction. haha I love it.
  13. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    thanks! It's been a while coming. And teaching myself has presented a lot of learning curve...but I don't regret any second of it after driving the car. It's all worth it. yeah, there is very little actual stock Datsun left on this car....I have either touched, redesigned, or upgraded virtually every major component in the car. The ONLY thing I didn't do myself was corner balancing, alignment, and fine tuning the idle on the dyno. otherwise, it's all me. It does feel amazing having done all of the work myself. The car is a constant reminder of how far I've come in all aspects of skill. From painting skill to welding to just general and theoretical automotive knowledge....I am shocked at how far I've come.....I knew very little about cars, aside from an addiction, when I started this project. I also had NO idea this car would potentially gain magazine status.....that's fuckin' nuts. On my current setup the car feels supercharged. Full boost (granted, only 5-6psi) hits at right over 2500 rpm, and will pull strong until about 5500 rpm, when the car starts to lose its juice. It wants more boost. But I am being VERY conservative, as this is now my primary daily driver, as I find a suitable replacement for my E30 which was totaled by a snowplow this winter.....RIP girl....I miss you. You deserved better. 215 miles in. Still a car! Woot!
  14. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Luna: The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems

    She came home last week. The shop wants me to bring the car back as soon as possible, once I clean and sort it out, for a photoshoot. Super Street is the rumor. I don't care either way I just want someone to shoot the car. Needs a paint correction baaaad. But she wouldn't boost at all, it was running very lean. Idled fine..After a little investigation I discovered the source of the problem. The trailer ride back over stirred up some **** in the gas tank which proceeded to severely clog one of my fuel filters. I also developed a couple leaks due to things heating up and cooling back down a few times. Like the rear diff cover needed another go around to stop some seepage, and the turbo oil feed gasket failed, so I made a replacement for that. The fuel filter fixed the lean condition, obviously, and the car boosts beautifully. It's a hoot at only 5-6psi out of the tiny t3. A wonderful starting platform. It really feels like what you'd expect a racecar to feel like on the road. It feels LIGHT. It takes no effort to move itself, and it feels very stiff. I have not come close to losing grip. The car is very planted and balanced. Makes sense....it was corner balanced. The carbon interior, not being fully installed, doesn't even rattle. I expected it to rattle like a snake, but nope.....a couple loose screws on some plastics in the rear, but the dash is Gerbraltskis. Rock solid. The new 5 speed n/a zx transmission is wonderful. The rear end does transfer a bit of noise into the cockpit, some of which I will attempt to quell, but otherwise it isn't overly concerning for me. I LOVE every second of it. It is serious sensory overload. The sound, the look, the feel of being surrounded by carbon....the response....it's the whole package. I am very happy. Now I am putting the car back in the air to confirm all the bolts under the car are still tight. I'm looking at you diff bolts.....axle bolts....lug nuts. It looks like shit now...I can't wait to clean it up a bit. It's a car again! Now it's time to make it a better one. 125 miles in. She hits.
  15. OldAndyAndTheSea

    180 Degree L28ET Intake

    I really admire, and appreciate, what you're doing here. That is all. Carry on.
  16. OldAndyAndTheSea

    My Carbon Fibre 280z!

    Typically any ends are covered by the laminate, exposed core is a risk to the core itself, not unlike any other circumstance, and should be thought about in the same way. The core is usually prepped, with beveled edges, at usually around a 45 degree angle (or at around a 2-5mm radius - material thickness depending) to allow for easy conformity of the fabric over the core's surface. Sometimes the ends aren't capped, but those situations are less common I find. ..but again, there's that tailor-ability coming into play. If you want caps, you can have caps. If you don't need caps, you don't have to have them. You have freedom of choice. Unfortunately freedom can sometimes be dangerous too. haha. I love answering any composites related questions. Unfortunately there is a lot of misunderstanding of these materials. I'd like to help clear that up, to make the industry, as a whole, better. I do apologize for any tangential trajectory that my comments may have taken things however. haha.
  17. OldAndyAndTheSea

    My Carbon Fibre 280z!

    yeah, getting aluminum honeycomb, or honeycomb in general, to lay nicely over complex compound curves is inherently a challenge. It has massive compression strength. Shear, not so much, like you mention. Depending on the complexity of the geometry, you can sometimes carefully scarf, and bevel, core to make them flex, bend, or conform better. Sometimes you must cut the core into many sections and lay them side by side, instead of one continuous piece. It definitely can be tricky. Getting resin within the combs themselves shouldn't happen, if you're using the proper materials that these were designed around. Prepregs. If you're using these types of cores, you should NOT be using hand layup. That defeats the purpose. Very much like a laminate that includes both chopped strand mat, and a carbon fiber skin. That is not a "carbon" laminate. That's mostly fiberglass and the carbon is doing very little, if anything, to the structure of the layup. You see virtually no weight savings over the "fiberglass" versions...and the carbon isn't even allowed to do its job... It's simply a more aesthetically pleasing cover, which there's nothing wrong with...just stop calling it a "carbon X". If you're using prepregs and honeycomb it is a breeze. The prepreg fabric only has enough catalyzed resin for itself, so you must use a sheet of "film adhesive" (a literal sheet of catalyzed resin) to join the fabrics to the core. The film adhesive is just enough resin to, in a perfect world, form a little meniscus over the top of each of the combs, holding a firm and uniform bond between the skin and core. If it is too resin rich, the laminate becomes heavier (like you said) and brittle. Resin rich comes from hand layup. In a perfect world, when you test the physicals of the laminate, the core itself will fail, and the skins will not delaminate. high density foams are a wonderful material, and work well in combination with honeycombs, but as you can see from even my brief touching on the topic...there is a lot of variability, and tailor-ability to composites....which is one of its greatest advantages. If you understand the materials, and how they are designed to be used, you can customize the laminate to do exactly what you want, where you want. Only robust in those areas that need it, or strong in a certain force, while others areas that don't need said requirements can be as lightweight as possible. I think the main reason behind most doors being metal is simply it's the best bang for the buck. It's wonderful at dispersing load, and provides good intrusion protection. You will absolutely see a weight savings with a carbon, cored, door over its metal counterpart - but doing so would add exorbitant cost and effort. As far as physical performance, the carbon door would be superior in virtually every way, but only if properly constructed. If not properly constructed, it could be devastating. I was extremely lucky to learn from, quite frankly, one of the Composites wold's leading authorities, Henry Elliot. Now a head consultant for the Oracle Team USA Americas Cup team. I oringinally had planned to make full carbon, FIA legal, composite doors while at school. When I told him about the project, he raised his eyebrows big time... Basically told me not to do it....he told me that the juice was not going to be worth the squeeze. "if ten pounds is what makes or breaks your race, you're on an entirely different level of skill.....Don't sacrifice safety for weight, that's not how composites are supposed to work." "don't sacrifice safety by chasing numbers." is essentially what he told me. If you aren't going into making doors with these thoughts in mind, you shouldn't be making doors. That's my humble opinion.
  18. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Refinishing small parts

    1. Thanks. I knew very little about these materials before I decided to learn. Anyone can do this work. It just takes the willingness to try...(and fail). I learned these skills because I couldn't find anyone who could do what I wanted....I also couldn't afford to pay someone else to make this stuff.....and most of what you're getting is fiberglass with a carbon skin. That's not a true carbon laminate. I want my carbon to actually serve a purpose, and not just be some "bling" to look at. Weight savings/structural integrity first, then aesthetics. 2. I get that....I've found that even that harbor freight spot blaster thing works well on small stuff in a pinch. My sandblasting cabinet leaves a lot to be desired. The second you start blasting you can't see shit. The light sucks and my vacuum (wet/dry vac) assisted dust collector isn't much better. It's a struggle, but even still, it expedites the process enough to still be worth it. Nothing beats virgin metal.
  19. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Refinishing small parts

    it would be easier to just direct you to my build thread. The following is a link to my post when I first acquired the setup. The powder coating stuff starts about 3/4 down the page.
  20. OldAndyAndTheSea

    240z RB26 Track Spec Build

    What lovely bones with a bunch of time consuming work already done for you. Nice. nylon wire wheels also do an amazing job at removing rust.
  21. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Refinishing small parts

    You will not regret powder coating. Unless it is absolutely necessary, or the body of a car, I prefer to powder coat everything. Random brake line bracket? Powder coat. Strut top bolts? Powder coat. The only time you need to worry about powder coat is when high tolerances are needed, so avoid threads or interference fit parts (or at least those areas of said parts) With powder the finish is much more durable, and the turnaround time is amazing. You can pull a bracket, give it a quick sand blast or wire brush, shoot some powder on it and toss it in a small convection oven. Thirty minutes later, or when you can touch it, you can reinstall the same, now fresh, part. That just doesn't happen with paint. My powder coating setup, initially, was less than 200 dollars. (you do need access to compressed air, however) 125 - ish I think for the Eastwood Powder coating gun, and between 50-75 for the largest clearance counter top convection oven that I could find at Wal Mart. I acquired a conventional electric home oven later, for free, on Craigslist some time later. The convection oven still sees the most use, as mI am always powder coating small widgets for my projects.
  22. OldAndyAndTheSea

    My Carbon Fibre 280z!

    Without a cage, or monocoque design, quite frankly, I wouldn't. But if you want to go down the rabbit hole, you must include some sort of load bearing/dispersing core within the laminate. Most F1 racecars are constructed from a combination of aluminum, and nomex, honeycomb core. Aluminum is best used for crumple zones, and is highly structural, while nomex is designed for excellent fire resistance, but isn't as structurally robust. Nomex is significantly lighter, and subsequently more expensive, than aluminum, so it is used only where advantageous. So the survival cell (Monocoque) sees this type of core most often. I'd build a totally composite version, with aluminum honeycomb (3-5mm) core. Imagine if you were to take an s30 door and cut the inside skin off. I'd make that idea, and then build a semi structural door panel that goes over the inner workings of the door, because I also would want to retain window function and such. Horrible description, but eh I'll roll with it. I really dislike the idea of making some bastardized door hybrid out of 40+ year old existing shells and single skin, hand laid, laminates. That's not safe. Nor is it truly using these materials as intended. It's like if someone decided to build a carbon fiber house...and they start by making a bunch of carbon fiber 2x4s.....sure that will work, to some extent I suppose, but it isn't using the materials to their advantage. Unless the person really knows these materials (at an Aerospace / ISO 9001 level) you really shouldn't be making your own doors, in my opinion. Not the task for the average body guy. I feel this is an aesthetics game, hidden beneath a "weight savings" veil.
  23. OldAndyAndTheSea

    My Carbon Fibre 280z!

    If you have any questions in regards to carbon construction, and safety, don't hesitate to ask. I'll gladly share anything that I know.
  24. OldAndyAndTheSea

    Rocky Auto Mirrors

    The rocky mirrors are not carbon fiber, if that's what you're looking for, those are clearly hydrodipped, or painted to look like 1x1 twill. If it's entirely the shape you're after, then disregard my entire post; Good luck with your search.
  25. OldAndyAndTheSea

    240z L28et Overheating

    You say the fan you are running currently is a push fan? If it's mounted on the backside of the radiator, as the picture shows, and is setup in a push orientation I would put my money on that being the problem. If it's on the back of the radiator like that, it wants to be a puller. Pullers, by design, are more efficient. If that is not the case, forgive my ignorance.