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jhm

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jhm last won the day on November 4

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About jhm

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  • Birthday 09/12/1963

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    Hampton, VA

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  1. I used a 3-way splitter, too...similar to @Miles. Crazy thing though -- I had a hard time finding one with deep enough threaded female ports...eventually found a supplier on eBay (from Latvia!) that had the one I needed. Looks like they're still available if you can't source one locally. https://www.ebay.com/i/264460358871?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=264460358871&targetid=934793862176&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9008565&poi=&campaignid=10460107080&mkgroupid=106723174707&rlsatarget=pla-934793862176&abcId=2146001&merchantid=113613716&gclid=CjwKCAiA-_L9BRBQEiwA-bm5fsnFoomhpGU_ZHHRbK5CmpL-LxTRPXGb-dFDufeT6EE0ghXgev3c3xoCErwQAvD_BwE WRT to your question regarding disc brakes on all 4 corners, you may need a larger bore MC (swapping reservoirs on your current 7/8 MC won't do anything.) Depending on which disc setup you choose for the rear (and also if you're considering swapping in larger front disc setup), you typically will need to upgrade the MC to 15/16 or 1". LOTS of good reading in the FAQs on this exact topic.
  2. You certainly can use some thick rubber to sandwich between the strut tower and the top of the camber plate, but I personally don't think it's necessary from a structural perspective...the structural function of the rubber in the stock isolator is primarily to allow for angular changes in the top of the shock as the suspension moves through its range of motion. The monoball joint incorporated in the aftermarket camber plates accomplishes that function. If you do install some kind of rubber pad between the strut tower and the top of the camber plate may help cut down on the road noise vibrations transmitted through the camber plate; but you need to accept the fact that any metal camber plates are going to be much noisier than the stock rubber isolators.) FOL. Need to ensure that it doesn't flex so much that it induces angular changes in the suspension geometry. Maybe polyurethane might be a better material, from that perspective, if you decide you need something in there. The reality is that it's just one more rattle (mixed in with many other random rattles) and you only notice it when driving on the street....it's irrelevant once you're on the track.
  3. Yes, you will definitely want to replace the stock isolators with something that gives you adjustability and more negative camber. Those Silvermine bolt-in camber plates are certainly some of the cheapest (lowest cost) you will find, and there's nothing wrong with them (I've used similar ones on some of my cars); but their range of adjustment is limited. IIRC, I could achieve approx 1.5 deg in the rear and maybe 2.5 in the front with them (with moderate lowering, adjustable coilovers, and stock control arms). If they meet your needs, go for it. If you think you will want more camber adjustability, take a look at the bolt-in units from Ground Control and DP Racing. I've used both and have been extremely happy with them. As a bonus, they both allow a limited degree of caster adjustment. https://www.dpracing.co/datsun-z-front-suspension-1 https://groundcontrolstore.com/collections/s30/products/no-cut-camber-caster-plate-z-car-pair There are other "bolt-in" plates available that will give more range of adjustment, but require cutting the strut tower; so you'll want to avoid those. P.S. Hang on to those stock isolators and don't throw them out. At some point down the road, either you'll want them or someone else will.
  4. The unit with the brass electrical bullet connector on top is the brake malfunction warning switch....it's intended to detect an imbalance in pressure between the front and rear systems. Someone must have removed the wire lead at some point. The other unit is the OEM distribution block/proportioning valve. If you're planning to install an aftermarket rear proportioning valve, you can either remove the OEM unit or gut it. Since you're already planning to run new lines from the MC, may be best to just remove it....it will clean up the engine compartment and reduce the total potential points of failure/leaks. If you decide to remove either (or both) of these; don't throw them out -- keep them and put them up for sale. Folks are always looking for these for restoration projects, particularly on forums like ClassicZCars.com and "S30 Life" on FB.
  5. True statement IMO. I have shied away from cross-drilled rotors, because I know too many people that have suffered cracked rotors due to the cross-drilling. I like slotted rotors, but the plain-jane pancake rotors are fine too....just use some good pads. I prefer Carbotech for track (and Porterfields for street), but that's just my own personal preference because I've found a good combination that works for me with my particular setup. There are several good high-performance pads available to choose from. I'm not at that point yet....still get the clenched butt cheeks when the pedal goes to the floor.
  6. It largely depends on what you plan to do with the front discs (if anything) and what type of events you plan to run.... Start by reading all the "brake upgrade" threads in this sub-forum and in the FAQs if you haven't already done so. You'll find a TON of great info. The stock front discs and rear drums are actually a pretty well-balanced system, and work ok for most types of short duration racing (e.g. time trials, auto-x, etc). Longer events will quickly overheat the system and you will find yourself looking for better braking longevity during extended high-speed use. You'll find the fronts overheating/fading (and possibly boiling the fluid) and the aluminum rear drums will expand and lost most of their effectiveness. It's an old S30 trick to pull the rear parking brake up one or two clicks when this starts to happen. Some people have preferred to go with cast iron drums in the rear because they expand less (but are significantly heavier than the stock ali drums.) If you're not planning to upgrade the fronts with bigger, vented rotors and calipers, you should probably leave the drums in the rear IMHO. Don't forget that bigger calipers in the front and/or disc brakes in the rear will typically necessitate a larger bore MC. If you leave the drums in the rear for now, Porterfields are probably some of the best shoes you can get....the generic off-the-shelf shoes (e.g. Centric, etc) from the auto parts chain stores are not worth your time.
  7. There's a company in the UK that's producing hard-to-find replacement body panels, and the rear slam panel is one of them. Looks like they do pretty nice work. There may be other vendors doing similar work; but I just happened to notice their ad the other day on FB: username was "Kim Mays" on the "Datsun Parts and Needs" FB page. Here's a link; but may not work for you if you're not a member of the group: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1661652560538618&set=pcb.1655145461187252
  8. Have had the windshield out of my last two 260s and did not have any such hole in driver upper corner of the frame.
  9. The Tokico reds were my favorite stock spring replacement, but they are NLA unless you find a set used. Eibach also makes a "performance replacement spring", but I would avoid a progressive spring if that's all they offer for your car. If budget is a major factor (as it is for most of us!), take a look at the Vogtland springs on eBay....they seem to be a decent option as a shorter/stiffer spring. Even cheaper....years ago, people were using stock Chevy Chevette springs....google search for those discussions here on HybridZ. The cheapest option is to cut the stock springs; which a lot of folks have tried with varying degrees of success. Take a look at the tracks and venues that you plan to run at before making final decision. A spring that works well for a flat, smooth auto-x pad might be a terrible choice for a rough road course with heavy curbing and elevation changes.
  10. Not sure I understand what you mean "make a new plate for the shock tower top"; but there are a couple of camber plate options that allow you to move the top mounting point of the front strut assembly "rearward", in order to achieve a slight bit more caster. DP Racing, K-Mac and Ground Control bolt-in camber plates are a couple examples. EMI plates were a very popular option years ago, but they are NLA (new)....might be able to find some used. If you use the camber plates to achieve increased caster, you are doing so at the expense of decreased static camber. A more effective technique to increase your caster is with adjustable TC rods. To make any significant difference, you would need to use these in conjunction with a front LCA that incorporates a monoball mounting (i.e. not the stock rubber bushing). You can fabricate your own monoball LCAs, or purchase them pre-fabbed from vendors like T3, Futofab and Apex Engineering. The advantage of more caster in a track car is that it allows you to run less static camber (for better braking performance) and still achieve good dynamic camber characteristics on the loaded tire during turning. For a street-driven car, I honestly don't know what the benefits of increased caster might be....perhaps better high-speed stability? Keep in mind that increasing the caster will result in heavier steering at low speeds, because the wheels are having to actually "lift" the front end as you dial in steering input. Hope this helps.
  11. Springs and shocks constitute the major expense in switching to coilovers (camber plates, too....if you're replacing the stock strut isolators with aftermarket camber plates.) If you're intent on purchasing a coilover "kit", I would press the vendor for details on those component -- what make and model of each? I've seen plenty of kits that cheap out on one or more of the key components, to keep overall kit price down. But you pay for it in lost performance. If you don't mind doing the work to section your struts, you can usually piece together your own coilovers for less than what you would pay for a complete kit of the same quality. This also allows you to select exactly what pieces you want vs what some vendor has pieced together. One feature that's nice on some of the kits (e.g. BC Coilovers) is the ability to adjust ride height without compromising bump & droop travel. You could incorporate this into your design if you're building your own coilovers; it just takes more fab work and some additional hardware expense. For shocks, I've had good luck with Bilsteins but switched to Koni yellows last year that @Ben280 described (I went with single adjustable, mainly for budget reasons....got a killer deal from ECS Tuning.) Tokicos are fine, but not for higher spring rates; and may not meet your needs for EP class. You can still find them used sometimes on eBay and various forums. For springs, I'm partial to QA1, Swift and HyperCo; but there are many fine spring manufacturers out there and everyone has their own preference. Camber plates: I like DP racing and Ground Control...but plenty of other good options to choose from here as well. I run XP and am not familiar with EP requirements; so be sure to thoroughly research what you can and can't do classing-wise, if you haven't already done so. Good luck with it!
  12. ClassicZCars is always a good resource for these types of OEM restoration/rebuild issues. Found a couple threads that may help. One guy swapped his passenger and driver lock barrels; others had suggested repairs depending on the specific issue. I'm sure there are other discussions on that forum regarding this topic since it's such a common problem for these old cars. https://www.classiczcars.com/forums/topic/56706-possible-fix-for-worn-out-door-locks/ https://www.classiczcars.com/forums/topic/35066-78-280z-door-locks-worn-out/ Looks like ZCarDepot offers replacement locks; may be other vendors out there as well, like MSA, etc. Sometimes these new lock barrels can be rekeyed to match your existing key, or you can just live with FOL of having to add a new key to your keyring. What year is your car? https://zcardepot.com/products/door-lock-cylinder-set-with-keys-77-78-280z?_pos=3&_sid=9e230f569&_ss=r
  13. No, I only have one Z at the moment. The point I was trying to make is that I've owned several over the years; but I've never been willing to spend a big chunk of money on a nice one...opting instead to buy junkers and restore them myself. It's a satisfying process to build your own car, exactly the way you want it, vs buying something already pre-built.
  14. I've had a dozen old Z's, and have never been willing to shell out the big bucks for a nice clean driveable car. They've all been crappy rust buckets, and I spend a couple years restoring/rebuilding them. Your best bet now is to do as much research as possible so you know what you're getting into before spending your hard-earned cash.
  15. There's actually quite a few discussions along these lines; but you may have to search for them using Google search....the website search engine isn't the best. Just be sure to include "HybridZ" in your search string. First thing you need to do is figure out what you have currently. If there are no markings on the springs, use an online spring rate calculator to estimate the spring rate. Open up the struts and see what kind of shocks you have. What sway bars, if any, do you currently have? What condition are the bushings in? What size wheels and tires do you have (and what brand/model tire)? Do your current coilovers incorporate camber plates, or have they retained the stock strut isolators? (The stock isolators actually do a very good job damping out road noise and vibration. And I'd recommend you corner-scale the car, to determine your corner weights (primarily to determine your F-R distribution, since there's typically not a large variation in L-R distro.) Are you planning to keep the car for a long time? If so, it's worth spending some $ on quality parts that will last a long time. Finally, decide what your budget goals and constraints are, if any. Next....if street use and compliant ride really is your #1 priority, start compiling list of what changes you'll want to achieve that goal. For a compliant ride, I'd go no stiffer than 200-250 lb/in spring rate. (Even softer if your local roads are in rough shape.) A longer spring of the same rate will typically be more compliant than a shorter spring of the same rate. Are you planning to lower the car? If so, realize that doing so often compromises streetability and the fact that you may need to section the struts in order to retain good bump and droop suspension travel. Shock damping rates play as big a role in ride comfort as spring rate does, so don't ignore shock selection when considering your spring selection. Adjustable shocks are nice; dual adjustable (compression & rebound) are really nice, but often not necessary. Keep in mind that each shock manufacturer has a different design for their shock adjustability. (e.g. Koni single adjustable shocks function differently than Tokico single-adjustable, etc, etc.) Shocks are an area where one can spend a fortune, so factor that into your budget decision process. Tire selection is also extremely important, from both a performance and ride comfort factor, so plan to spend some time (and money) deciding which tire brand/model/size best meets your performance and comfort goals. You'll have to decide for yourself how stiff a sway bar front and rear you'll want. For many street-driven cars, the stock sway bars are fine, especially if you freshen up the bushings with some good PU pieces. BUT, PU can also transmit more road noise and vibration vs rubber....so you may decide to go with a mix of PU and new rubber bushings. I'm sure I'm missing several other items here to consider; just trying to highlight some of the major decision points. You may want to peruse some of the member's builds to find those with similar setups and goals as yours to see what's worked well (and maybe not so well). Good luck with it.
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