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Ironhead last won the day on June 30 2018

Ironhead had the most liked content!

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About Ironhead

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  1. Nothing can ever be simple.... I knew it might be a bit of a challenge mounting the oil tank. A lot of track cars mount it in the passenger compartment, which I didn't want to do...for many reasons. I ordered a smallish tank (1.5 gallon) and figured it would fit somewhere in the engine compartment. But it really didn't. It "might" have fit between the radiator and front of the engine on the driver's side, but I can't be sure as I do not yet have a radiator. It would be close at best, and kind of lame in terms of weight distribution and all that (not that a gallon and a half of oil is all that heavy). So the only decent solution seemed to be more cutting/grinding/welding. I made sort of a "perch" for it below the OEM battery location. My plan is to install a bulkhead fitting in the drain hole at the bottom of the tank, to protrude through a hole in the bottom of the "perch"....to make it easy to drain the oil when needed. The bottom plate is .10" so it should easily support the tank's weight, and then I will just use one mounting bracket to hold it against the firewall. Mocking everything up it seems like this will work.
  2. I had sort of planned to have to periodically update the epoxy as I finished welding each area, but flash rust really hasn't been a problem....at all. I imagine just because I live in a fairly low-humidity environment. I might end up going that route...not sure. I just wish the JTR headers were stainless. I am reluctant to bolt something on that I am just going to want to change out down the road. Thanks for the comments guys.
  3. Yeah...I am in sort of a quandary as to what I will do. Knowing myself, when I order something like the Hawk headers....for that kind of money....I tend to find them kind of a let-down when I actually have them in hand. Usually the workmanship is not what I hoped, and I also am not at all sure they will fit my car. I assume they are designed around the Hawk engine mounts, which could cause all sorts of problems for applications that use other mounts...like mine. I am leaning toward building my own. I would like to finish the car....someday....but with projects like this the journey is at least half the fun anyway....at least for me. I tried the smaller 105 AMP GM alternator (part #19244779) today, and it fit without having to modify my engine mounts. I would think 105 AMP would be enough, since I will have no A/C or sound system or any of that. Just another snag sorted without too much hassle.
  4. I have never tried welding cast iron, but as I understand things, it is pretty difficult and trouble prone to do. My welding skills are marginal, to be honest. I have another car for which I built a fairly complex all-stainless exhaust with V-bands and all that. I think I could do a decent job on a stainless header....it's just that I know it will be very, very time consuming to do. I was looking at the Hawks long tube headers. My main concern there is that my steering shaft is not routed exactly like stock, so there might be issues with that. Also they are significant money....but really...how is it possible for places to make a quality set of headers for much less than that? I figure if I built my own...about $700 in materials and a LOT of time. Or just pay $1400 for the Hawks. If I was sure they would fit, I would probably just do the latter.... Thanks for the comments guys.
  5. Got the engine in the car this morning.... Several areas of interference came up. The exhaust manifolds, as I suspected, were much too wide and had to come off. So I guess I am in the market for headers....thinking of making my own. The alternator was hitting the driver's side engine mount base. The alternator I was using is a 140 amp model off of a GTO. The stud for the battery cable was the portion striking the engine mount...not good of course. I think my car would be more than amply served by a 100 or 110 amp alternator, if those are physically smaller I might try one of them. Otherwise I am going to have to significantly modify the engine mount on that side. I just pulled the alternator for the time being to get the engine in. Finally, the front edge of the oil pan was hitting the steering rack. I mounted the rack on spacers, so it could be raised or lowered if needed. I didn't want to significantly raise the engine, so I lowered the steering rack .5", which game me roughly .25" clearance between it and the oil pan. I just have to space the rod end on the steering knuckle downward an equivalent amount, to avoid bump steer problems. So there were a few hassles...but I kind of expected some...and nothing that cannot be solved. I was hoping to get away with using the OEM exhaust manifold....but that isn't happening.
  6. I was planning to....just because they are compact....and I figured it was a good way to simplify things rather than trying to source or build headers. Plus even with them the engine's power output should be more than enough to get me in trouble..... But I was taking some measurements today prior to dropping in the motor, and I think the flanges on the manifolds sit too wide and will hit the frame rails.
  7. Good question... My hope is that I can cut some of the sheet metal and fit it into the space where the battery originally was. I have to get the engine in and just see how everything fits up.
  8. I got the engine ready to drop in the car and see how everything fits. The motor comes with the "Corvette" spacing for the accessory drive, which requires a high mounted alternator, and by my measurements this wouldn't fit in the Z. So I converted the front of the motor to Camaro/GTO spacing with a low mounted alternator. Even this led to some interference, as the OEM parts were designed to use a high mounted power steering pump, and with a shorter "alt only" belt the belt rubs on the OEM alternator mount. An aftermarket alternator mount solved that problem. Basically it was all solved through a lot of parts being ordered then returned. It all seems squared away now and uses a stock belt tensioner, which I wanted. The engine has a scavenge only dry sump system, that uses the OEM oil pump for pressure. The two stage scavenge pump did not clear the Hoke passenger side engine mount, so I had to modify the mount by narrowing it .5" or so....but this was easy even for a hack like me. The valve covers are designed for dry sump engines and delete the oil fill. Since the engine has no sump I was concerned about oil inadvertently being put in the normal fill port....although I don't know how that could happen unless I did it myself. Mainly just trying to clean up hardware that I won't be using. And yes, they add a bit of bling too.... I have been taking measurements and there are several places where the fit is going to be close...mainly between the steering rack and the hardware on the front of the engine, and between the oil hoses and the braces for the Apex cross-member. It is also going to be challenging finding a place for the oil tank...unless I want to put it in the passenger compartment...which I don't. Time to drop in the motor and find out for sure... Thanks for looking.
  9. No big update, but I got the quarter window frames powder coated, and the windows rebuilt with new weatherstripping.
  10. Ironhead

    1978 Datsun 280Z RB25 Restomod

    I hear ya man. I have dealt extensively with all three of these companies over the past year or so, and I have had at least moderate issues with each one of them. Not just them....but other Z suppliers as well. Misquotes for delivery, quality problems, you name it. I think it's like you say....niche companies with little or no competition. I am currently waiting on parts from Carbon Signal (Dubai) and Restored.jp. I was QUOTED several months for these parts, so needless to say I am a bit apprehensive as to when they might arrive. In contrast, I have recently been fitting out my LS3 for the car, which has meant dealing with Summit Racing. What a breath of fresh air. I get 90% of the stuff I order from them next day with ground shipping, returns are quick and painless, and nearly everything is in stock and ready to ship. Probably not a fair comparison though....Summit being a giant, state of the art retailer. Your build is looking great BTW.
  11. The JB was hardened today, and I got them all to bolt up without any more failing... You have to be really careful though. The back of the CF parts are not even, and if you tighten the nuts too tightly, they pull the low studs out. I just barely snugged them, and used nylon stop nuts so they wouldn't back off over time. I certainly agree with you though, they definitely could have engineered this better.
  12. Thanks Ian. When you say "mounting tabs" are you referring to the threaded studs that are bonded to the CF parts? If so I had one come off already and I reattached with JB Weld...time will tell if it holds.
  13. Good question...I encountered something a couple of years ago where the threads I was trying to match were smaller than 1/4 or M6, bigger than 10-32 or M5, and I was wracking my brain because at that time I didn't even know there was a 12-24. I finally figured it out. The only place I have found hardware in 12-24 is at McMaster-Carr....whom I consider the greatest retailer on the planet...at least for most of the things I tend to buy.
  14. Another job I just finished tackling are the taillights and trim parts. I ordered the CF surrounds from Retro Spec, and JDM spec taillights from Whitehead. These parts on my car were cracked and in terrible condition. I am not necessarily a fan of all things JDM, but the taillights were available used for about the same price as a good pair of US spec taillights, and I do think the amber lower light does look a bit better than the all red US lights. That just left me the smaller trim rings to try to refurbish. Mine had been rattle-can sprayed black at some time in the past, and the paint was chipping off with chrome showing through. The paint came right off with some paint remover, but the underlying chrome was all bubbled up and lifting off. I was initially in a bit of a quandary as to how to remove the chrome. It was much too hard to sand off, and trying to media blast it off would have for sure destroyed the much softer underlying plastic. After some research (thank god for YouTube) I found that a strong bleach solution will dissolve chrome from plastic. This does work, but be forewarned it is a slow process. I had the parts soaking 24/7 for almost two weeks before the chrome was finally gone. During that time I also changed the bleach repeatedly, because after a couple of days of soaking the dissolving process seemed to slow down. Finally, and after light (very light) media blasting to give them a key for painting, this was the result: The screws holes in the backs were cracked and broken...just from age...and also did not line up with the holes in the carbon parts, so I filled in the backsides with JB Weld, then drilled new holes for the screws after it hardened. I am deleting all the chrome and bare stainless from the car, so I never considered re-chroming the parts, but I pondered for a bit how best to paint them. I wanted something more durable than rattle can paint, because of the light colored plastic the slightest chip that appeared down the road would really look bad. I had some air-cure Cerakote left over from an unrelated project. This stuff is incredibly durable, and in particular the air-cured variety is supposedly extremely UV resistant, so I figured I would try it on the parts. If you are not familiar with Cerakote, it originated primarily for use on firearms. There is an air-cured and a heat cured variety. The air cured is designed for plastic parts and anything else that cannot be subjected to the 400 or so degrees needed to cure the heat variety. I was happy with how it turned out. For those considering trying them, I thought the Retro Spec carbon parts were pretty good. They look nice, no obvious flaws, and the fit is acceptable if not perfect. One thing that really bugged me though, is that the threaded studs attached to the back for attaching the taillights use a 12/24 thread. This is a really weird thread size, and I have no idea why they chose it over 10/32 or M5 or M6 or whatever. Try to find a 12/24 nut anywhere local to you and you will see what I mean. Just one more small detail sorted. Thanks for looking.
  15. https://www.ebay.com/itm/HEADLIGHT-ADJUST-SCREW-WHITE-PLASTIC-FIT-DATSUN-FAIRLADY-240Z-260Z-280Z-S30/162684278544?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649